Why should I have a home inspection?+
The purchase of a home or commercial building is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect --- both indoors and out -- in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint might be hiding serious structural concerns. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage condition or may be simply the result of a single incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents a professional opinion as to the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards. Of course, an inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a building, as well as the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently.
As a seller, if you have owned your building for a period of time, an inspection can identify potential concerns in the sale of your building and can recommend preventive measures which might avoid future expensive repairs.
If your Realtor recommended a home inspection, it is because your Realtor wants you to be a totally informed purchaser, they can only disclose what has been made known to them. They are looking out for your best interest by suggesting that a qualified home inspector evaluate the property you are about to purchase.
What is a home inspection?+
An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking of buying a home, condominium, mobile home, or commercial building, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional inspector.
What gets inspected when I have a professional home inspection?+
A Washington State Licensed Professional Inspector will evaluate:
- Proper Drainage
- Crawl Space & Ventilation
- ABS Pipe
- Complete Exterior
- Complete Interior
- Air Conditioning
- Safety Equipment
- Heat Pumps
- and more...
When do I request an Inspector?+
The best time to consult an inspector is right after you have made an offer on your new building. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building. Ask your professional Real Estate agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.
Who should I call?+
A professionally trained home inspector who has been certified by a governing body like the Washington State Licensing Board (as of September 2009), preferably one with many years experience.
Should the inspector be licensed?+
Yes, by the Washington State Inspector Licensing Board.
How is the industry regulated?+
In Washington State, all inspectors are required to be licensed by the state licensing board.
How long to complete the inspection?+
A typical inspection will take from two to four hours depending on the size of the home and it's components. Then another two hours of document preparation. Ask if they plan to meet with you on-site to review the report. This service is crucial to understanding your report and is an important part of any professional home inspection.
What kind of report will I receive?+
Many reports are hand written on a few pages, they look very unprofessional, and are hard to read. Look for a report that is computer generated narrative report customized to your home, not just a check list along with a narrative summary.
What happens if the inspector honestly miss something?+
Errors & Omissions Insurance, typically comes with a very high deductible, this means your home inspector must be financially able to pay the deductible from his/her own pocket, if there is ever a claim. Do a little background check to make sure his/her reputation is good within the community. Ask for the phone number of his/her banker, ask for his/her inspector's certification number and check them out.
How much does a home inspection cost?+
This is sometimes the first question asked but tells the least about the inspector. Fees are generally based according to size, age and various other components of the home. Inspection fees from a certified professional home inspector generally start at $375. A quality inspection backed by a company who's been in business a long time, with a reputation for standing behind their work sometimes requires a higher investment but it's worth it. You'll avoid headaches later on down the line.