What is a Home Inspection? ASHI defines it as:
The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a home and which describes those systems and components in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice. That’s a good start. But we believe there is a better answer to the question, “What is a home inspection?”
A better definition
Quite simply, we feel it’s peace of mind. Peace of mind in knowing the condition of your potential new home is what you can live with. We often tell our customers there’s no such thing as a perfect house. If you’re looking for one, then you may want to stop looking.
So what is a home inspection?
During our inspection, we review over 600 hundred items throughout the home. As much as we’re trained to recognize construction and major system defects, there will most always be maintenance or upgrade concerns. Know what you can live with and what you cannot. A seasoned home inspector can point out the good and bad, the serious and the not so serious. The home inspection is your opportunity to not only find deficiencies but learn about the house as well.
What does a home inspection include?
There are a lot of misconceptions as to what a home inspection covers. First, a home inspection is not a warranty or guarantee that the home or parts of the home are in good condition beyond the day of the inspection. What is a home inspection? It is simply a snapshot in time and cannot be used to try to predict what might happen to the home once the inspection is completed.
The inspection report also should not be construed to be a code compliance inspection or an appraisal on the value of the home. I don’t think it’s possible for a home inspector to discover every defect during a two to three hour inspection. Some defects do not surface for months. Secondly, a home inspector will use his best effort to try to discover those defects that can be found by a visual inspection of the accessible areas.
But, for example, if the owner covers a water stain on a ceiling with fresh paint and does not disclose that the roof had leaked, the inspector most likely will not find the stain unless it happens to be raining on the day of the inspection. The main source of dissatisfaction with home inspectors comes from comments made by contractors. Contractors may say, “I can’t believe you had this house inspected, and they didn’t find this problem”.
There are several reasons for these apparent oversights.
The Home Buyers Guide includes a section, which better explains what to think about when things go wrong.
Who is responsible?
The seller, the inspector or both? The problem with the seller disclosure form is that most sellers are not aware of some of the defects that they have. As far as they are concerned, the paint that covered the stain was a proper repair. As far as the inspector is concerned, the stain was not present at the time of the inspection.
However, if you have a major defect that was hidden by the sellers, they should be contacted to make restitution. If the problem was concealed but could be easily discovered by a prudent visual inspection, the inspector should be contacted. If the defect or problem occurred after you bought the home. Then welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership. Things break and need repairs. Granted, some inspectors are more knowledgeable and thorough than others. There are good inspectors and there are cheap inspections.
The question usually is, “Did you get what you paid for?”
Certified Home Inspector
Oklahoma License #0073
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