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FAQs

What is a home inspection?
Why do I need a home inspection?
When do I call in the home inspector?
What does the inspection involve?
Should I attend the inspection?
“Would you buy this home?”
What if the report reveals problems?
How long does an inspection take?
How much does an inspection cost?
When do I pay?

 

What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the foundation to the roof. A home inspection is the equivalent of a physical examination from your doctor. When problems or symptoms of problems are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation or remedies. Our emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that would affect a purchasers buying decision.
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Why do I need a home inspection?
A home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.

Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
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When do I call in the home inspector?
Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the time frame of the inspection and terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been accepted. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements and most are available to conduct the required inspection within a few days.
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What does the inspection involve?
The inspector looks at the house—top to bottom, inside and outside. Observations are explained to you as you move through the home, and a customized computer-generated report is sent to you later that day either via email, fax or U.S. mail. Our inspection report covers all the major systems and structural elements of the house. This includes the condition of the home’s heating system, air conditioning system (temperature permitting), plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic space and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, foundation walls, and other visible structure.
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Should I attend the inspection?
Although you do not need to be at the inspection, we recommend that you be present. It is a valuable learning experience for most people and will help you get the most benefit from the inspection. By following the inspector, you can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain maintenance tips for specific areas. Being present at the inspection may also alleviate your concerns about findings, which on paper may seem distressing, but in fact may be superficial. We feel you will be able to best understand the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having been there during the inspection.

Even if you are unable to attend the inspection in person, the inspection report will be emailed or faxed to you. If you have questions after reading it, you can call us for clarification or details. It is critical that our clients understand the information in our reports, so we’re always glad to explain why we feel something may need repair or further evaluation. We also want our clients to have a clear picture of items that are major issues versus maintenance issues.
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“Would you buy this home?”
At the end of many appointments, the first question often asked by our clients is “Would you buy this home?” At this point, we explain that we’re not in the business of purchase decision consulting. The buy- or not-to-buy question is a personal one that our clients have to answer for themselves. The inspector describes the home’s physical condition and indicates what may need repair or replacement.
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What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems, it does not necessarily mean that you should not buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
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How long does an inspection take?
The time will vary depending on both the size and condition of the home. For most homes, it typically takes two and a half to three hours.
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How much does an inspection cost?
Inspection fees for a typical single family home are based on total square feet. The fee for an average single family home is $340 to $420. Do not let the cost deter you from having a home inspection or selecting an inspector you are comfortable with. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the time and expense. The inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration in your selection.
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When do I pay?
Payment is due at the time of the inspection. We accept cash, check, money order or credit card. There is a 3% surcharge for credit card transactions. (Unlike some fees, private inspection fees are not paid at closing.)
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Proud member in good standing of the American Society of Home Inspectors

Licensed in Wisconsin.
License # 1692-106

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