Regardless of whether you're buying, or selling a home, securing the services of a reputable, knowledgeable, and accurate home inspector is a crucial piece to your overall negotiating strategy.
From the buyer's perspective, real estate transactions are complex, and happen very fast, and the worst time to find out the physical facts and characteristics about your home is after you've closed. You want to be able to position yourself to avoid buying into someone else's major problems, and that's where having a home inspection continues to be the best, and most cost-effective tool in helping you negotiate the right deal on your home!
From the seller's perspective, the worst time to find out your home has costly repairs is in the middle of the home sale negotiations. Generally speaking, short-notice repairs to homes come with at a premium cost with most contractors, so if you are making plans to sell your home, having a home inspection in advance can be a very inexpensive cost-savings tool to address serious repairs ahead of time, which will improve your negotiating position when you do find that prospective buyer!
What is a Home Inspection?
The legal definition of a home inspection (Standard of Practice) according to Washington State:
The purpose of a home inspection is to assess the condition of the residence at the time of the inspection using visual observations, simple tools and normal homeowner operational controls; and to report deficiencies of specific systems and components.
A home inspection is not technically exhaustive and does not identify concealed conditions or latent defects.
If the jurisdiction the home is located in has stricter requirements than the minimums prescribed by state law, Structural Integrity Solutions will always abide by the most stringent requirements.
Buyers, and Sellers are legally entitled to home inspections that are performed and documented in accordance with these standards of practice.
Every working home inspector is also required by law to be licensed within each state they are working in. Inspectors at Structural Integrity Solutions carry active licenses in both Washington and Oregon.
We strongly recommend that you ask questions of any company that you consider hiring to represent you and your interests, make sure that they are abiding by the required standards, and are properly licensed to perform your home inspection!
An inspection of the structure will include the visible foundation; floor framing; roof framing and decking; other support and substructure/superstructure components; stairs; ventilation (when applicable); and exposed concrete slabs in garages and habitable areas.
An inspection of the exterior includes the visible wall coverings, trim, protective coatings and sealants, windows and doors, attached porches, decks, steps, balconies, handrails, guardrails, carports, eaves, soffits, fascias and visible exterior portions of chimneys.
An inspection of the roof includes the roof covering materials; gutters and downspout systems; visible flashings; roof vents; skylights, and any other roof penetrations; and the portions of the chimneys and flues visible from the exterior.
An inspection of the plumbing system includes visible water supply lines; visible waste/soil and vent lines; fixtures and faucets; domestic hot water system and fuel source.
The inspection of the electrical system includes the service drop through the main panel; subpanels including feeders; branch circuits, connected devices, and lighting fixtures.
Heating & Cooling
The inspection of the heating and cooling system includes the fuel and energy source; equipment; distribution; operating controls; flue pipes, chimneys and venting; auxiliary heating units.
The inspection of the interior includes the walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; steps, stairways, balconies and railings.
Insulation & Ventilation
The inspection of the insulation and ventilation includes the type and condition of the insulation and ventilation in viewable unfinished attics and subgrade areas as well as the installed mechanical ventilation systems.
Fireplaces and Stoves
Includes solid fuel and gas fireplaces, stoves, dampers, fireboxes and hearths.
The inspection of the site includes the building perimeter, land grade, and water drainage directly adjacent to the foundation; trees and vegetation that adversely affect the structure; walks, grade steps, driveways, patios, and retaining walls contiguous with the structure.
Attached Garages and Carports
The inspection of attached garages and carports includes their framing, siding, roof, doors, windows, and installed electrical/mechanical systems pertaining to the operation of the home.