City of Oaks Home Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Inspector About the Inspection About the Report

The Answers

Are you a licensed Home Inspector?
Yes, I am licensed by the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board that is chartered to safeguard the public health, safety, and welfare - protect the public from being harmed by unqualified persons by regulating the use of the title "Licensed Home Inspector" and by providing for the licensure and regulation of those who perform home inspections for compensation.

Are you licensed by the State of North Carolina?
Yes, I am licensed the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensure Board

What is a Home Inspector?
A Home Inspector is a qualified assessment of all the components of a residential home such as the structural integrity, plumbing, electrical, HVAC system, and safety of the home for its occupants.

Are you part of a national chain or franchise for home inspectors?
No, I am a locally-owned small business. This allows me to give friendly, individualized attention to your home inspection needs.

Do you work for a real estate agent?
No, I am an independent home inspector. I work for you, the client, and my Report is not influenced by others who have an interest in your real estate transaction. Real estate agents often make referrals to home inspectors as a courtesy to you, the client. But the home inspector does not work for the real estate agent or company, and you are free to use the home inspector that you choose.

Are you a member of the local Realtors Association?
I have chosen not to be an affiliate of the Realtors Association. I do this to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Inspectors need to remain objective and independent of the real estate agents or brokers involved in a sale. Although I cooperate with Realtors in many ways before and after the inspection, my responsibility is to serve you, the client. Since I am not a Realtors Association member, I do not use specific Realtor tools, such as the Supra electronic lock box key, or the detailed MLS information about your property.

How long have you been inspecting homes?
I have been inspecting homes since 2003.  And I have worked in the residential remodeling business as a licensed general contractor for the state of North Carolina.

What training have you had for home inspections?
I have completed over 700 home inspections since I have been in the home inspection business.  This has given me experience that works for you when I am called on to perform a home inspection.  I am also a licensed general contractor that gives you the background knowledge of the North Carolina Residential Building Codes.

What if I'm not happy with your service?
If a client believes City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC is liable for issues arising out of the inspection, the client shall communicate said issues in writing to City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC within ten business days of the inspection. I will make every attempt to correct the problem.  If the issues can't be resolved between the parties, both parties agree to binding arbitration in accordance with American Arbitration Association rules.  Arbitration shall be conducted by an arbitrator that is a full-time building inspector with at least six years experience as a building inspector.  The inspection will be judged in accordance with NCHILIB Standards of practice.

Why can't I just have someone in my family, or a friend, take a look at the house for me?
Your family member, or friend, may be very handy. They may even be a contractor. However, they are not trained and experienced in looking for unsuspected items and problems in homes. In fact, many contractors hire a Home Inspector when they are about to purchase a home.

Do I need an engineer to do my home inspection?
In most cases you do not need an engineer. In fact, most engineers are specialists, and they do not have the overall knowledge and training to do a complete home inspection. In rare instances, an engineer may be needed to inspect a system in your home, if that system is not standard or typical.

Why should I get an Inspection, when I'm going to need an Appraisal anyway?
An Inspection is different than an Appraisal. An Inspection describes the physical condition of the home, so that the customer can make an informed decision. An Appraisal estimates the value or cost of the home, based on recent sales in the neighborhood. An Appraisal does not describe the home's condition, except in very general terms.

Why do I need an inspection for a newly built home, since the county building inspector has already looked at it?
Did you know that many county building inspectors see up to 30 new houses a day? That's only about 15 minutes at each site. That's not enough time to notice the detailed items that make such a difference in a new home.

Why do I need an inspection, since my newly built home has a warranty? And what do I do after the new home warranty ends?
Your warranty usually begins on the date of purchase (closing). It gives peace of mind to know that the warranty items have all been inspected, so that you should not have to worry about getting items corrected after moving in. All new construction inspections from City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC include a follow-up inspection two months before the end of your warranty. Any items that need correction before the warranty expires will be inspected so that you can exercise your warranty rights.

How much will the Inspection cost?
Your Inspection will cost between $240 and $500, depending on the size and location of your property. Please refer to the Price List contained on this website.

What is an Inspection Objection?
The buyer has the right to object to a real estate contract if the condition of the property is unsatisfactory. In the current

How soon can you schedule an Inspection?
An Inspection can usually be scheduled within 3 to 4 days.

Which components of the home will be inspected?
A full Inspection includes the grounds, exterior, structural components, foundation, roof, attic, insulation, plumbing, electrical, heating/AC, garage, kitchen, bathrooms, and other interior rooms.

What if the house is vacant?
If the house is not occupied, then the utilties may be off. You can check with your real estate agent to find out if that's the case. Working utilities are a normal part of presenting the house and making it available for Inspection. In many cases the seller can arrange for utilities to be available for Inspection. If for some reason the utilities are not available, please notify me prior to the Inspection. I can make those arrangements for a $50 fee, plus any actual charges made by the utility companies. And remember that the pilot lights need to be lit for any gas appliances, prior to the Inspection.

