A material defect is a problem with real property that would have a significant adverse impact in the value of the property or that involves an unreasonable risk to people on the property. Components of the home that are at or near the end of its normal useful life is not by itself, a material defect.
If the property has one or any combination of the following…hard coat stucco, synthetic stucco i.e. EIFS/Dryvit or manufactured stone, then yes you should have invasive testing performed by a qualified stucco inspector. The home inspector will perform a visual examination only of the exterior which has a stucco product applied. We look for visible damage and the presence of proper flashing in key locations where hidden damage is common.
No but it is highly recommended. This is the first opportunity you will have to spend any real amount of time in the home prior to purchase. The inspector will educate you on the systems of the home, typical life expectancy of components and give you general maintenance advice.
As tempting as it is, the home inspection is not the time to bring friends and family. Not only is it distracting to the inspector, the PA standard agreement of sale limits the attendees to only the named parties and his/her licensee. Any exceptions to this must be agreed to with the seller in writing prior to the inspection.
We will only provide reports to our clients directly unless the client requests otherwise. New changes to the PA standard agreement of sale now require that you provide the seller, upon request, the report in its entirety. This is true regardless of whether or not you purchase the property or terminate the agreement.