Six Home-Inspection Myths
Having faulty or misguided beliefs about home-inspection services can lead to poor buying processes and final decisions. The following are answers to some of the most common myths about home inspections.
Myth: All qualified home inspectors are alike.
Truth: Just because someone claims to be an inspector--even a certified inspector-doesn't mean he or she is qualified. Not all states require home inspectors to be licensed. Before choosing an inspector, examine the person's credentials and be sure you trust not just the certification but the certifying body. You can find if someone is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors, National Association of Home Inspectors or the Florida Association of Home Inspectors online at www.ashi.org , www.nahi.org or www.fabi.org. Another good standard for finding a home inspector is to ask him or her how many inspections they perform in a year. At least 200 inspections is a good number.
Myth: The inspection report functions as a list of repairs the seller needs to complete.
Truth: The seller can choose to use the inspection as a repair list, or as a negotiation tool to move the deal forward.
Myth: The home inspection will go fine without your presence.
Truth: You don't need to be there, but it's a good idea and a great way to learn how to operate systems in the home and understand its condition. It also lets you ask questions of the inspector and
Myth: You don't have to bother getting a home inspected if it's being sold "as is."
Truth: A home sold "as is" should certainly be inspected, so you, the buyer, know exactly what "as is" means. These homes aren't being sold free of defects, only with any defects left unrepaired. Many states require the seller to disclose known defects or other conditions that could affect the value or salability of the home, but impose no further obligation.
Myth: A termite inspection is enough.
Truth: A home inspection covers more than just looking for termites. Home inspectors look at the home's entire structure and all major systems, such as plumbing, electricity, and any internal climate control systems such as heating and central air. If a home inspector does find potential termite problems-or other issues that are dealt with by specialists, such as chimney or structural problems-he or she will recommend a qualified inspector for that.
Myth: You don't need to have an inspection for a newly built home.
Truth: This could be one of the costliest myths of all. A recent Consumer Reports investigation found 15 percent of new homes sold had serious defects, and studies suggest things are getting worse. In another study, 41 percent of the homes examined, constructed by various builders, revealed problems such as mold and moisture, and 34 percent had frame and structural problems. Home inspectors conduct a visual inspection of all elements of a home and check items such as the water heater and built-in appliances, building a foundation of knowledge about the home and its systems.