Shortly after you decide you need a home inspection, either on your current home or on one you are considering as your next home, you will have to select a home inspector you trust. This is arguably the most important step in the process. There are a number of things you should know about Overland Park area home inspections before you start calling around for home inspectors so that you can make a confident, intelligent decision.
You don't have to study all the laws pertaining to real estate on the books in Kansas to gain the necessary information about home inspections and inspectors; these are relatively simple, straightforward tips that just about any homeowner can learn, and they are covered below. So, after reading this article, you can enter into the home inspection process with the calm and cool assurance that comes from good basic knowledge.
What to Look for in Home Inspectors
Just like most areas of life, there are excellent, reputable home inspectors, but there are also some less-than-stellar, disreputable home inspectors. Differentiating between these two can require a bit of research on your part, but it is well worth the effort.
Hiring a good home inspector typically begins by contacting some loan officers, real estate lawyers or real estate agents in order to obtain some referrals on home inspectors in your area. First and foremost make sure potential inspectors are licensed, certified and insured.
Another qualification to seek is accreditation from a nationwide trade organization, such as the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). In order to earn accreditation from these organizations, home inspectors are required to pass training courses and earn a passing grade on the National Home Inspection Exam. They also are required to complete a minimum of 250 home inspections, while holding fast to the universally accepted industry ethics and practice standards.
How do Home Inspections Work?
Overland Park area home inspections are fairly straightforward. It is an inspection, similar to many other inspections with which you might be familiar. At its core, it is basically an audit, mainly a visual examination but with some operational evaluation, of at least three of the home's primary systems and components. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Heating systems
- Cooling systems
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Exterior and interior walls
- Windows and doors
- Termite/Wood destroying insects
- Septic - if applicable
- potentially stucco, mold
According to the current laws in Kansas, Overland Park real estate home inspections do not include inspections done as a governmental compliance check for regulation of code violations, and an examination of kitchen appliances, private waste systems, on-site wells or water supplies. Nor does it include inspection for pests or other organisms that are known to destroy wood, mold, bacteria, fungi, asbestos and other air quality conditions.
Why are Home Inspections Important?
It is often said – because it it true – that your home is one of the most life-changing, influential and crucial decisions you will make during your time here on Earth. A great deal of money and emotional energy is at stake, so the importance of a home inspection becomes obvious. It is a relatively inexpensive method to discover the overall condition of a home, potentially keeping you from buying a home that will need major repairs. Or, if you anticipate repairs and have budgeted for them, you want to be sure your budget will not be blown out by unexpected issues.
A comprehensive home inspection, completed by a trustworthy, well-qualified home inspector, will provide you, the home buyer, with that priceless commodity called peace of mind.
What is the Home Inspection Process?
The first item on your home inspection process checklist should be to make every effort to attend the inspection. You will get first-hand knowledge of how the various vital systems in your potential home perform for the expert. If you are present during the home inspection, you can personally make sure that the inspector does a thorough job and can ask questions.
Make sure that the home inspector shows up with all of the proper testing equipment and tools, such as a ladder, electronic testing gear, moisture meter, flashlight, level and electrical circuitry analyzer. Be very leery of a home inspector who arrives with only a flashlight, breezes through the home without talking to you about your concerns, and takes off without having a conversation with you about the results of the tests. You definitely want to receive a checklist of possible repairs.
Overland Park area home inspections normally take at 2-3 hours and often can run into the five-hour range, depending on the age of the home and its overall size & the amount of inspections.
What Happens After a Home Inspection?
Once the home inspector does his or her duty, the potential buyer and seller will normally negotiate the repairs of the home, taking into account the inspector's findings.