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Unveiling the Mystery: Home Inspection vs. Appraisal 
Buying a home is an exciting journey, but navigating the sea of paperwork and procedures can be overwhelming. Two frequently used terms, “home inspection” and “home appraisal,” often cause confusion. While both involve professionals examining your dream house, their purposes and outcomes are vastly different. Let’s demystify these terms and empower you to make informed decisions!

406 Home InspectionDefinition:

A home inspection is a visual examination of a home’s physical structure and systems to identify any potential problems or areas of concern. It is typically performed by a licensed home inspector and is a valuable part of the home buying process.

What does a home inspector look for?

Home inspectors will look for a variety of things, including:

  • Structural integrity: The inspector will check for any signs of damage to the home’s foundation, walls, roof, and other structural components.
  • Major systems: The inspector will also check the condition of the home’s heating and cooling system, plumbing system, electrical system, and appliances.
  • Safety hazards: The inspector will look for any potential safety hazards, such as tripped breakers, faulty wiring, or loose railings.
  • General condition: The inspector will also assess the overall condition of the home, including the roof, siding, windows, doors, and interior finishes.

What is not included in a home inspection?

Home inspections are not comprehensive and do not cover everything. For example, home inspectors will not typically inspect for:

Things that are not part of a general Home Inspection but should be considered are.

  • Mold Air Testing, Optional: if your inspector is certified and has specialized equipment to test the air (we do). You should ask about adding this to the inspection.
  • Radon Optional: Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. It can get trapped in homes but can be mitigated. Most people ad this in areas where Radon is likely to be a problem (NW Montana is such a place) EPA Complete Definition
  • Drinking Water Quality Optional: This is required for many types of loans and can effect the health of people living in the building.
  • Well Water System Inspection, Optional: Pumps, Pressure Tanks, Regulators, and other safety/performance components.  This can also be added to a home inspection if your inspector is certified and has the expertise

What to do after the home inspection

Once the home inspection is complete, the inspector will give you a written report that outlines their findings. The report will typically include a list of any problems or areas of concern. You should review the report carefully and discuss any questions or concerns you have with your inspector and Real Estate Agent

Feel free to call us with any questions. We love talking to our customers.


The 406 Team

Moisture Problems in Your Home: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

Moisture is a common problem in homes, and it can lead to a variety of issues, including mold growth, structural damage, and health problems. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, effects, and prevention of moisture problems in your home.


Moisture is a major problem in many homes. It can lead to mold growth, structural damage, and health problems. In this blog, we will discuss the causes, effects, and prevention of moisture problems in your home.

Causes of Moisture Problems

There are a number of things that can cause moisture problems in homes, including:

  • Water leaks: Leaks from pipes, roofs, and appliances can cause significant moisture problems. For example, a leaky pipe in the basement can cause water damage to the foundation and flooring.
  • Condensation: When warm, humid air meets cold surfaces, condensation can form. This can happen in areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. For example, condensation can form on windows and mirrors in the bathroom after a shower.
  • Groundwater: Groundwater can seep into basements and crawl spaces, causing moisture problems. For example, if your home is located in a floodplain, you are at risk for groundwater seepage.
  • Poor ventilation: Poor ventilation can lead to buildup of moisture in the air, which can contribute to mold growth. For example, if your home does not have good ventilation, moisture can build up in the air, which can lead to mold growth.

Effects of Moisture Problems

Moisture problems can have a number of negative effects on your home, including:

  • Mold growth: Mold is a type of fungus that can grow in moist environments. Mold can cause health problems, such as respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma. For example, exposure to mold can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Structural damage: Moisture can weaken building materials, leading to structural damage. For example, mold can weaken the foundation of your home, which can lead to cracks in the walls and floors.
  • Increased energy costs: Moisture can make it harder to heat and cool your home, leading to increased energy costs. For example, if your home has a lot of moisture, you may need to run your furnace or air conditioner more often, which can increase your energy bills.
  • Decreased property value: Moisture problems can decrease the value of your home. For example, if a buyer finds mold in your home, they may be less likely to offer you a high price for your home.

