1. What is an inspection?

2. Why do I need an inspection?

3. What standards does OxBow base it's inspections on?

4. What does an inspection include?

5. Do you offer a warranty?

6. What is the lead time needed for an inspection?

7. How long will the inspection take?

8. What will the inspection cost?

9. When will I receive my report?

10. Should I attend the inspection?

11. When do I request an inspector?

12. Can a home "fail" the inspection?

13. What if the report reveals problems?

14. If the report is favorable, did I really need an inspection?

15. Can I inspect the home myself?

16. It's brand new, what could be wrong?

17. The municipal code inspector already approved it.

18. Easing the transaction for a home seller.

19. Home seller disclosure obligations.

20. Do I have to repair everything wrong with the house?

21. Do I really need an inspection?

22. What is a listing inspection?

23. Is there anything I can do better to maintain my home?

Home Inspection Answers

1.   What is an inspection?

An inspection is a visual examination of the structure and systems of a building. If you are thinking of buying a home, condominium, townhouse, or multi-unit building, you should have it thoroughly inspected before the final purchase by an experienced and impartial professional inspector.  TOP of FAQ

 2.   Why do I need an inspection?

The purchase of a home is one of the largest single investments you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect - both indoors and out - in terms of needed and future repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Stains on the ceiling may indicate a chronic roof leakage problem or may be simply the result of a single incident. The inspector interprets these and other clues, and then presents a professional opinion as to the condition of the property so you can avoid unpleasant surprises afterward. Of course, an inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home as well as the type of maintenance needed to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and be able to make your decision confidently.

As a seller, if you have owned your home for a period of time, an inspection can identify potential problems in the sale of you home and can recommend preventive measures that might avoid future expensive repairs. TOP of FAQ

  3.  What standards does OxBow base it's inspection on?

OxBow Home Inspections abides and adheres to the strict guidelines set forth by The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). For a complete description of the NACHI Standards of Practice, there is a link at the bottom of each page.

4.  What does an inspection include?

A complete inspection includes a visual examination of the home from top to bottom. The inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. TOP of FAQ

 5.  Do you offer a warranty

The inspection and report do not constitute a warranty, guarantee, or insurance policy of any kind. No inspection can wholly eliminate the uncertainty regarding the presence of material defects and the performance of the dwelling’s systems. The inspection is intended to reduce the uncertainty regarding the potential for component or system failure.

 6.  What is the lead-time needed for an inspection?

The average lead-time to schedule an inspection is 1 to 3 business days from the time you order. For your convenience, I also work on weekends at no additional charge. TOP of FAQ

  7.  How long will the inspection take?

The average OxBow inspection takes about 3 hours depending on the size, age, and condition of the property. TOP of FAQ

  8.  What will the inspection cost?

Cost varies you should call me today to discuss the options. However, the cost should not be a factor in the decision whether or not to have a physical inspection. You might save many times the cost of the inspection if you are able to have the seller perform repairs based on significant problems revealed by the inspector. TOP of FAQ

  9.  When will I receive my report?

You will receive an electronic copy (.PDF) of your report the same day. Regardless

 10.   Should I attend the inspection?

It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is a good idea. By following the inspector through the inspection, observing and asking questions, you will learn about the home and get some tips on general maintenance. This information will be of great help to you after you have moved in. TOP of FAQ

  11.  When do I request an inspector?

The best time to consult the inspector is right after you have made an offer on your new home. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building. Ask your agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection. TOP of FAQ

  12.  Can a home "fail" the inspection?

No. An inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective real estate purchase. It is not an Appraisal, nor is it Municipal Code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a building, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items will be in need of minor or major repairs or replacement. TOP of FAQ

  13.  What if the report reveals problems?

If the inspector finds problems in a building, it does not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs to anticipate. A seller may be willing to make repairs because of significant problems discovered by the inspector. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you. The choice is yours. TOP of FAQ

  14.  If the report is favorable, did I really need an inspection?

Definitely! Now you can complete your purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and its systems. You may have learned a few things about your property from the inspection report, and will want to keep that information for your 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 and enjoy your new home the way you want to. TOP of FAQ

  15.  Can I inspect the home myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspector who has inspected hundreds, and perhaps thousands of homes in their career. An inspector is equally familiar with the critical elements of construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and inter-relationships of these elements. Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the home they really want, and this may lead to a poor assessment. TOP of FAQ

 16.   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 homebuilder.  No home, regardless of how well it is constructed, is totally free of defects. The construction of a house involves thousands of details, performed at the hands of scores of individuals. No general contractor can possibly oversee 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-intentioned trades-people 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. TOP of FAQ

