This section of our site is constantly being updated. Questions below are a collection of our communication with clients and real estate agents when using Kingsmen Home Inspection services. While all answers are not listed here, as some situations are more unique than others. This is a roundup of the most common questions we as home inspectors are often asked via email, phone, and in person. Read through the list and see if we answered your inspection questions.
How Do I Quickly Spot a good home inspector?
Look for someone who can deliver the report within 24 hours, with digital photographs included. Ask if they carry both General Liability and Errors and Omissions insurance. Also, check to see if they hold a current membership with the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). This is indicative that the inspector you intend to hire is staying current with industry changes, educational requirements, following a Standards of Practice, and adhering to the strict code of ethics, in addition to state licensing standards. The option to view a sample report in advance is also very helpful, as not all inspection reports are written in an easy to understand format. Also, if an inspector does not make it clear what advantages they offer, just ask them, as some services are of far more value to you than others. Scan through the company website, a website with no content of usefulness to you may be indicative of a report with little information packed inside to assist you in making an informed decision.
- HOW TO HANDLE PAYMENT & FORMS IF NOT ATTENDING INSPECTION?
If you do not plan on attending your inspection, we provide your inspection agreement via email to e-sign, along with your appointment confirmation and invoice.
- My repair estimates were not included with my home inspection report.
Your specific estimates are outsourced to professional estimators. You will receive a separate email stating welcome to HomeBinder. Please open this email and follow the instructions therein to locate, review, and download your PDF containing your estimates.
- WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOME INSPECTOR & APPRAISER?
Home inspectors work for you and appraisers work for the bank or lender. Home inspectors assess the properties systems and overall current condition of the property. While Appraisers assess the market value of the property in comparison to similar homes sold in the subject area for loan qualification purposes.
- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HOME INSPECTION & FINAL WALK-THROUGH?
A final walk-through occurs just before paperwork is finalized and or after the seller(s) move out. Buyers would see that the property is in the agreed upon condition. This, of course, should occur after you had the home inspected. While the home inspector may be present for the final walk-through, if you so desire them to be, it is not necessary per se, as you can easily refer to the inspection report, and conduct the walk-through on your own and or with your real estate agent.
- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOME INSPECTOR & CONTRACTOR?
Home Inspectors provide an assessment on a home’s systems and components primarily during real estate transactions. In a report, a home inspector may indicate an item needs to be repaired whereas a contractor may claim, repairing is not worth it and to just buy new, again it is perspective and self-interest. Contractors and the sub-contractors “engage in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence (read more)“.
The key advantage of a contractor is that they get to dismantle items within their scope of work. But of course, what homeowner will allow potential buyer(s) to send in contractors to damage the property to then have the buyer(s) back out. This then pushes the advantage back to the home inspector. Through experience and repetition of this scope of work exclusively, home inspectors possess the aptitude to recognize the signs of an assortment of problems without dismantling the current owners’ home.
So, in comparison, with an inspection report in hand, you then approach these contractors for the needed or desired repair and or replacement of items once you take ownership and have the budget allocated to hire contractors.
- SHOULD I HIRE AN ENGINEER OR INSPECTOR FOR MY HOME INSPECTION?
Be wise enough to know that the title Professional Engineer or (P.E.) covers wide-ranging fields. The specific type of engineer that is educated in structures, designs, and load bearing capacity, is that of a Civil /Structural Engineer.
To elaborate a little more in-depth, if the structural integrity of a property is in question, and or you just purchased a home and have questions about additions to a structure, such as: adding a level, adding/removing a deck or attached garage, removing a column, in need of foundation (substructure) repair, expanding cracks in walls, or it appears roof is compromising the structures integrity, etc., a professional structural engineer may best suit your needs for this specific branch of services.
Now, home inspectors are specifically trained in evaluating current property conditions. These individuals are required to provide written documentation on the home’s systems following a thorough visual inspection. Specifically referencing current conditions, the location of items observed, major damages, and other problems such as safety issues.
This all leads to the subject property being observed in different ways. Subsequently, your inspection report may be written up, totally different as well. As both parties, in general, are programmed to have a particular focus on their observations. You may receive an inspection report that reads like blueprints or one that reads like a boardroom PowerPoint presentation.
- DO YOU LIST ESTIMATES/RECOMMENDATIONS IF NEEDED?
General recommendations are provided with every inspection report we provide while specific estimates are not in the main report. However, we have a preferred partner that does provide estimates based on the inspection report if we are to perform the inspection for you.
- WHAT IS NOT WITHIN THE HOME INSPECTION SCOPE?
Providing repair/replacement estimates, addressing code compliance matters, environmental issues, pools, septic systems.
- HOW SOON WILL THE REPORT BECOME AVAILABLE?
