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 standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditions system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; the foundation, basement, and structural components.  The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.  Please click here to see the ASHI Standards of Practice.

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 will 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 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.

Do I have to be there?

While it is 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.  If you are not able to attend some or all your inspection, Great Plains Inspection Company is a Supra eKey holder which allows us to access houses with Realtor lockboxes.

Can a house fail an inspection?

No.  A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house.  It is not an appraisal, which determines marked value, It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance.  A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition at the time of the inspection and indicate that components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

When do I call a home inspector?

Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed.  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.

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