Tag Archives: Home Inspections

Home Inspection – How It Benefits The Buyer, Investor And Seller – Home Inspections

It is important to understand that a home inspection can be very valuable to both the seller and the buyer of a home. For obvious reasons the home inspection is valuable to the buyer as the inspector will point out any serious defects in the home as well as the overall condition of the home before the home is purchased.First off, let me explain what a home inspection actually consists of for those who are a little unclear.A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home such as the plumbing system, electrical system, roof, etc. Most importantly a home inspection can usually detect any structural problems with a house. Structural concerns include the foundation, exterior wall system, interior load bearing walls, floor system and roof system. Problems with any of these items can result in substantial repair costs.This inspection report can also be valuable to a seller. If a seller has a home inspection preformed before they list the house, the seller will have a “heads up” on any defects in their home. They may elect to fix some or all of defects so they will not become an issue to the new buyer prior to closing. And most times the seller will get things repaired or replaced at a cost much lower than when the buyers look for repair credits before the closing.Home inspections are just as important for real estate investors (who become sellers), who buy houses in “as-is” condition. Even though many investors can see most of the things that need repair, and know the house needs fixing, they tend to overlook some of the issues that need repair and don’t figure it into their cost estimate. Then they are faced with the repairs at closing. A favorable inspection report can give you the added comfort that you are not buying your next nightmare!I suggest investors (as well as any seller) get a home inspection report as it will help identify all the issues that need to be addressed. Then, the investor can use that report to show the contractor what needs to be replaced, fixed or repaired. And it’s the little (and sometimes the not so little) things that investors miss or overlook that can add up and also hold up a closing.Things such as, grading and drainage issues causing water penetration into the house or from down spouts not properly angled away from the foundation. Also missing fascia boards (boards nailed across the ends of roof rafters at the eaves), missing or damaged eves and soffits. And don’t forget the plumbing, water heater and appliance vents, water pressure, electrical capacity, etc. See, many things most of us never think about.If you think about it, you are paying someone to do a fairly comprehensive diagnostic test on the home. To tell you all the things you are not trained to find.So I say, why not know about any defects and repair items BEFORE you buy or put the house up for sale.When ever the word “safety” or “hazard” comes up in a home inspection report, everyone’s antenna goes up! Having the report and repairing the necessary items before the buyers get their home inspection will drastically reduce the amount of items being found by the buyer’s home inspection.And if you are an investor, you could have gotten the repairs completed for a minimal fee as your contractor is working in the house anyway doing the renovation work. After the renovation is completed and the workers are gone and you need to get them back, it usually will cost much more as now they are coming for a “new job”. So why not address those repair issues before time. It makes sense to me!Now bear in mind, you can sometimes have twenty “suggested” items to be addressed. When twenty or so of these small items are put on the report, this leads to buyers getting scared, and or the buyers asking for big credits and costing you much more money.In summary, if you are buying a home, selling a home or if you are investing in a home, a home inspection report by a licensed home inspection company will open your eyes to any and all defects that could become an issue when you go to sell or flip the house. My opinion is that a home inspection is worth the small fee that is charged. Most states have adopted standards of practice from the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI.)Oh, one last thing. Always get a termite inspection. Some home inspection companies are licensed to offer this service as well. But I always like to get the termite inspection by someone who can actually perform any necessary treatment.

