Real Estate Q & A
Welcome to Ask Dave, the weekly Q&A designed to answer your questions about the local real estate market. The author, Dave Kimbrough, has a decade’s worth of experience helping clients buy and sell homes in the Grand Valley. He is a Realtor, a Certified Negotiation Expert and a member of the Grand Junction Area Realtor Association. He leads The Kimbrough Team at RE/MAX 4000 and specializes in residential sales.
We are currently looking for a home to purchase. Our real estate agent has told us that we should have a professional home inspection done once we have it under contract. I know they can be expensive, are they worth the money or should we do it ourselves?
Wendy, Grand Junction
Yes! The purchase of a home is the largest investment you will likely ever make and helping protect that investment by spending a few hundred dollars is well worth it. Your typical home inspection costs will range anywhere between $300 and $500 depending on the size and features of the home. After you move into your new home, you want to begin living in it and not spend time and money repairing it. Your home inspector will provide you with a personalized report of any repairs needed, suggestions on how to maintain your home, and also provide you with the knowledge that you are not purchasing a “money pit.”
Your contract should allow you ample time to hire a home inspector and have this service performed. Remember, if the report is not what you expected, you can choose to terminate your contract, based on the findings. Please be aware that the purpose of a home inspection is to point out repairs that can affect the safety and mechanical and structural integrity of the home, not minor cosmetic blemishes. Most cosmetic fixes, if you are not purchasing a brand new home, will be up to you as the new owner. If you’re not buying new, do not expect a home built in 1985 to be in the same condition as one built in 2009. Cosmetic fixes on an older home are mainly your responsibility as the new home owner.
A home inspection is not only for the purchase of a resale home, but is also for a new home. You should not assume a new home will be perfect, but you can assume that most major items are going to be in good repair.
Be careful when choosing your home inspector. Like most everything, you get what you pay for. It is not necessarily true that choosing a cheaper home inspector over a more experienced and more expensive one is always the better decision. Make sure to ask for references and ask questions. You need to find out how long they have been in the business. Talk to your real estate agent, family and friends to see if they can make a recommendation.
Remember, you are counting on the home inspector finding the major, high-dollar things that will potentially break your budget after you move in. You can expect some minor things to be missed, but overall this is home buying 101 and you should always get a professional home inspection. Happy home buying!
The Kimbrough Team, RE/MAX 4000, Inc