What is a home inspection?
Can anyone perform a home inspection?
Why should I have the home inspected?
How do I request a home inspection, and who will pay for it?
Should I be present when the home inspection is performed?
Are all inspection reports the same?
How should I determine which home inspector to hire?
How much does an inspection cost?
Can I expect the inspector to inspect every item in the house?
Who should I call with other questions about home inspections?
It is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of their condition. It is also important to know what a home inspection is not. It is not an appraisal of the property’s value; nor should you expect it to address the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or protect you in the event an item inspected fails in the future. [Note: Warranties can be purchased to cover many items.] Nor should it be considered a ‘technically exhaustive’ evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.Back to top
Only persons licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board are permitted to perform home inspections for compensation. To qualify for licensure, they must satisfy certain education and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. Their inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. There may be circumstances where you know a contractor that you trust and would like them to inspect the property. There is no law that would keep them from being able to inspect the property but keep in mind that they can not be compensated. Furthermore, if they are from out of the area they may not be familiar with some of the construction methods and practices required on the Outer Banks to keep wind driven rain out of the residence. Back to top
Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill and emotional detachment needed to inspect homes themselves. By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not ‘function as intended’or ‘adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling’or ‘warrant further investigation’ by a person who specializes in the item in question. It is always a goood idea to have an inspector who has build homes on the Outer Banks or has experience as a municiple building inspector. This person will be more familiar with local building practices.Back to top
You can arrange for the home inspection or ask your Realtor to assist you. Your Realtor can either provide you with a list of every home inspector in the area or they will know a few in the business who have good reputations. Unless you otherwise agree, you will be responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections. If the inspection is to be performed after you have signed the purchase contract, be sure to schedule the inspection as soon as possible to allow adequate time for any repairs to be performed. Back to top
Whenever possible, you should be present. The inspector can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home can be completed in two to three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The Home Inspector must give you a written report of the home inspection within three business days after the inspection is performed (unless otherwise stated in your contract with the Home Inspector). The home inspection report is your property. The Home Inspector may only give it to you and may not share it with other persons without your permission. Most home inspectors prefer to spend time with the buyer at the end of the inspection going over all possible issues. This will allow them to follow their checklist without interruptions to their normal workflow.Back to top
No. While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a ‘checklist’ of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two. Home Inspectors are required to give you a written ‘Summary’ of their inspection identifying any system or component that does not function as intended, or adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling, or appears to warrant further investigation by a specialist. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not read only the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire home inspection report.Back to top
A buyer should ask a few questions to determine which home inspector will be best for them. Is the inspector licensed with the state? How long have they been inspecting homes? Do they have other experience in the Outer Banks residential building industry? Do they have electrical, mechanical or general contractors’ licenses? What is the cost for a complete inspection of the home you are purchasing? What does the inspection include? Can they provide you with their contract and/or a blank sample report?Back to top
A home inspection can vary in cost depending upon the size of the house and the home inspector’s rate. For the smallest houses, a home inspection might cost as little as $300. For a very large home an inspection could cost up to $1,000.Back to top
It is industry standard and accepted by the state Home Inspector Licensure Board that an inspector will only inspect a representative number of each item in a house. For example, in a typical room an inspector only has to inspect a representative number of electrical outlets and windows. A representative number is usually one of each per room.Back to top
Your Realtor should be able to answer many questions for you but If you want to talk to someone without any interest in the process then you should contact the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board, 410 North Boylan Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27603, Phone 919/715-0991Back to top