WHAT A HOME INSPECTION IS REALLY ALL ABOUT
I have inspected more than 17,000 houses in the past 33 years. Some properties I wouldn’t want my dog to live in, but most houses have ranked from OK to outstanding. My job as a home inspector is to inspect the house in accordance with the state’s home inspection standards of practice regulations and provide a client with an objective reality check of the house they hope to purchase. A properly performed home inspection can offer critical information that should be used to make one of the biggest decisions of a homebuyer’s life. Buying a house can be a very stressful time. First-time homebuyers may worry: Did I pay too much? Can I afford this house? Will the boiler last a few more years? Will the roof leak? Will the basement be dry? It can be overwhelming.
Home inspections are performed for homebuyers as well as those selling a home. Sellers can use the inspection report to decide if improvements are needed before putting a house on the market. The home inspection provides a buyer with detailed information about the house that will help them decide whether or not the house is a good investment. A damaged foundation, faulty heating system or leaking roof have the potential to break the bank.
Home inspection license law states that the inspection is not a guarantee, warranty or insurance policy. Instead, an inspection is an opinion of condition. It is very important to choose a home inspector that has been inspecting for many years and has performed inspections for a variety of properties. Some inspectors have additional licenses beyond their home inspection license and may also be licensed construction supervisors, exterminators or heating technicians, for example. A home inspector should inspect more than 200 items and areas of the house—from roof to cellar and everything in between.
Inspection reports like those we provide at ABC are often digital and run approximately 80 pages, including more than 100 photos. Home inspection fees are often determined by the property’s square footage. Pricing may vary from approximately $450 for a typical 2,000-square-foot single family home to upward of $900 for a 6,000-square-foot home. The home inspection report submitted upon conclusion of the inspection is often used to prove to sellers that a property needs repairs. Many of our ABC Home Inspection clients negotiate with sellers to pay for the discovered repairs. These repairs usually exceed the cost of the home inspection and are money well spent.
A typical home inspection should last from two-and-a-half to four hours depending on the condition and size of a house. After the actual in-house inspection, an inspector should spend another one to two hours preparing the final report, which is often emailed to the client that same day.
ABC has inspected houses that appear to be in great condition until we unpeel the onion. Many homeowners make repairs themselves without being qualified and don’t pull the required building permits, creating some very dangerous conditions in the process. It’s understandable to want to save money doing a job on one’s own, but when I see people leaving the hardware store with DIY items, I wonder what building codes they may unknowingly be violating.
It is always wise to have a proper home inspection by a licensed inspector before purchasing or selling a house: You will never regret it.