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MacGregor Home Inspection Overview


Q. Why do I need a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you 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. Additionally, a good home inspector will focus on possible safety hazards. A home inspection will also point 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, and will be able to make a confident buying decision.

Q. Can I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with all the elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. He or she understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective, unemotional about the house they really want and this may affect their judgement. For the most accurate picture, it is best to obtain an impartial opinion.

Q. Can a house fail inspection? No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or 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 may need repair or replacement.

Q. When do I call in the home inspector?
A home inspector is typically called right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

Q. Do I have to be there?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. By following the home inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you will learn a great deal about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you have seen the property first hand through the inspector's eyes.

Q. What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector finds problems, it does not necessarily mean you should not buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. You or your realtor can negotiate with the seller who may be flexible with the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is very tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

Q. What if I find problems after I move into my new home?
A home inspection is not a guarantee that problems will not develop after you move in. However, if you believe that a problem was already visible at the time of the inspection and should have been mentioned in the report, your first step should be to call and meet with the inspector to clarify the situation. Misunderstandings are often resolved in this manner.

Q. If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned a few things about your new home from the inspector's report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can feel assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision, and that you will be able to enjoy your new home.