There are no universal standards or regulations for how long is a home inspection good for. In most cases, the best advice is to have a home inspection done before you purchase a house. But there are times when having a home inspection done after you buy a house is a good idea.
What is a Home inspection?
There are people who look at and report on the state of real estate during home inspections. Usually, this is when it’s on the market for sale.
A qualified home inspector looks at things like the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical work, water, and sewage, as well as some fire and safety issues when they look at a house.
Home inspectors also look for signs of insect, water, fire, or other damage that could lower the value of a home.
What Happens During a Home Inspection?
It’s your last chance to find problems with the house and get the seller to pay for them before you close on the deal.
People who are selling homes want to know what the inspector will look for so they can be ready when the inspector comes and make things go as smoothly as possible when they come.
Here’s what you can expect when you have a home inspection:
- Check out things like the home’s foundation, structural components, and roof. A home inspector will then write up a written report with the results of the inspection.
- As a general rule, a home inspection takes two to four hours. The size of the house may make it take longer, though. After the home inspector has done a physical inspection, he or she may send the written report over the next few days.
- A good idea is for buyers to come to the inspection so that they can see their new home in person and ask questions as the process goes on. A report alone won’t give you as much information as this can give you, though.
Don’t worry about how many defects you found on your report. People may not bother to fix many of them because they are so small.
It doesn’t matter how big or small the problems in your home are. You don’t need to pay attention to that. Some problems can make or break a deal. This is what you need to know.
If your home has a lot of problems, you should talk to your home inspector and a real estate agent about what you should do. They can help you figure out how to move forward.
What’s the Best Time for a House Inspection?
Once a year is a good answer. Some of these might help you decide.
Consider the following to figure out when you need a house inspection.
1. Taking Ownership
When you buy or become the owner of a house, you should have it checked out. That way, if there are problems with the structure, electrical or plumbing systems, you don’t have to pay a lot of money to fix them. It might even give you some sway over the price.
In a house inspection, these are some of the most important things that it will look at:
- All of the parts of the roof, such as tiles, shingles, and the underside.
- The foundation, framing, and joints are some of the parts of a home that are important for it to stay strong and safe.
- They have a basement and a crawlspace.
- Heating and air-conditioning units.
- Water and septic tanks.
- Electrical, which includes wiring, lighting, and outlets, is.
It’s important to know what to expect when you buy a home, so get it checked out before you do.
You don’t want any damage to show up at a later time.
A newer house might not need a house inspection as often as a house that is a few years old. People should have their homes checked for wear and tear more often as they age.
Even in bad weather, building materials can be broken by strong winds. Every few years, some things need to be changed. For people who want to keep their home in good shape, here is a good schedule to follow.
The first inspection, then a five-year inspection for new to five years old:
Every two years
10 years old and up: Once or twice a year, depending on the weather.
Don’t let your house get old without having it checked out. The repair costs will be less in the long run if you keep it in shape.
3. Natural Disasters
Do you live in a place where tornadoes happen a lot, or do you live on the coast where hurricanes happen all the time? How about earthquake-prone land? Disaster-prone areas should have their homes checked more often.
If there is a natural disaster, have a home inspection right away. Make sure there isn’t any major damage.
4. Renting Your Home
Is it worth renting your home? Check the house out before you start.
Between renters, it’s a good idea to have the house checked out. Plumbing, electricity, heating, and cooling systems are all at risk of breaking down over time, and they can all fail.
5. Weather in the area
Others have harsher weather than others. People who live in wet, cold, or windy places need to have their homes checked more often.
During a lot of rain or snow, basements and crawl spaces get wet and swampy, which makes them flood. Even the cement could be broken by this. Mold can also grow in wet places.
Damage can happen to the roof and siding when hail and wind hit them. They tend to come off or lose their waterproofing in these kinds of weather. During hot and cold weather, tiles can crack.
What are Home Inspectors Not Allowed to Do?
It’s time for your home inspection. What do you want to find out about this time? One big question: What can’t home inspectors do?
After talking to experts, we came up with a list of things you can expect from your inspection, as well as what home inspectors can and can’t do.
1. Offer Services Outside the Home Inspection Itself
It is one of the rules that home inspectors who work across state and city lines have to follow. They can’t do anything else for the home.
They can do a good job because many licensed home inspectors have backgrounds in construction, which makes this a good inspection. This gives them a better understanding of what problems look like from the point of view of someone who built the house.
People who are good at carpentry or electricity aren’t supposed to fix any problems that come up, even though they might be very good at that kind of thing.
This person is called an inspector, and their job is to give an unbiased assessment of the state of a building. As soon as your home inspector says they can fix things during the inspection, that’s a big red flag. This is not something that licensed inspectors to do.
