Frequently Asked Questions About Home Inspections

  1. What is a home inspection?

    A home inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of a property that is performed for a fee and designed to identify observed material defects within specified components of the property.

  2. Why should I have a home inspection?

    In the State of Ohio, inspections are not necessarily a required step in the purchase of a home.  However, some organizations, lending institutions, and insurance companies require a home to be professionally inspected before a loan is given.  Even if it is not required, a home inspection is the best way to evaluate whether or not your purchase is worth the money you spend.  Let’s face reality, there are shady contractors and realtors that are more interested in turning a quick dollar than they are about the safety of your family.  Flipping houses have become a huge business but the down side of it is that sometimes the house gets spruced up to sell but falls short of a safe and healthy home.  A professional home inspection is the check-and-balance to the real estate market.

  3. Can I perform the home inspection myself?

    As stated in the previous question, it is not required to have an inspection in some cases and you could accomplish this yourself.  However, home inspectors have specialized tools and knowledge to do a much more thorough job.

  4. What is the cost of a home inspection?

    The average home inspection in this area is between $300 and $500.  My fees are based on several factors.  My base fee is $180. I add certain amounts to this that include mileage, the size of the house, the age of the house, and taxes.  For example, a 1500 sq ft home that was build 20 years ago and is 25 miles away will cost $392.12.

  5. Is a home inspection really necessary?

    Homes, like cars, require maintenance. You don’t want to purchase a home and then realize that the roof, electrical service or plumbing needs to be replaced after the closing is done. A home inspection helps protect you from those situations and gives you a negotiating point for repairs to be completed before or after closing.

  6. What happens if there are problems found during the home inspection?

    First, don’t panic.  There is no such thing as a perfect home.  Virtually every home has potential problems and defects in materials or workmanship.  Most defects are cosmetic and should be of little concern whether or not you proceed in the purchase.  That decision is yours alone but the home inspection report can help you make a more educated decision.  The seller of the home is not automatically required to repair any problems found.  As the buyer, you can negotiate for the repairs to be made.  Or, if the seller is not willing to do the repairs for you, you will need to make other arrangements or terminate the contract.  If you still want to purchase the home but are unable to get the financial lender to approve the loan until the repairs are made, you may have to make the repairs at your own expense.

  7. Is it possible for a home to fail an inspection?

    Absolutely not.  A home inspection is designed to tell you what needs to be repaired on the house. There may be some requirements that the house needs to meet in order for your financial lender to lend you the money for the home. This does not mean that the house has “failed” the inspection and will not be able to be sold.

  8. Who does the home inspector work for; the agent, the buyer, or the seller?

    A home inspection is an unbiased report of the home and will reflect any problems found. The home inspector “works for” whomever has paid for the service. This only means that any findings can only be shared with the client and not with others unless specifically stated by the client. This does not mean that the home inspection will be biased to one party or another.

  9. Is anyone allowed or required to attend the inspection?

    I do not require anybody to attend but I highly recommend that the buyer not only attend but be inquisitive during the inspection.  My job is to inform the buyer about defects in materials and workmanship.  Although I send a highly detailed report within 24 hours, sometimes it is better to see the problems first-hand.

  10. How long will the inspection take and when do I get the report?

    Typically, an averaged-sized home takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete and the inspection report is delivered electronically with 24 hours.  If you need a printed report, it can be provided for an extra fee.

  11. Why does the home inspection report only show what is wrong with the property?  I want to focus on what is right.

    Simply put, my job is to point out the things that are wrong or things that can lead to future problems.  I am not concerned with cosmetic issues or whether the home is up to code.  Home inspectors are not code checkers.  Although many of the safety issues I check are based on building codes, it would be nearly impossible for a home inspector to completely check a building for code compliance.  This would require an invasive inspection…home inspectors are visual inspectors.  In addition, I cannot determine what is “right” for the buyer.