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What Happens in a Home Inspection

Posted by Craig Summers on January 8, 2016
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So you just bought a new house and now you have decided to hire a home inspector to check it out for you. But what really happens during a home inspection? What exactly does a home inspector do?

A typical home inspection takes between two to three hours. Sometimes, it may take longer, depending on the size of the home. A home inspector includes in the examination all the major components of the house, such as roofing, structural, exterior, and interior finishes, electrical, heating/air conditioning, insulation, plumbing, and related systems.

What a Home Inspection ISN’T

A home inspector has all the technical skills and knowledge to perform a more or less accurate visual assessment of a home. However, you should be careful to know that most professional home inspectors are not allowed to make appraisals or exact quotations for repairs. Some trade organizations prohibit this as it is considered a biased practice. On the other hand, appraisals are usually left to real estate agents who have the necessary training and background, so unless your home inspector is also trained in that regard, it is best not to accept his word on this at face value. Another thing that home inspectors cannot do is to see if a building conforms with the local building code. This job is usually left to agents who work for the government in ensuring that a building is up to the community’s building code.

The home inspector’s report should not be used as a guarantee. Nor should it be used to provide you with a warranty, although some home buyers can use the information they get there to negotiate with their seller to include repair costs, warranties, and the like in the contract.

Some home inspectors will include water analysis and septic inspections in their usual rounds. However, these two are not actually part of a standard inspection. At best, the report that home inspectors make regarding these components are only persuasive and should not be used as a replacement for a standard septic inspection performed by a professional. You can access several laboratories that provide water sample vials that may be collected and filled by you and submitted to the lab for analysis.

Air conditioners are typically not inspected, except if it the summer season, which is typically between May to September. Pools and spas are likewise not included as inspection items. Neither wood burning appliances such as fireplaces and wood stoves, although a home inspector may include those in his report. Usually, however, a WETT inspector or a Wood Energy Technology Transfer examiner check those named areas. Some fire insurance companies actually provide discounts for WETT inspected and approved properties, so it might be better if you just leave those areas for the WETT specialist than to a home inspector.

Knowing what to expect and what not to expect from a home inspector will help you make an informed decision. It will also help you learn about the value of your home, as well as the cost for future upkeep.

There is a lot of free information available to you about buying, selling or investing in real estate. For complete information about the real estate market including current homes for sale, property values and more please visit the most complete website online dedicated to everything real estate. So please feel free to contact me with any of your mortgage questions and I will me more than glad to answer your queries. Call me on my cell at 404 374 1620 or email me at

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