Monthly Archives: October 2020

Top Six Tips for Hiring a Commercial Property Inspector

People hire commercial property inspectors for one of several reasons:

• They are about to purchase a building and want to know if they are making a sound investment.

• They own a building and want to protect their investment through prevention instead of repair work.

• They are about to sell and want to know the true worth of their property.

No matter the reason, having a competent property inspector is crucial for knowing how structurally sound a building is. The following tips are to help commercial investors, buyers and owners protect their financial investments.

Top Six Tips For Hiring a Commercial Property Inspector:

1. Make sure they are licensed.

2. Check reviews on social media sites like Yelp and Google Reviews. While business owners can control the information that appears on their personal websites, they can’t control what people say on social media sites. This is generally where you’ll get the real story about a business. Do keep in mind that everyone has bad days and most businesses will have a bad review. What you’re looking for is the general consensus.

3. Talk to references. While references tend to be people who have had a positive experience, they can help you determine work styles and ethics of a potential property inspector.

4. Ask what type of equipment they use. In this day and age every commercial property inspector should be using a thermal imaging system to do inspections. These help determine water leaks and air leaks. Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials to ensure your inspector has been trained on his/her equipment.

5. Before you set up an appointment ask whether or not they take credit cards. Many commercial and home inspectors are family run businesses and do not accept Visa or MasterCard. Be sure to ask first if you plan on paying by credit card.

6. Be clear about what exactly is covered in the inspection. Commercial inspections are more thorough than home inspections, however inspectors are not required to move or lift obstacles that have the potential to injure them, nor are they required to expose themselves to hazardous areas such as mold infestations.

If this is your first commercial building investment, having an inspector perform a Property Condition Assessment can save you thousands of dollars in potential repairs on a property. Know what you’re getting into before you make any deals or purchase any property. For those who currently own property, maintenance repairs and preventative fixes are always cheaper than repairing major structural damage.

Home Inspections In 2016

Ah, the dreaded home inspection. For the seller, it can be suspenseful as they wait for the report to come back with any items that need to be fixed. For the buyer, it can mean a piece of mind that everything in the home is in working order and the potential opportunity to negotiate the repairs/ purchase price if anything is turned up during the home inspection process.

In general, a home inspection is meant to thoroughly check the condition of a home and is typically done when a home is being sold. More often than not, a home inspection is done by a trained and licensed inspector that acts as a neutral third party to inspect the home and provide a written report of all findings. Items that are typically examined in a home inspection include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Roof – What is the overall condition and probable age? Does it need to be replaced?
  • Exterior of the home – Including the foundation, drainage issues, gutters, siding, etc.
  • Attic space – Properly insulated and verify no leaks are present.
  • Basement – Wet basements and crawlspaces can be a cause for concern.
  • Plumbing – Check for any leaks.
  • Electrical – Test of the light switches, electrical outlets and electrical panel.
  • Heating and Cooling Systems – Are they in proper working order?
  • Water heater – Is it in good condition and working properly?
  • Appliances – General condition and age (If they are included in the sale)
  • Other – a home inspector looks at windows, doors and any potential pest damage.

The physical condition of the house is an important aspect of buying a home. Many buyers include a home inspection condition as part of the purchase contract. The buyer is usually responsible for scheduling and paying for the inspection. If any issues are found during the home inspection process, then the buyer may go to the seller to ask for repairs or credits toward the purchase price to fix any items uncovered.

The Pre-Inspection

Some buyers prefer to do a pre-inspection before submitting an offer. This is commonly done in areas with hot real estate markets when a buyer may be competing against other offers and wants to set the offer apart by not having the inspection contingency included. It’s also not uncommon for a seller to do a pre-listing inspection of the house to fix any problems before a buyer enters the scene and requests for a repair to be made or money off of the purchase price.

