Why get a home inspection?

Buying a home is one of the most important and usually the most expensive purchase an individual or family will ever make. A professional home inspection can help optimize your investment by providing the buyer with detailed information about the overall condition of the home prior to the purchase. Be an informed buyer – knowing about issues prior to releasing inspection contingencies may allow for resolution, finding out about problems after moving in is not a good thing. Lenders and real estate agents provide disclosures that state “For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection”. The reason for this is that the buyer has the “right of discovery” prior to releasing inspection contingencies. An informed buyer will take full advantage of that by getting inspections done and reviewing the results to decide on how best to proceed. A seller may decide to have a home inspection done prior to listing their property so that they can have issues resolved in advance. Home owners may have a home inspection done so that they can stay current with required maintenance and ahead of future problems. Bottom line – the cost of a home inspection is very small compared to the purchase price of a home and/or the resolution of unknown problems.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual non-evasive examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. The results of the home inspection will be provided to the client in an easy to understand report which will include an index, summary, digital images and descriptions of safety, maintenance and repair issues.

Why is a home inspection important?

Home buyer:
More often than not, an hour after a buyer views a house that they want to make a purchase offer on, they can’t describe some of the most basic parts of the home. This is usually because of the magnitude and excitement of the purchase. But this fact also identifies the importance of having an unbiased professional home inspection done. You will want to know as much as possible about the condition of the house before releasing your inspection contingency. Also, the information gained from a home inspection will give the buyer the knowledge needed to maintain the property and prevent future issues which will protect their investment. Knowing what you’re getting into prior to closing escrow is much better that finding out what you got into after closing by not having a home inspection done.

Home seller:
More often, sellers are choosing to have a home inspection done prior to listing their property so that they can have issues identified. Then they can decide whether to make repairs or disclose the issues. Heading these issues off in advance sometimes helps the buyer/seller negotiation process proceed more smoothly.

Home owner:
Having a home inspection can help identify areas that need maintenance and can find problems, sometimes while they are still small, they can be repaired before they contribute to even bigger problems. If you have a drip leak in the wall, it may appear to be a small issue, but given time that drip will contribute to a significant problem. Stay ahead of issues and protect your investment. A home inspection should not be feared by anyone involved in the transaction. Finding potential issues early in the transaction can protect all parties and can, in many instances, be resolved, often with minor repairs, maintenance, or negotiation.

What does a home inspection include?

The standard home inspection report will review the condition of the homes exterior, foundation, walls, windows, doors, visible structure, basement or crawl space, ceilings, visible insulation, attic, roof, heating system, a/c (temperature permitting), electrical system and plumbing. Many details about these home components will be identified in the home inspection report.

What is not included:

  • A home inspection is not a guarantee, warranty or protection against future failures. A home inspection attempts to report on the condition of the components of the house at the time of the inspection. A home inspector cannot move personal items or do any destruction to the house to get access to areas. Components of a home can fail at any time without notice (a pipe could be working fine today but leak tomorrow). But, a home inspection may identify issues that if maintained or repaired may help eliminate future problems. (corrosion on that pipe may be identified before the leak happens)
  • A home inspection is not an appraisal and it does not determine the value of the property.
  • A home inspection is not a code inspection.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. As everyone knows a house requires maintenance throughout it’s life to stay in good condition. If a home inspection discovers problems, it doesn’t mean that you should or shouldn’t purchase the property, it does provide valuable information about these issues that will usually allow for repairs or negotiations so that the transaction can continue. Discovering potential problems, that may require repair, prior to releasing inspection contingencies or escrow closing is very valuable and can save a lot of problems from developing. For Your Protection: Get a Home Inspection.

If the house appears to be in good condition do I really need a home inspection?

Definitely. The information provided in the home inspection will allow you to complete your transaction with confidence. This information can also serve as a basis for understanding what routine maintenance should be performed to protect your investment.

Can’t I do the inspection myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and experience of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector is familiar with home construction practices, proper installation, required maintenance and potential safety hazards. The experience is leveraged from inspecting many different homes and seeing many different issues and on going training. An inspector understands how the homes components and systems are intended to function, as well as how and why they may fail.

Should I attend the home inspection?

While it is not required that you attend the home inspection, it is highly recommended. This is a time to learn about the components of the home, routine maintenance that can help protect your investment and to ask questions. The home inspector will generally take time to go over some of the findings that will be included in the complete home inspection report, this will help make the report easier to understand.

What will a home inspection cost?

Inspection fees for a typical single family home vary depending on the size and age. Of course larger homes take more time to inspect and older homes (generally pre 1960) can have unique issues that require more detailed analysis which will also take additional time.

Manufactured/mobile homes and condominiums are also unique. Do not let the cost deter you from having a home inspection, the knowledge gained is well worth the cost.