What is an inspection?
There are numerous types of inspections. An inspection is meant to evaluate, at minimum, the structural and mechanical condition of a property. It is not the same as an appraisal which evaluates the market value of a property. Persons involved in real estate transactions need unbiased information about the physical condition of property they plan to buy or sell and your contract should include a contingency that you obtain a satisfactory inspection report. Talk with your agent about the types of inspections available.
Home Inspectors vs. Engineers
Home Inspector: A person who examines any component of a building, through visual means and through normal user controls, without the use of mathematical sciences.
Engineering: Analysis or design work requiring extensive preparation and experience in the use of mathematics, physics, chemistry and the engineering sciences.Finding a qualified Inspector
- Referrals from satisfied customers
- Referral from a local real estate agent or mortgage company
- Local consumer affairs office
- Yellow Pages under "Building Inspection Services"
Ask if she/he is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The ASHI has established standards of practice which include the specific services, limitations and exclusions that can be expected from private home inspectors.
What the inspection, at minimum, includes
Every inspection should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of at least the following:
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Ceiling, walls and floors
- Hazardous materials concerns
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Common areas (in condominiums)