What is a home inspection?

What is a home inspection?
A professional home inspection is an impartial, third-party, visual evaluation of a property. A home inspector performs a visual inspection by looking for and identifying signs of problems, defects or deferred maintenance in a home.

Home inspectors are generalists, similar to family practice doctors. They see lots of homes and are able to make experienced observations based on other homes of similar age and condition. When problems are discovered, specialists are recommended to further evaluate the problem.

The most important part of a home inspection is helping you see the larger picture of what you are proposing to buy so your expectations are in alignment with the house. All homes have problems and all home require repairs. A good home inspection is both a thorough evaluation combined with perspective so you understand how urgent, expensive, unusual or alarming the observations are that were discovered.

A home inspection is not an insurance policy. Home inspectors cannot dismantle or tear apart the home. This limits what we know. Some homes present greater risk than others. A good home inspector uses visual clues to better understand the level of risk associated with what is NOT visible. For example, amateur and non-standard workmanship around multiple systems in a house raises the concern about what is hidden from view.

Dylan Chalk

Dylan Chalk is the owner of Seattle-based Orca Inspection Services LLC – www.orcainspect.com. He is the founder of ScribeWare inspection report software offering innovative and simple report-writing solutions – www.getscribeware.com. He is also the author of The Confident House Hunter – a book to teach home buyers how to look at and understand houses: Cedar Fort Press Due out July 2016 – www.dylanchalk.com

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