Indianapolis Area Real Estate Blog

Simple Real Estate Definitions : Home Inspection

A home inspection is a complete, top-to-bottom, visual check-up of the structure and systems of a house.  It is meant to be an objective determination of a home's condition. A home inspection usually takes 2-6 hours to complete, depending on the size of the home.  During the inspection process, the inspector will examine all of the following components of a home:

  • Home exterior including doors, decks, and vegetation
  • Heating and cooling systems for leaks and efficiency
  • Electrical systems for safety and soundness of design
  • Plumbing systems for venting, distribution, and drainage

In addition, the inspector will review the roofing system, the home's interior, and several other parts of the property. A home inspection may be ordered by a home owner or by a home buyer. For a home owner, an inspection can detail a home's shortcomings and provide a roadmap for repairs.  This can help a person prepare his home for sale because 'major issues' can be addressed in advance of listing.

For a home buyer, a home inspection physically reviews a home under contract, identifying structural flaws that may impact the home's desirability.  This is essential for the negotiation process because no home is 'perfect' -- even new ones!  

A home inspection highlights potential long-term trouble spots and the likelihood for expensive home repairs.  This is why real estate professionals often recommend inspecting a home immediately after signing a purchase contract.

To find a qualified home inspector in your area, ask your real estate agent for a referral, visit the American Society of Home Inspectors Web site or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. 


#1 By Deb Dahlberg Rowland at 9/10/2008 5:53 AM

Paula your overview of home inspections is very informative and I know Buyers and Sellers who would benefit greatly from reading it! As far as ASHI at least those inspectors are taking some steps to accreditation....better than those that just hang a sign!

#2 By Paula at 9/9/2008 6:32 PM

Nck - I put a link up there for you. I know many great ASHI inspectors as well as NACHI inspectors, and there are definately some I would run from.

I'll give you your say, at the same time, I don't choose my clients home inspector, they do. I have at least one from each of these organizations that I readily give out numbers for.

#3 By Nick Gromicko at 9/9/2008 5:12 PM

ASHI is a known no-entrance requirement diploma mill. Run away from any REALTOR who recommends a diploma mill, patty cake inspector.

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