A home inspection is one of the last steps in the home-buying process
A home inspection can help you choose the next steps in buying a home. You may decide you want to close, negotiate the price, request repairs by the seller, or back out and find another place.
You aren’t required to schedule a home inspection, but doing so can save you from major problems down the line. An inspection can alert you to any problems, and you may even realize you don’t want to buy the home after all.
What is a home inspection?
An inspector visits the home to assess the condition and put together a detailed report. They won’t tell you the value of the home, but they will reveal problems or potential problems that could affect the value.
You don’t have to attend the inspection, but you can. Walking through with the inspector gives you the chance to ask any questions and see problems for yourself. If you don’t have time to attend the entire inspection, ask the inspector if they can give you a quick walk-through once they’re done.
Don’t be alarmed if the inspector finds minor problems — if an inspection comes back with zero issues, then your inspector probably wasn’t very thorough. Pay attention to bigger problems that could cost you big bucks or jeopardize your safety.
Home Inspections are Essential in Making Informed Decisions
That house you’re considering buying consists of a collection of complex structures, systems, and components. A home inspection examines, evaluates, and objectively details the true condition of each element. As a result, you’ll more fully understand the home you’re buying, which enables you to make informed decisions. And that goes a long way toward eliminating the stress of buying a home.
Clear, complete and convenient home inspections you can trust.
At this point, you’re well aware how hectic and utterly confusing buying a home can be it doesn’t have to be. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive, unbiased opinion of the property’s condition and spend time to walk you through it, so you can have peace of mind that you’re making the most informed decision on the most important purchase of your lifetime.
point home inspection eliminates surprises
Heating and air conditioning systems
Plumbing system including water heater
Siding, trim, and exterior windows and doors
Foundations and footings
Gutter and downspouts
Walls, floors, ceilings, interior windows & doors
Roof, chimney and flashings
Driveways, patios, decks and porches
Attic and insulation
Hire a good home inspector
Do your homework: While many homebuyers hire a home inspector recommended by their real estate agent, you can hire your own, but be sure to check them out. Ask to see proof of state certification or proof of membership in the National Associations of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
Look for experience: Both NAHI and ASHI require a minimum of 250 inspections, however most experienced professionals will say it’s better to find someone who’s performed at least 1,000 inspections and has at least three-to-five years of full-time experience.
Ask for licensing and insurance: Ask to see proof of licensing if your state requires home inspectors to be licensed, and inquire about proof of general liability insurance as well as and errors and omission (E&O) insurance.
Consider average cost: Home inspections generally cost between $300 and $450, and typically take three to four hours. The cost of an inspection will vary depending on such factors as the age and size of a home.
There are a number of things homeowners should do and know before getting a home inspection:
Get involved with your home inspection: While it’s not required that you attend the inspection, you should be there with your home inspector to discuss expectations and findings.
Demand a detailed inspection: Home inspectors should look for structural problems; roof damage; fire hazards, such as improperly vented chimney flues; electrical safety issues, including old wiring; and problems with plumbing and major appliances, like the HVAC system and hot water heater. Inspectors should physically crawl the attic and crawl space, if possible, rather than just taking a quick look around from the opening or doorway.
Read the inspector’s report: Many inspectors provide the report the same day as the inspection. The report should be thorough and easy to understand and should include narrative accounts of the inspector’s findings that are specific to your house, along with pictures and diagrams. Many inspectors will also include photographs with their reports. Keep in mind that few houses are perfect, so you should expect some issues to be found. Don’t hesitate to question your inspector about the report.
Are home inspections necessary for new homes? Newer homes can have just as many problems as an older home. And, if you are building a home, inspections at key points during construction should be a part of the process.
Home inspection report can impact sales price: A home inspection report reveals problems that need to be fixed. You might use this information to renegotiate the price that you originally offered or you may be prepared to adjust your selling price. Keep in mind, sellers aren’t required to fix anything, no matter how egregious the situation.
Common Problems Found During Home Inspections
Buying a house is serious business. Whether a recently built estate or a modest fixer-upper, getting the lowdown on your potential home is of tantamount importance. A qualified home inspector is always your best bet for a thorough home evaluation, but it’s a good idea to have a general understanding of what to look out for.
Grade sloping (or draining) back toward the home. This could lead to damp or wet crawlspaces, foundation movement, cracking or settlement. Water wicking up the foundation could lead to rot in the walls, framing members and mold. Some indications of foundation movement include windows that are out of square; interior doors that have large, uneven gaps at the top when the door is closed; or floors visibly out of level. If you see this, know that the cost to correct this problem could add up quickly.
Stucco issues. Homes with stucco exterior surfaces, when applied correctly, will last a lifetime. However, a major flaw we see in the field could add up to water in the living space and big bucks out of your pocket. At the base of exterior walls, where the foundation and the bottom plate (sill plate) meet, a component of a stucco-surfaced wall called a weep screed is applied.
We know water can enter stucco through cracks, around unsealed light fixtures, outlets and the like. The water then hits the house wrap and sheds down to the weep screed and out the building. This is brilliant, but when concrete patios, stoops or sidewalks have been poured too high and the weep screed is buried, the system cannot work and water may enter the walls and living space. When you are walking around a house and you see the weep screed disappear into the concrete, this may one day lead to water intrusion and damage
Roofing materials. As homes age, so does the material covering the roof. This is the component of the house that keeps us and the internal workings of the house dry. As the roofing material ages, it lends itself to water intrusion and can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement. If roofing material is improperly installed, it can lead to premature aging. There are many types of roofing materials used to protect us from the elements. The most common, starting with the most economical, are asphalt shingles, wood shakes/shingles, terra cotta tile, concrete tiles and slate, just to name a few.
You should expect quality and integrity in a home inspection. You can do better than accept “opinions” in place of evaluations. You can expect a home inspector to give you a thorough assessment of every single part of any home and help you understand what it means. You deserve to make an informed decision about buying, selling or maintaining your home.
Essential Home Inspection
This is the pre-purchase inspection that will help you make the right decision about buying a home. Checklist items include Roof Inspection, Interior Finish Assessment, Heating & Ventilation Review, Electrical Inspection, Plumbing Review, Structural Assessment and a Foundation Inspection. Each assessment is comprehensive, giving you as a homeowner, the knowledge you need to buy the right home for you. That means PEACE OF MIND.
Extended Home Inspection
This house inspection includes all checklist items from an Essential Home inspection plus a Thermal Imaging Assessment. Using industry approved technology and equipment
This includes all checklist items from an Extended Home inspection plus air quality testing to check for abnormal indoor mold growth. Mold overgrowth can trigger respiratory ailments, sensitivities and allergies. The home inspector will go through your house and take indoor air quality samples. You can also book a standalone mold test here.
Home Inspectors Checklist
Roof, Shingles, Flashings, Chimneys & Vents
Gutters, Downspouts, Soffits & Fascia
Exterior Drainage, Lot, Landscaping, Decks & Porches
Foundation, Exterior Structure
Siding, Windows & Doors
Attic, Roof Structure
Plumbing, HVAC & Electrical Systems
Unwanted Pest Intrusion
Poor Construction Practices