Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
WHAT IS A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is an impartial, visual, non-invasive, non-destructive, non-engineering inspection of the readily accessible areas and conditions of the subject property’s physical structure and mechanical/ electrical systems existing at the time of the inspection. The home inspection is guided by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
( http://www.homeinspector.org/files/docs/standards_updated3-4-2015.pdf) for Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, rules and regulations (http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/homeinspector/documents/Ethics_and_Standards.pdf) for Delaware.
WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION INCLUDE?
A complete and thorough inspection with Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC will include an examination of the structural components, exterior, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning (temperature permitting), interior, insulation, ventilation, fireplaces, and fuel-burning appliances; this is not an exhaustive list. Each inspection is either guided by the ASHI (http://www.homeinspector.org/files/docs/standards_updated3-4-2015.pdf) or State of Delaware Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (http://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/homeinspector/documents/Ethics_and_Standards.pdf). Each section in the standard includes what is to be inspected, not inspected, and reported on and the code of ethics stresses on the inspector’s responsibility to report the results of the inspection in a fair, impartial, and professional manner, avoiding conflicts of interest. A hard copy of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice used will be given to the client at the time of the inspection, along with a copy of the agreement and more.
In addition to the standards, Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC will point out positive aspects of the home, as well as some maintenance items that will be good preventative measures to keep the house in good shape. You will become more familiar with the property and have a clearer understanding of the value and needs of the property. A report will document all of the inspectors’ findings. Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC utilizes inspection software that includes videos, high-definition photos, and detailed descriptions of any findings. With a username and password that is sent to you, then you can view your report online for up to five years or print out a hard copy at any time.
WHY DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home or commercial inspection provides you with an unbiased, objective written assessment of the property you are about to sell or purchase, including safety concerns. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which puts you in the best position to make a decision regarding your investment. Understanding the condition of a property can limit the risks, surprises, and provide peace of mind for both buyers and sellers.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR A HOME INSPECTION?
Having the property prepared for an inspection can prevent unnecessary delays. For liability reasons, inspectors do not move personal property so there is no damage to the item or the home. Most inspectors, including Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC will charge an additional fee if they have to return to the property to inspect items that were not accessible, if the utilities were off or for re-inspections of repairs completed.
The buyer/seller should confirm the following. All utilities (electric, water, gas) are on. All pilot lights are lit. All locks are removed or unlocked from areas that may prohibit inspector accessibility such as attics, doors, etc. Access into the home has been coordinated. Attic access is clear and any personal items below the attic access are removed so the items don’t get covered with insulation or damaged. Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC does try to cover any items, but at times it is difficult to not damage an item and respect the homeowner’s privacy. Crawl space (if provided) access is clear. Electrical panels are accessible and not locked (serious safety concern). Water heater, Cooling system, and Furnace are accessible. Built-in kitchen appliances are accessible and ready to operate. I love pets, but you may want to secure them. I don’t want to be responsible if they run out the door. Have the disclosure present or at least it has been read by the buyer.
WHAT IS THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF HOME INSPECTORS® (ASHI)?
As a not-for-profit organization, ASHI has worked since 1976 to increase consumer awareness regarding the importance of home inspections and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The Society has stringent requirements for achieving and continuing member status. ASHI represents the best of the profession. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies. www.ashi.org.
WHO BELONGS TO ASHI?
ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. ASHI associates work their way to ASHI Certified Inspector status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills. Kenny of Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC is a Certified ASHI Inspector.
WHEN DO I CALL IN THE HOME INSPECTOR?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building.
If you are selling a property, consider a pre-listing inspection before putting the home on the market. This will give you time to consider making any necessary repairs to boost buyer confidence and help your home rise above the nearby competition. Without being rushed and time to shop around for contractors, then you can get a better contractor (insured/ contract), a more quality job, for a reasonable price. With an inspection complete and “best bang for your buck” improvements made to the house, then the asking price should reflect your due diligence.
CAN A HOUSE FAIL A HOME INSPECTION?
