You’ve saved for your down payment, found the home of your dreams and made an offer. What comes next? Well, it’s a home inspection.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a key step in the home buying process and thoroughly examines the condition and safety of a home. It’s designed to protect home buyers and ensures the home they’re moving into is safe to live in and free of defects. They give buyers an opportunity to understand if there are any major issues within the home before moving in. In some cases, they can reveal dangerous issues in a home that may even impact a buyer's choice to move in.

What’s involved in a home inspection?

A home inspection is conducted by a qualified professional who examines key areas in the interior and exterior of the home.


  • HVAC
  • Plumbling & Electrical
  • Major Appliances
  • Attic & Crawl Spaces
  • Walls & Structures
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows & Doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Drainage


  • Walls & Structures
  • Foundation
  • Grading
  • Garage
  • Roof
  • Drainage
  • Windows & Doors

What’s not included in a home inspection?

There are some areas that home inspections don’t cover. For example, home inspectors will not cut open drywall or insulation to examine inside the walls. They also won’t check your sewer lines, the inside of chimneys or behind electrical panels.

How long does an inspection take?

A general home inspection can take roughly 1 to 3 hours, depending on the size and age of the home, as well as other key factors. Shortly after, the home inspector will provide a report that lists any concerns, issues or defects that need to be repaired.

How much does it cost?

Home inspections can range from $300-$600 or more, depending on the type, size, location and age of the home. Note: Depending on what your inspector covers and finds during the initial inspection, you may need to hire additional specialists for further inspection.

How does a home inspection impact getting a mortgage?

Believe it or not, home inspections are also a key step in the mortgage approval process. While it’s not mandatory, many lenders request that home buyers get an inspection before approving financing. Ruling out any issues before taking ownership can save home buyers thousands of dollars and minimizes financial risk in the long run.

What is a home inspection contingency?

A home inspection contingency is a clause that can be included in the offer agreement (also known as a due diligence contingency). It gives the buyer a right to conduct a home inspection and back out of the purchase (free of penalty) within a specific time frame, should the home inspection reveal defects or concerns. If that’s the case, the buyer can back out completely or renegotiate the agreement with the seller to either amend the purchase price or have them pay for the repairs.

At the end of the day, a home inspection is one more step you can take as a home buyer to be prepared. It can save you thousands of dollars and give insight into what you can expect down the line as far as repairs go. At Homewise, our team of dedicated mortgage advisors help every home buyer understand everything that’s involved in the buying process, including a home inspection, so they can make the best purchase decision.