Most prospective homebuyers have their pre purchase inspection completed during their due diligence period. This means that they have a very short window to request repairs or back out of their contract based on the inspection results. So, as you can imagine, most prospective homebuyers are anxious to get their inspection report.

Reputable home inspectors in the Seattle area, and in most other areas of the country make it a priority to turn home inspection reports around quickly. You should expect a complete report within 24 hours of the completion of the inspection. At Key Inspection Services, we can often deliver our reports onsite at the end of the inspection.

If you’re anxious for an even quicker report from the inspector, ask if you can be present at the inspection. If the seller and your home inspector are ok with it, you can get the news straight from the horse’s mouth in real time. Most inspectors are happy to have you attend the inspection, and they’ll even show you areas of concern as they find them. Of course, the information you receive at the inspection will all be verbal. You can still expect to receive a written report in a day or two.

If you schedule your home inspection as soon as you have a signed contract to buy, you should have no issue getting your inspection report during your due diligence period, allowing you plenty of time to make requests of the seller or back out of your contract.

It is important to choose a home inspector with a good reputation for customer service, meeting deadlines and thorough inspections. At Key Home Inspection Services, we’re happy to help customers in the Kirkland and surrounding areas get great home inspections that give them peace of mind.

We’ve all been told that we need to schedule a home or condo inspection when we sign a contract on a home. But, we may not really know what to expect from the home inspection, so we don’t know if our inspector has done a thorough job or not.

You should expect your home inspector to check every major system in your home. They will be looking at every area from the roof to the crawlspace. The inspection should take about two to three hours, depending upon the size of the home and the number of systems to be inspected.

Be sure to let your inspector know if there are any major appliances or systems that don’t go with the sale, so that he doesn’t take the time to inspect them. For example, if your seller is taking their washer and dryer with them when they move, it shouldn’t be inspected.

There are four major areas of concern for your inspector. These are:

• Safety Concerns – Unsafe electrical wiring and loose hand railings on stairs are two examples of safety concerns your inspector might raise.

• Structural Concerns – The home inspector will ensure that the home is structurally sound. He’ll be looking for cracks in the foundation, settling and problems with the roof, among other things.

• Improperly Installed Items – Your inspector will also be looking for shoddy work where installations are concerned. Loose wires and improper plumbing are just two of the areas of concern.

• Systems Nearing the End of Their Lifecycle – The heat may be working great, but if the furnace is twenty years old, you need to know it. Your home inspector will alert you to big-ticket items you’re likely to have to replace soon.

Your home inspector can offer a lot of value to you as a homebuyer. He will alert you to problems you’re likely to face after purchase of the home. Give him all the time he needs to properly inspect the house you’re planning to purchase. If you need a home inspector in the Bellevue area, be sure to give us a call. We’ll inspect every area of the home and ensure you know what you’re getting.

We promised you we’d answer your top ten questions about home inspections, so here we go. One of the number one concerns about home inspections is the cost.

The cost of home inspections does vary some by geographic area. Here in the Seattle area, you can expect to pay $400-$600 for a home inspection. The price can vary by the size of the home and the number of systems to be inspected.

You’ll find that home inspectors in a given area are usually competitively priced with each other, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a significantly lower price simply by choosing a different inspector. If you do, it’s a bit of a red flag. Inspectors who charge a much lower fee might do so because they are not certified or because they don’t have much experience. You should choose your inspector based on experience and reputation, not on price.

As with most other services, when it comes to a home inspector, you’re likely to get what you pay for. Your new home is probably your largest investment. Having it inspected by an experienced and thorough home inspector before you buy can help you to get a heads up on potential problems and understand how much you’re likely to spend on your home over the next few years. This is not the time to cut corners.

At Key Inspection Services, we’ll readily admit we may not offer you the lowest price on your home inspection. But, we are priced competitively compared to other companies. And, more importantly, we have the experience and good reputation you’re looking for.

Choosing a home inspector is an important decision. The results of your home inspection strongly influence your final decision on whether or not to proceed in your purchase of the home. If your inspector is incompetent, or doesn’t take the time to do a thorough inspection, you could wind up buying a home that offers a lot of surprises down the road, and we don’t mean that you’ll find a suitcase full of hundreds down in the basement.

That’s why it’s important to choose a home inspector with a good reputation. The best home inspectors complete a thorough investigation of each home they inspect, and they are committed to giving sound advice about your home purchase, and to creating repeat customers.

