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How Much Money Does A Home Inspector Make
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How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost? (2023)
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While an expense may seem like the last thing you want when you’re buying a home, most real estate professionals recommend commissioning a professional home inspection to get a more good idea of what the condition of the property is, and what problems may be lurking.
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Some home buyers may be tempted to skip the inspection to show their offers for a hot property, or to save time or money. Bad idea. An inspection is an important way to gather information before finalizing a home purchase. And, since buying a home is a very big investment, maybe the biggest one ever, a small amount of money committed to research now can save a lot of money in the future.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of home inspections – and about home inspections in general.
The cost of a home inspection varies by geographic location. The average price tag nationwide is $341; you can spend as little as $199 or as much as $500 — or more — depending on where you live, according to contractor search service Angi. Home buyers in New Jersey, for example, pay an average of $420.
Additional factors that affect the cost of an inspection include the size and age of the home. The fee for a large house of 2,000 square feet or more averages $400, while a small condo is $200. In some cases, a home inspector may charge a flat rate for homes up to a certain size and increase the fee for larger homes. In older homes, where the wiring and plumbing may require a more thorough check to make sure everything is up to code, inspectors may charge a higher fee.
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Other factors that affect the cost of an inspection are how unique the home is and how far the inspector has to travel to get there. Additionally, home inspectors with more experience may charge more than those with less experience.
A home inspection can help you avoid potentially costly surprises, such as structural defects or hidden damage. While not required by law, buyers – especially first time home buyers – can benefit greatly from having a professional give a thorough property inspection before finalizing the purchase.
But aren’t sellers supposed to disclose basic home defects? In most states, yes. But some unscrupulous or desperate homeowners may be motivated to hide issues. Or they may be ignorant of hidden or emerging problems with their property — things you don’t want to deal with.
“A home doesn’t have a ‘check engine’ light,” says Frank Lesh, a retired home inspector based in LaGrange, IL and ambassador for the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). “Things can go wrong that the homeowner or buyer doesn’t know about.”
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A home inspection usually takes three or four hours. It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with an inspector after signing a purchase and sale agreement, so you can get the report before the closing option period expires.
It is best to attend the inspection, so you can observe and ask questions or provide information to the inspector. Within a day or two, you can expect to receive a written inspection report on the condition of the home’s structures and systems, usually with photos of any problems the inspector found.
The home inspector should perform a thorough visual inspection of the property’s key structures and systems. The process usually includes a review of a home’s major systems such as heating, central air, plumbing and structural components. An inspector may also inspect appliances that will be included in the sale of the home, as well as any general safety hazards.
Signs of water inside the structure can be one of the biggest concerns. “Water in the wrong place can cause a house to become uninhabitable. Water leaks can cause mold growth and wood rot,” Lesh said. “A slow roof leak can take years to become apparent to the homeowner, while a hurricane can cause a sudden leak that anyone can see.” Inspectors can tell if there are signs of a previous leak.
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Home inspectors will check the condition of the roof and check for leaks. “It doesn’t matter if the roof is good or bad — there’s no incentive for the inspector to find a problem, or not,” Lesh said. “It is against the ASHI code of ethics to fix anything we investigate, so we report what we see.”
Many electrical problems can be quickly and inexpensively fixed if discovered in time. “However, an inexpensive repair can be fatal if not treated promptly,” Lesh said.
For example, a malfunctioning ground fault circuit interrupter
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