Home Inspection Misconceptions
What To Expect: Home buyers sometimes buy their home in on impulse. Home inspectors can help home buyers avoid buyers remorse by reporting on home defects and problems before the home buyer finds them after closing. specialized home inspectors assist home buying clients with the tools they need to make an educated choice regarding the quality and condition of their possible new home. Home buyers must take care to hire the most experienced home inspector they can provide and make sure the person they hire has their best interest solely in mind. Inspectors who rely on realtors for referrals sometimes have moral dilemmas.
Buyers Benefits: A specialized home inspection is the best way for possible home buyers to effectively estimate the risks of a character buy. A major concern of home buyers is being suddenly confronted with major and costly problems after they take possession of a character. A specialized pre-buy home inspection can reduce anxiety by screening for problems and itemizing them in a comprehensive report. This report may include approximations of repair costs and recommendations of useful upgrades to the character systems. The general consequence of a specialized home inspection is that character buyers make considerably more informed purchases.
Screening for Problems: All homes have strong and ineffective points, they are not always what they seem. Gain the perspective and sound information you need to make better decisions with a home inspection performed by an experienced specialized home inspector. A good home inspector works by a very long checklist of possible concerns to clarify the major and minor deficiencies in the home. A good report will clearly describe the problems and illustrate them along with the what-to and how-to of repairs.
Provide Owners Benefits: Home owners who are planning to make improvements to their homes in order to increase its market value would be well advised to have it inspected first. A home inspectors can help prioritize home improvements and offer advice on the best ways to approach repairs. More importantly, an inspectors can help the seller clarify possible or undiscovered problems before those problems become material for contract contingencies. By taking a pro-active approach one can avoid the frustrations many owners encounter when they are asked to renegotiate their contracts because of unanticipated problem areas.
Credentials: Like any other specialized, home inspectors (already those with licenses) have varied degrees of skill. All home inspectors should be carefully screened. Inspectors learn from experience. It takes a few thousand inspections and a more than a few complaints for a home inspectors to LEARN what it takes to satisfy clients.
Recently passed legislation allows New Jersey home inspectors to be licensed with as little as three weeks of class room training and just one week in actual homes. Licensing is a minimum qualification. Make sure you ask for begin again! Belive it or not the standards in many states are LOWER!
Many people without specific home inspection credentials offer home inspection sets. Likewise, credentials are not always what they seem. Engineering and architectural credentials alone do not prepare anyone to competently inspect homes and communicate the findings. A helping attitude, good communication skills, and mature judgment must supplement technical competence. Make sure you work with a company employing a contract which specifies both what is inspected and what limitations apply.
Additional sets like the ones listed below are usually NOT included in the standard home inspection are obtainable for an additional fee.
Code compliance: to determine what changes and upgrades are necessary for the home to comply with modern (or when built) building, fire, plumbing, zoning, mechanical and electrical code and to determine if the required permits and inspection were obtained when changes were made to the home.
Engineering examination: structural, heating, cooling, soils, electrical, geological, site, probe for latent structural defects or problems, estimate the condition of playground equipment, determine if private waste disposal systems are functional, determine if cantilevers are safe, estimate traffic density and noise, estimate insulation efficiency, perform flood plain review and issue flood danger certification, estimate easements and encroachments, determine the quantity and cost of wood substitute made necessary by decay, age, water infiltration and insect damage.
Hazardous materials: to determine the presence or absence of: asbestos, rule paint, rule in water, formaldehyde, radon gas, rule paint, fungus, mold, mildew, water and air quality, toxic or allergenic substances, flammable materials, underground oil or fuel tanks and other environmental hazards.
Pest evaluation: to determine the presence of animal, rodent, termite, pest or insect infestation and to provide an opinion as to the cost of repairing damage caused from these infestations.
Pool and spa: to estimate the necessary changes and upgrades to pools, pool equipment, gates and fences.
