Yep, you SHOULD attend your home inspection.
You’ve called around. You’ve done your due diligence, or maybe you’ve gone with your realtor’s recommendation (see why that can be a bad idea here What you don’t know about hiring a home inspector) and you think you’ve found the home inspector you want to use in the purchase of the single biggest investment of your life.
You ask, “Should I be there for this?” Because, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking…I need to take off work, get a sitter for the kids…reschedule the dentist appointment…
“Nah,” the inspector replies, “Not necessary. You’ll get a report.”
Lace up those Nikes. Run away from that inspector. Run fast.
Because yes. You SHOULD be at your inspection. Here’s why.
I need to know your specific needs.
Yes, there are a laundry list of things that I look for on every house, and many things that I look at thoroughly, regardless of your specific situation. Things like the roof, and the condition of those wood windows.
But your life situation may make some things more important to you in this house than others. Are you planning on remodeling, in which case the fact that the wood windows are rotten is no big deal to you. But you didn’t plan for a new furnace and a/c unit in the next few years…
Knowing your situation helps me pinpoint my inspection to your specifications. I will still point out all the issues I find, but I’ll pay special attention to those that will highly impact you and your family. The inspection process is never a one size fits all kind of thing with me.
I can customize your report
I customize and individualize every report for every house I do. Each report is full of pictures and information detailed for your house. However, if you are there with me as we do the inspection, I can reference our discussion in the report. If we talk about specific things, I can add links for more information to those topics.
I’ll also be able give you suggestions for future actions to take, if we have been in conversation during the inspection.
I Can Point Out the Big Stuff
When my clients are present at an inspection, we always do a walk-through, where we talk about what I’ve found. They have come back again and again remarking that this experience was invaluable time spent. Yes, they have the report that they can keep forever as a reference, but they also have the experience of walking with me and discussing the issues face to face. This is also helpful because I can let you know that some of those things that might look scary to you (like a crack in the basement wall that is in 99% of homes) is really nothing to worry about. You wouldn’t know that if you weren’t at the inspection with me.
The whole process should never feel like a technicality if you choose the right home inspector. I make it as fun and educational as it can be. The things you will learn about your new house will serve you for years to come.
Don’t Sweat It!
If you absolutely cannot attend your inspection because you live out of town, don’t panic. A good inspector (like yours truly) will work with you to find ways to make sure you know everything you need to know about your house. Technology is on your side. But be vigilant, and ask questions. I Skype, G+ Hangout, or have lengthy phone conversations with my out of town folks on a weekly basis. It’s not uncommon for me to be on the phone at 10pm my time, because my buyer is on the West coast, and he just got off work. Sometimes you do what you’ve got to do.
Attending your home inspection is one of the most important things you can do during the home buying process. At times, it may seem tedious, and people may tell you it’s not necessary, but remember that when it’s all said and done, the person signing those mortgage payments every month? That’s you.
As a very hot summer comes to a close, heating your home may be the last thing on your mind. But with winter coming (for my fellow GOT fans) I’ve got some great news for you. There is a little known program available that can save you a lot of money. How does a 20% savings on your utility bill sound? But hurry, the clock is ticking…
From the KHP website: KY Home Performance is a partnership between Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI), and Kentucky Finance Administration Cabinet. With support from DEDI, the Finance Administration Cabinet, utility and other partners, KHC administers the program. Together, certified industry professionals will perform a comprehensive energy evaluation, make the necessary improvements you approve, and perform a quality assurance evaluation to verify the quality of the work to help protect your home investment.
What does all that mean? It’s simple really. All KY home owners are eligible for great financing or cash back rebates for energy improvements done to their home. The program does have a few stipulations that your home must meet before you can take full advantage of it.
- Air Sealing – Hot air moves to cold air, that’s just how it works. So you have to make sure you stop the unwanted air flow between conditioned spaces (that’s a fancy way of saying air that you pay money to heat or cool.) Keep the hot air inside (winter), keep it out (summer).
- Duct Sealing – Sealing your ducts to keep the air that you paid good money to heat/cool is a must. You’ll be shocked to know how much air your house leaks out everyday. It’s literally sucking money out of your home.
- Insulation – To take advantage of this remarkable program, you have to have a certain level of insulation in your home.
If your home doesn’t meet the minimum numbers, getting them up to the standard must be part of the scope of work done to your home. And in all reality, these are the most important things you can do. They are relatively cheap, and they make the biggest difference. It’s all about return on investment (ROI).
How does it work?
Your first step is bring in a BPI-Certified Building Analyst. There are only a few, like me, that have been selected to be part of the KHP program. The initial analysis will determine what steps you need to take to save money. It’s called a Test-In.
With specialized tools like a digital blower door, thermal imaging camera, pressure pan, and combustion analyzer, I’ll put your home through the ringer. The blower door is the meat and potatoes of the audit. It’s more or less a big, powerful, digitally controlled box fan that mounts in an exterior door. It sucks all the air out of the house, creating a negative pressure inside. Since mother nature doesn’t like this, she will constantly try to equalize this pressure difference. This will make all the leaks amplified and much easier to find.
The fact is that unless you have a 25 year old furnace and air conditioner, a new HVAC unit is typically not the best place to put your money. Air sealing and insulation give you the biggest bang for you buck. Most homeowners see a positive return within just a few short years. And the best part is that it doesn’t go away. If you have it done correctly the first time, it will still perform 20 years from now.
Fixing the Problem.
Once the test-in has been completed, you must have a KHP qualified contractor perform the work that has been recommended to be eligible for the awesome incentives. You have two options; an unbelievable low interest rate loan of 3.9% fixed for 10 years, or a cash back rebate of 20%, up to $2,000.00. Yeah, you read that correctly, 20% discount for using a KHP contractor. Incredible right?
Once the work is done, a third-party BPI guy will come out and perform a Test-out. It’s this guy’s job to make sure the work was done correctly, and the contractor who performed the work is held to the highest standards. That’s the beauty of the whole program. You as the home owner know that you will be getting top notch work completed, because every contractor is pre-screened, and a pro.
I’m ready to get started.
If you are ready to save money and live more comfortably, your first step is an KHP-BA analyst. The cost for the initial analysis ranges from $200-$600. The cost depends on the size of the home. However, KHP has stepped up again and is offering the first 1,000 homes a cash back rebate of $150.00 toward the cost of the Test-In. So, you get a huge discount on the audit as well. There is absolutely no commitment. You have every right to have the Test-In done, and go no further with the program. You still get the $150.00.
Give us a call @ 502-938-5190 to get more info on KHP, and how we can help you. Remember, the clock is ticking. The free money and financing is going to end in early 2012. Don’t drag you feet on this one.