Question: What is a “Home Inspection”?
Answer: Well, let’s first start out with how the State of Illinois defines a Home Inspection.
“Home inspection” means the examination and evaluation of the exterior and interior components of residential real property, which includes the inspection of any 2 or more of the following components of residential real property in connection with or to facilitate the sale, lease, or other conveyance of, or the proposed sale, lease, or other conveyance of, residential real property:
1) heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system;
2) plumbing system;
3) electrical system;
4) structural composition;
7) masonry structure; or
8) any other residential real property component as established by rule.
Here is the definition I like, as defined by Tom Myers, “A home inspection is a documented professional opinion of a home, based on a visual evaluation and operational testing, of the home systems and components, to determine their present condition.”
Also, the systems, components, and areas of the house need to be readily accessible. What this means is that the systems described above will be inspected as long as I am able to get to them. For example, If an attic access is bolted shut, I will not be able to get into the attic. Thus, no defects could be seen. This would be noted on the report and not inspected.
Question: Why have a house inspected?
Answer: My inspection will provide you with a documented report on the condition of the house and its components. This will allow you to make an informed decision, without letting emotions get in the way.
Question: What is a reinspection?
Answer: A reinspection is when you have a home inspector come back and inspect a property that they have already inspected for a fee. This is an inspection that can range from component(s) to the whole house, to identify whether defects or issues have been corrected, or just to re-evaluate the property. Any inspection services that were not performed during the original inspection usually are not included, but may be added for a fee at the clients request. I reinspect your property for one year from the date of the original home inspection.
Question: Why have a reinspection?
Answer: Whether you are the buyer or the seller, reinspections are a great way to determine if an issue that was sited in the original home inspection has had the appropriate corrections. The free reinspection not only covers any issues that were corrected, but it includes any future home inspections during that year that you may want. This is especially helpful if you have a warranty on your house that will expire within the one year free reinspection time frame. This saves you money because home inspectors charge for home warranty inspections as a separate service.
Question: why do you offer free reinspections?
Answer: I offer free reinspections for several reasons.
1) You have already paid me to inspect the property, and had an issue(s) corrected based on my opinion.
2) If I were to charge you for the reinspection, it would create what I believe to be a conflict of interest. What I mean is this; I remove the possibility that I told you that there was an issue so that I could come back and do a reinspection and charge you a fee.
3) Many questions and issues will only become apparent after living in a home for a period of time. I will already be familiar with your home, and will be able to offer a more educated opinion based on my previous knowledge of your home.
4) Not providing free reinspections would be like doing only half the job.
Question: What is a “Deal Killer”?
Answer: The derogatory phrase “Deal Killer” is used by real estate agents to describe those home inspectors who are objective and provide the buyer with an inspection report which may cause the buyer to renegotiate or cancel the purchase of a property. Many real estate agents believe that the home inspector “Kills the Deal”, when in fact, it is the condition(s) of the house that kills the deal. It is the classic “kill the messenger” mentality. Real estate agents believe this hurts their ability to earn income. Real estate agents will use a number of tactics to control which inspector that you select. Be wary of the agent who objects too much to the inspector you choose. REMEMBER, IT IS YOUR RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY TO CHOOSE ANY INSPECTOR THAT YOU WISH.
Question: My Realtor gave me a list of Home Inspectors; do I have to use one of them for my home inspection?
Answer: No, you do not. You may use any Home Inspector that you choose.
Question: Will you be able to tell me how much the house is worth?
Answer: No. Home inspectors do not determine the worth of the property. As a matter of fact, dispensing such advice is prohibited by law in reference to home inspectors. Contact a home appraiser to determine value.
Question: Can you advise me as to whether or not I should purchase the house?
Answer: No. As a matter of fact, dispensing such advice is prohibited by law in reference to home inspectors.
Question: Can I attend the home inspection?
Answer: Not only can you attend, but I encourage you to attend. This is the best way to get your concerns addressed. You will see what I see and this gives us the opportunity to discuss the findings. This is where most of the education process takes place.
Question: How long does a home inspection take?
Answer: The first 10-15 minutes will be spent going over the contract. After that, the house really dictates the time, but most inspections take about 3 to 3.5 hours. But it could take more or less time. I do not rush inspections.
Question: How much does a home inspection cost?
Answer: Home Inspectors have different rates, it may depend on the area that your inspection would take place, or any other additional services you may have requested. The cost of the inspection is a fraction of the cost of the house and pays for itself. Contact me to inquire about rates.
Question: Can a house fail a home inspection?
Answer: No. A Home Inspector has no official authority to “Fail”or “Pass” a house. A Home Inspector is giving you their Opinion and guidance.
Question: Is a home inspection the same as a “code inspection”?
Answer: No. Home Inspectors are not performing a code inspection. Code inspections are usually performed by the municipality during the construction or remodeling of a house.
Question: Why should I hire a Home Inspector, instead of a plumber, electrician, carpenter, etc?
Answer: Short answer is time and money. To hire the representative trades to perform an inspection would be logistically difficult. You would need to hire 7 or 8 different people and coordinate their schedules along with your schedule to be able to all meet at the same time, this would be very difficult, if not impossible. This would also be cost prohibitive. You would pay close to 3 or 4 times what you would pay a Home Inspector.
Question: Are home inspections only performed for a buyer at the time of purchase?
Answer: No. home inspections can be performed at anytime. Sellers can have a pre-listing inspection; so that they may correct any issues before listing their home for sale. Homeowners can have an inspection at any time they want to know the condition of their home, or prior to or during remodels. If you have a home warranty, you can hire a Home Inspector to perform an inspection before it expires, so you may have issues addressed by the warranty company.
Questions: I own a house but never had it inspected, I want one component or system inspected, do Home Inspectors perform these types of inspections? Why is this advantageous?
Answer: Yes. But with a caveat. Make sure you hire a Home Inspector that does not perform the repair work on that system or component. I do not perform any repair work on any components. This is advantageous because I am not trying to sell you anything. You get my honest ethical opinion based on what I see. I do not benefit from any repairs that may be needed.