Frequently Asked Questions

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation by a professionally qualified inspector, through the American Society of Home Inspectors. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up.

Please visit the ASHI Virtual Home Inspection tour. This tour will assist you in understanding the basics and importance of home inspection.

Why do I need a home inspection?

The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.

Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

When do I call in the home inspector?

A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

What about bank repos?

Sometimes a bank repossesses a house and then puts it on the market, "as-is". It is not uncommon to find frozen or broken pipes, flooding, and other issues with a bank repossessed home. If you are looking to buy, get it inspected! Not only will you find out the true condition of the home and be able to plan accordingly, many times a bank will negotiate price despite the "as-is" label, based on the results of the inspection.

What does the inspection include?

The home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system; water heaters, plumbing and fixtures; electrical fixtures, switches and receptacles; the roof and gutters, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; porches and decks; sidewalks and driveways; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

Do I have to be there?

It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you have seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes.

Can a house fail inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. ACT, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it does not necessarily mean you should avoid buying the house; only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need a home inspection?

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector's written report, and will want to keep that information for future reference.

What if I am selling my home?

ACT Home Inspection also offers a pre-sale inspection service that helps detect of minor deficiencies that may inhibit the sale of your home.