What is a home inspection?
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 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 but 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 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.