First it must be addressed as to what a Home Inspector is NOT, a home inspection is not a home appraiser, a code enforcer, and are typically not engineers.
Home Inspectors typically are not experts in any one system involving a home, home inspectors are generalist and have basic knowledge concerning all parts and systems in a home. Home inspectors focused on any safety hazards that may harm the occupants or negatively affect the perceived value of the home.
Professional inspections can be purchased for a fee to review any number of systems pertaining to the home. Bear in mind, some inspections require demolition of components to further evaluate the complete system. Examples of inspection service providers include, but not limited to:
- Electrical Contractors
- Roofing Contractors
- Plumbing Contractors
- HVAC Contractors
- Masonry Contractors
- General Home Inspectors
- Code Inspectors
- Structural Engineers
As a minimum, a basic home inspection should be performed by the homeowner on a regular basis to maintain the home’s comfort.
A homeowner can also purchase an inspection from a professional for general or specific concerns.
Most homes are bought and sold AS-IS, and many of the current issues of a home will come as an unpleasant surprise to the new homeowner if not properly inspected, addressed, repaired, and maintained.
A basic visual only inspection will typically cost between $250 - $500 for the average home, pricing will vary between inspectors based on the size of the home, age, location, any additional services requested by the client, and any additional physical or digital product provided by the inspector ex: home maintenance material, complexity of report, etc.
Typically, the buyer will choose a home inspector they know and trust, found from searches, or from a list of vendors provided by the realtor, then purchase an inspection. The payment for the home inspection report is due before the reports are available for review.
During the process of a home transaction and a home inspection is purchased, often the Client (buyer) will attend along with their Licensed Real Estate Agent to present the inspector with any concerns they may have regarding the home. The current homeowner is asked to temporarily vacate the home while the inspection is in progress.
There are several items that a trained and certified home inspector will look for, these include:
- Roof penetrations and improper installation
- Exterior penetrations and failing weather coverings
- Structural issues
- Plumbing issues
- Electrical issues
- Moisture intrusion/ Wood Rot
- Proper deck installations
- Basic HVAC performance
- No, due to time restrains and hidden systems it is impossible for a home inspector to detect all current and potential issues. It is the duty of the homeowner to become intimately aware of their home and maintain it.
Home inspections are visual only inspections. The home inspector will attempt to reach all parts of a home (with the safety of the inspector and all others present as priority) for evaluation. This will also include any access panels readily accessible but will NOT include any intentional demolition.
Many home inspectors are trained to detect mold and many offer mold testing for an additional fee.
Most home inspectors agree that inspections can be performed while it is raining and will ensure that the roof coverings are performing as designed. What better time to see if the roof leaks then when it is raining?
NO, home inspections and the report are property of the client who ordered the report and whomever the client wishes to share the report with ex: Relator, seller, bank…
A home inspection is for the benefit of the current or soon to be homeowner. The home inspection report should contain a detailed list of all observed issues pertaining to the home that should be addressed, repaired, and maintained. Maintaining the home will ensure continued comfort for the occupants.
What will a home inspection tell me?
- An inspection report will contain details outlining any issues observed during the inspection.
Who negotiates after the home inspection?
- The inspection report is the property of the client once paid in full and to be used as they see fit.
Can a home inspection “kill the Deal”?
- Home inspectors are a neutral party during home transactions. The home inspector SHOULD have no vested interests as to whether a sale is completed or not and SHOULD only be interested in informing the client(s) of the current status and any hazards pertaining to the home.
A home inspection is already a limited inspection, without the utilities turn on and operatable, the inspector is unable to determine their proper performance.
A realtor is not required for a home transaction or the purchase of a home inspection, but many services, guarantees, and some warranties are unavailable without a Professional Licensed Realtor.
A homeowner could obtain a home inspection before placing their home on the market to determine if any components are in need of repair.
A typical home inspection will take between 3- 5 hours (Travel time, inspection, and report writing). Some homes will take longer depending on size, any additional services, and additional buildings (Sheds, Mother-In-Law Suites, Shops, etc).
No, FHA appraisals are similar to home inspections, but require a Government issued license. FHA property rules ensure that the home is structurally sound, livable and worth at least as much as you plan to borrow.
Typically, new construction inspections are performed in phases, as each phase during the construction is completed an inspection is performed. These inspections are to ensure that the new construction is up to date to modern local codes and regulations.