Home Inspection

A fresh coat of paint or new carpeting may disguise serious flaws. That’s why you want to make sure a professional inspects your new home.

It’s important to have a qualified inspector completely inspect the home you are planning to buy. If you by-pass the inspection and later discover that your house needs repairs, you will ultimately spend more money in the long run.

A qualified professional home inspector surveys the foundation and structure, roof, exterior, major systems (electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing), and appliances that stay with the home.

Tour the house with the inspector, who will point out potential trouble areas, as well as what’s in good working order. If the inspection does uncover some flaws, a seller is often willing to make repairs, but it may depend on market conditions. Take notes as you tour. Get the inspection report in writing. This document will support or deny the repair contingency addendum to your agreement.

Home inspectors who primarily focus on structural integrity and working systems might not be qualified to conduct specialized inspections for radon, asbestos and lead paint — substances that in recent years have emerged as the most common environmental concerns for home buyers. Testing for these substances typically requires a specialist who will charge a fee beyond the basic cost of a general home inspection.

An inspection may take a few hours and cost a few hundred dollars, but it can save you time and headaches in the long run. Your real estate professional can recommend a professional inspector. We always recommend you get your own inspection with your own inspector.

As with any other inspection issue, the estimated expense of remedying a toxic substance situation may have already been factored into the home’s listing price. Other times, the outcome of an inspection might become a negotiating point.

Reasons why every property should be inspected prior to purchase:

Pre-owned houses: The older the house, the greater the likelihood you’ll find defects in its mechanical and structural systems. Know what you are buying.

New Construction: Even a newly constructed, never-been-lived-in home may have problems the average home owner may not see. Having it thoroughly inspected is wise. Just because the building is new doesn’t guarantee everything is perfect. Find out what your builder warranty covers and for how long.

Condo’s/Multi-family: You need an inspection before buying a condominium and/or any multi-family property. Don’t forget when you buy a condo, you’re also buying into the entire building or complex in which your condo is located. As a co-owner of the entire community, you may be assessed your proportional share of the cost for corrective work required in common areas, such as the roof, heating system, or foundation.

In summation all properties should be inspected. Inspect detached residences, attached residences, single-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, condos, coops, townhouses, and anything else that has a foundation and a roof. Protect your investment by having it inspected.

Types of Inspections:

Structural and Mechanical Inspection

  • This is the most common inspection requested by the buyer.
  • This inspection determines if the major mechanical and structural components of your home are performing their intended functions.
  • The inspections should take place as soon as possible in order to negotiate repairs early in the process.
  • A typical inspection will take two or more hours to complete. It includes roof, basement, plumbing, electrical systems and overall structural soundness. A detailed report is delivered to their buyer and their agent. From this report buyer and seller determine which repairs, if any will be made. The inspection also serves as an educational process, helping the buyer become familiar with their new home.

Radon

  • Radon is a tasteless, odorless gas. It is a proven carcinogen and ranks second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer.
  • If you have a radon problem, it is usually easy and inexpensive to abate.
  • It typically migrates through the ground to the air above and into your home through the following: cracks in concrete, suspended floors, gaps around pipes, cavities inside walls, or the water supply if you have a well.
  • Nearly one out of fifteen homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Although radon is more common in some areas, any home may be at risk.
  • The only way to know for sure is to test. A monitoring device is put in place. There are a number of radon sampling devices that you can buy, or you can have a professional company conduct tests. It is important during the test period to keep all windows and doors closed except for normal exit and entry.
  • If the test reveals a radon level of 4 pico curies per liter or more (EPA standard) a second test will usually be conducted. If the level remains elevated, it will be necessary to take corrective measures. The type of remediation will depend on the design of the home and the cause of the problem.

Wood Destroying Pest

  • It is frequently referred to as a termite inspection. The inspection is usually required by the lender and strongly recommended if not required.
  • This inspection also identifies the presence of certain types of beetles, carpenter ants and wood rot. All of these left unchecked can cause extensive structural damage.
  • If an active infestation is discovered you will be responsible for having it treated.
  • If any damage is discovered from either a past or current active infestation, the lender will most likely require further investigation by a licensed contractor or structural engineer. This is to determine if the damage has compromised the structural integrity of the house. This cost is usually borne by the seller.

Lead-Based Paint

  • Pamphlet Available — For a copy of the Environmental Protection Agency pamphlet, Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home, sample disclosure forms, or the rule itself, call the National Lead Information Clearinghouse (NLIC) at (800) 424-5323, or TDD (800) 526- 5456 for the hearing impaired. You may also send your request by fax to (202) 659-1192 or by e-mail to ehc@nsc.org. The EPA pamphlet and rule also are available electronically and may be accessed through the Internet.

For more information on getting your home inspected please contact us.