Types of Inspections


Buyers’ Home Inspections
The process of buying a home can be stressful.
A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often you will have to absorb a lot of information in a short time: a written report, checklist, photographs, environmental reports, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience sometimes overwhelming.

What should you do?
Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expediencies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

1. Major defects such as a structural failure.
2. Things that lead to major defects, such as small roof-flashing leaks.
3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
4. Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.

Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property, especially in categories 2 and 4.

Sellers’ Home Inspections

Eventually your buyers are going to conduct an inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. Having an inspection performed ahead of time helps in many other ways:
•It allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical third-party.
•It helps you to price your home realistically.
•It permits you to make repairs ahead of time, so that: ◦Defects won’t become negotiating stumbling blocks later.
◦There is no delay in obtaining the Use and Occupancy permit.
◦You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors or make the repairs yourself, if qualified.

•It may encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
•It may alert you of items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.
•It may relieve prospect’s concerns and suspicions.
•It reduces your liability by adding professional supporting documentation to your disclosure statement.
•Alerting you to immediate safety issues before agents and visitors tour your home.

Copies of the inspection report along with receipts for any repairs should be made available to potential buyers.

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Walk through Inspection
Pre-Offer Inspection
Some buyers want to know the condition of the property upfront, before making an offer, rather than agreeing to price and terms and then having the inspection blow it apart.

Low-inventory and high-demand markets are also changing the game when it comes to home inspections.

In some locations where the competition is so intense, some buyers are paying for full inspections even before they make an offer in order to keep the inspection contingency from locking them out of the game. Pre-offer inspecting and then having the option to waive the inspection if there are multiple bids can make the difference between getting the house or not.

In some neighborhoods, multiple offers on homes for sale and bidding wars are more common now. This is changing the rules for people trying to buy a house.

Some sellers agree to let the competing buyers have one-hour walk-through inspections before receiving offers.

In these competitive markets, real estate agents suggest to remove home inspection and other contingencies, which is foolish.

At the very least, have a very experienced home inspector take a look in performing a one-hour walk-trough pre-offer inspection.

A pre-offer inspection means that you may be out several hundred dollars if your offer is rejected; but waiving the inspection can stick you with thousands in surprise repair bills.

New House Inspections
Building a new home is complex and involves many sub-contractors, each working on different components and systems of the house. Builders are often subcontracting to the lowest bidders and, even for the best builders, its nearly impossible to complete new house building process without missing something: dozens of minor problems, which that can easily be overlooked in such a major undertaking.

With a professional home inspection, all these problems can be identified and corrected before you sign-off and start moving in.
Pre Pour/Foundation Inspection
(before concrete slab is poured)
•Perimeter Forms (wood/steel)

•Steel Reinforcement

•Visible Plumbing components

•Moisture Barrier

•Site Preparation / Drainage

Pre Dry Wall /Mechanical Inspection

(before dry walls are installed)

•Foundation Framing

•Electrical – main

•Plumbing – main

•Mechanical (Heat & Air)

•Site condition / Drainage
•Steel Reinforcement (visible)
•Moisture barriers / weather proofing
•Exterior (sidings)
•Windows & window flashing
Final Inspection
(before the walk-through with the builder)
•80 items/400 points (same as buyer’s or seller’s home inspections)
Warranty Inspection
(before your one year warranty is about to expire)
Is your new home warranty about to expire? Do you really know about all of the defects in your new home? Don’t let your warranty expire without having a knowledgeable third party inspector inspect your home and report on its defects.
This service can save you time, money and aggravation. Potomac Homes will inspect your home and compile a list of any deficiencies that you can present to your builder prior to the end of your warranty. Often, the fee for this service pales in comparison to the number and value of the defective items found.
More: Some defects found during Final or Warranty Inspections