What Are The Important Considerations at a Home Inspection?

The home inspection is one of the most important items to pay attention to when it comes to buying a new home. It will give you the low down on the most important systems and aspects of the property you are considering investing in. The inspection becomes even more essential when you are buying a fixer-upper house. Homes that need work bring an extra level of due diligence as there is no telling what significant problems could be found.

Before you even get to the point of hiring a professional, you should pay close attention to the state of the home yourself. It is all too easy to walk around a property with rose-colored glasses and forget to look around for defects.

You may already have fallen in love with the property because of its curb appeal or neighborhood – it is all too easy to do. This is why the home inspection report is important. It will, hopefully, prevent you from making a buying mistake you’ll regret.

The inspection is also a great way to become educated on your investment as well. Waiving an inspection can be really risky. It becomes far more prevalent in markets where there are bidding wars. Many buyers, however, learn the hard way when they discover the fact they’ve purchased a lemon. Don’t be one of them!

Aspects of the Home Inspection Which Are More Important Than Others

Yes, there are some aspects of the home inspection that are more important than others. For instance, the home inspector will make a special point of checking the roof, foundation and mechanical systems such as the heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical. Not only do these areas concern the safety of those who live in the home but are very costly to repair or replace. Having an understanding of the condition of these things is essential.

You should also be aware of some of the other potential issues that can crop up with homes such as mold, radon, lead paint, asbestos and potable drinking water. It is vital the home inspector checks out all of these things for you.

Can I Ask the Home Inspector to Check Certain Areas of the Home?

Yes, is the answer to that question. The buyer pays for the home inspection report, so if you are concerned about certain areas of the home, do ask the home inspector to pay extra close attention to them.

 

A broken window pane may not be such a big deal, but an HVAC system that has not been regularly maintained can quickly cause problems and cost you a lot of money to either replace or repair.

 

It goes without saying that the structural components are important, but that is not all. Make sure that you ask the home inspector to check for problems related to electrical wiring and plumbing. They are all red flags when it comes to home ownership.

If this is the first time you are buying a property, it may feel that you are criticizing someone’s home, but that is not what you are doing at all. In fact, what you are doing is looking after your investment. Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions of home inspectors. It might be smart to look them over and ask many of them yourself.

What If I Get Negative Feedback?

No home is perfect, but there are certainly some red flags that you should look out for when you read the home inspection report.

We have already mentioned the roof, HVAC system, and the foundation, but when it comes to buying a home, don’t stop there. Other problems can involve considerable costs. In a worst-case scenario, your lender may even refuse to release funds even though you think you have found your dream home. Some loan products such as FHA and VA require homes to be in acceptable condition. When defects are found that don’t meet these baseline requirements a loan will not be granted.

Look out for problems with security, the basement, and the attic. Any structural problems can prevent the sale of the property from going through. It is also a good idea to pay attention to how energy efficient home appliances are if they are part of the sale. In the future, this is likely to become increasingly important. 

Let’s Talk About The Price

There is no reason why you should not use the home inspection report to ask for a price drop if warranted. If you are going to have to spend money getting repairs done, it is important to make sure you are aware of the costs.

A home inspector may be able to give you some idea of costs, but if you are concerned, it is always best to ask a contractor for an estimate. In many places home inspectors are not allowed to quote prices for repairs as it is considered a conflict of interest.

Don’t feel guilty if you feel that you have to re-negotiate the price. It is your money and you have every right in the world to spend your money wisely. If you notice that there are several smaller aspects of the home that need attention, you should keep that in mind.

Individually they may not cost you a lot of money, but once you start adding up all the little details in the home inspection report, and you start seeing dollar signs in front of your eyes, you should do something about it.

 

When looking over these problems keep in mind that no home is perfect. The focus should be on larger problems and not common maintenance issues.

 

You should consult with your real estate agent and figure out what are reasonable requests and what aren’t. It is never acceptable to ask for repairs of issues you knew about before making your offer. The home inspection is to find out about things you were not aware of. The point is it’s not for using it as a tool to re-negotiate. Those buyers who do this, end up creating a needlessly tense transaction.

Ask for the larger problems to be corrected either by a contractor or by getting a closing cost credit so you can deal with them yourself after the closing.

Final Thoughts

It is vital to avoid some of the most common home inspection mistakes like choosing the cheapest home inspection. The saying “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true when it comes to home inspections. Make sure you ask around for references from family, friends and your real estate agent if you have trust in them. Saving a couple hundred dollars is silly when you think about the thousands of dollars of problems that could be missed by not hiring the best home inspection professional.

 

That is why, in fact want to consider only an inspector that is InterNACHI certified as they have the highest level of standards in the industry.