Not at all. A professional home inspection is an unbiased examination of the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase and all the findings are presented to you honestly without overstating or understating any defects found. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not 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 components and systems may be in need of minor or major repairs or replacement. The inspection and inspection report are information tools for you to use when evaluating a property.
WHY CAN’T I DO IT MYSELF OR A FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS VERY HANDY OR A CONTRACTOR?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the critical elements of construction, proper installation, maintenance, and the inter-relationships of these elements, as well as home safety. He knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail. No inspector knows everything, but they know where to find the information.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. A family member or person you know that you are considering may be very skilled, but they are not trained or experienced at professional home inspections. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection. Since the buyer, family member, or friend are not an impartial, third-party inspector then the inspection will be less - if any of a bargaining tool when presented to the seller or buyer in a pre-listing inspection. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. Professional inspectors get what we call an inspector’s instinct or intuition for problems. That instinct takes extensive training and lots of experience doing inspections to develop. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their homes when they make a purchase.
A Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed examination and report of the condition of a property. The inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. He understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together. He has both the training and experience in recognizing potential problems and are uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property. The results are documented in a report that will be easily understood by all concerned parties.
SHOULD I ATTEND THE INSPECTION?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is highly recommended. By following the inspector through the inspection, observing and asking questions, you will learn a great deal about the building you only spent less than an hour in before. When you receive the report then you will be able to understand and remember more since you attended the inspection. Attending the inspection would give you the opportunity to get some tips on general maintenance and safety, which is information that will be of great help to you after you’ve moved in. Attending the inspection from start to finish allows the inspector to address any questions you may have immediately and be able to show you how things operate. Being at the inspection is another learning tool to making a more informative decision.
HOW LONG WILL THE INSPECTION TAKE?
A complete and thorough home inspection generally takes between 2 and 4 hours onsite, depending on the size, age, and condition of the home. This allows time for an examination of the home’s exterior, interior, mechanical and electrical systems guided by the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics for that state. Some commercial inspections may involve just a few hours or two to three days of inspection work depending on the size and scope of the inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large commercial properties such as an apartment complex. The best way to determine the duration of an inspection is to call your Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC professional and discuss your specific needs. Anything significantly less, may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection with your best interest in mind.
IT’S BRAND NEW… WHAT COULD BE WRONG?
It is not good business to forego a home inspection on a newly constructed house, regardless of how conscientious and reputable your home builder is. No home, regardless of how well it is constructed, is totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousands of details, completed at the hands of many individuals. No general contractor can feasibly supervise every one of these elements, and the very nature of human fallibility dictates that some mistakes and oversights will occur, even when the most talented and best intention tradespeople are involved. It is also an unfortunate aspect of modern times that some builders/developers do not stand behind their workmanship and may not return to fix or replace defective components installed after the sale is complete. Some builders also offer warranties, which is another type of inspection that Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC performs; preferably at the eleventh month mark of a one year warranty. Major defects have been found on new construction homes by Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC.
WHAT IS A NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION INSPECTION?
A new home construction inspection is an independent, third party inspection to ensure that the work completed is in compliance with plans, specifications, and the construction schedule. My builder says, “I don’t need a home inspection”. It is important to let your builder know up front that you intend to have the work inspected by an independent third party construction expert. This will help set a tone with the builder and let them know that you expect things to be done properly.
As your new home nears the final stages of construction, an inspection may bring attention to areas that should be corrected prior to moving in. It is easier and more time efficient to address these issues while areas of the home are unfurnished and accessible and you have the attention of the contractor. Once a home is built, many conditions that could have been observed during construction are now covered and are no longer visible for inspection. Often a poorly installed/constructed condition that could have been visually reviewed during a construction progress inspection becomes covered or concealed later in the building process cause a potential financial burden for the property owner for future corrective action. For these reasons, it is important that a home is inspected during construction by the buyer’s representative whenever possible so that any reportable defects can be corrected before completion and transfer of title. These type of inspections are done on an hourly rate with a discounted final home inspection.
