What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection, is when a licensed inspector, tests and then documents the whole house during the buying process. The inspection process normally takes two to three hours but can vary depending upon the square footage of the home. Areas covered by the home inspections are the exterior components, all utility systems, and all internal rooms. The home inspection is a visual, non-invasive inspection which means that property is not damaged or removed. For more detailed explanations of this, check out our other blog on what sellers can expect from a home inspection.
What You Can Expect from a Home Inspection.
It is a typical industry standard for the home inspector to arrive at the property 30 minutes early to get a head start on inspecting the property. Once the inspector has assessed the exterior, such as the condition of the roof, drainage systems, and siding the inspector moves inside. While inspecting the interior, the inspector tests the appliances, plumbing, and mechanical systems under normal operating conditions. Such as flushing the toilets, filling the bath tubs, and running the dishwasher. Inspections do not preform stress tests, only checking for functionality.
The inspector takes pictures of all the rooms and systems in the house, typically before and during operation, this is done to document the house. When the inspector notices a defect or something requiring maintenance, they note the challenge with a few pictures in the report. The inspector will then go over the house and what they have noted in the report with the client. The best explanation occurs at the house with the inspector. We always recommend the buyer attend the inspection if they can.
What is an Inspection Report?
An inspection report is a legal document that inspectors create noting defects and maintenance requirements of the house and the mechanical systems. After the inspection, the buyers review the report with their real estate agents. Using the report, the buyers and sellers typically negotiate what repairs are to be done. However, in certain markets, reports are only for education purposes only. Which is to say that no repairs are going to be done regardless of what the report says. With this in mind, the buyers have the ability to back out of the deal if the repairs are too extensive.
Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?
Regardless of the market conditions, getting a home inspection will let you understand a lot about the property. Inspections will inform you about the mechanical aspects of the property. Most inspections focus around the general maintenance of the house. Sometimes inspections help prevent a bad investment. Realizing that some large, expenses are hidden by your house of choice is not easy. But it is better to know before you invest. Most inspections are not horror stories. Typically, people take care of themselves and their homes.
A Final Disclaimer
Inspections are both insightful and important. Even if major repairs are not found during an inspection, the confirmation is great. That being said, inspections are not a guarantee. The house changes when people live in it. Things will break. Systems will fail. Maintenance is a great hedge against that bet. However, that requires effort and continuing education as a home owner. Sometimes, inspectors miss things. Every inspector I know is a human, and humans can make mistakes. If this happens, reach out to the inspection company and communicate the challenge. Often inspectors warranty their work for this reason.