Plumbing: to determine the condition and necessary upgrades and repairs to the waste piping, main sewer pipe, supply piping, venting, shower pans and tub walls, lawn and fire sprinklers, water wells (water quality and quantity) condition of underground and under slab piping.
Electrical: to determine the condition and necessary upgrades and repairs to the electrical system, telephone system wiring, intercom system, security systems, heat detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, provide circuit mapping, determine the electrical system capacity, adequacy of ground bonding, perform voltage testing, to estimate electro magnetic fields, check voltage drops and circuit impedance.
Chimney sweep: check condition of flue, safety of wood burning stoves and perform level II chimney flue inspections as recommended by National Fire Protection Association.
Appraisal: determine the value of building and suitability for intended use, check zoning ordinances and provide an opinion on the advisability of buy.
Mechanical contractor: determine the adequacy of the heating and cooling system size and provide efficiency measurement, provide an underground storage tank evaluation, perform heat exchanger leakage test, check the condition of evaporator coils, determine air flow velocity and balance system.
Appliance service person: test and calibrate oven and range temperature, test for microwave leakage, check to determine if appliances secured to floor as required.
Roofing contractor: more detailed evaluation of the roofing, flashing, chimney, provide tall ladder roof inspection and a detailed evaluation of the life expectancy of the roofing, feasibility of repair vs. substitute.
Home buyers are advised to make sure they check all of the following items carefully. If any of these problems after the buy of the home the problems come with the home and they are now the YOURS (without costly litigation).
Were all your questions answered by the home inspector?
Were all your questions for the home owner answered in writing?
Have the before agreed to repairs been professionally completed?
Have warranties and guarantees been provided for agreed upon repairs?
Were the home inspectors recommendations to have all recommended additional inspections and invasive inspections performed? If not open ended risks may be more than most buyers budgets can bare?
Check the operation of the windows and screens?
Has water been stopped from accumulating near the building?
Check doors, decks, siding, windows & fences for damage / decline?
Are there any signs of water infiltration from the roof, siding or windows?
Are there any signs of gutter or downspout problems?
Are the downspouts discharging water away from the foundation?
Has the soil around the home been pitched away from the foundation?
Have all the areas listed in the home inspection report as far away or not traversed been accessed & professionally inspected to determine if defects exist?
Do the garage doors and their openers function?
Was the reversing devices for the garage door openers tested?
Did you find out why any stains or fractures on any of the walls or ceilings that have become larger or have appeared since the time of the home inspection?
Have all cracked windows or mirrors been repaired?
Have all the clouded double pane windows been replaced?
Are all the permanently installed fixtures or appliances been in place and in good condition?
Are there any signs of birds, rodents or animals?
Has any damage to damage to the walls, floor or ceilings been repaired?
Do the plumbing fixture faucets leak or drip?
Are the plumbing fixtures chipped or damaged?
Was water for a time by all plumbing fixtures and check for leakage?
Was water for a time by all plumbing fixtures and check for stoppage?
Are all the light fixtures are all in place?
Do the light fixtures, switches and receptacles all function?
Does the door bell work?
HEATING AND COOLING
Do the thermostat, heating and cooling systems function?
Is there adequate air flow by the heating and cooling registers?
Did all the radiators or convectors get warm in a reasonable amount of time?
Do all the appliances function properly?
Are the counter tops or cabinets damaged?
Do the cabinets and drawers function?
Complete this check list during the walk by and go over it with your attorney prior to closing on the character Most inspection companies accept no liability for changes and problems that occur after the home inspection takes place. Please take the time to carefully and completely perform your pre-settlement walk though. Contact the home inspection company if there are any questions.
Michael Del Greco is President of Accurate Inspections, Inc. A New Jersey home inspection firm, has performed thousands of home inspections in New Jersey since 1993, taught the New Jersey Home Inspector Licensing classes and New Jersey Home Inspector CEU classes in addition as participated in developing questions for the National Home Inspector Exam. The home inspector’s begin again may be viewed at http://www.accurateinspections.com/michael2.htm