Debunking Home Inspection Myths

There are a number of myths floating around about home inspections and what home inspectors can or cannot do. We’re here to debunk the myths for you so you have accurate information for your home inspection.

Myth #1 – A home inspector can advise you whether or not to buy the home.
This is outside the job description of the home inspector. Their job is to assess the safety, operations and structural integrity of the home and tell you as much as possible about the home. However, they cannot tell you whether or not to buy it. Different buyers and sellers are willing to make different arrangements for any serious issues found during the inspection. If you have concerns about whether to buy, those are best discussed with your agent.

Myth #2 – A home inspection and an appraisal are the same thing.
A home inspection assesses the safety, operations and structural integrity of the home and components in the home. They don’t make any statements or assessments on the value of the home itself. An appraiser assesses the home’s value. They have two completely different purposes.

Myth #3 – A home inspector can tell you every single thing that is possibly wrong with the home.
Home inspectors are limited to a visual inspection along with a small set of tools such as electrical meter, moisture meter and some use thermal imaging. Issues behind furniture and inside walls are typically outside of the inspector’s view as they cannot move furniture or open up walls during an inspection. Even if they use thermal imaging, there can be issues an inspector just won’t find due to visibility or type of issue.

Myth #4 – Brand new houses don’t need a home inspection.
Faulty construction is a common issue with newly built homes so even a brand new home needs a home inspection. Waiving the inspection can result in surprise problems that end up being costly for the homeowner later. Flipped homes also need to be inspected as well. Especially considering some house flippers will cut corners that impact safety to save budget or time.

Myth #5 – Home inspectors can tell you what will happen in the future.
A home inspector is reviewing a home at a specific point in time. While they can tell you information about the age and average lifespan of different components in the home, they cannot predict when items will need replacing unless they’re broken or malfunctioning and need immediate replacement when the inspection takes place.

Myth #6 – It doesn’t matter which home inspector you hire.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You want to choose a properly trained and licensed inspector (not all states require licenses) who also has a good amount of experience in the field, also possibly including experience in roofing or construction. Expertise matters and can make the difference in knowing all you can about the home you’re interested in buying.

These 6 myths are some of the most common myths out there about home inspections and inspectors. We want you to have the most accurate information so you know what to expect during your home inspection. We hope that debunking these myths helps you know what your inspector can and cannot do or find out for you.