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Asheville Real Estate

Home Inspection.....

For a shorter PDF version of this page for download or printing, go here.

Asheville Real Estate: Home Inspections and Inspectors

The inspection of a property is a very important step in the home buying process. It is the best way to find out exactly what is wrong, or right, with the home. It may seem that the cost of a home inspection is just another bothersome expense involved in purchasing a home. However, the value is unsurpassed. The cost of an inspection is a small price to pay for peace of mind about your purchase.

The home inspection industry has grown rapidly in recent years. This is partially because of changes in disclosure laws. Another reason is that real estate professionals frequently recommend that a home inspection be performed on properties under contract. But even more often, home buyers see the need for an objective expert to look beyond the paint and finishes and thoroughly inspect the major systems of the home they plan to purchase.  

Many prospective buyers hire professional home inspectors, residential architects, structural engineers, or building contractors to visually assess the condition of the structure and installed systems of a home before closing the deal. The important point to remember is to hire an expert who is familiar with the type of home to be inspected, and who has the practical experience and technical knowledge to assess the condition of the house. No house or condominium will ever "pass" or "fail" this type of inspection.   Rather, it is designed to educate the buyer about the condition of the property.

If the inspector finds evidence that repairs are needed, the buyer may be able to negotiate to have the work done by the seller, or lower the price of the home based on the cost of the repairs. An inspector, ideally, is an impartial examiner. He, or she, is not hired to give opinions as to whether or not to buy the property, estimates about the value of the home, or suggestions on who to hire for repair work.

The home inspector should not be confused with the local building inspector, the real estate broker’s inspector, the appraiser, or the pest control inspector. It is also important to keep in mind that the inspector is hired to represent the buyer and to inform the buyer about the physical condition of the property. It is the buyers’ chance to get objective information about the house which may become their home.


Questions and Answers on  HOME  INSPECTIONS

For most persons, purchasing a home is the largest investment they will ever make. It is no wonder then that many homebuyers employ professionals to inspect the structural and mechanical systems of the home and report to them on their condition. Sometimes sellers also employ Home Inspectors to alert them to problems with their homes which could arise later in the transaction. But normally Home Inspectors are employed by buyers.

The following Q&A section is written from the viewpoint of the potential homebuyer, and is the joint publication of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission designed to give consumers a better understanding of the home inspection process. What a home inspection is, who can perform an inspection and what to expect. If you have further questions regarding home inspections and Home Inspectors, you should contact the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board, 322 Chapanoke Road, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27603 919/662-4480.

Q: What is a home inspection?

A: It is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing system, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (usually a homebuyer) a better understanding of their condition. It is also important to know what a home inspection is not! It is not an appraisal of the property’s value; nor should you expect it to address the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) or protect you in the event an item inspected fails in the future. [Note: Warranties can be purchased to cover many items.]  Nor should it be considered a "technically exhaustive" evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.

Q: Can anyone perform a home inspection?

A: No. Only persons licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board are permitted to perform home inspections for compensation. To qualify for licensure, they must satisfy certain education and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. Their inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Q: Why should I have the home inspected?

A: Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill and emotional detachment needed to inspect homes themselves. By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, they can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not "function as intended" or "adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling" or "warrant further investigation" by a person who specializes in the item in question.

Q: In my home purchase I have chosen to sign the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract* form which many real estate and legal professionals use. It states that I have the right to have the home inspected and the right to request that the seller repair  identified problems with the home. Will the home inspection identify all of these problems?  *Jointly approved and copyrighted by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and the North Carolina Bar Association.

A: Yes and No. Home Inspectors typically evaluate structural components (floors, walls, roofs, chimneys, foundations, etc.), mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning), installed appliances and other major components of the property. The Home Inspector Licensure Board’s Standards of Practice do not require Home Inspectors to report on: wood-destroying insects, environmental contamination, pools and spas, detached structures and certain other items listed in the Offer to Purchase and Contract form. Always ask the Home Inspector if he covers all the things which are important to you. If not, it is your responsibility to arrange for an inspection of these items by the appropriate professionals. For a description of the services to be provided by the Home Inspector (and their cost), you should read carefully the written contract which the Home Inspector must give you and which you must sign before the Home Inspection can be performed.

How do I request a home inspection, and who will pay for it?

A: You can arrange for the home inspection or ask your real estate agent to assist you. Unless you otherwise agree, you will be responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections. If the inspection is to be performed after you have signed the purchase contract, be sure to schedule the inspection as soon as possible to allow adequate time for any repairs to be performed.

