What to Know About Home Inspections in Ohio: Costs and Considerations

What's Included in a Home Inspection in Ohio?

As a homebuyer, understanding what a home inspection entails is crucial for making an informed decision.

A home inspection is a comprehensive assessment of the property's condition, focusing on its structural integrity, HVAC systems, electrical wiring, and plumbing. The detailed inspection report plays a vital role in determining the home's appraisal value and the loan amount you may secure.

By leveraging the information gleaned from a home inspection, buyers—whether highly experienced or first-time home buyers—have the opportunity to renegotiate the terms of the deal based on the inspector's findings. It's essential to prioritize a thorough home inspection to ensure you're making a wise investment.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost in Ohio?

Home inspection costs in Ohio typically range from $325 to $425 on average. The price can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as size (inspectors generally have price brackets depending on square footage), the city in which your property is located, and the individual inspector. 

This is only for the general home inspection. Specialized inspections incur additional costs. These specialized inspections, focusing on areas like mold and asbestos testing, foundations, and termites, may require additional qualified professionals or specialized equipment and come at an extra expense.

The cheapest home inspector isn’t necessarily the best choice. Experienced home inspectors may charge more than inspectors who have been in business for only a few years. Do note that inspectors are required to have licenses in Ohio.

When it comes to payment and financing, buyers in Ohio usually cover the costs of home inspections. While they’re typically counted among the buyer’s closing costs, they’re paid for at the time of the inspection. Buyers can then negotiate with the seller based on the inspection results.

If you’re selling a house in Ohio, you may opt to pay for your own inspections before listing the house. By preparing for potential buyer concerns, you’ll have a stronger position at the negotiating table.

What Does a Home Inspection Cover?

Identifying potential issues like leaks, faulty wiring, and structural cracks is a primary focus of a general home inspection. A professional inspector will thoroughly examine the property to provide you with a detailed report on the current condition of the home. This report will outline any problems or areas that may require necessary repairs or further evaluation.

During a home inspection, the inspector will assess the interior and exterior of the property, including the roof, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC systems, and more. They'll look for signs of water damage, pest infestations, mold growth, or any safety hazards that could pose a risk to you and your family.

Do note that some problems are beyond the scope of a general home inspection. For example, an inspector may note visual foundation cracks or ungrounded electrical connections, but may recommend you consult a structural engineer or electrician to uncover the full extent of the issue. It’s always best to ask the individual inspector what their services cover, as the list can change between providers.

Structural Integrity Condition of the foundation, sagging or bowing walls and floors, window and door alignment, ceilings, stairs, and other structural systems
Safety Proper function of fire and CO alarms, sprinklers, handrails, and other safety concerns
Lot Landscaping grading (so that water doesn’t pool at the foundation), condition of driveway, sidewalks, and fences
Roof Condition of shingles, drainage systems, flashing, skylights, and chimneys
Exterior Condition of paint, siding, and exterior fixtures
Plumbing Condition of plumbing fixtures, faucets, water heater, pipes, drains, etc.
Electrical Wiring Up-to-code wiring, service entrance, panels, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, electrical fixtures, and fans
Appliances Proper function of built-in and free-standing appliances, such as dishwashers, garbage disposal, stoves, washing machines, etc. Not all inspectors include appliances, and some specialized appliances may be excluded.
HVAC Condition of the furnace, AC unit, ducts, vents, flues, etc.; working ventilation systems in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom

The inspection report will also include recommendations for any repairs or maintenance needed to ensure the home is safe and in good condition. This information is crucial for helping you make an informed decision about the property and can be used to negotiate with the seller for necessary fixes or price adjustments.

What Is Not Included in a Home Inspection?

While a home inspection provides a reasonably comprehensive evaluation of a property's condition, it doesn't cover everything. However, individual inspectors may offer add-on services to cover specialized areas based on their own qualifications.

