A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
Check out this video from ASHI to learn the details of the home inspection process: Video
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) publishes a Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics that outlines what you should expect to be covered in your home inspection report.
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Our fees are listed under the "Services" section of our website. A typical single-family home inspection starts at $275. If you are a 501(c) or other non-profit organization, feel free to call to discuss your options.
AHSI recommends: do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection or in the selection of your home inspector. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, compliance with your state’s regulations, if any, and professional affiliations as a guide.
Because a certified Home Inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety, as well as understanding how all the components and systems of the home should work together, they are uniquely qualified to give you an objective analysis of your home's current condition.
Also, keep in mind, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party analysis by a professional home inspector.
However, that doesn't mean you should put a bid in on a home without a basic understanding of the overall condition! There are definitely things you can look for yourself, BEFORE putting down that offer! This Old House has some great tips, check out their video to learn more.
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house and the report will describe the findings and indicate what components and systems may need repair or replacement.
You can ask friends or business acquaintances to recommend a home inspector they have used. Or, you can use the Find An Inspector search tool for a list of home inspectors in your area who belong to the non-profit professional organization. To have a list mailed to you, call 1-800-743-ASHI (2744). Also, real estate agents and brokers are familiar with the service and may be able to provide you with a list of names from which to choose. Whatever your referral source, you can be assured of your home inspector’s commitment to professional standards and business ethics by choosing one who has membership in ASHI
Since 1976, ASHI has worked to build consumer awareness of home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.
ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. ASHI Associates work their way to ASHI Certified Inspector status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
It is highly recommended, although not required. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home and how to maintain it.
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.