FAQ

Q. Who needs a home inspection?

Q. Who needs a home inspection?

A. Buyers and sellers. If you're buying a home, pre-owned or new, a Maine Home Inspection tells you the condition of the property. That way, there are no surprises after you close on the home.

If you purchased a new home and it still has a warranty from the builder, it's a good idea to have a Maine Home Inspection before it expires. It's a rare case that even a new home doesn't have some problems that were overlooked by the builder. Those repairs or corrections can easily exceed the cost of an inspection. If you catch them prior to warranty expiration, your warranty should cover them.

Sellers benefit by knowing the condition of their home before they place it on the market. Then, any needed repairs can be made prior to listing. A seller's inspection can also be used as a comparison to what the buyer's property inspector finds.

Q. How long does an inspection take?

A. Anywhere from two to four hours (avg. 2.5) depending on the condition of the property, the number of services you've requested and the size of the home. It takes time to perform a thorough home inspection and inspection of the entire property and I pay attention to the details.

Q. What type of report do I receive?

A. You'll receive your report via e-mail as a link and password where you can download and read on screen or print. The file can be saved to your hard drive on your PC for future reference or easily printed. We provide digital photos of any areas that need extra clarification and we include them in the report. Every item we inspect on the property is addressed in the report.

Q. Should my Realtor receive a copy of your report?

A. Yes. Your realtor can assist you in determining if any items in the report are significant enough to warrant re-negotiation with the seller. Having your realtor review the report also insures that you both are "on the same page" at the closing. Note: I will not provide a copy of your report to anyone without your direction to do so.

Q. Should I be present for the home inspection?

A. Yes, I encourage you to plan to attend the entire inspection. There are always items in the inspection that can best be explained on-site. I will include them in the report of course, but your presence at the property always makes it easier for you to understand important information about the property.

Q. Are you available to answer questions about the property or report after I close and move into the home?

A. Yes, I will be happy to assist you any way we can in clarifying the information we present in the report. Even after you've moved in and settled down to enjoy your new home. I'm always available to you, for as long as you own the home, to offer unbiased advice and recommendations.

Q. Does a newly-constructed home need an inspection?

A. Absolutely. A professional inspection of a new home is important. I can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. It’s especially valuable to arrange an inspection before the interior walls are finished. I may find problem areas where the builder has taken shortcuts or not done quality work. There are contractors popping up all the time thinking they know what they are doing, but we often find something different.

Q.  Why can’t I do the inspection myself?

Q. Why can’t I do the inspection myself?

A. Chances are that even if you are very familiar with home construction, you still don’t have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. I'm not only familiar with all the systems of a home-and how they work and need to be maintained-but I also know what to look for to determine if they're about to fail. Also consider this-when you are involved in buying or selling a house, it’s impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your judgment. I will provide an objective, unbiased view of the property. A third party report has more leverage at the bargaining table.

Q. Will you fix the problems you find during the inspection?

A. No. The code of ethics of The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) prohibits its members from soliciting repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest on the part of the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective report on the condition of the home. We may provide some names of reputable contractors who can assist you in repairs. We always recommend obtaining two or more estimates prior to doing any work.

What Really Matters?

Buying a home? The process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes 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 even more overwhelming. What should you do?

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

  1. Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
  2. Things that lead to major defects. A small roof flashing leak, for example.
  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 corrected. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).

Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Don't kill your deal over things that don't matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items.

Three Deadly Mistakes! (from NACHI.org)

Deadly Mistake #1: Thinking you can't afford it.

Today, buying the home of your dreams is easier than ever before. Many people who thought that buying the home they wanted was simply out of their reach are now enjoying a new lifestyle in their very own new home.

Buying a home is the smartest financial decision you will ever make. In fact, most American and Canadian homeowners would be financially broke at retirement if it weren't for one saving grace -- the equity in their home. Furthermore, mortgage rates are more flexible today than ever and tax allowances favor home ownership.

Real estate values have always risen steadily. Of course, there are peaks and valleys, but the long-term trend is a consistent increase. This means that every month when you make a mortgage payment, the amount that you owe on the home goes down and the value typically increases. This owe less, worth more situation is called equity build-up and is the reason you can't afford not to buy.

Even if you have little money for a down payment or credit problems, chances are that you can still buy that new home. It just comes down to knowing the right strategies, and working with the right people. See below.

Deadly Mistake #2: Not hiring a buyer's agent to represent you.

Buying property is a complex and stressful task. In fact, it is often the biggest single investment you will make in your lifetime. At the same time, real estate transactions have become increasingly complicated. New technology, laws, procedures, and competition from other buyers require buyer agents to perform at an ever-increasing level of competence and professionalism. For many homebuyers, the process turns into a terrible, stressful ordeal. In addition, making the wrong decisions can end up costing you thousands of dollars. It does not have to be this way!

Work with a buyer's agent who has a keen understanding of the real estate business and who is on your side. Buyers' agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients. That means that your buyer's agent is loyal to only you and is obligated to look out for your best interests. A buyer's agent can help you find the best home, the best lender and the best inspector. Best of all, in most cases, the buyer's agent is paid out of the seller's commission, even though he/she works for you.

Trying to buy a home without an agent at all is, well... unthinkable.

Deadly Mistake #3: Getting a cheap inspection.

Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make. This is no time to shop for a cheap inspection. The cost of a home inspection is very small relative to the value of the home being inspected. The additional cost of hiring a certified inspector is almost insignificant. As a home buyer, you have recently been crunching the numbers, negotiating offers, adding up closing costs, shopping for mortgages, and trying to get the best deals. Do not stop now. Do not let your real estate agent, a "patty-cake" inspector, or anyone else talk you into skimping here.

InterNACHI front-ends its membership requirements. InterNACHI turns down more than half the inspectors who want to join because they can't fulfill the membership requirements.

InterNACHI-certified inspectors perform the best inspections by far. InterNACHI-certified inspectors earn their fees many times over. They do more, they deserve more, and, yes -- they generally charge a little more. Do yourself a favor, and pay a little more for the quality inspection you deserve.