Home Inspection Is A Service No Property Owner Can Do Without

Home inspections are usually associated with new construction and property selling. It is believed that more than 80% of the home sale deals are finalized after the properties have been inspected by professional inspection service companies and approved by them. A detailed inspection reassures the buyer that he/she is making a wise investment, while the liability of the agent also gets limited to a great extent as everything about the condition of the home on sale is out in the open. A pre-inspected and approved home commands a good price and even protects the seller from any legal action that could have arisen on account of non-disclosure.

While the importance of having the home inspected by an experienced professional before purchasing a home cannot be denied, there are many other purposes for which home inspection services can be utilized to great effect. These include

  • Repair Assessment: There may be a situation where you get some repairs performed on your home and the quality of services leave you dissatisfied. You can hire a home inspection company to evaluate the job done.
  • Pre-sale Inspection: If you are planning to put your home in the property market, you should get it professionally inspected. This way you can learn about the repairs that need to be performed before selling. Later on, the potential buyers won’t be able to find any fault with the place and your home will get a good price.
  • Maintenance Inspection: Regular and periodic inspection of the home by knowledgeable professionals helps you maintain your property. Faults can be identified and rectified before they develop into major issues requiring costly repairs or replacements. Most inspection agencies even offer additional services such as energy audits, pool or spa inspection, septic testing, indoor air quality testing, water sampling, etc. These are also very important services that help maintain healthy and hygienic living.
  • Witness Services: At times, you may be unhappy with a tradesman’s flawed services delivered for your home. If the issue does not get resolved and you have to take the tradesman to court, a certified home inspector can be a valuable witness to boost your claim.

Recognizing the importance of thorough inspection of a property, several companies have come up offering expert home inspection services. If you need to hire such a company, you can log on to an online local business directory to search for reputable, certified home inspection company servicing the region where your property is located.

Your home is one of the most significant investments of your life. Professional inspection services for your home not only help to make sure that you invest judiciously, but are also essential for protecting this investment for the years to come.

Top Questions, Facts, and Concerns About Home Inspection

A thorough home inspection is a vital part of buying any home, condo, or other type of dwelling. This inspection can protect you from expensive financial costs later on, because of defects that were not noticed and that you were not aware of. A home inspector has training and an education in factors that show hidden defects, such as signs of hidden water damage or electrical problems. A home inspection is a visual inspection of all areas and components of the home, both inside and out, that are accessible to the inspector. This includes the roof, the attic, the interior and exterior walls, all the windows and doors, all systems including heating, plumbing, and electrical, and much more. A knowledgeable and experienced home inspector can provide valuable information about a home that can prevent you from making a costly mistake if conditions are too bad. Not all home problems and flaws are readily visible to the inexperienced eye, and this is where a quality and thorough home inspection can help.

There are some things that may not be covered under a home inspection, and each state and inspection firm may have rules that vary. Some inspections do not cover mold testing, air quality testing, radon testing, wood eating insect testing, water testing, and other types of testing. Some home inspection businesses will perform some of these testing services for free or a charge, while others do not. Most home inspections cover the basic visual components of the home and the operation, condition, and function of the systems. Almost all the licensed home inspection companies can have these testing services performed for you through a third party, but these tests may not be considered routine.

A home inspection, is not a pass or fail type of test, but rather a complete and detailed overview of the condition of every possible aspect of the home that can be visually inspected. The inspector will check the door and window conditions and operation, look at the foundation and any slabs, check all the systems in the home, and basically go over the home from the bottom up, both inside and out. Even gutters, eaves, flashing, and the yard should be looked at. The fees charged for a home inspection will vary, depending on several factors. The size of the home, the location and state where the home is, any additional testing that is desired or needed, the age of the home, and the home inspection service used. A normal range for this inspection can usually run between five hundred dollars and up depending upon size, age and location of the property. This may seem like a big expense, but when you consider that a complete and thorough home inspection may reveal thousands of dollars in repairs and maintenance needed it is quite reasonable.

A home inspection can usually take between two and four hours, depending on the size and complexity of the home, but this can vary. The inspector may bring a checklist for the inspection that will cover every possible aspect of any home, plus there is usually room for handwritten observations as well. The home inspection checklist can consist of many pages, and each page may deal with a specific aspect or room, such as the master bathroom, or exterior walls. Each system involved, will normally have their own section also. Once the inspection is complete you will receive a complete typewritten report from the inspector, outlining both the negative and positive aspects of the home. This can also help you determine what maintenance is needed and when it must be done. Not all parts of a home inspection are negative, and every home may have a few problems. Sometimes a homeowner may have an inspection done just to ensure there are no hidden maintenance problems with their home.

