Friday, March 17, 2017

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

What to Expect During a Home Inspection
At HomeSpec, many people are interested in our expertise when it comes to what to expect during a home inspection. A home inspection will always save you a lot of hassles and disappointments in the long run, especially if you hire someone that knows just what to look for inside and outside the home. For example, did you know that many harmful toxins such as radon, carbon monoxide, and mold could be lurking in or near your home? Get a home inspection and be confident in knowing that you are safe and protected should anything arise during the final purchase procedures.

Here are just a few examples of what to expect during your home inspection and an understanding of the process.

INSPECTIONS ARE AN OPTION, NOT A MUST: However, inspections are a pretty good way to ensure peace of mind. They give you an idea of what problems the home may have before buying it, and it gives you the option to negotiate with the seller to cover the costs of some potentially expensive repairs if needed. You will soon know after the inspection if this is the house for you, or not.

Here are some possible exceptions, and mainly affect condos and other situations where the majority of home maintenance is covered by an association, such as HOA fees. Make sure you understand and are aware of your responsibility when it comes to fixing problems that arise when you own property. Your bank may also have some say in this, so make sure they don’t require a home inspection as a condition of the mortgage.

HOMEBUYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR INSPECTIONS: You must agree to hire the home inspector, complete the inspections within a time frame and pay for it. Be sure to leave yourself time to pick a good real estate inspector and bring them out to view the property. While this may seem to be a just another added cost, think of it like this, the home inspector works for you, the buyer, not the seller. They will point out all the potential problems in the home and possibly save you a lot of grief. If it were the other way around, the seller and the inspector could work together, producing a false report.

CHOOSE A CERTIFIED AND REPUTABLE INSPECTOR: Home inspectors are specifically trained and have a keen eye on how to identify problems or potential problems in and around the home. Each state has its own regulations and standards, so be sure to check with yours for full details. The home inspection must be done by a certified professional, such as HomeSpec.

WHAT ARE YOU COVERED FOR? Home inspectors work in much the same way as a doctor does. They are checking for the overall health of your home and any potential problem areas before purchase. These inspections may vary, depending on what type of property you are buying, but the American Society of Home Inspectors recommends that qualified inspectors check some of the following areas:
  • Foundation and basement
  • Structural areas
  • Interior plumbing
  • Interior electrical
  • Heating and cooling systems such as HVAC
  • Windows
  • Doors and frames
  • Floors, walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces
  • Toxic substances
  • Water damage
  • Roofs
  • Masonry
  • Vegetation
  • Caulking

ITEMS YOU MAY NOT BE COVERED FOR: One of the most important items that you should remember as far as what to expect during a home inspection is that home inspectors have regulations and guidelines to follow so some items around your home may not be included in the inspection. This is another reason why it is good to walk around with the inspector and ask questions.
  • They cannot touch structural areas if it means that damage could ensue – no opening the walls to check for knob and tube wiring.
  • They are discouraged from giving details about the life expectancy of the roof, or disturbing insulation.
  • Usually, storage sheds, pools and tennis courts are not part of the inspection.
  • The quality of water, or how much water is located at your property is not a traditional aspect of the inspection process.
  • Neither is erosion around the home included.
ATTEND THE INSPECTION: Most home inspectors recommend that buyers attend their property inspection so they can see for themselves the condition of the home, as well as ask questions and voice their concerns about the property. This is a great way to stay on the same page with all parties involved when finalizing the sale of your property. The inspector is not responsible, however, for making any repairs, so keep that in mind, but perhaps they can make recommendations.

ASK FOR A REPORT ON THE INSPECTION: After the home inspector does a thorough home inspection, they are required to provide you with an official report. This will detail their concerns whether good, bad, or general, in writing. It will include pictures of any damage as well as documentation and a seal of approval. Your real estate agent should also receive the report automatically. Be sure to make copies and file them. Ensure that you read over everything thoroughly before you sit down to negotiate repairs, and ask questions if there is a portion of the report that you don’t understand.

