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    Ask the Expert Series: The Home Inspector

    Jiri George Danihel

    In a new series of blog posts, we aim to bring you expert information directly from the professionals typically involved in a real estate transaction. Don’t just take our word for it! We begin the series with an interview from one of our client favorite home inspectors, Jiri Danihel with House Inspection Associates.

    1. How long does a typical home inspection take and what kinds of things do you inspect?

    A normal inspection lasts 2 – 3 hours at the property and then another hour working on the report in the office. It also depends on the condition, age and if the property is occupied or vacant. We inspect exterior, interior, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, kitchen and laundry appliances, etc.

    2. What are some of the most common items that you see come up on inspection reports?

    Common issues in homes include improper grading resulting in basement water penetration and the improper installation of HVAC systems or electrical components.

    3. What are some common items that can easily be missed by home inspectors who are not thorough?

    Common missed items are foundation problems, electrical defects that can cause fire or shock or improperly functioning HVAC systems which can result in carbon monoxide poisoning.

    4. What kind of inspection report do you provide?

    We provide a report in PDF format delivered the same day including photos of all defects or concerns. We also use 5 different categories in order to better understand the importance of each item that needs to be evaluated further: High Priority, Maintenance, Improvements/Safety Enhancements, Ask the seller and FYI. Click here to see a sample inspection report.

    5. How do consumers know that a home inspector is qualified? Is there an association of home inspectors?

    We follow strict guidelines from ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), the strictest national home inspector association which requires continuous education. Click here for information on ASHI standards. Not all inspectors are created equal. MD has a license requirement but only implemented this in the last two years. DC has no requirement and VA is voluntary certification only.

    6. Will you advise potential homeowners on whether or not they should buy the house?

    We do not tell our clients if they should purchase a property. We will answer your questions and explain all findings so you can make a good decision with the help of your real estate agent. A house, for example, might need a lot of work but it could be $100,000 under comparable properties in the neighborhood, and the repairs could cost only $50,000. Some clients prefer a fixer upper, so they can choose all finishes according to their taste.

    7. We know you love your tools and gadgets, which is your favorite home inspection tool?

    Moisture meter and an infrared camera, helps to discover hidden moisture issues. Moisture meter costs $500 and the infrared camera $4,000.

    If you have additional questions about the home inspection process, post them here and we’ll get them answered. If you’d like to hire Jiri George Danihel as your home inspector, contact him at (703) 453-0442 or jiri@houseinspectionassociates.com. For more information about Jiri’s services, check out his website

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