Frequently Asked Questions
Who needs a home inspection?
Every homeowner or potential homeowner should have an inspection!  Our goal at Advantage Home Inspection, L.L.C.
is to give you security and peace of mind about the house that you choose to make your home.  A home inspection is a
in-depth VISUAL examination of the structural and operational components of the home performed by a trained
For the current homeowner:  An inspection is a great tool to know the current condition of your home so that you
can plan for the future.  Find out what repairs may be needed soon.  Find out how to help preserve your home.
For the home seller:  An inspection can be helpful in marketing your home.  It allows you the chance to make repairs
and provides for full disclosure to the seller.
For the home buyer:  This is a big investment for you and your family.  You deserve to know exactly what you are
getting!  We want you to have a solid foundation of knowledge about your new home.  Some homeowners are not
aware of some potential problems and hazards around the house they are selling. They may have lived in the house
withot problems, but this does not mean you won't have a problem after taking possession of the property.

How much will it cost?
Although this might be one of the first things that comes to your mind, please understand it is a difficult question to
answer.  There is no flat fee and it is not based on the price nor the age of the home.  The cost of a home inspection is
based on a number of things-  most important is the experience and knowledge of the inspector.  You want the best for
the place you call home. Our fees at Advantage Home Inspection are based on the time it takes to thoroughly inspect a
house, top to bottom, inside and outside, and our training and experience.  Fees may vary based on the size of the
home, location, and extra amenities (such as a second kitchen, numerous bathrooms, crawlspace or fireplaces) as
these do require extra time to inspect carefully.  If you wish to get an exact price quote, fill in the request quote form on
this website, e-mail us, or call us with the specifications about the house you are interested in having inspected.

How long does the inspection take?  
Your top quality inspector from Advantage will spend around three hours in the house and discussing results with you.  
Larger or older houses may take longer to inspect.  The exterior and roof structures should be inspected in daylight so
plan accordingly during the winter months.

What’s included - or not included - in a home inspection?
Our goal at Advantage is to provide you with a report that details the results of a thorough, in-depth visual examination
of the house.  We can’t see through walls and will not destroy any property to do the inspection.  You can expect a
written report on visible components from the roof to the foundation.  The inspector will tell you about the condition of
the roof, flashings and valleys; siding and trim; landscaping and drainage; gutters and downspouts; air conditioning and
heating system; plumbing system; electrical system; kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms; floors and walls; attic
basement, or crawlspace; and overall condition of the foundation.  For further information look at the inspection page of
this website.  You should not expect that the inspector will find every problem that exists or that could ever exist, but
only that inspector will report deficiencies that inspector both observed and deemed a significant material defect.

When do I get the report?  Who gets to see it?   
You will receive your report within twenty four hours after the completion of the inspection. We do not give on site
reports because we want to give you the best report we can.  We want you to know that we have put the thought and
effort into your inspection report and not just filled in the blanks.  This report is prepared exclusively for you, the person
who hired the inspector.  The report will not be shared with any other parties without your permission. With that being
said we do encourage you to share the report with the seller and your representative.

What methods of payment are accepted?
Accepted forms of payment are cash, personal check, money order, cashier’s check and credit card (Visa, Master
Card, Discover card and American Express) at an additional fee.  The payment is due upon arrival of the inspector at
the site unless other arrangements have been made before the day of the inspection.   We also require a signed
inspection agreement from you before the start of the inspection. This agreement can be faxed, e-mailed or signed at
the property before the inspection begins.

Should I be present during the home inspection?  
This is entirely up to you, but we recommend you be present at the inspection.  We prefer that the person who orders
the inspection be there with the inspector!  It is our desire to educate you on every aspect of the home’s condition, so
you are encouraged to follow along and ask questions.  We want you to see how hard we work for you and you can see
all of the items first hand.  

When should I call for the inspection?
For the homeowner:  Now!  Why take a chance?  You need to know your own home, inside and out!
For the home seller:  Whenever you think you are getting ready to sell.  It is a good time to review and it gives you
time for improvements or repairs.  If your house is already on the market, it could be a great tool to help the house sell
For the home buyer:  As soon as you sign a purchase contract with the seller.  It may be a week or so before the
inspector can do the inspection (although we try to complete the inspection within a few days if possible).  At certain
times of the year it could take longer than a few days.   Allow enough time in your option period to complete the
inspection and for you to get estimates on the repair costs before your option runs out.   

