Q: Is a home inspection important to have done?

A: Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your contract with the seller. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your purchase offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract (Cited from: Investopedia: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/home-inspection.asp#:~:text=Home%20inspections%20are%20used%20to,a%20home%20prior%20to%20closing.&text=The%20potential%20problems%20a%20home,from%20such%20a%20significant%20contract.)

 

Q: What is a home inspection?

A: A general home inspection report shall identify, in written format, defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. Inspection reports may include additional comments and recommendations.

Q: What is not covered in a home inspection?

A: As identified in the Standards of Practice which can be seen in full on the website there are specific limitations to the inspection:

  1. An inspection is not technically exhaustive.

  2. An inspection will not identify concealed or latent defects.

  3. An inspection will not deal with aesthetic concerns or what could be deemed matters of taste, cosmetic defects, etc.

  4. An inspection will not determine the suitability of the property for any use.

  5. An inspection does not determine the market value of the property or its marketability.

  6. An inspection does not determine the insurability of the property.

  7. An inspection does not determine the advisability or inadvisability of the purchase of the inspected property.

  8. An inspection does not determine the life expectancy of the property or any components or systems therein.

  9. An inspection does not include items not permanently installed.

  10. This Standards of Practice applies only to properties with four or fewer residential units and their attached garages and carports.

 

Q: What does a home inspection cover?

A:

  • Basement, foundation and crawlspace,

  • Cooling systems,

  • Decks, stoops, porches, walkways, and railings,

  • Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats,

  • Eaves, soffit and fascia,

  • Electrical panels, breakers and fuses,

  • Electrical service line and meter box,

  • Fireplace damper door and hearth,

  • Garage doors, safety sensors, and openers,

  • GFCIs and AFCIs,

  • Grading and drainage,

  • Grounding and bonding,

  • Gutters and downspouts,

  • Heating systems,

  • Insulation and ventilation,

  • Interior plumbing fixtures and faucets,

  • Main disconnect and service amperage,

  • Main water shut off valves,

  • Roof, vents, flashings, and trim,

  • Skylight, chimney and other roof penetrations,

  • Water heating system,

  • Water penetration and foundation movement…and more!

Q: How long does an inspection take?

A: The length of an inspection will vary depending on factors such as the size of the home and any defects detected. However, the majority of inspections take 2.5-3.5 hours.

 

Q: Am I allowed to be present during a home inspection?

A: Although it is not required, it is helpful for the buyer be present for the inspection.  This gives them the opportunity to ask questions about and findings and learn which steps can be taken to address any concerns regarding the home.    

Horizon Home Inspections

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