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 sales 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
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 is old or another major component, 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 price.