Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building.  If you are considering buying a home, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional inspector.

Why do I need a Home Inspection?

A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future.  Both buyers and sellers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent, informed decisions before executing an agreement for the sale or purchase of the inspected property.  The inspection is almost always paid for many times over with the discounts or repairs performed.   An inspection is a prudent investment both financially and strategically.

How much does a Home Inspection cost?

The inspection fee for a typical single family home in the will vary from one inspection firm to another however $350 is the cost for the average sized home.  Some of the home criteria that will change the price are size, age, features and specialty inspections required (i.e. termite, pool, radon, septic, etc.).  Prices will also vary based on the experience, workload and thoroughness of the inspector.  Choosing an inspection company based on price alone is often a losing proposition.  Often the inspector will charge less because he needs the business or because he takes less time per inspection (takes shortcuts) and can do more inspections per day.  Choose wisely and consider more than price alone. 

Can I inspect the home myself?

 Most buyers find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may cloud their judgment.  For the most thorough, accurate information about the true condition of a home, always obtain an impartial third-party inspection.

Do homes “Pass” or “Fail” Home Inspections?

No.  A home inspection is an examination of the current condition of the home.  It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards.  A home inspector will not pass or fail a house.  A home inspection informs you of the homes condition and indicates which items will be in need of repair or replacement.

When should I contact the Home Inspector?

The real estate contract usually includes an option period during which you can have the home inspected.  It is prudent to contact an inspector immediately after acceptance of your offer.  It is very common for the buyer to procrastinate, wait until the last minute and have to choose an inspector based on their being able to perform the inspection immediately.  Good inspectors are busy; contact us as soon as possible to secure a time

How long should my home inspection take?

The home inspection length will vary from one home to the next.  The size, age and condition will all affect the time required.  An average sized, late model home typically takes 2-3 hours to inspect however this time could be much longer depending on the home.

Are all inspection reports basically the same?

 You should look for a company that provides a thorough, narrative, easy to read and understand, computer generated report with digital documentation (pictures) of problem areas.  This allows you to see the problem, clearly and up close. 

Should I be present for the inspection?

While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join the inspector at the property.  This allows you to observe the inspector, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how the different systems work, and how to properly maintain them.  If you are not able to attend the entire inspection, try being there at the end to review the report in full.  This allows you to personally view any problematic issues.  For those people that cannot attend (i.e. not in town, working, etc.), our narrative report with pictures will be the next best thing.  The report can be emailed or faxed the same day as the inspection.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect or problem-free.  When the inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house.  The findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property.  A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if unforeseen major problems are discovered during an inspection.  If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.

How do I find a good inspector?

Word of mouth, personal experiences and referrals from friends and neighbors is one of the best ways to find a home inspector.  Someone who has used a home inspection service and is satisfied with the level of customer service and professionalism of that company will likely recommend a qualified professional.