What if the house is being sold "as is"?
When the listing for a house states that it is being sold "as is," then the seller is not willing to make any repairs to the house. This makes it very important for you to have a thorough Inspection, so that you know the condition of the property. It may still possible to negotiate the price with the seller, although the seller is under no obligation to negotiate. Be sure to talk with your real estate agent about any "as is" property.

Will the Inspection include the sewer line?
Since the buried sewer line is not visible, it is not part of a general Home Inspection. I recommend a separate Sewer Line Inspection. 

What if the plumbing has been winterized?
If a house is vacant during the winter, the seller will often have the plumbing system winterized. This means that the system has been drained and antifreeze has been added. Winterizing often includes loosening of various plumbing fittings. Because of this, one should not turn the water back on until the system has been de-winterized. De-winterizing is usually done by the same person who did the original winterizing. Make sure that the plumbing system has been de-winterized prior to the Inspection, so that it can be thoroughly inspected.

How can I find out if there are environmental concerns at my new home?
City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC offers five types of water and environmental sampling services. These optional services are not part of a standard home inspection. For more information, see Water Quality and Environmental Sampling.

Do you do mold testing or sampling?
No, I don't do mold testing or sampling. Since mold is a natural and common part of the environment, all houses have mold. If the mold is visible on a surface, then I recommend removing it. For non-visible mold, no EPA or other federal limits have been set for mold or mold spores, therefore sampling cannot be used to check a building's compliance with federal mold standards. If you are sensitive or allergic to mold, then surface or air sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be done by hygienist professionals, following methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).

Do you test for radon?
Yes, a Radon initial screening can be added to any home inspection for a fee of $125.00.  If this initial screening has lab results of 4.0 pCi/L or more, then you will be referred to a Radon service provider for advice about long-term testing or mitigation.  Please refer to EPA Government Web Site for Radon.

What is water quality sampling?
Water quality is determined by the presence or absence of contaminants in your drinking water. Please see Water Quality Sampling for a list of the tests included in the water quality sampling.

Will you be able to tell if my appliances have any safety issues or recalls?
Since there have been thousands of safety alerts and recalls, it won't be possible for me to identify and search for your particular appliances. If you are interested, you may want to search at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Do you inspect for termites?
Your Home Inspection does not include a visual inspection for termites. Since I do not provide licensed pest control services, I cannot give specific advice about termite treatments, nor can I make any guarantee or warranty about the presence of pests.  We recommend that a licensed pest inspector be hired for this service.

How long will the Inspection take?
An average Inspection takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the property.

Are customers welcome to attend the Inspection?
Yes, I encourage buyers to attend at least the last hour of the Inspection. This gives buyers a good opportunity to see the property in more detail while I am completing the Inspection. I also encourage buyers to ask questions at the end of the Inspection.

Will you tell me all about the house at the end of the Inspection?
Depending on time and circumstances, you may get a brief verbal summary at the end of your on-site Inspection. This brief summary includes the five basics of roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, and heating. The verbal summary does not include all of the details that are found in your written Report. You should not use the verbal summary for making decisions. Wait until you receive the written Report so that you may make informed decisions.

What is the difference between a standard inspection and a limited inspection?
A standard inspection follows the complete NCHILB Standards of Practice. All typical home inspections, new construction, sellers, and multi-family inspections are standard inspections. A limited inspection only follows those sections of the Standards of Practice that the client specifically requests. Investors inspections, draw, phase, 5-point, and single-system inspections are limited inspections. Limited inspections do not follow the complete Standards of Practice.

What is a Re-Inspection?
Clients of our home inspections may request that a follow up inspection be performed on items that were previously noted for repair by the original home inspection report.  All Preferred and Standard inspections may include one return visit within 45 days. If we have found something that needs to be repaired, and it gets repaired, you can ask me to return for that specific item or items. Some restrictions apply, so be sure to ask about the details. After 45 days, regular prices apply for re-inspections.
We charge a fee of $75.00 per hour to include the drive time to and from the residence and time to prepare the Re-Inspection report.

When will I receive my Inspection Report?
Your Inspection Report will typically be available online by 5:00 p.m. on the following day of the Inspection. I will give you a Code to enter at the City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC website. You will be able to read, print, or download your complete Report from any internet computer.

Can you give me an immediate on-site written report?
No, your report will not be written until I get back to my desk that evening. Some inspection services do offer "on-site reports," which are usually checklists with some comments added. I intentionally wait a while to write your report. That gives me time to step back and consider the house as a whole, putting its parts and concerns into perspective. It results in a higher quality report, with narrative descriptions, photos, and links to helpful websites.

Does the Report conform to national standards?
No, the Report does conform to the NCHILB Standards of Practice.

