What is a Home Inspection &
Why do I Need One?
Q: What is a home inspection and why do I need one?
A: A home inspection is like putting your home through a physical exam by an objective professional. All the major systems and components of the house are checked top to bottom. This includes the plumbing, electrical and heating systems, as well as the structural components, such as the roof and crawl space.
It is used to identify potentially serious situations that could be expensive for you to repair. If a problem is found you can decide whether to negotiate with the sellers concerning the handling of these expenses or withdraw your offer and look elsewhere. If the inspection is for your home warranty you will have the documentation you need for the claim. Additionally, a home inspector will look for safety and minor repairs, and also advise you with information on maintaining your house. Every house is unique and by helping you understand what it will take to care of this particular home, you can be assured that it will be a safe and dependable home for you and your family.
Q: How much does an inspection cost and what is included?
A: The fee is dependent on the size of the home and the qualifications of the professional that you choose to perform it. Every inspection should include the following:
During the on-site inspection your inspector will explain deficencies found and answer any questions you have while going through the home. At the end of the inspection, a "wrap up" discussion with you of the problems that were found and explanation of the items that will appear in the written report.
Q: Some inspectors charge less than others. What's the difference?
A: Quality and Qualifications: Some Inspectors are more service oriented on site and spend the time to help you understand what the homes condition is like now, what major items will be needed in the future, and what maintenance it will take through the years. A certified engineer will cost more than a qualified tradesman. Home Inspection Reports should be quite specific. For example, instead of just listing "plumbing leaks - yes" or "there is a leak in the sink", the report should state: "there is a leak in the trap in the right hand sink in the master bathroom".
Some people use the report as a reference document as they work through the repairs and improvements in their home. Additionally, your real estate agent will be in a stronger negotiating position for you if they have to go back to the seller. Clear explanations of the issues in the report will make it easier when they negotiate with the sellers on your behalf.
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