Part of a real estate transaction can include a home inspection. Some people choose not to do a home inspection to make their offer more attractive or if they feel that they can handle anything that the home might throw at them.  We suggest having a home inspection done because it will help you from getting any unexpected surprises as well as helping you determine how much time/energy you want to put into fixing up a place.

What is a home inspection?
A home inspection has to do with the checking out the condition of a home.  Often home inspections are non-invasive, objective and usually they go hand in hand with a real estate transaction of the home. 

What exactly does a home inspection entail?
A home inspection usually involves a licensed inspector going through a property.  They check things like: the structure of the home (foundation and framing), the exterior of the home (all walkways, driveways, attachments to the home like a deck or porch, windows, doors, siding and trim), the roof (age of roof, draining system, issues with the shingles, gutters and downspouts and any potential for water to pool), the electrical (location of breaker box, condition of service panels, breakers, fuses, disconnects, service entrance wires and how many outlets are in every room), heating and air conditioning systems (vents, flues, chimneys, cooling systems, water heater information), plumbing (draining system, sump pumps, water supply and water heaters), interior (walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, counters, appliances and cabinets), ventilation and insulation (check that the ventilation is okay in unfinished areas as well as the insulation) and fireplaces (vent and flue). 

Why is having a home inspection important?
Having a home inspection is important because it helps buyers and sellers know what needs to be repaired on the home.  Also, a home is probably one of the largest purchases you will ever make.  A good inspection helps buyers to make an educated and informed decision about their purchase.

How much will the home inspection cost?
There is not a standard cost for home inspection and every region is different.  There are also several factors including the size and age of the property and if there are any “extra” items that you want to have inspected more thoroughly.  We would say a good range for the Duluth area would be between $200-$500, however this is subject to change.

Is this something I could do by myself?  (If so) What are the drawbacks if I do?
Sure you can! However it is NOT recommended.  In most cases buyers or sellers who want to do the home inspection themselves are not able to be truly objective.  This can cause the inspection to be skewed because they would skate over things that are truly an issue because “it’s not that bad” or “it looks fine”.  Getting an inspector to do the home inspection would be the best thing.

How do I know if the inspector is on the up & up?
According to the National Association of Home Inspectors there are 39 states that requires that a home inspector is licensed.  Minnesota is one of the 11 states that does not require licensing.  We would suggest asking if they are licensed (it’s a huge plus if they are, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker), if they have had inspection training or certifications, and how many years they’ve been in the business.  It is also a good idea to ask how many homes they’ve inspected and if they have any people that would recommend them.

Is an inspection something that a seller can do before putting their house on the market or is it buyer specific.
Yes! A seller can always do an inspection too! It may help them predetermine problems and will include repair suggestions.

How long is an inspection report good for?
A home inspection has no expiration date. That being said it is not uncommon for an inspection to occur and then the next day something that was fine is now not fine. Also, inspections are not public information, they are client specific and they get to choose who sees the information. It is a good idea for each separate buyer putting in an offer get their own inspection.

Is it better to accompany the inspector or have them do it alone?
Be there for the inspection if you’re buying.  A good inspector would want you to be there too.  However, if you are a seller and the buyer is having a home inspection preformed, it would be a good idea to stay away until the inspection is complete.  Buyers might find your presence intimidating.

If you're looking for inspectors in the Duluth, MN area ask us!  We would love to help you find one!