What to Expect from a Home Inspection

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Whether you’re buying a new home, selling your home, or wanting an evaluation of your existing home, you’ve made the wise decision to get a home inspection. But what can you expect from this process?

What happens

  • You will gain the information necessary for making one of life’s biggest decision.
  • The Inspector will spend 2 to 3 hours or more, examining all visible and accessible components, taking pictures, and listing any inadequacies present.
  • A Home Inspection report will be created containing the findings, photos, and pertinent information of the property. A good report will be thorough and detailed.
  • The Inspector can make recommendations on what needs a more in depth look by a specialist, what needs repair, and what items are nearing the end of their functional life.
  • Inspectors should try and help you better understand the home, basic home upkeep issues, and estimated age of components and how long they generally last.
  • An inspection will often inform you of any modifications, updates, or repairs that have been made to the original home, whether those things are up to standard, and if there are any issues noted with the means and methods.

What doesn’t happen

  • Inspectors can’t see behind furnishings, finishes, etc. The inspector is also not likely to comment on aesthetic issues that don’t affect the overall structure or function of components.
  • An inspector may be unable to pinpoint the exact cause, or nature of an issue.
  • The Inspector does not give “pass” or “fail” grades to the property. It is up to the client to decide whether to buy, initiate negotiations, or back out.
  • Inspectors aren’t likely to list specific types of repair, costs of repairs, or exactly how long a building component may last. (Though an inspector may give a ballpark cost of replacement for certain components to help the client understand local costs.)
  • An Inspector should not render personal opinions on properties. We see hundreds of homes a year from new construction to complete remodels. Our expectations and opinions of properties are moot. It is not the inspectors place to raise alarm, unless there is a safety issue that should be brought to everyone’s attention immediately.
  • Your Inspector should not tell you what to try and negotiate with the seller, that is your realtor’s responsibility.
  • The Inspector will likely not be able to explain why certain repairs, modifications, or changes have been made.
  • Inspectors are not responsible for determining if additions, remodels, or repairs had the proper permits and inspections conducted. In the instance of noted changes the client should contact the local building department to check on permits and inspections.
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