Are you wondering if it’s worth the investment to pay for a home inspection when you are looking at a home to buy? After all, it's not required by the lender. So, is it really that important?
Home inspections are valuable tools for both buyers and sellers. It will let the buyer know the overall condition of the home. And, it gives the seller the same knowledge, so they can get the best price for their home.
Professional home inspections will validate the overall integrity of a home. While the (home) inspector may not find every issue that could be present, a basic inspection will cover the most important aspects of the home.
Common Questions and Answers About Home Inspections
What is Involved in an Inspection?
A (home) inspector is getting as much knowledge as possible involving the six major areas of the home, all of which can either cause damage to the home if there are issues or be very expensive to repair or replace.
The inspector will also be looking at any alterations or changes to the home since the last inspection was performed, making certain that the work was done to code with the proper licensing requirements fulfilled.
Are There Other Times When a Home Inspections are Beneficial?
Home inspections typically come into play during the selling process of a home, but they can be useful for other reasons.
Can I Get a More Detailed Inspection?
While the inspection will give you a good idea about the overall condition of the home, there could be some other aspects that you would like more information on. You can usually coordinate any other inspections with the basic home inspection.
Should I Pay for an Inspection if the Seller Already Had One Performed?
In a perfect world, we could trust everyone. But, that's just not the case. It's always a good to have your own inspection done. And, if your information doesn't match the sellers, that would be a red flag for other potential trust issues with the home.
Should I Be with the Inspector?
If possible, it's a great idea to tag along. You will get to see firsthand exactly what the inspector is looking at. And, if there are any issues, you'll be able to see the scope of the problem. If you aren't able to participate in the inspection, the home inspector will be taking pictures to validate their report. But, there is nothing like seeing everything for yourself.
What if the Inspection Report Shows Negative Issues?
Of course, you're hoping that the inspector doesn't find any major issues. But, if problems are found, depending on how severe they are, they will probably affect the final selling price of the home. Or, the seller could pay for any needed repairs. That's the beauty of investing in a professional home inspection. There won't be any surprises after the closing.
If the Report Shows Issues, Can I Get Out of the Sale?
Typically, that's the point of having the inspection done in the first place, and most contracts will take this into consideration. If problems are found during the inspection, buyers and sellers can sometimes renegotiate the terms of the contract. But, the contract should be able to be cancelled if they aren't able to agree on the terms.
What Will I Pay for an Inspection?
It all depends on the size of the home. The average cost would be around $425.00, a little less for a smaller home and a little more for a larger one. Any additional, more detailed inspections usually won't cost more than a couple hundred dollars.
Are Home Inspectors Licensed?
Most states have stringent requirements for licensing home inspectors. Your homeowner’s insurance company or your real estate agent can usually give you the best advice for finding a qualified inspector.
Are Home Inspections Required for Homeowners Insurance?
More and more insurance companies are requiring home inspections before issuing homeowners insurance policies. So, even though you won't need an inspection to secure a mortgage, you could need one for insurance. And, you will need homeowners insurance to be approved for the mortgage.
The home inspection procedure is a critical part of the home buying process. If the seller is skittish about having one done, that is a definite red flag. A certified home inspector will be able to ferret out any problems with the property. Realtors usually have particular ones that they use, but, as a buyer, you are certainly free to choose whomever you want. Get recommendations from others and read online reviews. It does not have to be a home inspector near you; you want to be certain that he or she is qualified, so if it means going outside of your area, so be it.
To save yourself headaches down the road, be as diligent as you can when choosing a home inspector. Check references and ascertain that he or she is licensed and insured. Examiners are trained to look beyond the glam and glitter on the surface and really see what is going on behind the walls, in the attic or basement, and on the roof. The attic is as important as the roof because it could reveal hidden issues which may be problematic, such as insufficient insulation or an improperly vented fan. The inspector will provide a written report of the findings, but it is equally important for you, as the potential buyer, to accompany the inspector so that you have first-hand understanding of any current or potential problems.
The inspection report helps you plan for the day a potential problem will come to light. For example, if you know that the water heater is already 15 years old, you can logically assume that it will need to be replaced within a few years. Including home maintenance in the budget is always wise, and that is true whether you buy a new home or one in which someone else has lived.
