Purchasing a home as an investment or as a residence comes with some risk.  However, an inspection report can help you determine whether a property and the price negotiated is a deal that can make you profit.

Licensed Home Inspector

A home inspector is licensed by Housing and Urban Development or HUD for short.  The job of the inspector is to provide the person paying their fee with a report that tells them if the property fails to meet HUD standards.  That’s it!  The three duties of an inspector:  Inspect, Inform and Report.

Inspectors are NOT licensed contractors. They are not qualified to provide a repair or rehab advice or quote on cost of work.

All inspectors are not created equal.  Some have inspected thousands of homes and have lots of experience while some are brand new.  Getting a recommendation from a trusted source can help eliminate your worry over the inspectors qualifications.

Inspectors hold a position of importance because people are usually making a very expensive decision based off their report. Inspectors try to report so that they will not be sued; they try and limit their exposure.  This can lead to over complication of the report and crazy detail that is not necessary.

Home Inspections

It is always a good idea to have a home inspection. Getting an inspection done can make you aware of the risks that a property entails.  The average price of a home inspection is $300 to $600.  The amount will depend on the size of the property to inspect.  The cost will go up as square footage increases or multiple outbuildings etc.

Big things to look for in an inspection:  the foundation, the roof, the electrical and the plumbing.  Settling and cracks do not necessarily mean major trouble.   The earth shifts and the age of the home have a lot to do with that.  For roofs be aware of leaks, old leaks, active leaks and how long before the roof needs to be replaced.  This is a big ticket item.

A 50 to 60 page inspection report should not freak you out.  It doesn’t mean the property is a dump; remember the inspector is putting everything in so that he can’t be sued. Use your inspection report as a tool but keep things in perspective, a long report does not mean the property isn’t a good investment.

As the buyer you have the right to requests repairs or compensation for work that needs to be done on the property.  If the seller won’t agree to either look at the dollars necessary to make the property work, it may be that the original deal is still a good one.

Key Points:

  • 1It is always a good idea to have a home inspection.
  • 23 different inspectors of the same property can have 3 very different reports.
  • 3Inspectors try to ensure that the property is livable and up to code.

Just be cool about it. It’s just a house that you’re purchasing, houses breakdown, houses have been lived in, houses could be fixed.