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What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major structure, systems, and components that are visible and safely accessible. The inspector should substantially adhere to a known set of Standards of Practice. In Connecticut, I adhere to the Connecticut Standards of Practice that outlines what should be covered during a general home inspection, as well as what is excluded. Some inspectors may strictly follow the standards of practice, while others may exceed the standards and inspect other items, or perform a more detailed inspection. Whatever the inspector includes in his or her inspection should be discussed prior to the inspection – this is known as the scope of work. The inspector should be able to provide you with a copy or online link to the Standards of Practice they follow. The inspector should provide you with a written report, which may include photos and/or recommendations, of his or her findings of the inspection.
What is included in a home inspection?
A standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing system; electrical system; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; and the foundation, basement and structural components. It is important to note that there may be some exceptions. If certain areas are inaccessible (locked door, tenant’s belongings in the way) or unsafe conditions (steep roofs, poor structural integrity) the inspector will explain the situation and note that they were not able to assess that specific area or system.
Why should I get a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment the homebuyer will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, homebuyers should strive to learn as much as they can about the house before they buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. Through the home inspection process, homebuyers will have a better understanding of their prospective house, which will allow them to make decisions with confidence. If a homeowner is planning to sell their home, a home inspection can give them the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition. Additionally, most mortgage companies require a home inspection on a property before approving the home loan.
How much does a home inspection cost?
There is no set cost for a home inspection. The cost will vary based on the inspector, the local market, the geographic region, the scope of the inspection to be performed, and more. Angell Home Inspection Services, LLC doesn’t strive to be the cheapest home inspection, but rather to provide the best value for the money you spend. It is wise not to base your decision on price alone, as a home purchase is one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your life. Before the inspection, you should find out what will be included in the inspection and what won’t, and these details should also be outlined in the inspection agreement that you will need to sign prior to the inspection.
Does the homebuyer need to be present during the home inspection?
While it is not required for the homebuyer to be present at the inspection. I recommend the homebuyer attend so they can receive the most value from the inspection. This allows homebuyers to observe the inspector and ask questions throughout the process. Many homebuyers find that talking with their inspectors gives them a better understanding of the condition of the home and how to maintain it. It is also understood that in this time of COVID-19 some homebuyers are not able to attend the inspection. In these cases, I take additional pictures of the home and I am willing to discuss the condition of the property via a phone conversation after the inspection.
How long does a home inspection take?
Depending on the home’s age, size, and location, as well as the home inspector’s own work protocols and ethic, your home inspection may take 2.5-4 hours. Adding square footage, outbuildings, and/or ancillary services (such as mold, water or radon testing) will increase that time. If your general home inspection takes significantly less than two to three hours, it may indicate that the inspector was not thorough enough.
At what point in the real estate transaction should I schedule a home inspection?
A home inspection is usually scheduled after an offer has been made and accepted, but before the closing date. That way, the inspector can rule out any major defects that could be dangerous or costly. In rare cases—due to timing or contractual issues—the inspection can be scheduled after the closing date. If this is the case, the home buyer should schedule the inspection for the earliest possible date after closing.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
A professional home inspection is an examination and objective assessment of the current condition of a house. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement. A home inspection is not an appraisal and will not determine the home’s market value. It is also not a municipal inspection and does not verify local code compliance.
What if the inspection report reveals problems?
It is important to note that no house is perfect. Every home inspection will identify issues with the property and the inspector will communicate the severity of the issues found. The home inspector’s goal is to leave their clients with a deeper understanding of their prospective home, so the client can make a sound decision as they continue their home buying process. For example, a missing shingle or dirty air filter can be easily fixed at a low cost. However, if the defect is more extreme, such as a major foundation crack, wood-destroying organism infestation, or evidence of mold, you should find out how these problems can be addressed, and whether you can negotiate their cost with the seller.
How can I be sure a home inspector is qualified?
It is important to choose a home inspector who is qualified and holds a license or certification in the field. However, just because someone performs home inspections doesn’t mean that they’re actually qualified to do so. If you are buying or selling a home in an unregulated jurisdiction, make sure to look for a home inspector with the proper certifications. If you are located in a state or province that does require licensing of home inspectors, you should hire only a licensed professional. Contact your state by phone or online to find out whether they license home inspectors, and what qualifications they’re required to have. License numbers in licensing states may vary in appearance, but you should be able to independently verify it. You can ask your home inspector what qualifications and certifications they have.
Can a home inspector repair any defects they find?
What if your home inspector is also a licensed contractor? Sounds great, right? Not always. Although it may seem convenient to have an inspector who is also a contractor, it poses a conflict of interest. According to InterNACHI’s Code of Ethics: “The InterNACHI member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or associated services to the structure for which the member or member’s company has prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems that are not included in the Connecticut Standards of Practice. If an inspector financially benefits from finding any defects, this can impact the accuracy of the report (whether intentional or not). Make sure the inspector you hire abides by a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice”.