Home inspections play a very important role when you are considering to buy or to sell a residential property. Though these inspections are not mandatory in United States, they are important as they can provide a important information to the buyer, thus helping to make an appropriate decision with regards to buying or rejecting a property. Sellers, on the other hand, can use these inspection reports to convince the interested parties that the price quoted for a particular property is in sync with its present condition and no major expenses for repairs will be required in the coming days. As buying a home can be one of the most important decisions in your lifetime, opting for home inspection can be an inexpensive option to learn about the underlying condition of the property.
What is a home inspection?
Home inspection is a non-invasive assessment of the actual condition of a property. Trained and certified home inspectors are required to complete these inspections. After making a complete inspection of the property, a written report is submitted by the home inspector to the client, so that he or she can assess the current condition as well as the real worth of the property. While surveying the property under inspection, the home inspector goes through all the features such as plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing, insulation, and the structural condition of the property. A proper inspection can reveal many issues related with the basic features of a residential property which cannot be assessed by a layman. Apart from the inspection of basic features, home inspectors can also provide reports related to the exterior, HVAC, insulation, and ventilation of the house.
While opting for home inspections, one can also opt for
- Termite/wood destroying organism inspection
- Radon inspection
- Water testing
- Oil tank testing
- Septic tank testing
Majority of these tests and inspections are taken care of by the home inspectors as they are qualified to perform above mentioned operations. They provide such services for additional fees or may recommend other qualified persons. In order to opt for a single home inspector to carry out all the tests, you must opt for the one who has all the appropriate qualifications.
Trained Home Inspectors
Typically to become a licensed home inspector, a person is required to complete an approved training course or examination depending on the state’s laws. Majority of the states have made it mandatory for home inspectors to obtain education credits from time to time to renew their existing licenses (Home Inspector, 2014). The practical standards for home inspectors in United States are enacted by the American Society of Home Inspectors and National Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI Survey, 2). There are many online sites which are providing online courses and tests required for becoming a certified home inspector. These courses provide online classrooms, courses, quizzes, hands-on field experience, and examinations for the completion and certification.
Process of Home inspecting
The cost and the time required for completion of home inspection depends upon the size and the age of the property as well as the region where the inspection is required. In general, a medium sized house takes about two to five hours of inspection. The home inspector goes through all of the features associated with the property and provides a detailed report. It must be noted that the inspector’s responsibilities do not include any type of repairs or corrections required for the prospective issues discovered during the inspection. In such situations, a home inspector can advise repair or recommend skilled professionals fit for the job. Home inspectors are generally qualified for structure, exterior, roof, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, interior, insulation and ventilation inspection (ASHI Survey, 2).
- Structural Inspection involves checking of foundation and supporting elements to look out for a variety of distress indicators related with construction and requirement of repairs.
- Plumbing inspection involves assessment of plumbing by checking faucets and showers for leaks, water pressure and condition of water supply and drainage pipes.
- Electrical work inspection involves assessment of electrical panels, wiring and safety issues related with the outlets.
- HVAC inspection includes assessment of heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Checking of air conditioner and furnace unit is done for age estimation and to check for issues related with any type of damages or leakages.
- Fire safety involves assessment and examining of smoke detectors as well as structural design of the building which can lead to potential fire hazards.
Benefits related with home inspections
Home inspection by a certified home inspector provides peace of mind and a negotiating opportunity to close a deal for both buyers and sellers. Apart from providing the actual condition of the property to the seller, it also provides a chance to the seller to opt for repairs so that a premium price for the property can be called for. Buyers can use the inspection reports to negotiate for a better price and to make a consideration for the extra money required for future repairs. By opting for home inspection a buyer can do the following:
- Assess the real condition of the property.
- Avoid costly mistake of investing in wrong property.
- Negotiate a credit or payment by the seller for repairs.
- Check out potential health hazards due to the presence of mold, fungi and radon gas.
- Understand possible future maintenance and upkeep costs.
Even though a home inspector hired for the job has your best interest on his mind, one should try to be present when such an inspection is in process. By opting to do so, you have the chance to assess your future home through the eyes of an expert. You can also take notes, which along with the submitted report can help you to plan a contingency addendum in the agreement, if required. This allows you to request the seller to provide the required repairs and a chance to cancel the deal if seller does not comply. A home inspection takes only few hours and a small amount of money, but it can help you to save thousands of dollars in the long term.
Sellers can also use the services of home inspectors to boost up confidence in the buyers. It is a proven fact that majority of buyers feel more confident when buying if a home inspection report deems a property to be in a good condition (ASHI Survey, 2). Forgoing a home inspection is not worth the risk, as it is beneficial for both buyers and sellers. It provides extra levels of security for the buyer and a chance for the seller to ask for a fair price.
Are you looking to buy or sell? Be sure to get your home or future home inspected as soon as possible. Prices can be negotiated and safety insured. The power is now to get out there and build your future!
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA
President and CEO