What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the condition of a property. It is typically conducted by a certified inspector who reviews the property and issues a report within a few hours of the visit. While a buyer should be concerned about the severity of problems, they should focus on the number of defects found. Without a home inspection, buyers are giving up an important bargaining tool.

Home Inspection

The inspector will examine the home’s roof, electrical system, air conditioning, plumbing, and structural components. Home Inspection Colorado Springs will also examine indoor stairs, railings, attics, and crawl spaces. They will make a note of any obvious defects that are readily apparent and may take photos to document issues.

A home inspection can be an overwhelming experience, especially for a homeowner trying to make sense of all the information presented in the report. But a good real estate agent can help make sense of the report for both parties.

Most of the time, inspectors are hired by prospective buyers to find out as much as they can about a property before making a purchase. But sellers can be nervous about the process, too. After all, if the home has problems that are serious enough to be included in the home inspection report, it may force them to drop out of the deal, reconsider their initial offer or request repairs or credits from the buyer.

For this reason, many of the concerns that pop up on an inspection report are centered on safety. Some of the most common surprise issues include things like loose railings and stairways, signs of water damage and rot, pest infestations and major foundation problems.

A typical inspection report will contain a summary page that highlights the most significant issues, along with any repairs suggested by the inspector. It will also have a section with photographs to help the reader navigate the rest of the report.

Many of the items listed on a home inspection report will be general, rather than specific. As such, it is difficult for a home inspector to say whether or not an issue needs to be addressed right away. But they will often note if an issue poses a safety concern or is creating more damage, and they will usually recommend that any such issues be addressed before closing.

It is important for homeowners to remember that an inspection report is only as accurate as the day it is written. There are all kinds of factors that can change the condition of a home since the original inspection, including weather events, minor defects that have progressed and even repairs or improvements made by the owner. If you are relying on an old home inspection report, you could be missing important information about one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make.

Inspection Fees

Home inspections are typically performed by professional home inspectors. The costs for these services can vary, but on average, home inspections cost around $400. The price of a home inspection depends on the size and age of the house. It also depends on whether the inspector is conducting a specialized inspection. For example, some inspectors offer thermal imaging, which can be useful for checking a house for mold or structural issues. Other special home inspections include radon and pest inspections.

When hiring a home inspector, it is important to consider the experience of the inspector and the reputation of the company. Ask friends and family for recommendations, and look for online reviews. You should also consider the inspector’s qualifications, including their license and membership in professional associations, such as ASHI or NAHI.

Another factor that affects home inspection costs is the state of the housing market. In hyper-competitive housing markets, some buyers may choose to waive a home inspection in order to make their bid more competitive. However, experts advise against this. In the long run, the unforeseen problems that can result from skipping a home inspection will likely outweigh the savings gained by doing so.

When selecting an inspector, ask for a sample report and photos from a previous home inspection. This can give you a good idea of the inspector’s abilities and the level of detail in his or her reports. Additionally, ask if the inspector is available to discuss the findings of the report.

In addition to performing a general home inspection, inspectors should check the electrical system, ventilation systems, and plumbing. They should also open and close windows, and examine the roof and crawl space.

During a typical inspection, an inspector should spend two to three hours on the property. They should be looking for a variety of things, including water leaks, pests, and mold. They should note any areas that will need significant repair work or renovation. However, not every issue found should be a deal-breaker, as some repairs are simply cosmetic or will be necessary for safety reasons. For instance, a broken ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) might be an inconvenience to fix but could save a potential owner from experiencing an electrical shock.

Inspection Requirements

Home inspections are often discussed as if they were a simple pass/fail test, with both buyers and sellers hoping that the house “passes.” In reality, however, this is not the case. During the inspection process, inspectors may identify some issues that need to be fixed in order for the property to be considered safe and livable. These issues can range from major structural damage to minor cosmetic problems. Depending on the nature of the problem, a buyer may decide to proceed with the sale, request that certain repairs be made by the seller, or cancel the contract altogether.

During a home inspection, the inspector will look at several components of the home, including electrical and plumbing systems; the roof; attic; basement; and general interior/exterior. They will also look at the windows and doors, ensuring that they open and close properly. In addition, they will check the HVAC system to ensure that it is functioning; and look at the air ducts to make sure there are no holes or leaks. Inspectors will also take a closer look at any potential hazards, such as low-hanging branches that could cause roof damage or give rodents access to the home.

In general, inspectors will not comment on aesthetic issues, such as a discolored ceiling or stains on the walls unless they indicate a larger issue, such as water damage. They will also not go behind the walls or in crawl spaces, unless they can be accessed safely. If an inspector identifies an issue that cannot be addressed during the inspection, they will likely recommend a more specialized evaluation, such as for pests, asbestos, lead paint or piping, or radon testing.

Home buyers are often able to negotiate with the seller to have these specialized inspections done before the final sales contract is signed. However, it is important to note that these inspections will add to the time frame of the overall closing process and will require additional negotiations between both parties. In some cases, the additional inspections can even be a deal breaker for the buyer.

Schedule Your Inspection

Home buyers should always have an inspection performed on a property before they purchase it. This will allow them to know what problems are already present and negotiate with the seller accordingly. Home sellers also benefit from having an inspection done before putting their home on the market. It gives them the opportunity to make necessary repairs and upgrades that will improve their home’s value and attract potential buyers.

Home inspectors look for many different things during the course of a home inspection. They will inspect the foundation of the house, as well as check all the major systems including plumbing, electrical and HVAC. They will also look at the roof for signs of damage or leaks, and check the attic and basement. They will also check for any signs of insect infestation, such as termite and wood-destroying insects.

In addition to the standard inspection, some properties require a more in-depth or detailed inspection. This may be because of the type of foundation, or because of other factors. For example, a crawl space or basement may need to be dug out and examined, which can add an extra 30 minutes or more to the inspection time. This allows the inspector to examine the condition of the foundation and surrounding soil, which can indicate whether it is settling or has suffered from water damage, or whether there is excessively close contact between the foundation and the earth, which could invite wood-destroying insects.

A home inspection can take anywhere from two to three hours to complete for a single-family home. Multi-family homes and condominiums will typically take longer. The inspector will typically spend the most time looking at the plumbing and electrical systems of the house, but will also look at the roof, attic, and basement if they are accessible.

The home buyer usually pays for the home inspection, but this can be an item for negotiation between the buyer and seller. It is a good idea for the home buyer to be present during the inspection, as this will give them an opportunity to ask questions about the findings and get a better understanding of what they are buying. It will also help them to determine how serious any issues are and if they are deal-breakers.