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.

Should I get my short sale re-inspected?

Now wasn’t Wayne a sharp thinker with his post on getting a re-inspection on a short sale that’s taken months to come to fruition?

I’m curious how many REALTORS do recommend one…

Via Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale>> Wayne B. Pruner, GRI (Oregon First):

Should I get my short sale re-inspected?

Should I get my short sale re-inspected? I would say my answer to that is probably yes, depending on how much time has elapsed. I was talking to a new home owner last week. He purchased a short sale and the period between the home inspection and the closing of the short sale was nine months. The Seller continued to live in the house.

When he took possession of the home, it was apparent that no maintenance and very little cleaning had been done during that period. The carpets were very dirty, the furnace did not work, pipes had frozen and burst causing water damage in the bathroom and garage, all the rooms needed painting along with a good cleaninghome inspection, and a wind storm had damaged the roof, which had not been repaired and damaged the ceilings inside the house. None of these issues were present during the home inspection. His good deal, turned out to be not so good.

Short sales are not for the faint of heart and have unique issues. One of them is the length of time to complete the transaction. To protect yourself from the above scenario, write in your offer that a re-inspection will be necessary after a certain amount of time has elapsed, or that before closing a walk through is necessary and the house needs to be in the same condition as it was at the time of inspection. Banks insist that you buy the home in “as is” condition, but you should have the opportunity to amend the deal if the condition of the house changes substantially.

Wayne B. Pruner is a Realtor® at Oregon First, who works in the Tigard, Oregon area. I have extensive knowledge and experience in the Tigard area and I am ready to help you with all your real estate needs. I am also a licensed Oregon contractor with considerable experience remodeling and repairing homes. Wayne knows houses! My phone number is 503-891-0795. There is much information about buying and selling Tigard real estate at my website, Tigard Oregon Homes.


Do I really need a home inspection?

Why do I need to get an Inspection…

So often I hear this question!  Sometimes it’s because my client is purchasing new construction, sometimes it’s because they feel they are qualified to tell what the condition of the home is on their own..  But honestly people whether you are buying or selling a home, you should have a professional home inspection performed.  It’s pretty cheap insurance really…

Using a home inspector (and I go so far as to say be sure they are ASHI certified) will give you the peace of mind that the electrical, mechanical, and structural elements are at least working to the extent of which they were intended (a phrase you’ll hear often when discussing home inspection reports and requests for repairs). 

The home inspector WILL not report on something cosmetic like a poorly painted room, or a scratch on those beautiful hardwood floors.  But those items are easy fixes compared to some structural mishap with a chimney or support beam in the attic that shows up later.

When spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home why anyone would take the risk of not having an inspection done is beyond me..  Oh I’ve even heard that they can’t afford it because they need all the money they have for the closing and down payment.  When in fact if you don’t have an inspection completed you will risk considerably more than the few hundred dollars it costs to have one done. 

New construction?And what about not getting an inspection done because it’s a newly constructed home?  Bad idea again and I’ll give you a real life situation!  During an inspection with one of my clients (who bought a wonderful custom built home in Holly Springs) their inspector Bill Delamar filled the luxurious jetted tub.  He tested the jets and everything appeared to be working just fine.  That was until he went to let the water drain out. 

Drain out it did indeed, ALL onto the bathroom floor then making its way into the master bedroom.  For you see the builder inadvertently neglected to connect the drain! Can you imagine that happening to YOU after a hectic day?  Where they happy they had their home inspected?  YOU BET THEY WERE!

It’s customary here in the Raleigh Market to make an offer, negotiate, come to terms THEN have the home inspected.  A home inspection is a contingency item in the offer.  But I’m seeing more and more buyers that are going ahead and getting an inspection first before the deal is done.  If you’re not happy with what the inspector finds you’re no worse off. 

So what if your selling your home?  Is it a wise decision to go ahead and have a home inspection done before putting the home on the market.  You bet it is!!  One important reason is that you can find and remedy any issues before they potentially become a deal breaker.  Nothing gives a buyer warm fuzzies like a good home inspection report!

Home inspections – don’t buy or sell without one!



One Solid Rock!About the author:  Pamela is with  The St. Peter HomeSelling Team at Prudential YSU Realty in the Triangle. 

A team of passionate North Carolina Brokers dedicated to connecting their clients to success in home buying and selling in the Triangle. 

Pamela can be reached via email at or by calling (919) 645-2522.

For your real estate needs The St. Peter HomeSelling Team serves the following areas; Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Morrisville, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, Garner, Wake Forest


                                                           search the Raleigh TMLS