How Long a Home Inspection Takes (and Why it’s a Good Idea)

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The time it takes to do a home inspection depends on factors like age, size, and design. Generally speaking, you can expect your home inspection to take about two to three hours.
Although it’s not mandatory, a home inspection is a necessary step in identifying whether or not the home you’ve got your eyes on is all it’s cracked up to be.
Just like any monumental life decision, home buying and selling calls for protection—both to reassure your bank that you’ll make good on your payments and for you to rest easy knowing that you’re truly getting all that you’ve bargained for.
So, what’s this home inspection business really all about, and how long does the process take? The extraordinaires at insurance broker app Jerry are here to break down everything there is to know about this crucial part of the homeowner-sphere.
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What is a home inspection?

Think of a home inspection as a wellness check—it identifies structural issues that are hard to catch at a first glance, including some aesthetic flaws that may be more problematic than they seem.
A home inspection isn’t a legally required step in the home buying or selling process, but it’s always a good idea. When a contract doesn’t include a home inspection up front, a real estate agent will spearhead the home inspection on behalf of their buyer with a professional who knows how to get the job done. 
The inspection typically looks at:
  • Home foundation
  • Appliances
  • Wiring
  • Roof
  • Insulation
  • General health and safety

Who conducts a home inspection?

More often than not, the buyer will initiate a home inspection. Their real estate agent will arrange for an inspector to evaluate the home without the seller there. 
Once the home inspection report is completed and any issues have come to light, the buyer and real estate agent will discuss amendments to the offer based on the inspector’s findings.
On the flip side, sellers who anticipate the prolonged nature of home inspections throughout the selling process may opt to proactively conduct a home inspection before putting their home on the market. By including the home inspection results in their listing, they’re able to avoid any renegotiation discussions or cancellations once the sale gets rolling.
Key Takeaway Save yourself, your potential buyer, and their real estate agent time by inspecting your home before listing it.

How long does a home inspection take?

Home inspections take about two to three hours. Inspections of townhomes may take one to two hours.
More square footage in a home begets a lengthier inspection time—so the more rooms to evaluate, the longer the process will take. Considering the 500 components each home contains, a couple of hours here and there is still considered an efficient process.
Key Takeaway Anticipate setting aside at least 2.5 hours for a home inspection to take place.

What factors impact the length of inspection?

Whether the home inspection is initiated by a buyer or a seller, various components unique to each property should be considered when anticipating the duration of the home inspection. Here are some of the main ones.
Homes that are larger and/or older cast a wider net when it comes to elements that are evaluated in an inspection. Especially in older homes, the bones of the house may be outdated, which could present itself in damage, mold, plumbing and electrical systems, and roofing, which needs replacing every 25 years.
State laws
Another contributing factor to your home inspection’s length can be state legislation. Just like insurance policies vary from state to state, so do laws around HVAC systems and plumbing—particularly in older districts. 
Although the home inspection itself isn’t required, it’s a good idea to read up on what specifics your state might have when it comes to necessary repairs needed based on the home inspection report.

How long does a home inspection report take?

You can expect to see a home inspection report within one to two days of the inspection—but it can be delivered even faster if you and/or your real estate agent are on-site when it’s conducted.
If you’re a seller, you may alter your listing price depending on the report’s results. Either way, presenting a listing with the home inspection included will prevent any potential headaches or hold-ups once you find a buyer. They’ll rest assured knowing that the home they’re purchasing has already gotten the T.L.C. it needed to be move-in ready.

Protecting yourself with good home insurance 

Home inspections are all about preparation and expecting the unexpected, which is where being equipped with a customized insurance plan is key.
The most cost-effective and efficient way to make sure you’re covered in your home-buying journey is to bundle your home and car insurance with the help of the super app Jerry.
Imagine having a licensed broker hand-select the most affordable quotes from 50+ top insurance companies like Nationwide, Allstate, Safeco, Progressive, and Travelers, in seconds—and without you spending a single one of those seconds listening to that dreaded hold music.
Jerry is speedy with their leg work, but they’re in it with you for the long haul. You’ll receive new quotes before each policy renewal so you’re always getting the latest and the best.
The best part? The average Jerry customer saves $879 per year!
Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up for homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
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These are usually deal-breakers when it comes to the condition of a home:
Visible cracks in or imbalances in the foundation
Age and appearance of the roof
Leaks both inside and outside of the house
Mold and dampness in the basement or other areas
Faulty electrical systems
HVAC performance issues
A home inspection should range from about $200 to $500. It’s a good idea to shop around for rates from inspectors before you move forward with one.
As a buyer, your real estate agent will have the connections and resources to secure a trusted inspector. If you’re planning to sell your home and want to set the stage for a more seamless sale, then you’ll want to reach out to any real estate agents in your network for experienced referrals
When searching online, look out for evidence of their experience, knowledge, reviews, and any certifications from legitimate organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). 
In addition to their credentials, you’ll want to verify that they possess:
A concentration in home inspections (and not in general repair or audit services)
Strong communication in their reporting whether it’s presented in written form or otherwise
Appropriate certifications and affiliations with respected organizations
Errors and omissions insurance, which can cover you in case the inspector overlooks an issue in the home inspection

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