Blog 2024 Real Estate Four Home Inspections You Should Definitely Pay For (Plus a Few More)

Four Home Inspections You Should Definitely Pay For (Plus a Few More)

By Marissa Sainz, March 29, 2024

Home inspections are one of the most important parts of a home purchase for both buyers and sellers. They are your opportunity as a buyer to learn as much as possible about the home you are about to purchase and to ask a seller to repair any large items found during the inspection. You can expect to pay around $1,000 for the four main inspections. These are the home inspections I recommend to every buyer to make sure a house is sound.

First is the general inspection.  During the general home inspection the inspector looks at and/or tests all the major systems of a house.  A general inspector will inspect the roof, siding, attic, electrical system, plumbing system, windows, doors, appliances, heating/cooling system, crawlspace and foundation. They will then recommend if you need to have any specific contractors out to inspect any system further.  Here is a great Portland inspector, Home Gnome’s, FAQ page.

Next is a 48 hour radon test. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can enter a home through the soil under a foundation or in a crawlspace.  If the radon gas gets trapped you can breathe it in your home and it can cause serious health issues. The 48 hours test takes an average of the radon levels in a home over that time period. If the average is over the EPA suggested value a radon mitigation system is recommended. This is a great radon risk map that shows the risk levels of all Oregon zip codes.

A sewer scope is the next inspection. During a sewer scope a tech will feed a small camera through a home’s sewer line to check if there are any damaged areas, dipping areas or areas with tree root intrusions. With the varying age of homes in the Portland area sewer lines are made of a number of different materials that can deteriorate over time. I have also seen sewer line problems in new construction so I always recommend this one even if a home is new.

Finally an oil tank scan is the next inspection. Many homes in Portland were heated by oil in the past and may have buried oil tanks in the yard. Although a home may now be on gas or electric heat the abandoned oil tank needs to be decommissioned properly.  A leaking oil tank can contaminate a home’s foundation, yard/soil and air. A tech will scan a home’s basement, yard and driveway to look for any evidence of an abandoned oil tank. If a tank is found the next step is to test the soil to make sure it is not leaking and have the tank decommissioned professionally.

After these four inspections are complete there may be additional inspectors that the general inspector may recommend coming out to look more closely at a particular issue. Most commonly those are roofers, foundation experts, crawlspace contractors and electricians. I work very closely with inspectors or experts in each area of a home. I will always have solid partners to get out and check a home for my buyers to make sure they are investing in well maintained home with no surprises. Have more questions? Reach out at

Marissa Sainz

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


Whether you want to live in a hip Pearl District condo or a unique east side bungalow I am here to help you find the perfect home. The Pearl District and the close in surrounding neighborhoods are exciting and evolving areas and where I focus my business. It is important in our changing real estate world, where location is so vital to home buyers, to work with a neighborhood expert. We all want to live near our local grocery store and within walking distance of our favorite coffee spot, restaurants and parks. I am here to guide buyers and sellers through the process every step of the way, if you are a first time home buyer searching for the perfect starter home or looking to move as your family and lifestyle change. Marissa earned a degree in finance with a concentration in real estate from The University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to residential real estate in Portland Marissa worked for both a national and local commercial real estate firm. Around town Marissa is involved with the Women in Insurance and Financial Services Portland chapter as well as the Women's Council of REALTORS®.
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