Buying a new home is a thrilling experience and the biggest investment for a majority of people across the globe. Purchasers concentrate on customizing their home with cozy interiors like paint, tops, floor covers, etc. This excitement of buying a new home may lead to neglect of the aspect of a home inspection to your new home. Home inspection consultation is a mandatory part of the homebuying procedure that can benefit you by saving loads of time and money in the future. A home inspection consultation from reliable service providers can offer unparalleled understandings of the property’s construction, along with an opportunity to avoid costly repairs on the home in the long run.

What Is a Home Inspection Process?

A home inspection is the process of evaluation by third-party evaluators that examine the structure of the home, appliances, systems, and all other crucial features. Home inspection consultation experts will examine the property, report on their findings. This will be your report card to contact the seller or builder to repair any unforeseen problems before finalizing the deal on your home or if you are the owner during the construction of a new home. A home inspection can make sure that you are getting a hassle-free and secure property, your investment is streamlined and you don’t have to deal with any kind of huge repairs when you move-in to a new home.

Top Reasons Why You Need to Consult a Home Inspector Before Moving into a New Home:

 

New Homes:

A new home would consist of several newly installed parts. If you take a look at all the different persons who play their role in crafting your new home you will understand the aspects involved in constructing a new home. Hence, if the issues are identified during a home inspection, it will let the builder or homeowner correct them before moving in. This will ensure the safety of your family by addressing the major issues in the newly built home. There may be some minor touch-ups that will be required after you move in, but there will be no hassle of major works during your residence.

Some common problems that are initiated during new construction home inspections are:

  • Leaks in windows and walls.

  • Cracks in the foundation, poor grading, and framing.

  • Drainage problems that may lead to structural problems in the future.

  • Loose connections or improper functioning thermostats.

  • Electrical issues like wrong wiring outlets, exposed groundings, and absent switch plates.

  • Plumbing problems including wrong piping, leakages, and many more.

Clear Your Doubts:

A Home inspection consultation will give a chance to the buyer to clear their doubts by asking questions to the inspectors. You may want to ask about the durability and quality of some appliances and various functional parts. While they may not be able to accurately guarantee the lifespan of these appliances or parts, their suggestions will aid you to ask the builder to replace the items or make impactful decisions as a homeowner. They may also advise you of certain maintenance tips once they finish the inspection procedure that will be beneficial if you are buying the home for the first time. You will get a clear explanation regarding the deviations of your home design and other parts.

Allows You to Avoid Judging the New Home by Looking with the Naked Eye:

Some people may find home inspection to be a waste of money, especially for new homes. But it is evident that regardless of whether a new home or buying a used one, there will be some issues that may be hidden from the builder or homeowner. You may want to get an expert opinion on the various aspects of house wiring, plumbing, structural problems just to be sure about the complete process. Adding to this, if you are looking to build on the interior, then you will get a preliminary report on all the other crucial elements.

The Builder’s Inspection May Not be Beneficial for You:

Many builders will hire their home inspectors when the new homeowners arrive at the site to look for potential problems. These home inspectors that are invited by the builders, will be paid by them, that can lead to being partial in their process. An inspector working for builders in the interest of them might not pay attention to all the important aspects. There may be some builders who will not want to allow any other home inspectors on to the new home. You may have to agree to allow your home inspector to the new home before making the deal and also include all the important points that are given in the home inspection report.

Negotiating the Price of the New Home:

As the process of the home inspection is done, a home inspector will give you a comprehensive report aiding you to decide if your investment is in the right direction. It will give you a clear view of the mistakes and limitations of buying the property that will come in handy while negotiating the price for your home. Hence, the majority of new home buyers take the aid of inspection services to know the worth of the property depending on the condition and geographical location. You will have proof of all the material and structural conditions in your hand while you strike the deal.

Bottom Line:

New construction home inspection consultation lets you be upbeat about your new home purchase. A timely home inspection can let you get to the root cause of the actual problem and repair it completely before its complete damage. Get an inspection from MY Home Inspector Pro who specializes in an existing home, Commercial property, new home construction, and pre-listing inspections. We cover comprehensive home inspection consultation and provide a report that includes a comprehensive analysis of the home, with pictures and a summary of safety items as well as things demanding repair or replacement.

A pre-sale home inspection is an essential aspect of home selling. It is done before closing the deal. The home selling process involves the following steps:

· The buyer looks for a property

· Makes an offer after finding a property

· Negotiates and fixes the price and closing date

· Contacts a home inspector and pays for the service

· Inspection by the home inspectors

· Closing the deal

A home inspection is not just a formality; as Real Property Group explains, it provides a guarantee for the buyer. A buyer can decide to withdraw the offer if the report is not favorable.

What do home inspectors look for during a home inspection?

There are about 1600 items on the checklist of home inspectors. Home inspectors usually lookout for plumbing problems, electrical faults, foundation problems, structural integrity, roof leaks, chimney damages, floors damages, water damage, excess moisture, and condition of the windows and doors.

