Home Inspections 101

by | Mar 19, 2017 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:

Saturday,March 25th, from 10am-1pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, April 8th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Tuesday, April 11th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀

I’ve been awful recently about getting these out on time.  I apologize…  I’ve been trying to pack up my house too in my ‘spare’ time…. and I can tell you that when you live in a home for any amount of time (or 15 years) you can accumulate a LOT of stuff!  It doesn’t help that I like ‘stuff’, so my husband and I have been having minor battles where he wants to get rid of my ‘stuff’ and I keep throwing it all in boxes.   Honestly, I have NO idea what is in these boxes, but all I do know is that it is ‘stuff’ that I want to keep.  Could I get rid of most of it?  Yeah…probably… but am I going to?  Yeah…probably not.  😀
Packing sucks!  now….no worries…  I’m not a TV worthy hoarder or anything, but I do have a lot of ‘stuff’, and most of it is paperwork.  I swear to you that I think my papers are breeding!  No…really!  I swear that I pack stuff, but I turn around and there’s MORE!!  Where does it all come from?!  The only logical answer is that my papers & ‘stuff’, are breeding!

This week I want to talk a bit about the weather.  I know we’re all a bit sick of the rain….even me and I LIKE rain!  We’ve had a years worth of rain in 5 1/2 months…how crazy is that?!  With all the rain right now, I think it is a good time to talk about home inspections.  🙂  Fall, winter, and spring are great times for home inspections because of all the rain.  When it is dry it is sometimes difficult to see how the home weathers our typical weather pattern of rain and wind.

Inspections are an extremely important part of the home buying process, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked, or taken lightly. With inspections, you need to ask some important questions, as this is your chance to request repairs….or to back out with your earnest money refunded to you if the repairs needed are to extensive, or won’t be done by the seller.

This is always a very important subject as it is one of the most important parts of the home buying process. Again….I don’t care if your home is 5 minutes old, or 150 years old….GET A HOME INSPECTION! Remember, it’s not the home builder you are checking out, but the work done by the contractors they have hired. The city/county inspectors who come out do NOT check for the same thing a home inspector does. One more thing… you need to be there, and your agent needs to be there too….we can’t help you if we aren’t there with you. A buyer’s agent is always here to assist, advise, and help you!

When hiring a home inspector some good questions to ask them are:
How long have you been licensed?
Licensing for home inspectors in the State of Washington has only has only been required since September of 2009. Many inspectors were in business, unlicensed, before that. Some inspectors took the initiative and were licensed way before that. Your inspector should be bonded, insured, and carry E&O (errors and omissions) insurance.

How long will the inspection take? How much is it?
The average home inspection should take between 2-3 hours. The average cost is about $350-$400…now to be honest, you can get an inspection for cheaper, but sometimes you get what you pay for. Make sure your inspector is inspecting what is important to you. Remember, as a buyer, the inspector works for you…not the buyers agent, the sellers agent, or the sellers. YOU, the buyer, are hiring this contractor to perform a service for you. Ask the inspector what their inspection entails, and what is included…or not.

What does your home inspection entail? What will you do?
A home inspector should be walking and checking the roof. A roof must have 2+ year certificate for state or government grants/loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. A home inspector should be walking around the exterior and checking the siding, and looking at the housing vents for broken/missing screens. The home inspector will also be looking at vegetation around the home, and look at the water meter on the curb for current activity.
Inside the home, the inspector will crawl the crawlspace looking for leaks, groundwater, evidence or signs of current, or past animal activity, etc. The inspector should also be checking the atticspace for signs of current or past leakage and/or mold.

The inspector will also be looking at all water faucets and toilets for leakage, drainage, and more. The inspector should also be checking all windows, electrical outlets and the main electric box for safety hazards, vents and heating units, and more.

Do you (the inspector) have a water reader?
Some inspectors have a water reader that reads moisture 1 inch into a surface, be it wall or floor. These are wonderful for finding such things as leaking wax seals in toilets (very common), moisture in a wall around a window that hasn’t had its’ weep seals cleaned, moisture in walls or flooring around such places as washer/dryers, fridges, dishwashers, showers, toilets, and bathtubs.

What paperwork will be included at this cost?
Some inspectors will charge you extra for a FHA Dry Rot and Pest Report, or for a print out of your inspection. You will need a FHA Dry Rot Pest Report for the state loans, VA loans, and FHA loans. Make sure your cost includes a copy of this. Also, ask how the inspector will get you a copy of your inspection, in what form will it come to you, and how soon can you expect it. The average cost for a home inspection is around $350, but the cost can vary with the size of the home you are purchasing.

Some things to Remember:
The home inspector is just that…an inspector.  She/He is not a contractor, and they are still human.  This is important since you want to make sure any requested (and agreed upon) repairs are performed by licensed contractors.  I have one right now where the seller agreed to a couple of water related repairs, but the licensed contractor came in and said in his professional opinion there was no repairs needed.  Again, the inspector is not a contractor.  The home inspector does work for YOU. You pay for the home inspection at time of service, and this is a non-refundable fee, but it is also a legal reason to back out (if you want) and get your earnest money refunded to you.

A home inspectors job is give you a run down of the homes condition and what you can expect in the areas of maintenance, and what needs to be done for safety and/or health reasons.
Anything that is a health or safety concern, or that needs to be done by a licensed contractor is something that needs to be discussed with your buyer’s agent for repair.  I know I said it above, but making sure that the requested (and agreed upon) repairs are repaired by licensed contractors is important.  Your agent should also make sure that you receive receipts for the work that was (or wasn’t) done.  You also have the right to have any repairs re-inspected.  A buyer can provide quotes, or bids for repairs, but the seller has the right to hire the professional/licensed contractor that they choose….the seller does not have to hire the contractor that you spoke to.  Actually…this might be a good idea for next weeks discussion…
Both YOU and YOUR AGENT should be there at the time of the home inspection. Again, the home inspector is your employee for the day, so be sure to walk with them and learn about your potential new home. Ask questions! Take notes if you want…

In case of a bank owned home or HUD home, make sure that the water, and all other utilities are turned on for the home inspection. Both your agent, and the inspector should be assisting with this. If the water is NOT turned on then it is outside the scope of the inspection.

On one of our upcoming topics is Buyers Due Diligence which will tie into this topic on Home inspection

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  AND If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

 Upcoming Topics: What happens AFTER the home inspection?
Buyers Due Diligence,
What are the ‘Hidden’ Costs of Buying a Home? ….. 

What if I don’t have a Down Payment? …..  &….
What happens after an offer is made?

Last Week:  Signs of Spring…Open Houses!

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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