A Home Inspection by a Professional Home Inspector is a very integral part of the Purchase Process. Home Inspectors are able to point out structural, electrical, and plumbing defects in the home as well as discuss routine seasonal maintenance ideas. They generally can suggest ways to repair problems and usually give the Buyer an average cost for said repairs.
There are also specialized Inspectors for such items as:
Electrical - Knob & Tube wiring generally found in homes built prior to 1940
Aluminum Wiring generally found in homes built in the 1970’s
Buried Oil Tanks - Must be removed prior to purchase and an environmental engineer must have the soil tested to ensure that there is no contamination (See oil tanks in Handy Resources for more details)
Plumbing - Polybutylene plastic piping (not to be confused with polythelene) was installed in homes in the 1980’s and very early 1990’s.
Septic Systems - Buying a property NOT serviced by municipal sewer – vital to have a separate inspection of the Septic tank & Fields.
Well - Buying a property NOT connected to municipal water service – Most Lenders will at the very least require a Potability Test.
Asbestos - Used in many types of insulation & tiles in properties built mainly prior to 1980. Generally speaking it does not pose a health risk if it is left undisturbed. Major cost here is in removal of the asbestos based construction material when the home is being renovated or demolished.
How long does a typical home inspection take? A home inspection usually takes between three and four hours depending on a variety of things including size and age of the home.
Should I be present for a home inspection? It is suggested to let your building inspector do their job without any disturbance. Most home inspectors will be able to project the length of time they require for their inspection and can suggest a time for the buyer to meet them at the property prior to the inspection to go over their report and show them anything they have discovered in the home.
What type of report should I expect? Succeeding the inspection, the buyer is presented with a written report, consolidating the details of the inspection. The home inspector should be willing to answer any questions a buyer might have and explain the limitations of the inspection to avoid misunderstandings.