Preventing Moisture Problems

There are a number of things you can do to prevent moisture problems in your home, including:

  • Fix leaks: If you have a water leak, fix it as soon as possible. For example, if you notice a leak in your roof, call a roofer to fix it as soon as possible.
  • Ventilate your home properly: Make sure your home has adequate ventilation to prevent buildup of moisture in the air. For example, open windows and doors regularly to let fresh air in.
  • Use dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers can help to reduce the humidity in your home, which can help to prevent mold growth. For example, if you live in a humid climate, you may want to consider using a dehumidifier in your home.
  • Seal up cracks and gaps: Seal up any cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation, walls, and windows to prevent moisture from entering. For example, caulk around windows and doors to prevent moisture from seeping in.
  • Raise appliances off the floor: Raising appliances off the floor can help to prevent water damage from leaks. For example, if you have a washer and dryer in your basement, raise them off the floor on blocks to prevent water damage from leaks.
  • Clean up spills immediately: Clean up any spills immediately to prevent moisture from soaking into surfaces. For example, if you spill water on the floor, wipe it up immediately to prevent moisture from soaking into the floorboards.


Moisture problems are a common problem in homes, but they can be prevented and fixed. By following the tips in this blog, you can help to keep your home dry and free of moisture problems.

Recommendation for Home Inspection

If you are unsure whether you have a moisture problem in your home, it is a good idea to have a home inspection performed. A home inspector will be able to identify any moisture problems in your home and recommend the best course of action to remedy them. Contact us with any questions or to schedule an inspection

Glossary of Inspection Terms

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

Buying a home is a big decision, and it’s important to make sure you’re getting a good one. A home inspection can help you identify any potential problems with the property before you sign on the dotted line.

During the home inspection

the inspector will look at the entire property, from the foundation to the roof. They will check for things like:

  • Structural damage: cracks in the foundation, walls, or ceilings; uneven floors; sloping windows or doors
  • Water damage: leaks from the roof, windows, or plumbing; mold or mildew; water stains on walls or ceilings
  • Pest infestations: rodents, termites, or other insects
  • Electrical problems: faulty wiring, outlets, or switches; exposed wires; arcing or sparking
  • Plumbing problems: leaks, clogged drains, or faulty fixtures
  • HVAC problems: malfunctioning heating or cooling systems; poor air quality
  • Roof problems: leaks, missing shingles, or damaged flashing
  • Major appliances: malfunctioning appliances; outdated appliances

The inspector will also look at the overall condition of the property and make recommendations for repairs or improvements.

A home inspection typically takes a few hours to complete. The inspector will start by looking at the exterior of the property, including the roof, siding, windows, and doors. They will then move inside and check the foundation, walls, floors, ceilings, and all of the major systems and appliances.

The inspector will use a variety of tools to perform their inspection, including a ladder, flashlight, screwdriver, tape measure, moisture meter, drone, thermal camera, and more.

The inspector will take notes and pictures throughout the inspection. They will then write a report that details their findings. The report will include a list of any potential problems and recommendations for repairs or improvements.

You should be present for the home inspection. This will give you a chance to ask the inspector questions and learn more about the property.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your home inspection:

  • Attend the inspection in person. This will give you a chance to meet the inspector and ask them any questions you have.
  • Ask the inspector to explain what they are doing and why. This will help you understand the inspection process and learn more about the property.
  • Be prepared to answer questions about the property. The inspector may ask you about the history of the property, any recent repairs or improvements, and your plans for the property.
  • Take notes during the inspection. This will help you remember what the inspector said and any recommendations they made.
  • Get a copy of the inspection report. The inspection report will detail the inspector’s findings and recommendations.

A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process. It can help you identify any potential problems with the property and negotiate a better price. By following these tips, you can get the most out of your home inspection.

Give us a call with any Questions. We hope this helps!

A home inspection process is an examination of a property to identify any potential issues or defects. Accordingly, this is a crucial part of buying a home. As it helps you make informed decisions about the property.

A home inspection should cover the exterior and interior of the property, including structural components, roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing,

If you’re buying a home, you’ve probably heard about mold testing. And while it may seem like a regular part of a home inspection, mold testing is a critically important part of any real estate transaction. In addition to being risky for pets and people who live inside a home, the presence of mold can put your real estate investment at risk and expose you to liability down the road.

The home inspection is an important part of any real estate transition – for both buyers and sellers. If you’re considering selling a property in the future, you can do a few things to make the process smoother, easier, and faster for your home inspector.

We’ll share a few of the top things home inspectors want you to know in this blog.

Let’s dive in.

8 Things Your Home Inspector Wants you to Know

Have you sold homes before? Are you planning to sell your first property? No matter what, a home inspection is an important part of the process. Designed to identify issues and protect your investment, a home inspection safeguards buyers, sellers, and agents.

Fortunately, these eight must-knows can make the process easier and faster:

1. Pets make the job harder

Having pets underfoot makes it harder for the home inspector to do their job. Even if your pets are friendly and people-loving and the home inspector loves four-legged family members, tuck pets away as the inspector does their job.

