Tag Archives: Inspection

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.

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.

What Does a Home Well Inspection Include?

If you have a well, an annual well inspection should be part of your maintenance to-do list. Even if your water tastes good, lead and other contaminants can seep into the water supply and lead to health problems. A well inspection is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of your drinking water.

What Does a Well Inspection Include?

Conducted by a licensed and/or certified well water contractor, your annual well inspection should include several components:

  • A flow test to measure water output and level, pump performance, tank pressure and switch contact pressure,
  • An inspection of equipment to ensure that it meets local codes and appears to be safe,
  • A test of water for coliform bacteria and nitrates,
  • Tests for any minerals known to affect water conditions in the area, such as sulfides, manganese or iron,
  • Periodic tests for pH levels or total dissolved solids,
  • Additional tests if the water is cloudy or oily, if there are signs of bacterial growth on fixtures or if equipment is not working properly, and
  • A written report that includes laboratory data, explains results and offers recommendations.

Useful Information about Well Inspections

Once you receive the reports from your well inspection and from any other tests that were performed, you should retain the records and keep them in a safe place, along with construction documents from when the well was first dug. Most wells have a life expectancy of about 20 years or more. Having your records on hand will be useful in determining when you might need to replace it, and necessary if you sell your house.

How much can you expect to pay for a well inspection? The cost varies according to the area and is based on the sampling methods, test procedures and the number of tests performed, but a homeowner can generally plan on spending around $150-$350. More extensive sampling for more contaminants can raise the cost.

When choosing a well inspector, it is important to use one who is licensed and certified in your state and who is familiar with the local codes. The inspector should use laboratories that are licensed to test for various contaminants that may appear in the water.

Why Should You Order an Annual Well Inspection?

You may wonder why an annual well inspection is necessary if you have no problems with taste, appearance, odor or performance. Since your well is underground, you may be unaware of any possible changes. If your home is near farms, mines, a landfill or gas or oil fields, contaminants could infiltrate your water. The same is true if you have dumped oil or waste in your yard, had your home exterminated, have a septic tank problem or develop cracks in the sealed sanitary cap on your well.

Having an annual well inspection is the best way to assure the safety and quality of your water supply.

Advantages Of Hiring Video Pipe Inspection Services For Sewer Pipes

Earlier, when there used to be a blockage in sewer pipes or drain at anyone’s home, people use to call a plumber for diagnosing the problem. As there was no such technology like video pipe inspection at that time, the plumbers had no other option than to dig out across that pipeline and look for damage or blockage. It would take hours to figure out the exact location and the cause of problem after causing huge damage to the expensive flooring or walls of your house. At the end, people used to pay heavy bills to the plumbers for major sewer repair services.

Then came an innovative piece of advanced technology, the video pipe inspection, which created a revolution for plumbing services a big way. Now, there was no need to dig out the entire area suspected of blockage or damage in the pipe. Through video pipe inspection, it becomes so easy to figure out the exact location where the problem could exist.

In case you were still not aware about this mind-blowing technology in plumbing, then you should definitely look more its numerous advantages as follows-

1. Easy to locate the damage area: The very first major advantage of doing video pipe inspection when you suspect pipe leakage in your home is its ability to locate the exact position under problem. Once the plumber knows where the leakage exists, he will dig only that limited area to repair the damaged pipe. This will help avoid unnecessary digging of floors and walls and reduce overall expenses for sewer repair services at your home.

2. Easy to locate the blockage: In a house where children exist, it is quite common to face clogging of sewer pipes or drains. The kids do throw one or the other thing into sewer pipes accidentally or sometimes intentionally, which ultimately causes blockage in the pipes. In such situations, all you need to do is hire the video pipe inspection services and know the exact location of blockage. The video inspection will not only clarify the true reason of blockage, but also saves a lot of time and resources trying other methods.

3. Prevents major situations: Generally, when people face any blockage in sewer pipe at home, they try various home remedies to clear that blockage. Such remedies may solve the problem for temporary basis, but there is a possibility that your ignorance may lead to some serious issues with time. So, instead of relying on guesswork it is highly recommended going for video inspection of pipes from time to time and prevent any major situations.

4. Saves time and money: In today’s world, it is extremely important to value both time and money. Opting for video pipe inspection for maintenance of sewer pipes and drains saves your valuable time and money. Therefore, it is always beneficial to hire some professional video pipe inspection services for repairing any damage or blockage in home sewer pipes.

The next time you will find any problem in sewer pipes in your home, better go for video pipe inspection first. It can save you a lot of repair bills through sewer repair services at your home.

