Frequently Asked Questions
Buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial events a person undergoes in life. Here at OAHI, we want to provide you with as much information as we can so that you can make the most informed decision. Here are some common questions regarding home inspections and what they entail.
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 home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning 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. The state of Oregon also has Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics which are closely modeled on the ASHI Standards.
Do I need to have my home inspected?
Yes. New or old, every home needs an inspection. Your inspector will provide you with a wealth of knowledge that's hard to acquire any other way. From the foundation to the roof, you'll gain important information about the largest investment you're likely to make in your lifetime. By helping you to better understand your house, a home inspection helps to pave the sometimes rocky road of home ownership.
Does a house pass or fail a home inspection?
No. A home inspection is an evaluation of the condition of the house at the time of the inspection. It is not a code compliance inspection and is not an appraisal of the value of a property.
What does a home inspection cost?
Home inspection fees will vary with the size and age of the house, whether there are detached buildings that will be included, and other factors. There may be additional inspections that you want to include such as a sewer scope, radon testing, etc. These are in addition to a home inspection and will involve separate fees.
Do not let cost be a factor when deciding in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications including experience, training, reputation, and professional affiliations as a guide.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
Why can't I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.