By Ohio law covering home inspections, a general home inspection does not include:

Environmental inspections, such as:

  • Mold
  • Radon
  • Lead
  • Asbestos

Pest inspections, such as:

  • Termites
  • Rodents
  • Bed bugs
  • Other insects

Code compliance, such as:

  • Building codes
  • Zoning codes
  • Other historic codes

The law also specifies that a home inspection only covers a visual examination of readily accessible components, so issues hiding behind heavy furniture, underground, or inside the walls may escape the inspection. An inspector will note if there are areas they can’t safely inspect, but it’s not their responsibility to put themselves in harm’s way.

This isn’t to say that these issues won’t make it into the inspection report: for example, while they won’t specifically test for it, they will note any signs of mold or pest issues they encounter, or signs that indicate there’s something wrong behind a wall or ceiling such as water stains.

Other things that general inspections typically don’t cover include:

  • Pools
  • Septic systems
  • Insulation
  • Indoor air quality
  • Boundary surveys

Consider arranging additional inspections to address these specific issues comprehensively.

Additionally, home inspections don't include property value appraisals; they concentrate on the physical condition and safety of the property. It's essential to understand these limitations of a home inspection to ensure you address all aspects of a property's evaluation effectively.

Ohio Home Seller Disclosure Obligations

To ensure compliance with Ohio laws when selling a property, it's imperative for sellers to accurately disclose material defects and information they're aware of through the Residential Property Disclosure Form mandated by Ohio Revised Code 5302.30.

Ohio home seller disclosure requirements dictate that sellers must disclose material defects like roof leaks and pests to potential buyers. It's important to note that sellers are only required to disclose information they actually know and aren't obligated to conduct independent inspections for completing the disclosure form. However, known non-trivial defects, such as malfunctioning appliances, should be listed on the form.

It's crucial for sellers to be aware of their legal obligations and consequences regarding disclosure requirements to avoid legal liabilities, termination of sales contracts, and disputes. Seeking professional assistance from real estate agents and legal professionals can help sellers navigate these complexities, ensuring a smooth transaction process and minimizing legal risks.

Ohio Home Inspection FAQs

What Happens If a House Fails a Home Inspection?

A home can’t “pass” or “fail” a home inspection; the inspection just results in a report on the current condition of the home. Buyers are then presented with various options to address the discovered issues. Buyers can negotiate repairs, concessions, or a price reduction with the seller based on the inspection report—or simply buy it as-is. The repairs requested in the wake of poor inspection results can range from minor fixes to significant structural issues that need attention.

Depending on the severity of the problems found, buyers may even choose to walk away from the deal (as long as they didn’t waive their home inspection contingency.)

Resolving issues that would arise in a home inspection report is the main reason that a home seller might opt for a pre-listing home inspection. Performing repairs before the buyer has a chance to see the problems is the best way to make a good impression and sell for the highest value.

Do New Construction Homes Need a Home Inspection?

While new construction homes may seem pristine, they can harbor undetected defects due to subpar construction practices and quality issues. Builders might cut corners to save costs, leading to hidden problems that could surface after moving in.

Some inspectors may even offer multi-phase inspections as the home is built, which allows problems inside the walls or otherwise invisible in the finished product to be covered.

How Can I Choose the Best Home Inspector?

To select the best home inspector in Ohio, prioritize finding one who's licensed, insured, and experienced. Additionally, reviewing Google ratings and testimonials can provide insights into the inspector's track record.

Be cautious of basing decisions solely on cost, as cheaper options may lack the necessary experience.

Is Radon Testing Required in Ohio?

In Ohio, radon testing isn't required before a property sale by law. However, sellers are obligated to disclose any known radon presence in the Residential Property Disclosure Form.

On the other hand, buyers should consider radon testing to make informed decisions. The EPA's Home Buyers and Sellers Guide to Radon provides valuable insights into the importance of testing for this carcinogen.

Be Prepared for Your Home Inspection in Ohio

Now that you understand the importance of getting a home inspection, you can confidently move forward with buying a house in Ohio. By investing in a professional inspection, you can uncover any potential issues and make an informed choice about the property.

This proactive approach will give you peace of mind and protect you from unexpected expenses down the road. Don't skip this crucial step in the home-buying process—it's worth every penny!

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Ready to start looking for your new home in Ohio? Call The Young Team at (216) 402-4774 today to get in touch with a local real estate expert who can help you start your homebuying journey.

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