Home inspections offer valuable information about the general condition of a home, outlining areas requiring minor and major repairs and pinpointing deficiencies in building structure. The complex task of assessing a home is more difficult because of the prevalence of myths attached to the process of home inspection.
The report will give you excellent information and will point out weaknesses about smoke detectors, heating systems, etc. but a homeowner can also get more out of an inspection if they tag along.
MYTH: An appraisal is just as comprehensive as a home inspection; or, if I have a really good appraisal, it won’t be necessary to have a home inspection.
FACT: Home inspections and home appraisals are NOT the same. As ridiculous as it sounds, some homeowners end up assuming a comprehensive appraisal has covered all the bases.
MYTH: A home inspector should be able to tell me everything that can potentially go wrong with the home I’d like to purchase.
FACT: A home inspector is required to report the things that are not functioning properly, especially if they’re unsafe. They will also inform you when certain components and systems are at the end of their service life such as worn-out heating, plumbing or electrical systems.
They cannot predict with accuracy, however, when things will go wrong because they can only account for variables present at the time of inspection. For example, you may buy a home with a roof that’s seen better days. The home inspector reports there is no sign of water damage and in the first winter you experience major leaks from ice dams. It isn’t due to faulty inspection services even if the inspector agreed you could probably put off getting a new roof for a few more years. The inspector will only report wear and tear on the existing roof and provide you with recommendations for the lack of improper attic insulation – the cause of the formation of ice dams in the first place.
MYTH: All home inspectors are licensed and my inspector says he’s certified — so I’m safe.
FACT: Only 30 states require licensing, but even licensed inspectors will vary in their qualifications. Many inspectors receive training and certification through various programs, but it isn’t always a guarantee of competency.
To set the standard of performance high, ASHI has varying levels of certification, with full certification achieved only after an inspector has been able to pass a proctored exam and completed a minimum of 250 inspections. Have a detailed discussion with any home inspector you want to hire and find out their qualifications including training and experience.