Our reports are computerized and will be completed and delivered to you by the end of the day or the very next day via email.
- WHEN DOES THE HOME INSPECTOR EXPECT PAYMENT?
We expect payment before any work is performed.
- CAN I DO MY OWN HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection is not as easy as it appears as home systems are very complex. Those of you with the knowledge base covering the home’s main systems, and have some construction knowledge, may handle the inspection process better than most people. But, will the seller(s) assume your opinion is bias, probably. Secondly, a homeowner will be very reluctant to let a potential buyer touch system. Again, in some cases, banks, lenders, and insurance companies may require you to have one conducted by a licensed professional. If these institutions require it, you should at best have a licensed professional do the inspection.
- WHAT ADDITIONAL SERVICES DO YOU OFFER IF ANY?
We currently offer Mold assessment services, but we do not offer repair and or remediation services of any kind.
- DO YOU CARRY INSURANCE?
Yes, your inspector will have all his/her identification on them and will produce it upon request at the inspection site. Do not ask for insurance information over the phone.
- DO YOU SPECIALIZE IN OLD AND OR NEW HOMES?
Our knowledge base and tools allow us to provide inspection services on both old and newer homes. Most inspection we conduct is on older homes.
- DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
Yes, with this large a purchase it would be wise to reduce your risk and invest a few hundred dollars in a home inspection before your contract is finalized. In most cases, it will save you money, in the long run, to go with the inspection. In some situations, your bank and or insurance company will inquire if the subject property was inspected and or want to review the inspection report. Home inspection contingencies are a standard step in the transaction process. More common now than ever before due to the rise in real estate litigation.
- IS THIS PURELY A VISUAL INSPECTION?
Yes and no, non-evasive tools are used to provide a more accurate assessment of the property during the inspection. Such as electrical tester, carbon monoxide tester, termite probe, infrared-camera, digital camera.
- ARE YOU EXPERIENCED IN RESIDENTIAL HOME INSPECTIONS?
Yes, we are 100% focused on residential inspection services.
- I FOUND ANOTHER INSPECTOR COMING IN AT A LOWER PRICE POINT, ARE YOU WILLING TO MATCH THEIR PRICE?
No, we stand by our price points as it remains competitive with those who continue to provide above standard services. We do have an on-going promotion when you book your inspection online.
- DO YOU INSPECT THE ROOF, ATTIC, AND CRAWLSPACE?
Yes, while we do not climb on the roof unless it is a flat roof with access, we use a Spectoscope fixed with a digital camera. For attics we need access and flooring, if not, we use the Spectoscope to assist here as well. We inspect the crawlspace, if needed, if accessible, and does not raise any safety concerns.
- ARE YOUR PRICES THE SAME FOR CASH/DEBIT/CREDIT CARDS?
Yes, no additional fees apply.
- WHAT IF I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE REPORT AFTER I RECEIVE MY OFFICIAL COPY?
Send an email to us stating your list of questions, page #/section for reference, report ID number, and your time of availability to discuss the matter in detail. We will email you back the same day, and set-up time for a free phone consultation or reply via email.
- IF THE POTENTIAL PROPERTY I INTEND TO PURCHASE IS VACANT, HOW WILL AN INSPECTION BENEFIT ME?
An inspection of a vacant property presents numerous limitations to any skilled home inspector during the inspection and subsequently to the inspection report. It is best for you to arrange for the utilities to be temporarily turned on first through the bank or realtor, to receive a stronger assessment of the home’s systems and overall condition. Electrical issues, termite damage, animal infestation, mold, water intrusion, cracked pipes, failing appliances, roofing issues, are a short list of areas that most often raise significant concerns and costly in repair expenses, for buyers of vacant properties. Once the utilities are on, the inspection is conducted just like any other property inspection.
- SHOULD I HAVE NEW CONSTRUCTION INSPECTED?
While this matter is always debated, yes, it only benefits you to have a home inspection. While new construction is generally packaged with some sort of warranty, which tempts people to buy new, it is also for handling future claims against inferior workmanship, which you must then demonstrate. Some construction projects fall into the speed over the quality realm.
- PROPERTY LISTED “AS – IS” IS AN INSPECTION WORTH IT?
Absolutely, while “as – is” usually implies no future repairs under the current ownership, bank or individual, it does not mean you as the potential buyer should forgo a home inspection. Under a normal contractual agreement, you can walk away with your money, should the inspection report turn up significant levels of problems deemed severe. That fixer upper you intend to buy may be dirt cheap, but it’s priced much lower for a reason. A home inspection is a reality check and one you need when you walk into a real estate transaction blind to the facts.
- WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ITEMS NEEDING TO BE REPAIRED OR REPLACED LISTED IN THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT?
