There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding the home inspection. In this blog post, we will dispel some of those myths and establish the facts.
Myth #1: The Home Inspection is Pass/Fail
A common myth among home buyers is that the home inspection is pass/fail. Those that believe this think that in order to purchase a house, it must first pass the home inspection. Alternatively, if the home fails the home inspection, they will no longer be able to purchase the home.
The truth is, home inspectors do not determine whether a house passes or fails the home inspection. Instead, home inspectors evaluate the condition of a home and report on the defects present. Ultimately, it is the buyer’s decision whether or not to buy the house.
Myth #2: Home Inspectors Determine if a House is Up to Code
Some buyers believe that home inspectors determine if a house is up to code. While home inspectors sometimes refer to code during their inspections, a home inspection should not be confused with a code inspection.
During a home inspection, home inspectors are looking for defects that could affect the safety of your family or the value of your home. Code inspections, on the other hand, look for compliance with certain building standards. Just because something is not up to code, does not inherently make it a home inspection defect.
Myth #3: The Seller Will Repair Every Defect the Home Inspector Finds
While the home inspection report can be used as an effective negotiating tool, it does not mean sellers will repair every defect the home inspector finds. In fact, sellers are not obligated to make any repairs if your agent is using an as-is contract.
When negotiating home inspection defects, focus on issues that could be costly to repair. Minor problems like missing caulking or peeling paint can be addressed after you purchase the home.
Myth #4: New Construction Homes Don’t Have to be Inspected
Another myth about the home inspection is that new construction homes do not have to be inspected. These buyers assume that since everything is new, there is no need for a home inspection.
Truth is, new construction homes can have serious defects that could be costly to repair. Problems occur when a builder cut corners, manufacturer’s recommendations are not followed, or workers simply make mistakes.
Myth #5: Home Inspectors Determine the Value of a House
Some buyers believe that home inspectors determine the value of a home. This is actually the job of the appraiser. The appraisal is usually done after the home inspection by a Certified Appraiser. Appraisers research home sales in the area, the condition of the property, and the physical characteristics to determine a fair market value.
While there is some overlap, the focus of the home inspection is the condition of the home and the focus of the appraisal is the value of the property.
Myth #6: Home Inspectors check for termites.
While this is true in some states, inspecting for termites requires a Pest Control license in Hawaii. This means that termite inspections have to be performed by a pest control company.
If you are in the process of buying a home, a termite inspection is strongly recommended. Termites account for almost $2 billion dollars in property damage every year and a large amount of that damage occurs right here in Hawai’i where termites are very prevalent.