Engle Realty: Louisiana Real Estate
Residential & Commercial Real Estate Sales and Rentals
The Home Inspection
What is a home inspection?
Should I have a home inspection?
Why have a home inspection?
Do you have to have a home inspection?
How long does a home inspection take?
When does the home inspection take place?
How much does the average home inspection cost?
A home inspection is where a licensed inspector looks at a house and notifies the buyer of any defects with the property by giving them a digital or paper form of an inspection report. While sellers often find inspector's findings in properties very "picky", the reason they are this way is because the inspector is working for the buyer (usually) and their job is to point out any defect with the property. Not doing so could lead to complications later on and ultimately could come back on the inspector if they overlook something. The inspector’s purpose is to point out all the flaws in a property. He doesn’t give advice on whether it is a good buy or anything like that. He sticks to the facts. If you need advice, your agent, could give you the advice you need or refer you to the proper person who could.
The reason why you should have a home inspection whether your house is old or new is that a good inspector is a highly-trained professional who knows what to look out for. Real estate can have varying degrees of hazardous materials. Sometimes the best question is not, does this house have any hazardous materials, but how much hazardous material is in this house?
While having an inspection is optional, it is highly recommended to have an inspection performed. You don’t have to exercise your right to perform an inspection, but it is wise to do so. Inspectors look the house up and down, and can interpret the condition of a property that the public cannot readily distinguish.
The inspection itself can take anywhere from one hour to three hours with the average inspection lasting around 90 minutes from start to finish. Of course, it depends on the size of the house. If the house is over 2,000 square feet you can add about 30 minutes per 500 square feet to get an idea of how long it will take for an inspector to inspect the house.
As outlined in the purchase agreement, the inspection usually takes place within the first 10 days after an acceptance of a purchase agreement. If you've specified in your contract that the inspection period is shorter or longer then your inspection will vary accordingly. Generally the inspection should be performed as soon as possible after the acceptance, as you want to have time to do your due diligence and get cost estimates of any repairs that may need to be done to the property. REMEMBER THE INSPECTION DEADLINE: Within X days, you will have to have hired an inspector to inspect the house and have communicated the results to the seller. (Your agent will ensure this happens. The X is a variable, meaning that the purchase agreement allows you to choose how many days you want to have to do your due diligence. 10 days is typical for residential houses.)
The average home inspection costs between $200-$400 with most inspections costing around $300. Keep in mind that this is the going rate for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and can vary slightly from state to state. If your agent can't recommend you a few inspectors then you may want call a few of them and ask what their rates are. I'd keep in mind that the cheapest rate isn't always the best service provider.
Now let's see how all of this works in real life:
Lets say on day two the inspector goes to the property and inspects it. The inspection costs you around $350. It is important to remember that this inspection fee is non-refundable, regardless of whether or not you purchase the property. Your Engle Realty agent accompanies you as the inspector goes through the inspection process house inspecting anything attached to the house. The inspector then explains to you any defects.
If there is a defect that the inspector discloses that makes you not want the house anymore, then you can call the agreement off and start looking for another house.
But you don't have to call it off, if you still want the house if that defect was resolved. If this is the case, then your agent could request the seller to fix this defect. The seller would have the option to fix some, none, or all of the requested repairs. If you come to an agreement with the seller at this point then the buying process goes on...
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