Frequently Asked Questions
For your convenience, you may download a pdf copy of the Frequently Asked Questions: Home Inspection TN FAQ pdf
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspector’s report will cover (according to the Tennessee Standards of Practice) 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.
Why do I need a home inspection?
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.
What will the home inspection cost?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services such as septic, well or radon testing. 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.
Why can’t I do the home inspection myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. Above all, 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 opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
How do I choose a home inspector?
It is best to choose a company that has been in business for several years that have inspectors with years of building experience. Having years of building experience and knowing how to inspect a home cannot be learned in a classroom and can be very expensive for a buyer. 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.
When do I call a home inspector?
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.
Do I have to be there for the home inspection?
While it’s not required that you be present for the inspection, it is highly recommended that you attend. At the conclusion of the inspection, UltraSound inspectors will go over each issue found with photos that will give you a chance to view the results and ask questions.
What if the inspection report reveals problems?
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.
Do I really need a home inspection for new construction?
Definitely. Codes inspectors only spend approximately 10 to 15 minutes per house inspecting and do not have the appropriate time to do a thorough inspection. Major structural issue are often found on new construction. It is well worth the money for an inspection. If issues are not found and addressed up front during the construction process, the new home owner will be responsible for repairs when the house is sold.