Will I pay for my Home Inspection on the date of closing for my new home? Does my Home Inspection payment come out of my escrow deposit?
No, Home Inspections are paid for at the time of the Inspection. The Inspection is a stand-alone item, separate from the closing for your new home. It has been arranged this way so that there will be no conflict of interest, and also because the Inspection must be paid for even if the closing is delayed or cancelled.

When do I pay for my Inspection?
All Inspections are pre-paid. Payment and signed Agreement are due on the date of the Inspection. Checks, cash, or credit cards are accepted at the Inspection site.  In return I will make your online Report available on the following day of the Inspection. Your written Report and verbal summary cannot be released until your payment and Agreement are received.  City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC  does not offer credit, or billing by invoice, or payment at closing (escrow).

What payment methods do you accept?
Cash, check, or credit card are welcome.  The option to use a credit card will appear in my confirmation e-mail for your Home Inspection.

Who will get a copy of the Report?
The Report is for you, the client. In the standard Home Inspection Agreement, you give the inspector permission to discuss observations with other interested parties. I would normally make a copy of the Report available to your own agent, if permission is granted by you.  However, if you prefer that I not share the Report with anyone else, just tell me and I will not share it.

Does my home comply with all of the current building codes and laws?
Since building codes and laws are different in each community, an Inspection cannot determine whether or not the house complies with the local codes.  You are paying for a Home Inspection only and not a building code inspection.

Does my Inspection Report cover the same information as the Sellers Disclosure?
The Sellers Disclosure is a separate item, where the sellers mention any concerns that they are aware of. The Inspector does not usually see the Sellers Disclosure, and it may contain different information than the Inspection Report. If something in the Disclosure catches your attention, you may ask the Inspector about it.

Is the seller required to fix the problems that my Inspection discovers?
Your Inspection may discover some previously unknown concerns. If the concerns require serious repairs (not upgrades), then you might negotiate with the seller about who will pay for which repairs.

What is deferred maintenance?
Deferred maintenance is the practice of allowing property to deteriorate by postponing prudent but non-essential repairs to save cost, labor and/or material. The failure to perform needed repair, maintenance, and renewal by normal maintenance management creates deferred maintenance. Generally, a policy of continuing deferred maintenance will result in higher costs or failure than if normal maintenance had occurred. This means that it is your responsibility as a homeowner to take good ongoing care of your property, or else it will typically cost you more in the long run.

What if the home fails the Inspection?
A Home Inspection is not meant to be "pass or fail." In addition, the Inspection is not a warranty or guarantee. Rather, the Inspection points out the current condition of the home.

Who do you recommend for repairs that might be needed on the property?
I do not make recommendations or referrals for home repairs. That could be a conflict of interest, and I only want to serve you, the customer.  If both parties of the residence agree City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC can be hired to perform the needed repairs to the property.  A signed agreement is needed for this service.

What if my contractor disagrees with a recommendation that was made in the Inspection Report?
Be sure to choose a licensed contractor who is qualified for the specific work you need done. If the contractor disagrees with the recommendation, you should ask the contractor to put his response in writing and sign it.  This way you can make an informed decision without feeling rushed into a verbal agreement. You may also want to get another opinion before you finalize your decision.

How much will my repairs cost?
Since prices for labor and for materials are constantly changing, I don't know how much repairs will cost you. However, there are two ways you can readily find out. First, you can call three specialists to give you an estimate. Don't necessarily choose the least expensive estimate, because you will want to consider quality as well as price. Remember that in most cases these are just estimates, until the specialist actually gets started on the project and sees all of its details.

What if I have questions after the Inspection?
Please call and ask questions, or send an e-mail if that is more convenient. You are welcome to discuss any aspect of your new home, even after the Inspection and after closing on the property.

What if my home needs to be re-inspected?
If repairs or changes have been made to the home, I will re-inspect it once within 60 days of the original Inspection. Refer to the Price List for the cost, if any, then give me a call. 

How long is the Inspection Report good for?  When does the Report expire?
Your Inspection Report describes the home's condition as it was found on the day of the Inspection. Conditions can change daily due to ongoing use, deferred maintenance, and environmental circumstances. Because of these changing conditions, the Report can become outdated quickly. 

What if I find a new concern that is not listed in the Report?
Between the time of the Inspection and your occupancy, the home's condition can change. And some problems can only be discovered by living in the house - some problems just cannot be discovered during the short time of a home inspection. Some problems are intermittent, some are concealed, and some have no visible clues. I recommend that you do a thorough walk-through of the home, with your realtor, on the day of your closing. This walk-through can help you identify concerns that may have come up since the day of your Inspection.

Can other people use my Report?
If you do not purchase this property, then this Report expires on the date that the purchase contract expires or is cancelled. If you like, you may allow others to read your Report as a part of your informed decision-making about your purchase. You are not authorized to pass your Report on to other potential buyers, or to other real estate agents.

                                             2008, City of Oaks Home Inspections and General Contracting, LLC.