Electrical Home Inspection: What You Need to Know!

Whether you’re buying a home, or just moving in to your new home, here is some advice that can help you. If you’re in the buying process the things you will be looking for are safety and repair aspects. Most electrical contractors can offer you an inspection to check for both of these. If you are thinking to yourself right now that you have or are going to hire a Home inspector, think again. A home inspector does a generalized inspection. Most of them will know a little about a lot of different areas, but be an expert in none with a few exceptions. It is a certainty in most areas to say you will be forced to hire one to get a mortgage, and that’s a good thing. If you hire an experienced licensed electrician, your electrical inspection will be more thorough and you can get an estimate to what repairs will cost at the same time.

When buying a home you’ll want to know what if any defects there are, or safety hazards. Items that rate high on the list are things like aluminum wiring, GFCI receptacles, grounding and water leaking into service parts. The two of these that are most critical, dangerous and expensive are the aluminum wiring and water leaks into the main service. If you are just moving into a home you purchased, there are some things you can do to be sure your electrical system is safe. I highly recommend that all the devices be changed to new ones. This would be all the switches and receptacles. There is a reason for this. Most electrical problems occur when termination points become loose or corroded. See Picture

By having the devices professionally replaced, you can nip any of these problems before they occur. The other item to consider changing is light fixtures. This can be a bit expensive so if it isn’t in your budget try to at least change the very old ones. The reason for changing these is older fixture wires tend to get very brittle. If the bulbs used in them over the years were of an improper wattage, this can exaggerate the situation, a very common occurrence.

The peace of mind you will get, knowing a professional in the electrical field inspected your home, is well worth the money spent.

Cesspool Inspection When Buying a House

People who look for new properties are concerned about the aesthetics of the house or the landscape, but only a few consider asking about the septic tank or cesspool. However, cesspool inspection is important when obtaining a property. Cesspool services are necessary in many cases. You have to learn the value of cesspools in homes.

A lot of home buyers are not too concerned about cesspools. Knowing whether the cesspool is in good condition and functional is important whenever you are about to buy a property. You have to ask your realtor about this, and he or she should be able to give you an answer. A realtor who does not know the condition of a property’s cesspool or septic system cannot be trusted.

The problem with cesspools is they are buried underneath the ground, so you cannot be sure if the one in a prospective property is in good condition. A specialist should be called to do an inspection. There are companies that offer cesspool services including inspection. Keep in mind that an inspection is just an inspection. The service specialist will not fix problems unless you specifically ask him to do so. You probably will not need cesspool repair unless you really are planning to move into the property. If a property you are looking into has damaged cesspool, you can consider a repair service. If not, you can look at another property.

Cesspool inspection is a dangerous task if you are untrained. This is why it has been stressed that only a trained professional should do the task. You may only do as far as removing the cover. The next step should be reserved for the trained professionals.

How would you know if it needs service? A faulty cesspool may leak and cause contents to pollute the surrounding soil. In this case, foul odor will diffuse from the ground into the air. If the area smells like rotten eggs, the pit must be damaged. Water leaking from the pit will also saturate the ground around it. Look for signs of sogginess. You would also know if the cesspool is draining properly if the leach field has green grass. If not, the drainage lines must be clogged.

Cesspools should be checked regularly for signs of clogging or leaks. Settling solid matter and scum may build up and block drainage pipes. Such event poses problems in the future, but this may be momentarily un-obvious. Ask the realtor if it has been checked in the past year. You don’t want to buy a property and then spend your bucks getting the troublesome pit serviced.

Supposing you have bought the property and then sometime in the future you encounter a problem with the cesspool, what would you do? In this case, you can contact a septic plumber or a cesspool cleaner to find out what the problem is and fix it. Cesspool and septic tank services may be available in your area. Be careful when checking out your cesspool on your own. The gas build-up is toxic and flammable, not to mention extremely sickening.

Tips for a Proper Home Inspection

Buying your own shelter is definitely an achievement in itself. But purchasing the right home is not at all easy. There are many things that should be taken into consideration. By hiring a home inspector a proper evaluation of a particular property can be done. This helps to recover any issues and indicate them before one can spend on the house or probably move into them. So, follow this article to find out some of the home inspection tips that can help you spend your money wisely.

Attend the Home Inspection

When a property is being inspected by a real estate agent you should surely attend the inspection. The inspection will take just a few hours. By doing that you would be able to get all the information correctly from the inspector. This will help you find all the issues personally and can save you from making a costly mistake.

