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Why do I need a home inspection?

A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future. Buyers and sellers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent decisions before executing an agreement for sale or purchase.

Why can’t I do the inspection myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed report of the property's condition.  An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction and their proper installation and maintenance.  An inspector understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.  In addition an inspector knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.

What does a home inspection include?

A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement, and the visible structures of the home.

Should I be present during an inspection? How long will it take?

While it is not a requirement for you to be present, it is strongly recommended that you make time to join the inspector. This allows you to observe the inspector, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property with the inspector, you will find the written report easier to understand. A typical home inspection takes approximately three hours.

Can a house fail inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. When an inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. Their findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in near future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.

How do I choose a home inspector?

Word of mouth, the experiences and referrals from friends and neighbors, is one of the best ways to find a home inspector. Someone who has used a home inspection service and is satisfied with the level of customer service and professionalism of that service will likely recommend a qualified professional.  Another option is to search the ASHI website, which lists their member inspectors located in your area.

I have scheduled my inspection, now what?

Some inspectors like to have their clients present while conducting the home inspection. I prefer to have my clients arrive about 30 minutes prior to completion of the inspection. I will let you know about what time to arrive, although I will never tell a client that they cannot be there for the inspection.  You see, as inspector I get into a routine and a pattern when conducting the inspection. I always start and try to end at the same place of the home. This allows me to be more thorough when inspecting a room and its components. If a client is present and I have to start and stop the inspection, it’s hard to get back into the routine and items can be missed. So what I do is when the inspection is complete and the client has arrived I do a walkthrough and point out the items that I have uncovered, and at the time answer any and all questions that they might have. That way when they receive their home inspection report the items are fresh on the minds and have a clear understanding of the items that I have pointed out on the report. And I am always available to go over the report with the clients if questions arise.

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