This allows the inspector to get in and out quickly and devote their full attention to your property. It also keeps your pet safe and guarantees they won’t accidentally slip out of the house during the process.

2. Clutter makes it challenging for us to spot problems

Whether you plan to be home for the inspection, clear the clutter out of your house before the inspector arrives.

While a home inspector won’t judge you for streaky windows or a grimy stove (just make sure to clean these things before the house sells), they do need to access the nooks and crannies of your home, which can be tough if you’ve got a lot of junk in the way.

Before the inspector arrives, make sure to remove junk from your crawl space, attic, closets, and other vital areas of the home.

3. Almost anything can be fixed

If the home inspection reveals problems with your home (as it likely will – no house is perfect), don’t panic.

Most issues uncovered by a home inspection are minor and can easily be fixed. Plumbing can be repaired or updated, electrical panels can be replaced, and drafty windows can be modernized.

Even big things, like roofs and foundations, can be repaired if you’ve got the time and money to do the job. Finding issues with the home during the inspection doesn’t mean you can never sell it, only that you may need to invest some money in it first.

4. We can’t predict the future

If you’re wondering how long that hot water heater will last or how many more years the roof has in it, we canot give you an estimate on how long it will last. Some things last two to three times what they should and some things fail far sooner than their expected lifetime. Dirty things can be new and old things can be clean. There’s no way to predict what will happen after you buy a house.

5. Good inspections aren’t cheap – cheap inspections aren’t good

They say you get what you pay for, and that’s as true with home inspections as it is anything else. If you’re calling around looking for the cheapest inspector, you could be in for trouble. A home is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, and it’s worth investing in a good home inspection.

The inspection is a time-consuming, detailed process that requires a skilled, comprehensive inspector. Most inspectors love what they do, take pride in a thorough inspection, and charge accordingly for those services. Trying to price-shop or lowball your inspector is a sour note to start the relationship off with.

6. You’ll need to use your heart and your brain during the purchase

If you’re on the buying side, rather than the selling side of the real estate sale, it’s important to know you’ll need to use both your heart and your head during the sale.

If you find a home you love with lots of expensive issues, use your brain to determine whether the house is the one for you. Weighing emotion and reason can help you make the right choice for your home.

7. Water is a major danger sign

Water isn’t always a deal-breaker during a home sale, but it can be a red flag for other issues like mold and mildew. If you find water-related issues before the deal closes, you’ll want to address them immediately. Faulty plumbing, leaking roofs or ceilings, or water in the basement can be expensive and difficult to fix and can cause you lots of headaches after the sale is complete.

8. We’re here to help

Our goal is to uncover issues that everyone involved in the sale should know about. We’re honest, thorough experts who want to protect your best interests. That’s why you should NEVER waive the home inspection.

We’re happy to answer your questions, and we want to work with you to protect your investment or streamline your life as a home buyer or home seller.

Bonus tip: Honesty is always the best policy

If you know about an issue with your home, tell us about it before we perform the inspection. No matter how large or small the problem may be, we want to know about it.

We’ll likely identify the issue anyway. Knowing about it beforehand allows us to inspect other things that may be affected and assess the extent of the damage and needed repairs. With home inspections as in life, honesty is always the best policy.

Being upfront helps us do our job better, ensures a better relationship between home inspectors and clients, and helps speed up the home sale and purchase process for everyone involved in the deal.

406 Home Inspection Pros: Your Home Inspection Experts in Northwest Montana

If you’re considering relocation to Montana or already own a Montana home and are looking to buy or sell, 406 Home Inspection Pros is here for you. Our expert home inspectors will help you protect your home investment and streamline the sale process – from start to finish. Contact us to learn more or book your home inspection today.

The home inspection: it’s the buyer’s best opportunity to uncover a home’s problems and negotiate to have them repaired or paid for (as long as the contract has an inspection contingency in place). If you’ve never experienced this process, though, you’re probably wondering what to expect from a home inspection.

How much will it cost? How does it protect your real estate investment? Do you need an inspection before buying a home?

We’ve got answers.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what to expect from a home inspection as either the seller or buyer.

Let’s dive in.

What to Expect From a Home Inspection? 3 Key Features

As a home buyer, a home inspection is the last chance to identify existing defects in the house (and negotiate to resolve them) before finalizing the purchase of the home.

As a seller, a home inspection ensures the good condition of the home you’re selling or planning to sell. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to wonder what the inspector will be looking for.

