FAQs & answers from Home Sweet Home

What does a standard home inspection include?

A standard home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building, a lot like a physical exam that your doctor may perform. A home inspection is not to be confused with an appraisal, warranty evaluation, building code inspection, a guarantee of any kind, and/or an insurance policy on the condition of the property.

I’ll review the readily accessible, exposed portions of the structure of the home, including the roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, basement and foundation, as well as the heating/air conditioning systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems for potential problems.

A home inspection isn’t intended to point out every small problem or invisible/latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, are apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional.

Why is a home inspection important?

A home purchase is one the largest single investments most people will ever make. So it’s important that you learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the possible need for any major repairs before making the purchase. A quality home inspection helps minimize the possibility of unwanted surprises, unexpected costs and post-purchase headaches.

I’ll 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 home inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the home you are about to purchase. This should help to give you confidence and peace of mind.

A home inspection isn’t just for home buyers. Existing homeowners often consider a home inspection in order to identify problems in the making, and to learn important preventive measures to avoid costly future repairs.

If you’re planning to sell your home, an inspection prior to placing it on the market will give you a better understanding of conditions that may be discovered by the buyer’s home inspection. And you’ll be able to make repairs that will put the house in top selling condition.

How much does a home inspection cost?

The fee for a typical one-family home inspection is based on the size and features of the house and its age. I’m eager to discuss the particulars of your new home with you. Then I can estimate the appropriate fee for you

When is the best time to request a home inspection?

Typically right after the contract or purchase agreement with the seller has been signed. I’m generally available in a few days, and often within a day or two. That way, you’ll have time to negotiate with the seller about possible repairs and time to do a re-inspection if needed.

Note: Before you sign an agreement with the seller, be sure that it includes a home inspection clause, 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.

How long does an inspection take?

The property determines the time it takes. Most 2000 sq. ft. houses in good shape take 2-3 hours. A 3000-4000 sq. ft. house will likely take in excess of 4 hours for a thorough inspection.

When will I receive the report?

Reports are usually emailed or sent via the cloud within 24 hours of completing the inspection.

Are you affiliated with other Home Sweet Home Inspection firms?

No. I’ve uncovered about four other home inspection firms across the U.S. with the “Home Sweet Home Inspection” name. To the best of my knowledge, each firm has taken this name independently. I don’t know any of the principals involved and I can’t speak for their work. I can say that they have great taste in business names. But, unlike “Home Sweet Home Inspection, Richmond, LLC,” they don’t have Home Sweet Home Inspection chocolates!

Do I need to be present for the home inspection?

You don’t absolutely need to be there, but I highly recommend that you attend because:

  1. You will be able to observe the inspection and ask questions directly.
  2. You will learn, first-hand, about the condition of the home and become familiar with all its features and components.
  3. You will get to know how various systems work, and how to maintain them.

I want you to feel comfortable knowing what is in the house. If you’re present, it’s easier for you to see possible issues. I can explain findings, defects and good qualities, until you are satisfied. 

But if for any reason you cannot attend the home inspection, you can still rest easy knowing that Home Sweet Home Inspection, Richmond, LLC will provide you with a comprehensive, written report, chock full of helpful photos, describing the inspection and its findings.

What if my inspector finds problems during the home inspection?

Remember that no home is perfect. If I do identify some problems during the home inspection, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house. It only means that you will know in advance what to expect. And you may be able to negotiate the purchase price of the home with the seller if significant problems are found, which will help you offset the required repair costs.

Can my home “fail” a home inspection?

No. A home inspection is merely a thorough examination of the home’s current condition. It is neither an appraisal (which determines market value) nor a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. I won’t “pass” or “fail” a house, but will accurately and objectively describe its physical condition and indicate potential problems or concerns.