Your Questions Answered: Home Inspectors

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Buying a home is a big expense and you will want to make sure that you know what kind of projects you will be taking on before the home is yours. That way you are able to go back to the owners and request something be fixed or updated before you move in. That is where a home inspector will come in. Here are some of the biggest questions home buyers have about home inspectors:

Olive Hill, KY, June 2, 2010 -- FEMA Mitigation specialist Kathi Merritt and Admin specialist Sandra Draper inspect a water line at a mobile home park here. Flooding devastated many areas in Kentucky in early May. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

1. How can you be sure they are licensed?

2. Will the home inspector inspect every feature of the house? 

  • No, the home inspector must inspect certain features required by state law and may inspect additional components and features in his or her discretion or by agreement between the home inspector and his or her client.

3. Can I ask the home inspector to look at specific components and items? 

  • Yes, as the home inspector’s client you may request that the home inspector inspect specific components and items as long as they are readily accessible. It may be best to make these requests in writing to avoid confusion.

4. May all of the problem areas mentioned in the home inspector’s report be listed in a notice of defects for the offer to purchase? 

  • No, the home inspection report will look at property conditions in a general fashion and may list many property conditions that are not serious enough to fit the definition of a defect in the inspection contingency.

5. What does the home inspector include in the home inspection report? 

  • The home inspector gives a comprehensive report that includes comments — good, bad and neutral — on all of the different components, systems and items the home inspector is required to inspect. The home inspector does report on the condition of any building component, improvement or item that if not repaired, will have significant adverse effect on the useful life of the item. The home inspector also notes any conditions that may significantly reduce the functionality of structural integrity of property components or systems, or that may pose a significant health or safety risk to building occupants.

6. How does the inspection contingency in the offer to purchase work? 

  • In the offer to purchase, a buyer must evaluate whether there are any defects listed in the home inspection report to which the buyer objects and which the buyer wants the seller to fix before the buyer will purchase the property. A defect is a structural, mechanical or other condition that would have a significant adverse effect on the value of the property, significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants, or, if not repaired, removed or replaced, significantly shorten or have a significant adverse effect on the expected normal life of the entire property.

7. Should I always give a notice of defects? 

  • This decision is made on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the circumstances and what is best for you. Your Shorewest, REALTOR® along with your attorney, can help explain the pros and cons of giving a notice of defects.

8. If the seller discloses a problem on the Real Estate Condition Report, may I include that on the notice of defects? 

  • If a defect has been previously disclosed in sufficient detail so that you are aware of the nature and extent, then you generally cannot list the problem as a defect if you give a notice of defects under the inspection contingency.

If you are looking for a great home inspector, contact your Shorewest, REALTOR® today! Plus, they have a full list of independent home service providers that can help with everything from appliances to window washing. #ShorewestRealtors #HomeInspection

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Categories: First Time Home Buyers, Home Buying, Homeowner, How to, Real Estate Tips

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