You may not understand all the ins and outs of what you are seeing, but a good inspector will clarify any questions you have and explain what you are seeing as you walk through. Do not be afraid to ask for fear it will sound foolish. You will save yourself time and money when you know what to expect down the line. If the property is vacant and the utilities have been turned off, it will behoove you to bear the expense of having them turned on so that the home inspector can perform a thorough scrutiny of the home.
If your inspector finds a possible problem that is better diagnosed by a specialist, such as radon or lead, it may be wise to spend the money for that second opinion. Once you pay for an inspection, actually use the information to determine whether you want to go forward with the sale or back out. The seller may be willing to make the necessary modifications in order to keep from losing the sale. If that is the case, take it into consideration before you decide. Your Realtor can help with the negotiations. Even if you are buying a new home, err on the side of caution and have it inspected. Sometimes new homes will pass the required codes, but will have defects that should be brought to light before you move into it.
Regardless of how minor an issue is, the inspector must include it in the report. If you are present during the assessment, the inspector can help you determine if the issue is a major or minor one. In addition, your presence allows you to familiarize yourself with areas of the house to which you normally would not see. He or she can also assist you with how to adjust different essentials, such as the water heater or the furnace, which may come in handy at some later date. If, for any reason, you cannot be present, at the very least, your Realtor should be.
Do not expect a flawless report; every home has shortcomings. The inspector will help you understand the importance of what he or she finds. The most important point for you is to decide the differences among minor repairs, items that you can overlook, and those issues that may be a deal breaker. The various minor deficiencies should not send you into a tailspin or cause you to back away from a home that is suitable for you.
Determine what is worth mentioning to the sellers. Obviously, costly items like the roof, the HVAC system, or issues with the foundation are definite red flags, and those can be real causes for not purchasing the home. Insignificant matters, such as a loose handle on the shower door or scuffed baseboards, may only serve to irritate the seller if you present a long list of such inconsequential repairs that you insist upon having repaired before going forward with the sale. Arrange for a follow-up inspection when all the repairs have been completed. Do not assume they have been done simply because the home owner says so.
First time home buyers may feel especially vulnerable, but all the same rules apply. Some of the major issues found during the inspection may make a good negotiating tactic. Maybe you have some skills that you can apply. You may be able to negotiate the price downward and make the repairs yourself, saving money on the repairs as well as getting a bargain on the house. Sellers have different motivations for selling their homes. If you can provide the right incentive after the inspection, you may find a diamond in the rough.
Understanding all the ramifications of the deal will help you make a clear decision. The important thing is not to become so enamored of the property that you overlook issues that can come back to haunt you. Those shiny hardwood floors, elegant fixtures, or marble countertops will not be as wonderful if the foundation collapses or the next big rain causes leaks throughout the home. Maintain a right perspective, consider the inspection report, and discuss any impediments with your Realtor, whom you chose for his or her knowledge and experience.
Do not ask for trouble by foregoing an inspection. Owners may be unaware of current or potential problems, and the Realtor may only know what is on the surface, as well. Discuss with the Realtor any concerns you have regarding the various items on the report, and he or she will help you determine who should be responsible for the repair, especially the minor ones. If you really want the property, decide which battles are worth fighting and which ones you can handle yourself.
So, spend the money to have peace of mind if you are serious about buying the home. Focus on what is important and use the pictures that are supplied with the report to make requests of the sellers that will assure the home is in move-in condition. Do not forget the all-important step of verifying that important repairs have been completed satisfactorily and that they are up to code.
“You never have a second chance to make a good first impression.”
If the outside of your house stops buyers at the curb from coming inside your home for a closer look, then it’s time to change this picture, and get them inside. There are several low cost or even no-cost improvements you can make to spruce up the outside, get buyers out of the car, and through your front door. According to experts, here are some of the best ways to improve curb appeal and help your home sell faster. Most of the following recommendations can be done for less than $100. To improve your home and make sure it passes the curb appeal test, here are TEN quick fixes you can easily make over a weekend or even in a single day. If your home needs any of these improvements, make them and let’s get your home sold! Some of these simple fixes will also make it easier on Home Inspectors like us when they come to do their job and thoroughly inspect your property during the sales process.
