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Further Reading:

What is a “Home Inspection” or Home Survey?

As any client who has spent time discussing our listings and viewing several properties will appreciate, there is not only a wide range of styles and types of property available but also quality and condition. For both new and resale properties, a little money spent on a pre-purchase home inspection can be a wise decision to bring peace of mind. Mark Dietrich Of On - Top property Inspections recently answered a few questions which spring to mind with this type of service:

What is a “Home Inspection” or Home Survey?

Before I answer that, let me say I appreciate your interest, and the fact that LandSearch is open to giving their buyers the option of an inspection. It really shows your company has the best interest of the buyer in mind.
A Home Inspection or as it is referred to in some countries, a Home Survey, is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and major mechanical systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation and everything in between. If problems, signs of future problems, or needed maintenance are found, we may recommend further evaluation by contractors or licensed tradesmen.

Who needs a Home Inspection? Home Buyers: The purchase of a home or a vacation property is probably one of the single largest investments you will ever make. You should learn as much as possible about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs or future maintenance before you buy, thus reducing the risk of unpleasant surprises afterwards. A Home Inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home and some of the maintenance that is required to maintain the home. After the inspection you will understand more about the home that you are getting ready to purchase. Many homebuyers have saved literally hundreds of thousands of Baht through information provided by a Home Inspection.

Sellers: A Home Inspection can be used to identify problem areas and maintenance needs that may save you money if addressed early in the repair process. If you are planning to place your home on the market, a Pre-Listing Inspection will help you to learn the condition of your home and give you the opportunity to repair any problems before the buyer’s Home Inspector finds them. Thus reducing your stress in the home selling negotiations and the time that it takes to get to the closing table.

What is included in the inspection?

The Home Inspection includes the physical structure and major systems of the home, from the roof to the foundation and everything in between. The major systems generally include and are not limited to:
Structural Components
Exterior Components
Air Conditioning
Insulation & Ventilation
Swimming pools

What does a Home Inspection cost?
The Home Inspection Fee is usually a flat rate based on the size of the home and the type of report you request. The lowest priced Home Inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector’s qualifications, including experience in home inspecting in Thailand should be the most important considerations. Keep in mind that you might save many times the cost of the inspection if it makes you able to negotiate the repairs of any significant problems that are found by the inspector.

How long does a typical inspection take?
Most Home Inspections take between 3 and 5 hours. Times may vary depending on the size, age, and condition of the house and property. The Home Inspection process is not an area that you want to rush through!

Why can’t a family member, a friend, or I do the inspection?

This is one of the biggest mistakes that many potential homeowners make when purchasing a home. Although you or the person you are considering may be very skilled, you are not trained or experienced with Professional Home Inspections. When you hire a Home Inspector, you are hiring an experienced professional who has experience and training in the building industry. An inspector is familiar with many elements of home construction, materials and systems, and their proper installation and maintenance. Inspectors understand how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of Home Inspections. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional Home Inspector to inspect their own homes when they make a purchase.

How do I find a Home Inspector?
The best sources are friends, business acquaintances or your Realtor, who have been satisfied with and can recommend Home Inspectors that they have used in the past.

When do I schedule the Home Inspection?
The Home Inspection is typically scheduled right after the seller accepts the offer to buy the home with the purchase being contingent on a Home inspection.

Do I need to be at the inspection?
It is not necessary for you to be present for the Home Inspection. A good inspection report will be very detailed, easy to understand and contains pictures of problem areas. Many of my clients live abroad and receive their report by email.

How long is the Home Inspection Report?
Home Inspection Reports average between 25 - 40 pages, depending on the condition and size of the property. The report has two main sections, the main body which describes all of the components of the home and their condition and the summary page, which is a list of only the components that have deficiencies. The report will also include any pertinent information about upcoming maintenance needs and any suggestions for future upgrades and/or improvements.

What if I have a question after the Home Inspection?
You can call me to discuss anything about your new home, whether it concerns an item that was inspected, or any improvements after the inspection for as long as you own that home. A Home Inspection Service is a long term investment!

What happens when problems are discovered during the inspection?
Our Home Inspection Report will tell you about the condition of the home, including any need for maintenance, repairs or replacement of components of the home. It is up to you and your Realtor/Developer to decide how the problems are to be addressed, whether through asking the seller to repair the items through negotiations or having the repairs done yourself after you close on the property. So in most cases, the Home Inspection findings will give you the power to negotiate.

One last question, Mark, have you found anything unique to Phuket when conducting inspections? There are many common problems. One is that the major construction here is concrete, and as we know concrete can last many years if constructed correctly, but also can pose some of the most costly repairs and pose the most danger if incorrectly constructed. Drainage is another main concern. Thirdly, here in Phuket building to Western standards is actually a newer concept, and when you have such a huge building boom as we have, it can be difficult to get a construction company with staff that has many years experience in building to these standards. That is all the more reason for people to have a property inspection/survey done whether their home is newly build or from the resale market.

Mark Dietrich was formerly a licensed Home Inspector in Colorado. To arrange an inspection of a resale home or to have your off plan apartment or villa checked out to see it is being built correctly, Mark can be contacted at On-Top Home Inspections, Ltd. (+66) 076-388-309 <>