A home inspection is an evaluation of a home’s main systems and structure that are visible to the inspector. This may include things such as roof, siding, interior components, some appliances, heating, air conditioning, etc. Inspectors will follow a standard of practice that will both include and exclude some items. The inspector may choose to inspect items that are not included in the standard of practice. At the end of the inspection, the inspector should be able and willing to discuss and explain the findings inside the report.
Buying a home is one of life’s biggest investments. This makes getting a home inspection very important because an inspector should be able to find and document any defects or major issues wrong with a home prior to the purchase. This gives the buyer the opportunity to avoid heavy costs and or repairs as well as any major health concerns associated with the home.
You want a licensed and qualified professional to inspect your home. There are jurisdictions that do not regulate who can be a home inspector. Meaning anyone in the general public can become a home inspector and perform home inspection services. If you live in one of these jurisdictions make sure and look for an inspector with the proper certifications. If you live in a jurisdiction where home inspectors are regulated contact your state either by phone or online to ensure the home inspector you are hiring is in fact licensed and certified.
Home inspection times vary depending on a lot of factors. Your typical home will take between 2-3 hours. This can be extended if the home has major issues or if it is a very large home requiring a lot of square footage to be evaluated and inspected.
A home inspection is usually performed after an offer has been accepted and prior to the closing date. This is so the buyer has the ability to see and ask for repairs on any damage or major health concerns with the home prior to finalizing the home’s purchase. It’s rare that the inspection is after the purchasing of the home however this can happen and should be scheduled as soon as possible.
We recommend that the home buyer be present for the home inspection. This gives the buyer the opportunity to learn about the home and to review the inspection with the inspector when it has been completed.
While it may be convenient for a home inspector to repair the issues that they find with the home being purchased, this is not something that should be done. InterNACHI’s Home inspectors’ code of ethics does not allow any services to be provided to the customer until 12 calendar months after the home inspection has been performed. I abide by this code and instead will refer you to someone who can complete your home repair.
When a defect is found in your home it’s important for you to understand the severity of the defect. An example is; If your home has a few missing shingles it’s important for your home inspector to point out that this is a relatively small/easy repair. However, if there is a major foundation issue, your home inspector should walk you through and document how to proceed with it and who to contact in order to handle the major defect.