No Follow-Up

If issues are found then the inspectors might suggest you some repairing. If you feel they are not much then you can find out the estimate that might be incurred. In some instances, the first home inspector whom you approach might want to take suggestions from another service provider. This can actually be good and help you get a proper third opinion. So, wait for the opinion so that you are ensured about your choice.

Do Not Rely Only On the Inspector

If you have a suspicion you can always go for a professional checkup. This will help you determine in a better way. Another thing that you should be going for is a termite inspection. This will find out if there are termites in the place. So, there will be chances that you will be staying protected from making costly repairs after buying a home.

Home Inspection For New Homes Too

We often think that a newly built home does not need inspection. But we are wrong. This step is very important and should not be avoided. This will indicate how the building has been built and if there are any imperfections.

Additional Tests for Older Homes

If you are buying an older home then you might have to check other things. The tests that should be done are running a camera through the drainage lines, a hydrostatic test in the drains might help to find out leakages in the drainage system. It is one of the important things to remember.

The Benefits of Getting a Professional Home Inspection

What is a professional home inspection?

Professional home inspections are becoming an important factor for everyone seeking or planing to buy or sell a home. A home may look to be in very good condition but if we go through the things that can’t be seen with the eye we may find issues that need to be addressed. The need of a professional home inspection is increasing day by day because of increasing litigation due to unknown or undisclosed defects.

A normal individual is not supposed to be the expert of all these technical details. This leads to the need a professional home inspector who inspects the home. A typical home inspection will take several hours to complete. If testing is being done for things such as mold, radon, etc it could take several days to get these results back from the lab.

There are many advantages or benefits to hiring a professional home inspector, some of these benefits are:

Benefits for the buyers

1) With a professional home inspection a buyer can calculate the most realistic price of the property he is going to buy. However, in most cases, the inspection is done after negotiating the price. The home inspection results can be used in negotiating repairs or if the repairs are extensive a buyer may want to back out of the transaction if the contract allows it. The buyers can compare the features and drawbacks with the similar properties available in the same condition.

2) Ridding the buyer from the stress of legal or documentary formalities as the inspector will provide a written report.

3) A Buyer can better guess the possible lifetime of the structure; this will enable him in planning the prospective use of this structure.

4) A buyer can better understand the impact of any unknown natural disaster on the home structure.

5) This could also save hundreds of dollars by making the buyer aware of repairs needed at the surface, fitting, flooring or roof of the structure as well as electrical and plumbing.

6) It satisfies a buyer by familiarizing them with all the maintenance and repair details, well in advance.

Benefits for the sellers

1) A professional home inspection gives the sellers a better idea about the current condition of their property. This is most important in cases where seller has not lived in the house and isn’t very familiar with it. Such as rental property, inherited property, etc.

2) With the better understanding of the main features of the home seller can bargain more confidently about the pricing by making any necessary repairs prior to putting the house on the market.

3) Gives you confidence of well-trained, professional helping hands with you.

These benefits of a professional home inspection make this service very popular among buyers and sellers. I suggest working with an inspector who is a member of ASHI, American Society of Home Inspectors. A professional inspection, in the Chattanooga TN area, will cost about $325 but it’s money well spent by either a buyer or a seller.

A 411 on the Benefits of a Home Inspection For Home Buyers

Buying your own house is always a major decision to make. After all, you, as a buyer, will always want the best value for your money. One way of getting this is consulting a Professional Home Inspector service before you eventually purchase your home. However, not a lot of people are aware of what a home inspection actually is, and what is it exactly that inspectors do. Dismissing their services as only for those with extra money to spend or those who cannot inspect the structures themselves is not a very wise decision. But for the smart home buyer, having the home inspector enter take a look at the home first is always a smart move.

Before you decide to take that pen and signing that deed of sale, maybe think about having a Professional Home Inspection first. But you may ask, what exactly is it that the home inspector does? What should you expect once you do receive the services of one? In a basic home inspection, an inspector will perform a series of non-invasive and visual examination of the residential dwelling, which is designed to identify those materials defects which they may observe within specific components of the said dwelling. There are several components to each dwelling, whether it is mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing, or any other system or component of the home. When it comes to which components are inspected, the home inspector and the client arrive at an agreement as to which one, or combination of components shall be inspected before inspection begins. In some states, as in Texas, there is a Pre-Inspection Agreement that is required to be signed before the inspection begins that outlines all the items that are covered, that are not covered and items which are optional.

The first benefit of having a home inspection is that you are assured that the home you are about to purchase is free from material defects which may endanger the lives of the residents. For instance, there are a lot of defects which any person may not notice given that he doesn’t really know how to inspect. There may be problems with the foundation of a home, the heating system, or the electrical wiring which the untrained person may not recognize as systematic.

