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Don’t Buy a House Without the Most Important Inspection: the Advanced Structural Assessment

When considering inspections for a house purchase there are a lot of things to consider. Naturally, the standard home inspection is a must. The standard home inspection includes the main house systems: roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. To get the best possible home inspection, you need an experienced inspector from a reputable company. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a good inspection without paying for it. In the DC area, for a high-quality home inspection, plan to pay about $0.25 to $0.50 per square foot of house, so a 2000 square foot house may be between $500-$1000. While that may seem like a lot, even a $1000 home inspection is only 0.33% of a $300,000 house. You should budget 1% of the cost of the house for inspections. That means that you should plan to spend up to $3000 on inspections for a $300,000 house.

If you are spending $1000 on the basic home inspection, that leaves you about $2000 for additional inspections, and additional inspections are really where you learn about major house problems. Popular add-on inspections include the termite inspection, mold testing, radon testing, thermal imaging, sewer scoping, etc. These are great to add and will undoubtedly give you critical information about the house, but conspicuously the home inspection industry doesn’t have an added inspection that can give you the right information about the most important aspect of the house: the structure.

Fortunately, in the DC area there is now a special inspection designed to give you the best possible information about the house structure. It’s called the Advanced Structural Assessment.

The standard home inspection is the tip of the iceberg in understanding the house structure. And although an experienced home inspector can identify some structural issues during the basic home inspection, the standard home inspection often misses major issues. That’s because the current state of the industry doesn’t address the biggest indicator of structural problems: house movement. The entire point of the house structure is to prevent the house from moving. You don’t want your house sinking or shifting. And the standard home inspection doesn’t investigate house movement. But the Advanced Structural Assessment does. The Advanced Structural Assessment was developed by structural engineers at ASA Engineering Group and Kemp Home Inspections and specifically addresses house movement. The Advanced Structural Assessment is done by ASA Certified home inspectors who collect extra structural data during a home inspection which is analyzed by a structural engineer. When you’re deciding what inspections you are getting for your house purchase, the Advanced Structural Assessment is a must.