So you are finally in contract and its time to do inspections. One inspection that should not be waived is the home inspection.
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.
A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. Although not all states or municipalities in the U.S. regulate home inspectors, there are some professional associations for home inspectors that provide education, training, and networking opportunities. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes. – Wikipedia
During a home inspection, the home inspector will concentrate on the condition and structure of your home and point out observed safety concerns. The home inspection is a visual inspection of the house – home inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor can they inspect what they cannot see.
A professional home inspector should, at a minimum, inspect the following items:
- Exterior Home Site
- Building Foundation
- Exterior Home Walls
- Roof Coverings, Flashings & Gutters
- Roof Support Structure
- Insulation Quality
- Visible Interior and Exterior Plumbing
- Central Air and Heating System
- Interior Condition of the Home
For more details regarding what a home inspector will inspect, please see the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NAHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.
Home Inspectors are generalists – they need to know the home’s many systems and components and how they work, both independently and together. In addition, they need to understand why and how the system(s) fail. Consumers should expect a written report to describe the actual condition of the home at the time of the inspection and to provide an indication of the need for major repairs.
Home Inspectors do not do any destructive testing, nor do they have x-ray vision. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. The Home Inspector is primarily concerned with pointing out adverse conditions and/or safety-related concerns, rather than small or cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the buyers.
A home inspection is not a code compliance inspection and a home inspector will not inspect inaccessible areas of the home. For a detailed outline of what exactly what a NAHI inspector will inspect, please see the NAHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. While the Standards provide a minimum guideline for conducting a home inspection, the NAHI Code of Ethics sets a standard of professional behavior for members.
In addition, the homebuyer should not expect the inspector’s report to serve as a guarantee that the home’s components will never fail or need repair at some point in the future. No house is perfect – they all need regular maintenance and repair.