4 Time Saving Tips When Creating an Electronic Home Inspection Report – Home Inspections

This article is going to discuss four tips that home inspectors can use to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection reports. The time saved can be used elsewhere such as working on their company website, marketing campaigns, or more time with their family.Tip 1 – Use Software in the Field
Using home inspection software on a portable device in the field allows an inspector to create the report as they inspect. Depending on the software, this can be done on a laptop, tablet, or handheld device. Once the inspector finishes their inspection, the report is complete. The inspector can choose to go back to the office and make any final changes before delivering it, such as adding pictures and adding final comments, or deliver it to the client in the field. Many home inspectors are still using paper to do their inspections and not taking advantage of field reporting software. Using software on-site saves the inspector time by eliminating the need to create the inspection report a second time back at the office.Tip 2 – Use Customized Forms
Another tip for inspectors is to use a customized home inspection form or template that suits them and their inspection style. Using a customized form that the inspector is comfortable with will save them time while filling out their inspection report on-site. They can choose the order in which the sections of the home appear in their software to match the order in which they inspect. Inspectors can also make one time changes for a specific property or make permanent changes to their template. For example, an inspector in Florida could delete the ‘Basement’ section in their report, since most of the properties they will be inspecting will not have basements. Using a form that is suited for an inspector will save them time and allow their inspection process to be more efficient.Tip 3 – Use Dropdown Lists
The third tip for saving time is to select common answers from the software’s dropdown lists. Most inspection software programs already come with preloaded narratives. It is important that an inspector continues to build their library of narratives with their own comments to eliminate the amount of typing they have to do. Over time an inspector’s library will grow and give them the ability to choose very quickly from several different choices. This will eliminate the need to type out each narrative and will save a great deal of time each inspection. Typing takes a lot of time in the field and any chance an inspector has to eliminate it, is a benefit to them and their inspection process.Tip 4 – Preload Data into Report
The last time saving tip for home inspectors is to fill out any information they may have about the home before they arrive on-site for the inspection. A home inspector should be able to fill out most of the general information about the home beforehand. Inspectors can use their knowledge of the area to fill out common information ahead of time as well. For example, if a specific subdivision has all asphalt driveways or hardwood floors, they can go ahead and put that information into their report. Filling out information ahead of time will not only save them time when creating their report, but it will also be one less thing they have to worry about in the field.Using the tips listed above, an inspector will be able to save time and become more efficient while creating their home inspection report. Saving time will allow an inspector to schedule more inspections and also have more time to spend on other areas of their business.

Four Tips To Help You Choose A Quality Home Inspection – Home Inspections

Buying a home can be quite intimidating. It may be the single largest purchase you will ever make. You will definitely want the best possible home inspector in your corner. The independent home inspector can give you an unbiased opinion of the condition of your dream home before you take that final plunge. Both the cost and expertise of a Home Inspector can vary greatly. How can you be sure that you choose the Home Inspector that is, quite frankly, the best?First, you need to understand what it is that a home inspector does. I like to think of Home Inspectors as “expert generalist.” I believe it was Benjamin Franklin who claimed the title of “jack of all trades, master of none.” A list of what is included in the inspection should be made available. In those states that require that home inspectors be licensed there is either a state issued standard or they have adopted the ASHI or NAHI standard. Both of these Home Inspector associations provide additional certification and have their standards and practices available on their respective websites. When you see the rather extensive list of what should be inspected you will realize that home inspectors need to have a general knowledge of every single aspect of the home they are inspecting. For instance, a licensed electrician may have extensive knowledge about lights, outlets, breaker panels and wiring. However, he may have little to no knowledge about foundations, plumbing, or roofing.So, Tip number one: Look for an inspector that has varied knowledge and experienceStates like Kentucky that issue licenses require training, but that training may be minimal and classroom hours cannot replace years of hands on experience. Don’t be afraid to ask a home inspector to outline his experience.Tip number two: Don’t accept your agents recommendation without doing your own investigationThis is not to say that your real estate agent would bring in a “ringer” and not want you as a buyer to be fully informed. But, there is a fiduciary conflict of interest inherent to the relationship. In real estate, most would agree that ten percent of the agents sell ninety percent of the properties. So, who is to say that your agent has enough personal experience with an inspector or company to give a first-hand recommendation?Ask your agent, point-blank, “would you use any of these inspectors if you were buying this home for you and family. But, what is important here is not where the recommendation came from, rather that you personally do your own investigation.Tip number three: Select a home inspector that uses the most modern technology”Thermal imaging is a non-invasive, non-destructive way of evaluating conditions below the surface. Because everything from faulty wiring to the presence of termites to mold to wet insulation affects the surrounding temperature, heat-sensitive photography can reveal these and other issues that just cannot be seen by the naked eye or with conventional or digital photography.”, says Dan Schuerman, a manager with PDmB, Inc., a home inspection software manufacturer.Technology in the home inspection industry is exploding at an incredible rate. Find an inspector that is keeping pace with the most current advances in home inspection technologies i.e. boroscopes, moisture meters, digital thermometers, CO detectors, etc…Tip number four: Choose the report that is easy to understand and includes the areas you are most concerned aboutWhen you boil it down the report should be your most important consideration. When all the dust settles the report will be the single remaining remnant of your investment. Make sure that you get a sample report. Check out the format as this can vary greatly from one firm to another. Are photos included in the report and how well are they integrated in relation to reported issues? Some reports include photos, however they an indexed at the end and require constant page turning.How are issues classified in the report? For instance, major concern, minor concern, repair/replace, safety hazard or are issues rated by cost. Holmes on homes noted an inspection report that listed over 250 inspection points as “serviceable”. A limited number of classifications can make a report tedious and may not provide the benefit of long-term budgeting for items with say a ten-year or five-year life expectancy.Another great question is how the report addresses repairs or maintenance issues. Are there clear suggestions for the appropriate professional to address the concern? Are repair and maintenance recommendations included? And finally, is the language of the report full of technical jargon or is the information communicated in a way that is easily understood by the average home buyer?In conclusion, finding the right home inspector can bring tremendous information to the table at a time when you can use it the most. Having an independent professional come along side of you and helping you to formulate a quality decision can make your buying experience far less stressful. You will not regret the time you spent researching and interviewing your local home inspection choices it will simply add to your peace of mind.

