What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the homes 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 structural components.
How long does the inspection take and should I plan to attend?
The average inspection will take approximately 2 ½ to 3 hours. If the home is older or if there is a pool/spa that we will inspect, the process will take a bit longer. And yes, please try to come to the inspection toward the end of the inspection period. The inspector will walk you through the property, point out the items that he has identified as being deficient, and answer any questions you may have. He will email or mail you a copy of the report within 3 days.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unexpected surprises and unexpected difficulties, you will want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection could identify problems in the making and suggest preventative measures that might help you to avoid costly future repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
What will it cost?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as pool/spa, termite and guest house.
Do not let costs be a factoring deciding whether or not to have home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from a home inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, compliance with your state’s regulations and professional affiliations as a guide.
Why can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experience homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain impartial, third party-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
When do I call a home inspector?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. The clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Do I have to be there?
While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.