A home inspection is an assessment of a home’s visible and accessible systems and components (plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, structure, roof, etc.) and is designed to give the customer (buyer, seller, or homeowner) a better understanding of the general condition of the home. It’s most often a buyer who asks for a home inspection that he or she is serious about buying. A home inspection provides data to confirm or question purchase decisions, and can uncover serious and/or expensive defects that may not be known to the seller / owner. Checkout Colden inspection for more info. It is not an estimation of the worth of the property; nor does it discuss maintenance costs. It does not guarantee that the home will comply with local building codes or protect a customer in the event an inspected item fails in the future. [Note: warranties can be purchased to cover many items] A home inspection should not be considered a ‘technically exhaustive’ assessment, but rather an assessment of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into account normal wear and tear for the age and location of the home. A home inspection may also include, for additional fees, Radon gas testing, water testing, energy audits, pest inspections, pool inspections, and several other specific items that may be indigenous to the region where the inspection is taking place. Home inspections are also used (less often) by a seller before listing the property to see if there are any hidden problems they do not know about, and also by homeowners who simply want to take care of their homes, avoid surprises and keep the value of the home investment as high as possible.
In a home inspection the important results to pay attention to are:
- Major defects like large differential cracks in the foundation; out-of-level or plumb structure; decks not properly installed or supported etc. These are items that are expensive to fix, which we classify as items that require repair of over 2 percent of the purchase price.
- Things that could lead to major defects-a roof flashing leak that could get bigger, damaged downspouts that could cause backup and intrusion of water, or a support beam that was not properly attached to the structure.
- Safety hazards, such as an exposed electrical wiring, lack of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) in kitchens and bathrooms, lack of security railing on decks more than 30 inches off the ground etc.
Your auditor will instruct you on what to do with these things. He / she may recommend assessment-and most certainly will on serious issues-by licensed or certified professionals who are specialists in the areas of defects. For example, if they find sections of the home that are out of alignment, your inspector will recommend you call a licensed building engineer, as this could indicate a serious structural deficiency.