They will inspect the electrical panels and switches, kitchens, bathrooms, toilets, foundation, basement, attic, roof, walls, piping, sinks, tubs, etc. Home inspectors are very thorough, and you should be prepared.

How to get ready for a home inspection

A home inspection is an essential step in the house selling process, and below are some tips on how you should go about it.

 

1. Provide easy access to the property

When there are obstructions to access, the home inspector may interpret it as a ploy to conceal faulty areas in the house. However, if you provide easy access and remove all clutter, the inspector will be able to explore everywhere without obstacles.

Before home inspectors visit your property, remove all barriers, and make all the keys available. Also, if some doors or windows are operated with remotes in your house, label them and make them handy. Do not fail to provide easy access to your attic, basement, and crawlspace.

 

2. Keep the property in a clean state

A clean property improves the curb appeal and also demonstrates good maintenance, but a dirty house signifies inadequate upkeep. Once the inspectors notice that the property is filthy, they will have the impression that the home is poorly maintained. Ensure to clean the house before an inspection.

 
 

3. Make the paperwork available

If you have documents and invoices for remodeling projects or items that you have repaired or replaced in the house, make them available. Let the inspectors see these documents during their inspection.

4. Replace all blown out bulbs

Blown out bulbs could either mean that the bulbs have exceeded their lifespan or the wiring in the house is faulty. When inspectors notice blown out bulbs, they will either search for the problem or make a note on the report. You should check all your bulbs and replace faulty ones.

5. Check for signs of leakages and water damage and repair them

Examine your plumbing system and search for leaks. Check the faucets, sinks, bathtubs, and appliances. Check for slow draining sinks, look for signs of water damages such as molds, discolored ceilings, and walls, warping, sagging, or buckling. Fix all plumbing issues before a home inspection and keep the invoices.

6. Take care of the exterior

Do not ignore the outer appearance of your property, but keep it neat and tidy. Mow the lawn and trim the trees that are close to the roof. Wash debris off the roof, clean the roof gutter and downspout drainage. Divert water away from the building and clean all the trash around your AC compressor.

7. Inspect your roof and repair all damages

We are very sure that home inspectors will not fail to look at your roof. So you should repair all damaged flashing and sagging roofs. If your roof is leaking, fix it. Cover all the exposed nail heads on your roof. Replace all shingles that are cracked, curling, or blistering. Keep your roof in good shape.

 

8. Check the yard grading

If your yard is sloping towards the property, you should correct this grading before a home inspection. This is because it means that rainwater is directed towards the property, and the foundation may be affected.

The appropriate grading is when your yard slopes away from the building. Get a professional to grade your yard for you because the home inspectors will take note of it.

In a nutshell: How to Get Ready for a Home Inspection

If you are planning to sell your property, then you should not forget to prepare for a home inspection. It is an essential aspect of the home selling process.

A home inspection is not just a formality; a buyer can decide to withdraw the offer if the report is not positive

Below are some tips on how to prepare for a home inspection:

· Provide easy access to the property

· Keep the property in a clean state

· Make the paperwork available

· Replace all blown out bulbs

· Check for signs of leakages and water damage and repair them

· Take care of the exterior

· Inspect your roof and repair all damages

· Check the yard grading

Thank you to Jamie Heffer with the Real Property Group for writing this.

Buying a vacation home comes with both rewards and risks, including the possibility that if you plan to rent the home for income, you may not earn enough to offset your expenses. That’s why it’s crucial to crunch the numbers carefully and estimate the cost of owning a vacation home before investing in a property.

 

What are the costs of owning a vacation home?

The price of owning a second home can be steeper than you think. There are recurring costs that must be factored in, as well as unexpected expenses such as a sudden breakdown of an appliance or major system.

What’s more, if your rental income stream is interrupted, overall ownership can be more costly than expected.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the major costs.

 

The mortgage — with a chance of increased interest

Your biggest expense is likely to be your monthly mortgage payment, not including homeowners insurance and property taxes.

“Usually, a second home mortgage will run about 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent above the interest rate you’d qualify for on a primary residence,” says Polina Ryshakov, a real estate economist and director of valuation at Sundae, a San Francisco-headquartered residential real estate marketplace that helps sellers of distressed properties.

So, let’s say you do your homework, scout around and pick what looks like a nice vacation property in sunny Tallahassee, Florida. The home price is $300,000. Your lender requires you to put down 25 percent (a higher-end estimate), or $75,000, on a 30-year fixed-rate loan, and your interest rate is 3.75 percent — about 50 basis points higher than what you’d likely pay for a primary residence. In this scenario, your monthly principal and interest payment would be $1,042.

 

Costlier homeowners insurance

In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, the cost to insure your second home may be higher than for your primary home.

