What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
What does a home inspection include?
The home inspection report will cover the condition of the heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; wood destroying insects; the foundation, basement and structural components.
New Jersey publishes a Standards of Practice and ASHI publishes a Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
What should I NOT expect from a home inspection?
A home inspection is not protection against future failures. Stuff happens! Components like air conditioners and heat systems can and will break down. A home inspection attempts to reveal the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.
A home inspection is not a code inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. We will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. We will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. Our primary concern is “Safety” not “Code” when performing a home inspection.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Why can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of our firm. We are familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. We understand how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.
When do I schedule a home inspection?
Typically, we are contacted immediately after the contract agreement has been signed and attorney review has been completed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
Do I have to be there?
While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it. We provide complimentary telephone consultation to review the inspection & report.
What will it cost?
The home inspection fee varies depends on a number of factors such as the size of the house, location, age and optional services such as radon testing. Contact us with the property address for a quote.
How long will the inspection take?
Average home inspection duration is 1.5 for condominiums and 2.5 hours for single / multi families. Time will widely vary depending on the type of home, condition, size, bathrooms, number of electrical / heating systems, and level of explanation.
When will I have the report?
Average turnaround time for the home inspection report will take 3-5 business days days after the inspection, depending on report complexity & workload. Special considerations will be made for deals on a tighter deadline, make sure you let us know!
What does the report look like?
The home inspection report will be sent via email as a PDF attachment. What separates us from most other home inspection companies is that we have created our own custom home inspection software in-house, providing us the ability to cater specifically to your needs & to be able to provide precise detail. The report provides a detailed assessment of each individual system along with photos highlighting the overall house & highlighting major issues. A sample report is available here. Sample Report
What do I do after I receive the home inspection report?
Read the report. Ask us questions. The report can be highly technical, and it’s our job to help you to understand the house. The home inspection report is strictly for you, and it is your decision on whom to share the report with. Oftentimes, the seller may insist on receiving a copy of the report, and it is entirely your prerogative.
The main purpose of the home inspection report is to provide you an overall assessment of the property. Its primary purpose is not to be used as a negotiation tactic. In addition to major defects, the report will highlight standard wear / tear issues, recommendations for upgrades, and maintenance suggestions. What is most important is to focus on major issues and understanding the overall picture of the house. Asking the seller to repair or provide credit all depends on you and the seller’s priorities.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If problems have been identified during the inspection, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. We will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
Are you a member of a professional home inspector organization?
We have ACI certification with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and have membership with the New Jersey Association of Licensed Professional Home Inspectors (ALPHI).
What is ASHI?
Since 1976, ASHI has worked to build consumer awareness of home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.
ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity.
What is ASHI Certified Inspector Certification (ACI)?
ASHI Certified Inspector Certification (ACI) is the highest level status with ASHI in meeting rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.