Imagine seeing a movie with your children and expecting a family friendly flick, but instead, your eyes are viewing an intense horror film full of content that… let’s just say, “Mama no likey.” 

Didn’t you do your research? Read reviews, watch trailers, and review the movie rating? These things are all important to do when choosing the right movie for your family. Likewise, they are important to do when someone is choosing the right home for their family. 

A home inspection helps the decision process. Not all decisions are clear-cut yes or no. That is why each area reviewed during the inspection is given a grade—to help all parties have a complete understanding of the condition of the home and help make the decision easier.

These are the definitions our home inspectors use to give buyers and sellers the best understanding of the condition of the home:

SATISFACTORY: Everything is good and works well (thumbs up).

HouseMaster definition: The element was functional at the time of inspection. The element was in working or operating order and its condition was at least sufficient for its minimum required function, although routine maintenance may be needed.   

FAIR: Things are OK, but may need to be repaired soon.

HouseMaster definition: The element was functional at the time of inspection but has a probability of requiring repair, replacement, or other remedial work at any time due to its age, condition, lack of maintenance or other factors. Have the element regularly evaluated and anticipate the need to take action.

POOR: Needs attention and repair.

HouseMaster definition: The element requires immediate repair replacement, or other remedial work, or requires evaluation and/or servicing by a qualified specialist.

NOT APPLICABLE: The element wasn’t inspected for a specific stated reason.

HouseMaster definition: All or individual listed elements were not present, were not observed, were outside the scope of the inspection, and/or were not inspected due to other factors, stated or otherwise.

NOT INSPECTED (Not Rated): Not able to inspect the element for a stated reason.

HouseMaster definition: The element was disconnected or de-energized, was not readily visible or accessible, presented unusual or unsafe conditions for inspection, was outside the scope of the inspection, and/or was not inspected due to other factors, stated or otherwise.

This may look like more like a to-do list for the seller rather than an actual report. That is not it at all. Through our 37 years of home inspection experience, HouseMaster has found that this grading system is the best way to determine and convey the condition of each house. We’ve developed this to help each customer have their own defining moment.