FAQ’S

Following Are Some Home Inspection Facts and Commonly Asked Home Inspection Questions.

WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?

A home inspection is an objective visual analysis of a home’s structure and systems at the time of the inspection. It determines areas of a home that are not performing properly, as well as items that are beyond their useful life or unsafe. Inspections include the home’s interior and exterior, from roof to foundation, and exterior drainage and retaining walls. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation. A home inspection is not a warranty, which can be obtained separately.

WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?

Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will make. It’s important to know as much as possible about it. A home inspector is trained to evaluate the home in detail and give you a report that allows you to make a good decision about the purchase. The report describes the home in detail and highlights areas that are problems.

A home inspection is a good idea even if you are already a homeowner. Many homeowners live in homes with serious problems that, if identified early, can save on repair costs. Water leaks can cause serious and costly problems, but if caught early can be repaired at little cost. A home inspection also gives you an outline of the routine home maintenance needed.

Those selling a home will want a home inspection to find problems before the buyer’s inspection finds them so they can make repairs before the home’s on the market.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HOME INSPECTOR:

*Experience

Find out how much experience the inspector has. If they have not been performing inspections very long it doesn’t mean they’re not qualified, it just means you’ll need to ask more questions.

*Home Inspection Training

Has the inspector gone through any extensive training in home inspection? Several training companies provide hands-on training. You may also ask what other related experience they have—many inspectors in the building trades for several years have considerable knowledge of home construction.

*Association Membership(s)

Is the inspector a member of a professional home inspection organization? Companies affiliated with professional organizations are serious about what they do and know about any new developments in their field, changes in building codes, and city requirements.

National Home Inspection organizations include:

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI)
National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (NABIE)
California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA)
National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI)

There are local organizations providing support for home inspectors in certain states/regions. It’s important that inspectors belong to an association and abide by guidelines that require professionalism in the industry.

*Liability Insurance

Does the home inspector carry Professional Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions Insurance)? Make sure you ask for a copy of their policy. If you ever need to collect on a legal judgment, the inspector’s insurance can pay on your claim; inspectors without it may not be able to.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?

The home inspector’s report reviews the condition of the home’s heating system, plumbing, electrical system, and central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), as well as the roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, landscaping, and visible structure.

WHAT WILL A TYPICAL HOME INSPECTION COST?

Each home inspection company has their own pricing structure. Inspection fees vary based on the area of the country and type, size, and features of the home or building. Most home inspectors will charge extra for services such as radon testing, termite inspections, well and septic inspections. Make sure they follow U.S. EPA Protocols for radon testing; ask where they take samples for water testing; and for termite inspections request related background/experience and ask what they will do.

The inspection cost should not be the only consideration for hiring a home inspector. A good inspection that informs you of all potential problems is worth the money. A “bargain” inspector may give an inferior report. Remember: Once you’ve purchased the home, it may be costly to repair problems that were not in the report.

CAN I DO AN INSPECTION MYSELF?

Those buying a home will look for reasons to purchase a home they want. Prospective home buyers cannot look at a home with the unbiased, critical eye of a home inspector. Even home buyers with construction experience don’t have a home inspector’s knowledge and tools. Good inspectors are trained and experienced in finding clues that indicate home problems—these are sometimes subtle and hard to find. Most have performed hundreds of inspections and are familiar with problems in certain building materials or styles.

WHEN PURCHASING A HOME, WHEN SHOULD I CALL FOR A HOME INSPECTION?

You should have the home inspected within a few days after a signed purchase agreement. Make sure you have a clause in this agreement that lets you have an inspection and the right to terminate the agreement if you find the home in unsatisfactory condition. This clause should specify the terms to which both buyer and seller are obligated.

SHOULD I BE THERE DURING THE INSPECTION?

We recommend that you are present at the home inspection to ask questions after inspection and for them to point out potential problems areas. You’ll be able to see the extent of problems that are sometimes hard to convey in a report. Most inspectors will also show you how the heating system works and certain home maintenance items to keep the home in good condition.

WHAT IF THE INSPECTION REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?

Almost all homes will show problems. Even newly constructed homes will have problems noted on an inspection report—this is why inspection is recommend for new construction. Inspectors can identify major costly problems. Minor problems are to be expected and can be repaired after closing. Major problems may require negotiation between buyer and seller as to fixing problems. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If problems are costly, you’ll be able to decide about purchasing the home with proper knowledge about future costs.

