Home Inspection for Buyers
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a home inspection actually?
A home inspection is a visual assessment of a house's physical structure and mechanical systems, including the roof, ceilings, walls, floors, windows, and doors.
- What will the inspector be looking at?
The inspector will check that major appliances are functional, scrutinize, the heating and air-conditioning system, examine the plumbing and electrical systems and may even poke around in the attic and basement.
- What is the goal of a home inspection?
The goal of a home inspection is to uncover issues with the home itself. It is important to note that inspectors WILL NOT tell you if you're getting a good deal on the home or offer an opinion on the sale price.
- When does the home inspection happen?
The home inspection happens AFTER the seller has accepted your offer, but BEFORE buying the house.
- Who is responsible for hiring a home inspector?
As the buyer, it's on you to hire the home inspector. Even if the seller offers to share their home inspection report or claims the house is pre-inspected, you'll want to arrange your own inspection so you can vet the inspector yourself.
- How much does a home inspection cost?
Home inspections can cost $300 to $600 or more, so you want to be sure you're getting what you pay for. You'll also want to have those funds on hand.
- Even if the seller offers to share their home inspection report or claims the house is pre-inspected, you'll want to arrange your own inspection so you can vet the inspector yourself. Home inspectors aren't federally regulated, but they do have to have licenses in Alaska.
- It's a best practice to interview potential home inspectors about their experience, training, and areas of expertise.
- Ask for references from prior reports and note whether they're simply completed checklists or extensive review.
- Temper your expectations for a perfect inspection.
- Be prepared to attend the inspection and ask lots of questions.
- An inspection should take at least a few hours. Try to be present so you can find out as much possible about the home’s condition, take your own notes and photographs, and ask about anything that concerns you.
- Your home is one of the biggest, most valuable purchases you’ll ever make. Home inspections help ensure you’re making an good investment.