Increase Your Selling Chances With a Pre-Listing Home Inspection – Home Inspections

Any certified home inspector can perform a pre-listing home inspection, provided that the homeowner make a few basic accommodations. As a homeowner, you can start by making sure that power, water, and gas will be turned on at the home while the inspector will be performing his or her evaluation. Next, try to clear the space around items such as kitchen appliances, the water heater, and the indoor and outdoor units of the air conditioner. These items are all examined separately as part of many home inspections, and the home inspector will need clear access to these items in order to see them and check that they are working properly. Also, make sure that all doors and windows are accessible, as well as any indoor and outdoor staircases. Generally, these accommodations would be required by your realtor during the pre-listing phase of selling a house, so getting a home ready for the inspector should not require a lot of extra effort.A homeowner and the realtor can and should be present during inspections, but many home inspectors can also perform pre-listing inspections without anyone present. During pre-listing inspections, a home inspector will examine the same items that he or she would during pre-purchase inspections. A good inspector will check the home’s appliances to see if they are functioning properly, as well as items like the air conditioner and water heater. The structure of the house will be examined for signs that the foundation, electrical systems, and plumbing is in good condition. Any damage to these items will be noted in the written inspection report. Once the pre-listing inspection is complete, a homeowner will know what issues need to be addressed before selling the home. Small items can be fixed, and larger items will be known about before a potential buyer sets foot in the house.Many home sellers are concerned that pre-listing inspections will reveal flaws in their home that they will be obligated to disclose during a sale. In actuality, however, the majority of pre-listing inspections only turn up minor flaws in homes that can be easily corrected. In the rare case that a pre-listing inspection lists a major item to be repaired, it is important to keep in mind that the pre-purchase inspection that the potential buyer would pay for would discover the same problem. At that point, however, a buyer could use the information to walk away from the sale. In most cases, pre-listing inspections turn out to be a great selling point for the homeowner.By providing a report from a neutral third party attesting to the condition of the home, a homeowner is able to provide something that many other houses on the market will not have. The home inspection report can also be given to home appraisers and the mortgage company of the buyer’s bank. By having this report, home appraisers are able to make a quicker and more accurate appraisal of the home, and potential buyers can feel confident that the house was inspected by a third party certified home inspector.For more information about Pre-Listing Home Inspections, visit http://www.fsginspections.com/services/pre-listing-home-inspections/

