It is very common in real estate investing to hear investors debate whether or not they should get a home inspection before purchasing a property.
What we need to remember when making this decision is that every investor, including you, has a different background in real estate. Some real estate investors who have a construction-related background opt out of getting a home inspection because they can conduct their own inspection on the property; however, this is not the case for the average investor.
Most investors should always plan to get a home inspection before closing on a property. The inspection will identify any potential problems that would make the purchase a bad investment or would need to be addressed after purchasing the property.
Why Should You Get A Home Inspection for Your Investment Property?
As real estate investors, we may not all have a background in construction and, therefore, cannot easily identify potential problem areas within a property. So if you are unsure if a small crack in the foundation is a huge problem, or if you would need to replace the roof next year vs. in the next five years, you should definitely get a home inspection.
The home inspection process gives investors a way to gather much-needed information before closing on a property. The information gathered during the due diligence phases of the home buying process can be used to decide whether you should continue purchasing the property.
The information gathered by the home inspector will be compiled in a detailed report explaining the condition of the property. This document can sometimes be daunting because of its length and wordiness.
For this reason, at least one person who is involved in buying the home must attend the home inspection. Attending the home inspection will allow you the opportunity to ask questions, have the contractor explain things, and also allow you to see their first reactions.
If all goes well and you decide to buy the property after the inspection, you will then have a detailed list of information to help take care of the property moving forward. Therefore, getting a home inspection is a win-win, regardless if you buy the property or not.
The only reason you should ever consider opting out of a home inspection is if you are a licensed contractor with years of experience. In that case, you should be okay with leveraging your experience to identify potential problem areas on the property.
What are Home Inspectors Looking For?
A good home inspector will investigate the overall condition of the property. They will be looking at both big and small elements of the property, such as the roof, foundation, doors, windows, and walls.
Here is a list of what home inspectors typically look for when doing an inspection.
Attic and Basement Condition
Doors and Windows
Walls and Flooring
Potential Rot, Rodents, or Pest
HVAC/ Heating and Cooling Systems
Stormwater Runoff Systems (Gutters & Downspouts)
It is good practice to disclose to the home inspector that you are an investor and the property you are purchasing will be an investment property. This information will allow the inspector to highlight the big problems that can ruin their investment and not the small miscellaneous things.
This change in perspective may speed up the process if you are looking for a quick closing of the property.
How Do I Find A Home Inspector?
Referrals and recommendations are always the best way to find a home inspector. If you know of someone in the real estate investing space like a real estate agent, home appraiser, or another investor, ask for a recommendation on who they use for their home inspections.
You should keep in mind that the two most important things you want in a home inspector is one that is very thorough and efficient. Usually, you will only have a week or less to complete the full inspection process.
The process of finding a home inspector should not be a difficult task but making sure you have great recommendations may be a lot tougher. Don’t forget to leverage Google reviews, Facebook groups, and local real estate meetups to assist you in the process.
When you find a home inspector, it may be a good idea to develop a good relationship with them. Like most things in real estate, once you add someone to your network, it could lead to additional leads and deal for the area’s potential property.
Outside of potential leads for properties, having a consistent home inspector that you use will allow the home inspector to cater to your individual investing needs.
What are the Costs Associated with a Home Inspection?
Most inspectors will charge a one-time fee that is usually dependent on the size of the property. The larger the property, the more expensive the inspection will be!
Typically for a single-family home, the inspection may cause between $350-$500 and for small multifamily properties, the inspection may costs upwards of $1,000. These are all ballpark estimates; however, to get a more precise cost of a home inspection, you can get a quote from
It should be clear by now that the average investor should most definitely get a home inspection. Not only will the home inspection help you decide whether or not you should buy a property, but it also will give you a detailed report of potential to help keep up maintenance on the property in the coming years.
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