“The location, type of property and amenities will all affect your insurance costs,” says Chris O’Rourke, vice president of property claims at Mercury Insurance in Los Angeles. “The factors that make your location desirable may also be the things that make it more expensive to insure. For example, a beach home is more exposed to wind damage or hurricanes, or a mountain lodge is at greater risk for wildfires.”

Keep in mind that you may need special insurance coverage — like landlord insurance — if you plan on renting out your vacation home. This can also increase your premiums and deductible, O’Rourke adds.

 

Property taxes

As with a primary residence, you’ll pay property taxes on a vacation home, as well. This can vary widely by state and county or region. Using the previous example, you may pay around $3,100 in annual property taxes in Tallahassee (where the county tax rate was 1.04 percent in 2019, according to ATTOM Data Solutions) compared to the average national property tax of $3,561 (1.14 percent).

There are other taxes to consider, too, including income tax and sales and lodging tax. The combined sales and lodging tax rate for a second home in Tallahassee is estimated to be 12.5 percent, according to MyLodgeTax.com, which provides lodging tax rates in each state.

Home repairs and upkeep — even when you’re not there

A vacation home needs upkeep just like any property, from lawn care, furnace tune-ups and a fresh coat of paint to gutter cleanings or caulk replacement. The labor and materials required to maintain your residence can add up quickly. Generally, experts recommend setting aside 1 percent of the total purchase price of the property for home maintenance each year. On a $300,000 vacation home, that would equate to $3,000 every year.

Your second home will eventually require repairs and replacement of key items like appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures or the HVAC system. Because the things that require repair often break down unexpectedly, you may not have the time or bandwidth to shop around for the best price on a service provider or contractor. In other words, repairs can sometimes be more painful in the pocketbook than you anticipate.

Many experts suggest also budgeting 1 percent of your home’s total purchase price for repairs. To be extra safe, it’s wise to salt away up to 3 percent for a combined maintenance and repair fund.

 

Managing the property

Unless you plan to monitor your vacation home (and if you’re renting it out, managing and booking the rentals) yourself, which can be close to a full-time job depending on the location and demand, it’s often best to hire a property management service.

“Expect to pay 14 to 35 percent for these services, based on your market, plus potential fees,” says Sarah Kruse, a Portland, Oregon-based real estate agent with Weichert Realtors specializing in vacation homes. “Price around and know what you’re paying for. If you go with a budget company, you’re likely to get budget-level care.”

 

Security

Because you may not be there as often as you would at your primary residence, it’s smart to beef up your second home’s security. That means buying and installing equipment like a video doorbell and outdoor cameras, as well as a home alarm system that’s centrally monitored (meaning it will alert local police if a breach occurs).

Equipment costs vary, but are generally more expensive if professional installation is required, and 24/7 monitoring services often require a monthly or annual subscription that can equate to several hundreds of dollars a year.

 

Decor and furnishings

On top of all these costs, don’t forget about expenses associated with furnishing your property. Furniture and decor such as a bedroom or dining room set and outdoor furniture can quickly set you back a few thousand dollars. Plus, these items wear out quicker if you’re hosting lots of short-term rental guests every year.

“Always ask about buying a furnished vacation home,” recommends Ryshakov. “Fortunately, sellers in many vacation markets often list homes with all the furnishings included.”

 

Pros and cons of owning a vacation home

Owning a vacation home can be costly, but you might consider purchasing and managing it as a joint venture with relatives or friends, which can lower your risk. You may also be able to deduct many expenses on your tax return.

According to Kruse, buying a vacation home is a great way to own your very own piece of paradise.

“It can be a place where family and friends build lasting memories together. This home could end up being your retirement home down the road. And it could be a great investment opportunity if you rent it out while you’re not there,” Kruse says. “Rental income could cover your mortgage and the costs of your annual vacations. In some markets, you might even make a profit above and beyond covering these costs.”

However, Ryshakov notes that owning a vacation home doesn’t always make sense for everyone.

“Depending on the market, second homes historically often don’t appreciate in value as desired due to lack of nearby growing economies. Plus, the pandemic has limited owners’ ability to earn short-term rental revenue,” Ryshakov says.

Also, vacation homes can be more challenging to finance than primary homes.

“Lenders often expect a down payment minimum of 30 percent on second homes,” Kruse says.

 

How to prep to buy a vacation home

There are several steps involved in finding and purchasing a vacation home. If you’re considering buying a second home, Kruse has the following tips:

  • Scrutinize your finances and calculate what you can afford.

  • Choose a skilled real estate agent experienced with vacation properties who can help you locate the best deals.

  • Look at markets carefully. Is the property near water or a beach, which many vacationers prefer? Will it snow in the colder months? Is the property near coveted amenities? Is it served by accessible roads and a nearby airport?

  • Get the home professionally inspected.

  • Shop around for lenders — you may get the best deal with a local lender from the market you’re interested in. Compare rates, down payment requirements and terms prudently, and calculate your total closing costs so you know your complete financial investment before purchasing.