Source: Bits and Bytes. The opinions expressed about home inspections are our own (RJ Inspections) and not the opinions of others.

Located in Methuen, MA and Dover, NH, RJ Inspections, Inc. provides full-service home inspection services for first home buyers and other home buyers, those selling a house, and real estate inspection for realtors, brokers, and contractors in Massachusetts: Greater Boston, Boston North, Boston South, Boston West, Boston, Chelsea, Winthrop, Revere, Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Bradford, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Groveland, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Peabody, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Wenham, West Newbury, Acton, Arlington, Ashby, Ashland, Ayer, Bedford, Belmont, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Cambridge, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Everett, Framingham, Groton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Melrose, Natick, Newton, North Reading, Pepperell, Reading, Sherborn, Shirley, Somerville, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Westford, Weston, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn, Ashburnham, Athol, Auburn, Barre, Berlin, Blackstone, Bolton, Boylston, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Fitchburg, Gardner, Grafton, Hardwick, Harvard, Holden, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leicester, Leominster, Lunenburg, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Upton, Uxbridge, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough, Westminster, Winchendon, Worcester, Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Wellfleet, Yarmouth, Avon, Bellingham, Braintree, Brookline, Canton, Cohasset, Dedham, Dover, Foxboro, Franklin, Holbrook, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milton, Needham, Norfolk, Norwood, Plainville, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Walpole, Wellesley, Westwood, Weymouth, Wrentham, Agawam, Blandford, Brimfield, Chester, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Granville, Hampden, Holland, Holyoke, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Monson, Montgomery, Palmer, Russell, Southwick, Springfield, Tolland, Wales, West Springfield, Westfield, Wilbraham, Abington, Bridgewater, Brockton, Carver, Duxbury, East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Hull, Kingston Lakeville, Marion, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Plymouth, Plympton, Rochester, Rockland, Scituate, Wareham, West Bridgewater, Whitman, Amherst, Attleboro, Berkley, Dartmouth, Dighton, Easton, Fairhaven, Fall River, Freetown, Mansfield, New Bedford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Westport, Arlington Park, Atkinson, Atkinson Heights, Atlantic, Atlantic Heights, Auburn, Austin Corners, Baglett Grove, Bayside, Bean Island, Bersum Gardens, Breakfast Hill, Brentwood, Brentwood Corners, Brick School Corner, Cable Road, Camp Gundalow, Camp Hedding, Candia, Candia Four Corners, Canobie Lake, Cemetery Corners, Chases Grove, Chester, Christian Shore, Clark Hill, Cluffs Crossing, Coffins Mill, Collettes Grove, Conleys Grove, Cowbell Corners, Creek Area, Danville, Deerfield, Deerfield Parade, Derry, Derry Village, Dows Corner, East Candia, East Derry, East Hampstead, East Kingston, Eastman Corners, Eastman Point, Elmwood Corners, Elwyn Park, Epping, Exeter, Fairhill Manor, Five Corners, Fogg Corner, Fogg Corners, Foster Corners, Four Corners, Foyes Corner, Fremont, Fremont Station, Gooch Corner, Gosport, Great Boars Head, Greenland, Greenland Station, Hampshire Road, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Beach, Hampton Falls, Hampton Landing, Haynes Corner, Howards Grove, Hubbard, Jady Hill, Kensington, Kingston, Lamprey Corners, Langs Corner, Leavitts Hill, Little Boars Head, Littlefield, Londonderry, Lyford Crossing, Marshall Corner, Meadowbrook, Melrose Beach, Monahan Corners, Nason Corners, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newington Station, Newmarket, Newton, Newton Junction, North Beach, North Chester, North Danville, North Epping, North Hampton, North Hampton Center, North Londonderry, North Nottingham, North Salem, Northwood, Northwood Center, Northwood Ridge, Nottingham, Nottingham Square, Noyes Terrace, Onway Lake, Pannaway Manor, Parkman Corner, Peppermint Corner, Perkins Hill, Pine Grove Park, Piscataqua, Plaice Cove, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Plains, Powwow River, Prescott Corner, Raymond, Riverside, Rockingham, Rowes Corner, Rye, Rye Beach, Rye North Beach, Salem, Salem Depot, Sanborn Corners, Sandown, Sargent Corners, Seabrook, Seabrook Beach, Seabrook Station, Severance, Shaws Hill, Smith Colony, Smith Corner, Smithtown, South Danville, South Deerfield, South Hampton, South Kingston, South Seabrook, Stratham, Stratham Station, Tappan Corners, The Five Corners, The Plantation, The Willows, Towles Corner, Town Hall Corner, Wallis Sands, Weare Corner, Weares Mill, Wentworth Acres, West Derry, West Epping, West Hampstead, West Kingston, West Nottingham, West Rye, West Windham, Westville, Wilson, Wilson Corners, Windham, Winniconic, Winnicut Mills.

