You are strongly encouraged to call and interview several Home Inspectors prior to choosing one. At a minimum, you should interview each inspector by asking the following questions: a) Are you a licensed Home Inspector (for resale or new construction to appropriate) in the State of Alaska? b) Do you carry Errors and Omissions Insurance and Liability Insurance? The preferred answer is "Yes". c) What are your professional designations? d) What is your practical experience in home inspections? e) What will be inspected? Roof/attic? Crawlspace? Mechanical, plumbing, electrical, heating systems? Pests and rodents? f) Can I accompany you during the inspection? g) How much do you charge for the inspection? Fees for these services can vary greatly.
As of July 1, 2004, the State of Alaska requires Home Inspectors to be licensed. You should independently verify the licensure status of any inspector you hire online at: http://www.dced.state.ak.us/occ/home.htm. Some inspectors are also licensed engineers and as so are not required to carry a specific Home Inspection license. Many inspectors have professional designations. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is one such organization. ASHI requires inspectors to pass an exam before they can become members. They also have continuing education requirements. You can learn more about home inspections online at: www.ashi.com, www.inspectiondirectory.com,www.nibi.com, and www.aahi.com.
Typically, Home Inspectors will look at the following items (but be sure to verify these when you call):
Structural elements. Construction of visible foundation; evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure; and window alignment.
Grounds. Leaks from septic tank; proper drainage; and condition of driveways, fences, and sidewalks.
Roof. Condition of shingles; any repairs/patches to flat roofs; clear vents; damage to chimneys; and properly working gutters.
Exterior surfaces. Correct clearance between ground and siding material; condition of exterior paint or siding; and properly working lights and electrical outlets.
Attic. Sufficient insulation; proper ventilation; and any sign of leaking or water damage.
Interior plumbing. No damaged or leaking pipes; proper hot water temperature; and functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
Electrical system. Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans.
Appliances. Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances.
Heating and cooling systems. Condition of furnace, air conditioning (temperature permitting), water heater, chimney, and fireplace.
Basement. Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage.
Garage. Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets.
Miscellaneous - Other items may or may not be included in a standard home inspection. Examples: septic systems, roofs, drainage problems, wood decks, patios or other exterior structures. It is very important for you to verify which, if any, of these items are included in your home inspection.
What They Don't Inspect Again, while there is variation of what home inspectors look for, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problems or concerns in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation by a certified specialist:
WE RECOMMEND YOU ALWAYS OBTAIN A GENERAL HOME INSPECTION AS WELL AS SURVEYS AND INSPECTIONS IN SPECIALIZED AREAS BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THE GENERAL HOME INSPECTION.
Allow 2-3 hours for a complete home inspection.
You should plan on accompanying the inspector during the home inspection to become more knowledgeable with the inspection report and the home being inspected.
Buyermustschedulethehomeinspectiontotake place within a specified number of days after the Seller has accepted the purchase offer.
The fee for the inspection, usually between $300-$450 for single family homes, is due at the time of the inspection (don’t forget your checkbook). The inspection report is provided to the Buyer after the inspection.
A copy of the inspection report must be provided to the Seller along with a written request for any repairs. Your Realtor will assist you with this request, often referred to as a “Repair Addendum”. It is not the purpose of an inspection/repair addendum to request cosmetic items (which can and should be addressed in the original offer), but rather to rectify latent (hidden) defects that affect the value, function, structural integrity, or safety of the home.
Robert C Springer 1206 Third Avenue Kenai, AK 99611 Phone: (907) 283-3969 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bobspringerinspections.com