What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of a residential structure that includes a report on the conditions and deficiencies of the systems in a home. The inspection report that follows includes a description of the existing conditions and systems, as well as the urgency or severity of any of these items.
The Oregon Construction Contractor’s Board provides this pamphlet for more information about home inspectors and choosing one that is right for you.

Who needs a home inspection? Why should I get one?

Anyone who is considering the purchase of a particular home or anyone who is selling their home should consider a having a home inspection.

Home buyers should have an inspection to determine the general conditions of the home and to find any defects maintenance and/or safety issues that could otherwise result in future expenses or safety problems. These issues can cost anywhere from $2 to $20,000 or more per defect, depending on the kind of defect and how extensive it is. Armed with the knowledge of the home’s defects and their costs, the buyer is in a powerful position to negotiate repairs, or even re-negotiate the closing terms.

Sellers of homes may consider pre-sale inspections to find any deficiencies, repairs or unsafe conditions early on. The sellers can address these issues before they put the home on the market or simply be sure there are no surprises when the home is inspected by potential buyers.

How much does a home inspection cost?

The cost of a home inspection varies, depending on the size and condition of the home. A small studio condo can cost as little as $275. An inspection for an average-sized home costs approximately $450-$550. There may be an additional fee for fixers, bank owned, cash only or distressed properties. Call me for a quote! I’m not the cheapest inspector around, but I’m definitely not the most expensive. My reports are more detailed than most (I’m type A), so the value is higher than the average inspection.

How long does an inspection take?

A home inspection can take two to five+ hours, depending on the size and complexity of the home. The average size home takes approximately 2.5-3 hours.

Do I have to be there for the inspection?

Due to COVID-19, I am limiting the number of people inside the home at the same time as me. For the most part, a buyer and the real estate agent may be (masked) indoors with me, but I am hesitant about allowing more adults. Contact me to evaluate your situation! I do a (virtual) slideshow summary later in the day after the inspection, so you can be sure that all your questions will be answered and you’ll have a summary of the big things on the same day as the inspection.

How does a home inspection work?

After you hire Home Gnome, your inspector comes to the home and inspect the property and systems.

Home Gnome will deliver a personalized report later (usually that same day) on the condition of the home, complete with color photos, notes on the systems within the home, and data and recommendations about any issues found. (My reports are usually about 28 pages for a single family home.) Your report will highlight those issues that need immediate attention, need to be monitored, or are a safety concern. The data in your report is a powerful tool in helping you make an informed decision on your home purchase. Armed with the report, you may be in a position to negotiate with the seller and/or know what needs to be fixed once you move in. You know what you are purchasing by getting the home inspected! Contact me to request a sample report.

What is included in the inspection?

Home inspectors are required by law to observe and report on the condition, at the time of the inspection, of the following readily accessible and visible systems and components:

  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Insulation & Ventilation
  • Roofing
  • Structure
  • Exterior (Siding, Site)
  • Interior
  • Attics & Crawlspaces

Access to and safety of inspecting some of these items may be limited, and I note this in my reports. I encourage buyers, sellers and real estate agents to prepare for an inspection by reading Inspecting with Home Gnome.

The following are some of the things that are not included in a standard inspection:

  • Pools, Spas, saunas and recreational facilities
  • Soil or geological conditions
  • Vegetation & fences
  • Fire suppression & irrigation systems
  • Security & telephone systems
  • Outbuildings that are not a garage
  • Generators
  • PV/Solar arrays

Is there anything you don’t inspect?

Yes. In addition to the exclusions set forth by the Oregon CCB, I do not inspect rural properties, log homes, manufactured homes, barns, septic systems and well systems.

Do you wear a funny hat when you inspect?

No. Any other questions?

What forms of payment do you accept?

I mostly use/prefer Venmo. I also accept cash, checks, and can use Square.

How do I get started?

Visit Let’s Get Started or call/text 503-913-1281. I look forward to telling your home’s story!