In the Seattle and Bellevue area, there are many home inspectors you can choose from. But, before you choose, you should find out about their reputation in the professional community. Getting references from an inspector is ok, but keep in mind that he’s unlikely to give you the name of a customer who would give him an unfavorable reference.

Instead, try talking to your realtor about home inspectors. A busy realtor has probably dealt with every inspector in the Seattle area, and he or she can tell you who has a reputation for doing a thorough job. We’re proud to say that we are one of our area’s most reputable home inspection companies.

Next week we’re going to start addressing some of your top ten questions, so stay tuned………

Many people don’t expect their garage to be inspected during a routine home inspection, but, in most cases, you can expect the home inspector to pay a visit to your garage. Here are the items you can expect him to take a look at during his visit.

Your garage doors are certain to be on the list of home inspection items. He will ensure that the doors are in good working order and that the can be expected to operate safely. The cross bracing and weather stripping will be checked, too.

The inspector will also check the door between the garage and your home. He will ensure that the door latches and that no doggie door is installed, since this is a carbon monoxide hazard.

The inspector will also be concerned with electrical items and with moisture issues. He will check for proper GFCI outlets and to ensure there is no exposed electrical wiring. If your circuit breaker box is located in your garage, be sure he has easy access to it and that the door opens easily.

Finally, the home inspector will check your garage for leaks, noting stains on the ceilings and large floor cracks. He will also look for evidence of moisture in the garage, like rotting wood and stains.

The biggest impediment the inspector usually faces in inspecting a garage is clutter. Be sure to clear clutter out of the way before the inspector comes. If you have attic access through your garage ceiling, be sure he is able to access this space.

Next week, we’ll begin talking about other items and areas in your home that will be examined during your home inspection and questions that homeowners have.

When you’re preparing your home for an inspection, you might not immediately think of the laundry room as an area that needs preparation. However, the inspector will be planning to make an important stop in this area, especially if your prospective buyer is getting your washer and dryer along with the house.

The inspector will be primarily looking at plumbing and electrical issues in your laundry room. He will ensure that there is no exposed electrical wiring and that GFCI works properly. He will also inspect the dryer vent to ensure that it is in good condition and vents properly to the outside.

From a plumbing perspective, the inspector will ensure that there are no leaks, that drains work properly and that there is a working hot water shutoff valve. If the prospective buyer is purchasing your washer and dryer with the house, he may also ensure that both are in good working order.

If you have a laundry sink in your laundry room, you can expect the same faucet and drain inspections as performed in your kitchen and bath.

Finally, if you have a gas dryer, the inspector will ensure that there is a properly working shutoff valve. If there is a gas line that is not being used, it should be capped.

Ensure that the laundry area is clutter free on inspection day, and that the inspector can get behind the washer and dryer to inspect water hoses and dryer vents.

Next week, we’ll talk about ensuring that your garage is ready for inspection.

When it comes to inspecting your bathroom, you may have already guessed that the home inspection or condo inspection will mostly be concerned with plumbing. There are several things the inspector will be looking for related to your bathrooms’ plumbing, as well as some other items.

One issue your inspector will take a look at is water pressure. The inspector will likely flush the toilet while the shower and sink faucet are running to ensure that water pressure remains consistent.

Another important item the inspector will check for is water leaks. Bathroom water leaks can often be found around faucets and toilets, as well as under the bathroom sinks and around showerheads. The inspector will also be looking for past leaks that might have caused water damage under bathroom cabinets and around the toilet.

The next areas that the home inspection will be concerned with are proper seals around all of your bathroom fixtures. These include grout around your sinks, shower and tub, as well as the wax ring that holds your toilet into place. He will also check grout in shower tiles, if applicable.

Finally, your inspector will be checking for some other common safety problems, like properly working GFCI protection, tempered glass in showers and basic electrical safety. Bathroom fans and vents will be checked to ensure they vent properly to the outside.

In order to be prepared for a home inspection, it’s a good idea to ensure that the inspector can access the area under the sinks, as well as the shower and the tub. In addition, you should be prepared for him to have good access to all areas of the bathroom for checking for leaks and moisture damage. Next week, we’ll talk about ensuring that your laundry room is ready for inspection.

Each area of your home will get some special attention from the home inspector. So, for the next few weeks, we’re going to focus on one individual area of the home, helping you ensure that it is ready for inspection. This week, we’ll talk about what you can expect when your kitchen is inspected.

The two major categories of inspection in your kitchen include plumbing and appliances, since most of your major appliances are located there.

