Most know it is prudent to have a home inspection completed if a homeowner is planning to buy a new home or sell the one they are in. Is this the only time that a home inspection should be done? Read on to learn why homeowners should schedule a home inspection even if they have no plans to move in the near future.

Planning and executing a home inspection can guide homeowners on how to increase their home value by making needed repairs or upgrades.

Finding Little Problems Early Can Prevent Expensive Repairs Later

It is a good idea to schedule a home inspection if one hasn't been done for awhile. Even though home inspectors charge a fee for their services, it can be well worth the small costs of an inspection to gain knowledge of any possible hidden or small problems now. This gives a homeowner the chance to make repairs while the repair job is less expensive and will require little time and effort to fix things.

How Long Should a Professional Home Inspection Take?

It is important to find a reputable home inspector with the necessary training credentials, experience and skills to thoroughly assess all of the major home areas where problems may develop over time. Beware of unethical inspectors who will shortchange homeowners by quickly doing a walk-through without taking the necessary time to properly inspect the whole house. In general, a thorough home inspection should take at least 2 hours minimum and with 3 hours being the norm for an average sized home.

What Will the Home Inspector Be Looking At?

Before hiring any home inspector, ask what all will be involved in the inspection. Some inspectors will not get on the roof, climb into crawlspaces or attics and some won't even check the electrical circuits or wiring. Know what you are paying for to help determine whether one inspector's price is reasonable or not.

Find an Inspector Who Allows Homeowners to be Present During the Inspection

Be wary of inspectors that don't like people being there while the inspection is underway. This is the only way to ensure that everything is looked at that was agreed upon beforehand.

What Home Inspectors Can't Do

Home inspectors aren't allowed to give realty type advice or estimate cost of needed repairs. They can't see behind walls or under floorboards. They will not move your clothes out of the closet or towels stacked below attic access. If the pathway isn't cleared, that area won't get inspected.

Tips to Get the Most Out of a Home Inspection

To get your money's worth out of a home inspection, take these tips from professional home inspectors.

  • Do take your dog somewhere else during the inspection
  • Do clean your home and remove clutter beforehand
  • Never hire an inspector through a real estate agency especially if buying a home
  • Do check that light bulbs are working and smoke detector is operational
  • Ask for a sample inspection report
  • Check credentials first
  • Make sure all areas are unlocked - garage, shed etc.
  • Clear pathways to attics, HVAC unit etc.
  • Service AC & Furnace
  • Clean ductwork
  • Repair cracks in drywall
  • Check to ensure electrical outlets work
  • Clean carpets & floors

Scheduling a professional home inspection can provide useful information and save money. Ensuring that everything is in good repair can raise your overall home value.