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Every home that is offered for sale, whether it is brand new construction or a 100-year-old historic home, should be inspected for your protection.
An inspection is meant to evaluate the structural and mechanical condition of a property. It is not the same as an appraisal that evaluates the market value of a property. Persons involved in real estate transactions need unbiased information about the physical condition of property they plan to buy and your contract should include a contingency that you obtain a satisfactory inspection report. The inspection report is a buyer expense, paid at the time of the inspection and usually costs between $300.00- $500.00
A home inspector is a person who examines many components of a building, through visual means and through normal user controls, without the use of mathematical sciences. Your home inspector will inspect attics and crawl spaces looking for signs of moisture, leakage, ventilation and wood destroying pest. He will check all appliances and plumbing fixtures as well as electrical circuits. He will also check your roof for soundness and the exterior for rot or areas of concern. The scope of his inspection is structural in nature, not cosmetic.
But, won't the lender require an inspection? And if so, don't they pay for it?
Many lenders will require inspections on certain loan programs. The appraiser usually does these, but they are never as thorough as an actual inspector. As far as paying for it, these charges will show up on your closing costs statement.
What happens if I elect to waive an inspection?
Many buyers opt to do exactly that. But remember, you are buying the home in 'as is condition'. Anything that comes up later as needing repair is your responsibility.
In short consider this... At worst case, you spend about $500.00 to find out nothing is wrong with this home. At best case, you find out everything that is wrong and you now have the option of negotiating who fixes what, or accepting the conditions as is, and or terminating your offer.