A little dab will do ya. A little bit of paint can go a long way. If the paint on the trim, shutters, or exterior is peeling or chipped and you don’t want the expense of painting the entire house, an easy solution is to match your homes existing paint and then paint only those unsightly areas. With paint costing about $30 per gallon and professional painters charging through the roof, this is a great cost-saving solution. Don’t underestimate the focal point of your home, the front door. Make a statement by painting the front door a bold color to leave a memorable impression on prospective buyers and improve curb appeal. Revamp your garage door with a fresh coat of paint or varnish to help it blend into the house and not create a distraction from the rest of the house.
Clean it up! Spend an afternoon picking up clutter, racking leaves, trimming and cutting the grass, and pulling any unsightly weeds from your garden. Keeping the outside of your home clutter-free, and neatly landscaped is a sure sign to prospective buyers that if you take that much pride in keeping the outside, your pride probably extends to the inside of your home as well. Here are few tips from DIY Network to help you spruce up the outside of your home, improve curb appeal, and sell faster.
What’s Your address again? Don’t underestimate the little touches that might impress a buyer. Replacing your existing numbers with modern, curved, or large decal-ed numbers can make an impression. This is easy fix, will cost you just pennies, and little time to complete.
Spice it up with a splash of color and add some flowers. With the right instructions, window boxes can be easy to install. But, if you don’t have time or want the expense, there is a cheaper option that is just as effective in improving curb appeal. Purchase container plants or flowers from any nursery and place them at the front steps or porch to add a punch of color to your home.
light it up and warm it up. Most showings are during the daytime. But, depending on the time of year, for instance the winter months when it gets dark earlier, prospective buyers may drive by after work hours. To get a feel for the neighborhood’s activity when most families are at home, buyers may drive by in the evening. Better Homes and Gardens has some excellent tips on how illuminating your home can make it stand out among the other houses on the block.
You’ve got mail. Another easy fix. With replacement of a new mail box starting around $20 for the box, and it takes less than an hour or so to mount it on your house. If your mailbox is post-mounted, with the extra material costs of the post, it may be slightly more expensive and take more effort to install. Remember, when installing the new mail box make sure you follow the regulations set forth by your city codes for proper installation.
Falling through the cracks. Crumbling pathways and sidewalks are a definite eyesore and can also be a safety hazard. Be sure to fix any cracks or uneven sections of your walkway by filling them in with fresh concrete, stones, or bricks.
Drainage isn’t always a bad thing. Repair and clean the leaves and debris from the gutters and downspouts on your home. Replacing gutters and downspouts are among the many expenses that prospective buyers to not want the spend money on. So, before placing your house on the market, make sure gutters and downspouts are in good condition.
Time to upgrade some fixtures. If you don’t have the budget to buy new fixtures, you can always spray paint the metal lamp frames, door knockers, and door knobs a glossy gold, black, or brown. Replace any old lamp fixtures with attractive decorative ones. Install low-voltage lighting fixtures to illuminate pathways and provide security. This will boost your home’s curb appeal and can make a huge impact on selling your home.
If you wash it, they will come. A good power wash of your driveway and walkway may be all it needs to turn on the shine. If the house doesn’t need to be painted, a quick power wash on the outside of the house will do wonders. You can easily rent a power washer and clean the outside like the professionals. By doing-it-yourself you keep money in your pocket, improve your home’s curb appeal, and help the home to sell.
To hire the best Home Inspector in Columbus Ohio, Marion Ohio, Cardington Ohio, Bucyrus Ohio, Ashley Ohio, Caledonia Ohio, Gahanna Ohio, Mansfield Ohio, Marysville Ohio, Mt. Gilead Ohio and Newark Ohio – Call Your Buckeye Home Inspector Today! 614 907-5268
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View the partial Crawlspace Inspection Video to spot the leak in the Plumbing. And the other defects as well. Specialized Tight Crawlspace Home Inspector.
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The most important process of buying and selling houses is the home inspection. Always pay close attention to advice your home inspector provides. Regardless of being the seller or buyer, you should consider their recommendations against the home’s price or estimated value. Home inspection problems are common for any home, whether new or old. While there are several problems that can be noted, we're going to be discussing the top ten most common issues our Home Inspectors find.
1. Electrical Wiring
Your inspector will test and assess the outlets throughout the home or property. Some common problems that our Home Inspectors find regularly include reversed polarity outlets and double taps. Reverse polarity outlets happen when the neutral and hot wires are attached to the opposite terminal. This is corrected by switching the wires to the correct terminals. Double taps happen when two electrical feeds are attached to one breaker. This problem can be remedied by installing a twin breaker. Faulty wiring could lead to major fire hazards that could result in the destruction of the home or property and potentially spread to surrounding structures. This danger is why wiring is a highly essential part of any home inspection.