IF IT’S NOT RIGHT, WALK AWAY FROM IT: If you have found something in the inspection that you just can't seem to come to terms with, and there are no negotiations you can agree on with the seller, just walk away. Luckily, buyers have the rights in this situation. As long as you respond to the seller within the timeframe that was decided on and you have a good reason for backing out, you will likely be able to walk away from the transaction. The sellers may keep your initial deposit as collateral, however. Just remember that once you sign your name on the dotted line for the inspection, you CAN back away, but could face legal action, so be certain you understand what you are signing!

COMPLETE REPAIRS: At this point, the negotiations are almost complete, so do not make the mistake of hiring a friend or neighbor to perform repairs, as that would not be a good decision at this point. The reason being, you will need estimates from professionals and most importantly receipts for proof. Without documentation, mortgage companies and title companies can forego the deed to your new property. It is also a great idea to hang onto those receipts for at least the time of the guarantee in case something should break down a second time or need a service call.

Purchasing a home, whether you are a first-time buyer or a seasoned pro, can be stressful. But if you know what to expect during a home inspection, it will make life a lot easier and the process more enjoyable. Let HomeSpec help and complete your home inspection from start to finish. We are a leader in the field of home inspections and always have your best interest at heart. Contact us today!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Buying a Home? Don't Forget the Inspection

Buying a Home? Don't Forget the Inspection
If you are thinking about buying a home, don't forget the home inspection. This process is an important part of making the transaction go smoothly. Of course, you have the option of not having one done, but most real estate professionals will encourage you to do so to protect your best interests. After all, once you buy, it's not as if you can return your home if you are unsatisfied. Fortunately, HomeSpec in Denver is here to help and provide you with solid and reliable information when you do make that big purchase.

One good reason to have a home inspection performed is for the sheer fact that if there are many defects found, you have the option to back out of the deal, usually free of a penalty within a certain timeframe. This should be drawn up in the contract written with your realtor, so you have the option to do so. You won't want to purchase a home that has so many repairs or issues, that you break the bank before you even move in! A good inspector should take about 2-3 hours to go through the home with you by their side, and give you a written and verbal report with documentation.

Here are some items they will inspect for, but not limited to:

EXTERIOR: walls, foundation, grading, garage, roof, basements, termite/ wood destroyers, driveways, cellars, attics, and siding

INTERIOR: plumbing, electrical, heating, cooling, water heater, appliances, laundry room, fire hazards, bathrooms, and chimneys

TOXINS: radon testing, carbon monoxide, mold and mildew, and pests

Most home inspections cost range between $300-$600, depending on the size of the home. Since buying a home is such a considerable investment, the amount of money it costs for a home inspection should help make it easy for you to have an inspection. Even if you feel extremely pleased with the home you’re purchasing, never underestimate what could potentially go wrong or what could have been cosmetically hidden during the open house. Always protect yourself and your future investments.

Once the home inspection is completed, you will have the opportunity to petition for repairs to be made by the homeowner or the cost of repairs deducted from the price of the home. They will then have the opportunity to agree or disagree to the requested repairs and/or price reduction. Without a certified home inspection, you will not have the chance to petition for anything from a seller. Having this kind of leverage is another reason why having a home inspection when buying a home is recommended.

So, remember, if you are buying a home, don't forget the inspection. The peace of mind is worth every penny and can save you a lot and heartache in the end. HomeSpec has over 8,900 home inspections under our belts and counting, and we are proud to be a part of an exciting time in your life whether purchasing your first, second, or third home. We give you photos, documentation, and our seal of approval on every home we inspect. Know your rights, be a proud homeowner and always remember that a thorough home inspector can help provide a safe and happy new home for you and your family.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lead Paint Found in a Home Inspection? What You Need to Know About Lead Paint.

Lead Paint Found in a Home Inspection? What You Need to Know About Lead Paint.
Are you concerned about lead paint found in a home inspection? What you need to know about lead paint is that it can cause serious health issues, especially in young children and pregnant women. As lead paint ages, it will chip or crumble releasing harmful dust particles that can be inhaled by you and your family. To ease your mind, HomeSpec has some answers on what you can do if lead paint is detected.

