As a responsible Realtor, and Accredited Buyers Representative (trained and experienced in hundreds of purchases) it is absolutely necessary for buyers to conduct a whole house inspection before purchasing a home. I have compiled a selection of frequently asked questions that my clients have and my commentary on each.A Home Inspection is an absolute must when making your largest investment!
Having your future home and your largest investment inspected by a licensed inspector is an absolute must! As an Accredited Buyers Representative, I require all of my buyers to get a home inspection. The home inspection simply allows you to pay an independent inspector to inform you about the properties status or condition. Perhaps there are some maintenance items, or some mis-wired electrical outlets, or maybe the house needs a new roof, or the furnace is dead. You as the buyer need to know the condition of the property to move on to the next stage in the purchase. For your benefit, a whole house inspection is an essential part of the purchase of a home. This is so much the case, that if you decide not to inspect your largest investment, you must sign a waiver stating that I recommended this service and you denied the opportunity. That really says something!Who pays for the inspection?
Since the buyer wants to know the condition of the property he is buying, it is he who pays for his information/inspection. Inspections can run between 250 (small condo) to more than $500. I have seen the average around $350. They typically charge based on the sale price or size of the home. Not a bad price to pay considering you are about to make the single largest investment of your life to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars.What type of inspection should I get?
In my experience of working with some great inspectors, and as an ABR, I would suggest nothing less than a whole house inspection, and a termite inspection. The inspector will look at every system and component in the house, and do a termite inspection. The whole house inspector knows many things about typical issues, and many about complex issues. Every once in a while, the inspector will find a crack in the foundation that looks out of the norm, or some gross buckling in the roofing and suggest some ancillary inspections. For the foundation, we would call on a structural engineer, or the roof, a roofing contractor. But for the general inspection, the whole house inspector can evaluate the home 99% of the time and that will be all that is necessary. So, to start, choose a whole house inspection and a termite.
Termite inspections can be a requirement of the lender (depending on your loan), and thus a normal part of the process. In addition treatment for termites is around or under $1,000, so worth a $55 inspection in the event they are in the house we can ask the seller to have it treated. More on Termites and their treatments in another article.
Ancillary inspections like mold, radon or structural are all added expenses, increasing your costs $500, $120 and $400+ respectively and take between 3-20 days to complete. These are items that may be recommended by your inspector or Realtor based on evidence that they should be done. Visible mold on the walls, bowing in the walls of the basement, large cracks in the floors of the basement all lead to suggestion of ancillary inspections. If you are working with me, Amy Broghamer, my experience touring homes and other sales give me a solid back ground to help you identify any major issues while we are initially touring the home. I can spot potential major issues that may help reduce the chance that you will buy a house that will have a lot of inspection items noted. I can show you what to look for and when to know you have a great home that is worth making an offer on!Who should I use for an inspector?
This question is simple. Ask Me! I work with very talented and knowledgeable inspectors. I work through more than 30 inspections a year, and know who is better than others, and who is going to be the most knowledgeable for your home. I recommend and use Kentucky inspectors for many reasons. Kentucky inspectors are LICENSED, which means they must keep their licenses current with continuing education, and follow a code of ethics set forth by the American Society of Home Inspectors. Using an ASHI inspector shows the seller that you have an inspector who knows what they are talking about and they have been trained.
See the Inspectors Code of Ethics here.
With so many new issues with homes it is good to know that your inspector has been in continuing education this year, and knows the latest on building trends and other inspection related issues. In the state of Ohio, there is no licensing requirement or continuing education required. I could decide to be in inspector tomorrow and inspect your home, without having training or knowledge of building codes and other inspection related skills. This is why I prefer to refer a few KY licensed inspectors to inspect your property. They work in Ohio about 50% or more of the time. The inspectors I recommend do more than 500 inspections in a year, which means they know what they are looking at, and have likely seen it before. With my referral, the will usually work you into the schedule faster and are often more in depth. They can suggest ways to fix issues and roughly estimate costs to do so.
I always recommend a good referral before you select an inspector. I have seen some poor inspections completed, and I know who is good! Also something to consider, if you call for an inspection and they are available that day or the next, why is no one else booking them? This is your largest investment, get a great inspector!
