Common Questions We Often Get Asked
- What is a home inspection?
- Why do I need a home inspection?
- What will it cost?
- Can’t I do it myself?
- Can a house fail a home inspection?
- When do I call in the home inspector?
- Do I have to be there?
- What if the report reveals problems?
- If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
- Since I am getting a FHA loan, don’t I already have a warranty on the house from FHA?
- To get the loan, the lender had to have the house appraised. Can’t an appraisal be considered a home inspection?
- What exactly does a home inspection provide?
- What’s does your inspection consist of?
- Are pictures taken and included in the inspection report?
- How long does the inspection take?
- When will I receive my report?
- How many pages is the report?
- Do you provide Infrared Imaging?
- Will I know everything at the end of the inspection?
- Are you insured?
- Are you licensed/ certified?
- How much does an inspection cost?
- What are your hours of operation?
- What method of payment is accepted?
- Do you work for realtors and other representative (banks /mortgage)?
- Are inspections a pass or fail?
- Will you guide me to purchase or “run” from the deal/ offer?
- Can we negotiate your inspection findings in the offer?
- Should I be present at the inspection?
- Do you recommend various contractors for related findings?
- How much booking time is required?
- Why hire an inspector over my friend, acquaintance, family member or Handyman?
- Why aren’t septic systems inspected during the home inspection?
- Why do many inspectors carry different professional designations?
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. A home inspection report or home inspection service is the equivalent of a physical examination from your doctor. When problems or symptoms of problems are found, the inspector may suggest repair options or recommend further evaluation, making the home inspection cost justified.
Why do I need a home inspection?
A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future. Buyers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent decisions before finalizing an agreement for sale or purchase.
A home inspection points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After an inspection, both parties have a much clearer understanding of the value and needs of the property.
For homeowners, an inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn about preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, an inspection prior to placing your home on the market provides a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and provides you an opportunity to make repairs that will make your home more desirable to potential buyers.
For Reference Please see Video from HGTV On Home Inspections:
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What will it cost?
Do not let the cost deter you from having a home inspection or selecting an inspector you are comfortable with – knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the time and expense. The lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration in your selection. If problems are found you may be able to have the seller complete the repairs before settlement saving you money. These repairs typically cost more than the home inspection fee making the inspection pay for itself.
Can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed report of the condition of a property. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. An inspector understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail and knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.
Most buyers find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information about the condition of a home, always obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement.
When do I call in the home inspector?
Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements and most are available to conduct the required inspection within a few days.
Do I have to be there?
While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join the inspector for their visit. This allows you to observe the inspector, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property with the inspector, you will find the written report easier to understand.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. His findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may make necessary repairs or may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Yes. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. From the inspection, you will have learned many things about your new home, and will want to keep that information for future reference.
Since I am getting a FHA loan, don’t I already have a warranty on the house from FHA?
FHA insures the lender against default by the borrower. FHA does not guarantee the value or condition of the property for the borrower. If you find problems with the property after loan closing, FHA cannot give or lend you money to repair the house or buy the home back from you. We suggest a home inspection to reduce the chance of problems before closing the loan.
To get the loan, the lender had to have the house appraised. Can’t an appraisal be considered a home inspection?
No. An appraisal is an estimated market value of the property and is used to set the maximum amount the lender will lend on the property. The appraiser does not perform a home inspection they just provide a value of the property. As in anything else, it pays to get an opinion from someone who has the proper credentials, training, and experience.
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What exactly does a home inspection provide?
We work for you, not the seller or agents. A home inspection provides an impartial, in-depth, evaluation of the physical condition of the property. The inspector also identifies items that need replacement or repair, and the life expectancy of the equipment and components in the house. For example, the report could tell you the roof currently looks OK and should last another 3-5 years but it has three layers of shingles. So, the next time the roof is re-shingled, the expense will be significantly more than replacing a typical roof due to the additional labor required to remove all previous layers of shingle. Thus, a well-done inspection will aid the buyer in planning and budgeting for future home repairs.
What’s does your inspection consist of?
Your investment, time, future, health and safety are our priority. As a result, our inspections and reports are comprehensive.
Our inspections consist of:
Exterior: Lot and grade, walkways, driveways, patios, decks, balconies, porches, railings, windows, doors, trim, soffit, fascia, eaves trough, drainage, electrical fixtures/ GFCI, electrical meter/ stack components, doorbell, deadbolts, garden faucet, A/C, flue vents, vents, wall cladding, weatherization, maintenance requirements, etc.
