Frequently Asked Questions

Home Inspections: Answers to Common Questions

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is the visual inspection of the structure and components of a home. The purpose of home inspections is to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe. If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.

Why is a Home Inspection Important?

Home Inspections are important for different reasons depending on whether you are buying or selling a home.

Home Buyers: Emotion often affects the buyer and makes it hard to imagine any problems with their new home. A buyer needs a home inspection to find out all the problems possible with the home before moving in.

Home Sellers: More and more sellers are choosing to have a thorough inspection before or when they first list their home. First and foremost, you should have a home inspection for full disclosure. You will have demonstrated that you did all you could do to reveal any defects within the home. Second, you will save money and hassle by knowing now what your defects are, not after you have already negotiated and are faced with costly repairs discovered on the buyers inspection. Defects found before the buyer comes along allow you to shop around for a contractor and not deal with inflated estimates that a buyer will present.

Why Use a Home Inspector?

Buying a home is one of the most expensive and personal investments you will ever make. Knowing this, why would you ever take a chance at not knowing exactly what you’re walking into? No matter if it was constructed in 1968 or 2008, every home has its defects. And overall, you’ll find that it’s worth it to get a second opinion from a professional. Home buyers will often walk into a home thinking that a creak here or a crack there is no big deal. A quality home inspection may show “minor” problems that will lead to huge issues down the road.

On another note, with buyers scheduling so many home inspections, sellers should think about investing as well. This will save a lot of back and forth in negotiations if both parties have conducted a thorough home inspection and are in agreement on the condition of the home and its worth. Your home inspector will point out the good, the bad, and the things that could get worse. When it comes to the safety of yourself and your family, our second opinion is always worth it.

Why Use Virginia Home Inspection Inc?

Your certified inspector from Virginia Home Inspection (VHI) is highly trained in skills unique to this profession. He does not just deal strictly with new homes as in the construction trades. He is specifically trained and experienced with existing homes, substandard workmanship, and the wear and tear caused by our harsh Appalachian environment. He knows exactly what to look for and where to look.

In addition, your home inspector will also report on the positive aspects of the home, instilling confidence, as well as pointing out required maintenance and familiarizing you with the operation of some of the home’s key systems. After your home inspection, you will have a much better understanding of the condition of the home.

What if the Inspection Report Reveals Problems?

All homes (even new construction) have problems. Every problem has a solution. Solutions vary from a simple fix of the component to adjusting the purchase price but having a home inspection allows the problem to be addressed before the sales closes.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

A home inspector’s report will review 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 visible structure. Many inspectors will also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection such as mold, radon and water testing.

What Should I NOT Expect from a Home Inspection?

Home inspections are not protection against future failures. Stuff happens! Components like Air Conditioners and Heat Systems can and will break down. We will show you the condition of the component at the time the component was inspected. For protection from future failure you may want to consider a home warranty.

Home Inspections are not appraisals that determines the value of a home. Nor will a home inspector tell you if you should buy this home or what to pay for this home.

Home Inspections are not code inspections, which verify local building code compliance. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Homes built before code revisions are not obligated to comply with the code for homes built today. Home inspectors will report findings when it comes to safety concerns that may be in the current code such as ungrounded outlets above sinks. A home inspector thinks “Safety” not “Code” when performing a home inspection.

Should I Attend my Home Inspection?

It is often helpful to be there so we can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home even if no problems are found. But be sure to give the home inspector time and space to concentrate and focus so he can do the best job possible for you.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty protects you against components that fail in the future. You may have to pay a deductible (service call fee) when you have a problem. If you choose to have a warranty, be sure and qualify coverage of your problem over the phone with the warranty company before they send a repairman. If you do not you may find out that your problem is not covered and you still must pay the deductible or trip service fee. If you have a home inspection and you know your furnace or another major component is old, you may be better off buying a warranty before your closing. We recommend looking closely at what is NOT covered in warranty company policies as you compare prices.