Professional Home Inspections
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a professional evaluation of the home you have a purchase agreement on. Home inspections are not required but are highly recommended. The buyer hires the inspector of their choice and schedules the inspection. The inspection is paid for by the buyer at the time of the inspection. The home inspection is different than an appraisal. An appraisal is required by the lender to give a professional opinion of the homes value. If you’re getting a FHA, VA, RD or South Dakota Housing (1st time home buyer) loan, the property must meet certain standards. An appraiser may mention any conditions that don't meet lending requirements, but they typically just do a quick walk through the home.
Why a buyer needs a Home Inspection
A home inspection gives the buyer more detailed information about the overall condition of the home prior to purchase. In a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth unbiased look at your potential new home to:
•Evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction, and mechanical systems
•Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced
•Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure, and finishes
The purchase agreement used in the state of South Dakota contains the following types of
Structural, mechanical, and electrical—This is your “standard” inspection. The cost of this inspection is usually between $250 and $350.
Hazardous conditions—This can include testing for conditions such as mold, asbestos, soil instability or contamination, formaldehyde, methamphetamine production or use, ect… but is most commonly used for Radon testing. Radon is a gas that is emitted by uranium decaying in the earth. You can’t see, smell or taste it. Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health. According to the EPA, Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. A radon test costs an additional $60 to $80. The EPA recommends mitigating radon in homes with a level of 4 pCi/L or more. Radon is mitigated or removed by installing a fan that draws air from under the home and exhausts it outside. A mitigation system usually costs between $900 and $1200. Visit www.EPA.gov for more information on radon and other environmental hazards.
Pest Infestation and/or damage—This can include any pest, but is typically used for a termite inspection. This inspection is an additional $60 to $80. Many people don't think termites are an issue in South Dakota, but there are several areas of Sioux Falls that termites have been found. I took this photo of serious termite damage in a Sioux Falls home.
Lead-Based Paint—Lead-based paint was banned from residential use in 1977. The EPA states that approximately 80% of homes built prior to 1978 contain lead-based paint. The EPA also states that if paint is in good condition (not cracking, peeling, or chalking) that it is usually not a hazard. Because the majority of homes built prior to 1978 contain lead-based paint and testing can be costly the opportunity for testing is often waived, and it is assumed that lead-based paint is present. Proper precautions for lead based paint exposure should always be taken even if testing is not done. A guide from the EPA “Protecting Your Family From Lead In Your Home” is available at http://www.epa.gov/ and provides more detail on lead based paint hazards.
Here are a just a few of the inspectors in Sioux Falls…
Wettlaufer Home Inspections
Jeff Wettlaufer 261-0133
Worthy Home Inspection
Todd Worthington 605-366-4488
Hennies Home Inspection
Doug Hennies 605-201-6116
Heartland Home Inspection
Carey Hofer 605310-0953
Heilman’s Home Inspection
Select from the following articles.
Choosing a Realtor
The Home-Buying Process
Making an Offer