Choosing the right home
Buying a Home in Hampton Roads
Prepare Your Home for Sale
Buyer Beware
Home Value
Sellers Market
13 Questions to Ask a Realtor
Title Insurance FAQ
Flood Zones
MLS Abbreviations


Inspections are designed to protect the seller, the buyer, the mortgage company, bank, and your brother Joe.  (Well, maybe not Joe)  The point is, inspections are there to help you.  Whether you are the seller or the buyer you will be faced with basically the same inspections.  Here are a few of the more common ones.
  • Termite inspection:  If you are taking out a loan, this inspection will be required by the financing institution.  This is normally done within 30 days of closing on a home.
  • Moisture Inspection:  Same requirements as the termite inspection.
  • Septic Inspection:  Usually required for rural properties.  Generally gives some indication of the suitability of the septic system to perform properly under the existing conditions of the property.  
  • Home Inspection:  A professional inspection of a property to determine the overall condition.  This inspection generally covers such items as electrical, A/C, heating, plumbing, roof, and exterior of the home.  It's a report of what the inspector can see or test.  It is not an inspection to detect hidden (can't be seen) discrepancies.  Normally paid by the buyer and made a contingency to the buyer's obligation to buy.
  • Well Water Test:  Usually required for rural properties.  Generally done by the city or county health lab, to determine the safety of the drinking water.  Odor or color in the water is not a cause for failure.
  • Perk Test:  Conducted on a piece of land that will require a septic system.  At one time this test measured the amount of time it took for a specific quantity of water to be absorbed into the ground.  Based on the results, the local governing organization could issue a permit for a septic system for a specific number of bedrooms.  Today, in southeastern Virginia, this is generally done by consulting a book or map that shows the soil type (% of sand, clay, etc.) for a specific  location and determining the suitability for a given septic system based on that information.
  • Walk-thru:  Generally done a day or so before closing on a contract.  Allows the buyer to make one final check of the home to ensure it is in substantially the same condition as when the contract was signed.
  • Radon Test:  Though this test is not commonly done in this area, it may be required by a relocation firm as part of its package.  It consists of placing a small instrument (about the size of a small radio) in the house for several days to sample the surrounding air.  Radon is a naturally occurring gas given off by certain types of rock formations.
  • Lead Based Paint:  Homes built from 1978 on are considered to be free of lead based paint.  Those built prior to 1978 may contain some lead based paint.  If there is a question about whether or not the paint contains lead, a test can be performed on paint chips to resolve the issue.
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JoAnn & Dennis Olson, Realtors
William E. Wood & Assoc.
Smithfield, VA 23430
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia
(See Contact page for additional information)

All home and property photographs on this web site are the sole property of Dennis & JoAnn Olson.  Any commercial use of these photographs without written permission is strictly forbidden.

Copyright 1999-2013 by Dennis Olson
Site design by Dennis & JoAnn Olson
Last modified: November 19, 2013