Understanding the Different Types of Home Inspections and Their Benefits

A professional home inspection can be beneficial when buying or selling a home. It can uncover safety issues and maintenance problems that could cost money.

Most inspectors only look at what is readily visible. If it is unsafe to examine an area or something isn’t easily accessible, the inspector will usually leave that part out of their report.

Pre-Purchase Inspections

Whether buying an entire home or just a few components, a pre-purchase home inspection is valuable. It works as a form of insurance for the buyer and reduces the amount of surprises that can be costly after the sale is complete.

For sellers, a pre-inspection may be recommended to help them address issues that might derail a potential sale. It allows them to work on completing repairs on a realistic schedule and avoids having a buyer delay the closing process based on unexpected problems.

It also helps the seller identify any components nearing the end of their realistic life span, providing helpful information in establishing an accurate maintenance budget for future use. It can save the seller money and stress when the time comes to sell the property. Sometimes, a pre-purchase inspection is part of the sales agreement to incentivize a quick and easy sale.

Post-Purchase Inspections

If you’re a new homeowner, a post-purchase inspection may help you identify problems that your pre-purchase inspection might have missed. It can also uncover safety hazards and list things to fix as time and budget allow.

Home buyers often waive home inspection contingencies in a competitive purchase market. Still, it’s important to remember that the benefits of a thorough inspection can extend far beyond the closing table. A PRISM home inspection after closing can help you evaluate and prioritize immediate safety and repair issues and give you an idea of what to expect as you move forward with long-term maintenance and home improvement projects.

Sellers can also benefit from a PRISM home inspection before listing their property. A pre-inspection gives sellers and real estate professionals a realistic schedule for addressing defects that might derail a sale. It lets them avoid putting undue pressure on buyers to complete work they would otherwise prefer not to do.

Specialized Inspections

Home buyers often get a general property inspection, but intelligent sellers do their homework and schedule specialized inspections focusing on a home’s specific aspects. These specialized inspections can be costly, but they provide information on the property’s condition, from the roof to the foundation.

For example, a radon inspection is critical because exposure to elevated levels of this gas can cause respiratory problems. It notes that a radon test costs about $150, but it can save you thousands of dollars in potential damage to the property and health-related expenses down the road.

Specialized inspections can also tell you whether there are permits on the property or if the property has been used for business purposes. They can also check septic tanks, plumbing systems, and electrical components. They may even include a pest and termite inspection to determine the presence of bedbugs, cockroaches, rodents, and other pests on a property.

General Inspections

Whether buying a home or selling one, a general inspection is innovative. It can reveal problems that might cause financial headaches down the road. Often, these issues can be easily corrected or at least discussed as part of the sales transaction.

General inspectors will also check for water damage, roof damage (including missing shingles and cracked mastic around vents), the condition of the interior plumbing system and electrical components, and the foundation, basement, and visible insulation. They can also identify any safety hazards, such as faulty outlets that could lead to fires.

However, they won’t be able to find hidden problems that require specialized inspections, such as mold, asbestos, or lead paint (unless it’s visibly apparent). Radon testing won’t be possible. This radioactive gas can accumulate in homes and cause health issues, including lung cancer. In addition, they won’t be able to inspect crawl spaces or areas that aren’t readily accessible.

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