If you’ve ever bought a home or if you’re in the process of buying a home, one of the most important and first things that happens is the buyers’ home inspection. Depending on the size of the house, a general home inspection is $250-600 and takes 2-5 hours. If you have additional buildings, structures, etc those will all add expense.
In addition to that, there are many other things you need to think about when it comes to your Home Inspection Rights and Costs. Some of these things are regional, specific to the state, climate, etc. Your real estate professional can advise, and your home inspector will also make suggestions.
RADON – Radon gas is a prevalent issue in the state of Colorado and the region. It is a gas emitted from the break down of rock/granite in the soil. It’s all over our area, but it happens to be heavier than the oxygen we breathe, so it’s tested at the lowest level of the home. Different companies administer the test in various ways, but usually, a minimum 48-hour test is best to collect data. Radon can be mitigated from $900-1500. Get more important information about Radon.
MOLD – Most home inspectors will not claim to inspect for mold, but will check for visual areas that appear to have excessive moisture or discoloration consistent with mold. They will then recommend an environmental specialist to take surface and air samples to be sent to a lab.
TERMITES – Termites are extremely uncommon here because of the cold winters (and maybe altitude). I will not say they don’t exist, but in 14 years (hundreds of sales) I’ve had termites spotted by an inspector in 1 home. Sometimes foreclosures with out of state banks will require termite inspection because it’s common in other places. Sometimes that requirement can be waived. Again, good inspectors know the “flags” that might indicate an issue and will alert you to consult a pest control specialist.
METH – one of my least favorite 4-letter words… ugh! Apparently, Colorado is one of the most lenient states on multiple offenders, so meth use and cooking is fairly common. The sad part is the residue remains in everything… fabrics, drywall, etc. Meth tests can be done by environmental specialists as well, for $500-2000 depending on the amount of areas test. Mitigation requires going all the way to studs to completely remediate the space, to the tune of $thousands! People often think it’s just an issue in poorer neighborhoods or downtown areas, but the sad fact is meth has been found all over the city all the way up into the million dollar price range.
WELL – For about $300 you can have a well company inspect all the equipment and perform a 2-hour pressure test. While this might seem like a lot, it can help find a hidden issue on a system seemingly working “just fine”… like the recent well pressure tank that needed replacement. Thankfully it was discovered before closing, giving my clients the opportunity to request replacement by the sellers!
WATER – El Paso County will do water bacteriological testing. It’s not expensive ($40 I think), but the collection container and process are very specific and the county requires submission in a short amount of time after collection. In most cases the lender REQUIRES this test if the property has a well.
SEPTIC – It used to be up to the buyer to inspect or request that seller have the septic inspected. Effective January 2015, the seller now carries the obligation and title will not transfer nor loan fund until a septic inspection is complete. This regulation is new to El Paso County, however other counties have been requiring this for a while. Each county or region has a list of approved inspectors on their website. Some are easier that others to bring into compliance.
I hope this helps you (and doesn’t scare you!) to figure out what areas are of highest importance. There are other inspections that might be required based on a lot of factors. After inspections are done, buyer has a right to ask seller for any number of items to be repaired or further evaluated by the appropriate professional (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, etc). The physical inspection phase is normally in the first 7-14 days of the contract. If you have any additional questions about Home Inspection Add-Ons, let me know.