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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 snapshot 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 Standards of Practice tell us that 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


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 typically 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Older reports may contain information that is obsolete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 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to obtain their own current inspection rather than rely on older, previous reports which may contain information that is obsolete and no longer representative of a homes current condition.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.
In closing, hopefully this has brought about a better understanding of the expectations of a home inspection. And while it’s important to understand its limitations and exclusions, it’s equally if not more important to understand the value the home inspection has as one of the best risk reduction tools to have in your arsenal. The inspection will evaluate 100s of items across 6 major categories and 33 sub-categories providing you with the information needed to make a confident, informed decision about your purchase of the home.


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