The home inspection industry, like every other industry, has its fair share of myths that people inaccurately believe. This article will discuss some of those myths and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: There is no real difference among home inspectors
The Truth: Experience, knowledge and thoroughness vary from inspector to inspector. A person is not qualified as a home inspector just because he or she claims the title—or even if they’re certified; in fact, some states don’t even require that an inspector have a license. Therefore, it is important to do your homework when evaluating home inspectors. Be sure to visit their website and also give them a call to talk. Ask about what services they provide and how much experience they have in the industry. Check their website for a sample report so that you can know what kind of report to expect. Not all home inspectors are created equal and it is up to the client to do their research and find a good one.
Myth 2: A home inspector is only looking out for the seller or Realtor
The Truth: A home inspector's primary responsibility is to look out for their client. An inspector’s job is to inform the client of the condition of the home with facts. Some people may be uncomfortable with using a home inspector that has been recommended by their Realtor, especially if they do not know their Realtor very well. This is understandable and why everyone should do their own research to find the best home inspector possible for their inspection. It may turn out that the inspector recommended by the Realtor is the best option, or they may find one they feel more comfortable with. Ultimately the choice comes down to the client and it is up to them to make the right choice.
Myth 3: My home is brand new and doesn’t need a home inspection
The Truth: Home builders have to meet the minimum requirements of the building code in existence at the time the home is built, but those are minimum requirements and may not reflect the manufacturer’s recommendations. There are also many times home builders take short cuts to save money or speed up a project. Having an inspection completed by a home inspector before closing can help uncover issues that may exist, and provide a homeowner with peace of mind. It is also recommended that an inspection is completed by a third party inspector throughout the construction process, such as before the drywall goes up. This provides an opportunity for the inspector to inspect things that they would normally not be able to inspect once the drywall is up. Furthermore, like everyone else, home builder make mistakes, and some of these can be very costly for the home owner in the long run.
Myth 4: Having my home inspected means that I will not have any repair needs or maintenance expenses right away
The Truth: The purpose of a home inspection is not to report on every minor imperfection in the home or guarantee that no repairs will be needed. As a visual assessment of the condition of the major components of the home, it is beyond the scope of the home inspector to foresee every potential malfunction. However, major defects will be found and the home buyer will be informed of these findings. A home inspection saves the home buyer from buying a home with major defects that can affect the value and even the safety of the home.
Myth 5: Every inch of a home is inspected
The Truth: The inspection is a limited visual inspection of major components. It is not a forensic inspection, so home inspectors will not dismantle the systems in order to inspect their inner workings. At times they will remove covers and access panels, but obviously, they cannot see within walls or beneath concrete slabs. There are literally thousands of components and materials used in constructing a home, so they focus on the most essential and highest risk areas.
By learning the truth regarding these and other home inspection myths, potential home inspection clients are in a better position to understand the process and get more out of it. Furthermore, the home inspector’s job is made easier when the client has a good idea of what to expect from the inspection.