BLACK BEAR HOME INSPECTIONS
Why get a home inspection?
Buying, selling, or preserving a home involves major decisions, ones that should be based on all the facts available. Black Bear's inspectors are not subject to the stress, excitement, and anxiety which naturally occur in the home buying or selling process. For a home buyer, understanding and being comfortable with your potential investment just makes good sense. A professional home inspection gives you a visual examination of the structure and systems of the accessible areas. It identifies non-functioning systems, damaged building components, plus safety and quality issues.
If you're buying a home, not only have it inspected - but also have it tested, at least for radon and well water bacteria. The upfront costs, you can be assured, will be much less than potential "down the road" costs, especially if health and safety issues arise from a lack of action.
How long does it take to inspect a house?
The average house inspection usually takes about 2-3 hours, depending upon the size, age, and condition of the house being inspected. Sometimes a little less - sometimes a lot more!
Do I need to be there during the inspection?
No, you are not required to be there for the inspection. It is our goal to provide an unbiased evaluation of the house and property – which we will gladly review with you after the inspection has been completed. If you wish to be present, that’s OK too since we're working for you. Upon completion of the inspection, if present, our inspector will then explain the findings and answer any questions that you may have. Again, our goal is to evaluate and educate.
Can I do the inspection myself?
Chances are that even if you're familiar with home construction, you may still not have the knowledge, training, equipment, or experience of a certified home inspector. We are not only familiar with the systems of a home – how they work and need to be maintained – but we also know what signs to look for that indicate a system or component is getting ready to fail, or is in need of an upgrade or repair. Beyond the technical expertise and experience, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a house, it’s impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this could cloud your judgment. We will provide an objective "outside" reporting of the facts.
What if the report uncovers issues or
Our report will convey the condition of the home, including needed repairs. NO HOUSE IS GOING TO BE PERFECT. It is up to you to decide on how any issues the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major issues are discovered, you may want to try negotiating with the seller to have the specific item(s) repaired before closing the deal. Or, perhaps the seller will lower the price or offer you more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but having all the facts can only assist you in the decision making process.
Is the written report – Pass of Fail?
Homes don’t pass or fail an inspection. Every home has significant qualities and potential problems. We will identify and explain these traits in an easy-to-understand written report. For example, exterior grading improvements can often prevent significant basement problems. Home inspectors, regardless of company, do not provide an appraisal, nor a municipal or national "code" inspection.
Is a Home Inspection worth the money – even if the home looks fine?
Compared to the significant financial investment you're about to undertake, most likely many hundreds of thousands of dollars, the cost of a home inspection is minimal - and most likely will pay for itself many times over with what it uncovers! A quality home inspection will provide an independent perspective on the condition of the home. This can reduce the risk of major surprises after closing. Keep in mind that our inspectors are "Certified." The time of such an experienced individual may cost more than, say, that of another inspector with fewer qualifications who may charge less. You’re about to make a major investment. A cheap inspection may just be that – a quick and cheap inspection!
Black Bear Home Inspections is licensed as a State of Vermont Property Inspector.
We are also NACHI certified, distinguishing us as a company whose inspectors have achieved the highest level of home inspection practice standards - as recognized by the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. (NACHI)
This designation ensures that if you're a home buyer, a home seller, or a home owner - and use Black Bear Home Inspections for your home inspections needs - you will receive the highest standards of professional service.
Finding a home inspection company in southern Vermont or SW New Hampshire is not too difficult. Selecting the right company to do your inspection is even easier. It's Black Bear Home Inspections.
Why you should select Black Bear Home Inspections:
Choosing the right home inspection company can be difficult.
First, you need an inspector who has your best interests in mind. Add extensive experience to your "must have" checklist. Look for a company that uses "state-of-the-art" testing and inspection equipment. Then, when you think you've narrowed down the possible choices, select a company that has exemplary credentialing, education, and continuing education mandates for its inspectors. When your checklist is completed, choosing the best home inspection company just got easier. It's Black Bear Home Inspections.