Home Inspection Cost and Requirements

A regular home inspection will take a few hours to complete and can range anywhere from $150 to $500 depending on the size, location, type and age of the home. Some buyers will accompany the inspector while he or she is completing the inspection to learn more about any problems that are found and ask questions. A home inspection report will be furnished to the buyer. There is usually a state run website addressing this issue including having a list of state certified inspectors. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) and The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) can also be great resources as well. Most associations require a minimum number of inspections to join. For example, the ASHI requires no less than 250 inspections to be a member. As with any home improvement contractor, you can always ask for proof of licensing and insurance to make sure they are legitimate.

Typical home inspection reports will be thorough with photos and potentially diagrams. While the home inspector does provide a fairly comprehensive report, other reports may be needed. These may include, but are not limited to, a pest report, environmental health hazards (radon, mold, lead, asbestos) and specialized inspections from hazards such as flooding.

Home inspections are worth their weight in gold as paying a few hundred dollars to uncover a potentially major problem is money well spent instead of buying a home without an inspection only to discover a costly repair needed after you own the property. Even when purchasing a new property, a home inspection can potentially draw attention to any issues.

Home Inspection Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Many will think that home inspection is not essential while buying a house but it is not so. A home inspection is important for your family’s safety as all the components, systems, structure, appliances & installations are inspected thoroughly to ascertain they are working properly. By having a home inspection you will make sure that the house is safe your family to live in and you are paying the right price for the house.

Pre-requisites for Home Inspection

At the time a NACHI certified home inspector goes to the house for a home inspection you need to make sure that the seller provides him proper access from where he can inspect every area of the house. You need to ask the seller to remove storage containers away from wall to make it easy for the home inspector to check. In case he is not able to view any particular section of the house then he should indicate it in his report.

Broad Categorization of House Defects

Most of the problems that are looked at during a home inspection can be broadly categorized into following:

  1. Tracing major defects such as some type of structural failure.
  2. Things which can cause major problems in future such as minor roof flashing leakage.
  3. Problems in the house which can create hindrance in financing the house, insure or occupy it.
  4. Safety related problems like electric panel with buss bar which is exposed.

Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

A seller can expedite the home inspection process if he follows the under mentioned tips. If these suggestions are followed then it will result in smoother inspection and less number of concerns to solve before the closing.

  1. Check that electric, gas & water services are running. Additionally, make sure that gas pilot lights are properly burning.
  2. Avoid getting light inoperable report by changing burned out electrical items such as bulbs.
  3. Get rid of dead batteries so that they do not create problems during smoke tests and carbon monoxide detection.
  4. Check that air filters (HVAC) fit in properly.
  5. Clean out wood, stored items & debris kept near the foundation as home inspector may term it as ideal location for growth of termites.
  6. Clear the path leading to water heaters, HVAC equipment, electrical panels, crawl spaces, closets & attics so that these can be inspected properly.
  7. Check and repair broken things such as latches, door knobs, screens, window panes, chimney caps & downspouts.

As mentioned above the major defects categorization & tips for sellers on how they can make the house ready before the inspector comes to the house will greatly assist buyers and sellers in evaluating problems in the house and take remedial steps to solve these problems.

Importance of Building Inspections and Things Covered During Them

Building inspections are a bi-annual activity for most of the landlords as it can help identify problems in the initial stages before damage on a larger scale occurs.

These inspections are usually performed by a member of the maintenance team or by the home owner themselves but at other times, it is necessary to have them performed by a professional such as when you go to buy a home or consider selling your home so that you may know the true value of the house as well as any costly damage that may be hidden away from the naked eye.

Typical commercial building inspection is done once a year and in smaller buildings, such as homes, can be done more often. The inspecting party documents all malfunctions and inconsistencies and reports them to the property manager or landlord for further action. Generally the inside /outside of building is inspected as well as the grounds of the buildings. Underground garages, fire systems, elevator systems, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, roof, vents, laundry premises, outside parking and property perimeter are some of the elements on an inspectors’ checklist.

Over the last decade the building inspection process has evolved drastically. Strict government regulation dictates the policies and certification requirements of inspectors, mainly designed to minimize damage and prevent loss of life. Many new technologies have come up on the market as well; the companies are equipping their inspectors with state of the art equipment that helps them provide very thorough assessment at a lower cost.

