If there is one thing that is true about home inspections, it’s that there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the profession. The scope of work, the ability of the inspector to do this. This video is a fun look at some of the most common myths home inspectors run into. Exceptional Home Inspections father-son inspection team, Brad and Don Williams join us for a discussion on 6 of the top home inspection myths.
Myth 1 – Home Inspectors can see into walls. I know this may come as a huge disappointment to many, but home inspectors do not have super powers. We cannot see into walls. What inspectors do is use an educated eye to view the situation from every possible angle to determine the most likely problem and underlying issue. In many cases, this trained eye with the aid of tools like moisture meters, probes and sometimes IR cameras, home inspectors can make accurate determinations of what is going on that is unseen. It is important to know that when moisture is involved it is not until an invasive inspection is conducted that the extent of hidden damage can be determined. Home inspections are purely visual and non-invasive in nature.
Myth 2 – Home Inspectors estimate the cost of repairs. Now this is definitely not true in modern times, but this myth does have root in fact, or at least in practices done in times past. There was a time when some inspectors would put estimates of repair costs on their inspection report. This is crazy to the modern inspector who operates in a very different manor. The home inspectors’ job is to Describe the situation, where, what etc. Determine what is going on, the problem. Implicate, what does this mean for the home and home owner? And Direct the issue to the appropriate professional for further evaluation and repair. That is the full extent of the scope of how a home inspector is to deal with a defect according to the NCHILB (North Carolina Home Inspection Licensure Board).
Myth 3 – Home Inspectors pass and fail homes. This is a classic home inspection myth. It probably originates from the lack of understanding between the difference of a city/county inspector and a home inspector. The city/county inspector’s job is to pass/fail the home. They often use Red/Green stickers. For the most part this is a part of the construction process. A home inspection is very different. We are contracted by our client to review the home and make a snapshot of the home to the best of our ability on the day of the inspection. We test the current function of the home, where as a city inspector may be reviewing design. We then take this information and compile it into a report that is the property of our client. There is no pass or fail grade given during a home inspection.
Myth 4 – The client or seller has to fix the items found on the home inspection report. This myth ties right into the last myth. So, what happens next after this report is generated? Well as mentioned before it is the property of our client. Sometimes this is the home owner, many times it is the prospective home buyer. It is up to the client, and all of the other parties involved what they do with this information. The home inspector should, to the best of his ability, convey the seriousness or lack thereof on any issue found. A burnt-out light bulb is a lot different than a rusty furnace with a high chance of reburn and elevated CO, carbon monoxide, levels. Some things truly need to be addressed right away. Even though this fact may ring true, it is still up to the client and the parties involved to negotiate these items and make decisions for themselves on how, when they are addressed.
Myth 5 – The seller or client can’t be present at the home inspection. This one is a big gray area for home inspectors and clients. The truth is there is no rules governing who can or cannot be there during the inspection. There are good and bad practices. It’s not a good idea to have people, animals or other things impeding or distracting the home inspector during his inspection. He is human, and this will reduce the quality and thoroughness of the inspection itself. To the same extent, not being present at can be a real missed opportunity to get the most from your home inspection. As mentioned above our rules for inspecting and then reporting are specific in the state of North Carolina. Meaning we have to write up issues with certain language. This makes reports uniform, but not always written in a way that conveys the most meaning to the client. Brad and Don fill us in on a seriously good tip for anyone getting a home inspection. First, let your inspector do his job while he is there and focus on the task at hand, the home. But make sure to be there when he finishes for a good walk through of noted issues and defects. This allows a couple of really important things to happen. 1, you can have a conversation about the problem in a situation where the inspector can be more candid about the issue and share opinions and insight that is not always appropriate in an inspection report. 2, you, the client, put your eyes on the defects. If a picture is worth 1000 words, seeing something in person is truly priceless. Lastly, this walk-through time also gives the inspector a chance to give your further insight into the home and things he may have noticed that are not reportable defects. Things you might want to know about your purchase. if you’re getting a home inspection, it’s best to be present for the walk through.
Myth 6 – Home Inspectors advise the client on whether or not to purchase the home. This is a big misconception, and for many, a big disappoint during a home inspection. Many people, understandably so, want the inspector to tell them if they are making a good purchase or not. Unfortunately, not only is this not a part of a home inspection, in the state of North Carolina it is strictly forbidden. The home inspector is to inspect all of the systems of the home and then report what defects are found with each system. These defects are based on function, not design. The home inspector lets you know what is working and what is not. What problems can be discovered through visual means and what the implications of those problems are. But what a home inspector can definitely not do is tell you whether or not you are making a good purchase. The information gained during the inspection walk through and then the report should be reviewed with your real estate professional who can help guide you in your purchase and how you should proceed.
Exceptional Home Inspections is a family owned Father-Son inspection team. They believe in taking a closer look for clients. Based in Kernersville, North Carolina they serve the greater triad region and have been known to travel as far as Burlington, Salisbury and King to help realtors and clients in need. If you would like to know more about Exceptional Home Inspections, please visit The Closing Guys Expert Page by clicking the link below.