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.