Do I need a home inspection?
The short answer would be yes. Buying a home is an expensive investment, probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make. A home inspection brings more clarity to the process of buying a home and will help mitigate the risk involved in such a purchase.
Can a home inspector perform repairs on problems they discover?
No, and it is prohibited by the code of ethics. A home inspector should not perform any repairs on the issues found during an inspection. It is a home inspector’s job to be an objective third party. If an inspector performs work on problems discovered during the inspection then that objectivity is compromised.
May I attend the inspection?
Absolutely! Although not required, your presence during the home inspection is strongly encouraged. You’ll have a better idea of the condition of the house if you are present during the inspection.
During the home inspection, you’ll benefit more from your home inspector’s experience and expertise, and will also receive maintenance tips. This is especially helpful for first-time home buyers.
How long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection generally takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the size of the home and number of issues discovered. When you request your inspection, we can give you a better idea of how long the process may take.
What does a typical home inspection include?
A typical home inspection generally covers the following points:
Interior Inspection Details
- Plumbing – Check faucets and showers looking for visible leaks as well as testing water pressure. Identify the types of pipes used, if visible. Identify the location of the main water shutoff valve.
- Electrical – Identify the type of wiring, test all outlets and make sure there are GFCIs installed where needed to protect from electrical shock. Inspect the electrical panel for safety issues and fire hazards.
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning – Determine the age of the furnace and air conditioner, whether or not they function properly, and may recommend repairs or maintenance.
- Water Heater – Determine the age of the water heater and check for proper installation. We can also determine the condition and give an estimated remaining lifespan of the unit.
- Laundry Room – Check for proper ventilation. A poorly ventilated dryer exhaust can be a serious fire hazard.
- Fire Safety – Test smoke detectors and ensure that the garage wall, if present, has the proper fire rating and is undamaged. Also, check the fireplace for proper installation and maintenance.
- Bathrooms – Check for visible leaks, properly secured toilets, proper ventilation to prevent moisture related issues, etc.
- Attic – If possible, check for structural damage and proper ventilation. Also check insulation and ensure that nothing is ventilated directly into the attic, such as the bathroom.
Exterior Inspection Details
- Exterior Walls – Damaged or missing siding, cracks, and excessive soil contact which can be an invitation for pests.
- Foundation – Check for indications of foundation failure such as cracks or settling.
- Grading – Check to ensure that the ground slopes away from the house as it should, which prevents water from entering the house or causing damage to the foundation.
- Roof – If accessible and visible, check for roof damage or poor installation that may allow for water penetration as well as checking the condition of the gutters.
- Garage – Test the garage door for proper functionality, check for proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and check for risks of explosion from ignition sources too close to the floor.
Why should I pay more for a home inspection?
A home inspection can easily save you money. The inspection is designed to discover problems that are expensive to correct, such as replacing the roof. If major problems are discovered, they can be used to negotiate a better price on the house.
Issues that can lead to major problems down the road are often inexpensive to fix early on. The cost of a home inspection is far outweighed by the cost of correcting these problems later.
If I'm selling a house, should I get a pre-listing home inspection?
You’re more likely to have a quick sale if the house has already been properly inspected. You can opt to provide potential buyers with a copy of the inspection report, or you can address any issues before listing the house for sale.
Major problems discovered during a home inspection may result in serious transaction delays, sometimes long enough to kill the deal entirely. If you know of these problems ahead of time, you can avoid these delays.
Can I inspect the home myself?
You certainly may evaluate the house yourself, but keep in mind that your ability to do a self-inspection will be limited to the extent of your knowledge.
Attempting to inspect a home yourself is unwise for a number of reasons. The home inspector has specific knowledge, experience, and training to properly and thoroughly conduct the inspection.
Another reason inspecting a home yourself is ill-advised is that the home inspector is an objective third party. Buying a home is an emotional experience. It’s very easy to become attached to a property, which compromises your ability to make objective observations.