Facts and Questions about Home Inspections

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.   -Albert Einstein


 What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. We inspect anywhere and everywhere we can see or touch.


What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report. Washington State also has a set of standards that must be followed.

In your report we will include a copy of the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics according to Washington State Law.


Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.

If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

What will it cost?
The inspection fee varies, as does the cost of housing.  The inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing, pest inspections or mold inspections. Give me a call and I will give you an exact quote 509-998-6132!

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 sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, compliance with your state’s regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.


When do I call a home inspector?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.


How many days notice do I need to give you?
When the sale of a home is conditional on the results of a home inspection, we recommend that you call right away to insure we can coordinate a time that would work with both of our schedules.


Why can't I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail. Certified home inspectors also have special equipment, knowledge of current recalls and years of building experience.

Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not 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 what components and systems may need major repair or replacement at the time of the inspection.

Do I have to be there?
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe and are encouraged to ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.


Will I receive a copy of the report? When?
You will receive a binder which includes the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.  The inspection report includes a summary of the condition of the home and details on all the major systems of the home. The binder will also have some resources to help maintain your home. The binder will be delivered within 48 hours of the inspection and can also be sent electronically.


What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect! So don't worry! If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't mean you should or shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you.




Some of the information courtesy of ASHI