After a home inspection, once you’ve had the inspector inspect the home and he has identified the defects, you are more or less aware of the overall condition of the house and what repairs have to be done, if any and in case you still wish to purchase the home despite the defects. This will be to your advantage as you will no longer have to make unplanned expenses in case it turns out later that the house needs more work than it looks like. In the end, paying for home inspection may actually prove to be more economical. Having the inspection is also economical in the sense that you get your money’s worth. Every consumer after all desires nothing more than getting the best value out of every cent spent, especially with today’s tough conditions. You will be sure that the home you purchase will be worth the amount with which you pay.

Whether for the safety reasons, or to get your money’s worth, or whatever reason you may have for hiring a home inspector, just remember that whenever you decide to have a home inspection, it will always be worth it.

Pre Listing Home Inspection – 7 Shocking Examples Show Why Home Sellers Need One

Over the last 10 years home sellers had it made. No need for inspections. If a buyer’s inspector found a problem, another buyer would come along. But that has changed. It is VERY difficult to get buyers into escrow now, and very easy to lose them if they find problems during their inspection. Here are true stories about issues that caused disasters ranging from large monetary losses for sellers to outright escrow cancellations. It is time for sellers to realize the value of the “Certified Pre Owned Home” services now available. A $300-$500 home inspection coupled with a home warranty can save the seller $1000s of dollars, make the buyer happier and help sell the home faster.

1. Listing says “Air Conditioned” but the home is not.

During the inspection, the buyer asked the inspector about the air conditioning. The inspector found that there is no air conditioning installed. The listing agent, when asked why the listing stated there is air conditioning, replied that the seller said there was. The air conditioning was important to the buyer, who works from home. The buyer attempted to negotiate a fair settlement from the seller to add air but the negotiation broke down and the sale was lost.

2. Home has serious construction defect.

Many homes are now built by builders as two on a lot or more. The home inspector saw that a balcony over the entry was tilted. When measured, it showed a slope to the east of over 2 inches in 4 feet. But there was no sign of distress in the stucco around the balcony. Inspection of the identical rear home showed that the same balcony was absolutely straight. The conclusion was that the builder had allowed the balcony to be finished even though it was at a tilt. The buyer dropped out stating “I was concerned that there might be other construction defects that were not as obvious.”

3. Bathroom sink has small water leak in tile counter top causing serious water damage.

Some defects are nearly undetectable. In this case, the dark tile on the counter and the rather stuffed cabinet concealed significant water damage. There was enough water to have caused the cabinet’s pressed wood base to expand, the shelf paper to discolor and some mold to start to grow on the paper. But there was no leak in the plumbing. Upon further inspection, it was found by the inspector that when water was splashed on the tile behind the faucet, it ran through small cracks in the tile grout and dripped to the back of the cabinet base. There was reason to expect that there was more moisture and mold under the cabinet base that could not be inspected. This finding, coupled with other troubling issues, caused the buyer to cancel.

4. Home has concealed earthquake damage.

A condo looked excellent from the street. The interior was in beautiful condition. Inspection of the plumbing under the sink, however, revealed a disturbing fact. The galvanized pipe drain that ran up from the bottom of the subterranean garage 3 stories below appeared to have raised up and smashed the drywall above it. Suspecting that this was impossible, the inspector recalled that this building had suffered damage from a powerful nearby earthquake. A closer look revealed that the floor had dropped 1-2 inches during that quake and not recovered and the ceiling had dropped along with the interior walls. Only the perimeter load bearing walls remained as built. The result was that the torn drywall was wall that had FALLEN onto the solid pipe. The damage was so extensive that the buyer dropped out.

5. Another listing without air conditioning.

This was a condo conversion and a very nice property. But again the listing said A/C but there was none. The buyer was, in this case, not as eager for the deal and used this as an excuse to drop out.

6. Hillside 1930’s home seller loses $200,000.

This home is on a hill and there were multiple retaining walls and tiered foundations that needed repair. There is no doubt that had the seller done a pre inspection, problems with the foundation could have been addressed for far lower cost by taking more time. But work was rushed because the home was in escrow and cost far more than necessary.

7. Lots of minor issues turn off first time buyer.

The buyer, a young lady looking for her first home, was put off by issues that were not individually that expensive, but they added up to a long list of problems she just could not cope with. Had the seller done a pre inspection and just done a little work this escrow would have closed.

Note: This article is copyrighted by the author but sellers, buyers, agents and other home inspectors are encouraged to copy and use this article as long as the author’s name and web site are kept with it.