What is an inspection?

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

What does an inspection include?

A complete inspection includes a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. The inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. Only those items that are visible and accessible by normal means are included in the report.

Why do I need an inspection?

The purchase of a home or commercial building is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect --- both indoors and out -- in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents a professional opinion as to the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. Of course, an inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a building, as well as the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently.

As a seller, if you have owned your building for a period of time, an inspection can identify potential problems in the sale of your building and can recommend preventive measures which might avoid future expensive repairs.

When do I request an inspector?

The best time to consult the inspector is right after you’ve made an offer on your new building. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building. Ask your professional agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.

Who should attend?

We feel our primary purpose is to educate our clients so they can make informed decisions so we encourage the client to attend as much of the inspection as possible. By attending, you will learn firsthand about how the various components and systems of the house work together to create a safe and secure shelter for your family.

How long does an inspection take?

The inspector typically spends 2 ½ to 5 hours performing a thorough, visual, functional and operational inspection of the many mechanical and structural components of the home. The time is dependent upon the size and complexity of the home. The inspection includes an evaluation of such important elements as: Foundation, Roof, Attic, Plumbing, Electrical, Heating, Air Conditioning, Appliances, etc. A detailed computer report with digital color photos, in language that you can understand, can be furnished within 48 hours of the inspection.

What if the report reveals problems?

If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you. The choice is yours.

Can a house "fail" inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of major repair or replacement immediately or in the near future.

If the house proves to be in good condition, was the cost of the inspection justified?

Absolutely. Now you can go forward with the purchase of your home confidently and with peace of mind. You will have a better understanding of your home and how best to schedule and budget any future repairs or renovations. The inspector's written report will prove invaluable in planning and working with contractors and vendors.

Can't I do it myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. The inspector understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.