If you plan on getting a Federal Housing Administration loan or a Veteran’s Association loan for financing a new home, then they will send someone to appraise the property for mortgage and insurance purposes. However, you’ll also need another $200-$500 home inspection to guarantee that your purchase will be a good, honest investment.
As one of the last steps in buying new homes, the inspection can expose expensive problems that may not be obvious to the untrained eye. Are termites eating through the structure? Are cracks threatening your foundation? Don’t worry, you can back out of the contract, or in some cases, lobby for a better deal.
While it sounds like a pretty standard procedure, a home inspection may vary from state to state, as well as across cities, counties, companies and affiliated associations. For instance, the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors may have a different set of criterion than the American Society of Home Inspections.
Occasionally, there will be ads in newspapers offering to “train people to provide home inspection services,” although these operations may not be legitimate. Look for certification from ASHI, NACHI, HIF or NAHI. While places like ASHI ask inspectors to have at least 250 hours of inspections, other places like HIF only ask that inspectors pay their dues and fill out a form.
Every component of your home will not be detailed on your home inspection report, but anything that is defective or in need of repair will be listed. Health and safety issues are at the forefront of most inspections. Roofs, costing between $5,000 and $10,000, will be evaluated for life expectancy, as you will need to budget for this sort of important repair-work.
Furnace and air conditioning malfunctions, typically running between $1,000 and $3,000, will be checked. Foundation repairs can cost upwards of $8,000, so be glad that is being checked! Potential water damage, moisture and drainage problems are other key areas for certified home inspectors, since the average cost of repairs in this area is more than $4,000. To prevent dropping tons of unanticipated cash on your new investment, spend the money and call a realtor recommended inspector.