Skip to main content

What Is A Home Inspection?

By April 12, 2021April 19th, 2021Best Articles, Home Buying, Home Inspection
A home inspector writing on a clipboard in front of a home.

A home inspection is an independent evaluation of a property and its structure. Typically, this is requested during a real estate transaction, but not always.

Homebuyers hire licensed home inspectors to evaluate the property’s condition, report on the general condition, and recommend specialized contractors where needed.

What Does A Home Inspection Include?

In most cases, a home inspection includes an evaluation and report of findings on the following:

  • Exterior
  • Grading
  • Structure
  • Roof
  • Attic
  • Interior
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • HVAC
  • Appliances
  • Safety Issues

View A Sample Home Inspection Report

If you are going to have a home inspection soon, check out our questions your should ask your home inspector.

View Our Complete Home Inspection Checklist. You can use this checklist during your home inspection to help you understand all aspects of the home.

What Is Not Included?

Home Inspections are not Code inspections and are not always the same. Check with your home inspection company to see specifically what is and is not included.

Most home inspectors charge extra for the following:

Most home inspectors do not include:

  • Cosmetic Defects.
  • Outbuildings – unless specifically requested.
  • Cable Systems, Antennas, & Alarm Systems.
  • Home components they cannot see or reach safely.
  • Quotes for repairs.
  • Anything other than visual, non-invasive, or technically exhaustive inspections. For example, a home inspector would not take apart an air conditioner or move personal items to reach an electrical panel.

Read more about home inspection limitations.

How A Home Inspection Works

Once an offer is accepted on a home, the homebuyer typically has a 5-7 day period to complete any inspections they may need. One of those inspections is the home inspection.

Homebuyers then hire a home inspector during the inspection period. Sellers typically vacate the property to leave the homebuyer, home inspector, and buyer’s agent alone.

On average, a home inspection can take 2-3 hours, after which the home inspector shares their findings with the homebuyer and buyer’s agent. The home inspector then produces a report for the homebuyer.

The homebuyer and buyer’s agent may be able to make requests for repairs or open negotiations based on home inspection findings that were not previously disclosed in the contract, such as a leaking roof. This can lead to a home inspection contingency.

How Much Does A Home Inspection Cost?

The national average for a basic home inspection is a little over $350. However, most homebuyers should expect to pay more than this if they need additional services, such as radon testing, mold testing, or insurance specific inspections like the four-point or wind mitigation inspections.

Learn more about how much a home inspection costs and why.

Estimate my home inspection cost in Tampa Bay, FL. Our average fee is a little over $429.

Other Common Questions

Home Inspection Vs An Appraisal

A home inspection and appraisal are both ordered during the inspection period. However, an appraisal is when a licensed appraiser gives an unbiased opinion of a home’s value. A home inspection does not report on the property’s value, only on deficiencies, safety issues, and life expectancies of major components.

Learn more about how an appraisal works and how much it costs.

Does The Homebuyer Have To Attend?

No they do not. A homebuyer may just review the final written report.

Does The home seller Have To Leave The Property During The Inspection?

Technically, no. However, most home sellers want buyers to feel comfortable, so they choose to leave for the inspection’s duration.

The Bottom Line

A home inspection is an independent evaluation of a home by a licensed home inspector. It is typically requested during a real estate transaction, but not always.

If you have additional questions about home inspections, comment below.

If you need a home inspection in the Tampa Bay, FL area, Waypoint can help! You can schedule online here.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.