All About Home Inspections

Posted by Sharon Johnson on December 22, 2011  /   Posted in home inspection

If you are in the market to buy a home in Louisville or the surrounding area, then it is time to understand the basics ofhome inspections.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 77 percent of home buyers had a home inspection prior to purchasing their home, and Realtors report that 84 percent of home buyers requested a home inspection as part of their contract.

When choosing a home inspector, you want to find a qualified and experienced professional. In this field, that means having client contacts or testimonials to back up their work, as well as the appropriate state license to operate as a home inspector. Not every state requires a license, but in Kentucky, you must have a license to perform a home inspection. ?You should also ask if they are a member of a national association. ?The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) and National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) are the three big organizations. ?In your inspector interview, ask about cost, whether they offer a guarantee on their work, how long their inspection should take, and how you’ll be receiving the report (written or otherwise).

Some inspectors charge a flat rate based on square footage and ancilliary features, but the cost can vary depending on the size of the job, the expertise level of the inspector, among many other factors. As a ballpark, an inspection can cost around $400.

You should expect a typical inspection to take several hours. Smaller homes take less time than larger or older homes. If you really want to be invested in this process, it is recommended that you are present for the inspection. Ask for things to be explained as you go ? including how certain things work and where valves, switches, and such are.

Be sure to ask for a written report,and consider asking for price estimate for repairs. A repair estimate is a good negotiation tool when it comes to settling on a final sale price for a home.

It is important to note that a home inspection is not a gold stamp of approval that your new home will be in perfect working order. Things break and items will need repaired. Your home inspector is not liable for repairs or damages. ?The home inspector can help you assess the report in terms of manageability and functionality.

An inspection looks at hundreds of items, including: Structural elements, exterior evaluation, roof and attic, plumbing, systems and components, electrical, appliances, and the garage.

Talk to your home inspector about your new home. Ask questions. ?Get to know your new home while the inspector is there. ?You will be glad you did.

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