I don’t know the first thing about houses!  How will I understand the report?
Your inspector will guide you through the process.  He is aware that some people have very little experience with home
ownership.  Likewise, there are some who are very wise and experienced.  At Advantage, we want you to understand
your home and we will try to put things in terms you can understand.  If you do not understand what is being said, feel
free to stop the inspection and ask questions!  The more you let us know about your knowledge level and your plans
for the house the better we can help you to understand the findings of the report and detail the report to your needs.

I already know someone (my uncle, friend, father, etc.) who knows a lot about
houses.  Why can’t I let them check it out and save myself some money?  Or what
about the local contractor who offers inspections?  Is that good enough?
Even the most experienced homeowner or craftsman lacks the knowledge and expertise of a home inspector who
makes a career of inspecting buildings. You should have anyone with training and experience with any aspect of the
house  take a look at that particular area of the house.  After all, the more people that evaluate the house, the better
the chances of finding out any problems that may exist at that time.  As with any trade, home inspectors are trained to
look at different things than a builder or other tradesmen may evaluate.     A home inspector is trained to understand
the operation of each system in the house and how each system relates to the others.  Above all, the best reason for
hiring a home inspector is that the inspector is impartial and has no emotional connection with the house, buyer, seller
or Realtor.  The inspector does not have any conflict of interest and will not try to “sell” you any repairs the way that a
local contractor might.

My new house is perfect, isn’t it? After all, it was just constructed.
Most builders would like to deliver a perfect home, but the reality is that there is no such thing as a perfect building.  
Builders are in their business because they want to make a profit while balancing material costs, personnel,
subcontractors and the weather.  Unfortunately, mistakes can and do happen. With the number of people it takes to
build a house it is surprising that more mistakes are not made.  Furthermore, some areas of the country do not have
building codes that are enforced and mistakes can be even more common.  Don’t let your new house have an
undiagnosed problem!  We would also recommend a home inspection before your home warranty from the builder runs

What about mold and other environmental hazards?
Unfortunately, almost every house has some type of mold.  We are trained in mold but do not offer this service at this
time. If you are truly concerned about mold contamination, we recommend that you hire an environmental hazard
specialist or mold specialist.  Environmental testing for mold requires highly specialized knowledge and equipment as
well as sampling and laboratory testing.  It is beyond the scope of practice of home inspection.  You deserve a
specialist trained to put your health first and that is what we recommend if you are concerned.

What if you do find a problem? Does that mean the house “fails the test”?
We have yet to find the structure that is absolutely “perfect”.  Problems come in many shapes and sizes.  The inspector
will try to give you an idea of how important each problem is.  A home inspection is not a test.  It does not “pass” or “fail”
the property nor is the inspector capable of “blessing” a house.  The inspector is simply there to view and inform you
for your security and peace of mind.  It is never our intention to ruin a transaction or advise you not to buy a particular
place.  Our goal is to inform you of the things that you might not otherwise know.  Even if that information is not what
you expected, it is better for you to know about it now rather than later.  

Are there any guarantees against future problems?
No.  The inspector can’t predict every future repair/replacement.  Home ownership always carries some financial risk.  
Almost all systems require maintenance and/or replacement at some time.  Our goal at Advantage is to inform you of
the home’s condition on the day of inspection so that you can properly prepare for the financial responsibility and
expenses that are a part of home ownership.  A home inspection is not a warranty or insurance policy.

Should a home inspection contingency clause be included in the agreement of sale?
Yes!  Most Agreements of sale are required to offer you the option of having an inspection.  If you choose not to have
the house inspected you may be required to sign a waiver.  Regrettably, there are some bankers and real estate
agents out there that may tell you it’s alright to sign away the inspection, but you deserve to know about your
investment!  Insist on a home inspection! Also insist on adequate time to complete the inspection and further evaluate
any conditions that may be found during the inspection.

© 2017 Advantage Home Inspection, L.L.C.
All Rights Reserved
Home Inspection, L.L.C.
Serving Northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota