Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a home inspection?
When one is buying or selling a home an inspection can be useful tool. A home inspection will point out all the aspects of a home, positive and negative, and give you information to help maintain the home and keep it in its best condition. Having a home inspection before you buy can help a buyer foresee and prepare for any unpleasant and costly repairs needed.
How do I choose a home inspector?
Simply pick up the phone and call one. Ask questions about their training, experience, customer service history, pricing, and whether they are affiliated with a national home inspection association (i.e. NAHI, NACHI, ASHI) If the inspector is incapable of answering basic questions about their business clearly then how are they going to be capable of explaining the condition of your property in an understandable way?
What affects the cost of an inspection?
For each home inspection company it is different. Some companies base their prices on the purchase price of the property. Baltimore Home Specs prices their inspections based on the square footage of the property. We do this because square footage is what costs us the most. Our job is completely unrelated to purchase price and we feel it would be unfair to charge our clients for something that isn’t our business. A larger home requires more time and more expertise. Pricing our inspections this way makes sense to us.
Will you price match?
Unfortunately, no. We have already priced our inspections as economically as we can. We still have to pay for our insurance, continuing education, reports, equipment, advertising, association fees, gas, and other related business fees (the not-so-fun part of owning a home inspection business). Baltimore Home Specs LLC inspectors are specialists, and we feel that our expertise is well worth the price.
Why can’t I have my friend, a well established contractor, inspect my new home?
This type of misconception is common among many home owners. Although your friend may be quiet handy, he lacks the formal training and expert eye of a skilled home inspector. Home inspection is a unique skill that requires training and skill to develop.
Wouldn’t it be best if I used an Architect or Engineer who is also a certified inspector?
Would you pay a mechanic more money to service your car if he had a medical degree? Probably not. The same applies to Home Inspection. A person who is an Architect or Engineer has no more expertise when it comes to inspecting homes than a regular inspector. The Architect or Engineer has had to undergo the EXACT same exams and training as any other inspector. The catch is that the Architect or Engineer is probably charging more money and using their unrelated skill to convince you he is worth the price, when in fact he is not. As a matter of fact the Architect or Engineer may not have even gotten scores as high as a Baltimore Home Specs inspector. Don’t waste your money with an inspector who wants to mislead you about his qualifications.
What a home inspection is not.
A home inspection is not a guarantee, certification, appraisal, FHA inspection, or warranty of any kind. The home inspector will not poke holes, disassemble, or deconstruct anything on the property. The inspector will not move any furniture or personal belongings to access any area of the property. In order to avoid costly damage and liability there are certain things that a home inspector cannot do to a property. A home inspector will not light a pilot or start systems that are turned off. The home inspector is also limited to the wishes of the current homeowner. The inspector cannot enter rooms, test appliances, etc. that the owner does not allow. (Issues such as this must be worked out between buyer and seller beforehand)
Who will do the home inspection?
When you order a home inspection from Baltimore Home Specs you will get a certified home inspector at your door. Our inspectors, Chris Wittstadt will arrive in a marked vehicle up to 1/2 an hour before the scheduled time (in order to assess the exterior of the home and to begin filling out their report). Our inspectors are also owners of the company and associates of NAHI.
What should I do to get ready?
The buyer and seller (with the help of a real estate agent, if necessary) should communicate about the arrangements for the home inspection in order to prepare. It is often helpful if the current homeowner is present during the inspection, although it is absolutely NOT necessary. The owner should make sure that there is access to the house and all areas inside the house. It is very important that the gas and electric are turned on!
How long will the home inspection take?
The amount of time for a home inspection varies based on the size and condition of the property. We recommend setting aside anywhere from 1 1/2 to 3 hours for an inspection.
Do I have to be there?
It certainly isn’t required that the home owner/buyer/seller be present but it certainly is recommended. A good inspector will be able to explain any problems, point out any areas for improvement, and answer questions onsite. We want you to ask questions in order to get the most out of our services. The point of an inspection is for the buyer/seller/owner to understand more about the condition and maintenance of a property.
Do you get on every roof?
No. Home inspectors have to protect their own safety. Some roofs just are not safe for an inspector to walk on (walking on roofs that are in bad condition also poses a risk of further damage as well). However, the condition of the roof can typically be just as easily evaluated by looking at other areas of the house as well. Leaks in the ceiling or attic are also clear indicators that our inspectors always look for.
When do I get my report?
Onsite at the conclusion of your inspection along with our business card so that we can be easily reached if you ever have a question or need another inspection.
What if the report reveals problems?
Keep in mind that no house is perfect. Sometimes the only problems an inspection can turn up are problems that won’t significantly affect the function of the property. However, if more serious problems do turn up on a property you are trying to buy you may just have to adjust the purchase price or terms (an issue to discuss with your realtor). Any repairs or contract adjustments are completely up to the home buyer/seller/owner and not the inspector. There is no pass/ fail result to an inspection.