Buying a Home? 10 Things You Should Know About a Home Inspection

Home inspections can be intimidating. While the seller is worried about unexpected issues, the buyer is worried that these issues may make their dream home not so “dreamy.” But worry not! We talked to expert home inspectors to gather tips on how to ensure your home inspection is a success. Read more from a home inspector’s perspective on this recent post from guest blogger and Certified Home Inspector, George Sadwoski.

1. Inspections Are Optional

Home inspections are not a requirement. However, having one can give you greater insight into issues you may not have considered. Sometimes, an inspection can even be the deciding factor for whether the home is right for you.

2. Find the Right Home Inspector

Home inspectors examine the property and inform you of potential issues. As the homebuyer, choosing the home inspector is your decision. Your real estate agent can be the best resource, but make sure the inspector’s company is insured and does not also sell home repair services, as that may present a conflict of interest.

3. Benefits Outweigh the Costs

Most home inspections will cost you a few hundred dollars. While you can compare the costs between different inspection companies, purchasing a home is a major investment  so making sure you have a thorough and expert inspector may be worth a higher price.

4. Bring a Notepad, Pen, and Camera

Attend the inspection, even though it’s optional. Not only can you hear the insight firsthand, but you’ll be able to ask questions on anything you are unsure about. You also have the opportunity to make notes on areas that you would like to focus on after buying your home.

5. Not Everything Is Included

Since every property is different, each home inspection varies slightly. Generally, as suggested by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), qualified inspectors will check the home’s:

  • Foundation and structural components
  • Basement, attic, and insulation
  • Heating and cooling system
  • Interior electrical system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Condition of windows, doors, door frames, walls, and floors

Additional structures (ex. sheds), inside the walls, chimneys, and roofs are not always included in the home inspection.

6. Ask About the Roof

Many home inspections do not include checking the roof, sometimes due to its height and steepness, or bad weather conditions. However, it is worth the extra time and money to hire a certified roof inspector. One-third of real estate inspection claims and almost 40% of homeowner’s insurance claims relate to problems with the roof.

7. Asbestos? No Thank You

If you are purchasing a home that was built before 1980, you want to have it checked for asbestos. Checking for that, as well as radon, lead paint, and other hazards will likely need to be done by a specialized inspector, or may come at an additional cost. Even if your home is newer, checking for these hazards is a smart preventative measure.

8. Get an Inspection Report

After the inspection, the home inspector is required to provide you with a report. In this report, they should detail their findings from the walkthrough and provide any relevant photos. Review the report to make sure you have a good understanding of the home.

9. Negotiate, Reasonably

Because you have made an offer on the house but have not yet closed the deal, you can use findings from the home inspection to negotiate. You can request the seller have the repairs done, or can ask for a price reduction and do them yourself. Make sure to highlight the main issues, and aim for what is fair for both parties.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away

If you aren’t satisfied with the results, do not feel pressured to close on a home that’s not right for you. Officially, the seller has the right to refuse to make any repairs. If they refuse or you are unsatisfied with the deal, you can rescind your offer on the home.

Whether it is your first home or your fifth, homebuying is an exciting process. Home inspections are just one important part of this journey. No matter what surprises were thrown in along the way, we want to make sure you’re ready for your home inspection, so your home is ready for you.

Got questions about matters involved in purchasing a home? We can help. Contact us at or call 205-776-8401.

Find Your Local Branch

Before we get started, let’s get you connected with your local branch