What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective, visual examination of a home’s structure, systems and mechanical systems. Think of it like having a personal physical check-up that includes blood pressure, reflexes, temperature, etc., only on the home.
What does a home inspection include?
The home inspector is required to observe readily visible and accessible installed systems which include: structural components, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, central air conditioning, interiors, built-in kitchen appliances, insulation and ventilation. The home inspector shall operate the mechanical systems using normal operating controls except when conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage. The minimum standards for home inspections in North Carolina are established by the NC Licensed Home Inspector Board and can be reviewed at “nchilb.com”
What will it cost?
Inspection fees vary depending upon the size of the house, its age, location and the home inspector service. Typical fees can start as low as $300 for small condominiums and can cost in excess of $400 for larger and/or older homes. Inspection fees are not regulated and it is a good idea to check local prices on your own. Remember the inspector’s experience and qualifications, the depth of the inspection and the type of report should be considered when pricing an inspection and selecting an inspector.
Are home inspectors required to be licensed?
Yes, in North Carolina, all home inspections performed for a fee are required to be done by a NC Licensed Home Inspector. The regulatory body governing home inspectors in North Carolina is the NC Home Inspector Licensure Board. Their home page is www.nchilb.com.
What if the home inspection reveals problems with the house?
No house is perfect. Just because the house may have some problems doesn’t mean it isn’t a good investment. The inspection will help you understand the condition of the house. It is up to you and your contract with the seller to determine which problems you can live with, if you may be able to get repairs done before closing, or to negotiate with the seller on the price of the home.
Can a house fail inspection?
No, a house can not fail since the inspection is an objective, visual examination of a home’s structure, systems and mechanical systems. A home inspection is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local building code compliance. A home inspection in this context can not pass or fail, it is simply reporting the condition of the home from a visual examination of the structure and systems at that point in time.
When should I call a home inspector?
Normally, it’s a good idea to call in an inspector after you have made an offer to purchase the property and before closing. Many “offer to purchase” contracts include an “inspection clause” in the contract, making your purchase contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This inspection clause specifies the timeframe when the inspection must be completed.
Some people choose to have a home inspected before making an offer, however, in a housing market like the Raleigh/Triangle market that could be risky. If another offer came in before you have a chance to make yours, you risk losing the cost of your inspection. You may wish to make the offer with a small nonrefundable deposit to give you time to do your inspections and due diligence and this will allow you to walk away from the contract with no problem from the seller.
For additional information visit the following web sites.
- North Carolina Licensed Home Inspectors Association www.NCLHIA.com
- NC Home Inspector Licensure Board www.NCHILB.com
- National Association of Home Inspectors NC Home Inspector
FOR HomeBUYERS, Inc. can advise you, as your Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, on the inspection process and possible inspectors from which to choose. Contact us at 919-219-9878.