The home Inspection & You
Q. WHAT IS A “HOME INSPECTION”?
A house inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure as well as systems of a household, from the roof to the foundation. The standard residence inspector’s report can include an evaluation of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing as well as electrical systems; the roof, attic, as well as visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, as well as visible structure.
Having a property inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If issues or symptoms are found, the inspector can refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation.
Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a household is probably the largest single investment you may 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 as well as difficulties afterwards.
Of course, a household inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that can 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, and can be able to make a confident buying decision.
If you have owned your household for a long time, a household inspection can identify issues in the making and recommend preventive measures that might avoid costly future repairs. In addition, home sellers may opt for having an inspection prior to placing the house on the market to gain a better understanding of conditions which the buyer’s inspector may point out. That provides an opportunity to make repairs that can put the house in better selling condition.
Q. 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 upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, as well as possible additional services, such as septic, well, or radon testing. It is a good idea to check local prices on your own.
However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a household inspection, or in the selection of your residence inspector. The know-how gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.
Q. Can’t I do it myself?
Even the most knowledgeable homeowner lacks the know-how and expertise of a professional residence inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with all the elements of residence construction, their proper installation, as well as repair. He or she understands how the home’s systems as well as 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 as well as unemotional about the house they really want, and that may affect their judgement. For the most accurate picture, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of residence inspection.
Q. Can a house fail inspection?
No. A professional household inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective residence. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A household inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what might require repair or replacement.
Q. How do I find a household inspector?
Real estate agents, like Troy & Susan Deierling can provide you with a list of names. In addition, the names of local inspectors can be found in the Yellow Pages where many advertise under “Building Inspection Service” or “Home Inspection Service”.
Whatever your referral source, be sure to ascertain the house inspector’s professional qualifications, experience, as well as business ethics before you make your selection. You can do this by checking with the local consumer affairs office or Better Business Bureau, as well as by verifying the inspector’s membership in a reputable professional association.
Since there are no licensing requirements for home inspectors [except in Texas[|]||], you can want to make certain that such an association has a set of nationally recognized practice standards as well as a code of ethics. That provides members with professional inspection guidelines, and prohibits them from engaging in any conflict of interest activities that might compromise their objectivity, such as using the inspection as a means to obtain residence repair contracts.
The association should also have rigorous membership as well as continuing education requirements to assure consumers of an inspector’s experience and technical qualifications.
Q. When do I call in the home inspector?
A residence inspector is typically called right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, as well as is often available within a few days. 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 household inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Q. Do I have to be there?
It’s not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. By following the house inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you may learn a great deal about the condition of the house, just how its systems work, and just how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.
Q. What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector finds issues, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may be flexible with the purchase price or contract terms if major issues are found. If your budget is very tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.
Q. What if I find issues after I move into my new property?
A property inspection is not a guarantee that problems won’t develop after you move in. However if you believe that a problem was already visible at the time of the inspection as well as should have been mentioned in the report, your first step should be to call as well as meet with the inspector to clarify the situation. Misunderstandings are often resolved in that manner. If necessary, you might wish to check with with a local mediation service to help you settle your disagreement. Though many home inspectors today carry Errors & Omissions liability insurance, litigation should be considered a last resort. It is difficult, expensive, as well as by no means a sure method of recovery.
Q. If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your household purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property as well as all its equipment as well as systems. You can also have learned a few things about your new property from the inspector’s report, and can want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can feel certain that you are making a well-informed purchase decision, and that you may be able to enjoy your new household the way you want to.