Getting a professional inspection of a home you are planning to purchase is a very smart choice. An inspection will cover visible parts and systems in the home from roof to basement, and lets you know about both current and potential issues so that you can make informed decisions with your Realtor.
The Columbus Team has gathered some Home Inspections FAQs (frequently asked questions) about the home inspection process, to give you the answers you need. Did you have a question that’s not on our list? Please contact us, we’ll be happy to find the answer to all of your questions.
- What does a home inspection cover?
Typically, a home inspection will give you a ton of important information about your prospective home. The condition of every visible part of the home from the roof, the amount and R-value of the insulation in the attic, exposed plumbing and wiring (including the electrical box), down to the drainage around the foundation and the foundation itself. It should give you the age, condition, and life expectancy of major home systems such as heating, cooling, whole house fans, water heater, electrical box, and mechanical features such as garage doors, gates, pool pumps, landscape watering and lighting, and elevators. The inspection should also test every electrical outlet, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, faucets, toilet, and shut off valves.
- What does a home inspection not usually cover?
Typically, a home inspection does not cover anything out of sight, such as plumbing and wiring inside the walls, and most do not cover things like termite inspections or radon detection…although some inspectors are specially certified to do these specialized tasks.
- How should I choose a home inspector?
Many people ask their Realtor for a recommendation, others find an entirely independent inspector. We strongly advise that however you choose your inspector, choose one that is certified by ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. This is an indication of thorough training and professional standards, which we feel will give you the honest, careful inspection you want before you purchase a home. Home Inspectors in Ohio do not HAVE to have a license, so be careful to ask if they have ASHI certification. Some ASHI certified inspectors also have other credentials, such as an engineering degree or experience as builders and contractors.
- How do we get the information from the inspection?
Your home inspector should offer a written report with all of the relevant information printed out for you. This can be useful long after your purchase, when saving for upcoming repairs or remodeling, the report will have information that will be useful for you and your future contractors.
- Is the home inspection report a guarantee?
No, the home inspection report is completely accurate for the day in which it was completed, but not a guarantee or warrantee. For example, a strong windstorm the evening after your home inspection could leave damage to the roof of the home that the inspector could not have predicted.
- Is the home inspector the only professional I need?
If your home inspector is not certified for additional tests such as radon detection or well, septic system, and termite inspections, you’ll want to hire separate professionals for those tests. Your home inspector may also see something he or she feels needs special evaluation, if so, they will recommend finding a specialist for anything outside their area of expertise. A non-standard configuration of an electrical box, a dark spot or sagging on a roof, all can trigger the home inspector to suggest bringing in another expert.
- Does the home inspection affect my home warrantee?
Some home warrantee companies want to see a copy of your home inspection before paying a claim. This shows them the item or system WAS in working order when you had the home inspected. This can save you time and energy, as the report can stand as proof that something broke after the sale, or at least after the inspection.
- Who pays for the home inspection?
The potential buyer pays for the inspection. This helps ensure the neutrality of the inspection.
- How much does an inspection cost?
It varies from company to company, and can range from $250 up to $1,000, depending on how many extra tests are run. We strongly recommend that you only choose ASHI certified inspectors. After that important fact, other factors are up to you.
- What if the house fails inspection?
There is no pass or fail, only information. You use the report to decide if the house is right for you. If there are issues, we can help you negotiate with the seller to have the seller make repairs, you can offer a lower bid with information about how much you expect repairs to cost, or you can choose to look for another home.
- Is there ever a good reason to skip the inspection?
In our view, no. The Columbus Team wants you to be an informed buyer who is aware of the condition and functionality of the home you want to purchase, so that you are happy both before and after the sale!
Any further questions? Please contact The Columbus Team for answers!