Most older homes, especially those built before the 1970s, will more than likely have lead paint traces. That’s because lead-based paint and the only option available at the time. If your home inspector has found traces of lead paint in your home, there are some things you can do.

ENCLOSURE is a process that covers a lead paint surface with a new surface. Walls can be covered with new drywall, windows and windowsills with vinyl or aluminum. This method does not require the removal of lead paint and is typically the easiest and lowest cost solution. But, if the new surface is ever removed or damaged, the lead problem will unfortunately return.

The key is to use materials that are durable and fire-resistant, including gypsum board, aluminum, vinyl, plywood paneling, laminate, acrylic sheets, plexiglass, fiberglass, or tile.

ENCAPSULATION is another technique where materials are bonded to the existing painted surface. Whether you go the DIY route our hire a professional, it’s important to follow all product instructions, creating a strong and durable bond when choosing this process.

COMPLETE REMOVAL is another option. It’s important for anyone working on lead paint removal to use personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, and disposable coveralls when using paint removers and chemicals. Now, here are ways to remove the lead paint:  

  • Wire brushing or wet hand scraping in conjunction with a solvent (non-flammable) or abrasive compound. Liquid paint removers are great for windowsills, doors and woodwork. Just be sure to read all the product warnings and instructions before getting started.
  • You can also try wet hand sanding and/or power sanding, but only with an attached, HEPA filtered vacuum attachment. Never attempt dry sanding as it will release lead particles.
  • Low-temp stripping with a heat gun, along with hand scraping, is another option. However, the risk of dust and vapor exposure and the inherent fire hazard make this a more advanced method best left to the professionals with heavy-duty respirators.

REPLACEMENT is a pretty straightforward option, especially if the house is old and the surface is in need of replacement. It can get costly, but peace of mind might be worth it.

CLEANUP is probably the biggest and most important job of all. If the lead paint is not properly disposed of and diligently cleaned, your home will continue to emit lead.

Lead paint found in a home inspection? What you need to know about lead paint can be explained by our experts at HomeSpec. For now, we recommend that the removal always be handled by a team of professionals before you move into your home. Remember, the elimination of toxic lead paint can be even more detrimental if not done properly. For more facts and help, call or contact HomeSpec.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Biological Pollutants in the Home

Biological Pollutants in the Home
There are many biological pollutants that surround us daily, both indoors and outdoors. But, biological pollutants in the home can significantly weaken our health, especially in the elderly, young children, or people with respiratory issues, such as asthma or bronchitis. HomeSpec of Colorado has the specialized knowledge to detect these problems for customers who are purchasing a new home.

What exactly is a biological pollutant?
Well, they are usually living organisms that travel through the air and most of the time are invisible to the naked eye. Over time, if breathing these nasty organisms, you most likely will become sick and not even know why. Your home may be hosting these unwanted guests unbeknownst to you and probably even causing damage to the structure of the home. Here are just a few examples of common biological pollutants commonly found all around us:
  • Dust Mites and Cockroaches
  • Infectious Bacteria or Viruses
  • Pollen
  • Animal Dander 

In a home, water and moisture provide excellent breeding grounds for pollutants to take over. Attics, basements, crawl spaces, appliances, carpets, furniture, bathrooms, unvented heaters, dehumidifiers, and air conditioners all emit some moisture into the air which in turn attracts pollutants and makes us ill. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, 30% to 50% of all structures have damp conditions and may encourage growth or build up, particularly in warmer climates.

So, the best course of action, especially if you or any of your family is suffering from certain symptoms, is to do a thorough inspection of your home. By finding and eliminating issues that contribute to the growth of biological pollutants in the home, everyone will be able to breathe a whole lot easier.

