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Is it always recommended to order a home inspection when buying a home and, if I do, what can I expect?

I always recommend that buyers get a complete home inspection before closing on a home. A qualified, licensed home inspector will have a much better chance at spotting potential problems than a typical buyer.

Once your offer is accepted, the sellers will provide you with a list of any issues they know of. You’ll also have a chance to hire an inspector to examine the home. Inspectors look at the site and overall environment, the roof, the home’s interior and exterior, its structural system, the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems and more. Sometimes, you may want to bring in experts like a structural engineer or a radon testing company.

After the inspection, you’ll get a written report that includes information about any problems found, maintenance recommendations and the life expectancy for many systems and components in the home.
There are no perfect homes. I’ve even seen inspectors find serious issues with newer homes and older homes. It’s important to keep the findings of an inspection in perspective. Once we have a good understanding of the home, we can ask sellers to fix some of the problems found or ask for money to cover the costs of repairs at closing. Sellers are not obligated to repair anything, so negotiating carefully with your end goal in mind is always important after an inspection.