Questions about Home Inspections and Property Defects:
Property Defects and Other Questions
Property defects can affect the property sale. There is no guarantee that you won’t be buying a house with serious defects and maintenance problems. Buying the right home is an important investment for the future.
Firstly, conducting your own personal inspections will help you weed out those properties from your consideration that have too many obvious defects. Following that, it is then a smart move to hire a home inspector to discover all the remaining property defects that need attention.
Please select one of the following questions:
- How does the “Voetstoots” Clause affect my property purchase?
- What is a home inspection?
- What is InterNACHI?
- Who belongs to InterNACHI?
- What does a home inspection include?
- Why do I need a home inspection?
- How much will it cost?
- Why can’t I do it myself?
- Can a house fail inspection?
- At what stage should I have a home inspection?
- Do I have to be there?
- How long does a home inspection take?
- What if the report reveals problems?
- If the house proves to be in good condition, did I need an inspection?
- In which areas do you inspect properties?
How does the “Voetstoots” Clause affect property defects?
In South Africa, the “voetstoots” clause states that you are buying the property “as it stands“. This means property defects and all. Moreover, as the buyer, you have no claim against the seller if there are obvious (patent) property defects. An inspection of the property, by a suitably qualified professional, will reveal these patent and non-apparent defects (latent defects).
With latent defects, the seller only becomes liable for these defects if the seller was aware of them. However, the voetstoots clause in the agreement of sale does not take away the seller’s liability. Therefore, the seller is legally required to reveal any latent property defects he is aware of.
In order to find latent and patent defects, it is necessary to employ the services of a professional home inspector. Furthermore, any “Contract to Purchase” must contain an Inspection Contingency for you to be protected. The home inspector typically performs the inspection during the Home Inspection Contingency Period which you negotiated with the seller in your Offer to Purchase.Back to top
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major structure, systems and components that are visible and safely accessible. InterNACHI certified inspectors adhere to or exceed the standards of practice that outlines what should be covered during a comprehensive home inspection, as well as what is excluded.
My inspections substantially exceed the Standards of Practice of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). I provide you with a written report, which includes photos and recommendations, of my findings during the inspection. Read InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice to find out what is typically included and excluded in a home inspection.Back to top
What is InterNACHI?
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) is the world’s largest trade organization of residential and commercial property inspectors. InterNACHI was founded in 1990 and has more than 23,000 members. InterNACHI provides certification, training, benefits and professional support to its members. The InterNACHI® School is the only home inspector school accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.Back to top
Who belongs to InterNACHI?
InterNACHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who conduct inspections according to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. The standards and code prohibit engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity.
All InterNACHI inspectors meet rigorous training requirements, including passing a comprehensive, technical exam within 1 year of joining InterNACHI. Mandatory annual continuing education is also required to retain certification and membership. This helps certified professional inspectors (CPI) stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.Back to top
What does a home inspection include?
My comprehensive inspection and report cover the condition of the home’s visible elements including defects.
On the exterior, this includes foundation and superstructure walls, roof and roof drainage. I report on the condition of windows, doors and indications of moisture or water penetration. The report also includes the land grading around the home, walkways, steps, driveways, decks, patios, retaining and boundary walls, etc.
My inspection of the interior includes plumbing and electrical systems, the ceiling space and visible roof structure and insulation. I Inspect the walls, ceilings, floors, steps, stairways, railings, doors and windows as well. In kitchens and bathrooms, I inspect the countertops and cabinets, fixtures and fittings.Back to top
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. You’ll want to learn about the newly constructed or existing house to minimize unpleasant surprises and costly defects.
A home inspection will identify the need for major repairs or builder defects, as well as the need for maintenance. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify existing and future maintenance defects. The report will suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
If you are selling your home, a home inspection can advise you of repairs to defects that will put the house in better selling condition.Back to top
What will it cost?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house may vary geographically. Similarly, the inspection fee may vary depending on the size of the house, its age and possible optional inspections.
Cost should not be a factor in deciding whether to have a home inspection. The sense of security and knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost. In addition, the lowest-priced inspection is not necessarily a bargain. Use the inspector’s qualifications, including experience, training and professional affiliations as a guide.Back to top
Why can’t I do my property inspection myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. Home inspectors are objective and highly experienced. In addition, home inspectors are familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. They know how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers are not completely objective and unemotional about the house they want. In addition, this may affect their judgment. Therefore, for objective accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party inspection by a professional home inspector.Back to top
Can property defects cause a house to fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not a bank appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local and national building regulations. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and defects. He or she will indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.Back to top
At what stage should I have a home inspection?
Typically, you contact me immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. However, before you sign, be sure to add an inspection clause in the sales contract. This addition makes your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection.Back to top
Do I have to be there?
It is not a requirement that you be present for the inspection. However, it is highly recommended. Moreover, you will be able to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the home’s condition. Furthermore, this will give you insight into its potential sale points and defects. Additionally, you will gain information about the home’s maintenance, systems and components.Back to top
How long does a home inspection take?
Depending on the home’s age and size, your home inspection may take up to three hours. However, additional ancillary services such as swimming pools, jacuzzies and lapas will increase that time. A comprehensive home inspection should not take less than 1⅟₂ hours.Back to top
What if the report reveals property defects?
No house is perfect. If I identify property defects, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the house. It means you will know in advance what to expect. If you have budget constraints, or you want to limit future repair work, this information will be important to you. The seller may agree to make repairs if major problems are found.Back to top
If the house proves to be without major property defects, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report. Furthermore, you will have that information for future reference.Back to top
In which areas do you inspect properties?
I offer home and commercial inspections in an inspection area which substantially covers a large portion of Gauteng. This area includes most of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and a portion of North West Province.
Areas outside those mentioned may be too far from my office or not covered by my insurance company.
Furthermore, outside inspection areas will include additional costs such as travelling costs, time costs etc.
Please contact me to receive a quote for an outside inspection area.Back to top
Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®