Home Inspections – Buyers!
Purchasing a house is a large financial endeavor and an investment in your client’s future. A house is more than a place to live or a means of shelter. For most individuals, it is the cornerstone of their life. It’s where the family gathers to celebrate, where the children play and grow and where they feel safe and secure. The house is the place where memories are made.
One of the many steps in this major real estate purchase is to have a home inspection on the future home. “Home owners cannot afford surprises. Everything may look fine on the surface, but there may be trouble lurking,” says Don Crawford, past President of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI). “A qualified home inspector will have the experience and training to provide information that will assist the buyer in making an informed decision. Problems that the seller or the Realtor may not be aware of become the financial responsibility of the buyer — if they are not corrected prior to the final sale of the house.”
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTION
During a home inspection, the home inspector will concentrate on the condition and structure of the 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 and Gutters
- Roof Support Structure
- Insulation quality
- Visible interior and exterior plumbing
- Central air and heating system
- Interior condition of the home
Home inspectors are hired by the home purchaser, or in increasing numbers by the home seller, to be a disinterested third party in the real estate transaction. A home inspector should never offer to make the needed repairs to a home nor should they provide you with specific referrals for home repairs or renovations. For any necessary repairs, consumers should hire professionals with no connection to the inspector or the other party in the transaction.
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.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT FROM A HOME INSPECTION
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.
In addition, the home buyer should not expect the inspector’s report to serve as a guarantee that the home’s components will not ever fail or need repair at some point in the future. No house is perfect — they all need regular maintenance and repair.