What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination, performed by a professional, of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspection will cover the condition of the home’s roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation and structural components. The heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
Why can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Some inspection services, Wind Mitigation and Four Point for example, are only accepted by insurance companies when performed by a licensed professional.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may influence their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know about the condition. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
Do I have to be there?
While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.
When do I call a home inspector?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
What is InterNACHI?
InterNACHI, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, is the world’s largest inspection trade association. Based in the United States, InterNACHI is both non-profit and federally tax-exempt, and operates in 65 different countries and nine languages. InterNACHI is the inspection industry’s largest provider of education and training. InterNACHI has been awarded more than 1,400 governmental approvals and accreditations. InterNACHI Members conduct inspections in accordance with the InterNACHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not 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 components and systems may need major repair or replacement.