is a Home Inspection? What does it
include? Why do I need a Home Inspection? What
will it Cost? Can't I do it Myself? Can
a house fail an inspection? When do I call in
a home inspector? Do I have to be there? What
if the report reveals a problem? If the
house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination
of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation.
Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical checkup. If problems
or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.
WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
The standard home inspector's report will
review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning
system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems;
the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows
and doors; the
foundation, basement, and visible structure.
The purchase of a home is probably the largest
single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can
the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you
buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties
Of course, a home inspection also points
out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that
will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you
will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about
If you are already a home owner, a home
inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn
preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you
are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection
prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better
understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's
inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house
in better selling condition.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family
house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within
a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending upon the size of the
house, particular features of the house, its age, and possible additional
services, such as well water, radon and air quality testing. It is a good
idea to check local prices
on your own.
However, do not let cost be the only factor
in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection
of your home inspector. The knowledge gained from an inspection is
well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily
a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including his or her experience,
training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important
CAN'T I DO IT MYSELF?
Even the most experienced home owner
lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who
hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector
is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation,
and maintenance. He or she understands how the home's systems and components
intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it very difficult
to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they
really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate
information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion
by an expert in the field of home inspection.
CAN A HOUSE FAIL INSPECTION?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination
of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal,
which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies
local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail
a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may
need repair or replacement.
WHEN DO I CALL IN THE HOME INSPECTOR?
A home inspector is typically contacted
right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is
available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure
that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation
contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should
specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are
DO I HAVE TO BE THERE?
It is not necessary for you to be
present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will
be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn
about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain
it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've
seen the property firsthand through the inspector's eyes.
WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. If the inspector
identifies problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the
house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may
adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found.
If your budget is tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future
repair work, this
information will be extremely important to you.
IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
Definitely. Now you can complete
your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property
and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things
about your new home from the inspector's written report, and will want
to keep that information
for future reference.
Call for Pricing and Scheduling Today
Richard Petzold: 865 525-8877
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