2. Renovate or Fix a Home They’ve Previously Inspected
In fact, it is against the law for home inspectors to be hired to fix up a home that they have already looked at.
People who license home inspections don’t want people to offer more services after the inspection or help you with repairs that were found during the inspection. This is against their code of ethics, so they shouldn’t do this. This is against the licensor’s rules.
3. Damage the House
There are horror stories about home inspectors who have caused damage to homes in order to inspect them. To look at faulty wiring, they might have taken down a wall.
You can be sure that this is very, very rare, and a licensed home inspector would never do this, either. Inspectors are trained to look for problems without hurting a building.
4. Risk Their Safety (or Yours) to Inspect a House
It’s not safe for inspectors to put their lives at risk to check out a house, so they can’t.
It’s also important for a person who inspects things to follow a code of ethics. This part talks about a “duty to warn.” InterNACHI says “Many inspectors believe that it is their ethical and even moral duty to tell all the people who are involved in the home they are inspecting about any imminent hazards that they find.”
Legally, home inspectors must tell the seller, the buyer, and the current tenants about any problems that could be dangerous or unhealthy. Many licensed home inspectors’ contracts say that they will tell the buyer and the seller about any problems that could be dangerous or unhealthy.
A building inspection will stop if there is a big problem with it that makes it dangerous to be inside.
5. Diagnose the Exact Cause Behind the Symptoms They are Seeing
Special skills can’t help them figure out the exact cause of the symptoms they are seeing. It’s hard for them to say what kind of mold you have or even if what they see is mold at all. Instead, they’ll say that you should get a special inspection to see if you have mold in your home.
6. Diagnose Issues that Require Further Testing
Scientists aren’t home inspectors, so they can’t tell you what’s in the air, say if there are electromagnetic fields, or say if there are dangerous materials in the house, like asbestos or lead paint, that could hurt you. They need to do more testing.
You might also get tests for things like lead paint if your house was built before 1978.
7. Inspect Certain Specialized Installations
Inspections will need to be done for things like a pool or hot tub or solar panels if your new home has them.
People who do home inspections aren’t qualified to look at things like this, but your agent can help you find people who can.
8. Test Non-Working Systems
If the seller has already said that a system in the home isn’t working, home inspectors won’t bother to check it out. It’s because they don’t want to spend their time. The system that doesn’t work will be put in the seller’s disclosure instead of being put in the ad.
Seller’s disclosures aren’t used in every state, and some only ask sellers to disclose certain things, like the fact that there were mining operations in Virginia in the past.
It’s not very strict for sellers to tell buyers what they need to know about their homes in Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming because there are no rules at all.
9. Estimate When Working Systems or Components (such as the roof) will Need to be Repaired or Updated
They won’t be able to tell you when certain parts of the home (like the roof) will need to be repaired or updated. As it turns out, many states have changed the language used in home inspections so that they don’t rate how well a home’s systems work.
It used to be that home inspectors had to say that something was a “defect” when it did not work. Pat Tasker, an agent in Wisconsin, says that now they have to.
Tasker works with more single-family homes than most agents in her area. We use the same words in our offer. Only if there are flaws can the buyer go to the seller and say that they should have done better.
Things were rated based on how well they worked in the past by listing them as working, satisfactory, marginal, and not working. This way, people could see how well things had worked in the past.
The word “defect” is the only one they use now when they want to talk about things. It’s important to keep in mind that the home inspector is there to give you an honest assessment of the home’s current condition, not to tell you about problems that might happen in the future.
10. Move Large Items (furniture, cars) or Hazards (snow, ice) in Order to Access the House
They don’t have to move cars or even snow and ice to look at parts of the house. So, before the inspection, work with the seller to get rid of any things that might get in the way of the inspection.
A person who owns a home could be responsible for this, depending on where you live and how the home was bought or sold. The way the home was bought or sold can change this. This can depend on where you live and how the home was sold.
11. Offer Opinions About a Home’s Cosmetic or Aesthetic Condition
Inspectors can tell you what’s wrong with your popcorn ceiling, but they can’t say it’s old or bad. It’s a good idea to remember that home inspectors only look at how well the house works, not how much it might be worth. There are some things you must do before you can work as an appraiser.
12. Tell you Which Engineer or Contractor to Ask for More Help
If you want to hire a contractor to fix problems in your home, home inspectors can’t give you their recommendations. This would be bad. Their job isn’t to give you advice on who can work on your home. They may know a lot of good contractors and carpenters, but it’s not their job. Can’t: They can’t.
13. Outline Property Boundaries, Easements, or Encroachments
Inspectors can’t show you where your property lines are, or say what they think about how big your land is. The job of a land surveyor, on the other hand, would be to figure out where things are.
