A home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.
Why is a home inspection important?
Home Buyers: Emotion often affects the buyer and makes it hard to imagine any problems with their new home. A buyer needs a home inspection to find out all the problems possible with the home before moving in.
Home Sellers: More and more sellers are choosing to have a thorough inspection before or when they first list their home. First and foremost, you should have a home inspection for full disclosure. You will have demonstrated that you did all you could do to reveal any defects within the home. Second, you will save money and hassle by knowing now what your defects are, not after you have already negotiated a price and are faced with costly repairs discovered on the buyers inspection. Defects found before the buyer comes along allow you to shop around for a contractor and not deal with inflated estimates that a buyer will present.
What if the report reveals problems?
All homes (even new construction) have problems. Every problem has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple fix of the component to adjusting the purchase price. Having a home inspection allows the problem to be addressed before the sale closes.
What does a home inspection include?
A home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure. Many inspectors will also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection, such as mold, radon, WDO termite and water testing.
What should I NOT expect from a home inspection?
• A home inspection is not protection against future failures. Stuff happens! Components like air conditioners and Heat Systems can and will break down. A home inspection tells you the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.
• A home inspection is not an appraisal that determines the value of a home. Nor will a home inspector tell you if you should buy this home or what to pay for this home.
• A home inspection is not a code inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. Home inspectors will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. A home inspector thinks "Safety" not "Code" when performing a home inspection.
Should I attend the home inspection?
It is often helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home even if no problems are found. But be sure to give the home inspector time and space to concentrate and focus so he can do the best job possible for you.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty does protect you against components that fail in the future. You may have to pay a deductible (service call fee) when you have a problem. If you choose to have a warranty, be sure and qualify coverage of your problem over the phone with the warranty company before they send a repairman. If you do not, you may find out that your problem is not covered and you still must pay the deductible or trip service fee. If you have a home inspection and you know your furnace or another major component is old, you may be better off to buy a warranty before you purchase. We recommend you look closely at what is NOT covered in warranty company policies as you compare prices.
What is a property inspection?
An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking of buying a home, condominium, mobile home, commercial building, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial certified inspector.
What does an inspection include?
A complete inspection includes a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. The inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. Only those items that are visible and accessible by normal means are included in the report. Over 600 items inspected. All inspections meet ASHI standards.
How long does an inspection take?
A typical inspection of a property under 2,000 square feet lasts approximately two to four hours including writing the report.
Does the homebuyer need to be present at the time of the inspection?
Yes, it is to the home buyers benefit to be present at the time of the inspection. The inspectors job is not just to inspect the property, but also to educate the potential buyer of the condition of the property, and this can be better achieved if you are present at the time of the inspection.
Why can't I have someone in my family who is very handy or a contractor, inspect my new home?
This is the biggest mistake many potential new homeowners make when purchasing a home. Although the person you are considering may be skilled, they are not trained or experienced at professional home inspections. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. Professional inspectors get what we call an inspector's instinct for problems. That instinct takes extensive training and lots of experience doing inspections to develop. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their homes when they make a purchase.
Can a building "FAIL" the inspection?
No. A professional inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase. It is not and appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a building, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of minor or major repairs or replacement.
What if the report reveals problems?
If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you should not buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that it is not the property for you. The choice is yours.
Why do I need an inspection?
The purchase of a home or commercial building is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect - both indoors and out - in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage or may be simply the result of a single incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, Then presents a professional opinion as to the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. Of course, an inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a building, as well the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently.
What do I get in writing?
The inspector will provide you with a 35-50 page computer generated report with pictures. The report contains an evaluation of the condition of the property, building component life expectancy and replacement costs, according to ASHI standards.