Here are the three key features of a routine home inspection:

  1. A home inspector will inspect the inside and outside of the home. This includes the HVAC system, plumbing, electrical wiring and panels, structural components, roof, and foundation. The inspector will create a written report that details the inspection results.

  2. The inspection takes about 2-4 hours. Inspections can be longer or shorter depending on the size of the house, the number of defects, the thoroughness of the inspector, and the accessibility of certain home elements (like the attic, for example). Still, most take between 2-4 hours. The best inspectors will deliver your finished inspection report the same day.

  3. Buyers can choose to attend the inspection. While not all buyers choose to participate in the inspection, some want to learn more about the home and ask questions during the inspection process.

When the inspector issues their full report, you can expect it to include pictures and videos of the home’s defects listed under a separate tab for easy reading. Usually, most defects listed are minor and may not even need to be fixed before the sale.

Instead of worrying about minor defects, we recommend focusing on the home’s more severe issues, which you may need to repair before the sale.

What do Home Inspectors Look for?

Home inspectors have a long list of elements they inspect, as set forth by the International Association of Certified Home Inspection (InterNACHI):

Here are the twelve inspection categories certified home inspectors will review:

  1. The home’s roof.

  2. The home’s exterior.

  3. The home’s basement, foundation, crawlspace, and structure.

  4. The home’s heating system.

  5. The home’s cooling system.

  6. The home’s plumbing system.

  7. The home’s electrical system.

  8. The home’s fireplace (if applicable).

  9. The home’s attic, insulation, and ventilation.

  10. The home’s doors, windows, and interior.

How Much do Home Inspections Cost?

The cost of a home inspection will vary depending on the size of the house and the presence of systems like air conditioning and fireplaces.

In Montana, the average cost of a home inspection is between $450 for a small house and a basic inspection to about $1000 for a large home that requires ancillary inspections for things like radon and mold.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

In most cases, buyers are responsible for paying for the home inspection. That’s not always the case, however. Some sales contracts include language that requires the seller to pay, and the arrangement is always open to negotiation.

Sometimes, a house seller pays for an inspection before putting the property on the market. This allows the seller to identify and fix issues before listing the home.

How can Sellers Prepare for the Home Inspection?

Your home is under contract, there’s an inspection contingency in place, and the home inspector is scheduled to arrive at any time. How can you make the process easier for them? Here are a few tips we recommend:

  • Leave the keys (or be there to let the inspector in). If you opt not to be there during the home inspection, leave your keys under the doormat or the electrical panel, where the inspector can easily find them.

  • Turn on all pilot lights. If you have gas fireplaces or furnaces, make sure the pilot lights are lit so the inspector can verify the function of heating and other appliances.

  • Ensure access. Ensure there’s an unobstructed path to critical areas like the basement, attic, furnace, crawl space, drainage access points, septic tank, HVAC unit, water heater, and other major appliances. This makes the home inspection easier and faster for the inspector.

  • Have the utilities reconnected. If the house has been vacant and the utilities are off, have them turned back on for the inspection.

These are simple tips, but they’ll ensure a fast, comprehensive, accurate home inspection for you and your buyer.

What Happens After the Home Inspection?

If the home inspection report reveals only minor issues, the sale can usually go forward as planned. If the report indicates serious issues, though, the buyer and seller will need to work together to take action.

In some cases, an issue may warrant additional inspections. In others, a seller will negotiate with the buyer to have significant issues paid for before the sale closes. Rarely, the defect may be so severe that it causes the home sale to fall through.

If you find yourself facing severe issues on the home inspection, work with your real estate agent and home inspector to determine the next steps.

Why Choose us to Conduct Your Home Inspection?

When it comes time to choose a home inspector, professionalism and certification are key. Here at 406 Home Inspection, Pros, we’re Certified CE Instructors (Continuing Education Instructors).

The owner of our company is also the author of “The Top 10 Things Found During a Home Inspection” course currently offered to Realtors through the Montana Association of Realtors.

Here are a few more of our qualifications:

  • CPI – Certified Professional Inspector

  • AIC2 – International Association of Certified Indoor Air Consultants

  • CCPIA – Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

Don’t settle for anything less than the best on your upcoming home inspection. Contact us today to book your inspection.

If you’re considering buying a Montana home, there’s one thing you should know. The “perfect” home doesn’t have to be truly perfect. Most homes have minor defects and small problems that are easy to fix. The important thing is to go into the purchasing process with your eyes wide open. After all, nobody wants to be surprised by a big home repair bill they weren’t expecting.

