More FAQs

What is a home inspection?

It is an on-site visual inspection of all-accessible systems and areas. It is a snapshot in time.

Why is a home inspection important?

A home purchase is one of the largest investments you will ever make. You want to protect your investment by having a professional home inspector examine the property you are interested in buying. Home inspectors have a very thorough inspection system. The use of family or friends with construction experience is not advised.

What IS inspected?

  • Roofs, siding, windows, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Landscaping and grading, exterior faucets, lights and outlets.
  • Garages.
  • Decks, balconies, patios.
  • Basements, crawl spaces.
  • Attics.
  • All accessible rooms – floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, switches, outlets, heat sources, etc.
  • Kitchens.
  • Bathrooms.
  • Built in appliances (stoves, ovens, and kitchen fans).
  • Supply and waste plumbing systems.
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation systems.
  • Electrical systems.
  • Foundations.
  • Water heaters.
  • Fireplaces and stoves.

View our Sample Report

What is NOT inspected?

  • Fences and storage sheds
  • Telephones, cable TV, antennas and satellites
  • Appliances that are not built-in
  • Cosmetics deficiencies (peeling wallpaper, carpet cuts and stains, etc.)
  • Areas not readily accessible (due to storage, locked doors, etc.). Make sure your agent knows that all important components have to be accessible for proper home inspection.
  • The inspector will not open any covers that are nailed or screwed in place, except main electrical panel.
  • Areas presenting danger for inspector (ice covered roof, flooded basement….)

How do I find a Home Inspector

Home inspections industry is not regulated or licensed. Therefore, it is important that you carefully select a professional home inspector.

Sources of information:

  • Recommendation from family and friends
  • Recommendation from your real estate agent, mortgage broker or appraiser.
  • Research ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) and
  • NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors) websites. Members of these organizations are governed by industry rules and a code of ethics. Inspectors have to pass rigorous tests to become members.
  • Yellow pages

Interview your home inspectors:

  • How long has the inspector or firm been in business?
  • How many inspections have they already performed?
  • Are you also involved in remodeling or repair? (The answer should be “NO”. We see involvement in trades as a conflict of interest)
  • Ask how long does the inspection take? Inspections shorter than one hour are usually not very thorough ( especially for larger condominiums or houses)
  • Is the inspector insured? What kind of insurance?

Obtain references from previous customers of the home inspection firm you are interested in hiring. Do not base your selection of an inspector on the inspection price only!

Interview and select inspectors in advance. That will lower your stress level during the contract period!

When should I schedule a home inspection?

Schedule home inspection as soon as you sign the contract. Make sure that an inspection objection deadline in your real estate contract gives you enough time to:

  • Schedule the inspection so you can be present
  • Get the results from all scheduled tests ( radon, water)
  • Get estimates for necessary repairs or replacements

How long does an inspection take?

An average inspection takes approximately 2 to 4 hours. Older, larger or commercial properties may take longer

Should I attend the home inspection?

Yes! Try to attend the home inspection. Walking around with the inspector can be an educational process. You will learn:

  • What are the areas of concern
  • How to maintain your property
  • How to operate systems
  • Inspector will summarize the findings and answer all your questions or concerns

How do I get results from a home inspection?

  • The inspection will result in a written report
  • Report will be printed onsite or e-mailed to you
  • Inspector will not tell you what items you should negotiate with seller.
  • Inspector will offer solutions to the problems and refer you to the proper trade or suggest further evaluation

View Sample Report

How do I utilize report results in contract negotiations?

Negotiate through your real estate agent. You can:

  • Obtain estimates on necessary repairs and negotiate cash credit with seller (we believe this is the preferable method).
  • Let seller repair the areas of concerns and reinspect the property before closing
  • All problems are fixable and negotiable. There is no need to cancel the contract

Is there a difference between inspections of condominiums and houses?

Common areas (halls, stairs, etc.) and exteriors surfaces (roof, siding, driveway, etc.) of condominium complexes are usually the responsibility of homeowners association. Most inspection firms do not inspect exterior and common areas. Contact home owners association to:

  • Obtain information on what exactly is maintained and replaced by home owners association
  • Study financial statements – there should be financial reserve to cover general maintenance
  • Obtain information about planned financial assessments

Does it make sense to inspect new construction?

Yes, there are areas of concern even in new construction – not everything may be functioning properly.

  • Inspector will prepare “punch” list report
  • Builders usually offer only a one year warranty
  • Education about the property
  • Preventive maintenance suggestions

What additional tests do I need?

Radon in the air test . Single family residences, duplexes or condominiums with living areas in the basement, on a concrete slab or above crawl space should be tested for radon in the air. Radon is a natural radioactive gas seeping into the dwellings through the cracks in a concrete or dirt floor. EPA says that exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer.

Septic inspection and test of water quality and quantity should be performed on houses connected to private well and private septic system.

Areas with visible mold should be tested and cleaned. You should know what kind of mold is present. Some mold spores are toxic, causing for example allergies. Mitigation of heavily molded areas could be expensive.

What if there is a problem with the access?

Sometimes there can be a problem with access to different components (water heater, furnace, etc.) in the property. Inspector will usually suggest a reinspection. We charge a reinspection fee of $125. Snow covered areas, especially roofs, cannot be inspected during winter season. Consult your agent. Tiger does not charge reinspection fee due to snow cover.

I feel that the inspector missed something…what should I do?

Contact our customer service desk immediately. The inspector will go back to the property and re-evaluate your claim The dispute will be handled in accordance with our Standard Dispute Resolution Policy.