Frequently Asked Questions about Home Inspections
Here are the answers to some frequently asked inspection questions.
Why do I need a home inspection?
When you get a home inspection before you buy, you can learn as much as possibly about the condition of the property before the purchase. This will give you an advantage. A certified home inspector is trained to assess the overall condition of the property and provide you with a customized report revealing major defects or even minor issues that can lead to major damage if not fixed.
How long does a typical home inspection take?
Typically an inspection on a home up to 1500 square feet will take up to three hours, depending on how many issues are found.
What does a Home Inspector do?
As a certified interNACHI inspector, I provide my customers with a detailed and unbiased evaluation of the home from top to bottom, inside and out. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to get so caught up in the excitement of buying a home that the buyer might overlook a potentially expensive issue! That’s where I come in.
I will evaluate the roof, foundation, structural, electrical, and mechanical systems. Items that deteriorated, damaged, or present health or safety issues are noted will be photographed and included in the final report. Along with a printed report including photos, I also provide a cd copy along with a home owner’s guide with helpful tips for protecting your valuable investment.
Is the Inspection Report accepted by FHA, VA, and Maryland Bond?
The inspection report is for your personal use in determining the value of the home compared to the seller’s asking price, and to provide you with awareness of conditions that may become costly to you if you purchase the home. The lending institutions go by the Appraisal, which values the property using different standards. Your Home Inspection gives you, the buyer, an inside advantage on the value of a particular home.
What is the difference between a Home Inspection and an Appraisal?
An Appraisal takes into consideration general market value based on past sale values in the immediate neighborhood and the general size and condition of the home in comparison to the others. A Home Inspection is an in-depth inspection of the entire home, and can reveal much more than an appraisal. I have seen homes that are in sight of one another and even adjoining townhouses in completely different conditions.
What do I need to do to prepare for the inspection?
First and foremost, make sure the utilities are turned on and the mechanical systems are up and running. It is very important to have the house in an active condition so everything can be checked out. The seller should be more than willing to do this.
Arrange for a time where you have up to 4 hours to spend on the prospective purchase. This is a major investment, and you need to be able to take the tome to involve yourself with all aspects of the move. Your time is valuable, so it’s good to arrange to have the termite inspection and water/septic inspectors there at the same time, as they are usually finished by the time I’m putting my report together and printing it out to you. This will give you the “Big Picture” view of your potential investment and its value.
Who should or will be present during the inspection?
I work directly for you, the buyer. You or someone you trust should be there and accompany me on the inspection to ask any questions you may have. Typically, the selling agent is there to provide access and arranges to have the termite/ water & septic inspector there at the same time, which is beneficial, but not necessary.
How much is my home inspection going to cost?
Home inspectors value themselves at different rates, and the quality and scope of your inspection will vary with these rates as well. I like to equate this with major surgery. Either one is going to affect you and your loved ones for at least the next 30 years. Do you pick the best heart surgeon in your area, or opt for the one offering the lowest price? My prices are on par with other inspectors whose reports meet or exceed the Maryland Minimum Standards and the InterNACHI Standards of Practice, as well as the national average that holds to these standards. For this information, go to www.nachi.org and click on Standards of Practice in the left hand column.
Immediately after the inspection is complete, I generate the report complete with photos on my laptop. I carry a printer with me and your report is printed on site!