A home inspection is an objective summary of the condition of a home or building by an expert in the field of home inspection. It entails an examination of the structural components as well as the various systems, both interior and exterior, and covers the positive aspects of the building as well as preventative measures needed to maintain the building. The inspector furnishes a written report that describes the physical condition of the building and the repair or replacement items that may be needed. The home inspection not only gives the buyer the information needed to make an informed decision as to the condition of the home but is extremely helpful in determining the what and how involved in typical home maintenance and is essential in protecting your investment and budgeting for necessary maintenance and improvements. All properties, including re-sale homes and condos, new construction, townhouses and all other forms of co-ownership buildings should be inspected for peace of mind. Even in a condo, you are responsible for common area and structural repairs to the building. New homes can vary in quality and workmanship. Even properties being sold "as is" need to be checked out to determine what unexpected problems may exist. Investing a few hundred dollars to get a "home physical exam" is well worth it when you consider the amount of your purchase investment!
In our area of the country, pest control inspections are highly recommended (and often required by lenders). This type of inspection checks for property damage and/or the presence of termites, carpenter ants and other wood-destroying insects. Although buildings made of wood are the primary target of these pests, even brick buildings are not exempt from infestation or damage.
The cost of the inspections depend upon the size of the building and the purchase price but you should choose inspectors based on their qualifications, experience, training and professional affiliations rather than on cost.
Many building inspectors belong to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. This organization is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit professional association for independent home inspectors. Their Standard of Practice sets performance guidelines and is universally recognized and accepted by professional and governmental authorities. ASHI prohibits members from engaging in conflict of interest activities, sponsors continuing education and technical seminars for the members, and sets rigorous technical and experience standards.
To take an ASHI Virtual Home Inspection Tour and read an overview the scope of various areas of general home inspection, common problems and ASHI standards for these elements. For a list of ASHI building inspectors, click here.
For recommendations for termite, environmental or other types of inspections, please ask your Realtor for recommendations or fill out the form below.