Written by By Erik J. Martin Bankrate.com

 

Featured image by Carol Yepes of Getty Images

A recurring debate that I have witnessed since the beginning of my home inspection career is on how to accurately record and categorize inspected items that are not meeting the current residential home code. A provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Those exempt from the new rule are said to have grandfather rights or acquired rights, or to have been grandfathered in.“Grandfathering”.

The “Grandfathered” debate sounds similar to this:

Inspector A “I inspect a house as if my family would live in it, and I would want ALL safety concerns fixed”
vs.

Inspector B “I inspect a house and base my evaluations on the construction practices common for the age of the home”

Inspector A: “I inspect a house as if my family would live in it”

I believe this statement and belief hinders our industry. Because of laxed requirements to work in the industry, such as little to no construction knowledge or experience, virtually anyone can become a home inspector. This statement is often used by inspectors who do not have substantial construction experience as way to justify their lack of experience with an emotional statement to give credence to their services. Using this statement implies that the inspector will identify everything “wrong” with the home using their opinion instead of the trades’ standards of practice and code regulations.

When I was in my state required training class, over half of the trainees had no substantial construction experience. In fact, there were greatly varying degrees of knowledge, experience, and skills. It is still very much like the “Wild West” in today’s inspection industry.

A diligent and determined person can overcome the lack of construction experience by researching code and construction processes. Although it is not a requirement to be a code expert, it is imperative that an inspector have knowledge and be well versed in the industry standards/practices as well as when they were implemented.

Inspector B: “I inspect a house and base my evaluations on the construction practices common for the age of the home”

This belief is often referred to as “Grandfathering” and is used in every trade that follows code regulations. This is due to the constant cycle of updating and reviewing construction methods/materials. In other words, materials and methods that previously met code at the date of installment are NOT required to be upgraded in order to sell a home. That being said, everything is negotiable, but it is not a home inspector’s place nor is it ethically correct to make that decision for the client. This applies to in-person, verbal recommendations as well as transcribed in a report. However, it is the responsibility of the home inspector to inform the client about the condition of their home, recommendations for maintenance, and to identify any “SAFETY CONCERNS”.

This phrase “SAFETY CONCERN” is at the heart of the debate between Inspector A and Inspector B.

“The road to success is always under construction.”–Arnold Palmer
Topic of Debate: What dictates a safety concern?

Inspector A “A safety concern is anything that could potentially cause harm to the occupant of the home”
vs.

Inspector B “A safety concern is an item that is not installed correctly, not working correctly and may cause harm to the user”
Example: 1960’s home that does not have GFCI’s outlets installed in current code required locations.

Inspector A’s methodology does not have a standard of practice and is different for every inspector. This inspector will categorize items that don’t meet current code requirements as a “SAFETY CONCERN”. This is the cause of the wide range of inspection findings and reports. This is also why some inspectors are referred to as “Deal Killers”.

Inspector A says: “GFCIs are not installed and this is a SAFETY CONCERN which must be upgraded.” This type of statement causes the buyer to throw up a red flag and through their perspective, believe something is wrong with the house and should be upgraded by the seller even though it was not required when the outlet was originally installed. Just because a currently required safety function is not installed does not necessarily mean this is a Safety Concern.

Should the Inspector recommend that the outlets be upgraded? Absolutely!! Is it the responsibility of the seller to upgrade these outlets to GFCIs if they are working as originally intended? Absolutely NOT!

Inspector B uses the “Grandfathering” way of thinking which sets a targeted standard for inspections by educating oneself on the industry practices at the time the system was installed.

Inspector B says: “Although likely not required when the receptacles were installed, GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) protected outlets/breakers are recommended to be upgraded for the bathroom electrical circuits. Upgrading the outlets or corresponding breakers is recommended for added safety.” This type of statement identifies that, although the outlets are out of date and recommended to be upgraded, it does not place the burden on the seller. Buyers and Sellers are made aware of the outdated components but does not SCARE the client into thinking something is wrong.

“Life is like a highway, no matter what they say, the construction is never finished. There’s always gonna be bumps in the road and detours every now and then.”–Nishan Panwar
Inspector A’s rebuttal: “I am not a code inspector, so I am not required to know code because I am simply wanting to address the “SAFETY CONCERNS”.

What constitutes a “SAFETY CONCERN” is going to be different for everyone if an inspector is not following the standards in place of when the item was installed. Since construction materials and practices are constantly changing, one cannot require a homeowner to update their home due to an ongoing change in code regulations.

Inspector B is versed in the standards of practices for the trades and approximately when they were implemented to identify if regulations were not followed when the systems were installed. Inspector B will still advise the buyer to upgrade their system for their own safety but knows that upgrading a home to current code standards is a burden and may cause a real estate transaction to fail unnecessarily (often called a Deal Killer).