One of such technologies is an infrared image camera. It works by detecting temperature differences and can help diagnose problems in many areas.

The infrared camera is a game changer on many fronts and now the building inspectors, consultants and maintenance crew can all utilize this tool to provide a much better service. Although to operate the camera certification is required, a thermographer can be hired to inspect individual areas that were identified by the maintenance personnel.

Be it a rental building, a commercial complex or an industrial unit – It is the goal of every property owner to maintain and maximize the longevity of their assets. An Infrared scan can help a company reduce capital expenditures by accurately identifying problem areas.

Primarily a building inspection would cover:

• Moisture detection in building envelope

• Flat roof leak detections

• Deficiencies in concrete/inspection of basement leaks

• Windows, skylight, sunroom malfunctions

• HVAC systems functionality

• Electrical systems diagnosis

It is very crucial to check the above mentioned elements before purchasing a property or making financial commitments. A building inspection or pre-purchase inspection renders appropriate due diligence. The due diligence process provides the commercial clients all the important information they need so that to make informed and appropriate decisions.

The most important and basic of commercial building inspection targets is the foundation. An expert is definitely required to inspect the building’s foundation and problems related to it. An inspector or an expert can recommend cost-effective yet permanent solutions for your foundation and structural related issues. commercial, home and structural inspection services may help you avoid expensive and disruptive repairs like substituting foundation elements, demolishing etc. They may assist you with hi-end and cost cutting engineered solutions like wall anchors, geo-technical polymers etc.

Major reasons for opting for commercial building inspection are –

Professional Assistance: The building inspectors have the expertise that will provide professional and precise advice you can trust upon.

Avoiding Future Risk: In order to avoid future risks it is essential for you to not neglect the pre-purchase inspection and know the actual condition of the building.

Experience: The inspection professionals have years of experience that may help you make informed and wise decisions.

Focus: These professional services are tailored to focus on all value added decisions ensuring unbiased information with no conflict of interest.

Cost cutting: It is very important to know the actual condition of the building since the repairs or replacements of some components on a commercial building like HVAC, roof, and foundation etc can be extremely costly.

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

When you begin the home buying process it is an exciting, and yet often stressful time. You look at home after home, perhaps even place a few offers, and eventually you find the place that makes you sing. You know that it is everything you could possibly want, and perhaps even a bit more, but now it is at a point that can make one crazy – the property inspector needs to check out all aspects of your potential dream home so you can know if it is truly the home for you, and your budget.

The home inspection is truly an important part of the buying process, and it should be remembered that it is there to protect you. When the property inspector visits the potential home, they will check a long list of areas of the property to determine what – if any – problems you need to be cognizant of and can often let you know how much it will cost to have the repairs made.

Areas Commonly Checked during a Home Inspection

When a home inspection is done, there are key areas that will be checked. Be sure that your inspection includes these, as well as any other areas or concerns that you may have. If the home inspector balks at any of these areas or your other requests, then you will want to talk to another inspector.

· Exterior – The inspector should check all sides of the home, being sure to check siding, windows, doors, decks, foundation, gutters, chimneys, soffit, and fascia. They will also check the surface of a paved driveway, patio or – if a part of the home – the poolside. Also included in part of the exterior inspection will be the sloping of the lot as this affects the potential for flooding, whether there has been any settling in the yard and any damage to masonry work.

· Interior – The interior home inspection will include the walls, ceiling, appliances, electrical, plumbing, flooring, fireplaces, plumbing related features, and any other elements of the home.

· Condition – As part of the inspection, the inspector will also check mechanical systems such as the HVAC system, or note any irregularities in plaster, paneling, any damage due to pests, mold or other home features.

Working a home inspector is not something that should be skipped in the real estate buying process. It is a way to protect you and help you make a wise, informed purchase that will be affect you and your family’s lives for many years to come. Many companies can be contacted regarding a home inspector, but one company used in St. Paul is AmeriSpec Home Inspection.