We also do building inspections for commercial property as well as home inspections in New Hampshire: Atkinson, Auburn, Brentwood, Candia, Chester, Danville, Deerfield, Derry, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Hampstead, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, Londonderry, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, Newton, North Hampton, Northwood, Nottingham, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Salem, Sandown, Seabrook, South Hampton, Stratham, Windham, Concord Barrington, Cocheco, Davis, Dover, Durham, Farmington, Gonic, Lee, Madbury, Middleton, Milton, Milton Mills, New Durham, Rochester, Rollinsford, Salmon Falls, Somersworth, Strafford, Amherst, Bedford, Bennington, Brookline, Deering, Francestown, Goffstown, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Hillsborough, Hollis, Hudson, Litc, field, Lyndeborough, Manchester, Mason, Merrimack, Milford, Mont Vernon, Nashua, New Boston, New Ipswich, Pelham, Peterborough, Sharon, Temple, Weare, Wilton, Windsor, Amherst, Antrim, Antrim Center, Bank, Bedford, Bennington, Broad Acres, Brookline, Browns Corner, Chase Village, Clinton Grove, Clinton Village, Cricket Corner, Davis, Deering, Drury, East Deering, East Merrimack, East Milford, Elmwood, Francestown, Gibson Four Corners, Goffs Falls, Goffstown, Grasmere, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Happy Valley, High Bridge, Hillsboro, Hillsboro Center, Hillsboro Lower Village, Hillsboro Upper Village, Hollis, Hollis Depot, Holton, Hudson, Hudson Center, Lawrence Corner, Lincoln Park, Litchfield, Loverens Mill, Lyndeborough, MacDowell Colony, Manchester*, Mason, Massabesic, Milford, Mont Vernon, Mountain Bas, Nashua*, New Boston, New Ipswich, New Ipswich Center, Noone, North Branch, North Brookline, North Pelham, North Village, North Weare, Parker, Pelham, Perham Corner, Peterborough, Pinardville, Ponemah, Pratt, Reeds Ferry, Riverdale, Russell, Sharon, Slab City, Smithville, South Brookline, South Lyndeborough, South Merrimack, South Milford, South Weare, Tavern Village, Temple, Thorntons Ferry, Weare, West Brookline, West Deering, West Hollis, West Peterborough, West Wilton, Wilder, Wilton, Wilton Center, Woodland Park, Amherst, Antrim, Antrim Center, Bank, Bedford, Bennington, Broad Acres, Brookline, Browns Corner, Chase Village, Clinton Grove, Clinton Village, Cricket Corner, Davis, Deering, Drury, East Deering, East Merrimack, East Milford, Elmwood, Francestown, Gibson Four Corners, Goffs Falls, Goffstown, Grasmere, Greenfield, Greenville, Hancock, Happy Valley, High Bridge, Hillsboro, Hillsboro Center, Hillsboro Lower Village, Hillsboro Upper Village, Hollis, Hollis Depot, Holton, Hudson, Hudson Center, Lawrence Corner, Lincoln Park, Litchfield, Loverens Mill, Lyndeborough, MacDowell Colony, Manchester*, Mason, Massabesic, Milfor, Mont Vernon, Mountain Bas, Nashua, New Bosto, New Ipswich, New Ipswich Center, Noone, North Branch, North Brookline, North Pelham, North Village, North Weare, Parker, Pelha, Perham Corner, Peterborough, Pinardville, Ponemah, Pratt, Reeds Ferry, Riverdale, Russell, Sharon, Slab City, Smithville, South Brookline, South Lyndeborough, South Merrimack, South Milford, South Weare, Tavern Village, Temple, Thorntons Ferry, Weare, West Brookline, West Deering, West Hollis, West Peterborough, West Wilton, Wilder, Wilton, Wilton Center, Woodland Park.