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The Realities of Home Inspections

When setting the expectations for the home inspection process, it is important to convey some of the many realities that may be encountered after the inspection takes place.

Inspection reports cannot predict the future

The findings noted in the inspection report provide a snap-shot in time of the general condition of the home on the day and time that the inspection takes place. However, it does not and cannot anticipate conditions that may occur in the future.
The inspector is not required to anticipate any future events or conditions such as:

  • decay, deterioration, or damage that may occur after the inspection
  • deficiencies from abuse, misuse or lack of use
  • changes in performance of any component or system due to changes in use or occupancy
  • the consequences of the inspection or its effects on current or future buyers and sellers
  • common household accidents, personal injury, or death
  • the presence of water penetrations
  • future performance of any item

Property conditions change with time and use

For example, mechanical devices can fail at any time, plumbing gaskets and seals may crack if the appliance or plumbing fixture is not used often, roof leaks can occur at any time regardless of the apparent condition of the roof, and the performance of the structure and the systems may change due to changes in use or occupancy, effects of weather, etc. These changes or repairs made to the structure after the inspection may render information contained herein obsolete or invalid.

Inspection findings are only a snap-shot in time

The inspection report is provided for the specific benefit of the client named and is based on observations at the time of the inspection. If you did not hire the inspector yourself, reliance on this report may provide incomplete or outdated information. Repairs, professional opinions or additional inspection reports may affect the meaning of the information in this report. It is recommended that you hire a licensed inspector to perform an inspection to meet your specific needs and to provide you with current information concerning this property.

The importance of home warranties

Knowing that property conditions can change in a moment’s notice for a variety of different reasons can also bring to light the importance of home warranties and their somewhat symbiotic relationship with home inspections. A home warranty is a service contract that provides financial protection from unforeseen or unexpected repair or replacement costs of essential home components or appliances due to normal wear and tear but does not cover “known” pre-existing conditions. Should one of these unanticipated issues arise, there’s a good chance that it might be covered under the warranty and the inspection report can provide the documentation that it was not a “known” pre-existing condition.

Older reports may contain information that is obsolete

It is also important to note that because the inspection findings only relate to a specific date and time, and there is the reality that conditions can change, the client should choose to obtain their own current inspection as older previous reports may contain information that is obsolete and no longer representative of the home’s current condition. With the due diligence of having a home inspection performed and a home warranty in place, it can significantly reduce the risk of having to face the costs associated with the realities that may be encountered and will help provide added peace of mind.


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