What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector’s report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home’s heating and cooling systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, ventilation, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, siding and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
A home inspection is like a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector will refer you to the appropriate specialist for further evaluation.
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 that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the house you are about to purchase.
When do I call a home inspector?
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is usually available within a few days. Be sure that there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms by which the buyer and seller are obligated.
What is covered in a home inspection?
Cornerstone Inspections cover the following, and more:
It is important to note that the inspector will not move furnishings, rugs, and other personal property. If any of these blocks access to an item required to be inspected, the fact that the item was inaccessible will be noted in the inspection report.
Can I do my own inspection, or have a friend do it?
Licensed home inspectors undergo professional training and certification processes in order to provide a complete and objective inspection of your home. Most inspectors are fully insured and bonded. Since a home purchase is most likely the largest investment you will make, we would not recommend scrimping on a home inspection by doing it yourself or having a friend do it, unless you or your friend is a licensed home inspector.
Can a home fail an inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need major repair or replacement.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If our inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or make repairs if major problems are found. Your real estate professional can help you determine what is the best course of action.
How much does it cost? Is it worth it?
Considering the significant investment of buying a home, the few
hundred dollars you spend on a professional inspection is well worth
Does the home inspector verify that the house meets “Code?”
The home inspection is not a “code check.” Building codes are municipal standards that are verified by representatives of the authority having jurisdiction for new construction and renovations. The home inspector is verifying the proper operation of the system and that any changes or modifications made subsequent to the code inspection do not create a safety hazard or impede the proper operation of the component. Codes pertain to the building at the time of construction or renovation and change frequently. What was built to code in 1980 may not pass a code inspection today, but that does not mean the structure is unsafe or requires correction.
Who should attend the inspection?
We strongly recommend that the prospective home-buyers be present for the inspection or for a walk-through at the end of it. The comprehensive report provided after the inspection is a valuable document, but it cannot take the place of the knowledge you will receive about your home by attending the inspection. The realtors are also welcome to participate in the inspection.
How long will the inspection take?
A single-family home inspection will generally last about 1.5 to 3.5 hours depending on the size, age, and condition of the home.