WHAT IF THE REPORT REVEALS PROBLEMS?
No house is perfect, but no house fails an inspection. It is up to you to decide how many defects are too much. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to anticipate. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs, adjust the purchase price or contract terms.
IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?
Definitely! Now you can complete your home purchase or sale with a peace of mind and confidence about the condition of the property’s physical structure and mechanical/ electrical systems. You’ll have learned many things about your home from being at the home inspection and the inspector’s report, and will have that information for future reference. Above all, you can rest assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision and that you will be able to occupy or sell your home or building the way you want. Even if there are no safety or major defects then you still learned a lot about the home and how to maintain the home.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
This is sometimes the first question asked, but tells the least about the inspector. The inspection fee varies depending on a number of factors such as the square footage of the house, its age, additional systems, out buildings, and optional services such as a radon measurement or termite (wood-destroying insect) inspection. Avoid Price Shopping. A home is the most expensive commodity you are likely to purchase and or sell in a lifetime. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. One defect missed by your inspector could cost 100 times what you save with a bargain inspection. The best method of bargain shopping is to shop for quality. Who is going to spend the necessary time to inspect your home with your best interest? Considering the high cost of real estate today, an inspection fee is a small price to pay. Most inspector’s cost have a difference of less than one hundred dollars. It can save thousands of dollars and years of regret. Contact Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC today for a description of our services and the price.
WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS AFTER THE INSPECTION?
Please feel free to call us Monday thru Saturday from 10am to 6pm and discuss any questions you might have. In most cases I will ask to call you back so I can get in front of a computer, look up your report, and have it in front of me when I call you back. At Loyalty Home Inspection, LLC we aim to provide you with excellent customer service, before, during and after the inspection.
DO YOU OFFER TO DO REPAIRS OR IMPROVEMENTS BASED ON THE INSPECTION?
Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest. Depending on what is found during the inspection, Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC will recommend that you have specific home components evaluated by a specialist, such as a HVAC technician or electrician, for possible improvement or repair. Following Delaware and Pennsylvania code of ethics, I do not conduct any repairs or improvements to the inspection property. To remain objective, I never solicit bids on repairs or promote a single contractor. I suggest asking for referrals from friends and/ or family in the area. Your realtor is a valuable asset when trying to locate the right professional.
WHAT TYPE OF INSPECTION REPORT DO YOU PROVIDE AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE REPORT?
Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC uses HomeGauge Home Inspection software to report the defects found during the home inspection complete with high definition photos, videos, and other attachments, and deliver them to you anywhere in the world with a click of the computer mouse. You can click on the photo to enlarge the photo. You can book, view, print and comment on your Home Inspection and report. No more lengthy emails and attachments to fill your email inbox. You and your agent (with your permission) are sent a link, user name and password that takes you straight to the report.
The report, including a summary of all deficiencies, along with attachments that provide additional information on the more important issues, will be available for viewing, forwarding and printing by you and your agent (if you consent) from the web site within 48 hours. You will be able to view your report for up to 5 years online. Loyalty Home Inspections, LLC realizes how important and timely this information is, and even in busy times guarantees the report within 48 hours. Don't wait til the last day to schedule your inspection; radon test have to be set for 48 hours. Not a computer savvy person, no problem, more traditional forms of delivery are available as well.
DO YOU MAINTAIN MEMBERSHIP IN A PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTOR ASSOCIATION?
There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate. I'm a Certified ASHI inspector, officer in the First State ASHI chapter, licensed in DE and PA and insured.
DO YOU PARTICIPATE IN CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS TO KEEP YOUR EXPERTISE UP TO DATE?
One can never know it all, and the inspector's commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the client. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training. Loyalty Home Inspections always completes more than the required continuing education for ASHI, DE and PA.
CALL ME ANYTIME WITH QUESTIONS. ALLOW ME TO BE A PART OF YOUR HOME BUYING TEAM.