What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a comprehensive and thorough review of the current conditions of a property to basically document deterioration. Yes that's right, document deterioration. If you think about it, everything in life has a beginning, a "serviceable and usable life" and everything will eventually die or go away. A home inspection is a valuable tool to help place the current condition of each component into its proper place in its life expectancy. Is it functioning normally for its age? Is the damage premature or adverse? Do any of the conditions expose or elevate safety compromises? This is what one can expect to learn from one of Ken’s professional home inspections
How Much Does a Home Inspection cost?
The fee for a home inspection varies from property to property. It is based on what will be inspected. Is it an average sized home or a large mansion? Does it have an under floor crawl space area or a concrete slab foundation? Any swimming pools, spas or out buildings to review? To get a more precise quote about the particular home you are looking to have inspected, you can call Ken at the office, or go to the following page here at kenives.com to see a fee schedule and get an electronic quote.
Why do I need an inspection?
Many people involved in the purchase (or ownership) of a home will have limited knowledge about the building standards used to complete the construction of a structure. Without a "road map", most of us would be lost. Ken has been trained to identify and document the condition of a home, not only in how it currently sits on the lot, but what was the standards of the industry when it was originally built. Plus what should have been the standard during each phase of its changing.
Can I be on site while you do your inspection?
By all means yes, but it works better for Ken if he has some time alone with the house. This way, he can focus all of his energy on performing a professional inspection on the property, without distractions. This normally is 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of home and what else needs to be reviewed. Afterwards, you are highly encouraged to be on site to have a "walk through" of the findings. Don't worry, you will be escorted around each section of the home just inspected, and Ken will take as much time as needed to explain the findings so you are comfortable with the information.
What do you look at?
A home inspection will attempt to evaluate and document the condition of the readily accessible and visible areas of the home. This is a tremendous amount of the home, but will limit areas that are concealed or otherwise inaccessible (i.e. behind storage and furniture, inside walls and underground items, among some others). For a full explanation, download and read a copy of the Home Inspection Service Agreement.
What are your qualifications?
In 1974, as a summer time job while still in high school, Ken worked with a good friend on a construction site as the "gopher". Since then, he has worked for numerous construction firms, gaining a first hand knowledge of how a house is constructed. In 1992, he began training to become a home inspector and was certified by the national trade association the American Institute of Inspectors (commonly refereed to as A.I.I.). He has been involved with A.I.I. since 1993, along with other local and national associations of inspectors and real estate professionals. To find out more about the American Institute of Inspectors, click here...
If you find things wrong with the house, the sellers will have to fix them, right?
This is a hard question to answer, but likely the answer will be no. There is commonly only one criteria that the seller has to follow to complete the transfer of the title to a new owner. One has to enter into a written contract. That's it. In California, there are two provisions in most real estate contracts that "can not be negociated out". One is to strap and anchor the water heater so it is not damaged during seismic activity. And the other, and the last "requirement" is to make sure there is an operable smoke detector mounted in or near the sleeping areas of the home. Unless a defect is covered in the ratified contract, the sellers is not responsible to repair or modify any findings about the home inspected. One should consult with their real estate professional to determine how the home inspection findings are dealt with in your particular transaction.
Note: A home inspection is never intended to be a vehicle to pick a property to pieces, and have all repairs performed no matter how minute or trivial in nature. All buyers should anticipate used conditions and likely dated applications in each re-sale home. It's the degrees of repairs that each individual will need to be comfortable with to continue the purchase of the home.
Do you also make comments about termites and dryrot?
My certification with the American Institute of Inspectors is limited to home inspections as defined by our Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. I am not licensed in the State of California to perform structural pest reviews. I will make comments on my normal home inspection report when necessary about conditions that should be further reviewed by the "pest industry", but one should rely upon a professional review from a Licensed Structural pest company to help identify any areas about the property that fall within their reportable standards.
Does your inspection also deal with the roof?
As long as it is safe to do so, Ken will access and inspect every roof during every inspection. Through his extensive training with the American Institute of Inspectors, and the continuing education received in his field annually, your report will be helpful in determining the current approximate age of the roof, the shape that it is in, and the anticipated life remaining. It will also address any reportable defects and make all appropriate recommendations to restore the roof to good serviceable condition.
What makes a good home inspector?
A good home inspector should have three important components. One, it is highly advantageous to have a history or background in the building industry. Two, a professional inspector should be a member of a recognized association, which requires certification from it's membership and demands continuing education to maintain membership in good standing. And lastly, but as important, an inspector should have good communication skills. If all of the knowledge that they possess, can't be comfortable relayed to you, then it is like reading a book or seeing a movie in a foreign language that you don't understand. Ken is strong in all three of these categories.
What is the most common defect found in a home?
If you really look at a home, the way that it sits on the lot has not changed that dramatically in the last 60 plus years. The way that it is "framed and pieced together" has not changed that much in more years than that. What has changed is the way the inside "conveniences" of water, gas and electricity have been implemented. Of these three, the most commonly modified "outside of standards" is the electrical.