Inspections 101 Q&A

by | Feb 24, 2016 | Real Estate | 0 comments

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

Saturday, February 27th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)

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

Thursday night, March 17th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, March 19th, from 11am-2pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)

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!  😀
Hi there…and happy Sunday….uh sorry Wednesday!

Crazy week, huh?  So this past week I had 3 home inspections for my clients.  The last one was on Friday and well, something happened that I thought would be good to go over this week.  So, the inspector shows up at the home, and I get there a couple of minutes after.  Inspector tells me that someone is home…  now, for the inspection, it is preferred that the sellers NOT be home.  It’s difficult for the inspector to do his job and to talk about the home with the buyer, and the buyers agent when the seller is at the inspection and following us around.  It is the sellers agent responsibility to politely remind their client that they shouldn’t be home for the inspection, but we have to remember that it is the sellers homes so we can’t force them to leave.  We can ask it… but..  can’t make them.  In regard to our inspection on Friday, it is a home that the sellers are renting out.  This makes it even more sticky as I let the sellers agent know what day & time we were doing the inspection, and the sellers agent tells the seller, who then tells the renters that we will be doing the inspection on that certain day/time…. but they are renting the home, so it isn’t like we can kick them out.  I was hoping that the renters wouldn’t be there, but …  I figured it was something we could work around.  I went to the door and knocked…and a kid opened the door.  This young man was about 12…maybe 13, and was home alone.  Now, my kids would be home alone at that age for a couple of hours at a time too, so that wasn’t a big deal, but we can’t do the home inspection with a minor child home alone.  As a mother…I am not comfortable with that.  I called the sellers agent and explained our dilemma.  Here’s how the conversation went…

Me:  “I’m sorry sellers agent, but we are going to have to request an inspection extension as we can’t do the home inspection right now”
Sellers agent:  “why not?”

Me:  “well, there is a minor child in the home alone.  Boy is about 12, maybe 13…but he’s in the home.”
Sellers agent:  “what’s the big deal?  We are all professionals”
Me:  “Yes, we are, but as a mother, I am not comfortable proceeding with the home inspection with a minor child in the home by himself.  If I was the parent and I came home to a bunch of strangers in my home with my kid in there, I wouldn’t be happy.”
Sellers Agent:  “Well, I confirmed with the sellers, and with the renters, that the home would be empty for you to do the inspection today.  No one is supposed to be there….I would do the inspection, and I’m a dad.  I don’t know if the sellers will give you an inspection extension.”
Me:  “Well, as a mother, I am not comfortable with it…and neither is the inspector, who is also a father.  I guess the seller doesn’t have to give an extension for the inspection period, but there is a minor child alone in the home so we are not doing the inspection right now for safety reasons. ”

….needless to say, the conversation didn’t end well.  We rescheduled the home inspection day/time, and the inspector leaves.  As I am out front talking with my client, and her father…the childs mother pulls up.  She asks if we are there to see the home and we explain that we are there for the home inspection, but because there is a minor male in the home, we were going to reschedule.  Mom says that she is there to pick her child up, and that the home is rented by childs dad…her ex-husband.  She then thanks me for NOT doing the home inspection with her kid there alone, and says that had she showed up to pick her kid up and he was there alone with a bunch of strangers that yes, she would be upset and would be contacting the kids dad about it.  Frankly…I don’t blame her since that is EXACTLY why we (the inspector & I) refused to do the inspection in the first place.
Long story short….childs mom picked him up, we called the inspector back, and were able to perform the inspection.

This is one of those things that happens in real estate…  for me (and many other agents) we put the people involved in the transaction first…and for others… it’s all about the deal.  Buying, or selling a home, is more than just a transaction..or a deal… it’s about you.

So let’s talk about home inspections a bit since we are on the topic….

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-$400, 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.  The home inspector works 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.
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.

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…. please remember that 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:  Septic vs Sewer? 
                Buyer love letters?  How do you make your offer stand out?
                         Where do I go online to find homes, and what does those statuses mean?  

Last Week:    Interest Rates, Home Prices, and Agent Interview Questions   
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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