Q. What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a non-biased visual examination of the physical structure and major systems of a home. These major systems include:
Roofing, Structure, Electrical, Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Interior, Insulation, and Exterior.
A proper home inspection should follow a nationally recognized Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
A good analogy often used to explain home inspection is that it is similar to a physical examination performed by a family doctor. If serious problems or symptoms are found, the doctor (inspector) may recommend further evaluation.
Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
First and foremost, a home inspection is very important to your family’s health, safety and pocketbook.
There are literally hundreds of potential deficiencies in every home and most are not visible to the untrained eye. Don’t gamble with what could be the largest investment of your life. Use a qualified home inspector.
Q. Does a new home need a home inspection?
Yes! All homes, regardless of age, should be inspected for defects. Sometimes we find more problems in ‘newer’ homes than ‘older’ ones.
Q. What does a home inspection cost?
Inspection fees vary. A number of factors are used to determine the fee. These factors may include: location, size, age, features of the home and so on.
We would advise you to think carefully about selecting your inspector based on price alone. Often times, the lowest priced inspector has little to offer. Home inspection is like many service businesses. The businesses that cannot compete on quality, value, or experience tend to compete on price. It is not worth the risk.
Q. Can a home inspector 'FAIL' a house?
No. A professional home inspection is a visual examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal and 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 make recommendations.
Q. When do I call the home inspector?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often 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 obligated.
Q. Do I have to be there?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is highly 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 report easier to understand if you have seen the problems first hand.
Q. What if the Inspection reveals many PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it does not necessarily mean that you should not buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If major problems are found, the purchaser may adjust the purchase price or choose to have them repaired. This is where your trusted real estate professional can help you make an informed decision.
Q. How long is the average inspection?
A typical pre-purchase inspection of an average size home of 1500 - 2500 sq. ft. should take between 2 - 3 hours (dependent on property size, age and condition). Longer is not necessarily better or required, but an extremely short inspection of an hour or a quick walk through should be cause for concern.
Safety First inspects as long as we need to. We finish when a proper and thorough inspection is fully completed.
Q. What questions should I be asking when I call other home inspection companies?
Here are a few to get you started:
- Are you involved with or associated with any other business that you refer business to?
- Do you encourage the client to attend the inspection?
- Is the inspection business your full-time or part-time occupation?
- How long will the inspection take?
- Have you received professional home inspection training?
- Do you carry Errors & Omissions insurance?
- What kind of report do you receive? Is it a written checklist or is it computerized with digital pictures?
- How soon is the report available?
- Can we see a sample of your report?
- Does the report conform to the Standards of Practise? Can I see those standards?
The Inspection Professionals is glad to take your questions. Please never hesitate to give us a call! Contact us