A home inspection is the only thing standing between you and your dream home. You are on pins and needles, waiting to get the report and everything hinges on this piece of paper. How long do you need to wait? How long does a home inspection take and when will you know the complete home inspection results?
Patience is a virtue. Remember that the time it takes is the time it takes, no more and no less. You might be able to make the process go more smoothly and the bank, if involved with the inspection, can also help speed things along sometimes. After all, they want to loan the money as quickly as possible. Good loans are how most banks make the bulk of their money. They want that interest. Your loan originator is also in a hurry because he’s making a fat commission on the loan and wants that done as soon as possible as well.
A home inspection is a checklist of approximately 500 items that the inspector will look at while there. Getting the inspection scheduled is typically not hard. Most home inspections can be done within the week. It really depends on the real estate market in your local area and how many inspectors are available.
The time it takes to do the inspection can vary a bit but on average, will take 2 to 2 ½ hours. This time will take longer with someone following the inspector around. It will be far better if you or the seller
are not present to follow the inspector around. This impedes their work.
It’s also a very good idea to request that animals be put away and made scarce so that they inspector isn’t chased around by a dog or livestock of some sort. The sellers might be home and simply put the dog in a bedroom while the inspector is there. If that room needs to be accessed, then the dog should be in a kennel. This just helps the inspection go more smoothly and ensures that the inspector can focus on the property.
Now that you know the answer to how long should a home inspection take? How long does it take to get a home inspection report? Take into consideration that the home inspector has gone through a checklist of at least 500 things in the home and on the exterior of the home. It will take a few days to put the report together for you and your bank.
His report will be honest and forthright. His reputation is on the line so he might take his time with a case of an older home. So when you ask ‘how long does a home inspection report take?’, try to be aware that the average length of time to write these reports is 3 to 4 days. In some cases, it can take as long as a week. Don’t panic if you’ve not heard from the bank for a week.
Once the home inspection report is sent to them, it could take a day or two to look it over thoroughly. If you are receiving a copy directly, then you’ll likely have it within a week from the day of the inspection. Try not to worry about how long to get a home inspection report and more about what the report might contain.
While you wait, you should take the time to make a list of possible scenarios and what you are willing to repair and what you would walk away from. As much as you love a home, try not to make your decisions based on your love for a particular home. This is a huge commitment that can make you or break you if you get into repairs over your head. Knowing when to walk away is your best game plan. It’s especially important if you are buying with a significant other. You both need to be in agreement on what you are willing to absorb financially and what would be considered deal breakers for you.
A general home inspection will take a look at the bones of the house, including structural elements, as well as major parts of the home, such as electrical components and plumbing. You can expect the report to go over these elements:
- Structure (floors, walls, ceilings, stairs).
- Exterior (siding, attached decks, porches).
- HVAC systems
- Major appliances.
- Ventilation systems
- Fireplaces and wood stoves.
- Windows and doors.
The above elements of the home are all part of the structure that can be broken down into multiple pieces during the inspection process. For example ‘fireplaces and wood stoves’ are not just checked as the unit but the stove pipe or chimney stacks are also inspected. Structural inspections will include termite inspection because they can do incredible damage to a home. Treatment is expensive and necessary.
Plumbing doesn’t merely involve the pipes under your sink. Your septic tank or plumbing lines that connect to the street are also checked to any degree that they can be. There may be concerns with tree roots in the area of your pipes. There may be reason to believe that your pipes are original and no longer to local code.
Be aware that even if your home is in an area that doesn’t require it to be renovated to local building code standards, the moment you have a repair or want to remodel, you’ll be stuck doing so. Most cities or local municipalities will require that if you open the floor to repair old plumbing, that all plumbing be updated to match current local building codes.
Want to add an addition or put an electrical panel in the garage out back? Not if you’ve got knob and tube wiring, I’m afraid. You’ll be forced to update all of the electrical wiring in the home before you can make any changes, additions, or repairs. So even if you think you can live with some old wiring, if you have any major repair that needs to be done later on, you’ll get hooked for the entire costs of rewiring and the repair. Is that something you want to face? The answer on this should be a resounding ‘NO’ but it’s truly your choice once you get the home inspection report.
Your home is an investment. It builds equity that can be turned into cash through sale at a later date or home equity loan that some people use to make repairs, pay for the kids to go to college, or other things. Your home loan is often a better interest rate than you can get for a new car, so some people put that money toward purchasing some items that will be easier to pay off than getting a traditional car loan or student loan, etc.
A home is a place to live, raise a family, and grow. It’s also a security blanket, knowing that you’ll never need to move again. For many families, home ownership
is the epitome of the American dream. Waiting a week or less for a home inspection is well worth the time to ensure that you’re making the best possible decision for your investment and peace of mind.