Frequently Asked Questions

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. Performed by a professional, it covers the evaluation of a home’s heating system, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, and structural components. This process helps identify any issues or potential problems with the property.

Why is a home inspection necessary?

A home inspection is necessary because it provides an in-depth, unbiased review of the property’s condition before purchase. It helps buyers understand what they’re about to invest in, potentially saving them from costly surprises after the sale is finalized. It also offers sellers the opportunity to address issues before listing the property, potentially making the sale process smoother and faster.

Who pays for the home inspection?

Typically, the buyer pays for the home inspection as part of their due diligence process before purchasing the property. However, in some cases, the seller may choose to have an inspection done before listing the home for sale to identify and address any potential issues, in which case the seller would bear the cost.

How do I find a reputable home inspector?

To find a reputable home inspector, start by asking for referrals from friends, family, or your real estate agent. Experience also matters.  Many companies put inexperienced people in the field.  Make sure that you are getting an inspector that has actually seen the problems you are hoping to avoid.   Check reviews and ratings online, and confirm they carry errors and omissions insurance.

How much does a home inspection cost in the Twin Cities area?

In the Twin Cities area, the cost of a home inspection typically ranges from $350 to $600, depending on the home’s size, age, and specific inspection services required. Prices can vary among inspectors, so it’s a good idea to obtain quotes from several providers.  Don’t forget to ask about things like a veteran discount.

What is Radon and should I get inspected for it?

Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that naturally occurs in the soil. It can enter homes through cracks in the foundation and accumulate to harmful levels. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer. It is advisable to get a radon inspection, especially in areas known for high radon levels, to ensure the home’s safety.

What does a home inspection cover?

A standard home inspection covers the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; the foundation, basement, and structural components. It identifies signs of water damage, structural issues, or any other problems that could affect the home’s integrity and value.

Can I be present during the home inspection?

Yes, buyers are typically encouraged to be present during the home inspection. This allows you to observe the inspector, ask questions, and gain a deeper understanding of the condition of the home and how its systems work.

What happens if the inspection uncovers problems?

If the inspection uncovers problems, it doesn’t automatically mean you shouldn’t purchase the home. Buyers can use the report to negotiate with the seller for repairs, a lower sale price, or credits at closing. In some cases, if significant issues are discovered, buyers may decide to back out of the purchase if the contract includes an inspection contingency.  Working with an experienced and qualified REALTOR and inspector team helps in these situations.

Does a clean home inspection report mean the house is free of any problems?

No, a clean home inspection report does not guarantee that the house is free of any problems. Inspectors are limited to visual examinations and cannot see behind walls or under floors. While a clean report is a good sign, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations and be prepared for potential unseen issues.

Should I still get a home inspection if I'm buying a new construction?

Yes, even if you’re buying a new construction, a home inspection is still advisable. It can uncover construction errors or issues that should be addressed before the sale is finalized, ensuring that the home you’re moving into is safe and up to standards.