5 fast facts about your home inspection

By Shelley Sines

June 2017

You’ve found the home of your dreams, and the seller accepted your offer to purchase. Congrats! But don’t break out the bubbly just yet.

The prospect of a home inspection might seem daunting, but it’s actually pretty straightforward: You hire a professional to assess the condition of the home and identify any potential expenses that might crop up post-purchase. Hiring someone who is ASHI-certified (that’s the American Society for Home Inspectors) is probably a safe bet. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, real estate agent or loan officer if they know of a reputable inspector, or find someone in your area.

Here are 5 fast facts about home inspections that you need to know.

1. You’ll need to pay up

Lots of buyers don’t realize that a) while home inspections are a good idea, they are optional; and b) the homebuyer is on the hook for the cost of the inspection. The average price of an inspection is about $300, depending on the size of the house and where you live. It may seem steep, but what you’re really buying is peace of mind. After all, you’re considering purchasing something that’s going to cost you thousands of dollars, and your inspector could uncover a major flaw that can’t be seen with the naked eye (like a crack in the foundation, evidence of flooding or previously undiscovered mold and mildew). You may even decide to walk away from a property that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs beyond the purchase price.

2. You should attend your home inspection

Lots of home inspectors actually recommend that potential homebuyers attend their inspections. That way they can be sure they’re being thorough and answering any questions the buyers might have. If they identify any problems, they can point these out to you in person and maybe even recommend a professional who can do the repair work.

3. You can negotiate the cost of repairs with the seller

Some repairs are relatively minor. When we bought our house, our home inspector told us we needed to install a radon mitigation system and repair a few windows with broken seals. We were able to subtract the cost of that work from our final purchase price on the home. And if worst comes to worst, you can cancel the sale (depending on your specific offer to purchase and whether or not you included a home inspection contingency).

4. Generic home inspection checklists can help you prepare

These can help you become familiar with what an inspector might be looking for. Find them here, here and here.

5. When you’re ready to purchase, schedule your home inspection as soon as possible

If there are any major issues with the home, you’ll want to know right away so you can make an informed decision about whether to buy it or not. Also, you’ll want to make sure you’ve built in plenty of time before your closing date in case the home needs additional inspections.

Jasmine Straughter

how do you know when u ready

Velet Sampson

Going through this process can be overwhelming! But we are excited to be a home owner!

Laura Baez Daniel

Great help for firs time

Shakeya Evans

I have really learned a lot about purchasing a home for the first time. This experience has taught me how to manage my money, how important credit is, and how to save. I have always heard other people talk about buying a home, I never thought that I would one day be a home owner. I feel good about the home owner journey because it makes me feel proud that I was able to accomplish one of my goals.

John Paolantino

Thank you

Louie corey

First to hings f know when your ready to buy. have have extensive knowledge about the way the credit system works.iknow for sure it's all about that big thing money.if savings,plan ahead especially for unknown cost t,insurance ,mortgage,equity,repairs,home inspections Internist rates ,.Know your houses. (do your own repairs).knowlage for cost of materials, negotiate pricing,down payments , interest rates,credit scores, negotiate pricing. closing cost ,


Without a doubt, inspection asap is a must.

Lisa Ann Williams



We were looking into buying a home that seemed over priced. When looking at it we exsplained the sockets don’t hold plugs their we’re not three prong plugs as well as flooring in kitchen torn carpet stained and smelled. Just things that were broke appliances really didn’t work. We’re first time home buyers. We brought this up and we were told by the owners Realtor that this was not a part of the home buying process to ask the owner to fix these things up to code.

David Small

Good info

Carolyn Moffett

Home ownership gives you a deep sense of accomplishment, dignity and pride in yourself and your values. I have sacrificed and saved just to be able to purchase a home I could call my own. I cut back on groceries and I cut out things I didn’t really need. I thank God for this opportunity and I know His hand is on me and my life. I know how to save and get by with less to accomplish a goal. I sincerely believe in paying all my bills and paying them on time. Good credit is very important to me.

Vernice Stark

It is best to know the underlying conditions of the home before you purchase it. The inspection is well worth it.

Michelle McConnell

Very informative information

Andy Pula

Very informative

Diana Rodriguez

Very helpful information. I make sure to be at the inspection and see that everything is taken care of, if we need to ask the seller to change any details in the home

Justin Taylor

It's like buying a car in a way. You need the inspection to make sure its "Safe" and in a "Operating" condition to drive right? Well the inspection for a home is to make sure its "Safe" and in "Operating" condition to live in.


It was good to learn about the different things that can be requested during the inspection.

Verdell Baker

The average house inspection cost approximately $300.00. It is recommended that the buyer should be present at the inspection. This way, if there are any questions thay could be cleared up at this time.

darline mitchell

so far so good


thank you so much I've been finding a lot of things out during this process.


Thank you it gave me a lot of knowledge

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Shelley Sines has been writing for MGIC since she graduated from college in 2007. Currently raising a sweet little family with her husband in the suburbs of Milwaukee. Happiest when cooking or gardening. Competitive Scrabble player. Enthusiastic about road trips, wine, good TV.
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