California Home Inspection – Home Inspections

If you are looking into buying a home in California, or if you are considering putting up your property for sale, one of the most important things you need to do is to get a home inspection on the property. A home inspection is a non-invasive check into the condition of a property to highlight any areas which need repairing or which are badly damaged.Home inspections should only be conducted by a qualified home inspector. There are many reputable home inspection services available throughout California, including WIN Home Inspection. Professional home inspectors will carry credentials to prove that they have undergone special training for this task and to bring out their reliability for discovering any damaged, or in need of repair, areas inside or surrounding the house.Inspectors will check every area of the home such as the roof, the basement, air conditioners, plumbing, electrical connections and any other area or fixture of the house which may be prone to breaking or failing. They will also examine the home from the point of view of improper building practices such as poor contracting services in the past, which could create problems after a purchase and show that the home may not be of good value for the asking price. Other important areas include looking into how well it is being maintained, regarding the age of the home, the life expectancy of fixtures, and finding out structural areas of the home which need extensive repairs.After completing the inspection, the home inspector will issue an inspection report which details out all their findings. As a buyer, a home inspection report will tell you about the entire condition of the property that you wish to purchase. If you feel that some conditions need only nominal repairs, you can negotiate their repair fees with the seller.On the other hand, if the conditions are pretty bad, the inspection could actually save you from buying a property which will require considerable expenditures for repairs after your purchase. As a seller, getting a home inspection done before you put your property for sale let’s you know on what needs to be done to improve property condition. You will have a better chance of getting the price you want on the sale of the home, rather than have buyers point out errors and then haggle for a reduced price, or insist that the repairs be completed at your expense.

Buying Or Remodeling a Home in Today’s Market – The Value of a Home Inspection – Home Inspections

Buying or remodeling a home? Both can be a pivotal part of a long-term, wealth-building strategy. As part of that strategy, getting a home inspection can help ensure the soundness of your investment, or at least alert you to potential issues you may want to address. It is exciting to find that perfect new home or to picture how the new addition is going to enhance your current home, but don’t let the excitement of the moment or the potential cost diminish the importance of getting a thorough home inspection.Home inspections are not free, but are they worth the money? In most markets and for a typical single-family home, you can probably expect to spend from $300 to $400 on an inspection. Yes, you can buy a home and skip the inspection altogether or even get your brother-in-law to look the house over for you, but given the price of buying or remodeling a home today, it’s probably penny wise and pound foolish. Consider paying a professional to do a professional job.A competent home inspector will, among other things, test the major systems in the home like the roof, HVAC, plumbing, etc., and provide you with a written report detailing his/her findings. Even if you accept the house “as is”, the inspection and the inspection report report will help you understand how to deal with any issues and help you properly maintain your new or remodeled home. In a best-case scenario on a purchase, you may be able to negotiate some or all of the repairs with the seller before you close. If you’re remodeling, a good inspection might reveal some problem area(s) that could easily be addressed during construction.Spending significant money on any home is a long-term investment, and a home inspection is no different. In the scheme of things and considering the potential cost(s) of not getting one done, a home inspection is money well-spent. Even in new construction, a home inspection can save you aggravation and maybe even save you money. Just because a municipal inspector passes something, doesn’t always mean it’s done right.How do you find an experienced, competent home inspector? One good way is to talk to local Realtors, friends, or maybe a neighbor who recently bought their home. Also look for some type of certification, like membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