THINK ABOUT IT Scenario:

Elderly Client is trying to sell their 1960s home, which has never been upgraded.

Should the elderly seller need to spend money to replace the original electrical system, plumbing only because of their age before selling his/her home?
OR

Should the buyer, knowing they are purchasing an older home, plan on upgrading the dated systems on their own accord after purchasing the home?
As a prior investor and current homeowner, I understand everything is negotiable: however, it is NOT the responsibility of the Home Inspector to be involved in the negotiation process. It IS our job to evaluate, identify, and report the facts.

“Never worry about the delay of your success compared to others, because construction of a palace takes more time than an ordinary building.” – Unknown
Did you know?

#1. The national construction trade code is evaluated and updated approximately every 3 years

#2. States/Cities/Counties/Parishes will generally update their code requirements 1-7 years AFTER the national construction code is changed.

Conclusion:
Home Inspecting is not for the faint of heart as we walk a fine line of being fair to a seller all the while protecting our clients. We correspond with tradesmen who are trying to stay within budget while making a profit, realtors who need the income from selling houses to live and buyers/sellers who have a lot of emotion wrapped up in a home. This is in addition to a potentially volatile economy and the large mortgage loans. Good inspectors know that their comments/advice carry a lot of weight, so it is important to be fair to everyone involved in the transaction.

The best compliment I have ever received was from a seller of a home who also read my report and expressed how fair my inspection was to them and the buyer. As a result, they hired me to inspect their new home!

I believe the reason I am considered fair to a seller is because I consistently follow the local code that was in place when the home was built. I will always recommend upgrading the home to the best known practice.

Just remember! It is NOT the responsibility of a seller to bring a house up to current code as long as:

1. Code regulations were followed at the time the home was built

2. There isn’t anything broken/defective.

3. Items that have been replaced/repaired are brought up to the current code at the time of repair/replacement.

What I typically see in my area is a 6 or 7 year delay from the national code change to my local area code change.

For home buyers, sellers and Real Estate Agents, it is important for the Home Inspection industry to unite together to standardize this process. To standardize this process, there has to be a consistent baseline of standards followed by every Home Inspector for every home inspection completed. I believe this is the only way to remove bias/opinion from the inspection process.

The ASK: In every construction trade there is a “Grandfather” clause. I believe it is time for the Home Inspection industry to also adopt this methodology. I am asking for my fellow Home Inspectors to consider the “Grandfathering” methodology and to help set the standard for our industry. I am asking the public and the real estate industry to demand this from Home Inspectors. Let us raise our industry standards for ourselves, our clients, and those that rely on our expertise.

Spring is just around the corner and there are things you need to do to get your home ready for spring and the possible flooding snowmelt can bring.  Wet basements can damage walls and flooring, ruin photo albums and become a breeding ground for molds and inspects.

The first question is…where is the water coming from?  Could it be from surface water running down foundation walls, or from groundwater being pushed into the basement from water-saturated soils? Are the gutters damaged from winters ice?

The first time you experience basement water problems, check for surface water draining against the foundation.  If water is coming in at only one location from the exterior foundation wall, you are most likely experiencing a surface water problem.

 

GUTTERs

Managing water run-off from your roof is the most effective method to prevent a wet basement.

Are gutters overflowing because they are blocked with leaves?

Does the home have enough downspouts?   If not, add another one, or increase the size of the downspout.

Do the downspouts extend 10 feet from the home?

Have paved areas next to the home settled and now slope towards the house?

Are joints properly sealed where the pavement abuts the house?

 

SOIL GRADING

Grade is the slope of the ground. Your house should be at the highest point so water will always flow away from the foundation. Any pooling of water against the foundation will lead to a wet basement.

Does the ground around the home slope away at least 10 feet?

Are there depressions in the ground next to the home?

Do the sprinklers hit the home?

 

SUBSURFACE GROUNDWATER 

If you don’t see water on the surface, your may have groundwater entering the basement through hydrostatic pressure.  This happens when groundwater levels outside the basement rise above the level of the floor.

Hydrostatic pressure pushes water through hairline cracks.  Just think of your basement as a boat on a pond.  Any cracks or holes in the boat would take in water.  Basements react the same way.

 
 
 

DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

The best way to control water from entering a basement is to install a drain system. Here are some basic types of drain systems for wet basements.

A perimeter above-slab gutter system installed at the base of the exterior foundation walls on top of the floor slab is one option. It doubles as a base material for the wall.

A below slab perimeter drainage system. The below slab system requires the partial removal of the concrete floor slab and installation of drainage pipe.

And sometimes, something as simple as a sump pump can handle the job.

If you are experiencing water intrusion in your basement, you may want to consult an experienced contractor to determine the best application of these ideas for your home.

