Introduction. Buying a home is one of the largest – and most expensive – purchases most people will ever make.
So many variables are taken into consideration – as they should be – such as location, price, neighbors, community, shuls/HOUSE OF WORSHIP, schools, amount of bedrooms, square footage, front yard, backyard, and the list goes on and on.
Very often, one of the most important decisions for a new home is all but overlooked and not considered and researched with the same amount of time and energy of all the other decisions: the Home Inspection.
Yes, everyone knows that they will have to undergo an inspection before closing, but too many do not realize that not all inspection providers are created equal. Choosing the right inspector to do a full and thorough inspection is one of the most important decisions; one that can offer you protection and peace of mind for decades to come. More importantly, choosing the wrong inspector can set you up for decades of stress and financial woes.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a property. The primary purpose of an inspection is to identify any flaws with the structure and operational systems within the home.
The areas that will be inspected should be clearly explained by the inspector to the client prior to the inspection, so it is clear what work will be done and what the inspection fee covers.
Home inspections are as thorough as the Home Inspector is, as it is based on experience and the observational prowess of the inspector. It is for this reason that every buyer should do the research before hiring an inspector to make sure the one they hire comes highly recommended by others who have used him.
The main items that inspectors search for are material defects that may adversely affect the overall value of the property in the short and long term, as well as areas that may pose a safety risk to inhabitants of the property. Inspectors also look for signs of wear and tear on large home appliances, which, although may not be a safety risk, may be at the end of their functional life, and thus be a large expense that a potential buyer wants to know about.
After the inspection, a Home Inspector will provide a written report of his findings, in a way that the buyer can make educated decisions in regard to the property that is being considered for purchase. Inspection reports can sometimes offer comments and advice based on the observations of the inspector, but this additional benefit is not required.
What will be Inspected?
Some common areas that a Home Inspector will observe:
*exterior and interior
* Evidence of moisture or water in all areas of the home, especially basements
* Heating and cooling systems
*electricity and plumbing
* Condition of the roof and siding
*windows and doors
* the gutters and downspouts
*the land around the home
* Any abnormal smells or cover-ups in the home
What other inspections can be done (depending on qualifications)?
* Signs of wood destroying insects, such as termites
* The Energy Efficiency of the home
* Safety and condition of Pools and outdoor spas
* Construction Inspection
* 11 months warranty inspection
What do home inspections not cover?
As important as it is to have a thorough inspection by a certified InterNACHI professional, it is important for the soon-to-be-homeowner to realize that certain areas will not be included in this inspection, and these items should be looked into and researched by the prospective buyers before closing on the home.
Some of the items not covered by any Home Inspector include concealed defect, visual eye-sore and décor type of concerns that are a matter of taste and style and ot a matter of safety and sturdiness; these are up to the buyer to determine on their own if they are deal-breakers.
Additionally, home inspections will not make determinations as to the appropriate usage of the property nor will it speculate as to the market value or insurability of a property. Those are questions for the realtors and insurance brokers to deal with.
Furthermore, a Home Inspector will not offer advice to the buyer if the property should be purchased or not, as an inspector’s job is solely to inspect the property and render a fair and thorough report as to its safety and durability.
Why hire a certified inspector?
Not all inspectors are created equal, and not all inspections cost the same amount.
So why opt for a certified inspector and not just find the cheapest guy in the phone book?
The cost of hiring a certified inspector is minimal compared to the value of the home you are purchasing. Trusting this large purchase to the observations of a less-than-certified inspector is a recipe for saving a few bucks now and potentially setting yourself up for many unexpected large purchases later to fix things that you had no idea were an issue when you bought the home; not to mention the headaches and stress of discovering defects after the fact.
When choosing a Home Inspector do not simply flip a coin or follow the referral of your real estate agent. Insist on a InterNACHI certified inspector. InterNACHI has strict membership guidelines and requirements to ensure that their members are a cut above the lesser certified inspectors. In fact, InterNACHI turns down more than 50% of those applying for their coveted certification, as they simply don’t make the cut.
InterNACHI-certified inspectors may charge a little more, but they do a lot more to earn their fees! When purchasing a home, demand nothing less than a complete and thorough inspection by a certified InterNACHI inspector; you deserve nothing less.
In our next installment we will discuss…..”The Home Exterior”
Yaakov Fisgus is the owner and lead inspector at Inspect It Right.
Your home is an important part of life, so be sure to trust your home inspection to a true professional. In addition to his time as a home inspector, Yaakov also has15 years of experience as a construction foreman and supervisor. He has built and worked on homes with his own two hands – giving him in-depth knowledge of what a home should look like, from the inside out. With dedication and a strong work ethic that are invaluable during a home buying process, Yaakov guides his clients in making the most educated decision they can.
I don’t know anyone more thorough than Yaakov Fisgus when it comes to home construction. He is Definitely the guy to hire.
