Home Inspection FAQs

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What exactly is a "Home Inspection"?

 

A Home Inspection is a brief but thorough, "snapshot in time" inspection of a home by a qualified inspector based on Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics as established by one of several National Home Inspection Organizations.
 

Why should I get a Home Inspection done?
 

VETS Home Inspection Service will give you a Certified, unbiased, professional and thorough assessment of the overall condition of systems and components of your prospective home purchase based on established NSHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Vets Home Inspection Service will provide an illustrated Home Inspection Report containing detailed information and assessment of all systems and components inspected. This allows you, the home buyer to utilize this information as you proceed through the home buying process.   
 

What are the possible limitations of a Home Inspection?
 

A Home Inspection is limited in scope by many factors. Among them are the brief period of time allowed to perform the inspection. Home Inspections are also limited to readily observable items, if they can't be accessed and observed, they can't be inspected. For example, a finished basement makes most, if not all, of the home's foundation unobserveable.  Another limiting factor in an occupied home would be the occupant's personal belongings limiting access to some areas or components to be inspected.
 

What are requirements for Home Inspectors in the State of Michigan?
 

The State of Michigan does not currently have any requirements for Home Inspectors. More than half of our states have varying degrees of licensing, registration and/or certification requirements for home inspectors. In addition to obtaining a certification, many states require home inspectors to pass the National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE) as offered by the Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors.
 

How do Home Inspectors get Certified?
 

States that require certification and most Professional Associations for Home Inspectors have certification requirements that include some combination of  training, experience, continuing education and passing the NHIE Exam.
 

What are the main Professional Associations for Home Inspectors?


There are four main Professional Associations for Home Inspectors. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), the National Society of Home Inspectors (NSHI) and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Each organization has differing certification and membership requirements. Each organization has their own Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics for its members to use and comply with.


What are Standards of Practice?


Standards of Practice (SoP) define what should occur during an inspection and what should be included in the home inspection report. A home inspector should identify what SoPs are in use in the inspection report. Most home inspectors will utilize the SoPs published by the Professional Home Inspection Organization that they have a membership in. In addition to the SoPs available from the main National Associations for Home Inspectors, states that require varying degrees of licensing, registration and/or certification requirements for home inspectors may also have their own SoPs and require their use.
 

What is a Code of Ethics?
 

Each Professional Home Inspector Organization has its own Code of Ethics (CoE) that its members are expected to comply with. The CoEs generally restrict anything that may be perceived as a conflict of interest. The CoEs also require the home inspector to conduct his activities accurately, completely and fairly, and to always avoid anything that could be perceived as fraud, deceit or misleading activities. Most Professional Home Inspector Organizations prohibit home inspectors from performing any construction or repair work on an inspected property for a period of one year after the inspection is performed. If a home inspector performs a Home Inspection, and then attempts to profit from performing the recommended corrections, it is considered a breach of the Code of Ethics of most professional home inspector organizations. A Certified Home Inspector will not do this as it can result in loss of certification.


What is a Pre Inspection Agreement?
 

A Pre Inspection Agreement is a document that spells out the details and limitations of the Home Inspection including location, cost, date, time, etc.  A Pre Inspection Agreement is a vital piece of the overall home inspection arrangement and most Certified home inspectors will require one prior to conducting an inspection.
 

Is a Home Inspection considered a "Code Inspection"?
 

The short answer is......no. Houses have been built in America for hundreds of years in widely varying locations and conditions. Most older houses do not comply with current code requirements and it would be impossible to bring them up to current code requirements. The evolution of building codes over the years as well as differing adoption of codes, interpretations, enforcement and grandfathering of existing structures in some areas and municipalities makes this a virtually impossible concept. This is one reason for the development of SoPs by Professional Home Inspector Organizations.