1. All Home Inspectors are the same
Not True! Even though Wisconsin has minimum requirements for all home inspectors, each inspector has their own level of experience and knowledge. Some inspectors do much more.
For example, Wisconsin Law requires a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education during the two year licensing period. Many trade organizations require much more. Be sure to check the credentials of your home inspector to see if they are just doing the minimums or if they are continually improving their education.
2. A Home sold As-Is doesn't need a home inspection
Sellers are required to disclose all known defects of a home. But what happens if there are problems not known to the seller? Do you want to take on the responsibility for unknown defects? As-is properties usually preclude price negotiations after a home inspection is complete and a home inspection could point out problems that may affect the saleability or the safety of the home in the future.
3. Home Inspections are not needed if a termite inspection is performed
Termite inspections are good to have in areas where wood destroying organisms are prevalent. If a home inspector finds a potential problem that would require an expert's opinion, a termite inspector may be recommended. However, it doesn't work in the reverse.
4. A home inspector has X-Ray vision
We wish we did! A home inspector's qualifications and experience will most definitely help them use all of their senses to determine problems and potential problems with the home. However, it is not possible for the inspector to tear apart walls, ceilings, appliances, and the like to see if a problem exists.
5. A home inspector is responsible for making sure the entire home was accessible
Not True! A home inspector is responsible for reporting on components that are readily accessible and visible. Snow conditions, furniture, wall coverings, personal items can all get in the way during a home inspection. It is important to have the Realtor work with the seller if the home is occupied to make sure all major components of the home are readily accessible like attic spaces, basements, utility areas, wall coverings, etc. A home inspector is not allowed to move personal items during the inspection.
6. My home is brand new and doesn't need a home inspection
Not True: Home builders have to meet the minimum requirements of the building code in existence when the home is built. Remember, the building codes are the MINIMUM requirements and may not reflect the manufacturer's recommendations. For example, H-Clips are not required under the current code for roofs, but if the roof deck is built without them and not spaced properly, you could have a premature roof failure. A good builder should encourage you to have a home inspection.
7. I don't need to be present for my home inspection
Not True! Being present during the home inspection is an invaluable tool to get to know your home. Even though you aren't required to be present, it would be good to be there for at least the last hour of the inspection. You home inspector should walk you through the inspection findings and also take the time to show you the important maintenance issues you will be assuming when you move in. Take the time and pick the inspector's brain regarding any concerns you may have about the property. It's your time to learn as much as you can about the home and your inspector is there to help!
8. My appraisal will discover defects so a home inspection isn't necessary
Not True! The purpose of an appraiser is to protect the LENDER. That's why a loan is not issued until the appraisal is complete.
9. My home inspection is a repair list for the seller
Not True! Your home inspector is there to give you a fact based report on the condition of the property on the day of the inspection. They are there to alert you of significant problems that can affect the overall present or future value of the home on the day of the inspection or to inform you of potential hazards that could affect the safety of you and your family. Cosmetic issues usually are not part of the inspection report. It's up to you to determine those significant issues and discuss those issues with your Realtor.
10. A contractor is better than a home inspector
Not True! Any individual in the state of Wisconsin performing a home inspection must hold a valid Wisconsin Home Inspectors license. Even though a General Contractor may possess the skills of a home inspector, they must also be able to evaluate all of the systems of the home to give a proper and thorough assessment of the condition of the property. It is also very important to have an unbiased person performing this evaluation. There could be a conflict of interest if the person evaluating the property performs any repairs to the property for hire. This is illegal in Wisconsin.
11. A home inspection will make sure my house is code compliant
Not True. The only person that can determine a code compliant problem is the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). This is the person(s) hired by the local community to enforce the current codes during a new build or a remodel with a building permit. As building codes have evolved over the years, existing homes were grand fathered. A good home inspector may suggest where improvements can be make but cannot comment on code compliant issues.
12. A home inspector is only looking out for the seller or Realtor
Not True! A home inspector's primary responsibility is to look out for the client! In fact, unless you have a signed buyer's agency with your Realtor, the home inspector is the only one in this role. The home inspection report is a confidential document that can only be shared with the client. Only if the inspector has the client's written permission can the inspector share any of the information with anyone else unless there is a significant safety issue discovered that could affect the occupants of the property.
13. My Inspection Report will be delivered on site
While some inspectors use paper carbon checklist style forms, other inspectors do not. 4-Square Home Inspections believe the time on site should be time spent with the client and not preparing the report. We believe the value of the report has everything to do with content and narratives and not with check boxes. We will prepare your report and have it available the same day for you to access at your convenience.
14. My home inspector will issue a pass or fail grade to the home
Not True! A home inspector's job is to give an unbiased report on the condition of the property on the day of inspection. Home inspectors are not in the business of issuing grades or rating the property. Each client should use the report to make their own decisions regarding the present conditions of the property.