I know him very well. Thorough responsible, attention to detail, straight to the point without delays. Is proud of his own work. I have always been very impressed with his work. See for yourself. You are in good hands.
Yaakov is truly one of the best in his field. I have spoken with him and benefited from his expertise in the past. In addition to being good at what he does, he’s extremely professional and trustworthy.
I agree that home inspections are very important, however, I disagree with your statement not to trust your realtor for a recommendation. A realtor has a fiduciary responsibility to protect their clients best interests and will not knowingly recommend a subpar provider.
In addition, your statement that realtors recieve a commission for their recommendations is also inaccurate. Per NJ Law as well as RESPA, it is illegal for a realtor to receive a kickback for a recommendation, and doing so will subject the realtor to sanctions, a significant fine as well as possible jail time.
Of course, a buyer can choose to use their own inspector,
but why would they not listen to the advisor that they retained to guide them through the closing process?
What about pool inspections?
Yaakov is the man!. He knows his stuff.
Mr realtor, I respect that you seem to be a law abiding citizen and you care for your customers and set them up with who you think is best but many people in your position are not that caring. The truth is, if a realtor doesn’t sell the house, they don’t get a commission on the house and if they’re trying to sell a house with a serious defect like maybe in the foundation… A good inspector Will tell every buyer not to buy the house. Nobody complains to the realtor that the house they bought had a broken foundation. Far too many people try buying a house and they have no idea what they’re doing and home inspections is usually the first thing that they try to save money on. I would say it’s a realtors responsibility to stress the importance of a serious home inspection by a seriously thorough inspector . Of course you can offer a name or two but you need to tell them that they should do their own research.
I bought a house a few years ago and after a few months I discovered after a heavy rainfall that there was water in the basement. The inspector that I had never noticed or told me anything about potentially getting water down there. Yakov came to my house, he told me in two minutes where and why the water was coming in and how to fix it by installing a French drain in such and such a area, This amount of feet away from the house and that I should make sure I do it in a certain way. Thankfully I was able to do half the work myself so that it wasn’t as expensive as it would’ve been. My house has been dry now for 5 years.
A good inspector could tell you before you buy the house that water gets in during heavy rains and the homeowner should install the French drain before You buy the house or they can knock some money off the top so you can pay for it. You’re the man Yakov! And you are incredibly honest about Everything you do.
I don’t think the article said “don’t trust your realtor” as much as it inferred verify who the person is they recommend. In any business you have people that have all kinds of experience. They may be great at selling and buying houses but not necessarily well versed in construction and evaluating the skills of a home inspector. They may be just happy that the reports are prompt. They may not know really how qualified an inspection is – just that he’s available at that moment to complete a sale.. Like in ANY business trust but verify! If you’re going to make the biggest purchase of your life, an inspector which great skills and a sharp eye can save you from a money pit!
Yes, pool inspections as well. Those can only be done in the summer when the pool is up and running.
As my colleague mentioned, we are retained for our experience and resources. If buyers should be so concerned at whether they can trust a Realtor, then the same could be said for Inspectors. Of course we know that is not true.
A buyer should lean on their Real Estate Professional for recommendations in title, lenders and inspectors, based off prior experience.
I am a professional, not some crooked car used car salesman.
Hey guys, relax. I’m a physician. There are good honest caring ones but there are plenty of bad, dishonest ones and I see patients “rave” about how good they are????. Same in any profession. There are people that carefully choose a Realestate agent and some that just stumble across an agent at an open house or they use “Uncle Eddies” nephew… The point is you should be careful with any choice you are making when so much money is involved. But I’ll give you a example. I had an agent in Cleveland that was amazing. He couldn’t find a house for me in Cleveland Heights but a private sale came up and he tried help me get it even though he wasn’t even going to make a commission. In the end we got a different house through him and I was thrilled. When we sold that house a different agent ended up helping us and she really pushed us to use a particular mortgage company. (1980’s mind you) I went along till one day I say in the newspaper that local banks were offering a1/2 % lower and less points! Then I found out that this mortgage agent was connected to the Realestate company… Maybe that can’t happen today – I don’t know but when you’re dealing with money. You better be careful… and get educated. An home inspectors are no different! Be cautious with anyone you hire. Don’t blindly trust anyone! And any professional that gets “offended” by you doing your diligence wanting references or recommendations (or second opinions) is a red flag.
Very well written article! Looking forward to the next one.
and FYI: The inspector I used a few years ago – who was referred to me by the realtor – did a lousy job and I had to deal with issues that he missed over the past few years. I recently told the realtor about it and he admitted to me that he doesn’t recommend that guy anymore, but at the time ” I didn’t really know much about him, but he needed parnassah, so I recommended him!”
yup. Don’t automatically trust the realtor who has skin in the game and just wants the house sold.
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