In western Washington, most home buyers get a home inspection prior to closing a home purchase. This is not required by the lender and is very different than an appraisal.
An appraiser is seeking to determine the value of the property to be financed. The inspector is creating a report to document current and potential future structural and functional problems. Like getting a mechanic to check out a used car, it can be the best money you ever spend and keep you from buying a “money pit”.
A good inspector looks at everything from roof and chimney to crawl space. Many are licensed pest inspectors as well and throw that into their services. The fee for an inspection is generally from $350 to $500. Depending on how your purchase and sale was written, an inspection can be the tool to back out of the transaction due to poor condition or to ask that repairs be made at the sellers’ expense. If you are the buyer in love with a home, you can always go through with the purchase, – as is, but at least you will do so armed with information.
Dave Carney, Broker/Realtor