Frequently Asked Questions

1. WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A Home Inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home.
2. WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
Most home purchases are the largest single investment you will ever make. You need to know exactly what to expect in repair and maintenance cost before you buy. Each house could have different defects that could be hidden or concealed. A Professional Home Inspector is trained to look for any signs of defects that a buyer might miss. The Professional Home Inspector interprets these and other clues, then presents his/her professional opinion as to the condition of the property before you buy, so that you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterwards. The Professional Home Inspector also points out the positive aspects of the home, as well as the type of maintenance that will be required to keep the home in good working condition.
3. WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
A standard Home Inspection includes a visual examination of the house from the foundation to the roof. The Professional Home Inspector examines the grounds, foundations, basement or crawl space, interior and exterior, walls, major built in appliances, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, attics, roof, electrical system, heating & air conditioning system and plumbing system.
4. WHY CAN'T I DO IT MYSELF?
Even if the homeowner is a contractor, he/she lacks the knowledge and expertise of a rofessional Home Inspector who has spent hundreds of hours learning the techniques and procedures of proper inspecting. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want and this may lead to poor assessment.
5. WHAT WILL IT COST?
The average price in the Atlanta area is between $300.00 and $500.00 for a typical General Inspection. However cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspected. Again, this is probably the largest single investment most of us will ever make. You might save several times the cost of the inspection if you are able to renegotiate the purchase price based on significant problems revealed by the Professional Inspection. Payment is normally required at the end of the inspection or in advance if you are unable to be present. Cash, Checks, American Express, Discover, Visa & MasterCard accepted.
6. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
The average house will take approximately two to three hours to complete a General Inspection depending on whether the house has a slab, basement or crawl space. Inspections are normally scheduled at 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM.
7. CAN A HOUSE "FAIL" THE INSPECTION?
No! A Professional Home Inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection. A Professional Home Inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of immediate or near future repairs or replacement.
8. HOW DO I FIND A PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTOR?
The best way to find a Professional Home Inspector is by referral from a friend or business associate that has used one "first hand". Then check with an industry professional or the local Yellow Pages under "Home Inspection Service".
Always select a qualified and full time Professional Home Inspector. Don't be afraid to ask for references. Beware of someone that only does it as a sideline. Before selecting a Professional Home Inspector, call the Better Business Bureau of Atlanta at 404-688-4910 or online at http://www.bbb.org/reports/bizreports.asp . Most of the Atlanta Professional Home Inspectors are members of the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors http://www.gahi.com and the American Society of Home Inspectors http://www.ashi.org .
9. WHEN DO I CALL IN THE HOME INSPECTOR?
The best time to call in the Professional Home Inspector is after you have made an offer on the house and before you sign the contract. Or you can include an "Inspection Clause" in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a Professional Home Inspector.
10. WHAT IF THE HOUSE IS VACANT?
All utilities should be turned on before a complete inspection can be performed. The electricity, gas and water are needed to test the major systems of the home. If this is not possible, the inspector may charge a fee to return after you move in.
11. DO I HAVE TO BE THERE?
It's not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is a good idea. By following the Professional Home Inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you will learn about your new home and obtain many tips on maintenance as well.
Excerpts taken from information by the American Society of Home Inspectors and the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors.