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Most frequently asked questions about a home inspection.

Updated: Jul 26

What is a home inspection?

As an impartial and independent party to a real estate transaction our home inspection report details the condition of the house at the time of the inspection. This report is a documented moment in time, that provides the opinion of the inspector through a non-invasive visual examination of the physical structure and its systems. Cosmetic and decor observations are not part of a report. A home inspector doesn't have x-ray vision. Instead they are trained in building science. Our inspectors are members of The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the Oregon Contractors Board. We adhere to the demands, standard of practice and ethical codes set out by these agency.

Why you should a buyer or seller have an inspection?

Informed decision are the best decisions. No house is without flaws.

Both sellers and buyers should understand the difference between minor and major home inspection findings. Which findings constitute grounds for negotiations.

Identify a plan for any repairs and either fix the issue or prepare to negotiate the repairs.

The new owners ability to address all repairs and maintenance suggestions in a report once they have purchased the home.

A home inspection is an unbiased documentation of the home’s condition at the time of the inspection. Remember, inspectors are trained to see the big picture and how one system defect may negatively affect the other. Both building science and codes allow inspectors to point out and apply the history of previous failures to a system or component in the home.

What does a home inspection include?

Inspections are defined by the Standards of Practice that are observed and deemed material by the inspector. Your inspection report will explain the condition of; the heating system, central air conditioning -temperature permitting, interior plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, crawlspace or basement and structural components of the home.

It is important to read the entire report, not just the summary.

Why can't I do my own home inspection?

Can you see what I see? Unlike the other inspection companies, all of our Home Inspection Reports include Infrared Thermal Imaging Scans. ITS can reveal defects that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Additionally, most buyers find it difficult to remain unbiased and unemotional about the house, and this may have an effect on judgment. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. They know how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail. Above all, a documented report works best in negotiations.

How much does the inspection cost and why do I prepay for one?

Never let the cost be a factor when deciding on your home inspector. Security, knowledge and the ability to negotiate are gained from an inspection. Use the inspector’s qualifications including experience, training, reputation, and professional affiliations as a guide. Inspection reports are paid before reports can be released. The inspection is a separate function to the purchase of a home and is not part of the closing cost.

Chenin West is an NHIE Certified Professional Inspector. As a life long learner and natural teacher, Chenin enjoys the investigative aspects of home inspection in addition to educating her clients about their (new) home. When not inspecting, Chenin is an outdoor enthusiast, avid photographer and writer. For her the transition from general contractor to home inspector was an easy choice.

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