ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Home Safety: Why Home Inspection Is A Must!

Updated on September 5, 2009

Home Inspection Can Make Or Break A House Sale

 Twenty-five years ago, the idea of professional home inspection was relatively unknown to all but the most cautious home buyers. Today roughly 45 percent of all homes sold in the United States are inspected prior to purchase. Rising prices, increased litigation and greater sophistication on the part of consumers have helped make home inspection an integral and growing part of the home-buying process. In addition, many real-estate contracts now stipulate that the sale is contingent upon the buyer's satisfaction with a home inspector's report.

A home inspection is the visual survey of the various components that make up a house and its immediate surroundings, including a brief check on mechanical equipment such as heating and air-conditioning systems and hot-water heater.

A home inspection is essential when buying a house.
A home inspection is essential when buying a house.

A Good Home Inspection Will Catch Most Of The Problems

 I stress visual in the definition because sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations about what an inspector can detect. It's important to understand that the inspection covers only those portions of the building that can be seen and does not include portions that are concealed.

If an inspector can't see an item, he or she can only make an educated guess about its condition. Inspectors don't move furniture or equipment, lift carpeting or remove pictures from walls to observe covered, hidden or concealed conditions. They don't open walls or dig up septic systems or buried oil tanks. Neither does home inspection include checking for compliance with local municipal, state and federal building codes.

Nevertheless, hundreds of items within the house and on the exterior are routinely inspected and evaluated, giving prospective home buyers (and sellers) a clearer view of the dwelling in question.

Home inspections reveal potentially costly problems.
Home inspections reveal potentially costly problems.

A Thorough Home Inspection Answers Many Questions

Here are some, but certainly not all, of the questions a home inspector tries to answer for prospective home buyers:

  • Are the electrical service and wiring adequate?
  • Are aluminum wires used for branch circuits (a potential fire hazard)?
  • Is the hot-water system adequate for the family's needs?
  • Is there evidence of termite damage?
  • Are the heating and central air-conditioning systems working properly?
  • Are there any obvious fire hazards, such as lack of fire-code Sheetrock in appropriate areas?
  • Does the plumbing system combine copper, brass and/or iron piping?
  • Is the plumbing properly vented?
  • Is the attic adequately insulated and ventilated?
  • Does the roof need repair or replacement?
  • Is there evidence of delaminating roof sheathing?
  • Do foundation walls, girders, floor joists, columns and/or partitions show signs of structural problems?
  • Is there evidence of water seepage in the basement or crawl space?
  • Do faulty drainage conditions exist around the structure?
  • Is there evidence of a septic problem?

Most home inspections are performed for prospective home buyers, who often use a home-inspection report to help them negotiate a better price. Buyers might argue, for instance, that since the inspector found inadequate electrical service that will cost $2,000 to remedy, they want to reduce their initial offer to account for the cost of that upgrade.

More and more, however, home sellers are beginning to avail themselves of the service in an effort to anticipate just such negotiating setbacks. If the seller has her house inspected before putting it on the market, she will be fully aware of the home's deficiencies and may either correct the problems or make it clear to potential buyers that the selling price reflects the issues detailed in the inspector's report. That way, the buyer can't really use his own home inspection to negotiate a lower price.

Always hire a professional to do a home inspection!
Always hire a professional to do a home inspection!

Check Out Your Home Inspection Provider Carefully!

 Unfortunately, in most States just about anybody can hang out a home inspector's shingle. In a number of cases, they may not be qualified as home inspectors per se, although they may be quite competent in some single aspect of the building trades, be it in roofing, plumbing, carpentry or even as an engineer.

Good home inspectors are generalists. They know enough about all the components and systems that exist in residential structures to be able to recognize deficiencies, problems and potential problems. A tradesperson may be, say, a good plumber, but may lack a solid grasp of the problems caused by insufficient attic ventilation. And just because a person is an engineer does not mean that he or she is qualified as a home inspector, unless that engineer has been specializing in home inspection.

When selecting a home inspector, choose one who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and/or the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (NABIE). Both organizations have a standard of practice, a code of ethics and rigid entrance requirements, whereby candidates must demonstrate proficiency in home inspection before being granted membership.

The Most Common Home Inspection Problems

 Disclaimer: The information on this Hub page does not constitute medical, legal, commercial, product, and/or service advice or endorsement of any vendor, supplier and/or brand, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. Listing of an entity or service on this Hub page is not a warranty of the quality or efficacy of the products or services furnished by any entity. The author is not directly compensated by any entity other than the advertising placement services shown on this page.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Hey, don't start me on Romanian... :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      Whew! :)

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Si, arenas movedizas, pero si yo son ellos y ellos soy yo y yo dijo...

      OH OK... I confess... I'm just messin' with ya! :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      Per favore non rispondere in Italiano porque ... porque ... Come si dice in Italiano "it is still not clear" :) :) :)

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Non capisci? Allora posso spiegare tutto. Io sono loro, loro sono io, io ho detto a loro quello che loro hanno detto ad io... :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      Non capisco! :) :) :)

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Yes, but if I is they and they is I and I said what they said and they said what I said then who is they and who is I and what did they say and what did I say? :)

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      Oops, you said it, not they! :)

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      quicksand: Is I a they or is they a me? :)

      Sandyspider: Thank you for the kind works, much appreciated! :)

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      We often neglect our home. Thanks for the hub.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 

      9 years ago

      Safety begins at home they say. Er ... you said it, not them!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)