What is a Home Inspection?

May 21, 2020

Real Estate

What is a Home Inspection?

Potential home buyers often hire a professional home inspector to inspect a property and provide them with a written report which details the property’s condition. A home inspector checks the areas of a home beyond what a buyer can see on the surface. The report includes an assessment of necessary or recommended repairs, maintenance concerns and any other issues. The home inspector will assess the physical structure of the home, from the foundation to the roof, as well as the home’s systems, making sure that the home is up to code.

A home inspection can tell a homebuyer a lot about a property that can save them money and aggravation. It can identify needed repairs and upkeep requirements.

There are limits to what an inspector evaluates.  Professional inspectors do not generally check these areas of a home:

  • Additional structures separate from home, such as sheds, barns, and so on
  • Chimney
  • Interior wall spaces
  • Septic tank
  • Water testing
  • Well pump
  • Radon
  • Pests
  • Lead

Just because an inspector doesn’t check some areas of a property doesn’t mean you can’t have those areas inspected.  If desired, ask the inspector for a referral on who can perform these additional inspections.   Inspections can potentially save you a lot of money and give you added peace of mind.

Typically, a home inspection is done after a purchase agreement between a buyer and a seller has been signed. For this reason, it’s important that the contract include an inspection contingency which allows a buyer time to find an inspector, schedule and attend (if so desired) an inspection, receive the inspector’s report, and decide how to proceed based on the information it includes.  In our area, this inspection contingency is usually 17 calendar days.

Depending on the report’s assessment a buyer may decide to proceed with the sale, schedule additional inspections, renegotiate the sale price with the homeowner (if there are serious issues), ask that certain repairs be made, or cancel the contract. If the buyer requests major repairs, they may also ask for a re-inspection with the original inspector to verify that the original problem identified has been remedied.

Contact me for a list of local professional inspectors who are familiar with property concerns in our area.

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