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General Questions

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What is covered in a home inspection?

A home inspection will cover all accessible areas of a home. From the roof to the foundation. All items that are considered fixed should be evaluated unless personal items prevent items from being inspected. These items include the roof, attic, garage, building exterior, bedrooms, bathrooms, interior areas, kitchen, and its appliances, HVAC, water heater and accessible plumbing, electric panel, and all accessible outlets, switches and fixtures, and all accessible foundation areas.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.

How much does a home inspection cost?

The size of the home and ancillary services will determine the price of the inspection. It is best to call our office for a price. Our office assistant will ask a series of questions that help determine several things for your inspection such as time, date, services needed, and price.

Why do I need a home inspection?

   Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

   If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.

   If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not 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 components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

Why can’t I do a home inspection myself?

   Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance, and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.

   Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

When should I get a home inspection?

The home inspection is typically performed after a purchase agreement has been signed. In the purchase agreement, there is a clause that allows 10 to 14 days for all professional inspections to be conducted. It is during this time that an inspection is done along with a renegotiation for all repairs to be agreed upon. This is also the period where you can back out of your contract if the home has too many issues for you to deal with.

What is InterNACHI?

   The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors—InterNACHI—is the world’s largest nonprofit association of residential and commercial property inspectors, providing education, training, certification, benefits, and support for its members. InterNACHI-Certified Professional Inspectors® follow a comprehensive Standards of Practice, abide by a strict Code of Ethics, and take accredited Continuing Education courses each year, including InterNACHI’s Online Inspector Examination.

   Home inspectors, consumers, and real estate professionals can all find the information and support they need to make informed and confident decisions here at InterNACHI.org.

InterNACHI… Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®

Can I be present at the inspection?

Yes. We encourage the buyer to attend the inspection. It is also quite common for the buyer to come to the last portion of the inspection. However, you do not have to attend. Being at the inspection will give you a visual for accessible issues and a chance to ask questions. This will also most likely be your last chance to be in the home before your final walkthrough.

Please keep in mind while we encourage you to attend the inspection, it is best to let your inspector do his job and try not to redirect them. Most inspectors have a plan of attack when inspecting and taking them away from that plan can cause things to be overlooked.

For the best results, follow along with the inspector, but stay out of their way and keep your questions for areas of interest for when you get to that location. For example, if your inspector is on the roof, do not ask him about the AC unit. Wait until they are physically at the unit.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.

What if I feel the repairs were not done to my satisfaction?

When doing a re-inspection, the inspector will look at what was done to repair each item. If we would have made no mention of the items when we did the initial inspection, it was considered repaired. It’s important to remember that there is more than one way to make a repair in most cases. The seller will most likely choose the cheapest means of fixing said items. It is important to be very specific about how you want items repaired or replaced to avoid remorse.

Can I get a partial inspection?

Yes, but it is not encouraged. We often get asked if you can just come and look at the utilities and the foundation because a buyer is trying to save money. To be honest, the savings is very little, if at all. Get a full inspection. You may be surprised what an inspection reveals.

If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.

Can I bring along a friend or family member to do his own inspection while we are at the home?

It is always nice to have the reassurance of friends and family. We typically do not mind the family being at the inspection, however, they will not be permitted to be on the roof or adjust any of the mechanical systems. We are liable for all things that happen at the home when we are there. Therefore, we cannot allow anyone not licensed through our company to complete any kind of inspection while we are there.

Should I go with the home inspector that my agent selects?

In most cases, your real estate agent will provide you with a list of inspectors that they prefer. Most of the time, these inspectors have been vetted by agents and they are trusted. Sometimes these inspectors could be a soft option. Our recommendation would be to take the list from the agent and do your own research. If the inspectors on the list match your google search and friend views, odds are you are being steered in the right direction. It is always your choice as to who to use for the inspection. You are the person paying for it.

Can my Uncle Bob, who is a contractor, do the home inspection for me?

In most areas, a home inspection can only be performed by a certified home inspector. If a contractor does not have this certification, then Uncle Bob cannot perform the inspection for you. Your certified home inspector will prepare a report to inform you of the condition of the home. This report is highly detailed and has pictures included that give you a better understanding of the condition of the home. This report can be used to negotiate repairs.

Who pays for the home inspection?

The buyer is typically responsible for payment of the home inspector. This service is being done for them. The payment is due the day of the inspection and not rolled into closing costs.

Will the inspector test for mold?

A mold test is an ancillary service and is not part of a standard inspection. An inspector may point out possible growth on walls or in crawlspace, but the area would have to be tested for proof of a mold substance. If the buyer wishes to have a mold test done, we would be happy to do this test. There is an additional fee.

Will the home inspector check for termites if I do not ask for a termite inspection?

In short, no. A termite inspection requires additional steps, such as sounding the wood or walls for hollow spots. This is not done during a normal inspection. A home inspector assumes zero liability if termites are found at a property and they were not asked to do a termite inspection.

How long does a home inspection take?

There are many factors to consider when timing an inspection. The size of the home, the age of the home, and other types of inspections or tests being asked to do will determine the time length. A typical inspection takes between 2 to 3 hours. We tend to figure an hour per 1000 sq. ft.

How do I, as the seller, prepare for a home inspection?

When an inspector arrives at your property to do an inspection, there are several things that should have been done beforehand. The roof, attic, fenced in areas, sheds, pools, garage, utilities, most areas in the home, and most importantly the foundation of the home must be accessible. If there are areas that could not be evaluated, odds are we will be asked to come back to view them at your expense. The buyer will most likely assume you are trying to hide issues.

Also, pets need to be put in a safe space to make areas accessible for your inspector. We are not liable or responsible for your pets. Pet poo should also be picked up around the home. Nothing spoils an inspector’s day like stepping in your dog’s poop!

Can the seller be at the inspection?

Yes. You must remember it is still the seller’s home after all. We cannot make them go anywhere. If they do not have anywhere to go or do not trust people around their possessions, then they will most likely stay. However, they will typically not be present as they understand the inspection is being done for you.

Will the seller receive a copy of the inspection?

No. Whoever pays for the report is the only person we will give it to. If you choose to share the report that is up to you. Typically, the sellers only receive the parts of the report you want them to see.

What should I ask for after the inspection is complete?

After the inspection is complete, there will be items considered defects that you may want to have corrected before proceeding forward with your purchase. When going over the list of defective items, it is recommended to ask the seller to repair items you would not feel comfortable repairing yourself. You should always have a contractor look at all items you are uncertain about and have estimates prepared for you. It is also at this point that you can back out of the sale if you and the seller cannot come to terms after an inspection is performed.

Can the home inspector come back to the property to make sure the repairs were done correctly?

Yes. This is called a re-inspection. The inspector can go back out to the property and only check the items you asked to have corrected. There is an additional fee for this. We have found that 80% of the time, there are items that were either looked over or not completed properly.

What if I move into a home and find something that was not caught on the inspection?

It is important to remember that after an inspection has been completed, things can still go wrong. Items could have also been hidden from view during an inspection, especially if they have been occupied. As inspectors, we try to find and document everything we can about a home. No inspection will be perfect. If anything comes to light that may need further explanation, call your inspector for verification. Most often there is an easy explanation. Furthermore, the inspector may also have tips or advice on how to have the issue fixed.

What if a contractor came to do some remodeling and found an item that was not noted on the report?

Once you start remodeling, it is important to remember that all items are not visible to an inspector while inspecting a home. When you or a contractor start to remove building material or opening walls, you can now see things inspectors could not see. If you find damage or defective items, your inspector can look at these items as a professional courtesy.