Frequently Asked Questions
The first twelve items are from and available on the website of the American Society of Home Inspectors® at http://www.ashi.org/FAQs-on-Inspection
- What is a home inspection?
- What does a home inspection include?
- Why do I need a home inspection?
- What will it cost?
- Why can’t I do it myself?
- Can a house fail a home inspection?
- What is the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)?
- Who Belongs to ASHI?
- When do I call in the home inspector?
- Do I have to be there?
- What if the report reveals problems?
- If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need a home inspection?
- What does the selling price of the house have to do with the cost of the home inspection?
- Can I trust my real estate agent to recommend a home inspector?
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 The Standard of Practice for Home Inspections and Code of Ethics for the Home Inspection Profession that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
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 for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, 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.
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.
Call 610-565-1366 for a price quote or to schedule your Helpful Home Inspection.
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.
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.
WHAT IS THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS® (ASHI)?
Since 1976, ASHI has worked to build consumer awareness of home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.
WHO BELONGS TO ASHI®?
ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. ASHI Associates work their way to ASHI Certified Inspector status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.
WHEN DO I CALL IN THE 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.
DO I HAVE TO BE THERE?
While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.
WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect. 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. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.
WHAT DOES THE SELLING PRICE OF THE HOUSE HAVE TO DO WITH THE COST OF THE HOME INSPECTION?
While not a perfect system, the selling price is usually a good indicator of the size of the home and the complexity of its systems. Basing our fee on the selling price of the home allows us to ask one question to which you are sure to know the answer, rather than a long list of questions to which you may or may not know the answer – wall construction, roof design, type of foundation, size of service and number of electrical panels, type and number of heating and cooling systems, and on and on…
Call 610-565-1366 for a price quote or to schedule your Helpful Home Inspection.
CAN I TRUST MY REAL ESTATE AGENT TO RECOMMEND A HOME INSPECTOR?
Your real estate agent is an invaluable source of advice, information and guidance throughout the often difficult process of buying or selling your home. At Helpful Home Inspectors, LLC, we believe that you should be able to rely on the fact that when your agent recommends a home inspector, or any other professional, that he or she is doing so in your best interest based on the individual’s reputation and qualifications. Beware of recommendations that are made based on any business relationship or advertising agreement established between real estate organizations and multi-inspector firms or franchises.
Helpful Home Inspectors, LLC is a local, independent inspector-owned business. We are proud of the reputation that we have earned and continue to earn among local real estate professionals for providing their clients with a great service at a fair price. They recommend us because they know that we are there for you – to answer your questions and to provide an education, a thorough inspection and an objective evaluation. They know that we adhere to the highest standards and ethics in the field. We do not compensate real estate agents, or any other parties financially interested in real estate transactions, for the referral of inspections or for inclusion on any list of recommended inspectors or preferred providers when such lists are paid advertisements disguised as earned endorsements.
Please feel free to contact us with any question of your own.