Roof: Condition, type of material, hips, ridge, valley, ice and water shield, roof vents, plumbing vents, flashing, chimney, skylights, etc.
Garage: condition, exterior walls, foundation, roof, entry door, slab, garage doors and hardware, opener, safety components, walls, ceiling, accessible attic cavity, electrical, windows, fire wall, fire door, heating system, etc.
Attic: framing, sheathing, ventilation, insulation, moisture/ leaks, exposed electrical, etc.
Interior Areas: all exposed floors, wall, ceilings, electrical receptacles, windows, doors, closets, smoke alarms, etc
Plumbing: All exposed and applicable areas of both supply and DWV components/ stack and cleanout for leaks, oxidization/ corrosion and substandard work, sump pump, sump pit, sump plumbing/ discharge, water meter, functional flow and adequate pressure, jet pump, pressure tank, TPR valve, shut-offs/ ball valves, pressure tank, filtration system, pressure gauge, pressure switch, check valves, etc
Electrical: Exposed Main fuse/ breaker panels for adequate bonding, grounding, safety components, oxidization, arch’s, rust/ corrosion, evidence of water, double tapping, main stack and components, GFCI’s/ ARCH faults, etc
Structure: exposed exterior/ interior foundation for damage, structural cracks/ deficiencies, water infiltration, efflorescence, moisture stains, beam/ girder, joists, cross bracing, support posts, lintels, headers, subfloor, etc.
Heating: applicable mechanics, electronics, burners, gas shut off, emergency shut off, thermostat, filter, flue vents, ducts, registers, blower, TPR, expansion tank, pressure gauge, functional flow, adequate heat, grounding, condensation pump/lines etc.
Water Heater: Applicable electrical feed wire, gas line grounding, gas shut off, TPR, adequate heat, flue vent, supply shut offs, etc.
Chimney: base, masonry for spalling/ cracks, deterioration, crown, flashing, rain cap, etc
A/C: condenser, disconnect, test for adequate cooling
Appliances: All included appliances are inspected such as stove, oven, microwave, range hood, dishwasher, etc.
Basement/ Crawlspace: all the above applicable components are inspected within this area.
Please take a few moments to review our sample report in the Services menu to familiarize yourself with formatting, to fully understand how comprehensive your inspection and report will be and to know exactly what you are getting for your dollar.
Are pictures taken and included in the inspection report?
Yes, our reports have an average of 200 full colour pictures included in our client’s reports. This demonstrates that all components and rooms have been inspected and tested. Furthermore this also serves as objective documentation to support any negotiations throughout the purchasing and litigation process.
How long does the inspection take?
Our inspection generally takes an average of 2-3 hours. When we conduct your inspection, time and care is taken to ensure you are receiving what you are paying for to ensure you are making an informed decision before deciding to remove your inspection condition in your Agreement of Purchase and Sale.
When will I receive my report?
Peace of Mind Inspection Services will have your report to you by the next day. Under special circumstances we can have report to you same day but please check with your Inspector or Office Manager before the inspection to verify if this is possible.
How many pages is the report?
Our typical inspection report averages approx 85 pages of full colour pictures, with narrative outlining condition and recommendations.
Do you provide Infrared Imaging?
We do provide IR as an additional service. IR detects many different issues such as air infiltration, missing insulation, hot electrical spots, etc. Please visit our thermal imaging section under the services menu and pricing menu for further details.
Will I know everything at the end of the inspection?
Because our inspection is so comprehensive, you will be informed of all safety concerns, deficiencies and weatherization suggestions prior to departing the premises. You will have full disclosure and transparency within our means meaning you will know whether or not this home is for you based on the inspection findings.
Are you insured?
We are fully insured carrying Error and Omission, General Liability and WSIB insurance. This provides our clients with ease knowing they have a means of recourse should something drastic occur.
Are you licensed/ certified?
At Peace of Mind Inspection Services our inspectors are Certified Professional Inspectors (CPI) with InterNACHI. Our inspectors are vetted, experienced, established, educated, dedicated to continuing education and professional. Additionally we have been certified by NHIE as passing the National Home Inspector Exam recognized by ASHI.
The inspection sector in Michigan is currently unregulated and therefore there are no present licensing requirements.
How much does an inspection cost?