 

Consider an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection

Annual Home Maintenance Inspection

Even the most vigilant homeowner can, from time to time, miss small problems or forget about performing some routine home repairs and seasonal maintenance. That’s why an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection will help you keep your home in good condition and prevent it from suffering serious, long-term and expensive damage from minor issues that should be addressed now. We recommend having an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection performed annually for your primary residence and any investment properties you own.

The most important thing to understand as a new homeowner is that your house requires care and regular maintenance. As time goes on, parts of your house will wear out, break down, deteriorate, leak, or simply stop working.

But relax. Don’t get overwhelmed. You’re not alone. We can help you with maintaining your home. Consider hiring us to come back in about a year to perform an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection. We’ll show you what you should look for as a smart homeowner.

Homeowners Yearly Checklist:

Change the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon-monoxide alarms. Change furnace and A/C filters. Check fire extinguishers. Clean out gutters and downspouts. Call the chimney sweep. Check all window seals. Check the attic and basement for leaks. Check the dryer and other vents for debris.

What’s Included in Your Annual Home Maintenance Inspection?

We will inspect for any problems you may be concerned about, as well as the: roof system, including the chimney & all roof penetrations; gutters & downspouts; grading & drainage; walkways & driveway; garage doors, safety sensors & openers; exterior cladding; deck, stoops, porches & railings; windows & doors; attic, insulation & ventilation; heating system; cooling system; plumbing system; drainage sump pump with accessible float; electrical system; fireplace damper door & hearth; ceilings, floors & walls; basement, foundation & crawlspace; and much more!

Schedule your Annual Home Maintenance Inspection! 

 

 

More tips to get your home ready for spring:

1. Check your attic for any ice damage. Check the underside of your roof for holes, gaps, wet spots and mold. You will need to repair damage to your attic to prevent water from leaking into your home during spring rains. Look for signs of insects, rodents, and birds. Keep attic ventilation and vents cleared.
 


2. Check the window wells for any blockages or blocked drains. When window wells become blocked, rainwater accumulates, and you will have water damage in your basement. Cleaning out window wells is an easy step and will save you from a flooded basement.
 
 
 
 
 

3. Gutters and downspouts need to be inspected. In the spring, gutters need care because of the ice and snow that covered them all winter. Walk around your home and check gutters from the ground, you will be able to see if something has come loose. Also, to make sure water is making its way out of the downspouts and away from the foundation, get out your ladder and climb on the roof when it is safe to check for any clogs in the drainage system. Check for cracks in your foundation, patio, and walkways. Cracks will allow water to get into your house and cause damage. Fill these cracks as soon as you can to avoid paying for repairs after spring rains. Also check for water pooling around your foundation as this could cause water damage inside.

4. Winter is always hard on roof shingles. After the snow is gone from your roof, check your shingles and chimney to see if there is damage. Fix loose, cracked shingles before the summer heat hits and causes more damage.

 
 
 
 

7. Move stored items away from your foundation and house. Stacking firewood up against your house may have been a good idea in the winter, but when spring comes, that damp wood could cause damage to the siding on your home and breed a variety of insects including termites.

 
 
 
 

8. Spring is the best time to clean your furnace, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and examine the dryer vent for lint buildup. Clean your fireplace chimney and repair any cracks in the fireplace.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

9. Check the faucets on the outside of your house. Freezing temperature can cause damage to these faucets. Turn them on and off and check for the water flow. Make sure your faucets don’t drip after you turn the water off. Watch for damage inside the pipes when you check water flow. If the water isn’t flowing like it did last summer, you may have damaged pipes. Have them inspected and repaired before you need the water for your lawn and garden.

 
 

10.Have your air conditioning unit checked out. If there are problems, you can get them fixed before you need air conditioning in your home.

Don’t forget to investigate flood insurance for your home. If you have flood insurance, you will have a bit of security for your basement, crawlspace, and walkout basement when the spring flooding comes.

 
 
 
 
 

By being proactive now, you can prevent costly repairs in the future.  And if you are looking to sell your home, a pre-listing inspection can offer several benefits and give you the maximum selling price for your home.

Doing a pre-Listing Home Inspection before you put it on the market can help you identify any problems that could potentially derail a sale at closing like identifying possible deal killers ahead of time, eliminate bargaining points, give you time to fix problems that could potentially delay or kill the sale and speed up closing by eliminates surprises.

5 Tips to Help You Find a Home Inspector You Can Trust In Missouri, there are no licensing requirements for Home Inspectors, and unfortunately, Home Inspectors are the only party in a real estate transaction who are not regulated.Without a state licensing program, virtually anyone can claim to be a home inspector. There are no minimum standards, no regulations, no background checks, no baseline for what an inspector is responsible for and no discipline for violating state standards. To help protect you, here are 5 things to look for when hiring a Home Inspector.

