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.
When should I schedule the home inspection?
As soon as you have an accepted offer. Most Real Estate contracts allow 7-10 days for the home inspection to be conducted. And, if something is found during the home inspection that needs further evaluation by a specialist, you’d like their feedback while in your inspection period as well.
What is inspected?
Arkansas Home Inspectors are governed by the State and a set of Standards and a Code of Ethics. However; I personally go above and beyond those Standards. The Standards state that walking a roof is not mandatory, and in some cases when the pitch is too steep, two story or the weather doesn’t permit, I will view a roof from the ground via binoculars and/or from a two story window.
Generally, I start at the roof, inspecting the gutters if any, looking at the general site conditions and drainage, visually looking at the exterior structure, foundation, going into the crawlspace if pier & beam, inspecting porches and/or decks. From there the attic, ventilation, insulation, any systems in the attic (such as water heaters, HVAC components, etc.), looking for signs of past roof leaks, inspecting the roof structure. Then I move into the interior of the home, going through each room thoroughly, operating windows, checking outlets, operating all appliance and plumbing fixtures, the HVAC system and electrical system.
At the end of the inspection I like to do a thorough walk-through with each customer and show them any defect I’ve noted and talk to them, answering any and all questions, before issuing the reports.
Do I need to be there during the inspection?
No. Generally, the inspection process can take anywhere from two to two and half, up to five or six hours, depending on the house. I do ask that the buyers meet me after I’ve done my inspection so I can do the walk-through with them, I find it easier to understand while reading through the reports if you’ve walked the property and we’ve talked about all the things you’ll find in the reports.
What do I do about the problems that are revealed in the reports?
No home is perfect!! Most Real Estate contracts read that you’re allowed an inspection period. At the end of that inspection period you’ll issue a “buyer’s response” written back to the seller with any issues noted and what you would like done, whether that’s a concession off the price of the house or to have the seller fix any issues that were found.
While the inspection is not meant to be a tool for re-negotiations, many times it becomes one. Don’t let your brother or uncle or a friend do it. You are not saving any money by letting a friend look. Even if he is a contractor, it does not mean that he is a good inspector. You need a qualified, unbiased inspection, so when the inspector does find problems, they won’t be easily minimized by the other parties because your uncle or friend did the inspection.
If the house is new or in really good condition, do I still need an inspection?
Definitey!! Isn’t $350 - $500 a small price to pay for peace of mind on an investment like a home purchase?