What is a Home Inspection?
The Oklahoma State Statutes regarding residential inspections defines a home inspection as:
" a visual examination of any or all of the readily accessible physical real property and improvements to real property consisting of four or fewer dwelling units, including structural, lot drainage, roof, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning and such other areas of concern as are specified in writing to determine if performance is as intended."
In practicality this means that the home inspector should visually and functionally evaluate the readily accessible systems and components associated with the structure, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and roof to determine if they are performing their intended function. These are merely minimum guidelines as set forth by State Statute. You should discuss with the home inspector you are considering what specifically he or she does and does not inspect as part of their service. For more information, click on the Statute link above.
Who should get a Home Inspection?
Buyers (Pre Purchase Inspection), Sellers (Pre Listing Inspection), For Sale By Owners (Pre Sale Inspection), Investors, (Pre Purchase), or anyone interested in the current condition of their home.
Why do I need to get an inspection?
Did you know that an average General Home Inspection costs between $300-500 dollars? Did you also know that an average repair amount offered by a seller based upon your home inspection results is typically $750-$1000? That means that should you fore go home inspections, you are not taking full advantage of any repairs being offered by the seller, and any undisclosed defects which you find after occupancy are at your expense to repair. One average repair for an undisclosed defect can cost as much or more than the General Home Inspection. It pays to inspect!
Do I need an Engineer to evaluate the structure?
Hiring a Professional Engineer to perform a separate evaluation of the structure is certainly an option as a home buyer or seller, but is similar to seeing a medical specialist before you have been to see your family practice doctor. It is in most cases more costly, and may not be necessary if your family practice doctor is able to determine a cause and treatment prior to consulting the specialist.
As Professional Home Inspectors licensed by the State of Oklahoma, our inspectors are trained to inspect and diagnose not only concerns with the structure, but with ALL of the major components and systems associated with residential construction and how they relate to each other. If our home inspector identifies a significant concern, he will reccommend the appropriate professional for service or corrective action, whether it be an engineer, plumber, electrician, heating and air conditioning technician, or general contractor.
In general, hiring an individual specialist to inspect each system associated with the home will cost more and may not fully provide you with the information you need or deserve to make an informed decision.
How much time should I allot for an inspection?
Nationally, on average, a thorough Home Inspection should take between 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on age, size, and condition of the residence. Residences in greater need of maintenance or having significant amounts of stored personal items, crawlspaces, etc. can take longer. Consult with your home inspector on what his/her anticipated time will be. For on-site report presentation, allot more time for the inspection.
What will or will not be inspected?
The State of Oklahoma sets standards of performance for all Licensed Home Inspectors in the state. You can find a complete listing of the rules regarding home inspector performance on the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board website. Generally the home inspection should include a visual examination of the exterior, structure, roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, interior, insulation, ventilation, built in appliances and fireplaces. A home inspector is not required to inspect items such as security systems, communication equipment and associated wiring, spas, pools, irrigation systems, septic systems or any other system or component not specifically included in the state standards. Some inspection companies do offer ancillary service inspections, usually at additional costs, but are not required to inspect these items as part of the General Home Inspection.
When should I expect to receive my inspection report?
Different companies have different times associated with report delivery. If you are on a time deadline, you should make your home inspector aware so that they can make arrangements to accommodate you. In general, most companies will deliver a copy of the report within 24-48 hours either directly or more popularly, by e-mail. Some inspection companies can provide the report on-site if specifically requested at the time of booking an inspection. On-site delivery generally requires more time at the inspection due to the need for inputing information and printing of the report, so anticipate a longer inspection time if you request on-site delivery.
What about payment?
Most companies request payment be made at the time of completion of the inspection. Most take checks and some take credit cards. Several companies provide a discount for paying at inspection, so if at all possible, payment upon completion of the inspection is your best option. In the event you require payment to be made at the time of closing, most companies will charge a bit more, and several are requesting some type of guarantee of payment in the form of a credit card number to be kept on file until payment is received. Regardless of whether the transaction closes or not, you are responsible for payment of any inspection contractors which you employed as a result of the transaction. Ask your inspection company about their specific payment policy prior to scheduling your inspection.
What is NACHI?
NACHI is the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, which is one of the largest and oldest professional organization for home inspectors in North America. Setting some of the highest ethical standards of practice of any professional home inspector organization, the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors standards for membership means that you are getting a home inspector you can trust to provide you the necessary information you need to make an informed decision about the home you are considering purchasing.