Beyond the Basics: Alternative Home Inspection Options Worth Exploring


Home inspections are a crucial part of the home buying and selling process. They can bring serious peace of mind to buyers, educate investors about their new asset, and inform real estate professionals of how to proceed with negotiations. Homes can be inspected for a variety of reasons, and while it’s unlikely you’ll require every type of inspection, it can be helpful to understand the options available. Here’s our primer on the most common types of home inspections:

Buyer’s Inspection

The most popular kind of inspection, this option is frequently requested during the due diligence period of buying a home. Required by law in some states, buyer’s inspections provide much-needed insight into the condition and anticipated maintenance costs associated with homes that are about to be sold. During a buyer’s inspection, home inspectors will confirm that the structure is up to code and is a safe place to reside.

Home inspectors will also turn their keen eyes to any defects that may be hiding in plain sight. Buyers deserve to know about any potential termite infestations, HVAC issues, and water damage lurking behind the walls, but these kinds of things are tough to identify without training and experience. Ultimately, the buyer’s inspections offer the kind of need-to-know information necessary for a smart investment.

Pre-Listing Inspection

Sellers hoping to be as transparent about their property as possible may opt to invest in a pre-listing inspection. Though rarely required by law, these inspections can provide homeowners with much-needed insight into the condition of their house ahead of a sale. Inspections can reveal issues to address before listing the house and provide a full disclosure approach for interested buyers.

If you’re in a rush to sell your house, there are few better investments than a pre-listing inspection. By sharing your inspection report with prospective buyers, you’ll quickly and easily get everyone on the same page. This can seriously shorten the sales cycle – in some cases, a pre-listing inspection can eliminate the need for a buyer’s inspection altogether.

Warranty Inspection

One of the biggest perks of buying a new home is the option to invest in a warranty. Many builders provide a free year of warranty coverage on a home’s materials and workmanship. After the year is up, though, homeowners will be responsible for any defects or issues they discover. With the time on the warranty clock ticking down, many homeowners opt to invest in a warranty inspection.

Frequently ordered in the final months or weeks of a warranty period, these kinds of inspections help homeowners make the most out of their investment. Considering how expensive some home repair jobs can run, it makes sense to identify any issues before the warranty ends. Even if you believe your new house is in perfect condition, a warranty inspection is a good way to confirm no repair work is necessary. You’d be surprised at how many issues can evolve since you bought your home!

Maintenance Inspection

Home maintenance is more art than science. While there is no shortage of information about homeownership online, it can be tricky to know which advice to follow. If you’re feeling uncertain about how to best maintain your house’s many systems, you may want to call your favorite home inspector. A maintenance inspection is the ideal way to identify issues before they become expensive problems. It’s also a great way to get a second, more experienced set of eyes on the home you know and love.

While less common than other types of inspections, maintenance inspections are excellent investments. Offices, schools, and other facilities undergo annual inspections to identify issues and stop problems before they start – why not employ the same scrutiny to your home? Especially helpful for homeowners without the knowledge or practical skills to monitor the health of HVAC and plumbing systems, these inspections can save you serious time and money in the long run.

FHA Inspections

Homeowners and prospective buyers aren’t the only ones who order inspections. FHA inspections are often requested by mortgage companies. Home loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration require the expertise of FHA inspectors to ensure the property is indeed a worthwhile investment. In this way, FHA inspections are more like appraisals than your average home inspection.

FHA inspections determine the value of a home. While the report may make note of obvious defects, FHA inspectors are not searching for structural issues or safety concerns – at least not primarily. Instead, FHA inspections focus on the actual market value of a home to help inform the mortgage loan.

ICA’s Online Home Inspection Training

No matter which kind of home inspection you require, you’ll want to hire someone both experienced and highly-trained. Many of the most successful home inspectors working today earn their certification through our online home inspection training. Homeowners and aspiring inspectors alike can benefit from our convenient, affordable classes. Accessible from anywhere with a wifi connection, our course is designed with the latest techniques, tools, and industry standards in mind.

Whether you’re hoping to launch a new career or just learn a bit more about the components of your home, ICA has flexible training modules to fit every lifestyle. No background in construction or experience with a home inspection is necessary to sign up. Anyone with a willingness to learn can master our content in their spare time. Check out our testimonials page for insight from our students, or, if you’re ready to get started, simply click here to enroll!

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