1. 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 by a qualified specialist.
2. Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is most likely 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.
3. When do we call the home inspector?
In most cases the home inspector is contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and 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 home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated and usually includes a time frame for all inspections to be completed.
4. Can a home fail inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home at time of inspection. 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.
5. What if problems are found during inspection?
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, contract terms or correct problems if major problems are found. If you wish to not to be involved in future repair work, this information could be extremely important to you.
6. What qualifications and related experience does the home inspector have?
The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names of clients and or Realtors as referrals. Local realtors which deal closely with home inspectors every day are great source for a inspector referral list.
Related experience in construction field is most valuable when it comes to understanding and evaluating property conditions. Actual inspections performed and continued education in the inspection field is a must for a seasoned professional.
7. How long will the inspection take?
The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is 3 to 5 hours depending on the condition and size of the property. Anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection.
8. How much will it cost?
Costs vary dramatically, depending on the level and type of inspection, the property floor area, property geographical location and the inspector’s qualifications. A typical range might be $300–$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made.
However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge 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.
9. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?
Ask what type of report your inspector generates to help you understand the inspector's reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full reports within 24 hours of the inspection.
10. Will I be able to attend the inspection?
Yes- This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector's refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.