What Home Inspections Reveal – Home Inspections

A home inspection is an objective identification of materials defects in the systems, structure and the components of the house in adherence to provincial, national and industry standards and regulations. Whether you are a seller, buyer, mortgage broker, real estate agent or a lending institution, an inspection done by a certified home inspector gives you first hand knowledge on the true condition of the home.A professional home inspection is very important since the home is the largest investment that people make. Homebuyers want to secure and protect their investment so they would order a house inspection. If sellers know beforehand about defects, they can attend to these defects right away or inform buyers who come to look at the house. If the inspection reveals major expensive problems, the sellers unwilling to take the expense, can lessen the asking price to compensate the buyers.Here is what home inspections tell you, whether you are a buyer or a seller.1. Home inspections could tell you that there are wood destroying pests present in the home. A pest inspection will reveal not just termite presence or powder post beetles, but also reveals dry rot.2. Inspections will make sure that the smoke is discharged properly in the chimney. An older chimney does not have flue liners or the brick inside may be crumbling.3. An electrical inspection could inform you that the electrical box is old and that it no longer complies with the present city code. An electrician can advise you about the best brands to replace it with and its cost.4. In a home inspection, furnaces have to be taken apart to determine if there is a crack in the heat exchanger of to find out why it is malfunctioning. An HVAC specialist can tell you what is wrong and how much would it cost to have it fixed or have it replaced.5. You can have the home tested for lead-based paint. To have it removed, you can hire a certified lead abatement contractor to do the job. This could cause problems if the home inspector determines lead-based paint content in the house.6. Inspections also verify the area of your home. Public records could contain errors on the exact square footage of the property. You can do your calculations yourself or hire an appraiser.7. A home inspector could tell you if the home was built on raised foundation or slab, but for a thorough inspection, you can hire a foundation engineer who could tell if the home’s foundation is faulty or if it is sliding.8. Roof inspections could reveal if the roof needs to be replaced. The roof is important since you have plumbing there, and the pipes come out of the roof. Roof problems usually occur between the sixth and ninth year of the life span of your roof. You usually get a 25-30 year roof life expectancy.9. An inspection of the water systems and plumbing is very important. It can reveal if the plumbing needs to be replaced and could tell you if the galvanized pipes are clogged to the extent that it is even impossible to fit a pencil lead through it.10. The inspector could tell you if there is mold present in your home. Molds can trigger health problems. Molds can be tested in the home by testing the quality of the air around.Home inspections reveal so much more than the exterior look of the house. An inspection does not only benefit the buyer, but also the seller because any possible defects could cause delay to the purchase of a home. Therefore, it is very important that as a seller, you should do a home inspection before you start showing off your home to prospective buyers.

Home Inspection Cost – How Much Will it Be? – Home Inspections

Are you curious about how much you will pay for your home inspection? In this article we are going to talk about this issue in more depth.There are many things that can change the cost of a home inspection. First, there are many services out there and they do not all charge the same price. Call ahead of time and find out what the bottom line will be so you won’t be surprised on the spot. Be careful to hire the best service around, even if the cost is a little higher. This is an important part of the home buying process and this is not the are to skimp on. You want a service that will give you a thorough inspection, and also at a fair price.The size of the home is a big factor in determining how much the inspection will cost. If your house is large, it is going to call for a longer inspection. Of course a small condo or apartment will take less time. An inspection can take anywhere from two hours to six hours, or sometimes even longer if problems are found. Remember, the longer your inspector is at your new home, the better.Another factor in determining the cost of the inspection is whether you use a large home inspection company or a one man show. Again, the only way to know is to ask upfront and get a quote. Choosing a good inspector that you will be happy with is very important. Ask your friends and family for referrals. It is best to find someone this way, as opposed to finding any name in the phone book. You might be happy at the time if your inspector comes in for a few minutes and then tells you that everything looks good. You might not be happy down the road when you find problems with the house.Most home inspections cost anywhere from 175 – 300 dollars. The cost will also be higher if you are in a big city and less if you are in the middle of the country. It might seem like a lot at first glace, but is is probably one of the best investments you will ever make.