Items may or may not be negotiable, this question is outside the scope of a home inspection. Check with your lawyer and or real estate agent to review the terms of your pending contract. Remember, your real estate agent is your negotiator.
While some clients have used an inspection report to negotiate limited major areas of concern during the sale/buying process; an inspection report is also, a manual for reference even after the home is purchased.
A quick read Request you should/shouldn’t make illustrates a good overview of the subject matter.
- DO YOU OFFER A WARRANTY OF ANY KIND WITH THE INSPECTION REPORT?
We do not offer any warranty, as we find them to be very limiting in overall benefits. Be it, an inspection warranty or home warranty, people seem to have extremely mixed reviews about their usefulness (read more here). Again, any repair work will be under the stipulated contract of the repair company or contractor(s).
- ARE OUTBUILDINGS INCLUDED IN THE HOME INSPECTION?
Yes, some outbuildings are inspected, it depends on the classification. For example, we inspect garages and carports.
- IF I HAVE A HOME INSPECTION DONE OVER THE WEEKEND, HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT MY REPORT?
You can expect your home inspection report to be completed and sent to you via email by the end of the day or the next day.
- WILL YOU RETURN FOR A RE-INSPECTION OF THE PROPERTY AFTER REPAIRS?
Short answer, generally no. We will not return to re-inspect a property after you and the seller agreed upon repair work before closing. You and your agent should verify that repaired items were conducted by a licensed professional, with receipts and any warranties documented. We exercise the right to re-inspect the property in rare cases.
- AM I ABLE TO RESCHEDULE OR CANCEL MY HOME INSPECTION?
Yes, Please our Booking Policy
Yes, Please our Booking Policy
- DO YOU CHECK FOR MOLD DURING THE HOME INSPECTION?
While not common in a standard home inspection, under New York law as of 2016, only one who is trained and licensed as a mold assessor can make comments about mold in an inspection report. However, our Home Inspectors are licensed Mold Assessors. This advantage allows us to make comments on, and conduct both the mold inspection and testing if needed.
“Persons who conduct home inspections as part of potential real estate transactions must also be licensed as a “Mold Assessor” IFtheir inspections/reports include an assessment of mold conditions in the home or property in question.”
Excerpts From Labor Law Article 32: (source here)
- LOOKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR HOME AND MOLD INSPECTION PACKAGE?
Buyers often ask, how can we offer a home and mold inspection package if we have not yet been out to the property? This option is best suited for those of you that have viewed the home of intended purchase, and either picked up on a musty smell, extensive discoloration, significant moisture issues, or findings in the Seller’s Disclosure paperwork indicating past issues. Also, for those of you that have serious allergies and other related health concerns. Once we are at the inspection property we apply various methods of assessing mold related matters.
- HOW TO SELF BOOK A MOLD INSPECTION (ASSESSMENT) ONLINE?
When using the online scheduler, please select [Inspection Type] then [Stand-alone only/No Home Inspection] from the drop-down options. Scroll down to the bottom to [Additional Services] select either the [House] or [Apt/Condo] option.
- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIMITED AND COMPLETE MOLD INSPECTION (ASSESSMENT)?
The limited inspection covers specific (interior) areas of concern to you or when the entire property is not subject to a mold inspection, such as apartments, condo, and co-op units. A complete mold inspection is where we can evaluate the entire property.
- HOW MANY SAMPLES ARE NEEDED FOR MOLD TESTING?
At the very minimum, one outdoor and one indoor sample is needed to develop a baseline sample. Then additional samples for each area of concern. But the visual inspection is the initial key step.
- HOW DO YOU ADDRESS MOLD/MOISTURE RELATED ISSUES FOUND DURING THE INSPECTION?
Every home and client are different, as is their risk tolerance. We keep a neutral tone until we can actually confirm what we observed through lab testing. But on-site we do explain that mold and moisture issues are annoyances but also manageable. Pinpointing the source is key as it will dictate the most effective course of action to follow. If observed, our inspector’s write-up both recommendation and remediation plans.
- WHAT IF MY INSPECTOR MISSED SOMETHING?
You should know in advance if the inspector you intend to hire will conduct a detailed inspection or inspect mainly for major defects of the property. Read the inspection report in full and not just the overall summary. Review inspector’s comments which may include mentions of limitations, and review recommendations, attached pictures. Consult with your inspector when the issue arises and review the home inspection Standards of Practice to guide you in determining if this was a miss or not on the inspector’s end.
- WILL MY REPORT CONTAIN ILLUSTRATIONS?
Yes, most inspectors will only take photos of defects and include that in the inspection report. However, buyers, sellers, realtors and the likes will wonder, exactly how concerning is the issue. We realized early on that when adding a photo of a defect side-by-side with an illustration showing correct form and appearance, our clients would better gauge why things were called out. This works well for clients that will not be present for the inspection and those in attendance.