Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?
For many people, their home will be the greatest investment they ever make. The decision to purchase a home is made with many factors in mind: Schools, proximity to work place, neighborhood, size and style of home etc. The average person is unable to determine on their own the existence of unknown problems that may exist in the home. These problems can cost a significant amount of money that the buyer maybe unprepared to spend. A professional home inspector is trained to observe these potential problems and report them so the buyer can make a more educated decision in the purchase of the home. This type of inspection is your best protection against buying home needing repairs which you are unable to afford.

 

What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is an objective examination of the structure, systems and components of a home – from the foundation to the roof. A home inspection provides you with an independent opinion as to the condition of the property at the time of the inspection. An inspector typically spends between two to three hours evaluating a home, and may recommend further evaluation if problems or symptoms are discovered.

 

How Do I Choose a Professional Home Inspector?
You can go to the internet! The best looking advertisement and nicest secretary that answers the phone does not always mean the inspector is reputable. Referrals from professionals can often be helpful. Your lawyer, mortgage officer or real estate agent can refer you to a company they think does a good job. Lawyers and mortgage officers have nothing to gain or lose by whoever does the inspection. However, they tend to know home inspectors only by reputation rather than by first-hand experience of watching them perform inspections. Real estate agents provide most of the referrals to home inspection companies. They have first-hand knowledge regarding who does a good job and who does not. If there is a drawback from a real estate broker referral, it would be because they do have something at stake. If the inspector finds a serious problem, it could cause the buyer to back out and the agent could lose the commission. Therefore, an unscrupulous agent may refer an inspector who will not perform a quality inspection. Although the potential for this exists, it is the exception rather than the rule. Good real estate brokers know that much of their future business comes from past customers and referrals, and that they will receive neither if they refer poor inspectors who cause costly problems.
What is the Home Inspector Responsible For?
Any professional inspection firm will have an agreement for you to read and sign. This agreement will spell out the company’s capabilities and their limitations. Do not assume you know what the inspector can do for you based on what you hope or want him to do for you. There are limitations. Inspectors are there to limit your risk in the purchase of a home However, they cannot eliminate that risk. Keep in mind that the inspection is limited to what can be visually observed at the time of the inspection. Generally, their function is to observe and evaluate the major systems of the home and report to you the conditions they observe that exist on the day of the inspection. When problems are found the inspector will either offer recommendations of how to repair or recommend you get further evaluation by someone who specializes in that field. An inspector cannot predict the condition of a system five years from now, or even what condition it will be in the next day. To put it simply, anything that breaks was working the day before it broke; a furnace working the day of the inspection may develop a problem between then and the date you move in . There are also limitations to the depth of evaluation a home inspector can perform. There are components to systems that are not visible without dismantling the system. Home inspectors do not perform this kind of testing. Weather can also be a factor. You make book an inspection date and snow may fall, covering the roof of the house. The inspector can evaluate only what is visible. It is not his responsibility to report on a roof that cannot be seen. It is not his responsibility to come back later to check items which were not accessible the day of the inspection. You have booked a block of time for the inspector to inspect the accessible items during that time only. Although cosmetics and minor deficiencies may be discussed and even reported, this is not the purpose of the inspection, and should not be the focus of concern throughout the inspection.

 

What Will the Inspections Cover?
There are generally over 1200 items observed throughout an inspection, it would be too lengthy to try to mention them all. Below is a summary version of what is inspected:

Interior: Foundations, water seepage into basements, framing, crawl spaces (when safely accessible), electrical, heating and air conditioning, plumbing (water, waste and water heating), visible well equipment, laundry, kitchens/baths, interior surfaces (doors, walls, ceilings, etc.), fireplaces, attic framing including ventilation and insulation.

Exterior: Siding and trim, roof (We will walk on most roofs depending on slope height and weather.), gutters/leader, windows/skylights/doors, chimneys/flashing, steps and walks, decks, patios, and porches, retaining walls, vegetation, driveways/garages, grade

Note: We perform a state certified termite inspection at no extra cost.

What Type of Report Should I Expect?
The report should include the findings of what condition the major systems of the home were found in. Reports themselves can vary. Some companies provide a narrative report which they generate in their office to mail out to you. Typically 48 hours of preparation time is required plus a couple of days to get to you through the mail. Using our automated software combined with field computer and printer we can generate your report promptly onsite. The report is organized in a three ring note book with an inspection check list, summery report of deficiencies found, along with digital picture to support the summarized deficiencies and recommendations
How Much Will the Inspection Cost?
This is a question that cannot be answered in particular without contacting us directly. Every home, Condominium and Townhouse is different, large, small, old, and new. For more information, please refer to our fees section.

 

Are Home Inspections Required for Closing?
They may be required by your lending institution. New standards and regulations are being drafted that could impact this issue. The Homebuyer summary, given to the homebuyer protects the appraiser because it has a summary of their findings (this assumes they do an adequate inspection). The appraiser should also provide a document titled “For your protection, get a home inspection.” This very clearly warns the buyer that FHA does not guarantee the condition of the home and the buyer should have their home inspected by a qualified home inspector.

 

How Do I Choose a Specialty Contractor?
Tips on Selecting A Specialty Contractor:

Specialty contractors can make larger tasks go much more smoothly. Here are some tips for homeowners on how to get the best job at the best price.

First, define what you want done. If it’s a complex project that involves several trades people, you’re better off hiring a general contractor and letting him sub out the specialty work. Otherwise, gather names from friends, neighbors and relatives. Listen carefully to what they say. Watch out for comments like “The job took much longer than expected” or “It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would”.

When calling a specialty contractor recommended to you, make sure you mention the person who gave you his name. That implicitly promises you’ll recommend him if he does a good job. It also suggests he’ll lose two customers – you and the person who recommended him – if things do not go well.

Find out from your local building department whether a particular trade requires certification or licensing. If so, ask for the name of the state licensing body. Then ask officials there if they have received complaints about the contractor you hope to hire.

Check out the potential specialty contractors’ work by visiting their prior project sites. Be sure to talk to the homeowners and see if they were happy with the job.

As you show the specialist the job, get feedback to make sure you didn’t miss anything. This will open the door for informed suggestions. If you’re worried about cost, be sure to say so. That lets a pro suggest ways you can save. Don’t be stuck on doing a project your way; take advantage of a contractor’s experience.

Finally, always get an estimate or bid from at least three contractors to help determine the right price.

 

What is InterNACHI?
InterNACHI is the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. It is the world’s most elite, non-profit inspection association.

What type of inspection exams do InterNACHI home inspectors have to pass?

Our inspectors have all successfully passed InterNACHI’s Inspector Examination, taken a Standards of Practice Quiz, completed a Code of Ethics Course, adhere to Standards of Practice, abide by a Code of Ethics, attend required continuing education courses, and are InterNACHI Certified.

Are You Registered as Home Inspector by Washington State?

I am registered as Home Inspector in Washington State. My registration number is DOL# 1708

Where Can I Go To Get More Information On Home Inspection?
Be sure to read our blog for more helpful articles on home inspection