What to expect from a professional home inspection

A home inspection is a visual inspection of a house and its components. The components include the roof, the siding, doors, windows, the framing, the foundation, drainage, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, chimneys, interior living spaces, built-in appliances, ventilation, insulation, crawl spaces, attic spaces and in some instances, depending on the inspection company, an evaluation is made for wood destroying insects and fungi. Built-in appliances and plumbing fixtures are evaluated.

The home inspection should give the client a clear idea of the present condition of the property--it's informational only, for the benefit of the client, and is not a compliance inspection with regard to any law or statute. The information is for the benefit of the client and may not, as per Oregon Statute, be shared with anyone not designated by the client.

At the time of this writing the State of Oregon certifies home inspectors who have passed a series of tests designed to reflect the minimum competence needed in the profession. There are some inspectors who have been deemed exempt from current home inspector licensing laws by virtue of past political negotiation resulting in legislative mandate.

The reality for consumers in the State of Oregon is that insurance requirements and regulation provide very minimal protection. Inspector certification is not a guarantee of experience or quality. Consumers should check references and credentials of all inspectors before hiring.

The home inspection is not a warranty. At the time of this writing, such warranty companies are prohibited from operating in the State of Oregon. Individual inspectors may offer warranties, but the details should be thoroughly understood before relying on them in a business decision.

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