What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
What does a home inspection include?
The 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 a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report. The state of Oregon also has Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics which are closely modeled on the ASHI Standards.
Does a house pass or fail a home inspection?
No. A home inspection is an evaluation of the condition of the house at the time of the inspection. It is not a code compliance inspection and is not an appraisal of the value of a property.
What does a home inspection cost?
Home inspection fees will vary with the size and age of the house, whether there are detached buildings that will be included, and other factors. There may be additional inspections that you want to include such as a sewer scope, radon testing, etc. These services are not part of a home inspection and are provided by others. I would be happy to provide you with names of companies who offer these services.
Do not let cost be a factor when deciding 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, reputation, and professional affiliations as a guide.
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.