Home Inspection Tips

When it comes to the home inspection, it's important for you to be there and to get to know the condition of the house you are buying, and to choose the right inspector.

A home inspection is different than a home appraisal. While an appraiser is looking at the value of the home, a home inspector is looking for any defects with the home that may cause you financial grief later.

Interview Your Home Inspector Before Hiring

When interviewing a home inspector, ask:

  • What type of report format they provide: checklist, computer generated, and narrative style?
  • How long it will take for delivery?

Descriptions for Components

The most important issue with an inspection report is the descriptions given for each item or component.

A report that indicates the condition as "Good", "Fair" or "Poor" without a detailed explanation is vague and can be easily misinterpreted. A good report should supply you with descriptive information on the condition of the site and home.

Vague: Kitchen Sink: Condition - Good, Fair, or Poor

Descriptive: Kitchen Sink: Condition - Minor wear, heavy wear, damaged, rust stains, or chips in enamel finish. Recommend sealing sink at counter top.
Narrative reports without recommendations for repairing deficient items may be difficult to comprehend, should your knowledge of construction be limited.

Be There For The Inspection

We recommend that you accompany your inspector through the entire inspection if possible. This helps you to understand the condition of the home and the details of the report.

Ask Questions

At the end of the inspection your inspector may provide a summary with a question and answer period. Use this opportunity to ask questions regarding terms or conditions that you may not be familiar with.

A good inspector should be able to explain the answers to your questions.

If for some reason a question cannot be answered at the time of the inspection, the inspector should research the question and obtain the answer for you. For instance, if the inspector's report states that the concrete foundation has common cracks, be sure to ask, "Why are they common?" The answer you should receive will be along these lines: common cracks are usually due to normal concrete curing and or shrinkage.

Take Time To Become Familiar With Your Report

Should the report have a legend, key, symbols or icons, read and understand them thoroughly. The more information provided about the site and home, the easier to understand the overall condition.

Read the report completely and understand the condition of the home you are about to purchase. After all, it is most likely one of the largest investments you will ever make.