Tag Archives: home inspections

What Questions Should You Ask During Your Home Inspection?

You’ve been working with your agent for months and you’ve finally found the house of your dreams.  The offer was accepted, and the loan application has been made.  Congratulations!  What’s next?  Closing?

One of the most important steps to take when buying a home is the home inspection, and while nearly all of my clients do them (that might have something to do with the fact that I tell them “you will do a home inspection”), sometimes buyers forego them.  I’d encourage you not to, however, as it’s really an excellent opportunity a few hours looking “under the surface” at the real condition of the house you’re buying.

Of course, as a new home buyer you might not have a home inspector on speed dial.  It’s okay – I do (true story).  In fact, I have several that I use on a regular basis because they do such a good job for a clients.  When you go under contract, we’re going to send you a list of inspectors that we like to use, and who we think would be a good fit for your new home; all are licensed by either the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and in some cases they’re licensed by both.  While I can’t say “use this inspector”, I can tell you the ones I’d suggest using, and from there would encourage you to contact them and ask them three very important pre-home inspection questions:

  1. What will the inspection cover, and when would I receive your report? – in a home inspection, we’re looking to see that systems in the house are in safe and working order, that the roof is free of leaks, and that the house is structurally sound.  It is not an indictment of the fuscia wallpaper or the shag carpeting (could it be argued that those are unsafe from an aesthetic perspective? if not then use the carpet cleaning Las Vegas team) … once the inspection is completed, you’ll likely receive the full report within 24 hours, and quite often right there on-site.
  2. Can I see a copy of a report you would prepare after an inspection? – because of the sheer thoroughness of a good home inspection, a quality home inspection report will be at minimum 15 pages, and frequently is twice that size.  It should clearly detail the systems inspected, and their condition at the time of the inspection.  Pictures are important, as well.
  3. How do you stay current on industry standards? – the building industry is changing all the time, with new practices and standards being included on a regular basis.  While a home inspection isn’t designed to bring a house up to code, a good inspector should know how to merge the value of their inspection with the accepted building practices in place when the house being inspected was built.  They should also be able to provide a consistent, documented history of continuing education in the inspection field.

Notice I didn’t include “how much does it cost?”. While counting dollars and cents is important in the real estate transaction, the home inspection is not an area to cut corners.  Typically an inspection will range from $275-500, but factor this cost into your budget – it’s worth every penny.

The questions aren’t done there, though.  Attend your inspection.  Ask questions – lots of them.  I wouldn’t recommend an inspector who didn’t want to be asked questions, and I guarantee you’ll learn a ton.  And if you don’t know what to ask, here’s a list of things to get you started:

  1. Where is the main water shut off valve to the house?
  2. What’s the typical life span of a roof like what’s on this particular home?  Is there any special maintenance that needs to be done to it?
  3. If there’s access to the attic, what does the attic look like?  Is this usable space, i.e. a place to store unused boxes and things?
  4. Is the electrical panel full, or is there room to expand?
  5. How is the drainage around the house?

Attend the inspection, ask questions, and listen.  A home inspector who says “I don’t know” isn’t a bad inspector – in fact, they’re doing you a favor by not jumping to conclusions and making inaccurate statements.  Take part in the process, and you’ll be that much closer to buying the right home for your future.

Questions To Ask Before And During Your Home Inspection

You’ve been working with your agent for months and you’ve finally found the house of your dreams.  The offer was accepted, and the loan application has been made.  Congratulations!  What’s next?  Closing?

One of the most important steps to take when buying a home is the home inspection, and while nearly all of my clients do them (that might have something to do with the fact that I tell them “you will do a home inspection”), sometimes buyers forego them.  I’d encourage you not to, however, as it’s really an excellent opportunity a few hours looking “under the surface” at the real condition of the house you’re buying.

Of course, as a new home buyer you might not have a home inspector on speed dial.  It’s okay – I do (true story).  In fact, I have several that I use on a regular basis because they do such a good job for a clients.  When you go under contract, we’re going to send you a list of inspectors that we like to use, and who we think would be a good fit for your new home; all are licensed by either the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and in some cases they’re licensed by both.  While I can’t say “use this inspector”, I can tell you the ones I’d suggest using, and from there would encourage you to contact them and ask them three very important pre-home inspection questions:

  1. What will the inspection cover, and when would I receive your report? – in a home inspection, we’re looking to see that systems in the house are in safe and working order, that the roof is free of leaks, and that the house is structurally sound.  It is not an indictment of the fuscia wallpaper or the shag carpeting (could it be argued that those are unsafe from an aesthetic perspective?) … once the inspection is completed, you’ll likely receive the full report within 24 hours, and quite often right there on-site.
  2. Can I see a copy of a report you would prepare after an inspection? – because of the sheer thoroughness of a good home inspection, a quality home inspection report will be at minimum 15 pages, and frequently is twice that size.  It should clearly detail the systems inspected, and their condition at the time of the inspection.  Pictures are important, as well.
  3. How do you stay current on industry standards? – the building industry is changing all the time, with new practices and standards being included on a regular basis.  While a home inspection isn’t designed to bring a house up to code, a good inspector should know how to merge the value of their inspection with the accepted building practices in place when the house being inspected was built.  They should also be able to provide a consistent, documented history of continuing education in the inspection field.

