What is a home inspection? It is a visual inspection of a home; it is done to observe the apparent performance of various components and systems. The report is one of problem identification. The purpose is to identify visible defects or conditions that, in our opinion, adversely affect the function of these systems. The home inspection is based on the home’s condition at the time of the inspection and in no way warranties or predicts the future performance of the systems inspected. It is a negotiating tool for you and your Realtor to use to your advantage. I do not have x-ray vision, I cannot see inside walls or finished areas. What I can see are indicators that lead me down a certain path to discover an issue. No inspector will take responsibility for what cannot be seen or was not there. I don’t tell you if the home is priced correctly. There are far too many outside variables to tell you if it is a good buy or not. I do not give you dollar estimates for repairs. If we know a general $$ figure we may give you that for informational purposes only. I have never charged someone to replace their roof so there is no possible way to give you an accurate number as to the replacement cost. That would be doing you a disservice. I am a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. If I see something that does not appear to be installed correctly, is not functioning correctly, or is a safety concern I will recommend further evaluation. No inspector knows everything about everything. My reports will have all the issues I have with the house detailed with pictures included. I will also list all the maintenance items that I find too. Please read the contract available from this website for information as to what we do not inspect.
Do I need to be at the inspection? You do not have to be there, my recommendation is to show up for the last 60 minutes of the inspection if possible. Upon arrival, if I am not finished yet feel free to check out the house on your own. Homes are extremely complicated structures, the more an inspector can completely concentrate on the home itself the less chance of anything being overlooked. Inspectors are human, we go through an extensive checklist but there is always the chance that something can be missed. If you are one that wants to follow the inspector around and ask questions throughout the inspection process we are probably not a good match and you would be better off finding an inspector that works this way.
The house has already been inspected by the seller. If the house has an inspection done on it that inspection does not protect you. The only person that has any recourse against that inspector is the person that hired them (the seller). If they hired a weak inspector you will be at the mercy of their negligence. Protect yourself and get your own quality inspection.
Why do I need a Home Inspection? Well… you and your family are going to be living in this house, wouldn’t you like to know exactly what you are buying? When you sell this house that you did not get an inspection on and the new buyer’s inspector found the issues that you never knew about who will most likely get stuck with the bill? YOU! It’s all about protecting your investment. I am here for you, I am hired by you, I am paid by you, I will report all I find for you. Some inspectors try not to bring up “deal-killing” issues for their agents. I don’t overlook issues or downplay them. I report what I see and you and your Realtor take that information, digest it, and put it to work for you. If you have a Realtor who cares about you he will be pleased if we find a “deal killer”.
How do I know if my Home Inspector is qualified? I am a certified member in good standing with ASHI – American Society of Home Inspectors. As an inspector, I am constantly learning. I research on the Internet almost every night and I have contacts all over the country including some of the most experienced and seasoned inspectors in the country to consult. Be careful, there are no licensing requirements in the state of MN! You yourself can be an inspector tomorrow if you wish to, I would highly recommend against it though. Most people know only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to houses. On the other side of the coin just because your inspector has 25 years of experience doesn’t mean he knows it all either. If they have not been keeping up on current building practices and developing technologies houses will soon outpace them and their experience. Just because the bulb has burnt a long time doesn’t mean it is the brightest.
Can a Home Inspector fail a house? No. A home inspector can not pass/fail a house. Every home has its price depending on many variables. What may look like a money pit to you may be exactly what someone else is looking for. For that reason, we do not pass or fail homes.
How much does an inspection cost? Well, let’s put things into perspective… If you are buying a $300,000 house and the inspection costs $400, that is less than .02% of the cost of the home. Most real estate agents charge 4-6% to sell a home. That would be $12,000 to $18,000 for a $300,000 house! The cost of a home inspection is a bargain, even if you had to pay $1000.00 for an inspection and most are less than half of that!
How do I know what you are going to be inspecting and to what depth the inspection is on a home? – A very good question if you had this in mind. Please refer to a copy of our contract. We are generalists and offer a service that is a broad assessment of a home’s condition. We do not enforce code, there are certain systems we do not inspect, and we will defer certain complex systems or systems to specialists. If you were to have each system of the home inspected by a licensed professional with expertise in a certain area you would be spending thousands to have your home inspected. This is where home inspectors fill the void. For a reasonable price, a thorough inspection can be performed that will alert you to any safety and/or performance issues of the home.