Nominal, immaterial and reasonable fee. Inspections vary in price based on a criterion of square footage and listing price. Please visit our PRICING section for further details.
Much like hiring an attorney, don’t base your decision on price. There are too many variables to consider and no 2 inspectors have the same credentials, experience, skills, knowledge and expertise. Choose wisely!
What are your hours of operation?
We operate Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. We offer inspections on Saturday and under special circumstances can offer inspections on Sunday. You can communicate with us anytime via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What method of payment is accepted?
We accept both e-transfer and cash only in full and in advance. This secures your slot for date and time agreed upon as it is first come first serve. Once payment is received and processed, a receipt is provided. Please visit our Pricing menu tab for further details.
Do you work for realtors and other representative (banks /mortgage)?
NO, we work for you and you ONLY. Despite the fact that we may be referred by third party representative, your interest is our priority. Confidentiality is of most importance. As a result, we do not disclose our findings nor the report with anyone else but you our client.
Are inspections a pass or fail?
Inspections are in no way a pass or fail. In fact an inspection is much like a balance sheet within a financial statement. The inspection provides you with a snap shot of the current condition of the home. This allows you to make a better informed and educated decision.
Will you guide me to purchase or “run” from the deal/ offer?
No, our task is to provide you with the objective documentation to assist you in making a vital decision. We adhere to strict CODE of ETHICS and STANDARDS of PRACTICE and as a result we remain unbiased and neutral.
Can we negotiate your inspection findings in the offer?
Negotiations occur between you, your realtor, the vendor and their realtor. Often times the inspection findings are used in negotiations however it is not the purpose of the process. We recommend speaking with your realtor for further direction.
Should I be present at the inspection?
Although it is not mandatory for you to be present, we highly suggest you be on site for a couple reasons. First, it is a service you have paid for and the inspection is a vital step in finalizing the deal. Secondly, It is significantly less overwhelming seeing and being explained the concerns/ issues first hand as appose to seeing them in in writing as the report is comprehensive and may appear overwhelming on paper. We discuss/ explain the findings with you to attempt to put you at ease.
Do you recommend various contractors for related findings?
We strive to not make referral recommendations to remain unbiased. We do however recommend the yellow pages for applicable contractors. Furthermore, our CODE of ETHICS and STANDARDS of PRACTICE refrain us from doing so.
Moreover, we will not and do not conduct repairs from our Home Inspection findings as it is a conflict of interest.
How much booking time is required?
As in any sector, cycles of high/ low season and bubbles exist. As a result bookings vary due to number of variables. Anywhere from 24 hours to a week is required. Note most offers are to fulfill conditions within 5-7 business days; therefore, most bookings occur quite rapidly to fulfill offer time frames. As a result, the moment you know your financial state with your lending company, we recommend to book your inspection.
Why hire an inspector over my friend, acquaintance, family member or Handyman?
Reputable inspectors carry Error and Omission and General Liability insurance if something goes wrong or is missed. Secondly, we are trained professionals with working experience, knowledge, skills and expertise with the necessary tools and equipment and on-going training to identify issues. Furthermore, we stay current with changes within the building envelope and make recommendations to keep you and your family safe. Moreover, if something drastic is missed from the person you personally know, it may affect your relationship indefinitely.
Why aren’t septic systems inspected during the home inspection?
The septic system consists of three main components: tank, baffles and field bed. 99% of the time the tank is filled with sewage and therefore inspection of the tank is impossible. Furthermore, it would be a disservice to our clients to claim to have inspected the septic system when only 1/3 of the system was inspected as the only effective way to inspect the field bed is to excavate which typically costs thousands of dollars at your cost/ responsibility. We strongly recommend full disclosure, cleaning and inspection of tank from vendor prior to closing and to be present while it is being completed. Moreover, we recommend contacting your local Principle Authority (eg. Health Unit) for further disclosure of permits, age, type, clearances, etc.
Why do many inspectors carry different professional designations?
All inspector designations are issued by both independent boards and State associations depending whom the inspector is a member of. One designation over the other is irrelevant. Because the sector is currently unregulated, don’t confuse yourself with designations as they carry no weight or meaning other than having demonstrated time, experience, education, etc within the inspection/ building sector. Once the sector does become regulated, the State government will implement their own uniform designation and license. Currently Michigan is not regulated for Home Inspectors, at Peace of Mind Inspection Services we our certified and qualified to the highest standards of any State.