What is a home inspection and why is it important? The answer to that question depends on your point of view. Perhaps you are a Realtor, Buyer, Seller, Landlord, Home Owner, or maybe you wear more than one of these hats.
First lets clarify the definition of a home inspection. A home inspection is a non-invasive and limited examination of the general condition of a home. Per the Oregon Standards of Practice this includes, but is not limited to, the structural components, the exterior and site, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, central air conditioning, interiors, insulation and ventilation, and built-in kitchen appliances.
It is important to understand that these examinations are non-invasive and not technically exhaustive, they are not “code compliance inspections”, and that your Inspector cannot “require” or make anyone do anything. The Inspector communicates their findings and they recommend action based on their observations and experiences. These are common misconceptions, so please ask questions and talk to your inspector to establish a clear set of expectations.
Why have a home inspected?
Buyers – Typically a home inspection is ordered after an offer has been made and accepted. Even if you are well versed in construction the pure emotion involved with buying a home can do funny things especially after you have finally found a place that you want to call home. A good home inspector provides a fresh set of eyes and a non-biased opinion of the condition of the home and they will make every effort to access all areas of the most critical areas such as the crawlspace and attic.
Sellers – Disclosure documents often make Sellers nervous about having a pre-lisiting home inspection, home owners don’t always want to know whats wrong with their home, but when the final days of the deal are approaching and everyone is ready for this to “just be over” it can be a terrible time for a surprise. We encourage Sellers to get a limited home inspection and summary report prior to listing, these inspections can be tailored in a variety of fashions and can lead to a much smoother transaction.
Realtors – We’ve gained another level of appreciation for Real Estate Professionals and what they do day in and day out. Realtors invest their time and money marketing and showing properties based on market comparisons and conditions and asking prices and can only hope that the inspection process doesn’t uncover a “deal breaker” or something that has a significant negative impact on the sale price and ultimately their commission. We encourage Realtors to advise their Clients, both Buyers and Sellers to utilize the services of a professional home inspector not only to protect the Client, but to protect themselves as well.
Home Owners/Landlords – A whole home inspection may be a little overkill, but a thorough maintenance inspection or a crawlspace and attic only inspection can save a Home Owner thousands of dollars through early detection. Landlords can sleep more soundly knowing that they’ve exercised due diligence by having their investment property thoroughly evaluated thereby reducing the risk of getting those surprise phone calls from a frustrated tenant.
Should you have your newly constructed home inspected? YES and FULLY! Nobody is perfect, even code compliance inspectors miss stuff. Maybe the home was completed and has been on the market for a few months. Did the landscaper smash the drain line? Did a leak develop in the crawlspace or attic? Why take a chance, have the home checked and schedule routine maintenance inspections and protect your investment.
Is a whole home inspection enough? A whole home inspection is better than nothing, no doubt, but with the tools available today a much more comprehensive inspection can be performed and should definitely be considered. Damaged sewer drains or a leaky underground storage tank can cost thousands sometimes tens of thousands of dollars to repair, clogged rain drains can cause moisture intrusion and foundation undermining, and high levels of radon gas can increase your chances of lung cancer many times over.
Yes, it can get expensive to test and inspect all of these items and we understand that funds can be tight even if these services provide a peace of mind or protect your investment. Not every home is prone to or suspect for certain deficiencies, so call and talk to us and let us provide you a recommendation based on the age, location, and surrounding environment. We can often put together a package deal to help ease the burden!
Determine the services that you are interested in; see our services page and follow the embedded links.
Prepare to discuss scheduling. We target 8:30am and 1pm start times for home inspections.
Contact IQA Home Inspections to discuss the particulars. Questions about services, pricing confirmation, and scheduling. Contact information can be found on our contact page.
Once scheduled you will receive an email confirming the scheduled date and time and also containing documents pertinent to the inspection. Please note that as a Home Inspector Contractor the State of Oregon requires that we have a signed inspection agreement prior to completing a home inspection.
The inspection is executed and an electronic report including photos will be completed and delivered via email. This delivery usually happens within 24 to 48 hours of the inspection, but in extreme situations or if we are experiencing a high volume of inspections it can take up to 72 hours to complete the report.
Review the report and discuss your concerns and needs with your Real Estate Agent and prepare a repair addendum if needed.
Please note that home inspections are somewhat subjective, your inspector may not have identified an observation as “major” where you may consider it such. For this reason it is imperative that you read the entire report and include any item(s) of concern in the repair addendum.
Forms and Information