Frequently Asked Questions
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 you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property. If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and take preventative measures which might avoid costly repairs in the future. If you are planing to sell your home on the market, you may wish to have an inspection performed prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of the conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in a better selling position. Having an inspection will help you comply with current disclosure laws concerning the sale of your property.
Can I Do It Myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and years of expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction and remains completely objective and unemotional about the home.
Can A Home Inspection Fail?
NO! A professional home inspection is an examination of the condition of the home on the day it is inspected; it is not an appraisal, which determines market value or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance, but rather describes its visible physical condition and indicates what may need major repairs in the near future.
Do I Have To Be There?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is highly recommended. You will be able to accompany the inspector and ask questions directly as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've seen the property firsthand through the inspectors eyes.
Who Hires The Inspector?
The Client usually retains the inspector. The Inspector works for you. The report cannot be given to anyone else without your written consent.
How Much Does It Cost?
The purchase of a property will likely be the most expensive investment people will make in their lives, it doesn't make sense to shop for the least expensive inspector you can find. What is the saying, "You get what you pay for". That is most certainly true, in todays world, where so many people are being taken advantage of. Don't become one of those statistics and don't be fooled by individuals whose training consists of viewing a video tape for 2 hours and then claiming to be a "House Inspector" Check for "Certifications" before hiring an inspector. No Home Inspection can guarantee their won't be problems, even new homes are not perfect on the day their new owners move in.
A Certified Home Inspector can point out existing or potential problems that would require the attention of either the buyer or the seller. You, the buyer, save yourself from problems you never contemplated when buying the "Dream House" you wanted. You, the seller, are complying with current disclosure laws concerning the sale of your property.
What is a home inspection?
It is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of their condition. It is also important to know what a home inspection is not! It is not an appraisal of the property's value; nor should you expect it to address the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or protect you in the event an item inspected fails in the future. [Note: Warranties can be purchased to cover many items.] Nor should it be considered a "technically exhaustive" evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.
Can anyone perform a home inspection?
No. Only persons licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board are permitted to perform home inspections for compensation and their inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board's Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
Why should I have the home inspected?
Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill and emotional detachment needed to inspect homes themselves. By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not "function as intended"or "adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling"or "warrant further investigation" by a person who specializes in the item in question.
In my home purchase I have chosen to sign the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract* form...
...It states that I have the right to have the home inspected and the right to request that the seller repair identified problems with the home Will the home inspection identify all of these problems?
Yes and No. Home Inspectors typically evaluate structural components (floors, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning), installed appliances and other major components of the property. The Home Inspector Licensure Board's Standards of Practice do not require Home Inspectors to report on: wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, pools and spas, detached structures and certain other items listed in the Offer to Purchase and Contract form. Always ask the Home Inspector if he covers all the things which are important to you. If not, it is your responsibility to arrange for an inspection of these items by the appropriate professionals. For a description of the services to be provided by the Home Inspector (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the Home Inspector must give you and which you must sign before the Home Inspection can be performed.
How do I request a home inspection, and who will pay for it?
You can contact us at 888-416-0230 or click on our inspection request link to schedule an inspection. Unless other arrangements are made, you will be responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections. If the inspection is to be performed after you have signed the purchase contract, be sure to schedule the inspection as soon as possible to allow adequate time for any repairs to be performed.
Should I be present when the home inspection is performed?
Whenever possible, you should be present, that way we can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home can be completed in two to three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The home inspection report is your property and as such we do not share it with anyone else without written permission.
Are all inspection reports the same?
No. While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a "checklist" of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation; we do a combination of the two in order to make it user friendly. Home Inspectors are required to give you a written "Summary" of their inspection identifying any system or component that does not function as intended, or adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling, or appears to warrant further investigation by a specialist. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not read only the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire home inspection report.
What should I do if I feel something has been missed on the inspection?
Before any repairs are made (except emergency repairs), call us to discuss the problem. Many times a "trip charge" can be saved by explaining the problem over the telephone. This also gives us a chance to promptly handle any problems that may have been overlooked in the inspection. While we have over 30 years of experience, one must keep in mind that we are observing thousands of items looking for those which are immediate attention; we nor are any other inspectors by policy are to address cosmetic issues.
If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, may I call for a "re-inspection"?
Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. We will be glad to evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made. Due to fuel expenses and additional time involved we do charge a minimum fee for a re-inspection.
What should I as a seller do to prepare for a home inspection?
Simply following the steps provided in this article will help you survive having your house inspected. Your home inspection is just one more stressful event to add to a likely growing list of events unfolding in the process of selling your home. What with moving, getting the list of needed repairs done, achieving and maintaining that “curb appeal,” the last thing you need is some stranger tromping through your home, looking in all those dark corners. Well, take a deep breath, pick up that last dust bunny under the chair, sit down a moment and read further. I provide real solutions to at least make the Home Inspection part easier.