As a potential buyer, the purchase you're considering could be the biggest investment you may ever make - so it's not in your best interests to "cut corners" when looking to have your potential investment inspected. Remember, as in most situations, you get what you pay for! You can be assured that Black Bear Home Inspections will provide you with an unbiased inspection of the home you are considering. You'll then have the necessary information to assist in your evaluation of the house and potential improvement costs.
As a seller, having an inspection done in advance of, say, listing it on the market, will provide you with some helpful incite. You may be made aware of possible "issues" prior to listing it for sale, or reassure you that your potential asking price is appropriate. Another benefit of having your home inspected in advance of listing it for sale is that it will greatly reduce the chances of having a closing date change, or worse, falling apart altogether!
One thing for sure is that a home inspection requires work, and a lot of it to ensure that your investment is properly examined. Ultimately, a thorough inspection depends heavily on the individual inspector's own experience and effort. If you honor Black Bear Home Inspections by permitting us to do your inspection, we guarantee that we will give you our very best effort. We'll inspect it once, and inspect it right.
This we promise you.
Standards of Practice:
Black Bear Home Inspections adheres to stringent guidelines when conducting home inspections for our clients. We strive to ensure that whether you're the potential buyer of a new home, or the seller, that we provide you with information useful in the decision making process. We provide your home inspection report via Report Host -
Here's a sample list of what our Full Inspection includes:
Roof, vents, flashing, and trim
Gutters and downspouts
Skylight, chimney, and other roof penetrations
Decks, stoops, walkways, porches, and railings
Eaves, soffit, and facia
Grading and drainage
Basement, foundation, and crawlspace
Main water shut off valves
Water heating system
Interior plumbing fixtures and faucets
Water pressure/well flow (Gallons per minute)
Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats
Electrical service line and meter box
Main disconnect and service amperage
Electrical panels, breakers, GFCI's, and fuses
Grounding and bonding
Fireplace damper, doors, and hearth
Insulation and ventilation
Garage doors, safety sensors, and openers - (garages included if attached to house - extra fees apply if garage is detached)
And much more
Review our "Standards of Practice" at :
Buying or Selling a Home
The process can be quite stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you "peace of mind," but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short period of time. This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs and, what the inspector says during the inspection. All this, and, if you're the buyer, the seller's disclosure plus what you notice yourself - makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should I do?
Relax. Most of your inspection report will most likely be maintenance recommendations and minor imperfections - maybe even some life expectancie's on a few items within the home. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:
- Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
- Things that lead to major defects. A small roof flashing leak, for example.
- Things that may hinder the ability to obtain financing or insure the home.
- Safety hazards, such as exposed wires or defective ground fault circuits.
Anything in these categories should be addressed. Most often a problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property.
Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. You must keep things in perspective. Don't kill your deal over insignificant things that don't truly matter. If you're the buyer, it is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items. Focus on the complete inspection report and decide whether those smaller issues can be readily resolved in some manner between the seller and potential buyer of the home.
Our comprehensive home inspections include:
Structural Components: Foundations, slabs, floors and walls.
Exterior: Siding paint, windows, decks, garage doors, etc.
Grading relative to water flow and snow melt-off
Roofing: coverings, flashing, chimneys, etc.
Plumbing: Piping, fixtures, faucets, water heating and fuel storage
Electrical: Wiring, main service panel, conductors, outlets, etc.
Heating: Equipment, safety controls, distribution systems, chimneys
Air Conditioning and Heat Pumps, controls, ducting, etc.
Interior: Partitions, ceilings, floors, railings, doors and windows, etc.
Insulation and Ventilation: Attics, walls, floors, foundations, baths
NOTE: We do not test, nor do we offer specific testing, for Hot Tubs, Spa's, Sauna's or Swimming Pools. As part of our comprehensive inspection, we provide only a "visual" inspection (i.e., cracks, visual defects, etc.) not an operational or mechanical inspection, of these possible home amenities. We also do not test septic tanks due to specific testing regulations required in the state of Vermont. Check with your realtor for information on any septic testing requirements you may require.
We do, though, offer other additional inspection/testing services based upon your specific inspection needs