A home inspection is a complete, top-to-bottom, visual check-up of the structure and systems of a house.
It is meant to be an objective determination of a home's condition.
A home inspection usually takes 3-6 hours to complete, depending on the size of the home.
During the inspection process, the inspector will examine all of the following components of a home:
In addition, the inspector will review the roofing system, the home's interior, and several other parts of the property.
A home inspection may be ordered by a home owner or by a home buyer.
For a home owner, an inspection can detail a home's shortcomings and provide a roadmap for repairs. This can help a person prepare his home for sale because "major issues" can be addressed in advance of listing.
For a home buyer, a home inspection physically reviews a home under contract, identifying structural flaws that may impact the home's desirability. This is essential for the negotiation process because no home is "perfect" -- even new ones!
A home inspection highlights potential long-term trouble spots and the likelihood for expensive home repairs. This is why real estate professionals often recommend inspecting a home immediately after signing a purchase contract.
To find a qualified home inspector in your area, ask your real estate agent for a referral, or visit the American Society of Home Inspectors Web site.
Frequently Asked Questions on Home Inspections