faqs

WHAT IS A "HOME INSPECTION"
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and mechanical systems of a house. If you are thinking of buying a house, co-op or condominium, you should have it properly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional home inspector. 


WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION? 
The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repair and maintenance and their costs. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious problems. Water marks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. The home inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents his professional opinion as to the condition of the property before you buy, so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards. 

Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of what it is you are about to purchase, and you will be able to make your decision confidently. 


WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE? 
A complete home inspection includes a visual examination of the house from top to bottom. The inspector examines the heating system, the central air conditioning system, when temperature permits, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. 


CAN'T I DO IT MYSELF? 
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands of homes in his career. An inspector is equally familiar with all the elements of home construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and interrelationships of those elements. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may lead to a poor assessment. 


WHAT WILL IT COST? 
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, age, other structures, etc. However, cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspection. You might save many times the cost of the inspection if you are able to renegotiate the purchase price based on significant problems revealed by the inspector. Please call for specific pricing. (978) 687-4183


CAN A HOUSE "FAIL" INSPECTION? 
No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will simply describe its condition on the day of the inspection and indicate which items will be in need of immediate attention or near future, major repair or replacement.


WHO ARRANGES FOR THE INSPECTION?
The buyer has the obligation to arrange for the inspection.


WHEN DO I CALL IN THE HOME INSPECTOR? 
The best time to call in the home inspector is after you've made an offer on the house, and before you sign the contract. Or you can ask your attorney to include an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. If you plan to sell your house, call The Building Inspector of America first to reveal any problems which may devalue your selling price.


DO I HAVE TO BE THERE? 
I strongly encourage you to not only attend, but follow me and participate in your inspection. By following the home inspector around the house, by listening and asking questions, you will learn about your new home and get some tips on maintenance in general - information that will be of great help to you after you've moved in. 


WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS? 
If the inspector finds fault in a house it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to renegotiate the purchase price because of significant problems discovered in an inspection. If your budget is very tight, or if you don't want to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the house for you. The choice is yours. Conversely, if you are selling your house you may be able to repair any problems in advance of putting your house on the market.
   
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