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Misconception #6: FHA or VA has inspected the house and/or the appraisal will cover me.
“Absolutely not. While having FHA or VA do an inspection on your home is useful and they likely call out a number of concerns, this is far from a complete inspection. In fact, the bottom line is that these inspectors are working to protect FHA or VA and not you.
“On top of that, these inspections are only about 30 minutes to an hour long at best – and 30 minutes is pushing it. A real inspection that has your best interest at heart is going to take significantly longer. It is unusual for an inspection to take less than 2 hours on smaller homes and many inspections have been known to take longer, depending on the size of the home.
“The thought of the appraisal taking the place of the inspection scares the appraiser as much as it should scare you. The appraisal is designed to determine the value of the home for the mortgage company. The mortgage company simply wants to know if what they are loaning on the house is reasonable. It is not designed at all to pick up the condition of the house, even though some times, if there is a major concern, the appraiser will bring it to everyone’s attention. However, this is hardly an inspection, and every appraiser will be glad to tell you so. Unfortunately, you rarely see the appraiser and you are lucky if you receive his report until you go to closing.
Misconception #5: If you are buying a brand new home you don’t need an inspection.
“Simply not true. Many people believe that if they are buying a new home that everything is new and going to work perfectly.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. While buying a new house is great because no one has lived in it and everything is brand new, from the carpet to the roof, this does not mean everything was put together right.
“In fact, over many years of experience, I have found that we find some of the strangest problems and situations in brand new homes.
“In one case we discovered that the main sewer drain line from the house had been collapsed under the weight of the tractor that was used to grade the front yard. The hose partially flooded during the inspection. “Another time the builder somehow forgot to have any insulation put in the attic. That would have been a costly utility bill.” “And just one last example was the home that both of the standing showers had been installed with no shower pans. Water literally ran down the exterior walls when the showers were tested. Since this was on the outside of the home, it may have been months or years before it was discovered.
“Of course, the building in each case went back in and fixed these items. And I am sure he would have done so even after you move in, but don’t risk it. My recommendation is that you don’t put yourself or your family through having to chase the builder down that may or may not really care and fix the problem in a timely manner while your family has to work around the problem.
Misconception #4: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. “Maybe – but not always. Here are two important points to consider.
Point #1: The company that offers the cheapest price is generally showing you a couple of things. One that they are new and or that they don’t really know what their cost is, meaning they are likely not to be in business for long. If you are only concerned about one of two items you can probably have a specialist come out and look at it for less than the inspection, or you can even have a friend or relative look at it and give you their expert advice. “On the other hand, if you want a through inspection that gives you a computerized report right on sight with a straight forward summary page – if you want to know the status of all the major systems in the home – then you need to hire a company that has been doing it for years and understands that they are working for you and no one else. You are their main concern and making sure that you understand the condition of the house is their first priority. “Because hiring someone to do a home inspection for you is something that most homebuyers only do once every 3-5 years you are likely not even going to realize if you received a poor inspection until it is too late. So remember that the price you pay may not give you the information that you are hoping for with many inspectors.
Point #2: A one-man operation can charge less because he has less overhead. “This may be true, but many homeowners have learned that the low price they pay for a one-man operation also means there is less standing behind the man. “And if you have hired a one-man operation, you too may have experienced the problem of getting back in touch with him when and if there was a problem or is you needed a re-inspect and he was too busy to get you taken care of in a timely manner. Also many one-man operations will not have the ability to take care of all the inspections that you may wish or need and you end up having to call someone eels to do the termite inspection, radon tests, or other extras that your home may have. “As in all businesses and professions, the home inspection industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical – and, sadly, a few are dishonest. By their deep concern for others besides you, they may leave you hanging and missing vital information that you should have to make a complete and informed decision. This is another reason you want to make sure you walk away from the home the day of the inspection with a full report, with photos, and an easy to read summary page. This gives other people less opportunity to influence the inspector’s report. “Then you’ll find other home inspection companies – professionals like me who work hard to earn your trust and respect.
“As a way of improving our profession, I’ve dedicated my business to educating the public. The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need.
Misconceptions You Might Have Missed:
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Misconception #3: One inspection is as good as another inspection. One inspector is as good as another inspector. One inspection company is as good as another inspection company.
“No. You will want to make sure the inspector or inspection company has the experience to take care of you. Many people think of home inspection companies as a commodity. This can be a major mistake and leave you holding the bag or in this case a house with problems that are expensive to fix or unable to be repaired.
“The bad news is that home inspectors can receive the highest possible license “Professional Inspector” without ever having actually done any inspections. Or, as in the case of the State of Michigan where there currently is no licensing, all that is needed to inspect a home is a screwdriver and a flashlight. Pretty scary and hard to believe, but we see it happen every day.
“Again I will give you some questions to ask here in a minute that will help you avoid this dilemma when calling companies to choose your inspector.
“One thing that can help you here also is if the company has several inspectors and has an in-house training program to keep the inspectors up to date on current issues and problems. The in-house training program is designed to constantly test even the veteran inspector to help keep him from falling into complacency, which I have seen many one man operations have to deal with over the years. Many one-man veteran shops simply believe they have so much expertise that they stop looking as close as they really know they should.
“No question, the best direction to go is with a larger company that has been around for years, that continually trains its inspectors and even if something does go wrong you are better off. A one-man operation can simply file bankruptcy and or go out of business. The larger companies are going to be more inclined to fix problems and take care of you so they can be here tomorrow.
“Some people believe that the one-man operation cared more because it is his business – however the owner of a larger company has even more at stake and wants to make sure you are given the best inspection possible.
Misconception #4: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
Misconcetions You Might Have Missed:
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Misconception #2: You don’t need a home inspection if you are getting a home warranty.
No. As you probably know, there are very few perfect homes. A home inspector is going to inspect for any major problems that you need to be aware of concerning the structure of the home and the mechanical aspects of the home. Home inspections on a regular basis turn up items that are simply too expensive to fix and may not be fixable. If you move in and are relying on the home warranty, you may end up with items that the warranty doesn’t even begin to cover. In addition, as you may know, if someone tells you not to worry – that the warranty will take care of any problems with the home – this should be a red flag. Home warranties are not designed to and will not cover pre-existing conditions.
One of the best reasons to have an inspection is to help prove that a problem that shows up later is not pre-existing.
Misconception # 3 One inspection is as good as another inspection. One inspector is as good as another inspector. One inspection company is as good as another inspection company.
Other Misconceptions You Might Have Missed:
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Ace Home Inspections has been in the home inspection business for over 13 years. In that time, we’ve learned that home inspections are the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about home inspections that we decided to offer this consumer education message so when you select a home inspection company, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.
Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before getting your home inspection.
No. Waiting until the last minute to get your home inspection leaves you in position of not having the information that you need to make an informed decision. Also, your contract will likely have specific dates in it that if you don’t respond in a timely manner, then you will lose the opportunity to cancel your contract on a house and still receive your earnest money back.
One of the problems is that if the home inspection turns up something significant, then a specialist is generally required to help you understand the depth of the problem.
You need to schedule the inspection as quickly as possible and have it done as soon as possible.
Misconception # 2
You don’t need a home inspection if you are getting a home warranty.
Contributed By: Ace Home Inspections