June 22, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

Virginia Home Inspection Guide for Homebuyers

5 min read

Nestled in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Virginia’s unique blend of history and culture is mirrored in its diverse Virginia styled homes, which range from timeless classics to modern marvels. In such a dynamic environment, the home inspection process becomes a voyage through layers of history and innovation that define a property. For potential buyers, it provides a window into the integrity and character of a potential new home, unveiling its allure and potential challenges. Meanwhile, sellers can employ this process to transparently showcase their property’s value and proactively address any concerns.

So, whether you’re in the market for an historic home in Richmond or preparing to list your property for sale in the vibrant city of Virginia Beach, this Redfin article covers everything you need to know about undergoing a home inspection in Virginia. It features insights from local home inspectors, providing you with the knowledge to confidently navigate the Virginia real estate market. So let’s dive in. 

large two story home in McLean Virginia

Why should you get a home inspection in Virginia?

“You should always have the home you’re buying inspected, even in this overly competitive market,” recommends RVA HomeSpec, LLC. “If you have to waive the inspection in order to win a contract, having the home inspected after closing will still give you a clear picture of its overall condition and alert you to any defects that need repair.”

“Virginia is a “buyer beware” state and home inspections are not required,” says That Place Home Inspections. “As such, buyers are encouraged to use their own due process to learn about purchases in advance. If you check for a bad egg before spending a couple of bucks at the grocery store, then why would you ever consider skipping a home inspection before buying a new home?”

“In today’s housing market, with little housing inventory, high prices, and interest rates, a home inspection is a smart choice for a home buyer,” suggests Explorer Home Inspections, LLC. “A home inspection gives the buyer a thorough look into the condition of the house and can point out any major deficiencies that are present. While several contracts are written with as-is or no inspection clauses, a home inspection is still a smart idea for informational purposes and peace of mind.”

Are there any specialized inspections that Virginia buyers should consider?

“When buyers fall in love with a home and are ready to sign a sales contract, one of the questions that comes up during contract review is whether or not the buyers would like to include a Radon Testing Contingency,” says Natasha Lingle. “From my experience, the majority of home buyers and owners are unfamiliar with what Radon is, and they don’t know that it might be present in a home. Northern Virginia is a particular problem area, with 56% of the tested homes containing Radon levels higher than recommended by EPA standards. This map breaks down levels of Radon by area.”

“Newly built homes should have an independent pre-drywall inspection and a pre-closing inspection,” recommends Eric Boll. “It’s not uncommon to find structural and construction issues at a pre-drywall inspection. At pre-closing inspections water leaks are the most common finding followed by poorly performing air conditioners. We have also found several instances of the attic insulation not being installed.”

Buyers in Virginia should also consider having a radon test performed to determine if there are elevated levels of radon, which is a known carcinogen,” recommends Affordable Home Inspection Inc. “Homes built before 1978, may also contain lead based paint or plumbing components, which is also a potential health hazard. Mold is also a common problem in many homes, which can cause damage to components, as well as create health risks. We provide further professional testing services for the presence of lead, mold, radon and asbestos.”

Are home inspections required in Virginia?

“Virginia is a “buyer beware” state, leaving one of the most important decisions an individual or couple will make,” says Start Right Home Inspection. “Home Buyers can ask for a home inspection, and I recommend being present during the inspection. You can ask questions, see any serious findings, and the inspector can provide an explanation why the condition exists followed by a written report. Having the results of your inspection will prepare you with the facts to move on your decision with confidence and peace of mind.”

How much does a home inspection cost in Virginia?

“The price of a home inspection in Virginia varies based on a number of factors, primarily square footage and home style,” informs Red Star Home Inspection, LLC. “An equestrian property costs significantly more than a studio apartment because of the breadth of expertise and time commitment required. That said, if you are considering a condo or a single family home, the prices will generally start from $350 and $500, respectively.”

Expert advice for Virginia buyers before they get a home inspection

Ask your inspector questions

Red Worsham from Worsham Inspections, LLC suggests, “When selecting a home inspector it is important to ask about their experience. You want an inspector that has experience in the field, not just classroom knowledge.”

Choose a reliable inspector

“Research home inspectors online, with quality reviews, not just the number of reviews but what

are they saying about their experience with the inspector/company,” recommends Dash Home Inspection. “Identify if it fits your individual needs from an inspection. Do not skip a home inspection. With average home sales at $350,000.00 and average home inspections at $400.00, it is a very small price to pay for peace of mind. To put it in perspective it is only 0.00115 of the average home value. Sometimes saving a buck can cost you thousands.”

Do your own research 

“Virginia is a buyer beware state, meaning that each buyer is advised to do their own research before making a purchase as some information is not required to be provided by the seller,” suggests Straight Point Home Inspection. “A home inspection is a vital part of the process for learning as much as you can about the home before making the purchase and, if completed by a professional home inspector, should give more confidence in the home buying process. Sometimes this means that the right decision for the buyer is purchasing the home and sometimes it’s to walk away from a project that may be too much to consider during this time.”

Use your inspection report as a negotiating tool

“The home inspector reports on best practices and recommendations in the report are not required,” informs ATLAS Home Inspection. “The home inspection is voluntary, and when purchasing an older home, the current building code is recommended, but also not required. The home inspection report is useful for negotiations, and can be used for repair estimates or as a checklist for repairs. The inspector can also offer consultations on pre-purchase inspections, repairs, or additions.”

Virginia home inspection: the bottom line

In Virginia’s dynamic real estate landscape, where historical and contemporary elements converge and diverse climatic conditions introduce their unique challenges, home inspections play an indispensable role. Whether scrutinizing centuries-old properties or newly constructed residences, the essential factor is looking beyond the property’s exterior to comprehend its overall condition. For both buyers and sellers in Virginia, a comprehensive home inspection serves as a crucial tool, fostering well-informed choices, transparency, and the achievement of a prosperous property transaction.

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