Frequently Asked Questions About Home Inspections
- WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
- A home inspection is a visual non-invasive, non-technically exhaustive, physical examination of the property. It is designed to identify all materials. A home inspection covers over 400 home components. Even small repairs are mentioned that need attention upon moving in. Defects in systems, structures and components at the time of the inspection. A defect is a condition which affects value, desirability, habitability and/or safety of the home. If major problems are found the inspector may recommend subsequent further evaluation.
- ARE HOME INSPECTORS REQUIRED TO BE LICENSED?
- Yes, in North Carolina, all home inspections performed for a fee are required to be done by a NC Licensed Home Inspector. The regulatory body governing home inspectors in North Carolina is the NC Home Inspector Licensure Board. Their home page is www.nchilb.com.
- DO I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
- There is no home that is too new or too well built not to benefit from a professional inspection. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase and be able make your conscious buying decision. Sellers, if you have owned your property we can help identify potential problems and recommend preventive measures, which might avoid future expenses or repairs.
- DO I NEED TO BE PRESENT FOR THE INSPECTION?
- It is not required for you to be present, but we encourage the client to attend and observe the inspection, so their questions can be fully answered and explained. We feel this is a helpful and wanted option and will certainly complement the inspection. If you’re not able to attend the full inspection, possibly you can attend at the end, so together we can go on a detailed walk through to review our findings. The inspection time from start to finish is generally two to four hours.
- INSPECTION COST SHOULD NOT BE A MAJOR FACTOR:
- The cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspection, or when selecting an inspector. Compared to the price of the property, the inspection cost is very small. The inspector’s experience, training and professional affiliations should be an important consideration. All inspectors are different with varying experience and report writing. Sure you can find savings, but the bargain inspector could miss hundreds if not thousands of dollar worth of repairs!
- WHAT IF THE INSPECTION REPORT REVEALS DEFECTS?
- Homes are not perfect. If the inspector observes reports and identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the home. Now you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price if major problems are found. A home purchase is difficult on anyone’s budget. If you don’t want to be involved in future repairs, this information will be valuable to you.
- IS A CONTRACT REQUIRED FOR A HOME INSPECTION?
- Yes, all licensed home inspectors in North Carolina are required to provide a written contract that shall describe the services performed, standards of practice, limitations and the cost or the services. This contract is required to be signed before the home inspection is performed.
3 Deadly Mistakes Every Home Buyer Should Avoid:
- Deadly Mistake #1: Thinking You Can’t Afford It.
- Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before. Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home. Buying a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make. In fact, most American and Canadian home owners would be financially broke at retirement if it weren’t for one saving grace – the equity in their home. Furthermore, mortgage rates are more flexible today than ever and tax allowances favor home ownership. Real estate values have always risen steadily. Of course there are peaks and valleys, but the long term the trend is a consistent increase. This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases. This owe less, worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can’t afford not to buy. Even if you have little money for a down payment or credit problems, chances are that you can still buy that new home. It just comes down to knowing the right strategies, and working with the right people. See below.
- Deadly Mistake #2: Not Hiring a Buyer’s Agent to Represent You.
- Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it is often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of professionalism. For many homebuyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars. It does not have to be this way! Work with a buyer’s agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and who is on your side. Buyer’s agents have a fiduciary duty to you. That means they are loyal to only you and are obligated to look out for your best interests. Buyer’s agents can help you find the best home, the best lender and the best inspector. Best of all, in most cases, the buyer’s agent is paid out of the seller’s commission, even though he/she works for you. Trying to buy a home without an agent at all is, well… unthinkable. Ask me for some great Real Estate Professionals.
- Deadly Mistake #3: Getting a Cheap Inspection.
- Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring a certified inspector is almost insignificant. As a homebuyer, you have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages and trying to get the best deals. Do not stop now. Do not let anyone talk you into skimping here. InterNACHI front-ends its membership requirements. InterNACHI turns down more than 1/2 the inspectors who want to join because they can’t fulfill the membership requirements. InterNACHI certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far. InterNACHI certified inspectors earn their fees many times over. They do more, they deserve more, and yes they generally charge a little more. Do yourself a favor…and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.
What Really Matters From The Inspection Report:
Remember, homes are not perfect, so remain calm. It’s not the number of individual items or pages of the report that matters so much, but it’s really about the significance of what might be major cost to repair. As a home inspector I can help you sift through the major issues and give you some guidance. That’s part of what I offer to you. Think through it and don’t sweat the small stuff. The issues that really matter fall into various categories:
- Safety Issues: examples may include: gas leaks, fire hazards, personal injury items, or general safety issues, and electrical components.
- Major Defects: examples may include: structural related issues or damage, roofing, HVAC system deficiencies.
- Immediate Issues: Items that need attention which may lead to major defects and secondary problems if not corrected in a timely manner. This may include any type of moisture related problems whether from foundation water penetration, exterior framing, trim or siding damage, plumbing, and HVAC equipment, etc.
Anything in the above categories should be considered for repair from their perspective cost and immediate needs. Often times a safety issue in need of repair may not have a large cost associated with corrective action. On the other hand an older roof system might be slightly less urgent now, but could have a very high cost associated with the replacement moving forward. Any item that requires subsequent monitoring can be expected as well. This is why it’s vital to read the entire report.
Remember, no house is perfect and it’s not necessarily cost effective to make it so. Just because it’s in the report doesn’t mean it has to be immediately repaired. Only you can decide what is most important to you and your specific family needs. However, and by all means, your home needs to be comfortable and safe.