Please do not attempt to work with any electrical equipment unless you have been adequately trained.
Additional Electrical Issues our Home Inspectors encounter:
2. Home Heating & Air Conditioning Problems
Did you know you should maintain your heating system annually? Most homeowners forgo the crucial inspection that keeps their system in good working order. Your home inspector will thoroughly check your heating system unit for signs of maintenance that generally include blower, blower belt if applicable, ductwork, and presence of soot. These issues can cause your heating system to fail, and the easiest remedy is to have your heating system checked and maintained annually, to ensure that the system is clean and in working order. The remedy for a failed heating system is to have it properly cleaned and inspected by an HVAC specialist.
Common HVAC Issues our Home Inspectors encounter:
Dirty or clogged coils
Condenser unit issues
Cracked Heat exchanger
Exhaust system issues
3. Plumbing Problems
When it comes to plumbing issues, our Home Inspectors often find small leaks in areas around sinks and toilets. The cause of a leak can be any number of things, a broken seal, incorrect plumbing materials, or corroded plumbing. If this shows up on a home inspection report, it's vital that you speak with a plumber to have the source of the problem identified and fixed. Leaks are not something that you want to ignore because a steady leak will only lead to more damage over time.
If your inspector discovers signs of active leaks, you should consult with a plumber. They can locate and fix issues quickly. If the water damage is old, you will need to address that too ensure mold isn’t present in the areas and that structural damage hasn’t occurred.
More Common Issues our Home Inspectors Encounters Regularly:
4. Exterior Home Maintenance Issues
Apart from the inside of the home, the exterior is another essential part of the inspection. Most home inspection problems with the exterior of a home usually have to deal with the fascia. This is an important part of the home that allows for proper ventilation of the roof. A lack of the fascia being properly installed can cause a decreased lifespan of a home's roof. Another major factor that is examined in the external maintenance inspection is the gutter system. Any lack of a gutter system to remove water from the home can cause issues with mold and water damage in the home.
5. Faulty Windows
A simple concept that many people buying a home overlook is the use of the windows. Common home inspection problems are faulty windows. This could be anything from the window being painted shut to cracks in the window. It's important that all windows are operable and do not let air escape in or out when shut. Older homes tend to possess more problems with faulty windows due to the way windows were previously installed.
6. Structural Problems
The foundation of the home is what all the rest stands on. If there are major problems with the foundation, it can affect the structural integrity of the rest of the home. It's also important to note that fixing foundation issues can get quite pricey, which is why you want to know any issues ahead of time when buying a home. Common structural problems include cracks in the foundation, floors that slope, and doors that stick.
7. Roof Integrity
Roofs are another very costly expense to replace and repair. This is why a home inspector can be very tedious when accessing the roof of a home you're thinking about buying. You don't want to be dealing with a few thousand-dollar bill over a problem that the seller should've fixed. Common roof problems include missing or broken flashings, curled shingles, leaks, and improper ventilation. These problems can lead to the degradation and premature aging of the roof.
8. Improper or Poor Drainage
Checking basements and crawl spaces for mildew and other signs of water leaks is a must of every home inspector. When these signs are identified in the basement or crawl space, it's an indication that the home has poor drainage. This typically is due to improper grading around the home that forces water against the home's foundation instead of away from the home. Grading requires a large expense to bring in soil and, in some cases, requires the removal of porous soil from around the home. You want to ensure this is not a problem that a potential home has that you're thinking about buying as the costs could be significant.
9. Water Heater
Due to new housing requirements, it's very common for older homes to have water heater inspection problems. These issues typically are dealing with the size of the vent for the heater and the lack of the temperature pressure relief valve, or TPRV. If you're buying a home that wasn't recently built, it's likely you're going to see the water heater on the list of housing problems.
10. A Poorly Maintained Home
Keeping up with the regular maintenance that a home requires is something that a home inspector will look for. This category encompasses many potential issues that can be noted about both the interior and exterior of the home as well as the property. Some common signs of a poorly maintained property include worn carpeting, cracked driveway, peeling paint, stained flooring, and loose caulking.
