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  • Writer's picturePatrick Crooks

What is Not Included in a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a crucial step in the home-buying process, but it's important to understand its limitations. There are certain aspects of a property that are typically not included in a standard home inspection. Here are some common elements that a home inspection does not cover:

  1. Invasive or Destructive Testing: Home inspectors do not perform invasive or destructive testing, which means they won't open walls, tear up flooring, or otherwise damage the property to assess hidden issues. They rely on visual and non-invasive methods.

  2. Environmental Testing: Most standard home inspections do not include testing for environmental issues such as radon, asbestos, lead-based paint, mold, or water quality. Specialized professionals may be needed for these tests.

  3. Pest Inspections: While a home inspector may identify signs of pest infestations, a separate pest inspection is typically required to assess the presence and extent of pests, such as termites or rodents.

  4. Property Appraisal: A home inspection does not determine the market value of the property. This is the role of an appraiser, who assesses the property's value based on various factors.

  5. Code Compliance: Home inspectors do not check if the property complies with local building codes. They evaluate the property based on safety and condition but do not assess code compliance.

  6. Warranties and Recalls: Home inspectors do not assess the status of warranties on appliances or systems nor do they verify whether any appliances or systems have been recalled.

  7. Predictive Maintenance: Home inspectors provide information about the current condition of the property but do not predict future issues that may arise with the systems or components.

  8. Cosmetic Issues: While visible issues related to paint, wallpaper, or other cosmetic elements may be noted, home inspectors primarily focus on the structural, mechanical, and safety aspects of the property.

  9. Underground Utilities: Inspectors do not assess underground utilities such as septic systems, sewer lines, or buried oil tanks, unless specified in the inspection agreement.

  10. Personal Property: Home inspections are concerned with the property itself, not personal belongings. Items like furniture, appliances, and the seller's personal possessions are not part of the inspection.

  11. Future Potential Problems: Inspectors do not predict potential future problems or issues that may arise, as the inspection focuses on the property's current condition.

Keep in mind that while these aspects are generally not included in a standard home inspection, you can choose to request additional services or inspections for some of these areas. For example, you may hire specialists for environmental testing or consult with relevant professionals for specific concerns. Understanding what a home inspection covers and what it does not will help you make informed decisions during the home-buying process.

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