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What is a home inspection? - New York State Home Inspections

What is a home inspection?

To clarify here is the definition of a home inspection - home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

A Home Inspection, appraisal, building inspection are all one in the same - A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. In the United States, although not all states or municipalities regulate home inspectors, there are various professional associations for home inspectors that provide education, training, and networking opportunities. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes; building inspection is a term often used for building code compliance inspections in the United States. Home inspections identify problems but building diagnostics identifies solutions to the found problems and their predicted outcomes. (definitions available at Wikipedia)

A home inspection is a pass fail exercise - A home inspection is not a pass/fail exercise. The inspected home does not “fail” there may be items of interest or concern to the client. It may be used in the negotiation process, or safety concerns that should be addressed before any deal moves forward.

A home inspection verifies the home I Plan to purchase is up to “code” - A home inspector does not quote or refer to current “code”. A home inspector takes into account that “at the time built this may have been standard practice” and “if built today this is what we would like to see”. A home inspector is not to be confused with a building inspector. A building inspection is an inspection performed by a building inspector, a person who is employed by either a city, township or county and is usually certified in one or more disciplines qualifying them to make professional judgment about whether a building meets building code requirements. A building inspector should not be confused with a home inspector.

Home inspections are needed for existing homes only - A home inspection is useful for both buyers and sellers in old homes and new homes. An inspection can be helpful after a renovation. Certain ancillary services are beneficial annually. New construction is often the most in need of a thorough inspection. Many professionals offer “phase inspections” in which the property can be checked at various stages of completion. However, a Home Inspection looks at the entire finished product to identify possible defect.