In terms of plumbing, you can expect the inspector to check for leaks, and to ensure that the faucet and spray wand work properly. He will also check your p-trap for proper installation and ensure that the drain runs free and downhill. Be certain to clean out or reorganize the cabinet under the kitchen sink to ensure he has easy access.

• The inspector will likely run your dishwasher, to ensure that it works properly and does not leak. He will also check that the dishwasher is properly secured into the cabinet and that the drain is properly installed.

• Your stovetop and oven will be inspected and turned on, to ensure that they work properly. Be sure there is nothing stored in your oven and no flammable material near your stovetop. The inspector will ensure that the oven door has a secure handle and that it closes properly. If you have a freestanding stove, he will check for an anti-tip bracket.

• Your stove hood will also be checked to ensure that it is properly secured to the cabinet, to ensure that it works properly and that the vent to the outside is properly sealed.

• When it comes to your microwave, the inspection is pretty simple. He will ensure that it works, and that the lights work. If the microwave is located under an upper cabinet, he may also check that it is secured properly to the cabinet.

• Your refrigerator will be checked to ensure that it works properly. If you have an icemaker/water feature, these will be checked for leaks, too.

• You can also expect your garbage disposal to be checked to ensure that it is operational, and that there is no exposed Romex wiring it.

• Finally, your electrical outlets will be tested and the inspector will look for any unsafe wiring in the kitchen.

If you have other large appliances in your kitchen, like a wine refrigerator, you can expect these to be inspected, as well. The inspector is simply trying to ensure that everything works properly, and is safe to operate.

Next week, we’ll talk about ensuring that your bathrooms can pass inspection.

Once you’ve obtained a contract on your home or condo, you have to be ready for your prospective buyer to schedule an inspection. The inspector will need access to many areas of your home, so it’s a good idea to prepare for his visit in advance.

There are many areas of your home that you don’t access on a regular basis that the inspector will want to visit. You’ll make the inspection faster and smoother by having these areas cleared and ready for the inspector’s visit.

The primary areas you’ll want to clear include

1. Under your kitchen sink. This is especially important if you have a garbage disposal, as the inspector will want to check it out. In fact, you should make the area under all your sinks accessible, so that the inspector can look at all the pipes, if he desires.
2. Around your hot water heater. The hot water heater will definitely be inspected, so make sure the inspector has access. Specifically, he will need to get to the firebox and the nameplate that identifies the year of the hot water heater.
3. Attic and crawlspace. These areas are often used for storage and rarely accessed by homeowners, but the inspector will want to crawl around in there, so make sure there’s a clear path.
4. The furnace and air conditioner. These two units are definitely going to be a big part of the inspection, so make sure he can get to them easily.
5. The electrical panel. The inspector will ensure that the electrical system in your home is not overloaded and is overall up to code. He will need to access your main electrical panel in order to determine this. Be sure that the door can be opened, and, preferably that all breakers are labeled.
6. Large appliances. Large appliances are inspected to ensure they are in working order, assuming they are included in the sale of the home. Be sure that all appliances you’re leaving for the buyer are accessible for the inspector. In the laundry room, make sure he can get behind the washer and dryer, as he will be inspecting for leaks.
7. Storage areas and locked areas. Even if you think there’s nothing in these areas the inspector could possibly want to see, make sure there is access, so that in case he wants to inspect, it’s not a big hassle.

Making life easy on your inspector will ultimately make your inspection faster and hopefully will help to increase his confidence that your home is well cared for an in good working order for your buyer.

Congratulations! You’ve got a signed contract to sell your home. The due diligence period has begun and your buyer has hired a home inspector. With the inspection scheduled, you’re starting to wonder if you should be worried.

You might know that you should be worried, because something isn’t working right or because, for example, you know you need a new roof. It’s not a good idea to simply hope that the inspector won’t notice.

A good inspector will find everything you’re worried about, and possibly some things you didn’t even know about. Dreading the inspection is not the answer; fixing what you can is a much better tactic.

Some buyers, especially first time home buyers, can get really scared when they see a long laundry list of items from an inspector. They may even get so scared that they back out of the contract without even asking you to fix the problems first. So, if you know of a problem, it’s a good idea to go ahead and fix it before the inspection. You’ll probably have to fix it anyway to keep your buyers and by fixing it before an inspector finds it, you’ll save some drama.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you some more specific tips on how to get ready for your upcoming inspection by properly preparing your home to make it easier for the inspector. So, until then, get cracking on all those things that you know are about to come back to haunt you!