What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. A home inspection is the equivalent of a physical examination from your doctor. When problems or symptoms of problems are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation or remedies.
A professional inspection covers the exposed and accessible components of the major systems and structural aspects of the building. These include Foundations, Structure, Roof, Heating and Air Conditioning, Electrical, Plumbing, Kitchen, Bathrooms, as well as Interior and Exterior surfaces.
The inspection is designed to help you understand the present systems and components and their condition. Our company offers repair and/or upgrade recommendations, cost estimates, and advised maintainance to ensure maximum service life.
Some conditions will be relatively easy to observe and evaluate. Items which are beyond the scope of our inspection or expertise will require further evaluation by specially qualified experts.
We provide our clients with a full narrative report including pictures that is tailored to each building inspected.

What We Inspect

Single-Family Residences

A single-family home is generally a freestanding structure not attached to, or sharing utilities with, another housing unit.

Multi-Family Buildings

A multi-family property is a building which houses multiple reisidences in separate units. Apartments, duplexes, quadruplexes, and townhomes qualify as multifamily housing. The building may be owned by an individual, an entity, or by individuals who have purchased units.

Commercial Buildings

Commercial property refers to real estate property that is used for business activities. Commercial property usually refers to buildings that house businesses, as well as larger residential rental properties.

Who Needs a Home Inspection?

Buyers

The prospective purchaser is entitled to know the true condition of the home considered for purchase. It is important that an account of any needed repairs and cost estimates be considered in order to make an informed decision.

Sellers

Unknown defects to the seller often lead to delays and added negotiations in a real estate transaction. Accurate disclosure regarding the condition of the property will increase the likelihood of a successful close of escrow.

Owners

A systematic evaluation of the home with documentation of findings can be used to troubleshoot problems and develop a repair and maintenance strategy. This will help to extend the life of the systems and components in the home and remedy items before they become a major expense.

What is Needed for the Inspection

Prior to inspection, make sure that the following items are operable and/or accessible:

Utilities: Water, Electricity, and Gas should all be on at the time of inspection.
Doors: All exterior and interior doors should be unlocked and accessible.
Attic: Attic doors and/or hatches should be unlocked and accessible. Remove any stored items which could restrict or hinder access to the attic.
Gas Appliances: Be sure all heating systems and water heaters are operational. Pilot lights should always be lit. If pilot lights are not lit and/or valves are off, the inspector will be unable to properly inspect the operation of the appliances they serve.

These preparations will make the process easier for the inspector and less time consuming and disruptive for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the question to reveal the answer

What does a home inspection include?
A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the subject home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, and the visible structures of the home.
Keep in mind that a home inspection is not intended to point out every small problem or invisible/latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional.
Why do I need a home inspection?
A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future. Buyers and sellers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent decisions before executing an agreement for sale or purchase.
For homeowners, an inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn about preventive measures, which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, an inspection prior to placing your home on the market provides a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and provides you an opportunity to make repairs that will make your home more desirable to potential buyers.
What will it cost?
Inspection fees for a typical single family home vary by geography, size and features of the property, and age of the home. Additionally, services such as pool inspections and mold testing may be warranted depending upon the individual property.
Do not let the cost deter you from having a home inspection or selecting an inspector you are comfortable with - knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the time and expense. The lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration in your selection.
Can I inspect it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge and training to make an unbiased and informed report of the condition of a property. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. An inspector understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail and knows what to look for and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.
Most buyers find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information about the condition of a home, always obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement.
When do I call the home inspector?
Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed.
Do I have to be there?
While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join the inspector for the duration of their visit or at least toward the end of the inspection. This allows you to observe the inspector, receive the report, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property with the inspector, you will find the written report easier to understand.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. His findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Yes. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. From the inspection, you will have learned many things about your new home, and will want to keep that information for future reference.
What is the Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors?
The Louisiana State Board of Home Inspectors (LSBHI) offers assistance to home buyers, sellers, real estate professionals and licensed inspectors to assure that home inspection transactions are conducted properly, equitably and under the rules and regulations set forth by the State of Louisiana, as well as the official Standards of Practice of LSBHI.
LSBHI's mission as a State agency is also to protect consumers from illegal home inspection transactions; to provide for the licensing and availability of competent home inspection professionals; and to encourage a robust economic climate that will enhance home ownership and property investment.
Property buyers, sellers and real estate agents should make certain that the home inspection professionals with whom they deal are legally qualified to offer services, and that those professionals are fully licensed by the LSBHI.