The Money Pit

I am often asked if ordering a Home Inspection is really needed and worth the money invested.  This is certainly an understandable question.  While it appears to be a fairly large investment for a report, most homebuyers don’t realize the hundreds of hours of study and practical experience it has taken an inspector just to become licensed.  In addition, the services provided can in many cases pay for itself ten-fold if serious defects are discovered. A typical home inspection takes from 2 to 4 hours of physical observation in addition to preparation and travel time to the property prior to the inspection.  The inspection report can take up to an additional 2 hours to prepare prior to review and uploading the report.  In most cases, inspectors are under paid for their services and the value that they bring to the table.

 In a typical home inspection, an inspector generally goes through the house looking for visual and obvious problems.  This can and should be done by both the inspector and the Homebuyer.

It’s the non-obvious items that are included in the inspection that you are really paying for or can save money on by having the defects disclosed. Often the seller will pay for the repairs or lower the purchase price to compensate for the discovery; however this is not always the case, especially with Bank owned properties.

Even if the repairs are not paid for by the Seller, it is still good to have a list of defects that will need to be taken care of down the road. Not all defects will require immediate attention.

For many…the main reason to purchase a Home Inspection is for “Peace of Mind”.  While it may seem like a lot of money to pay for a little piece of mind, just think how you would feel if you do not order a home inspection and defects are discovered shortly after you move into the property that ends of costing you thousands of dollars.  Granted . . . a home inspector will not catch everything and likewise is not required to catch everything as many items are hidden or outside the scope of the fee paid inspection.

The most important reason to have a home inspection should not be to see what works or doesn’t work so you can ask the seller to credit you some monies to fix items – although that is an important issue

The most important reason to have a home inspection other than “Pease of Mind” is so that you can add up the costs of all the anticipated repairs that you will want to do in the near future and determine if the house is selling at a fair market price after deducting all those estimated costs.  Unfortunately, the typical inspection report does not provide costs estimates.  It is your responsibility to go through the inspection report or go through the property in detail and get realistic estimates and costs to repair or replace defected items.  This result in your time spent which in itself costs you more money.

Some items that will need replaced in the future should be obvious and your inspector should be able to provide you with some average life expectancy of major items such as the Roof, HVAC system, Water heater and Appliances.

If you want to add new Flooring, Countertops, upgrade the Bathrooms or Kitchen, are you adding up all these costs? They won’t be in the report, but you need to know those estimates as well.

Adding up all the costs is your responsibility. Once you have your total, then you can make a decision if the property price is fair, or if you need to renegotiate the price, or if you should cancel the purchase.

“Add-On” inspections could save you time and money!

A typical Home Inspection does not include: Radon tests, Air quality, Mold tests, (WDO) termite inspections, soil or water tests, swimming pool test for leaks and researching to see if the house additions were permitted. These are all separate test or inspections and most are outside the scope or licensing of a general home inspector. If important to your home buying decision, monies need to be set aside for these inspections prior to closing. 

Here’ a few additional ones….   Four Point or Wind Mitigation Inspection.  While some of the inspection items are already incorporated in your typical inspection, a separate state approved form must be attached and provided to your insurance company to receive available premium discounts.  Adding these inspection reports as an “Add-On” to your home inspection report is very cost effective. Be sure to check with your Home Insurance Company first to see if either of these two reports will save you money.

Look at it this way… a $75 investment now for a Wind Mitigation attachment could save you hundreds of dollars annually off of your insurance premium for five years. For most, this is an excellent return on their investment. If your property does not qualify for a discount, then worst case is you only spent a very small sum of money but walked away with knowledge of what it might take to bring your property up to today’s standards. 

A Four Point inspection attachment is required by most insurance companies to obtain insurance if your home is over 30 years of age.

This is normally a $175 document if ordered separately,  however it can be ordered as an “ADD-ON” attachment to your full home inspection for half the normal fee, for just $85.  See our “Price & Scheduling” tab for the availability and prices of all “add-on” services that is currently offered.  If you have any questions concerning our services, please do not hesitate to call us at . . .

407-765-0276 to discuss your personal needs.