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 house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs, as well as the need for maintenance to keep your home in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
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) has developed a 'Standards of Practice' that has a detailed list of what you can expect in your home inspection. A copy can be found at our Links Page.
When should I set up my home inspection?
Typically, you will call immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection cluase in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings.
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 the home and how to maintain it.
What if the report reveals problems?
If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't mean you should or shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect.
What about foreclosed/bank owned properties?
To ensure that the property can be fully inspected, you and your real estate agent need to make sure that all areas are accessible the day of the inspection and that all utilities are turned on before the day of the inspection. If any areas are not accessible or utilities are not turned on, those items will not be able to be inspected.
If you wish, the inspector will return to inspect those items at a later date for an additional fee (see Return trip fee).