Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual assessment of most all readily accessible areas of the home. It is detailed, comprehensive, and unbiased. It is not an appraisal or Municipal code inspection. The inspection conforms to the standards of practice established by the Indiana State Licensing Agency and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. However, these are MINIMUM Standards; many components of our home inspection exceed these standards. You can view these standards of practice online at www.internachi.org, for a complete understanding of the standard. Information is also available regarding what is not covered: Swimming pools, hot tubs, irrigation systems, radon, water well and septic systems, termites, intercoms, water softeners, etc., are not a component of a general home inspection; however, we do provide inspections on many of these components with separate fee-
Why should I get a home inspection?
Most home purchases are one of the most important of your lifetime; even if you do not stay in that home your entire life, it is still the principle means of building net worth for non-
How long does a home inspection take?
This depends on several things: The size of the home, the number of issues found that must be reported on, and the time that you and I spend talking about your home. Typically, an inspection will take between 3 and 4 hours; however, they have been known to take as little as 1.5 hours on a new 1 bedroom condo, to as long as 5 hours on a large home with many issues.
What should I tell my realtor or the homeowner, as to how to prepare for the inspection?
The home inspection is a visual inspection of readily accessible areas. We are not supposed to move a lot of homeowner’s possessions, although sometimes we move a few miscellaneous items that are in the way. Please tell the homeowner we need access to the electrical panel, furnace, water heater, windows, at least one outlet in every room, and the attic space. If the attic access is located in a closet and is blocked, they may want to remove their clothing and shelving from the closet where it is located. Vehicles parked under the pull-
Is my home inspection guaranteed?
We stand behind our work; however, it is unreasonable when you think about it, to walk into a home, and do a visual inspection, and think that we can provide any type of guarantee or warranty in terms of how long something will last before it fails. Some home inspection companies provide a warranty program, where they pay a warranty provider to warrant some components of the home, and pass this on to their clients (you). Many of these providers have solicited me over the years, wanting me to become part of their warranty program; however, after review, it appears that they are (1) expensive, (2) limit their coverage explicitly, and (3) usually have a deductible – all in the fine print. I tell my clients this: “a home inspection is not designed to eliminate the risk in purchasing home; however, it is designed to significantly reduce this risk.”
The house looks good to me; do I still need a home inspection?
Ever buy a really nice looking kitchen appliance at a yard sale, only to find that it doesn’t work? Ever buy a really nice looking used car only to find that the rust was filled in with Bondo, and it all falls out in a few months? Someone can do a lot of great things with spackle, paint, carpet, and a few new bathroom fixtures. An expensive issue many times takes a trained eye (that would be me).
Can I have someone in my family who is very handy or a contractor inspect the house?
Technically, you can do whatever you want, but it isn’t advisable. Even a contractor is not usually trained or skilled in every aspect of the home; he/she also doesn’t normally have a bag full of technical noninvasive tools at his/her disposal, nor is he/she trained to use them.
Can I contact you for advice after my home inspection?
By all means-
Does a newly constructed home need a home inspection?
You would probably be surprised at how many issues we have found in new homes. Also, we do not look at new home construction like a used one. My philosophy can best be described using an analogy: When you buy a used car, you expect a few scratches and a few miles. When you buy a new car, scratches and miles are not acceptable. The same goes for a new home inspection. We are there to assist you in your final walk-
Will the inspector fix any problems found?
That would be a direct conflict of interest. Some home inspectors solicit the client for more work; this is in direct violation of our Code of Ethics. A home inspector that fixes what he finds can potentially create work for himself by reporting conditions dishonestly. We inspect, and that is all we do. Sometimes, it is easier to fix something than write about it. I’ve been known to go through a kitchen and tighten cabinet hinges, or tighten up door knobs, or adjust a safety reverse on a garage door.
Can a home fail an inspection?
Star Home Inspections acts as an independent, objective party, who simply reports the overall condition of the home, as it exists, at the time of the inspection. We do not pass or fail an inspection; we may describe something as in poor condition, or defective, or in need of repair/replacement, but only you, the buyer, have the authority to pass or fail the home. It’s all about your expectations of the home you are purchasing.
What if a home inspection reveals problems?
We report our findings to you and the agent that you have retained to act in your best interest (with your permission of course). If the inspection reveals anything that you are not satisfied with, and you wish to ask the seller to correct, then your agent will fill out an “inspection response form.” This is submitted through the proper channels to the seller, who can either agree to fix these issues, or agree not to fix them. If the seller agrees, all is well; if the seller disagrees, then you have a decision to make; you can either buy the house and fix those issues yourself, or you can get your earnest money back and go find another house.
For items that require repair or replacement, will the inspector tell me the costs of each or refer me to somebody?
Will the inspector tell me which repairs the seller should take care of and which ones I should repair myself?
That is a rather difficult thing to do. I do not have any idea what your skill set is, and what your expectations are. I can tell you what needs to be corrected, and you should make the decision as to who will or who has the ability and skill set to fix it. However, I do recommend that if the seller agrees to correct an issue, and chooses to do the work himself, you should have it re-
Should I attend the home inspection?
Many home inspectors do not prefer that clients attend the home inspection; they claim it slows them down and clients “get in the way.” It is my belief that an inspector that thinks clients slow them down, need to slow down. This is not the case with Star Home Inspections; we highly recommend and encourage you to attend the inspection. You will get a better appreciation for what we do, a better perspective on the home you will be owning, and you will get much additional advise and information through informal conversation with the inspector.
What makes Star Home Inspections different from its competitors?
I have been in the home inspection business for 17 years; that’s as long as or longer than anyone I am aware of. We have logged many thousands of inspections – so many I no longer keep track. We are not only experienced in every aspect of the home inspection process, but we have a strong environmental background as well. Undergraduate and post-
How soon will I get my inspection report?
We take great pride in the quality of our report and our report writing skills. We ask that we be given 48 hours to get the report to you. Some inspectors promote their services by providing on-
What type of report will I receive?
Star Home Inspections has personally designed an easy-
If I am selling my home, can I get a home inspection?
Sure – we provide pre-