Richard D. Malin & Associates, Inc.
Home Inspections, Radon Testing, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Indoor Air Quality Testing
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM BUYERS
Should I attend the inspection? It is not essential for you to be present for the inspection, but it is a
very good idea. We actually encourage you to attend because it is a valuable learning experience for
you as a potential home buyer. It is a great opportunity to ask specific questions about the condition
of the home and learn important information that will be of great help to you after you've moved in.
Where defects are identified, the inspector can discuss these with you so that you understand what
repairs are required and when they should be done.
Can a building "fail" an inspection? No. A home inspection is an examination into the current cond-
ition of your prospective real estate purchase. An inspector will not pass or fail a house but will simply
describe its condition and indicate which items are in need of minor or major repairs or replacement.
What if the report reveals problems? No house is perfect, so if the inspection reveals problems, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn't buy it. Rather it lets you know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you. The choice is yours.
If the report turns out to be favorable, did I really need the inspection? Definitely! Now you can complete your purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and its equipment and systems. You will have learned many things about your property from the inspection itself and the report. You will want to keep the report for future reference.
Can I inspect the house myself? Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspector who has inspected hundreds or even thousands of homes. An inspector is familiar with the critical elements of construction and the proper installation, maintenance and interrelationship of these elements. Many insurance companies require a home inspection before they are willing to take on the risk of insuring it. Finally, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about a home they really want, and this could lead to a poor assessment of the situation.
It's brand new, so what could be wrong ... or ... what if my builder says I don't need a home inspection? It is not good business to forego a home inspection on a newly constructed house, regardless of how conscientious and reputable your home builder is. No matter how well a house is constructed, it is never totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousands of details performed by many individuals, and no general contractor can possibly oversee every element of the home's construction. The very nature of human fallibility dictates that some mistakes and oversights will occur even when the most talented and best-intentioned tradespeople are involved. It is important to let your builder know up front that you intend to have the work inspected by an independent third party construction expert. This will let the builder know that you expect things to be done properly. To be frank, it is also an aspect of modern times that some builders do not stand behind their workmanship and may not return to fix or replace defective components installed after the sale is complete.
Isn't it enough that the house passed the municipal or city code inspection? A builder or homeowner may state the home has been built to "code" and that it was inspected at different stages and signed off by the local jurisdiction. However, building codes are frequently minimum in nature. This is because the primary intent of building regulations (codes) is to provide reasonable controls for the construction, use, and occupancy of buildings. The builder is only responsible to meet minimal standards. You may want higher standards applied to your dream home. Also it is an unfortunate fact of the hectic pace of construction that local building department inspectors are often overbooked with inspections. This can result in their spending a minimal amount of time at the construction job site, and important details may be overlooked.