What is a Home Inspection and Why Do You Need One?


When it comes to buying a house, homebuyers always want to make sure that they’re getting a good deal. While most people think that this simply means that a buyer is not overpaying for a house, it actually goes way beyond that.

You not only want to buy a house for the lowest price that you can, you also want to make sure that you’re not purchasing a property with hidden surprises, or rather, that your new home is not in need of some major repairs that you don’t know about.

That’s where a home inspection comes in and getting one done before you purchase a home can save you a lot of time, trouble, and money.


Why are Home Inspections so Important?

A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of the condition of a home. It is usually performed right after a house goes under contract, but before the house is actually sold (I generally recommend getting a home inspection during the due diligence period right after the house goes under contract).

The purpose of a home inspection is to ensure that everything about the house is in good working order and that once the house is bought, the new home owner will not have to spend a lot of money fixing things before they can move in.

Without a home inspection, the buyer may purchase the property unaware that there is a major issue that could cost them a lot of money to fix, or even present a health or safety issue.

Although the home buyer is free to have anyone they want inspect their home, using a certified home inspector to perform the home inspection ensures that everything is thoroughly examined and looked at.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

Before we discuss what a home inspector is and what they really do, let’s first talk about what they aren’t.

A home inspector is not the same thing as a building code inspector. A code inspector’s job is to determine whether certain elements of the property meet the current local or city code. A home inspector’s job, on the other hand, is to perform function and safety inspections that help to determine the condition of a piece of real estate.

The home inspector’s primary objective is to look for issues of concern that could cause safety or usability problems for the potential home owner. That being said, some inspectors will inform their client if they see that an area of the home doesn’t conform with the current local code.

As an example, kitchens in Cobb County, as well as the rest of Georgia should have ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This protection cuts the power to the circuit if a current change is detected which could produce an electrical shock.

If the home inspector discovers that the kitchen does not have GFCI protection, they would then address this in their report that there is a potential safety issue.

In most areas, a home inspection costs between $300 to $600. This amount may vary depending on individual pricings, as well as the size and age of the house. You can typically find a home inspector by performing an Internet search or your real estate agent can provide you with a list of reputable home inspectors that you can contact.


What Does a Home Inspector Actually Inspect?

A home inspector will inspect nearly every element that is in and around a home, as well as other structures that may be on the property.

This can include:

  • Heating and air condition
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • Roofing
  • Full exterior of the home
  • Structural elements
  • Full interior of the home

Once the inspection is finished, the home inspector takes the information collected during their inspection and creates a written report with their findings that is sent to the home buyer. The home buyer can then use this report to further negotiate on the selling price of the home.

For instance, they could ask the seller to make necessary repairs, lower the purchase price, or (if the problem is serious) use the issues as a reason to terminate the contract between the buyer and home seller.


Are You Thinking of Buying a New Home?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorKristen Reed is an experienced Realtor who is familiar with the housing market in the Metro Atlanta area. Houses are selling fast right now and most listings go under contract quickly once they are on the market. Don’t miss out! Take a moment and sign up today to start receiving your free home listings.