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Getting a Home Inspected in Kansas?

Are you getting or having a home inspected in the state of Kansas? Be sure to ask your inspector to produce his/her registration card. As of January 1, 2010, all home inspectors must be registered with the state to provide home inspections in Kansas. If your inspector cannot produce the card, he/she may be operating illegally.

For your protection, insist on a legal, professional inspector!

Billing to Close? Not in Kansas Anymore!

billingIn the past, many home inspectors have allowed the payment of their services to be paid at the time of closing. This means that the bill for the home inspection services would be rolled into the closing costs for the home that is being purchased.

The Kansas Home Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act was recently passed and is in effect in Kansas. One stipulation to this act states that the Kansas Home Inspector Registration Board may deny, suspend, or revoke a home inspectors registration if the inspector allows the inspection fee to be contingent on the closing of the underlying real estate transaction.

Do you see the ethical dilemma? Do you think your inspector will be 100% honest about the conditions found in a home if he/she knows that payment is contingent upon you closing the deal?

Hopefully, you’ve got an inspector that is honest, believes in a strong code of ethics, and stands by that code by joining an organization that promotes strong ethical accountability, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors).

Mortgage brokers, lenders, home buyers take heed. It’s against the law for a home inspector to bill the services to closing without some other type of guarantee of payment. By aiding in this practice, you may be as guilty as the home inspector.

But notice what I wrote: “…some other guarantee of payment”. Some home inspectors will take a credit card number or a personal check at the time of the inspection AND provide a way to allow their services to bill to closing. If the deal does not close, for any reason, or the home inspector’s fees are not paid at the time of closing, the inspector is still guaranteed payment, either by charging the credit card that was provided, or cashing the check.

I’m not an attorney, so I don’t know whether this loop hole is legal. For me, it’s just better to stay away from perception of a conflict of interest. That’s also in the ASHI Code of Ethics. And is a good enough reason to stay away from that practice.

Cash, check or credit at the time of inspection, or no inspection service. Its the law.

“Seriously, Radon Is No Big Deal”

This was taken from the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS website:

Starting on July 1, 2009, all residential real estate contracts in the state will need to contain the following language:

‘‘Every buyer of residential real property is notified that the property may present exposure to dangerous concentrations of indoor radon gas that may place occupants at risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer. Radon, a class-A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause overall. Kansas law requires sellers to disclose any information known to the seller that shows elevated concentrations of radon gas in residential real property. The Kansas department of health and environment recommends all homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchasing or taking occupancy of residential real property. All testing for radon should be conducted by a radon measurement technician. Elevated radon concentrations can be easily reduced by a radon mitigation technician. For more information, please go to”

As inspectors, we hear irrational comments regarding radon over and over:

  • “Radon is no big deal”
  • “Its not a problem in KC”
  • “Its not a problem in (insert your county here) county.
  • “The house has a walkout basement and doesn’t need to be tested”
  • “Radon testing is a bunch of hog-wash – its never been proven to be a problem”
  • “Testing is a waste of money – I don’t believe in it”
  • “Its a new house – radon can’t be a problem yet”
  • “Its an old house – the radon would be long gone by now”

….the list goes on…

But it makes you wonder. If the state of Kansas is going to require the statement above to be included in real estate contracts, why would someone advise against testing? If the state says radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, why would someone choose not to test?

By the way, I’ll bet you that the same people who made the comments above, all use sunscreen at the pool. Go figure.

Evict Non-Paying Renters!

While not necessarily required, weather caps and spark arrestors are recommended for chimney terminations. Weather caps help to keep water out of the chimney. Spark arrestors help to keep burning embers from setting fire to your house and the neighbors houses.

Weather caps also help to keep out non-paying renters, such as birds, squirrels and raccoons. I took this picture this week at a house in Raytown, and thought I’d share it. This is a view looking down a chimney from the roof. Thats a raccoon staring back, with an entire family down there as well.

What Do Home Inspections and NCAA Basketball Have in Common?

ku.jpgAs far as I can tell….Nothing. 

But it is my excuse for slacking off on regular postings. Between watching basketball and working, our attention has been diverted elsewhere.

 But the NCAA Final Four is this weekend, so things should return to normal, and we’ll work to get more home inspection related blogs written.

Go Jayhawks!