What is a property inspection?
The inspection is a reasonable effort to disclose existing conditions on the day of the inspection. It is a look at your home with an experienced eye. Most people purchasing homes hire an inspector to check the roof, exterior, foundation, basement, plumbing, electric, heating, fireplace, air conditioning, insulation, and the interior (e.g.: Insulation in the visible areas of the attic does not imply that insulation exists under the attic floor.)
Who is the inspector?
Home inspectors are generalists with a broad knowledge on several topics. The inspector does a visual inspection and reports any major deficiencies and items affecting the habitability of the property. A good inspector must be well versed in all fields of construction. He gives you an overview of the condition of the property and discloses any visible major defects.
Are there any limitations?
Yes. Inspectors do the best job they can, however, sometimes physical obstructions or weather conditions prevent them from completing the whole job. (e.g.: A crawl space area cannot be inspected in muddy conditions or with stored items blocking visibility.) The inspector cannot make representations about what was not inspected. Approximately 3/4 of the components of a house are concealed or out of sight.
What if the report reveals problems?
Just because the property may have some problems doesn't mean it isn't a good investment. A written report will help you understand what will be involved in future maintenance, whether you may be able to negotiate with the seller on the price of the property, or what repairs should be completed before closing. Remember, the choice is always yours; it's up to you.
Can a property fail inspection?
An inspector will not pass or fail a property inspection. A professional property inspection is simply an examination of the current condition of the property. An inspector describes the condition of the property and notes items in need of immediate repair or replacement.
Is an inspection an insurance policy or warranty against future repairs?
No. A home inspection cannot predict every repair or maintenance item encountered while owning a house. Purchasing property brings risk. An inspection cannot eliminate this risk. An inspection does not constitute an insurance policy. It gives you an impression of the condition of the property and discloses immediate major items in need of repair.