Home Inspection is a Must When You Are Buying a House – Home Inspections

A home inspection is a must when you are buying. If you have ever purchased a used car that gave you nothing but trouble, you probably looked back with regret for not taking it for an inspection before you bought it. You ignored the wise counsel to seek out an objective third party’s expert examination, and it cost you in the long run.You definitely do not want to make that same mistake when you are in the market for a house. You may love the place, but this is one time you do not want your emotions to get in the way. You are making a much larger investment with even greater consequences than buying a used car, and you can not afford to make a mistake. In fact, it might be one of the largest investments of your life, and you want to be sure you are thinking ahead to the future because this is the place you will be calling “home.”That is where a home inspection comes in. This is simply an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof down to the foundation. An inspector should give you a report that will cover the condition of the heating system, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems. He will check out the roof, attic and visible insulation, as well as walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, including the foundation, basement and structural components.This is not one of those tasks you should try to do yourself. Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspector. You need to hire a professional because he is familiar with the elements of residential construction, maintenance and safety. You need someone who knows how the building’s systems and components are supposed to function together, and even why they might fail. Let’s face it. You will not be as objective about the house as an inspector. For such a significant event, you need someone whose judgment will be fair and accurate.One thing is for certain. You do not want any unpleasant surprises when contemplating the home you are hoping will soon be yours. An inspection will help you learn about it, whether it is an existing structure or one that is newly constructed. An objective review can help identify any need for major repairs or can spot builder oversights. You will also discover what maintenance will be needed to keep it in good shape. Afterwards, you will know more about the house and can make decisions about it with confidence.You will be glad to know that a house does not pass or fail an inspection. It is simply an examination of the current condition of a dwelling. It is also not an appraisal that determines the building’s market value. Nor is it a municipal inspection used to verify local code compliance. A home inspector will describe the physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major, or minor, repair or replacement.

Why Home Inspection Software Is Better Than Paper – Home Inspections

Technology is growing at a rapid pace and is being used in many different fields to make life and work easier. Home inspections are no different. One of the main areas where technology is making life easier for home inspectors is through the use of home inspection software. Software now allows home inspectors to toss the clipboard and get rid of the paper from their inspections and reporting. This allows an inspector to deliver a more professional report to their clients, and for some, eliminates the tedious process of writing the inspection on paper and then retyping everything back at the office.Today software for conducting home inspections allows you to use a handheld, phone, tablet PC, or laptop in the field. This allows the inspector to collect all of the information in the field and eliminates the work that is often done back at the office. This saves home inspectors a great amount of time on each inspection and frees up time to focus on other aspects of the business such as marketing.With home inspection software loaded up onto a portable device, home inspectors can put together the entire report while conducting the home inspection. Software makes it easy to use dropdowns to enter the condition of items, add notes, add pictures, and make recommendations to clients. With a wireless printer an inspector can print a report on-site and hand it directly to the client when finished with the inspection. They can also take the report back to the office, finish adding in photos and final comments, and then turn the report into a PDF. The PDF can easily be emailed to their client. This eliminates any issues the client may have with trying to read messy handwriting as well.Another advantage of using home inspection software is that it is easy to add photos directly into reports. This allows the client to see exactly what the inspector is referring to in their report. Software also gives the inspector the flexibility to customize the way their home inspection reports look. They can easily edit fonts, colors, and the overall look of the report. Inspectors can also customize the templates and forms they use to create new templates that match the way they inspect. Software has the capability of automatically creating summaries of items requiring attention. This makes it very easy for the client to have one place to reference to see all of the key inspection findings. For example, every item that is marked with a Marginal rating would show up in the Marginal Summary.Using home inspection software allows an inspector to stay organized without having to deal with all that paper. All inspections are saved on the computer and can easily be opened at any point in time. Home inspectors can also save a great deal of money over time by not needing to purchase paper forms. Oftentimes, carbon copy forms can cost the inspector anywhere from $8 – $25 a report and this quickly adds up. With software, they will no longer pay per inspection and it will pay for itself.Making the switch to home inspection software from paper will also allow inspectors to stay ahead of their competitors. Software allows them to create a much more professional looking report and really impress their clients. With a professional report being passed among realtors and clients with an inspector’s company name on it, they will be in position to gain referrals based just on the look of the report.Overall, home inspection software is a major upgrade over conducting home inspections with a pen and paper. Not only can it save an inspector time, but it also gives them the ability to easily create professional looking reports and customize them to their needs. Electronically delivering reports is also quick and easy and will make a great impression on clients. By Impressing clients and realtors with their reports, they will be able to gain new referrals with home inspection software.