What is the Point of a Home Inspector?

What is the point of a home inspection?

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If you are buying a house, you know what a big commitment it is. From the necessary paperwork to property taxes, and right up to moving day, there are details and expenses that you probably didn’t anticipate.

Buying a house is one of the most important and significant purchase you will make. However there is no money back guarantee or return policy. If you buy a house and move in, only to find out there is something wrong with the property you purchased, you are responsible for the repairs, problems, and bills.

This is why home inspections are important when you are considering buying a property. A home inspector goes through a house before a purchase is made, and looks for any current or potential issues before you buy the property.

What does a home inspector do?

A home inspector is a highly-trained professional who reviews a building as an entire system, and looks for how one component of the house might affect the operability or lifespan of another. Home inspectors are visual: inspectors are simply looking for damage and possible issues that are readily apparent to trained professionals, but they do not probe structural components when it would damage finish surfaces, inspect structures that aren’t part of the main building (such as storage sheds, or swimming pools), or predict the life expectancy of the roof.

Inspectors also are not expected to perform water tests, determine the adequacy of the water supply, or look for erosion in and around the yard. Ultimately their job is to view the property as a whole, and identify potential problems or issues.

A home inspector will closely examine the house as a whole system. This includes roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, walls and grading on the exterior of the house. The interior components that an inspector will consider include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, wood, doors, and ceiling and wall finishing.

What to expect from a home inspection

A home inspection typically takes about three hours, and costs under $500. A home inspector will walk through the house and determine components that aren’t working properly or items that are beyond repair or unsafe, and identify areas where repairs are necessary. The goal of a home inspection is to provide clients with a better understanding of the property condition, and a clear idea of potential future problems.

It is recommended that buyers accompany inspectors throughout the home inspection. This gives buyers an opportunity to ask questions about identified issues and discuss areas of concern. While a buyer will receive a comprehensive written report as a follow up to the home inspection, it is helpful to also speak to the inspector throughout the duration of the inspection. This will help buyers understand the written report they receive from the home inspector, and allow them to make informed decisions.

Home inspectors are not appraisers, nor are they expected to provide quotes on repairs, point out noncompliance with building requirements, or provide a list of vendors for possible repairs. A home inspection is only intended to help you make an informed decision about buying your home.

How to choose a home inspector

Choosing a home inspector is important. Inspectors require special training and knowledge, and often have a background in engineering or other related fields. While there are many associations and industries that hold home inspectors to standards, there is no uniform certification or requirement in order to become a home inspector.

In fact, anyone can say they are a home inspector, so buyers should do their homework and find an inspector with a solid reputation and experience in the field. The organization with the largest member base of home inspection professionals is the International Association of Home Inspectors, which includes inspectors here in Canada.

It’s a good idea to look at how much experience an inspector has, what their qualifications are, and what associations they belong to. Once you have found an inspector with whom you want to work, it is wise to call their references and ask other homeowners about their experiences. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau and other rating companies to see how your inspector is rated or reviewed.

If you plan on buying or selling a home, visit ComFree.com today.

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