It is a good idea for you to be present during the home inspection for many reasons. First, by being present you will have a chance to ask any questions you may have about the home or certain aspects. Following the inspector during the inspection will also give you a much clearer idea of what is involved with the different systems, and will help you understand the final home inspection report a lot better. Sometimes a buyer may feel confident and think that if they do a good visual inspection it is not necessary to have a home inspector come in and do an inspection. This is a common mistake. Sure you can see bare wires hanging out of the wall, but do you know the signs of hidden mold or previous flooding damage? Most of us do not know the hidden signs of home damage and problems, and this can lead to a serious problem being overlooked, and becoming a big financial burden once you have bought the home. You should always insist on a quality professional home inspection before buying any home, to avoid making a big mistake that can cost you later on.

Finding a qualified home inspector to do the home inspection is not difficult. You can look in the yellow pages of your local phone book, or ask around for references from friends and family. Talk to a few different companies, and then choose the one that seems right for you. Ask about professional ethics, qualifications, any licensing, and experience. Check with your local better business bureau for complaints against the company or the home inspector before making a final decision on which company to use. The best time to call for a home inspector is as soon as the purchase agreement is signed. Normally a home inspection can be done within a week, but sometimes this may not be the case. Calling as soon as possible will ensure that your purchase is not held up waiting on the inspection to occur. A home inspection is the best way to protect yourself and know about the true condition of any home before you buy it. This will be one of the biggest investments you will ever make, and you owe it to yourself to make sure the investment is a good one.

The Top Six Myths About Home Inspections

If you have bought or sold a home, you might have experienced an independent home inspection. This type of home inspection is designed to provide both buyers and sellers with critical information about the health of the home’s systems – heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, water tightness, roof condition, and safety. This type of inspection is highly detailed and provides a wealth of information on the home. While this type of inspection is not required, it can help buyers avoid a “money pit” and can help sellers understand what things might turn buyers away.

A friend wrote me recently to say that they bought a house and had expected the home inspector to look for termites. After they moved in, they decided to remodel. They discovered that termites had completely eaten the wood structure in 3 walls.

I told them that one of the things home inspectors do not do is inspect for pests, since they are not qualified to identify them. Pest control professionals are qualified to find pest infestations, and should be called in before the purchase. Most of the time your real estate agent will suggest what inspections you should be getting to protect yourself.

This got me thinking about home inspection myths. Here are the top 6 myths.

  • Home inspectors inspect for termites. Myth! Unfortunately for the couple above who believed this, repairs were very expensive.
  • You should not attend the inspection on the home you are buying, because it will disturb the inspector. Myth! Inspectors appreciate their clients attending the inspection and know they can fully communicate the issues with them. Sometimes written reports do not explain everything fully. If the clients are out of town and cannot attend the inspection, they should hold a conference call to discuss report items as soon as practical after the report is completed.
  • The seller is responsible for fixing everything the inspector finds wrong. Myth! Repairs, even serious ones, are negotiable. The sellers may be able to back out of a deal, however, if the inspector discovers serious defects.
  • New construction requires an independent home inspection to get the Certificate of Occupancy. Myth! New construction does require progressive inspections by the municipal building inspector for safety and code enforcement. If you are moving into a newly constructed home, I personally would recommend an independent home inspection also, as it will catch many loose ends.
  • If the home’s appraisal is excellent, there can’t be anything wrong with the home and you don’t need another inspection. Myth! A home’s appraisal is based on many factors, including market conditions, location, and materials (HardiePlank and granite countertops, for example) but does not inspect for systems actually working or structural integrity.
  • A home inspection will take about 30 minutes. Myth! A thorough home inspection should take from 2-5 hours depending upon the size and complexity of the home. There are hundreds of inspection points on a home inspection, including walking the roof and crawling the crawlspace.

Now that you are the home inspection expert, you can try these questions on your friends and see how they do.

Why a New Home Buyer Should Not Rely on the Former Buyers Home Inspection Report

Not all home buyers end up closing on the home that they put an offer on. Things happen and deals do fall through. This happens for several reasons. The top reasons are financial approval fell through, the seller and buyer got along poorly, the sellers decided not to sell the home, and the condition of the home was worse than the buyer originally thought it was.

