The process of buying a house has many steps, and people are often confused or even annoyed with a large number of agreements and contracts. However, security is also important, and all of those steps are just necessary requirements in order to have a clean, legal real estate transaction and to avoid scams or any kind of malpractice. One such important step is called a home inspection, and this activity is performed when a buyer is interested in buying a property. A home inspection is a visual assessment of all structural elements of the house and this activity basically checks the “health” of a home and provides a buyer with a detailed report of all the features and characteristics of the house in question.
American Society of Home Inspectors is in charge of all standards and training necessary to perform a good home inspection, and they offer their guidelines to people who are professional involved in this activity. Home inspectors must be licensed and educated, and there are strict codes of conduct and ethic codes that they must follow in order to be a part of ASHI. A home inspection is often mistakenly confused with an appraisal, which is a similar activity but the goals of these processes are completely different – home inspection is concerned with the condition of a house while an appraisal is more focused on the current market value of the property.
A home inspection is a non-invasive method, which means that the process of examination is done only by visual assessment and there can be no damage to the equipment or parts of furniture. Usually, this whole process lasts about two to three hours, but this can be different depending on the size and features of the place. Once the home inspector finishes with the “tour”, clients will usually receive the results and the full report within 24 hours.
Buyers order home inspection in order to check as much as possible about the house that they plan to buy, and a good home inspector will perform all the actions that are prescribed by the guidelines and standards of the ASHI. For example, they will start their examination on the outside, and check for any problems with the foundation, porches, settlement, walkways, driveways, balconies, windows, etc. Once all of the elements that can be seen from the outside are inspected and documented, a home inspector will move to the interior. However, some will also check the roofing and perhaps climb to the roof to closely examine the drainage or the chimneys.
Interior will also receive a detailed examination, and elements like plumbing, electrical systems, heating, air conditioning and all others will be check for damages or imperfections. Safety concerns will also be addressed, especially when it comes to electricity, but also in relation to stairways and basements. Appliances and other stationary equipment should be tested for efficiency and a good home inspector will always check every single part of the house before he or she gives the final word and writes the report.
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