If you want an expert's opinion that can save a lot of time, ask HomeSpec how we can help. In the meantime, here are some strategies to get you started. Be sure to grab your clipboard and a pen to mark down areas that need to be addressed, either by you or a repair professional.
  • Firewood, insulation, and construction materials that are laying around are not a good idea, so dispose of them immediately
  • If you smell something musty or see water stains, check your appliances for leaks or outdated parts – replace or call a repair service
  • Check to see if the refrigerator drip pan should be cleaned and emptied
  • Check for moisture in basements, attics, crawlspaces and everywhere in between
  • Check that your appliance vents and filters are not dirty, swap out if needed
  • Look in your basement for cracks or crumbling concrete and have it fixed and sealed
  • Schedule grooming and a carpet cleaning to address pet dander    

Prevention is key, and unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to eliminate all biological pollutants in the home. What you can do is inspect often, clean all surfaces, control dust, watch for moisture buildup, and perhaps even change some of your chemical cleaning products for ones that are biologically safe and environmentally friendly.

At HomeSpec of Colorado, we know the dangers of biological pollutants in the home, and we want to help keep you as safe as possible by providing a complete inspection with our stamp of approval. Call or contact us for an appointment today and together we’ll keep your family safe and healthy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Should I Get a Home Inspection If Buying a Property “As Is”?

Should I Get a Home Inspection If Buying a Property “As Is”?
At HomeSpec of Colorado, we often get asked, should I get a home inspection if buying a property "as is"? The answer is simple. YES, you should get a home inspection in this situation. For starters, as is tells you right up front that the property is not exactly in perfect condition. It’s always best to get an expert's opinion on what as is entails so that you know what you’re getting into and if your budget can handle it.

The Value of Home Inspection

By working with a professional home inspector, you’ll have a trained eye that sees exactly what’s out of place and not quite right with a home and its surroundings, inside and out. While you may initially be getting a great deal on the overall price of the home, a thorough home inspection can give you, even more, negotiating power if we find some areas that need attention or repairs.
The team at HomeSpec takes as is condition very seriously. We follow strict standards established by the InterNACHI association that protects you, the homeowner. We will check the entire property from top to bottom, the roof and attic all the way down to the basement. We’ll look for outdated plumbing, HVAC and electrical. Our inspectors will check the condition and efficiency of your doors and windows. We can spot water, fire and termite damage, even provide radon and carbon monoxide testing.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Beyond wondering should I get a home inspection if buying a property as is, you should take steps to protect yourself. Start by asking the seller for a written disclosure if you decide to go forward with buying the property. This disclosure gives you an agreement about the condition of the property in writing and will provide some protections down the line if needed.
Remember, not every seller is on the up and up and some will lie just to make the sale. This is not the kind of business dealings you want. A home inspector can guide you on what to do if a situation arises where a seller has been dishonest. You may have reason to hold the seller liable for misrepresentation.

Also, be sure to check out the website for the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. You’ll find valuable information on your rights as a home buyer and the strict standards that are put forward and followed by all its members. You can never return a home once you have purchased it, so always be thorough and attentive to the details.

Always Work with the Pros

At HomeSpec, we know the stresses of buying any home, whether it’s your first time or not. Don't get left out in the cold as a homebuyer when all it takes is an honest company like HomeSpec to walk you through the process with a thorough and complete home inspection. Protect yourself, your new home, and avoid that nagging feeling that you should have done your due diligence in the matter.

Since 1999, HomeSpec of Colorado has completed nearly 9,000 home inspections and counting. If you’re asking yourself should I get a home inspection if buying a property as is – get in touch with our friendly professionals. We’re here to help! Call or contact us today for more information.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Common Problems Found During Home Inspections

Common Problems Found During Home Inspections
At HomeSpec, we know all about the common problems found during home inspections. That’s why people trust in our expertise to get the job done right the first time through. Home inspections should always be operated by a certified, bonded and knowledgeable home inspector from a company such as HomeSpec that will give you the correct information and include all the documentation to back it up.

So, what are some of the common problems found during home inspections? Here are a few examples.

Sloped grades or poor water drainage
These are significant problems, causing thousands of dollars in damage to crawl spaces and basements. And it will all happen without detection until it is too late to repair the initial problem. Sloped grades and poor water drainage lead to cracking concrete, as well as mold and rot, so it is best to tend to these issues immediately.