How well a house works, and not whether the buyer should buy or not buy it, is what a home inspector looks into. It doesn’t matter how bad it is if the buyer gets it for the right price. Who can say that’s not worth something?
14. Suggest Whether You Should Buy the House or Walk Away
After I say: The home inspector’s job is to find out what’s going on with the house. There is no need to hire a home inspector if you want to buy the house in question.
It’s always good and bad to buy a house. You might not be moving in right away. Mechanics and other parts of a house are what home inspectors know about.
They don’t think about whether the buyer should buy it or not, but about how well the house works and how well the parts work together. As long as they get it for a good price, who can say that’s not worth something?
15. Give an ‘Official’ Opinion About Whether the House is Worth What You’re Paying
Because home inspectors can’t say how much a home costs or whether it’s worth it, we talked about that last.
In order to figure out the value of the home as it is now, real estate appraisers who are trained will do this.
16. Condemn a House
Getting rid of a house is not allowed by law. Inspectors can’t say whether or not the house is “livable” or not.
Only a “condemning authority,” like a city building inspector, has the legal right to take down a house. Condemnation is the job of either the federal, state or local government.
17. Issue a Certificate of Occupancy
They can’t give you a Certificate of Occupancy, either. This is a job that cities, states, and even the federal government have to do as well.
18. Enforce Local Building Codes
They work together. Government agencies that takedown and register certificates of occupancy for new homes and buildings also keep building codes up to date. It’s not the job of a home inspector to make sure that your house meets local building codes, so you should do that yourself (unless a building poses immediate health or safety hazards, as discussed earlier).
19. Say Whether a House is Insurable or Not
Their answers are all wrong. They can’t say if a house is insured or not.
A lot of this is between you, your mortgage lender, and the different insurance companies that can give you quotes on how much insurance you need to buy (or decline to do so). It doesn’t get mortgage loans because it needs a lot of work.
It will be sent to your mortgage lender and insurance company after you have your home inspected. They will decide whether or not your home is safe to insure, not you, the home inspector.
20. Say Whether a House Passed or Failed the Inspection
A home inspection may get a bad grade, but don’t be angry about it. a lot of people believe that a home can either pass or fail an inspection.
This isn’t true at all. It’s not a pass-or-fail thing! Homes don’t get A+s or Fs. Instead, inspectors write down a detailed description of the current condition of a home’s many parts and systems on a piece of paper instead.
You don’t have to be afraid that you won’t be able to buy a house because of the inspection. As long as there isn’t something in the home right now that could hurt you or stall the inspection itself, the inspection is just one more step toward the sale.
Good home inspectors will help you learn more about your home, and that’s how you should look at it.
How Long is a Home Inspection Good for in California?
How long is a home inspection good for? An inspection process of a home is only good for one year in California. The inspector will look at the house to make sure it’s safe for habitation, but they’re not required to do any future inspections.
It is always wise to ask if there are any changes that need to be made before the inspection that wouldn’t show up on an initial walk-through. There are many ways that people get sick in their homes.
While mold is the most common illness that results from poor indoor air quality, radon, lead, and other pollutants can cause serious problems. The professionals at the American Health Care Association can help you to identify and fix the problems. The inspection is free, and it’s a good way to make sure that your home is safe.
Cleaning is another important part of maintaining your home. You can expect the inspector to take a look at everything from the floor to the roof, and everything else in between. Inspectors will also review the condition of the appliances and other fixtures, such as toilets and faucets.
They will also measure the sizes of various areas of the house, and even go so far as to measure the areas of the rooms and the dimensions of windows. They will also make sure that the insulation and heating systems are functioning correctly.
It’s time for the inspector to look at the home as a whole. They will look for any structural issues, such as in the roof or foundation. They will look for any broken fixtures.
Inspector will look for items that have been moved or touched inappropriately. Inspectors will look for any signs of fire or water damage.
The inspector will also be looking for any problems with the plumbing or the electrical panel. If the electrical system is out of date, the inspector will want to make sure that the systems are up to date.
The inspector will also want to make sure that all of the wirings in the house are properly plugged in and plugged in. They also want to see if there are any appliances in the house. This is what they will do. They will want to make sure that the appliances have been maintained and that the appliances are in good working order.
When an inspector is looking to buy a home, they will also be looking for a home that is in good condition. They will want to make sure there are no signs of termites, mold, or other pests in the house.
There are a lot of things an inspector will look at when they visit a house. You can be sure they will look at any areas that look like they need to be fixed.
A home inspection is a worthwhile investment when you are looking to buy a home. This quote from the article sums it up nicely, “The answer to this is not always clear and varies from state to state and country to country, but most states will accept a home inspection report for a period of at least one year.”
This article discusses how long is a home inspection good for? ends with an encouragement to have a professional come into your new or current home and use their expertise.