The Help Center
WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is an unbiased third-party visual examination of the physical structure and systems of the home. The typical home inspection report includes an evaluation of the condition of the foundation, grading and drainage, roof and chimney, interior and exterior walls, ceilings and floors, plumbing and electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, attic and crawlspace, basement, windows and doors, fireplace, insulation and appliances.
WHY SHOULD I HAVE A HOME INSPECTION?
Since the purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make, you should learn as much as possible about the condition of the home and the need for any major repairs before you buy. A home inspection helps minimize unhappy surprises, unplanned expenses, and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection will also identify positive aspects of the property and suggest maintenance necessary to keep the home in good condition in the future.
We cannot emphasize enough the value and necessity of having a home inspection. Hoping to save the $200-500 that a good home inspection costs, many a home buyer has found himself spending thousands of dollars to repair or replace items that a good home inspector would have uncovered during the inspection process.
Your offer to purchase a home should always be contingent upon a satisfactory report from a professional home inspector. Don't let anyone talk you out of protecting yourself and the money you are about to spend on perhaps the largest investment of your life! Not only will you rest better, you'll know that, if you receive an unsatisfactory report, you'll be able to cancel the contract because you had the contingency in place.
WHEN SHOULD THE HOME INSPECTION BE COMPLETED?
Because most contracts only give the buyer between 7 and 10 days to have a home inspection, you'll want to find your inspector before you put the contract on the home. This will allow you to work with the inspector you want to work with and get the inspection completed within the time limit.
WHAT SHOULD I NOT EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is NOT a safeguard against future failures or defects, but rather, it is designed to give you information about the CURRENT condition of the systems and components of the home.
A home inspection is also NOT an appraisal. It is not a gauge by which we can determine the value of the home.
A home inspection is NOT a code assessment and a home cannot be "passed" or "failed" because it may not be up to current codes. However, a home inspector may note that certain items may need to be addressed to bring the house up to code, such as adding smoke detectors to all bedrooms.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES A HOME INSPECTION REQUIRE?
The average home inspection lasts 3 hours. However, the size, age and condition of the home may cause the inspection to be longer or shorter. Homes with higher square footage, crawl spaces or basements, multiple attics, excessive clutter, and structural issues will require additional time.
DO I HAVE TO BE PRESENT DURING THE INSPECTION?
No. It is not necessary for you to be present during the actual inspection. The inspector wants to give your home his complete attention and focus. We recommend that you plan to be there at the end of the process, if possible, so the inspector can go over the findings with you. However, you will receive a detailed report to review at your convenience and the inspector will be available to answer questions should any arise.
CAN A HOME FAIL INSPECTION?
No. A home inspection is a visual assessment of the current condition of the home. It is not a property value assessment or code enforcement evaluation. Therefore, a home inspector will not pass or fail the home. Instead, the inspector will give a detailed description of the physical condition of the home and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
WILL THE HOME INSPECTOR ADVISE ME IN THE PURCHASE OF A HOME?
No. A home inspector does not give advice as to the purchase of the home under inspection. After all, there is no perfect house. However, the report you receive will give you additional information about the home that may be helpful in your decision to buy or not to buy. You may be able to use the details in the report to negotiate with the seller or to determine if your budget will allow