Condo Inspections !   Why do an inspection?

WHY?
Because the purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you complete the purchase, so that you can minimize surprises and possible legal action afterwards.

A home inspection also points out the good things about a house, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may want to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.  It can also give a buyer the confidence to make a higher initial offer. The small investment can make a difference in thousands of dollars!


WHAT DOES THE INSPECTION INVOLVE?
A home inspection is an visual examination of the structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the basement. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. I Remember that the inspector is a not a specialist in any one area. He is like a general contractor. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation by a licensed contractor or a specialist, such as a foundation inspector. 

The standard home inspector's report will review 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, and visible structure.

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies by inspector. It may also vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, and possible additional services like hiring a plumber to inspect the pipes underneath the house based on the area. Costs are also affected by the inspector's experience, demand for his services. 

However, 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 knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.


BUT I KNOW A LOT ABOUT HOUSES.
Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. An experienced inspector has seen many properties and can see signs of defects that most of us will miss. They are also trained on local and national building codes. What you may see as a "new" electrical box, an inspector will see if it was improperly wired according to code.

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

WHERE CAN I FIND A HOME INSPECTOR? 
The best source is a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has been satisfied with and can recommend a home inspector they have used. In addition, the names of local inspectors can be found by searching the ASHI® online database, or in the Yellow Pages where many advertise under "Building Inspection Service" or "Home Inspection Service". 

  Local Partners See Eric's Home Inspectors is recommending because they do a great job home after home.


WHEN DO I HIRE THE HOME INSPECTOR ? 
A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. We have 10 days to do our inspections, during a busy time we can usually extend this to 15 days. We want to start as soon as possible because the general inspector may recommend a further inspection on a particular aspect of the home. A very common item is the a/c or heater is not working properly but the general inspector will not know the exact reason. At this point we can get our own person or have the owner get his to look at it.   

It is highly recommended that you attend the inspection with your agent. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes.  Because the inspector is liable if he fails to disclose something, sometimes the written report can sound a lot worse than it really is.

WHAT IF THE HOUSE FAILED INSPECTION? 
A house can't really "fail" the inspection. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or 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 may need repair or replacement.  

No house is perfect. If the inspector writes up problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. You may request that the seller adjust the purchase price, repair the defects or escrow the funds for future repairs if major problems are found. Of course, you will also have the option to give the seller a property condition response asking the seller to repair or replace the items we have proof that they need to be repaired. Being old does not mean the needs to be replaced.                                                              
Whether or not the report reveals that the house is in sound condition, it was not a waste of time and money. Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its mechanicals. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector's written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.
 
Eric Bouler
Eric Bouler
Realtor