Q: Should I be present when the home inspection is performed?

A: Whenever possible, you should be present. The inspector can review with you the results of the inspection and point out any problems found. Usually the inspection of the home can be completed in two to three hours (the time can vary depending upon the size and age of the dwelling). The Home Inspector must give you a written report of the home inspection within three business days after the inspection is performed (unless otherwise stated in your contract with the Home Inspector). The home inspection report is your property. The Home Inspector may only give it to you and may not share it with other persons without your permission.

Q: Are all inspection reports the same?

A: No. While the Home Inspector Licensure Board has established a minimum requirement for report-writing, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a "checklist" of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two. Home Inspectors are required to give you a written "Summary" of their inspection identifying any system or component that does not function as intended, or adversely affects the habitability of the dwelling, or appears to warrant further investigation by a specialist. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not read only the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire home inspection report.

Q: What should I do if I feel something has been missed on the inspection?

A: Before any repairs are made (except emergency repairs), call the inspector or inspection company to discuss the problem. Many times a "trip charge" can be saved by explaining the problem to the inspector who can answer the question over the telephone. This also gives the inspector a chance to promptly handle any problems that may have been overlooked in the inspection.

Q: If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, may I have the Home Inspector perform a "re-inspection"?

A: Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. The inspector may be able to help you evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made. Some Home Inspectors charge a fee for re-inspections.

To download a PDF Brochure on the Q&A section just covered, go here.


Top 10 Reasons for Real Estate/Property/House Inspections.

So, you think you know everything there is to know about the legal description of your property. If you had to, you could dig up that old plat and calculate precisely where your property begins and ends. And you know exactly who has a right to come onto your property and why.

If that's true, you're one step ahead of most property owners. Most people seek out the expertise of a professional surveyor to settle common property description issues before they become problems. And in addition to a professional survey, many people seek other specific certifications such as an environmental certification, a zoning opinion letter, or a flood plain classification from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Following are some common reasons property owners hire a surveyor.


One of the most common reasons a landowner seeks the assistance of a surveyor, the location of boundary lines and other lines of occupancy or possession is a critical piece of information to have before you build a fence, add a sunroom or pave your driveway. All too often the survey shows that you and your neighbors were operating under the wrong assumption about the placement of the boundary line between your properties. Before you have that fence erected, you want to make sure it will be built on your property, not your neighbor's. The boundary line certification will also tell you whether the legal description of your property is accurate.


Part of the boundary line certification, most surveys include a statement that unless the surveys says otherwise, there are no discrepancies between the boundary lines of your property and the adjoining property. This is especially pertinent if your property is continuous with alleys, roads, highways, or streets.


A survey will show all the conditions imposed by law that are reflected in your property's title report and other agreements. If your property blocks your neighbor's access to the road, for example, there may be an old agreement that gives your neighbor the right to walk across your yard to the street.


The typical survey reports visible or surface waters only. Underground waters and wetlands are topics that are better covered by other professional inspections.


Unbeknownst to you or your next-door neighbor, you may have an obligation by law to support your neighbor's driveway by maintaining your own.


The surveyor will usually certify that the buildings and other improvements, alterations, and repairs to your property that exist at the time of the survey are not in violation of laws or other restrictions such as those regarding height, bulk, dimension, frontage, building lines, set-backs, and parking. Of course, the surveyor will also tell you if your latest improvement is in violation of a local ordinance or other law, which will put you on notice that a change is in order.


Poles and above-ground wires are obvious, but the surveyor can usually report on the existence of underground cables and drains, as well, if the information is provided to him or her by your utility companies and municipality. Such information is important for two reasons. A utility company may have the right to use a portion of your property for upkeep of utility lines, and may have a say in how tall you let your trees grow, for instance. Also, knowing the exact location of underground utilities is critical before any excavation or construction begins.


It is unlikely that unbeknownst to you there is an old family burial ground in your back yard. The survey will show the exact location of any old cemeteries on your plat.


Your survey should state, at a minimum, whether there is physical vehicular ingress and egress to an open public street. It may also specify the adequacy of access for a particular purpose, such as delivery trucks, emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, and driveways for tenants.


You probably know whether your property is zoned for residential or light industrial use. But you may be surprised to discover that your zoning classification puts specific restrictions on how you use your property. This part of the survey simply reports your zoning jurisdiction and classification. Once you have your completed and certified survey, you may want to consult an attorney about whether you are using your property in conformance with zoning ordinances or for other advice about the legal ramifications of your property survey.

