Frequently asked questions
- What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. Any home inspector should be Licensed by the state and have a Home Inspection number and card which is up to date. This ensures he has kept within state requirements to hold that position and is well trained.
- Why do I need 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 necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the house you are about to purchase. If you are already a homeowner, 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 you 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. Above all, it helps insure the safety of you family and loved ones. Older systems wear out and deteriorate over time like anything else. Many can cause CO build up in the home if left unchecked and unrepaired. CO has no smell or warnings when it occurs. Faulty gas venting pipes and enclosed garages are leading causes of CO poisoning. These are most often in areas home owners can not easily access to inspect themselves. I always advise keeping a CO detector in place as well as smoke detectors in all living spaces.
- How long does it take to do a home inspection?
A home inspection typically takes between 3 to 5 hours. I suggest that you allow the inspector to do his job undisturbed as they are very intensive and thought demanding. At the end of the inspection, the inspector will give you ample time to ask questions and inform you of his findings. This is for your benefit, not the inspectors. That day is devoted to you and your inspection report is normally delivered to your email the same afternoon if possible.
- What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. Age needs to be considered and understood up front with any home purchase. Normal wear and tear from years of service should always be expected. 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 make repairs 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 very important to you. It will greatly help you in future financial decisions. Home inspectors are not going to find every little thing which may need minor repairs in every home in a 4 hour inspection but the big ticket items are focused upon more heavily to help you understand age, function and expected replacement times.
- Do I have to attend the inspection?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but is recommended at the end. You will be able to visit with 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 written report easier to understand if you have seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes. At times, things look a lot worst on paper than in person. Other times the importance of a issue being quickly resolved can not be expressed enough.
- Do new homes need an inspection?
Definitely! Many homebuyers are led to believe that the county or municipality inspection and the final walk-through with the builder's representative is an adequate way to inspect a home. Most county or municipality inspectors spend no more than 30 minutes at a home site. The builder's final walk-through inspection is very unlikely to disclose any problems with the home they built as some repairs can prove to be expensive. As a certified ASHI home inspector, I will spend 3-5 hours during a typical inspection time and could save thousands of dollars in repairs later on. Homeowners will have to correct defects that were present at the time of construction when they sell their homes in the future.
- Are All Home Inspectors the same?
In a perfect world they may be but as with anything else, a long and solid track record should be looked for. I try to limit my inspections to one a day if possible. This way I can devote my full attention to that one client and give them the best service possible. Some inspectors do 2-3 daily. I do not feel I can do my customers justice taking on that many inspections and time restraints in that manor. As with anything else, you get what you pay for. In my mind I'm looking at each as if my families safety depended on it. By doing this, there is no long term waiting on receiving your report and unexpected hold ups in the buying process.