Q. WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.
Q. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
The standard home inspector’s report will review the condition of: the heating system, the electrical system, the cooling system, the interior plumbing, the roof surface, attic, insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, appliances, foundation, basement, exterior, drainage and structure.
Q. WHY SHOULD I HAVE A HOME INSPECTION?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase. If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Q. HOW LONG DOES AN INSPECTION TAKE?
Home inspections take between two and three hours for the standard size home. However, for homes above 5,000 square feet, older homes or homes with additions, the inspection may take longer.
Q. HOW MUCH DOES A HOME INSPECTION COST?
The cost of a home inspection will vary with the size, age, number of HVAC systems, out buildings, etc. This information will be asked of you during scheduling.
Q. SHOULD I BE PRESENT FOR THE INSPECTION?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.
Q. CAN I PERFORM AN INSPECTION MYSELF?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
Q. WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.
Q. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR MY HOUSE TO FAIL AN INSPECTION?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or 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 may need repair or replacement.
Q. HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often needed to be available within a day or two. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Q. Why Hire an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®?
InterNACHI inspectors are certified and trained by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the world’s largest nonprofit association of residential and commercial property inspectors. InterNACHI provides its members with accredited training and education, free benefits, expert advice, and peer support—all to help them serve their homeowner-clients by providing them with the highest-quality inspections for their largest investments.
As an InterNACHI inspector, I:
• am required to stay up to date with the industry’s most rigorous online Continuing Education and video training courses, which have been awarded hundreds of approvals and accreditations by state
and governmental agencies;
• adhere to a comprehensive Standards of Practice;
• abide by a strict Code of Ethics, which puts my clients first; and
• use state-of-the-art inspection tools and reporting software (Homegauge) so that my clients can make informed decisions about the homes they want to buy or sell.
My standard home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible interior and exterior structure, systems and components. Your report will include my findings of any material defects I discover in an easy-to-read format. I will also provide my recommendations for monitoring, repair or replacement. And my job isn’t finished until you understand everything in your report.
Q. IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.