Luckily, that’s where 406 Home Inspection Pros comes in.

Our team of trusted home inspection experts will inspect your home like we’re buying it. When you work with us, we provide the information and insight you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

In this blog, we’ll discuss a few of the things we look for during a home inspection. We’ll also talk about why a pre-purchase home inspection is so important to protect your investment.

Let’s dive in.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a step that usually takes place before the sale of a home. It includes a visual assessment of a home’s structure and systems, including the HVAC system, roof, ceiling, walls, and foundation. The home inspector will also evaluate the indoor lighting, electrical panel, water heater, and more.

During a home inspection, the home inspector will check the following things:

  • Major appliances

  • HVAC system

  • Insulation

  • Sealing

  • Plumbing and electrical systems

  • Roof integrity and lifespan

  • Flooring

  • Walls

  • Foundation

  • The presence of mold

  • Basement

  • Attic

  • And more

Finally, a home inspector will identify seemingly small issues, like a jetted tub that isn’t working or a lightbulb that’s burnt out in the hallway. The home inspector may also conduct a radon test if requested.

The idea is to present you with as much information as possible to help you make an informed house-buying decision.

How Home Inspectors Evaluate a Property

Home inspectors know how to separate the urgent from the important. They may make recommendations about things you should have fixed pre-purchase, and things you can wait to address in the future. Home inspectors also look at a home with a critical eye, but not a judgmental one. They aren’t there to tell you whether to purchase the home.

Instead, they use their skills to identify small or significant flaws in the home so that you know exactly what you’re getting into. For example, a home inspector might realize that the house you want to purchase needs a new roof or water heater, or that the foundation is cracked, and the home is unsafe and unstable.

When you have this kind of information before you buy the home, you can negotiate the terms of the purchase agreement, arrange for the seller to handle major repairs, or avoid purchasing the home altogether.

Your Montana Home Through the Eyes of a Home Inspector

So, how do home inspectors differ from real estate agents, builders, appraisers, or other people involved in the real estate sale process? The answer is simple:

A good home inspector looks at a house from a different perspective than an average homebuyer or contractor. Home inspectors know how to look past the small things and identify underlying issues that could be problematic, dangerous, or expensive down the road.

Structural Problems

The first thing a home inspector looks for are structural problems. While structural problems are rare, they can cause massive issues when they do appear, so home inspectors rule them out immediately.

Water Issues

In the experience of the team here at 406 Home Inspection Pros, problems usually start with water in one form or another. In Montana, this issue is particularly pronounced, thanks to our rainy springs and cold, snowy winters.

Roof Leaks, gutter problems, drainage problems, ground water, high water tables, poor lot drainage, and similar issues can all cause massive problems for a property.

Over time, water can lead to structural damage, mold, rot, foul odors, flooding, safety issues, and many other problems. Water can also destroy rugs, carpets, furniture, building materials, personal possessions, and more.

While a wet crawl space may seem urgent, it’s important to identify why it’s wet in the first place.  Removing the water without correcting the problem will only cause more damage down the road. This willingness to uncover underlying problems is what makes home inspections particularly valuable.

Even if your home inspector can’t tell you why something is happening, they can identify the problem and suggest a specialist in that field.

And More

Home inspectors have found some seriously wacky things during inspections, from beer boxes stuffed into electrical panels to crushed, rotten joists tasked with holding up the entire home. Fortunately, you can trust that your home inspector will evaluate every aspect of your home and report on any issues they find.

When to Get a Home Inspection

If you’re building or buying a home, you need a home inspection. While today’s competitive real estate market has seen some people waiving their right to a home inspection, we never recommend doing this.

Without a home inspection, it’s impossible to know if the home has dangerous issues, and how pressing those issues are. If you decide to proceed with a purchase like this, you may wind up buying a home that has dangerous issues that put you and your family at risk. Alternately, you may find out that the home needs repairs that you can’t afford to conduct, like a new roof or foundation, or a new HVAC system.

No matter how enticing it may be to speed up a sale by waiving the home inspection, we recommend insisting on an inspection at all costs. Inspections are quick and informative and could easily save you from buying the wrong home for your family or budget.

406 Home Inspection Pros: Proudly Serving Montana Homeowners

Here at 406 Home Inspection Pros, we pride ourselves on being the home inspector of choice for Montana home buyers and sellers.

Whether you want to check your new property for mold, or you need a radon test before purchasing a home, you can count on our team to deliver. Contact us today to learn more about our inspection services or to schedule your inspection now.