A home inspection is meant to give both the buyer and seller necessary insight into the health of a home. As a buyer, you want to ensure that the home is structurally sound and has no major hidden issues that will require a large investment later down the road. As a seller, it's important to look over these ten common issues and ensure they are fixed so that your home can be sold for the highest value possible.
A home inspection offers both parties a win-win solution and peace of mind.
To hire the best Home Inspector in Columbus Ohio, Marion Ohio, Cardington Ohio, Bucyrus Ohio, Ashley Ohio, Caledonia Ohio, Gahanna Ohio, Mansfield Ohio, Marysville Ohio, Mt. Gilead Ohio and Newark Ohio – Call Your Buckeye Home Inspector Today! 614 907-5268
Sorry for the Long Delay, I have been very busy with Inspections.
I inspected a Double a Month or so back and one side was mostly incomplete.
The Second Inspection I again looked at the outside first as I always do then move to the basement for the Major Mechanical s. I observed the Furnace flue pipe Venting into the rear chimney... But wait a minute here I did not recall seeing a Chimney nor Flue pipe on the rear of theses units.
Went back outside and double checked and no vents where observed. I turned the Furnace on and grabbed my Thermal Imaging Camera and headed for the 3rd floor.
The 3rd floor / Attic is finished and on the back wall was the chimney. A chimney that was taken down below the roof line by the Contractor preforming the work.
Upon a closer look I could barley see the Clay flue liner enter the ceiling area. I used the Thermal Camera and sure enough the Furnace is vented into the Ceiling of the attic. That's correct... All of the Carbon Monoxide was entering the Attic space. I also leaned from the buyer that this area is going to be their Bedroom.
I provide Thermal Imaging on every Inspection for the buyers safety.. Why? Because what you can't see with your eyes can harm you. Below you will see what everyone would have viewed, beside it is what I see.
Who's Protecting you?
Well I wish I could say that these pictures are not from the same home... However they are.
I know I shouldn't have opened the panel but I did test it before I touched it.
7 Double tapped breakers and 3 Triple tapped breakers.
Sometimes it gets pretty scary / unhealthy to be an Inspector.
In today's age we all work hard... and it seems saving to get ahead is a thing of the past, Something else is waiting inline that needs repaired or replaced , Its something we can always count on. Of course none of us want to spend more than we need to.
As a Professional Home Inspector I get to see these home repair savings on a daily basis and as an Independent inspector I feel the trust that a buyer puts into your hands should be an honor and not a way to make a fast buck. These are normally Hugh investments, Whether it is a $20,000 home or a 2 million dollar home it still means just as much to the buyer. Period!
Home buyers look at a home and see the new roof shingles and hear the roof is only 2 years old and think they are buying a safe / leak free home when in fact the damaged sheathing under it has been repaired with aluminum coil metal and is UN-safe to even walk on. Or the home has a new electrical panel with 60 year old knob and tube wiring still powering the home. 50% of the homes I inspect have open grounds on the wall plugs from being wired incorrectly.
The list could go on and on however the best way to prevent this type of danger is to make sure the contractor has the correct license for that trade and will be purchasing a permit for your repairs. This protects you as a consumer.
If defects are found in your new home most are easily properly repaired from a qualified licensed professional.
I am a retired home builder and remodeling contractor and would never consider offering a repair service to a buyers home I just inspected. I am there to inspect the home not inspect for future work.
Certified Professional Inspector
So you have your home on the market for sale, (Awesome) now lets make your home inspection ready.
Realtors / Buyers / home owners are all unhappy when your home inspectors report states " Not Inspected, No Access" And I certainly understand and agree with them 100%. All components of a home should be inspected.
Having said that, as a thorough inspector I need access to all areas of your home, attic, crawl space, closet access, mechanical s ( furnace / hot water tank / water meters / electrical panels etc,) Clear access being the key word.
Many homes I visit on a daily basis have closets full of clothing blocking access to the scuttle hole for the attic of that home. As a home inspector that follows the code of ethics that area will be reported as No access. Why? I can't move your stuff out of the way to gain access to any area of your home period.
As a home buyer if I where to see an area that was not inspected because of no access I wouldn't be all that happy with it.
The term No Access / Not Inspected is not a term you want to see on a home inspection report you just payed for especially when it is because you didn't want to clear the way. You wouldn't pay $300,000 plus for something you knew nothing about and neither should the buyers!
Its far scarier to see not inspected than to see needs maintenance on any item of the home inspection report.
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