Home Inspection Handbook

Cost. Preparation. Advantages. Everything you need to know about home inspections, all in one place.

Getting ready to buy or sell a home can be a lot of work. Sometimes, it can be stressful. AmeriSpec conducts home inspections that save time, protect investments and help relieve some of the stress associated with buying and selling real estate.

To start, you might be wondering what a home inspection actually is. AmeriSpec home inspection professionals check a home or property thoroughly, evaluating different areas based on condition and safety. We’ll make sure to inspect essential systems, identifying possible needs for repairs or outlining issues that may require the attention of another professional. The results of your assessment can help you make repairs before selling your home, keep a newly constructed home safe or provide crucial information to facilitate smarter home purchasing decisions.

What Does a Home Inspection Cost?

The truth is home inspection cost varies. Property size impacts the overall price. Some homes take longer to inspect than others. And, the age of a property, its location and its features come into play as well. Before conducting any home inspection, a local AmeriSpec home inspector will consider all these factors and present a home inspection cost estimate for approval.

It’s important to remember that investing in a home inspection can save money in the long run. A lower price for a home inspection doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best deal. Consider the inspector’s experience, training and professional affiliations, as well as their insurance and sample home inspection report. Our inspectors can help identify defects and potential safety issues. If you’re selling a home, this can provide vital repair guidance. Plus, homebuyers can gain confidence that their purchasing decision is well-informed.

In the end, structural concerns or appliance malfunctions can lead to sizable costs. Pinpointing these potential problems early on can help homeowners plan accordingly and potentially save money.

Home Inspection Preparation

If you’ve decided to contact a local AmeriSpec home inspector or your purchasers have asked that a home inspection be performed, as a homeowner, there are a few simple steps you can take to prepare prior to the inspection date.

1. Learn About Home Inspections

Whether you call your local inspector, search the web or send us an email, familiarizing yourself with what a home inspection is and isn’t can help make you feel comfortable with and ready for inspection day. Home inspections are visible, non-intrusive reviews of a home or property. We check all major systems, but never put holes in walls, ceilings or floors. We will always be courteous and conscientious, remembering that the term “home” carries meaning.

Because inspectors can’t examine things they can’t see, clearing clutter and making areas accessible can be extremely helpful. You can expect home inspectors to ask to see the attic and basement. To avoid visibility limitations tidy up and remove unnecessary storage items for the duration of the inspection.

AmeriSpec home inspectors bring their own equipment and ladders, so you won’t have to worry about any tools or supplies. When we check major home systems such as ventilation and insulation, we’ll do so carefully. When checking the attic, for example, we’ll place a sheet underneath to catch any fallen insulation or dust. Once a home inspection is complete, we also offer a range of specialty inspections.

2. Inspection Checklist

Before we enter a home or property, we want to make sure you know what we’ll be checking and why. Again, we’ll inspect every major system and your AmeriSpec Report will explain our findings concisely. But, here are a few of the integral home systems we’ll check during the process:

  • Furnace
  • Water heater
  • Sprinkler system
  • Crawlspaces
  • Windows & doors
  • Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fixtures
  • Utilities
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Appliances
  • Electrical panel
  • And many more

Prior to inspection day, try to clear out areas beneath sinks and any items stored in utility closets. If your main water shut-off valve is concealed, we might ask you where it’s at or you can leave us a note detailing its location. We’ll need adequate space around panels and appliances. Importantly, we’ll inspect basement walls for signs of leakage and assess the foundation. Any boxes in the basement should be moved away from the walls temporarily so your AmeriSpec home inspector can have easy access for inspection.

3. Make Sure Everything Works

Throughout a home inspection, we’ll check a wide variety of appliances, utilities and systems for functionality and safety. Keep doors unlocked and be certain your dishwasher, oven, microwaves and garbage disposal are operational.

We recommend any small repairs be made before an inspection takes place. Leaks, drips and water stains can be addressed now to save homeowners in the long run. Fixing any “mystery switches” that could create doubts about electrical system stability is also advantageous.

Your inspector will likely walk through the house and check windows, so make sure locks are operable and everything opens and closes properly. Tightening doorknobs and securing fixtures can help simplify reports and safeguard your property.

AmeriSpec home inspectors are here to help you and provide reports that are objective and honest. If there are any defects like staining or patches in walls, giving your home inspector examples can aid the inspection process. Any information or documentation given to us about recent upgrades or repairs can provide additional security to the purchasers and answer common inspection questions.

Home Inspection Length & Your AmeriSpec Report

Similarly to price, the time it takes to complete a comprehensive home inspection varies. During the course of a home inspection, certain systems might require increased inspection time. It’s crucial that AmeriSpec home inspectors are thorough to assess any possible property hazards or areas for potential concern.

On average, a home inspection might take anywhere from 2.5-4 hours, but this is only an average and can change according to your home’s attributes. Before an inspection, AmeriSpec home inspectors can be easily contacted to answer any of your questions about inspection length. After the inspection is completed, usually within about 24 hours, you’ll receive your AmeriSpec Report. Easy-to-understand, accessible and detailed, your AmeriSpec Report will outline what we’ve inspected and any instances in which we suggest repair or replacement.

Whether you’re a seller needing a pre-listing inspection or a buyer needing an inspection for a home you’re interested in, we recommend you and your real estate agent are present at the end of the home inspection. Post-inspection, if you have any questions about your report or its findings, we encourage you to call your local AmeriSpec inspector. We’re more than happy to cover any additional inquiries with you.

Additional Inspection Tips

If you’re selling or buying a home, AmeriSpec wants to make sure you’ll be as prepared as possible for your home inspection. After all, this time in your life should be one filled with excitement about the future, not stress and anxiety.

Here are a few other things you might want to consider prior to inspection day:

Pets are members of the family too, but it’s best they be kept some place other than home during an inspection, if possible. AmeriSpec inspectors are thorough, checking both garage spaces and backyards. If you do contain pets to one room, leave a note or inform your local inspector.

Chores are not fun, we completely understand. However, clearing clutter, cleaning gutters and trimming shrubs results in more accurate, efficient inspections.

Documentation of recent work done on the property should be provided to the purchaser for their review. Permits, service records and warranties give the purchaser a full picture of the property’s maintenance history and can cement confidence.

Home inspection day is something worth looking forward to. It means you’re one step closer to buying a new home or selling your property. You can trust the experts at AmeriSpec to help you accomplish that step with confidence.