Home inspections are an important part of the buying process. These non-invasive inspections give buyers valuable insight into the true condition of a particular property. This article provides a quick overview of the basic home inspection requirements for Oregon.
Home Inspections Not Required
Are home inspections required in the state of Oregon? As a buyer, do I have to get the house inspected?
These are common questions among buyers, and the answer is no. There is no law or statute that says you must have a property inspected before buying it. There are laws relating to the training and licensing of inspectors (more on that in a moment). But from a legal standpoint, a home inspection is generally not required in Oregon for a standard purchase.
Still, it can be wise to have a property inspected before purchasing it. A thorough inspection can reveal things you might not notice when taking a general tour of the home. For instance, the inspector might uncover issues with the foundation, the electrical system, plumbing, etc.
If you’re using a mortgage loan to buy a house in Oregon, you’ll probably need to have an appraisal performed to determine the current market value. But that’s different from an inspection. Appraisals are a standard mortgage requirement in Oregon.
Oregon Licensing Requirements for Inspectors
While the state of Oregon does not require that home buyers have an inspection performed, they do have specific requirements for the licensing of inspectors. Not just anyone can put up a sign and call him/herself a home inspector. There are educational and licensing steps that must be completed before an individual can perform inspections in Oregon.
According to the state’s website:
“Any individual who advertises, bids, or performs residential home inspections of more than one structural component needs to be certified. Once certified, you must own or work for a business that is licensed with the Construction Contractors Board.”
The certification process requires inspectors to take an exam, among other things. Anyone who wants to perform residential property inspections in Oregon must complete the National Home Inspector Examination. This multiple-choice test covers topics including: structural systems, roofing, electrical, heating and cooling, plumbing, fireplace and chimney systems, and more.
The exam is just one step in the path to becoming a home inspector in Oregon. There are other requirements as well. In addition, Oregon requires its inspectors to complete “30 hours of continuing education to renew their certification every two years.”
Another important requirement is the actual inspection report. The state requires inspectors to provide a written report that details their findings. This report is given to the buyer, who can then review it and decide the next course of action. It outlines any issues that were discovered during the course of the inspection.
Some Buyers Choose to Waive the Inspection
It’s common for home buyers in Oregon to include a home inspection contingency within their purchase agreements. Essentially, this clause gives buyers the right to have a house inspected before purchasing it. And depending on how the clause is written, it might also allow the buyer to back out of the deal without forfeiting the earnest money deposit.
While these contingencies are common, some home buyers in Oregon choose to waive the home inspection contingency. This is often the case in hot real estate markets, where buyers have to compete with one another. The idea is that if you ask for too many contingencies — compared to other buyers who made competing offers — the seller might choose another offer over yours.
But this kind of thing is market-dependent. Ask your real estate agent what’s common and customary in your area.