Frequently asked questions concerning Home Inspections and Home Inspectors:
Do I need an Engineer or a Home Inspector?
Inspector vs. Engineer:
You need a home inspector. When you hire a home inspector, you are hiring an experienced professional who has training and experience in the building industry. It is the job of the home
inspector to not only evaluate the condition of the house’s major systems and structural integrity, but also to evaluate how these systems are working together and identify areas that need to be watched, repaired or replaced.
Your home inspector gives you the Big Picture analysis of the house you are purchasing. If the home inspector identifies the need for a costly, detailed analysis of any of the houses’ systems or structures, the inspector will recommend the appropriate professional, which may be an experienced engineer with expertise analyzing that particular system or structure. The need for this kind of expensive, detailed analysis is rare.
Hiring a Professional Engineer on your own can be a disappointing experience. The term Professional Engineer does not mean that the individual has training or experience conducting home inspections. Additionally, a home inspection does not involve engineering analysis. Therefore, hiring a Professional Engineer to complete a home inspection can undoubtedly costs more, but it
may not give you the results you desire and deserve.
Do I need a home inspection when my bank is having the house appraised?
Inspection vs. Appraisal:
Yes! A house appraisal is an independent evaluation of the current market value of a house or property. In general, the purpose of an appraisal is to set the current value of a house so
that a lender may determine how much it can loan to the buyer. Appraisers looks at similar properties in the area and the prices at which they were sold to set the value of the house.
A house inspector conducts a thorough evaluation of the houses major systems and structural integrity. Whereas the appraiser is typically working for the bank,
the house inspector is working for you. The house inspector identifies items that need replacement or repair prior to closing, which can save you thousands of dollars.
U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) requires buyers sign a Consumer Notice advising them to get a house inspection in addition to a house appraisal before purchasing a house with a FHA mortgage. Additionally, HUD now allows homebuyers to include the costs of appraisal and inspection in their FHA mortgage. The appraiser is typically working for the bank, the house inspector is working for you. The house inspector identifies items that need replacement or repair prior to closing, which can save you thousands of dollars.
Can a home fail an inspection?
NO. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A Home Inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate in their opinion what may need major repair or replacement.
Can I perform the home inspection myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional experienced Home Inspector. A qualified Home Inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. As an experienced certified Home Inspector I also understand 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.
What kind of qualifications and requirements should I look for in a home inspector?
Make sure you are hiring a Professional Inspector not a Real Estate Inspector or an Apprentice.
The state of Texas requires Professional Inspectors to pass the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE).
The NHIE is used by over 22 states as their licensing exam for home inspectors.
This exam has a passing rate of 64%. Also, to become an
Professional Inspector one must pass an extensive background check.
To sum this all up, Professional inspectors have more experience and knowledge…
Isn’t this who you want to show up for your inspection?
Questions to ask when looking for a home inspector:
Are you a Licensed Professional Inspector?
Ask them what kind of report they will deliver. Is it a computer generated narrative type & does it include pictures?
It doesn’t matter how good the Inspector is if you can’t read or understand the report.
Ask them what kind of tools they have:
Do they have a moisture meter?
Do they have a Carbon Monoxide tester?
Do they have the proper equipment to test electrical GFCI and AFCI systems, if so equipped, for proper functionality?
Do they have a flow meter?
Do they have a water pressure meter?
Do they have a digital temperature scan meter?
Do they climb roofs, go in attics and crawlspaces?
These are some common questions you should ask a prospective Home Inspector.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK — THIS IS YOUR MULTI THOUSAND DOLLAR INVESTMENT — BE CERTAIN ABOUT YOUR HOME INSPECTOR!!
Is a home inspection worth the cost?
The home inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. It is a good idea to check local prices on your own. However, DO NOT LET COST be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, OR IN THE SELECTION OF YOUR HOME INSPECTOR. The knowledge gained from an experienced home inspector is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is NOT necessarily a bargain. When selecting a home inspector, be certain to take into consideration their qualifications, including experience, training, and a Professional Inspectors certification from TREC. Also be sure your home inspector carries PROFESSIONAL & GENERAL liability insurance. And remember, this is a multi-thousand dollar investment you are making. Spending an extra $50.00 or $75.00 for a well-qualified Home Inspector very well may end up being be the best money you ever spent.
Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection performed by The Home Inspection Company also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance items that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the house you are about to purchase. If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to teach preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs.
Should I get a Pre-Sale Inspection?
If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have a home inspection prior to placing your home on the market.
This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s home inspector, and an opportunity
to make repairs that will put your home in better selling condition.
It is also a proven fact that the home owners that get pre-sale inspections performed sell much faster than homes that don’t.
The report is a powerful tool when it comes to selling your current home.
When do I call the home inspector?
A Home Inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is a home inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
For a pre-listing home inspection you should call before you contract with a realtor to sell your house.
Do I have to be there during the home inspection?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the home inspection, but it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the
home inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and
how to maintain it. You will also find the home inspection report easier to understand if you’ve seen the property first-hand
through the home inspector’s eyes.
What if the home inspection report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the home inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. You and your Realtor should discuss any issues found during the inspection and decide on if you should re-negotiate or not.
If you & your Realtor do decide to renegotiate issues discovered, a seller may adjust the purchase price or make repairs if major problems are found.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need a home inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence & with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home.
How long does the home inspection take?
A typical single-family home inspection will usually last between 2.5 and 4 hours, depending on the size & condition of the home.
Do home inspectors find every problem?
A home inspection is limited to a visual inspection of the home’s components and systems. Inspectors do not do damage to walls or ceilings, use invasive tools or disturb personal property. Problems that cannot be seen during the extensive walk-through of the property are not within the scope of a standard home inspection.
Will the inspector recommend someone for repairs if necessary?
Depending on what is found during the inspection, I may recommend that you have specific home components evaluated by a specialist, such as a plumber or electrician, for possible update or repair. I will never solicit bids on repairs or promote a single contractor. I suggest soliciting referrals from your Realtor or friends and family in the area.