Once you have found a home and are prepared to submit an offer, you want to be sure that the home does not have cleaning and costly structural or mechanical problem. That is where a home inspection comes in. Smart home buyers often include the contingency and their offer specified that the contract is not binded until they obtain a satisfactory physical inspection report.
It is also advised that you get a mold inspection as most insurance policies do not cover mold damage. Upon arrival, a qualified inspector makes general introduction and describes what is going to take place. The inspector then explains the inspection agreement and gives you an opportunity to review and sign it.
Next, the inspector takes you to a detailed walk-through at the home. The inspector is like a doctor who looks at observable indications of problems. Since the home inspection is a visual examination of accessible components of the house and home inspector can examine only what he sees, items that are hidden from view such as plumbing inside the walls are not directly inspected but are tested for functionality.
Your inspection is not just an evaluation of the home but should also be an informative experience for you. A good inspector will show you the locations of the main electrical, water and gas shut offs. They will identify the locations of all homeowner controls and instruct you how to work each component. Not only does the inspector show you how to operate the controls of the whole system but he also tests the operability of systems using the same homeowner controls. By the time the home inspection is complete all permanent appliances in the house will be tested to make sure they are in good order.
A well-reputable home inspection company will stand behind its work; keep in mind that a home's condition will change over time. The home inspection is a report of the home's condition on a certain date, on a single point in time. The inspector is looking at the snap shot of the house and reporting what he saw, how things work and the condition of the home systems of that particular day. If the roof leaks a year later, unless there is evidence of the developing problem, the inspector cannot foresee the leak. Inspectors do however look for a known indicator of the problems such as water stains, mold or mildew.
It is important to remember that a home inspection is different from a code inspection. The function of a home inspection is to evaluate the condition of the property not to determine whether it conform the code. A home inspection is also different from an appraisal. An appraiser looks at the house and uses specific criteria to help determine its value whereas an inspector looks at the house only to determine its condition.
After a thorough examination of the home, the inspector completes a report for you. The whole procedure takes two to three hours depending on the age and size of the house. Remember that while the buyer usually pays for the inspection, the inspector is an impartial third party whose only job is to evaluate the condition of the home. The results of the home inspection are given in confidence. The inspectors do not have the right to discuss the inspection results to anyone else including the seller without your permission. Be sure that your inspector is from a reputable company. Seek recommendation from your friends, family or your real estate agent.