Angie's List Report: How Important is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is typically required for a home purchase but what about after that? Joe Poelsterl of Focal Point Home Inspection says that's not that last time you should be seeing your home inspector.

"I believe a homeowner should have an inspection scheduled every two years, preferably in the springtime after the winter season because our home takes the most abuse in the Winter," Poelsterl said.

While a professional home inspector will best know the most common problem areas to check, you, the homeowner, should be doing your own inspections yearly to maintain your home.

"Every year, on your own, you can review from the top to the bottom, what's the obvious things that happened over the wintertime and then address those problems. There was an old commercial years ago: "pay me now or pay me later," so if you don't maintain your house, you're going to writing a big check later to fix it up," he said.

If you don't have any clue what to look for during your own inspections, make sure you're available and around when your home inspection is being conducted, a good home inspector will point out the problem areas as you come across them and give you some tips on how to maintain your home.

"I instruct my buyers on how to maintain their house and what to look for in the future, so if they do need me, I am available, but my situation is that I've kind of trained all the new home buyers into being amateur inspectors," he said.

A typical home inspection should take about two to two and a half hours for a two thousand square foot home and they should be checking your home from the inside out.

"Your home inspection will include checking your foundation as well as the mechanicals of the house such as the HVAC system, the plumbing, electrical, even the roofing system. On the interior, they're going to check your appliances, and they'll also, for an extra charge, check your water quality, check for radon as well as termites," Angie's List Founder Angie Hicks said.