17.   The municipal code inspector already approved it.

Often the builder/developer will state the home has been built to "code" and that it was inspected at the different stages and signed off by the local jurisdiction. However, building codes are frequently "minimum in nature" – that is, the primary intent of building regulations (codes) is to provide reasonable controls for the construction, use and occupancy of buildings. The builder is responsible to meet minimal standards at best – you may want higher standards applied to your dream house. Also, it is an unfortunate fact of the hectic pace of construction, that local building department inspectors are often overbooked with inspections, which results in their spending a minimal amount of time at the construction job site and important details may be overlooked. Finally, jurisdictional inspectors are not concerned with workmanship as long as all the systems and components in a new home meet minimum code requirements. TOP of FAQ

  18.  Easing the transaction for a home seller.

Home sellers are urged to utilize home inspections prior to listing their homes. Professional inspections can discover unknown conditions allowing sellers an opportunity to perform desired repairs before placing the property on the market. A professional "listing inspection" is just good business, it may facilitate a smoother transaction by putting potential buyers at ease, reducing negotiating points, and bypass annoying delays. TOP of FAQ

  19.  Home seller disclosure obligations.

It is the duty of a seller to disclose relevant facts concerning the property for sale through a "Disclosure" form. This basically means a seller of one to four residential units has a legal obligation to disclose all of the conditions of the property known to them to perspective buyers. While the listing inspection report cannot be used as a substitute for the disclosure statement, it does allow the seller to provide prospective buyers with additional information, based on an unbiased, third party, professional inspection. TOP of FAQ

  20.  Do I have to repair everything wrong with the house?

A listing inspection report is not intended to be a "do" or repair list for the home. Sellers are not obligated to repair conditions noted in the report, nor are they required to produce a flawless house. With a pre-listing home inspection, potential repair items already known by both parties are subject to any negotiations. A home seller can make repairs as a matter of choice, not obligation, to foster good will or to facilitate the sale. Sellers maintain the legal right to refuse repair demands, except where requirements are set forth by state law, local ordinance, or the real estate purchase contract. TOP of FAQ

 21.   Do I really need an inspection?

As a seller, if you have owned your property for a period of time, an inspection can help identify potential problems and recommend preventive measures, which might avoid future expensive repairs. There is no such thing as a home that is too new or too well built to benefit from a professional inspection. Anyone advising against an inspection is doing a disservice to the homebuyer. Many problems frequently encountered after the buyer moves in, are a routine discovery for a qualified home inspection. TOP of FAQ

  22.  What is a listing inspection?

An inspection consists of a non-invasive physical examination of a home’s systems, structures and components intended to identify material defects that exist at the time of inspection. The heating and cooling equipment is activated along with operating plumbing fixtures, testing accessible electrical outlets and fixtures, and operating a representative sampling of doors and windows. Visual inspection of the roof, walls and drainage adjacent to the home are included. Because of the wide range of construction practiced and the "normal" wear and tear placed on the components of home, a professional home inspection can help provide a wealth of information to a home seller anxious to convey the condition of their home to perspective buyers. TOP of FAQ

  23.  Is there anything I can do better to maintain my home?

Inspection reports often identify the same neglected maintenance items. Performing some basic maintenance can help keep your home in better condition, thus reducing the chance of those conditions showing up on the inspection report. To present a better maintained home to prospective buyers, follow these tips. Most of these items can be accomplished with little or no cost, while the benefits of selling a well maintained home can be worth the effort.

  • Clean rain gutters, roof debris and trim back excessive foliage from the exterior siding and roof.

  • Divert all water away from the house (for example rain-gutter downspouts and sump pump discharge locations), and clean out garage and basement interiors.

  • Clean or replace all furnace filters.

  • Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding (preferable 6-8 inches of clearance).

  • Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows, doors, and all exterior wall penetrations.

  • Make sure all windows and doors are in proper operating condition; replace cracked windowpanes.

  • Replace burned out light bulbs

  • Make sure all of the plumbing fixtures are in spotless condition (toilets, tubs, showers, sinks) and in proper working order (repair leaks).

  • Provide clear access to both attic and foundation crawl spaces, heating/cooling systems, water heater(s), electrical main and distribution panels and remove the car(s) from the garage.

  • And finally, if the house is vacant make sure that all utilities are turned on. Should the water, gas, or electricity be off at the time of inspection the inspector will not turn them on. Therefore, the inspection process will be incomplete, which may possibly affect the time frame for removing sales contract contingencies. TOP of FAQ

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I adhere to the NACHI Standards of Practice
and the NACHI Code of Ethics

NACHI Standards of Practice

NACHI Code of Ethics

Proudly Serving the Following Counties:
Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Gem, Payette,
Valley, Washington and Malheur

Oxbow Home Inspections • PO Box 2144 Eagle, ID 83616• 208.573.5300

Troy Farmer: Owner/Inspector • E-Mail: info@troyfarmer.com


© 2007- 2010 Oxbow Home Inspections and Radon Testing, LLC