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Archive for August 18th, 2008

Fees for home inspections in the Athens, GA area can vary greatly.  They start around $200 for a townhome or condo and increase from ther,e depending upon several factors.  These factors can include age, square footage, asking price, location and foundation type.  In the Athens area, you can expect to pay about $300 for a typical 3 bedroom 2 bath 2000 square feet home.

Many home inspectors also offer an array of ancillary services.  As you would expect, these additional services will increase the overall fee of the inspection, but can be well worth the added expense.  These include termite letters, radon tests, EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finishing System) and mold sampling.

Radon tests usually cost between $75 to $100 and most pest control companies offer termite letters for $45.  Some home inspectors are now offering termite letters and I include them with every inspection.  I simply team up with a local company who inspects the home while I am doing my inspection.

Mold sampling can range from $100 for a basic single swab test and go up into the hundreds of dollars for air sampling or multiple swabs.  EIFS is a synthetic stucco siding material that has been known to trap moisture between it and the home’s interior wall.  This trapped moisture can rot the homes framing and/or lead to mold growth in these areas.  You may have heard about the stigma associated with synthetic stucco homes, and this is why.  The fees for these tests are typically several hundred dollars and will vary depending on the size of the home.

While prices will vary greatly from inspector to inspector, the fee should not be the deciding factor.  Honestly, if you are buying a home, a 100.00 price difference should not be a deciding factor in choosing a home inspector.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask.  Are you insured?  Are you a member of a professional organization like the American Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?  What do your inspection reports look like?  (Some are computer generated and include pictures while others are hand written.)  How long have you been inspecting homes?  How long does the inspection take?  Do you perform the repairs outlined in the inspection?  (This practice can be a conflict of interest and is typically not allowed by home inspector organizations.)  Can I attend the inspection?  What is included with your inspection?

As you can see, shopping for a home inspector is about more than price.  Be sure to take your time and ask the right questions.  You are spending $100,000 plus on your new home, so don’t try to save $300 and skip the inspection.  Also, try to get a referral from someone you trust.  If you are from out of town, surely you have some type of connection to the town, so tap those people to see if they or someone they know has recently used an inspector.   Remember:  there is no such thing as a perfect house.  And yes, even new homes should be inspected!  More on that later.

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