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What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.


What does a home inspection include?

The standard home inspector's report will cover the condition of the home's heating system; central air conditioning system( temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof; attic and visible insulation; walls; ceilings; floors; windows and doors; the foundation; basement and structural components.  The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection.


Why do I need a home inspection?

Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make.  To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it.   A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs , as well as what is needed for proper maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make informed decisions.

If you are already are a homeowner, a home inspection may identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.


If you are planning on selling your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make needed repairs that will put the house in a better selling condition, so you can sell for a high figure.


Can a house fail an Inspection?

NO.  A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of the house.  It is not an appraisal, which determines market value.  It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance.  A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major or minor repairs or replacement.


When do I call a home inspector?

Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed.  Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection.  The clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.


Do I have to be There?

While it's not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended.  You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of your new home.