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Questions we've been asked

A home inspection is an objective visual analysis of a home’s accessible structures and systems. An inspection will determine the areas of a home that are not performing properly, as well as items that are beyond their useful lifespan or are unsafe. Inspections include areas of the home’s interior and exterior, from the roof to the foundation and the exterior drainage and retaining walls. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation. A home inspection is a limited visual inspection to determine problems or conditions that exist at the time of the inspection. A home inspection is not a warranty. 

The purchase of a home is one of the largest purchases you will make. It is important that you know as much as possible about this purchase. A home inspector is trained to be able to evaluate the home in detail and give you a report that will allow you to make an informed decision about purchasing the home. An inspection report will describe the home in detail and will highlight the areas that are potential problems. A home inspection is a good idea even if you are already a homeowner.

We all get physical checkups – why not give your home a checkup? Many homeowners are living in homes that may have serious problems that, if identified early, can save considerable repair costs. Water leaks can cause serious and costly problems, but if they are caught early can be repaired at little cost. A home inspection will also give you an outline of the routine maintenance that needs to be done to the home. Home sellers will want an inspection to find problems that a buyer’s inspection would have found. The seller can then make the repairs prior to the home going on the market.

The Home Inspector’s report will review the condition of the home’s heating & cooling system, plumbing, electrical system, as well as the roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, landscaping, and visible structure. 

Each home inspection company has their own pricing structure, and fees vary across the country. At Mapstone Inspection Services we have an established fee schedule that is based on the type, size, age, and additional features of the home/building (i.e. residences with a guest suite, more than one kitchen, a second garage or outbuilding, and other specific items). Our residential inspection fees range from $380 and up.

The cost of the inspection should not be the only consideration for hiring an inspector. Hiring a professional home inspector to perform a quality home inspection, informing you of all the potential problems in a home, is worth the money. A bargain inspector may give you an inferior report and refrain from inspecting key structural components of the home, such as roofs, attics & crawl spaces, as a way to keep their prices low. But once you have purchased the home, it may be very costly to repair problems that were omitted from the inspection report. 

Most home buyers will look at a home that they want to purchase and look for reasons to purchase the home. The prospective home buyer is not able to look at the home with the unbiased critical eye of a home inspector. Even a home buyer with construction experience does not have the knowledge and tools of a home inspector. A good inspector is trained and experienced in finding the clues in a home that indicate problems. These clues are sometimes very subtle and hard to find. Most inspectors use tools that help them determine problems. Most inspectors have performed hundreds of inspections, and they are familiar with problems with certain building materials or building styles.

When purchasing a home you will want to have the home inspected within a few days after the purchase agreement is signed. You want to make sure you have a clause in your purchase agreement that allows you to have an inspection and that you have the right to terminate the agreement if you find the home in unsatisfactory condition. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

We recommend that you are present at the inspection. Most inspectors will allow you to be there and ask questions after the inspection is completed. Most inspectors will point out the areas that are potential problems. This is important because you will be able to see for yourself the extent of problems that are sometimes hard for an inspector to convey in a report. Most inspectors will also show you how the heating system works and show you what things will need to be maintained in order to keep the home in good condition.

Almost all homes will show problems. Even newly constructed homes will have problems noted on an inspection report. This is why we recommend an inspection, even for new construction. Your inspector will be able to identify problems, both major and minor, that will be costly. Minor problems are to be expected and can be repaired after closing. Major problems may require a negotiation between the buyer and the seller as to how to fix the problems. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If the problems are costly, you will be able to make your decision about purchasing the home with the proper knowledge about the future cost of that home.

Schedule an Appointment

Contact Mapstone Inspection Services today! We’ll provide you with an unbiased report and the peace of mind that comes with knowing. 

Our service area includes all of Southwest Washington, and appointments can be made on evenings and weekends to accommodate any schedule.