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-What is a home inspection?

It is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of their condition.  It is also important to know what a home inspection is not!  It is not an appraisal of the property’s value; nor should you expect it to address the cost of repairs.  It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or protect you in the event an item inspected fails in the future nor should it be considered a “technically exhaustive” evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.

-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.  

-Why should I have the home inspected?

Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill and emotional detachment needed to inspect homes themselves.  By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not “function as intended “or “adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling “or “warrant further investigation” by a person who specializes in the item in question.

-When should you inspect your home?

You should inspect a home if you are buying it. Purchasing a home is as much an emotional investment as a financial one, but missed problems can turn a dream home into a nightmare. With the help of an objective expert, make an informed decision regarding the biggest investment you will likely ever make. Is the charming slope in the floor a sign of structural failure? Know before you buy and are faced with unexpected expenses.
If you are SELLING a home Full disclosure: Demonstrate you did all you can to reveal any concerns within the home. Also, discover these areas before the buyer, and you can have your own cost estimates rather than dealing with a buyer's inflated estimates

-What does a home inspection include?

The standard 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.

-What will it cost?

The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing.
Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or 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.

-Can I do it myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.  

-Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.  

-How do I find a home inspector?

You can ask friends or business acquaintances to recommend a home inspector they have used.  Also, real estate agents and brokers are familiar with the service and may be able to provide you with a list of names from which to choose.

-When do I call in the home inspector?

Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.  

-Do I have to be there?

While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.  

-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.  

-If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

Absolutely, now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.

-Are all inspection reports the same?  

No.  While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly.  They can range from a “checklist” of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two.  

-In my home purchase I have chosen to sign the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract form which many real estate and legal professionals use.  It states that I have the right to have the home inspected and the right to request that the seller repair identified problems with the home.  Will the home inspection identify all of these problems?

Yes and no.  Home Inspectors typically evaluate structural components (floors, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning), installed appliances and other major components Questions and Answers on home inspections. For most persons, purchasing a home is the largest investment they will ever make.  It is no wonder then that many homebuyers employ professionals to inspect the structural and mechanical systems of the home and report to them on their condition.  Sometimes sellers also employ Home Inspectors to alert them to problems with their homes which could arise later in the transaction.  But normally Home Inspectors are employed by buyers.  The Home Inspector Licensure Board’s standards of practice do not require Home Inspectors to report on: wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, pools and spas, detached structures and certain other items listed in the Offer to Purchase and Contract form.  Always ask the Home Inspector if he covers all the things which are important to you.  If not, it is your responsibility to arrange for an inspection of these items by the appropriate professionals.  For a description of the services to be provided  by  the Home Inspector  (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the Home Inspector must give you and which you must sign before the Home Inspection can be performed.


Rye, NH 03870
Main 603-380-5000