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Frequently Asked Questions
You can't learn everything here, but it's a start.
What is a "Home Inspection"?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical, structural and mechanical systems of a home. If you’re thinking about buying a house, condominium, or multi-family, you should have it properly inspected before the final purchase by a licensed, experienced and impartial professional home inspector.
Why do I need a Home Inspection?
Why do I need a Home Inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the single largest investment you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repairs and maintenance.
A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Water marks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem or may simply be the result of a single incident. A home inspector interprets these clues and conditions and presents his or her professional opinion as to the condition of the structure before you buy… to help you avoid unpleasant surprises after the fact.
Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as explain the necessary maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of the home you’re about to purchase, and you’ll be able to make that decision confidently.
What does a Home Inspection include?
A 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.
A home inspection performed by The Building Inspector of America includes a similar examination of any garage on the property, attached or detached.
What does a Home Inspection cost?
“You get what you pay for.” We believe this statement is true. Before you book an inspection, make sure you know who you’re about to deal with. Choose a company with experience, integrity and the reputation to back it all up. With more than twenty years and 30,000 inspections under our belt, we consider ourselves as experts in our field.
Inspection fees vary depending upon the size and particular features of the house, age, other structures, etc. However, cost should not be your deciding factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspection.
Our inspections have enabled our clients to renegotiate a lower purchase price based on our findings! That means the inspection process can literally pay for itself. Consult your attorney or real estate agent for guidance on this topic. If you’re contemplating purchasing a property, please contact us and we’ll e-mail you a quote. Or, simply give us a call toll-free at 800-626-4408 for an immediate price quote.
Can I do the inspection myself?
Unfortunately not. The law states that home inspectors must be licensed. Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, and perhaps thousands of homes in his or her career. An inspector is equally familiar with all of the elements associated with 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. A professional home inspection will give the buyer a thorough and objective assessment.
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, is legally prohibited from passing or failing a home. The inspector should simply describe the home’s condition (as well as the condition of the structural and mechanical components therein) and indicate which items are in need of immediate repair, near future repair or replacement.
Why choose The Building Inspector of America?
You've found the company who has performed over 30,000 inspections in the Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. We're one of the largest firms in the area and we are a full-time home inspection company, dedicated to our profession. And we believe we’re the only inspection company in New England to offer a money-back guarantee.
We never rush clients through the inspection process. We encourage our clients to join us during the inspection process. We’ll answer any and all of your questions – both during the inspection and beyond. We believe once you’ve chosen to be our client, you’re a client for life… even well after you’ve moved into your new home. Our inspectors and office staff are available to answer your questions anytime.
We provide a detailed, written report within two business days of the inspection. Most importantly, we don’t offer hastily crafted on-site reports! Our inspectors are required to write their reports based on their detailed notes, after the inspection is complete and from the confines of their office. We believe the practice of rushing to generate an on-site report immediately at the conclusion of an inspection lends itself to errors. Errors that could eventually cost all parties involved thousands of dollars to rectify. We take our time to ensure accuracy, integrity and your peace of mind.
When should I schedule a home inspection?
The best time to call in the home inspector is after you've made an offer on the house and before you sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Or you can ask your lawyer to include an inspection clause in the Purchase and Sale Agreement, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection.
And remember: If you plan to sell your home, call The Building Inspector of America first to reveal any problems which may devalue your selling price!
What if the report reveals problems?
If the inspector finds fault in a home it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it, only that you'll know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate.
A seller may be willing to renegotiate the purchase price because of significant problems discovered during an inspection. If your budget’s tight or you don't want to become involved in future repair work, you may decide this simply isn’t the house for you. The choice is yours. Which is why we say, "We inspect, you decide."
If you’re selling your home you may be able to repair any problems in advance of putting your home on the market and maximize the potential sale price.
If the structure is found to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You may also have learned a few things about your new home from your inspector and his report, which you’ll want to keep handy for future reference.
Above all, you’ll be assured that you’re making a well-informed purchase decision.
What will an inspection report look like and when will I get it?
Our comprehensive inspection reports are broken down into sections covering all major structural and mechanical components of the home or building. The report is professionally produced, printed, bound and delivered via first class mail. Express mail service is available for a nominal surcharge.
Additionally, we have the ability to expedite your finished report via e-mail or fax, either to you directly or your designated representative, and at no additional charge.
How far in advance do I need to schedule an inspection and when are you guys available?
If you’re hoping to work with a specific inspector on staff, you should call to schedule an appointment as soon as you intend to make an offer. Our inspectors are busy and early birds do get the worm.
Many of our inspectors work seven days a week so we schedule inspections according to the needs of our clients. Here again, our weekend appointments tend to fill up fast, so call and schedule your appointment as soon as your Purchase and Sale Agreement is signed.
The only rule of thumb we follow is to ensure we have adequate daylight to inspect the exterior of any home or building, but we’ll do our very best to accommodate your schedule - morning, noon or evening!
My know-it-all brother in-law wants to come with me on the inspection. Who can or can’t I bring along?
Minimally, we suggest our clients and their significant others be present during the on-site inspection. Your presence is considered the verbal portion of our service and it should prove to be an invaluable learning experience.
You may invite family members or friends to tag along on the inspection with us. Your guests are welcome to ask our inspector questions about the home itself, but they must not interfere with the inspector’s process.
What are the benefits of a seller's inspection?
A thorough home inspection can identify existing problems which may devalue your asking price. Having a home inspection performed before you put your home on the market will enable you to repair the more superfluous problems we uncover during the inspection, while enabling you to adequately assess the true cost associated with rectifying more complex problems in advance of the negotiation process.
How does your money-back guarantee work?
We stand by our Customer Satisfaction Policy. That means if you’re not completely satisfied with our inspector's performance at the end of the on-site inspection, no payment is necessary and no fees will be collected. A written report will not be furnished and all obligations and liabilities will end.
What is ASHI?
ASHI is an acronym for the American Society of Home Inspectors. Our company president was a long-standing member of ASHI until the State of Massachusetts adopted more stringent Standards of Practice in 2001. Because the Massachusetts standards actually exceed ASHI’s, the Building Inspector of America is no longer affiliated with ASHI.
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