5 Tips To Help You Find the Right Home Inspector

The Walk-Through: Choose a home inspector that wants you to be at the inspection.  My Home Inspector Pro wants you to come to the home inspection so we can walk you through the home and go over what we’ve found, educate you about the home and its systems, and leave time for you to ask questions to better understand any problems that may be present.Online Reviews: Reading online reviews from Google, Yelp and Facebook allows you to get honest feedback that the home inspector does not control. My Home Inspector Pro Springfield, MO has many online reviews.Experience and Certifications: Ask questions about their experience and certifications. Questions like “How long has the inspector been in business? Have they taken specialized courses?  Do they have experience in home building or have they been a contractor?” This allows you to know more about the home inspector to make sure they are qualified.National Certification: Ask if the inspector is a member of ASHI, NAHI, or InterNACHI. Unlike the State of Missouri who has no licensing requirements for Home Inspectors, these National Organizations require testing and certifications to become a member. They also require continuing education to renew their certification. My Home Inspector Pro of Southwest Missouri is a member of InterNACHI https://www.nachi.org/code_of_ethics.htm  and is also certified to test for mold, Termites, and Commercial Properties. Licensed in the State of Missouri to perform Septic and Well Inspections (On-Site Inspections).The Inspection Report: Ask for a sample report. This will let you know how thorough and concise their inspection report is. Does it clearly identify safety items, items that are reaching the end of their useful life, and items needing repair?  Also, make sure photos of these items are included for easy identification. You can view a sample report Here. My Home Inspector Pro of Southwest Missouri is committed to providing outstanding Home Inspection Services to residential and commercial customers. It is our goal to exceed our customers’ expectations for quality and service while paying close attention to each customers’ individual needs.We make it easy by offering multiple services like Termite, mold, methamphetamine, and Septic (On-Site) Inspections rather than having to work with a number of companies. With years of experience, we are able to provide valuable insight and quality reports that make your home buying experience as easy as possible.We stand behind our work and are experts at what we do. We have the right tools and training to deliver on the promises we make. We start each job with the desire to do it right the first time, and if we fall short, we work equally hard to make it right. We always look for ways to improve our performance.Make sure you protect your investment by getting a Home Inspection before purchasing your new home

Home inspections can offer serious value. In fact, according to a new analysis, they save buyers an average of $14,000 per home purchase.

Lenders will require an appraisal of your new home, in many cases it is required. A Home Inspection unlike an Appraisal is optional, But having your home inspected can save you a bundle. Indeed, it can also confirm that your new forever-home and you are a good fit for you and your family.

Here’s what you need to know about Home Inspections and how they can save you money now and in the future.

What’s a Home Inspection?

In a nutshell, a home inspection will examine the physical structure and systems of a house,  from the roof to its foundation, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors InterNachi.

The process can help zero in on the need for repairs or identify builder oversights, and help you understand what maintenance tasks will need to be completed in the near future.

What’s covered and not covered in a home inspection?

Home inspections began in the 1950s, and by the 1970s, became standard practice for those looking for more assurances in the homebuying process.

In all, a standard home inspector’s report will cover more than 1,600 points.

Here are some of the general areas that are covered during a standard inspection:

  • Heating system

  • Central air conditioning system

  • Interior plumbing

  • Electrical systems

  • Roof

  • Attic

  • Visible insulation

  • Walls

  • Ceilings

  • Floors

  • Windows

  • Doors

  • Foundation

  • Basement

  • Structural components

To get an even more comprehensive overview of what’s included in a standard inspection, and what’s not, you can check out the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors’ standard practices.

For example, a roof inspection includes examining the roof materials, drainage systems, flashings, skylights, and chimneys, but doesn’t include an inspection of antennas or the interiors of chimneys that aren’t readily accessible.

Likewise, the structural integrity of walls are included in an inspection, but an inspector is not tasked with examining how well the paint or wallpaper will hold up over time.

Keep in mind that a home inspection is intended to point out adverse conditions, not cosmetic shortcomings.

Consider specialty Inspections

Since a standard inspection doesn’t cover everything, you can hire a specialty inspector to conduct:

 

Also, it’s worth adding on inspections if you’re looking to buy a home with a swimming pool or if there are additional structures on the property.

How can home inspections save you money?

The costs of buying a home, of course, go beyond the listing price (for example, here are some unexpected closing costs to look out for).

A home inspection can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000, and they take about two to three hours, depending on the size and age of the home.

But this is money well spent. A home inspection can identify potential money pits that could make your home a lot more expensive.

For example, some big-ticket repairs could include needing a new roof or a new heating and cooling system, projects that could both easily exceed $10,000.

If a major repair is identified during the home inspection, a seller may agree to make the repairs.

One final tip: When you’re looking to hire a home inspector, inquire about their credentials and look for accreditation with the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

And make sure inspectors are insured and that they carry “Errors and Omissions Insurance.”