What is the purpose of a home inspection?
There are several purposes actually. One is to provide a home buyer or seller with information about the present condition of the home. The other would be to provide a buyer with a detailed report listing what problems exist so that they are able to make an educated decision regarding the purchase of a home.
Who pays for the inspection?
In most cases the buyer will pay for the inspection. Sellers sometimes will order an inspection of their own and present it to the buyer during escrow. However, buyers are advised to not solely rely on the results of a seller generated inspection. Consider the cost of the inspection part of the overall home investment.
What problems does the home inspector look for?
Inspectors have a comprehensive list of areas that need to be inspected. This may be in the form of a printed checklist, but more often, the list will be in the head of the inspector. Those that have been in the business for years, who commit to continuing education annually, will know what to look for. Good inspectors do not miss things. It can be very costly to do so. This list will include major part of the home, such as the foundation, heating and air, roofing, electrical, plumbing systems, etc. A home inspector checklist will also include smaller problems such as a leaky faucet. If a problem exists, either minor or major, it will be discovered you will find out about it. Hazardous conditions are also a part of the inspection process. Problems such as mold or other environmental problems may be noted on the report, if the interested party has paid for these additional services.
Is more than one inspection needed?
In many cases, no. However, should the home inspector notice problems that need to be looked at by an industry professional, additional inspections will be warrented and recommended. Specialized inspections for mold, pet urine, foundations, chimneys, etc. are all examples. The home inspector can spot issues with these systems, but specialized training and instrumentation is required for an accurate assessment.
My inspection report shows several problems with the house. Now what?
As a home buyer you will need to decide how to proceed should the inspection reveal problems that you are not willing to repair on your own. If hazardous conditions exist, a tough decision may be in order. The most common process after receiving the inspection report is to begin negotiations between the buyer and seller. Sometimes this works out well, other times it does not.
Do I really need a home inspection?
Unless you have a high risk tolerance, a professional home inspection is a good idea. The home tends to be the largest investment that a person makes in their lifetime. It is not advisable to take chances. Even if you can afford the cost of major repairs that may be needed in the home once the purchase is complete, can you afford to risk your health should you forgo the inspection and later discover that the home contains mold, radon, lead or asbestos? Or that there are structural problems that are going to cost upwards of ten thousand dollars to fix? At the end of the day, it's your call to make.