FAQ’s for Buyers

Many buyers arrive at their Home Inspection unprepared. They are not aware of what all is involved in an Inspection, so they are not able to adequately prepare for it.
Due to this, sometimes a buyer will have questions or concerns arise about the home- often days after the inspection was performed. Many times these questions could have been answered by the Inspector, had it been brought to his attention.

The following sections will explain what a Home Inspection is, and what you as a buyer, can do to better prepare yourself for one.

What is a Home inspection?

A Home Inspection is a visual inspection of a structure and, made by a qualified professional, who is trained and has experience in evaluating all the component features in a house, and who is able to give a clear and accurate picture of the condition of these components.
It is important to remember that a Home Inspection is basically visual in nature, with no intrusive drilling or digging performed. When you and your Home Inspector have completed the Inspection, the house must be in the same (or better) condition than it was when you first began.

A Home Inspection should have a distinct two-prong focus.

FIRST – the primary goal is to clearly identify any potential significant defects that will affect your buying decision, and give you a realistic approximation of repair costs.

SECOND- is to clearly identify any areas in need of near term repairs, or any components that are reaching the end of their useful life span. Even though it is secondary, this area provides very useful information that you will need when setting up your maintenance budget.

A typical Home Inspection can be separated into three distinct areas:

The Home Inspection – where you meet your Home Inspector and the actual evaluation of the property takes place. The buyer should talk to the inspector prior to the inspection and indicate any specific concerns. It is beneficial for the buyer, especially a first-time buyer, to attend the inspection.
The inspection of a typical home usually takes between 1½ to 3 hours, depending upon the size and condition of the home.

The Report and Summary – Most inspectors present the report by e-mail within 24 hours with photos taken on site. What’s important is the walkthrough where the condition of the house is summarized for you, and any significant defects and their repair costs are brought to your attention You should be able to walk away from the Inspection knowing, in a clear way, what your immediate major issues are (if any), and what items will need repair and/or maintenance in the near term. With home maintenance, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Resources After The Inspection – an Inspector should make himself available to you after the Inspection, to clarify or answer any questions you may have about the Inspection and Report. This is part of the Inspection, and you should not expect to be charged an extra fee for this. An Inspector can be an invaluable resource for you, long after you have moved in. He can help provide you with referrals for contractors, advice and tips on home repairs, etc. Most Inspectors will not charge you for consultations over the telephone. If you want a home visit however, expect a fee to be involved.