Notice I didn’t include “how much does it cost?”. While counting dollars and cents is important in the real estate transaction, the home inspection is not an area to cut corners.  Typically an inspection will range from $275-500, but factor this cost into your budget – it’s worth every penny.

The questions aren’t done there, though.  Attend your inspection.  Ask questions – lots of them.  I wouldn’t recommend an inspector who didn’t want to be asked questions, and I guarantee you’ll learn a ton.  And if you don’t know what to ask, here’s a list of things to get you started:

  1. Where is the main water shut off valve to the house?
  2. What’s the typical life span of a roof like what’s on this particular home?  Is there any special maintenance that needs to be done to it?
  3. If there’s access to the attic, what does the attic look like?  Is this usable space, i.e. a place to store unused boxes and things?
  4. Is the electrical panel full, or is there room to expand?
  5. How is the drainage around the house?

Attend the inspection, ask questions, and listen.  A home inspector who says “I don’t know” isn’t a bad inspector – in fact, they’re doing you a favor by not jumping to conclusions and making inaccurate statements.  Take part in the process, and you’ll be that much closer to buying the right home for your future.

Sponsored By: Carpets Cleaners Sydney.

Through The Seller’s Eyes – The Home Inspection

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Last month, I wrote "What Is A Home Inspection?"  I fully intended to write more … but I didn't.  

Then Jay Thompson in Phoenix wrote about the home inspection from the Seller's point of view.  I think he wrote it better than I could.

The seller should be looking at the inspection in much the same way as the buyer is:

"A home inspection for the purposes of this Contract is RESTRICTED TO DETERMINING ONLY that the plumbing (including well, well pump and septic systems, if any), heating, air conditioning (if any), electrical systems and appliances are in safe working order, there are no structural defects, and the roof is free of leaks. The home inspection and any subsequent inspections shall be at Purchaser's expense." 6a00d8341c36d553ef01053496139a970b-800wi

In our area of Virginia, if you agree in whole or in part to the repairs requested in the home inspection Amendment, make sure there is a completely ratified (signed and initialed) Amendment.  The home inspection contingency is then removed and you can move forward with the Contract.  As a seller, you want to make sure there's a specific dollar amount specified for repairs (it varies on what that amount is, sometimes as little as $500, but the Contract should state very clearly what that amount is.  If you can't come to an agreement with the buyer regarding which repairs will be completed, then the Contract can be terminated (again, in writing), the buyer can get their earnest money back, and your house can be put back up for sale.

I can't say that we see many deals fall through over home inspections, but sometimes negotiations just don't work out as planned and the house has to go back on the market.  Remember – if one buyer didn't like that the roof was falling apart, it's probably that another buyer's not going to like that either.  If you can make some of the repairs suggested in the report prior to putting the house back up for sale, it might be a good idea.  Another even better idea might be to have the house inspected prior to listing it; then you can provide potential buyers a little more confidence that yours is one they need to seriously consider.

Thanks Jay, for the great write-up.

Bifocals and Anderson.

What Is A Home Inspection?

Home-inspectionLast week, we had several properties having home inspections being done, all by the same inspector.  We try to use the same vendors, over and over, because they consistently bring their best to the job each and every time, which is one reason why we like John.  And he shares my affinity for all things Mac related, but that’s for another post.

So we kept John busy last week, and in the course of those inspections I got to thinking about the purpose of the home inspection.  On the Contract we use, the home inspection clause reads:

“A home inspection for the purposes of this Contract is RESTRICTED TO DETERMINING ONLY that the plumbing (including well, well pump and septic systems, if any), heating, air conditioning (if any), electrical systems and appliances are in safe working order, there are no structural defects, and the roof is free of leaks.  The home inspection and any subsequent inspections shall be at Purchaser’s expense.”  It’s not a license to swing for the fences

With that in mind, the inspection is a comprehensive snapshot of the major systems in a home.  It usually takes 3 or 4 hours to complete, usually costs a few hundred dollars, and the result will be a thorough report detailing the good – and sometimes bad – regarding the condition of the home.  If you’re a home owner, preparing to put your home on the market, you might also want to consider getting a home inspection … it’ll give you a better idea of items that can or should be addressed prior to listing your home.

Thanks for the image

 

Inspections Just Got A Little Tougher

Thumbsupag3Haven’t believed me when I’ve said that our real estate market has stayed consistent and steady?  All the news nationally says otherwise, but this morning in a meeting I heard it announced that a home inspector we work with on a regular basis was now asking for 8 DAYS advance notice on inspections.

8 DAYS.

I usually write 3-5 days in for home inspections to be performed.  This summer just might be a better real estate market than I’ve been suggesting.