If you’re buying a home, get an inspection. Period.
Once your offer is accepted…
The home inspection occurs after your offer has been accepted. You have a certain number of days specified in the purchase documents to do this (usually 7-12 days). Great inspectors are BUSY, so schedule your inspection IMMEDIATELY when your offer is accepted. You’ll want the inspection performed early so you have plenty of time to contact contractors and get bids (if issues are discovered) – also to negotiate.
How inspections work
Every inspector is different. Most will schedule a time block of 3-4 hours for the inspection. They’ll spend first first few hours doing their inspection and writing the report. You will show up for the last hour. The inspector will give you the report and take you through the property to see what he or she has found.
This would be a great time to take measurements for rooms, furniture, and window treatments. Take pictures too for your record.
How much do inspections cost?
In the Twin Cities, I’ve seen inspections range from $150 to $800. I haven’t met a good inspector who charges less than $300. The ones I recommend hover between $500 and $700 and do exemplary work. There’s a time and place to save money and the home inspection is NOT that time. There are add-on services too: water intrusion, radon, carbon monoxide. These are used on a case-by-case basis. Payment is typically due at the time of the inspection.
What makes a great inspector and inspection?
Experience, attention to detail, and communication skills. I prefer inspectors with a minimum of 5 years of full time experience. There’s currently no licensure in Minnesota for inspectors so experience and reputation matter a great deal. Besides identifying issues and concerns with the home, a great inspector also reports on deferred maintenance. It’s nice to know that in 10 years you’ll be looking at a new roof and in 4-5 years new windows. A great inspector helps chart your course in proper home ownership.
Too, a great inspector knows the difference between minor and serious issues and communicates this effectively. During the inspection, we’re looking for costly problems, costly potential problems, and health-hazardous situations. Do not treat this as a second round of price negotiations if it isn’t called for. Getting a great quality home is it’s own reward.
The results of the inspection
You and I will review the inspection report together and decide if further action is needed. Any requests stemming from the inspection must be in writing to the seller. And all of this has to be done during the inspection period window (see why I wanted to get going on the process ASAP?).
Recommended home inspectors
Just like other services, I don’t receive any compensation for recommending an inspector. I recommend the ones that I trust. You may hire anyone you wish – these are just my recommendations: