The Home inspection process when buying a home – Don’t be tricked into not getting one done

home inspection - priceless

Without a doubt one of the most important things, you as a home buyer can do before settling in on that dream home, is to have a home inspection.  Done by a licensed home inspector (ASHI Certified), it’s money so very well spent.

I don’t have to tell you that  buying a  home is one of the most expensive purchases most of us make in our lives.  It’s only common sense to have it checked out by someone who knows more about the operational components in a house than most of us do. 

What about new construction? I often hear buyers say when buying a newly constructed home that they’ll forgo a home inspection because it was inspected by the county when built.  Not so fast…  Builders are human, and some county inspections aren’t nearly as thorough as your home inspector will be.  I’ve seen things missed like over sized jacuzzi tubs not being properly connected to the drain pipe in a gorgeous brand new home.  Can you just imagine coming home late one evening and deciding to have a relaxing soak in the tub.  Wouldn’t have been too relaxing if that water had started to gush into the master bedroom.  But the home inspector found that mishap and the builder fixed it before an accident occurred.

By practice here in North Carolina all of your inspections are done after you have successfully negotiated and executed the offer to purchase (OTP).  I know it almost seems counter productive to do so after but that’s the standard practice around here.  The logic behind doing it after is that you have settled on terms (price, closing, etc) with the seller before spending money on inspections.

What to expect during a home inspection

Hopefully you’ll take the time needed to be apart of the home inspection ~ and your Realtor® will be there too.  Your inspector will provide you with a list of what they will be inspecting prior to your scheduled inspection; but you can expect them to inspect the home from top (attic) to bottom (crawlspace).

For an average 2,500 sq. ft home; the inspection will take about 2 1/2 hours.  Every inspector prices are different but for that 2,500 sq.ft home it might cost you around $400. Your inspector should cover everything electrical, mechanical, and structural during the inspection.  A good inspector will encourage you, the buyer, to shadow them as they go through the home.  They will tell you about the workings of your soon to be home; things like where the water shut off valve is, to how the electrical panel box is set up.  They will test all appliances (that convey with the home), faucets, cabinet doors and drawers, even the electrical outlets through out the home.

Things not to expect during a home inspection
not covered in home inspection

The home inspection doesn’t cover any cosmetic issues such as chipped tile or scratched counters.  So if you find anything such as a hole in the wall, scratched hardwoods, or rumpled carpet, be sure to include repairs/replacements of those items in your initial offer to purchase.  I’ve even structured putting some obvious inspection items in the OTP to alleviate negotiating them later; things such as windows with broken seals or HVAC units that look suspicious.

Also exterior sheds, play equipment, or any personal property will not be covered in the home inspection report.

The Report

You can also expect the home inspector’s report to be lengthy.  You hired them to document everything that they find and that can include small issues too.  Your home inspection report is a very good snapshot of the condition of the home on inspection day.  I encourage you to use an inspector that uses photos to show pictures of their findings.  It sure is helpful when going back to repair some of the items yourself.

Your homes workbook.

Once you have received your home inspection report be sure to read it over.  Carefully.  It contains information that you may have missed hearing or perhaps something the inspector didn’t verbally point out during the physical inspection.

There usually will be a summary report.  That’s what I like to refer to when discussing/requesting home repairs from the seller.  Remember here in the Triangle all inspections must be completed within the due diligence time frame as set out in your executed contract.

So that’s it.  It’s simple takes a few hours of your time but a home inspection is one of the best things you can do in the home buying process to alleviate unforeseen problems down the road and years to come.


  1. Kevin Vitali says:

    Nice article on home inspections. I am in a part of the country where things are moving quickly and you don’t have the option of asking for little picky repairs. If you do you lose the house. its important to maintain what condition similar houses are in, in your perspective price range.

  2. Hello Pamela, your post is wonderful and I really loved it. Home inspection is one of the most important things one should take care of before buying a home. I have seen many people escaping home inspection so as to save a few thousand dollars. But, this saving may further lead to big expenditures which you have to bear. Hence it is better to have it done before buying home.


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