Once the home purchase has been cancelled the first home buyers usually look at other homes. The sellers are now left to hope another buyer comes along. The home inspection report is often shared with the real estate agents and the seller. Erroneously this home inspection report is sometimes shared with the new home buyers. This is an error for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is because the second buyer has no contract with the home inspector or the home inspection company. Because there is no agreement/contract if the second buyer has an issue with the home claiming that the home inspector missed a major issue there is zero responsibility for the inspector to take care of them. There was zero legal obligation.

Another reason is that the new home buyer was not present at the inspection and therefore has not idea what conversations the former home buyer and inspector had. This can be vital information. Sometimes in the inspection agreement the buyer request somethings not be inspected so the report is not as whole as the new buyer may believe.

The last reason I am giving here for not relying on the home inspection report created for a previous home buyers has to do with your warranty. To help sell homes agents and sellers will often buy a home warranty for the new home owner. However most home warranty companies will not repair a lot of your issues if you did not have a home inspection completed for you. I spoke with a home warranty rep and they do depend on the home inspection report to determine if items such as your furnace or air conditioner were working when you bought the home. If you do not have your own inspection report to verify that things did operate when you bought the home then you are out of luck and the warranty company will not pay to fix your broken stuff.

If you are buying a home that was previously inspected then you need to have your own inspection done to be protected as fully as possible. If anyone tells you that it is fine to use the previous home inspection report they are wrong. Your are not protected well at all. When Habitation Investigation does a home inspection the client has the ability to get an 18 month warranty for the fee of 12 months. Habitation Investigation also provides warranties such as sewer line protections, 5 year roof leak warranty and 90 day warranty on structural and mechanicals. All those things are there for the home buyer if Habitation Investigation does the inspection for the clients who buy the home.

What Is a Home Inspection?

When purchasing a new house, it is always worth getting it inspected by a home inspector, who would thoroughly examine the property and give you his unbiased opinion about its technical status. Generally, home inspection takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the property. A home inspection can result into substantial savings by avoiding expensive repairs in future. Unless the home is inspected by a professional home inspector, you wouldn’t know the real structural status of home. The inspector carries only a visual inspection of the property and its structure.

Preliminaries

The inspection of a normal home takes just about anywhere between 2 and 4 hours. The inspector offers an agreement before inspection, which is signed before accepting payment. Then the inspector gives his client a general idea of the inspection and visits the site along with the client.

Items covered

The inspector carries a visual inspection of the following, though not necessarily in that order:

  • Interiors (non-aesthetic)
  • Foundation and basement
  • Roof and attic
  • Framing structure
  • Air conditioning system
  • Electrical systems
  • Chimney
  • Plumbing system
  • Heating system
  • Kitchen, laundry room, bathrooms
  • Garage

Extra services

The inspection of supplementary items like pools, barns or any outer structures, spas, docks & sea walls, wood annihilating insects, well flow, lawn sprinkler systems, gates, fences and EIFS (exterior insulation & finish systems) may be carried out at extra expense. The inspection agency can also conduct environment related inspection like:

  • Water testing
  • Lead testing
  • Radon testing
  • Formaldehyde testing
  • Asbestos testing
  • Septic inspection
  • Carbon monoxide testing

Completion

After the completion of the operation, the inspector gives a summarized report of his findings. The client may ask questions, if any, and gets a signed, written report about the inspection. The client has exclusive rights on this report.

Ethics

It is mandatory for the inspector to notify the client about the state of the inspected home. While pointing out any defects, he can offer likely reasons for them and he may suggest how to get them repaired. The inspector is not expected to recommend any contractor or provide an assessment of the likely expenses for repairs/modifications, unless he happens to be a contractor himself. He should not recommend if his client should invest in that property or not, or comment on the market price of the inspected property. In no way should he benefit by the repairs that the house may need.

Disclaimer

The inspection is carried visually and only for the state of house as it exists at the time of its inspection. The inspection should not be interpreted as any kind of warranty. As already pointed out, the inspector would spend just 2,3 hours for a visual inspection of the premises, obviously not enough time for him to check all the elements and components that make a complete house. He must utilize his expertise to check the most significant factors in that limited time. The report of the same property, inspected by two different inspectors, is bound to be different.

It is in the interest of the customer to thoroughly examine and make inquiries regarding the professional qualifications and experience of the prospective home inspector. Keep in mind that the services of a competent, experienced home inspector are not cheap. So, do not get carried over by an inspector charging low fees, as he may lack the qualifications and experience needed for carrying the inspection efficiently.

It always pays to hire a superior inspector. The expense incurred for carrying the inspection through a professional home inspector is justified by the defects or needed repairs pointed out by the home inspector.