Q:WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure
and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected
is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found the
inspector may recommend further evaluation. A home inspection is not a warranty.
It is a visual inspection of a home to determine problems or potential problems
that exist or can be visually determined at the time of the inspection.
Q: WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION ?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will
ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the
property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can
minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home
inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the
maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection,
you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to
purchase. If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to
identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might
avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may
wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This
will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered
by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put
the house in better selling condition.
Q:WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
The standard home inspector’s report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting),
interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation;
walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, landscaping,
and visible structure.
Q: WHAT WILL IT COST?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as
does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee
may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the
house, its age, and possible additional services, such as septic, well, or
radon testing. It is a good idea to check local prices on your own. Most inspectors
will charge between $500 and $700 for an average size home.
However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a
home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge
gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector
is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including his
experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important
consideration. It is very costly to find out that after you purchased your
home you have severe water problems that cost several thousand dollars to
Q: CAN I DO AN INSPECTION MYSELF ?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a
professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements
of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she
understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function
together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it
very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house
they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate
information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert
in the field of home inspection.
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