What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home. Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
What areas are included in a Home Inspection?
A typical inspection includes the roof, exterior, interior, structural, garage, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, insulation and ventilation & attached appliances.
Who needs a home inspection?
Buyers and sellers. If you’re buying a home, pre-owned or new, an inspection tells you the condition of the property. That way, there are no surprises after you close on the home.
If you purchased a new home and it still has a warranty from the builder, it’s a good idea to have a home inspection before it expires. It’s a rare case that even a new home doesn’t have some problems that were overlooked by the builder. Those repairs or corrections could easily exceed the cost of an inspection. If you catch problems prior to warranty expiration, your warranty should cover them.
Sellers benefit by knowing the condition of their home before they place it on the market. Then, any needed repairs can be made prior to listing. A sellers inspection can also be used as a comparison to what the buyer’s inspector finds.
A home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. While an inspection cannot remove all the risk, of the purchase, a professional inspector can remain objective in his analysis, having no emotional ties to the property.
Sellers may have no objection to a professional inspector spending time in their home to evaluate the property, but may object to buyers alone, performing the same task. A trained professional inspector will help you know, as much as possible, what to expect after the purchase. Serious structural problems can lurk under fresh paint. Has anyone been "in" the attic lately? Homes have good points as well, the trained professional will point them out and offer tips on maintenance as well as suggestions on preventative measures that will help avoid future problems.
How long does an inspection take?
Anywhere from two to four hours depending on the condition of the property, the number of services you’ve requested and the size of the home. It takes time to perform a thorough inspection of the entire property and I pay attention to the details.
What type of report do I receive?
You’ll receive your report access via e-mail. We also provide photos of any areas of concern and we include them in the report. A paper copy of the report will also be provided upon request. Our report is easy to understand and is usually available to you within 36 hours of the inspection.
Should my Realtor receive a copy of your report?
Yes. Your REALTOR can assist you in determining if any items in the report are significant enough to warrant re-negotiation with the seller. Having your REALTOR review the report also insures that you both are “on the same page” at the closing.
Should I be present for the home inspection?
Yes, we encourage you to plan to attend the last hour of the inspection for a wrap up. There are always items in the inspection that can best be explained on-site. We will include them in the report of course, but your presence at the property always makes it easier for you to understand important information about the property.
Are you available to answer questions about the property or report after I close and move into the home?
Yes, we will be happy to assist you any way we can in clarifying the information we present in the report. Even after you’ve moved in and settled down to enjoy your new home. We’re always available to you, for as long as you own the home, to offer unbiased advice and recommendations.
Can anyone perform a home inspection?
No. A license is required. The Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors issues licenses to individuals who have met the minimum training requirements, (initial & continued education), pass the required examination & agree to abide by the state’s Standards of Practice.
Why can't I inspect the home myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. We are familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. We know how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by Martin's Home Inspections.
Why should I have a home inspection?
By using the services of Martin's Home Inspections, you can gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not "function as intended" or "adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling" or "warrant further investigation" by a person who specializes in the item in question.
Will the home inspection identify all problems?
Unfortunately, no. We are experienced at evaluating a home and follow clues to reveal defects, however, some defects can go unnoticed for many reasons including personal items blocking/covering areas in the home and defects not evident on the day of inspection. A home inspection is a lot of work and if you select Martin's Home Inspections to do your home inspection, I promise I will do my best to provide the best evaluation possible.
How do I request a home inspection?
You can call 270-519-4226 anytime or click here and schedule your inspection.
Are all inspection reports the same?
No. While the the Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors has established a minimum requirement for inspections, reports can vary greatly. They can range from a "checklist" of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation or any combination of the two. Our reports include photos of all found deficiencies.
If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, may I have the Home Inspector perform a "re-inspection"?
Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. The inspector may be able to help you evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made. We recommend getting a copy of any warranty from the contractor completing the repair.
What does a home inspection cost?
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending on a number of factors such as the size of the house, its age and possible optional services.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
Is a home inspection a “code” inspection?
No. By KRS Code, a home inspector in Kentucky is NOT allowed to quote code.
When do I call a home inspector?
If you are a buyer, typically, we are contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If we identify problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs. Your Realtor can help guide you through this process.
Do you offer repairs?
No. Martin's Home Inspections only provides inspection services. Although I also own a contractor's business, due to state regulations, I am not allowed to quote or provide repair/remodeling services for any home I inspect for a period of 12 months, as it would constitute a conflict of interest.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Absolutely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspection provided by Martin's Home Inspections, and will have that information for future reference.
Who will actually perform the inspection?
Todd Martin, the owner of Martin's Home Inspections in Paducah, KY, who is fully licensed by Kentucky Board of Home Inspectors. With over 20 years experience in the building trades, Todd is very knowledgeable and this knowledge is a key component in performing the inspection and creating your inspection report.
What type of license do you have?
I am licensed to perform home inspections by the state of Kentucky.
How will you gain access to the property?
I will make arrangements with you or the REALTOR to get a key or lockbox, or arrange for someone to be there to unlock the door.
What is required prior to the inspection?
A signed agreement. Also, the utilities (electric, water, gas) need to be turned on at the property prior to the inspection. Pilot lights need to be lit. All rooms, crawl spaces, etc. need to be unlocked and panel boxes and attic openings need to be made accessible.
What areas or locations do you serve?
We provide home inspections and testing services in Paducah and the surrounding area. This includes McCracken, Ballard, Marshall, Graves and Calloway counties. Inspections may be provided in other areas on a case by case basis.
The home is being appraised/inspected by the FHA, VA or Rural Development. Is hiring a professional home inspector redundant or a waste of money?
It is a common error to equate an FHA inspector with a home inspector, when in fact, there are no similarities of any kind when comparing these two distinct professions.
Martin's Home Inspections provides disclosure of visible property defects and will spend several hours evaluating each home. We operate and inspect plumbing, heating and electrical fixtures; we walk on the roof (if possible); we crawl through the attic (if possible); we inspect the electrical wiring in breaker panels; test electrical outlets; and inspect the foundation crawlspace beneath each building. We evaluate fireplaces, test built-in appliances and inspect for safety issues. We review site drainage conditions, check for signs of faulty construction, and report on physical damage and substandard workmanship.
FHA inspectors do little, if any, of this. In fact, they are more correctly called "FHA appraisers." Their inspection, when compared with an actual home inspection, is best described as a brief walkthrough. Basically, they look around, take measurements and note the apparent overall condition of the property. They operate nothing. They test nothing. They generally do not go on the roof; they do not enter the attic or crawlspace; and they do not determine functional conditions of fixtures.