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Home Inspection FAQ



1. Why do I need a Home Inspection?

Answer: Although home sellers must disclose any deficiencies in their homes, many homeowners are not aware of some of the issues that could exist at their home. For instance, many homeowners do not go up on their roof or in their crawlspace (if their home has one) and therefore may not be aware of conditions that need repair. A Home Inspector can help identify those issues.

2. How much will a Home Inspection cost?

The cost of a Home Inspection varies depending on several issues. The size of the home, the age, the foundation and the complexity all can factor in to the cost of a Home Inspection.

3. How long will the Home Inspection take?

Answer: A well conducted Home Inspection should take approximately 1 hour per thousand square feet. This time can vary depending on many of the same issues mentioned in the question above. Older homes take longer than newer homes because of the effects of aging and the tendencies of home owners to modify homes over time. A crawl space generally takes longer to inspect than a basement or a home on a concrete slab. Inspectors who spend only 2 hours looking at a 3000 square foot home are likely working too fast, which is known as a "drive-by Inspection".

4. What guidelines should a Home Inspector follow when completing a Home Inspection?

Answer: Most states have adopted licensing for Home Inspectors. If that is the case where you live, then the State also provides rules or standards for conducting a Home Inspection. Your Home Inspector is obligated to follow those rules to the best of his/her ability. If the State you live in does not license Home Inspectors, then the Inspector is not required to follow any rules. However, HABITEC recommends that in this case you hire a Home Inspector that commits to an agency that offers standards for Home Inspections. The best agency for this is ASHI, or American Society of Home Inspectors.

5. How do I know if my Home Inspector is licensed?

Answer: Ask them. They should readily offer proof of their license. Also, one of the requirements for licensing is to have adequate insurance.

6. Do I need to be present for the Home Inspection?

Answer: A home buyer is not required to be present for the Home Inspection. However, it is recommended that at least one of the buyers attend all or some of the Home Inspection. A great deal can be learned by talking to the Home Inspector about the house you are trying to purchase. A good Home Inspector will offer and take the time to walk around and through the house with you to discuss his findings and answer your questions. This is usually done at the end of the Inspection after the Inspector has the opportunity to get the “big picture”. If your Home Inspector does not offer this service, look for another one.

7. How will the results of the Home Inspection be presented?

Answer: Most Home Inspectors offer a computer generated Home Inspection Report to present their findings. The best companies include digital pictures embedded in the report to add clarity to the discussion. Before hiring a Home Inspector, ask for a sample of their report and make sure it includes color digital photos.

8. If I have questions after seeing the Home Inspection Report can I call the Home Inspector to get answers?

Answer: Reputable Home Inspection companies offer this service. A good Home Inspection Report will leave few questions for the home buyer but it is virtually impossible to eliminate all questions. A few minutes on the telephone can clear the air quickly.

9. How do I know if the Home Inspector will do a good job?

Answer: Ask the Home Inspector for references. A good Home Inspector should be able to offer at least 6 names of Clients or Realtors they have worked with who will speak on their behalf. Also, a Home Inspector should offer testimonials from previous Clients. The best companies make this information readily available on their website.

10. Will I get a guarantee from the Home Inspector that his work is correct?

Answer: Some franchise operators offer something called a warranty. Be careful. Often the fine print on these “warranties” makes it virtually impossible to recover your money should the appliance or system that is “insured” fail. In truth, there is no way a Home Inspector can guarantee an appliance or system will work beyond the day it was Inspected.
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