I’m trying to decide whether to hire a home inspector, and there are two things I need to know. What is the cost for an inspection? And at what age do homes begin to develop serious problems? --Joseph
Inspection fees vary widely, depending on the size, age and complexity of the home, and according to the level of experience of the home inspector you hire. A quality inspection may cost from $300 to $500 or more. Those who are new to the profession typically charge lower prices to attract business, but home inspection is a process where you truly get what you pay for. Price shopping is a very risky way of choosing an inspector, given the costly consequences of undisclosed defects.
As for the age of a home, this has little or nothing to do with the amount of problems likely to be found. An old home, in fact, could have fewer problems than one that was just built. A home that appears run down and deteriorated could have fewer serious problems than one that appears well maintained and immaculate.
Regardless of age or cost, it’s always a mistake to buy without a home inspection.
To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the Web at www.housedetective.com.