Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fort Knox Kentucky home buyers should always get a home inspection before purchasing.

Why do I need to have a home inspection when purchasing real estate?
Buying a home near Fort Knox should always involve a home inspection to identify any problems with the structure, the plumbing, the electrical wiring, the heating system, the roof, and more. Buying a home is a wonderful investment and you are limiting your risk by requiring an inspection. Whether you're buying a new home or an existing one, we always recommend you have a home inspection; even people who are pretty "handy" should get one. A good home inspector is doing checklist-based home inspections daily, is much more thorough than the typical buyer, and spends two hours or more at the house. Many buyers mistakenly think the VA appraiser is a home inspector. The VA appraiser is arriving at a fair market value for the home while checking for obvious physical defects. An appraisal of any kind is not a substitute for ordering a home inspection.

What requirements exist to become a licensed home inspector?
Kentucky requires the home inspector be licensed to conduct the inspection. Inspectors must take a board-approved training program or course involving the performance of home inspections, and pass an examination prescribed or approved by the board. Inspectors must also have insurance with general liability coverage of at least $250,000. How can you recognize an unlicensed home inspector? You can verify the status of a Kentucky inspector's license on the Board of Home Inspectors website.

How do you choose a good home inspector?
We, and many other Hardin County Kentucky Realtors, always recommend that buyers choose their own inspectors. Other than finding inspectors on the internet buyers should ask family, friends, and neighbors who have recently purchased. We have a list of home inspectors for Hardin County and Meade County with reviews.
Gather names, phone numbers, and email addresses of local home inspectors. Once you have completed this search, select several of the individuals from your list. You can narrow your choices down easily by selecting home inspectors who live nearby. We feel it's important to choose a home inspector who is familiar with the local area.

You'll want to interview the inspectors (over the phone), here are a few questions to ask:
  • How much do you charge to perform a home inspection? Inspections usually run anywhere between $200 and $400. Make sure the inspector knows the location of the property, you want to make sure he/she services that area and the fee may also be based on how far the inspector has to travel. Even though it may be difficult, try not to base your decision solely on price; a busy inspector may charge more because of his/her high demand (the whole supply/demand thing). As per your real estate purchase contract, you need to have your inspection done in a timely manner so be sure to check the inspector's availability and inform him/her of your deadline.
  • What parts of the home are inspected and what parts aren't? If there are any specific areas of concern, be sure to address them with the inspector and ensure they are checked.
  • How long have you been inspecting houses near Fort Knox Kentucky? As with anything else, you probably want someone with a bit of experience and may want to avoid hiring a total "newbie".
  • When will I get the inspection report and can you email it? It's important to have your report within your contract deadline so you can decide which items you want repaired. It's also important for you and your Kentucky real estate agent to get an email copy of the report. Because of the time crunch it's important to have the speed of email (plus we're in the 21st century). Many inspectors will also provide you with an additional paper copy.
  • Can I go to the home inspection? Although it is not required, it is very important that you are present while the home inspector is inspecting the home. It's almost never a problem for the buyer to attend the inspection and it's a great idea for you to be there so you can ask questions. Your inspector may be able to give you an idea of how much specific repairs will cost. Be cautious if the inspector offers to make the repairs because that's a significant conflict of interest.
  • Ask the home inspector for a reference or two. Call each of the references to verify that the home inspector did satisfactory work. As long as you like everything that you hear about a particular home inspector, you have found the right one. If you want to go one step further, contact the Better Business Bureau. Find out whether any complaints have been lodged against this specific home inspector. If complaints have been filed, you might want to rethink your choice.
When you get to the home inspection
Give the home inspector a copy of the MLS listing because it usually contains information about appliances, roof, well, septic system, recent additions, etc. Follow the home inspector and take notes on the problems he finds. Ask the home inspector what needs to be done to correct any problems.

Remember, if nothing else, make sure you get an inspection, even the worst home inspector probably has more knowledge than the average home buyer.

Related: A home sold "as-is" might not really be "as-is"