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When home buyers choose an ASHI member for their home inspection, they are hiring a professional who is dedicated to serving their client. ASHI members know that a home is much more than just a property to the home buyer; it's a place to start a new chapter of their life. The inspector's purpose is to help their clients get a better understanding about their potential homes. No home is perfect, but ASHI members will provide the insight home buyers need to decide if the home is perfect for them.

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If you are looking for a qualified home inspector who will approach the job in a consultative unbiased manner, The BrickKicker is just the choice for you. Our trained inspectors will take the time to understand the client’s perspective and offer them a variety of home inspection choices that will fit their needs. We offer expert home inspections, comprehensive inspection reports, and home maintenance advice as well as unique reporting and peripheral services.   636.344.0435

FAQs About Home Inspection

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation. On average, a single-family home inspection usually takes 2-4 hours to complete, though this is heavily dependent on the size and condition of the home. After the inspection process, the inspector will send the client an inspection report (often within 24-48 hours) that covers their findings, complete with pictures, analysis, and recommendations.

What does a home inspection include?

The standard home inspector's report will cover the condition of the home's heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing system; electrical system; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; and the foundation, basement, and structural components. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standard of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what to expect to be covered in the home inspection report.

It is important to note that there may be some exceptions. If certain areas are inaccessible (locked door, tenant's belongings in the way) or unsafe conditions (severely steep roofs, poor structural integrity), the inspector will explain the situation and note that they were not able to assess that specific area or system.

Why do home buyers need a home inspection?

Buying a home could be the largest single investment the home buyer will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, home buyers should strive to learn as much as they can about the house before they buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. Through the home inspection process, home buyers will have a better understanding about their prospective house, which will allow them to make decisions with confidence. If a home owner is planning to sell their home, a home inspection can give them the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

Do the home buyers have to be there?

It is not required for the home buyer to be present for the inspection. However, ASHI recommends attending so the home buyer can receive the most value from their inspection. This allows home buyers to observe the inspector and ask questions throughout the process. Many home buyers find that talking with their inspectors gives them a better understanding of the condition of the home and how to maintain it.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

A professional home inspection is an examination and objective assessment of the current condition of a house. A home inspector will not "pass" or "fail" a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement. A home inspection is not an appraisal and will not determine the home's market value. It is also not a municipal inspection and does not verify local code compliance.

What if the inspection report reveals problems?

It is important to note that no house is perfect. Every home inspection will identify issues with the property, and the inspector will communicate the severity of the issues found. The home inspector's goal is to leave their clients with a deeper understanding of their prospective home, so the client can make a sound decision as they continue their home buying process. The client should be fully aware of any issues, risks, or health concerns that may impact the client's decision. The inspector's role is not to tell the clients if they should buy the house or not, but to help the clients understand the full cost of ownership. If major problems are found, home buyers may wish to negotiate with the seller to make repairs or cover their costs.

Types of Inspections

Chimney Inspections

Some older chimneys don't have flue liners, or the interior brickwork might be crumbling. A chimney inspector will detect these problems and can also make sure smoke is discharged properly and that the cap is in good repair. Cost: $100 to $300 (as of 2020).

Lead-Based Paint

The federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978, but older homes—and even some built after 1978—may contain it. You have a right to have the home tested for lead-based paint and to hire a certified lead abatement contractor to remove it.

Asbestos Inspections

Contrary to popular belief, general home inspections don't include tests for asbestos. The only way to tell if a material actually contains asbestos is to have it tested by taking a sample to a lab.

Termite / Wood-Boring Insects

The general home inspector usually helps to arrange for a termite inspection, too, which typically costs about $100 to $200.  This inspector will look for signs of structural damage caused by wood-boring insects as well as conditions that might lead to problems down the road, such as wood in direct contact with the ground or soil.

Radon Gas

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a decay product of uranium.  Buyers living in New Jersey, New York, or Pennsylvania, or anyone thinking about moving into one of these states, need to be aware of a uranium-rich formation called the Reading Prong.

Radon gas can build up in enclosed places, and home owners are encouraged to test homes, especially basements, for the presence of this gas.  A continuous monitoring test will cost around $200. It's possible to find laboratories certified to perform such testing at the EPA's website.

Negotiating a Credit

Oftentimes buyers and sellers of homes expect to negotiate in good faith with each other, and that includes coming to agreement on repairs deemed necessary via the home inspection.

Negotiating a credit often means compromise; both parties agree to meet somewhere in the middle, and that means extending a credit to the home's buyer.  Credits usually take the form of "splitting" one of the closing costs (the seller paying for a cost typically paid for by the buyer).

Seller Repairs Before Closing

If the home inspection reveals serious problems with the home that the seller claims they were not aware of, then it's reasonable to ask the seller to make the repairs before buying the home.  After all, an offer was made on the home the seller felt was fair before the problems were revealed.

Now that everyone has been made aware of trouble with the home, it's time to re-evaluate what is a fair offer.  The buyer could logically argue that their offer was made and accepted before these flaws were known by either party.  The fair thing to do would be to bring the home back to that same point of reference.

Buying the Home As-Is

If someone values the home enough, they might decide to buy the property as-is.  Just remember the effective purchase price is the bid placed on the home plus the cost of the needed repairs.  These costs can sometimes be rolled into the new mortgage.

Buyers should never pay for a repair until they own the home.  Deals fall through all the time; do not repair a home that belongs to someone else.

Walk Away From the Deal

As a final option, it's always possible to just walk away from the home.  But this is often a difficult decision for buyers that have fallen in love with a house.  The reason it's hard to walk away is that those feelings are usually emotional, not logical.  But if the home is in need of expensive repairs, and the seller is not willing to compromise, then walking away might be the least expensive, and best, option.

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