What can I expect from a Professional Home Inspection?

• The job of a professional inspector is to look over every major part of a home, and write a report that judges the home quality and condition.

• A well-qualified home inspector can spot problems that you might not be able to see or get to. In order to better understand the report and not receive the information secondhand, it is wise to accompany the inspector on the inspection.

• Expect problems to be clearly explained, repair expenses closely calculated, maintenance costs estimated, and a written report delivered within a day or two. Remember you are buying a resale home: the price reflects the fact that nothing is new.


What is the territory covered by the inspection?


1. Foundation (for holes, cracks)

2. Gutter and Down spouts (for gaps in joints, sagging)

3. Siding (for warp)

4. Paint (for peeling, blistering)

5. Windows and doors (for cracks, loose caulking)

6. Roof (for worn or bald spots)

7. Chimney (for tilting, loose bricks or stones)

8. Driveway, retaining walls and walks (for holes, sagging, cracks)

9. Grounds (for proper grading and healthy landscaping).


1. Electrical system (for age, condition, adequacy of voltage and outlets, proper grounding, signs of wear)

2. Plumbing system (for condition of pipes and fixtures, leaks, clogging)

3. Insulation in walls, attic and basement (for thickness and efficiency)

4. Heating/Cooling system(s) (for condition and capacity)

5. Floors and stairs (for squeaking, shaking, bowing)

6. General structure (for soundness, rot)

7. Walls (for cracks, loose plaster, signs of leakage)

8. Kitchen (age and condition of appliances and plumbing).

How much is a Home Inspection?

• Usually between $200- $250 depending on the square footage of the house.

   Fees may be higher if house is over 2500 sq. ft.


Home Inspectors

Doug Garretson-Licensed Home Inspector

Abacus Home Inspections

5 Rollingwood Road

Asheville, NC 28805

Office: (828) 232-1704

Fax: (828) 232-1703


John Cloyd-Licensed Home Inspector

Pillar to Post: Go to Website

34 Sweetwater Valley Court

Hendersonville, NC 28791

Office: (828) 275-6787

Fax: (828) 890-3077

Home: (828) 891-5013

E-mail: [email protected]


Rod Johnson - Licensed Home Inspector

Home Team Inspections.

P.O. Box 6525

Asheville, NC 28816

Office: (828) 254-0691 or (828) 253-7013

Fax: (828) 254-5412


Remember: Buying and selling a luxury home will necessitate a Home Inspection whether its finding that special piece of Asheville Real Estate with Kathleen Blanchette, a fully licensed Asheville Real Estate Broker and Realtor, is a comprehensive and thoroughly professional experience in buying and selling Asheville Real Estate throughout the Blueridge and Smokey Mountains, where efficiency, personal regard and concierge services are guaranteed every step of the way.  Keeping the Tradition of Integrity..., and a Reputation for Results! 

Home Inspections are necessary, for whatever house you decide upon, and whether its a North Carolina luxury home in Vista at Riverbank in Polk County, or your own Private Mountain Estate in one of our uniquely designed plush Golfing Communities, Exclusive Gated Communities, Active Adult Communities, surrounding Lake Communities, or a great Condominium, Loft or Townhome, all of Greater Asheville and Hendersonville Luxury Homes are within reach with Kathleen Blanchette.  Feel Free to browse the entire website of all available Greater Asheville Real Estate MLS and Western North Carolina MLS, for all Asheville Real Estate Properties, Land Acreage, Horse farms, Investment Properties, Commercial Real Estate, New Home Plans, as well as handy relocation and moving calculators, tips for buying and selling a house, city and school reports, and more.  Just call us when you're ready to move ahead! 

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Disclaimer: All Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity Program of Western North Carolina Regional MLS, and respectfully includes the Asheville Board of Realtors, the Hendersonville Board of Realtors, the Brevard Board of Realtors among other professional boards which together govern, maintain and update all listed Real Estate in Western North Carolina and the surrounding 13 geographical counties. So governed, the accuracy of all information, regardless of source, including but not limited to square footages and lot sizes, is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified through personal inspection by and/or with the appropriate professionals. All information presented on this website may change as data is updated on a 24 hour basis.  Users are directed to refresh pages from their own browser to ensure the most accurate information published is made available to them.  For all your Real Estate needs go to:  Asheville Real Estate  For more information and accuracy, contact Kathleen Blanchette directly.

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