Since we are on the topic of great inspectors, check out AA Home Inspections website. Here they have an example report, with comments, photos with arrows and circles pointing to trouble areas, and you can see where everything gets inspected.
Having a thorough report with photos like this one, allows for better negotiation for you. Imagine if there were an issue with some flashing in the roof, causing leaking in the attic. The inspector would have photos of the roof and photos of water intrusion in the attic, with wet insulation proving with photos to the seller that this is a real issue that needs to be repaired by them ASAP. These photos and the professional report by a licensed professional give the issues more serious credibility and works to your advantage when remedying an issue that could cause you problems when you move in.
NOTE: Not all whole house inspectors take photos or include them in a report. The report is key, and it looking professional provides credibility to all parties involved.
With each inspector, you will find they have an agreement that you will sign. Here is a link to that agreement for AA Home Inspection.
In short, this document says that during this inspection process, we do the very best we can to completely inspect this property inside and out. We are limited to what we can see and get to inside the home and outside. They do the very best they can to give you the best idea of the condition of the property. There may be something that is not found during the inspection and later discovered after you move in. It is almost impossible to know every single intricacy of the house. All inspectors will have similar agreements.
During the inspection you are encouraged to be in attendance. The inspector will point out to you the things he has found in the home that need some attention, or he will teach you how to use a particular appliance or which way to turn the water on and off. As an ABR, I think it is important for me to attend your inspection as well. I will stop in towards the end to get the summary of any issues. This allows me to see and understand the things found so that I can effectively communicate and then show if necessary the listing agent the issues so that we can see eye to eye and get the issues resolved for you. You may also save some time by attending at the end for the summary tour as well. Inspections typically take around 3 hours, some longer, some shorter depending on the size of house. If you would like to do a virtual inspection, click here to see how things work at an inspection, and what inspectors look for in different areas of a home.Frequently Asked Questions
compliments of the AA Home Inspection website.What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an in-depth visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home. It is not an appraisal that tells you what the home is worth or a code compliance audit. If you are thinking of buying a home, condo, townhouse, or duplex, you should have it properly inspected before final purchase by an experienced and impartial inspector.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Purchasing a home will probably be the single largest investment you will ever make. You should know exactly what to expect, inside and out, in terms of repairs and maintenance. A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Water marks on the ceiling, roof decking, or floor joists may indicate a chronic leakage problem or simply the result of a single incident. The home inspector interprets these and other clues, and then presents a professional and impartial opinion as to the condition of the property before you buy, so you can avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. Of course, a good home inspection will also point out any positive aspects of a home, such as: a new roof, new siding, and professionally installed pool or spa, to name a few.
Can I do a home inspection myself or have my friend help me?
Even the most knowledgeable home buyer or home owner lacks the expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds or even thousands of homes in their career. An inspector is equally familiar with all the elements of home construction and the proper installation, maintenance, and interrelationship of these elements. Plus, most buyers find it hard to stay completely objective and unemotional about the home they are considering, possibly leading to a poor assessment. Even trained craftsmen, know that professionally inspecting a home is no simple task. Many wouldn’t consider doing an inspection for themselves, or even having one of their own employees do it for them, why should you?Can a house 'fail' an inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of the prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a municipal code inspection. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house but rather, we describe its condition at that time and indicate which items will be in need of repair or replacement. This is when you call upon ME to help you appropriately negotiate repairs, price reductions or other consessions to make the results of the inspection worth it!
If the report is favorable, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely! Now you can have peace of mind in completing your home purchase, knowing the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You may have also learned a few things from the inspection and will want that for future reference.How does your service compare to that of other home inspectors?
AA Home Inspections answers this question as follows: We welcome you to read more out about our services, and then compare us to the competition. We're sure that you will find that we are the best in the business; well-educated, professional, sincere, unbiased, fair, and thorough. Our inspections are a complete service, with no hidden charges. Our report format is easy to understand, easier to read (digital printout, no handwriting to decipher), and we include images with every report. We are not satisfied unless you’re satisfied, it’s that simple AND that’s our guarantee. All of these factors separate us from our competition, and continue to make us the preferred choice for home inspections!
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