The short answer is, yes. Buying a new home is an expensive investment, possibly the largest one you'll ever make. A home inspection brings more clarity to what it is that you're buying and will help to mitigate the risk involved in such a purchase.
Can I inspect the home myself?
We very strongly advise against attempting to perform the property inspection yourself, for a number of reasons. Even if you do have a lot of experience with the systems of a home, it is still advised to hire a professional home inspector. ♦ It's far too easy to become emotionally attached to a home. It's very important to have a subjective party perform the inspection to provide a professional, unbiased assessment. ♦ A professional home inspector has been trained to look for specific issues, and is familiar with a wide variety of situations. ♦ A good home inspector knows the difference between major and minor issues, and which minor issues can lead to major problems down the road. ♦ There are many potential problems that could either go unnoticed, or could lead to bigger problems, that a home inspector is trained to uncover.
How long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection typically takes between 2 and 3 hours, depending on the size of the home and number of issues discovered. A home inspection that takes less than 2 hours is generally not thorough enough to be useful.
When you request your inspection, we can give you a better idea as to how long the process will take.
May I attend the inspection?
Absolutely! While your presence is not required, we strongly encourage you to come along for the inspection. You'll have a much better idea of the condition of the home when you can see any issues first-hand.
You'll be able to benefit a lot more from the inspector's experience and expertise if you are present at the inspection. You can ask questions and receive home maintenance tips - especially helpful for first-time home buyers.
If I'm selling a house, should I get a pre-listing home inspection?
You're more likely to have a quick sale if the house has already been properly inspected. You can opt to provide potential buyers with a copy of the inspection report, or you can address any issues before listing the house for sale.
Major problems discovered during a home inspection may result in serious transaction delays. If you know about these problems ahead of time, you'll be in a better position for a smooth transaction.
What Is Included in a Home Inspection?
A standard home inspection includes:
Check faucets and showers, looking for visible leaks as well as testing water pressure. Identify the types of pipes used, if visible. Identify the location of the main water shutoff valve.
Identify the type of wiring, test all outlets and make sure there are GFCIs installed where needed to protect from electrical shock. Inspect the electrical panel for safety issues and fire hazards.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Determine the age of the furnace and air conditioner, whether or not they function properly, and possibly recommend repairs or maintenance.
Determine the age of the water heater and check for proper installation. We can also determine the condition and possibly give an estimated remaining life span of the unit.
Check for proper ventilation. A poorly ventilated dryer exhaust can be a serious fire hazard.
Test smoke detectors and ensure that the garage wall, if present, has the proper fire rating and is undamaged. Also check the fireplace for proper installation and maintenance.
Check for visible leaks, properly secured toilets, proper ventilation to prevent moisture related issues, and more.
If possible, check for structural damage and proper ventilation. Also check insulation and ensure that nothing is ventilated directly into the attic, such as the bathroom.
Check for damaged or missing siding, cracks, and excessive soil contact which can be an invitation for pests.
Check for possible foundation failure, indicated by cracks or settling.
Check to ensure that the ground slopes away from the house, which prevents water from entering the house or causing damage to the foundation.
If accessible and visible, check for roof damage or poor installation that may allow for water penetration as well as checking the condition of the gutters.
Test the garage door for proper functionality, check for proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, and check for risks of explosion from ignition sources too close to the floor.