The process of buying a home is unlike any experience most prospective buyers have ever had. After finding a home they like and reaching an agreement on a price with the seller, buyers can expect to add many items to their to-do lists. One of the first things on that list is scheduling a home inspection.

Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying process. Such inspections can protect buyers as they make one of the most significant investments of their lives. Understanding the process can help buyers during this exciting but potentially nerve-wracking time.

What is a home inspection?

The American Society of Home Inspectors defines a home inspection as an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house. Inspectors conduct visual examinations from the roof to the foundation of the home. Additional structures on the property, such as sheds or detached outdoor living areas, are not typically included in the examination.

What do inspectors examine?

The home inspectors society notes that inspectors will examine the condition of various parts of the home, including the heating system, central air conditioning unit, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof (though inspectors will not climb onto the roof), attic and insulation. Inspectors also will examine walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation of the home, basement (or crawl space) and structural components.

Can a home fail inspection?

A home cannot fail an inspection, which is simply an assessment of its existing condition. Municipal inspections are separate inspections conducted by government agencies to verify that a property is in compliance with local codes. Home inspectors will provide detailed reports describing the condition of a home and indicate if any repairs are in order.

Do I really need a home inspection?

A home inspection provides important information that will help buyers make the most informed decision possible. Forgoing an inspection can leave buyers vulnerable to potentially costly repairs and issues with a home that might have been detected with a proper home inspection. In addition, some lenders insist that buyers have home inspections before they will allow them to borrow money. Home inspections protect buyers as they prepare to make a significant financial investment. More information about them can be found at


The Insiders: This article is sponsored by BuynSellwithMaryann