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.
A complete inspection includes a visual examination of the building from top to bottom. The inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. Only those items that are visible and accessible by normal means are included in the report.
The best time to consult the 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 agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.
No. A professional inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a building, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of minor or major repairs or replacement.
If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you should not buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you. The choice is yours.
Definitely! Now you can complete your purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and its equipment and systems. You may have learned a few things about your property from the inspection report, and will want to keep that information for your future reference. Above all, you can rest assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision and that you will be able to enjoy or occupy your new home or building the way you want.
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 could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem 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 afterward. 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 problems in the sale of your building and can recommend preventive measures which might avoid future expensive repairs.
Even the most experienced building or home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspector who has inspected hundreds, and perhaps thousands of homes and buildings in their career. An inspector is equally familiar with the critical elements of construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and inter-relationships of these elements. Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the building they really want, and this may lead to a poor assessment.
The inspection fee for a typical single-family house or commercial building varies geographically, as does the cost of housing, similarly, within a geographic area the inspection fees charged by different inspection services may vary depending upon the size of the building, particular features of the building, age, type of structure, etc. However, the cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a physical inspection. You might save many times the cost of the inspection if you are able to have the seller perform repairs based on significant problems revealed by the inspector. Consult your professional agent for guidance.
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is a good idea. By following the inspector through the inspection, observing and asking questions, you will learn about the new building and get some tips on general maintenance. Information that will be of great help to you after you’ve moved in.
There are several ways of choosing an inspector for your new property, the best is by looking at the ASHI website for an inspector in your area. Personal contacts, either from prior inspections or from a friend, relative, or business acquaintance who has had a recent inspection is an excellent method. Another alternative is to ask your real estate agent/broker who he or she would recommend. Most inspection services promote their business with brochures through the real estate offices. Many claim that their reports meet or follow ASHI Standards of Practice. Do not be fooled; look for the ASHI emblem on these brochures. Only inspectors who meet ASHI’s rigorous professional and educational requirements may qualify as members.
In 1976, a group of visionary home inspectors with the common goal of building consumer awareness and enhancing the professionalism of their field established the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). This not-for-profit professional association for home inspectors made its first order of business to establish and advocate high standards of practice and a strict code of ethics for the member community.
The Mission of ASHI is to meet the needs of its membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.
ASHI is the most respected professional association for home inspectors in North America. Through ASHI’s continued efforts, ASHI’s Standards of Practice—covering all of a home’s major systems—are now part of many pieces of state legislation and are recognized by consumers as the authoritative standard for professional home inspection.
ASHI’s Web site, www.ashi.org, is the definitive resource for inspectors, consumers, real estate professionals and the media for information, advice and resources dedicated to home inspection. Here you’ll find a wealth of shared ASHI home inspection knowledge at your disposal. Your feedback and comments on ASHI home inspection are welcome. CREIA has established a high Standards of Practice for the inspection profession that is used throughout the state to ensure the buyer who retains a CREIA member of a complete and detailed inspection and report.