After you’ve gotten your offer accepted on a home, the next step most buyers take is going through the different home inspections that you need to make sure the home is truly the dream home you’re hoping it is.
Inspections are entirely voluntary though, and with the market as hot as it has been recently, some buyers are choosing to waive inspections entirely, and are prepared to deal with any issues that may come up on their own.
For the vast majority of buyers, taking the risk of not knowing what issues might come up before you sign the paperwork is not feasible. There are so many inspections available though, and it’s hard to know which inspections to do and how much this might set you back.
Every home is different and the home inspections you should do vary depending on a number of variables (You’re not going to need an underground sprinkler inspection on a new construction condo.)
Typically we recommend three “must have” inspections for our buyers: general, radon, and sewer. An oil tank search or soil sample is property specific based on records (or lack of). The Oregon Property Buyer Advisory outlines other possible inspections, which may be recommended for your transaction.
General Home Inspections
A general inspection is the most common home inspection, and an inspection that most buyers will have done. It covers things like electrical wiring, roofing, insulation, plumbing, as well as structural features of the home.
General inspections will typically run about $400-500 depending on various factors. There are many things that can be found with a general inspection and often your agent will advise you on what you should do next when issues come up. Inspectors do not provide bids for the repairs.
Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and can build up in enclosed spaces, and it’s important to check for, especially in basements. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking! A radon inspection will typically cost about $125. The electronic monitoring device is set up for 72 hours on the lowest floor with usable living space. If high levels of Radon are found, typically it is recommended to install a Radon mitigation system. These are our previous posts regarding radon.
Sewer Scope Inspection
It’s important to check your sewer system to make sure that there are no cracks, root intrusions, or other common issues associated with sewer lines. A party sewer, where one or more houses share a single connection to the sewer, violates Portland code and must be corrected. A homeowner in Portland is responsible for the sewer line from the house to the curb. It’s a quick test and takes about an hour, and will typically cost $125.
All told you’ll probably be looking at about $700 to get the home inspected. That’s not an insignificant amount of money to be spending, but the peace of mind that it provides to ensure that issues with a house are known before you finalize the purchase, is priceless.