There are many different types of materials used in roofing, and each type has an expected lifespan. Asphalt shingles are the most economical, and slate is perhaps the most expensive. Whatever you have, the roof is one of the most important components of a house, keeping everything below it dry and safe.

However, the elements are always creating wear and tear on this structure, and the materials used to construct the roof will eventually break down, which causes weaknesses around the seams and joints. All it takes is a ladder and trained eyes to do a thorough inspection for any damage, cracking, splitting, curling, or leaks. Roofs can be an expensive repair, so be certain you have a home inspection completed.

Along with the roof, check out the age of the home and what materials were used to build it. Building materials have come a long way technologically and environmentally speaking as well, so it is important you have quality inside and out to ensure a long lasting home.

Older homes have fewer outlets than newer ones, and again the technology has expanded by leaps and bounds. Any faulty wiring or electrical that is not up to code should be dealt with to avoid fires.

Another big issue, which again depends on the age of the home, is the plumbing. Pipe quality will vary on how the original installation went and the original quality of the materials used. If it is outdated, it will likely need replacing. If issues are found during the inspection of a house you plan to buy, be aware that it can be a costly repair and you may need to go back to the table with the sellers to account for new plumbing in your negotiations.

Heating and cooling
If not well maintained, the heating and cooling systems will need to be addressed and upgraded. Be sure to check out any ventilation issues at this time to ensure all is functioning at maximum performance.
There are many problems you will run into during the home inspection, and it is always an excellent idea to walk along with your inspector and ask questions along the way. Have a list of your concerns and be sure to go over them with your realtor or home inspector.

Buying a home is a weighty situation because it's not like you can return it if you are dissatisfied. A home inspection is your last line of defense when it comes to either buying your dream home or a money pit. It is up to you to know the common problems found during home inspections. HomeSpec is there to help with the process to make it a successful one. Call or contact us today for more information.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Tips on What to Ask and What to Look for When It’s Time to Inspect Your Potential New Home

Tips on What to Ask and What to Look for When It’s Time to Inspect Your Potential New Home
It's very important to be proactive when buying a new home. HomeSpec can give you some great advice and tips on what to ask and what to look for when it’s time to inspect your potential new home.

For example, get a checklist written up to help you hit every nook and cranny of the house to ensure nothing is overlooked or forgotten. Include the kitchen, floors, walls, windows, ceiling, bathrooms, attic, basement, plumbing, electrical, outside, roof, exterior and miscellaneous items like smoke detectors and garage door openers, combustible gases, radon testing, carbon monoxide detectors, water damage and more. Having a checklist will ensure you are not re-inspecting and wasting time and energy.

Also, consider if the home is suitable for you and your family. If you are a family of 6 for example, and the home only has one bathroom, chances are there will be a lot of conflicts once you move in. A good idea is to bring someone you know and trust with you when you are looking the home over. Two people are better than one when looking for the tiniest issues, and you will be glad you had the input or feedback from someone you trust has your best interest.

Most importantly, it is always wise to hire a certified and reliable home inspector to thoroughly inspect the potential new home and answer any questions you may have along the way. HomeSpec can help out with that equation and get you on the right track to ensure no headaches arise in the future.

Remember that once you buy your home, it is not like you can return it if you are dissatisfied, so be super diligent and follow these tips on what to ask and what to look for when it is time to inspect your potential new home.

If you are unsure of what to do, be sure to ask a reputable home inspection company such as HomeSpec to walk you through the process and provide all the details you will need for a smooth transaction. Our company has been providing exceptional services for many years, and we are highly qualified to give you the results you need. We offer great insight and education on what is important in the process and can truly save you money and time in the long run.

Following these simple tips will give you peace of mind and ensure that when you move into your new home, all will run smoothly and efficiently. Follow your gut instincts on certain issues, but leave the documentation and inspections to a specialized company that understands and has many years of home inspecting under their belts.

HomeSpec has made many homeowners proud of their purchases and confident in knowing that all their ducks were in a row. Now you know the simple tips on what to ask and what to look for when it is time to inspect your potential new home. Knowing that you did it right will allow you to be happy and comfortable once you get settled.