Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home. If you are thinking of buying a house, co-op or condominium, you should have it properly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional home inspector.
Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect--both indoors and out--in terms of repair and maintenance and their costs. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Water marks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. The home inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents his professional opinion as to the condition of the property before you buy, so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards.
Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of what it is you are about to purchase, and you will be able to make your decision confidently.
If you have owned your home for a period of time, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and recommended preventative measures with might avoid future repairs.
What does a home inspection include?
A complete home inspection includes a visual examination of the house from top to bottom. The inspector examines the heating system, the central air conditioning system, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
Can't I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands of homes in his career. An inspector is equally familiar with all the elements of home construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and interrelationships of those elements. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this amy lead to a poor assessment.
What will it cost?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a geographic area, the inspection fee may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, age, special structures, etc. However, cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspection. You might save may times the cost of the inspection if you are able to renegotiate the purchase price based on significant problems revealed by the inspector. Consult your lawyer for guidance.
Can a house "fail" inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of immediate or near future major repair or replacement.
What else do inspector's do?
In addition to performing pre-purchase and home inspections, many inspectors help homeowners with analysis and solutions of specific problems, such as wet basements, energy conservation and cracked foundations. Inspectors are also frequently called in to review restoration and home improvement plans as well as maintenance specifications and contracts. They can also inspect work upon completion to ensure that a contract has been properly fulfilled. If you find that you are involved in litigation regarding contractual work performed on your house, an inspector can provide expert witness testimony. Of course, most inspectors also inspect commercial properties, multiple dwellings, condominiums, townhouses and cooperative apartments.
When do I call the home inspector?
The best time to call in the home inspector is after you've made an offer on the house, and before you sign the contract. or you can ask your lawyer to include an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection.
Do I have to be there?
Yes. By following the home inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you will learn about your new home and get some tips on maintenance in general, information that will be of great help to your after you've moved in.
What if the report reveals problems?
If the inspector finds fault in a home it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to renegotiate the purchase price because of significant problems discovered in an inspection. If your budget is very tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decided that this is not the house for you. The choice yours.
If the report is good, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. you may also have learned a few things about your new home from the inspectors's report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can feel assured that your are making a well-informed purchase decision and that you will be able to enjoy your new home the way you want to.
Call for more information or to schedule an inspection.