Top Reasons to Hire a Professional for Elite Home Inspections

When buying a home, some people take it upon themselves to perform the inspection in order to avoid the home inspection cost. They think that since they will be the new homeowners, they know exactly what to look for and will be the best person to assess if the home is right for them or not. This is true to an extent. Certainly most buyers have already decided what basic features they want in a home and are already checking to make sure the house they buy will have these things. However, when it comes to assessing if the home is livable, functional and most importantly safe, then it is best to hand over the job to a certified inspector. Here are the reasons why:

Highly Trained

These professionals are adept at performing elite home inspections because they have been trained for it. They are not only good at checking walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows, but they are also informed about local and state building code. Hence, they can tell if the property is violating any rule that may later on present itself as a major cost, or worse, serious safety concern to you and your family.

The excitement and emotions you feel when you find the perfect home may cause you to overlook issues you wouldn’t otherwise. A certified home inspector will give you an unbiased opinion. After all it’s not their job to sell you the home, rather their goal is to help you make sure you buy a home that works. Their training also involves how to do the job systematically, so that no detail or area is left uninspected. Their findings are presented in a formal and detailed report making it easy for you to understand. A good inspector will also answer any additional questions you have to make sure you are informed about all of the issues the home has.

There is a catch, though, not all elite home inspection services have qualified staff. Some may even be practicing illegally. To avoid these providers, make sure to ask for credentials, certifications, and licenses. Check with the association of home inspectors that has jurisdiction over the area to see if they are legit.

Saves You Money and Time

Elite home inspections may seem costly, but that is nothing compared to the cost of major unexpected repairs you may miss if you do your own inspection. Are you prepared to crawl under the home or climb in the attic? Do you know what to look for when you get in there? You can hire a certified home inspector for less than 1/10th of 1% of the purchase price of most homes. Hire a professional and avoid buying a home that is going to cause you heartache for years to come. By going through the property inspection process you can move forward buying with the peace of mind that your family will be safe and secure your new home.

Added Features

Home inspection companies nowadays do more than just inspect your future property. They also offer other complimentary services as added incentive to hire them. For example, some offer insurances that will cover the repair of your sewer line for a specified period after the inspection is done. The thing is, it is difficult to check the sewers, especially the part that transcends underground to the main line. Inspectors will only be able to check the part that they can reach, so they cannot really tell if the sewer line is in a good condition and this will not be included in the scope of their inspection. Fortunately, with this type of insurance, the cost of undetected repairs will be covered. Look at the additional services each company offers as some of these may prove to be invaluable down the road.

Warranties

Another good thing about hiring professional inspectors is that they often offer warranties for their work. This covers the structural and mechanical component, so if you ever see a defect within a specified period after the inspection, they will have to shoulder the repairs for that. Some providers offer a 30-day warranty, while some can offer as long as 90-days, which is an indication that they do their inspections seriously and properly to avoid being liable and handling the cost.

As mentioned, there are home inspectors out there that cannot be trusted, so it is best to know the tell-tall signs to identify them. First, ask for a sample of their reports. If it is only five or so pages long, then back off. Most elite home inspections will be between 30-45 pages on average. These reports cover every detail, include color pictures and provide written explanations of all issues. Second, be wary of inspectors who will recommend contractors to do the repair. If they are connected to a builder or a handyman, there is a good chance that they will say that something needs repair even if it is not true. Of course, some may just be trying to be helpful, but in order to maintain their credibility then they should refrain from such conduct.

Ultimately, the cost of a home inspection is not a good reason for you to skip this step when buying a property. Just think of the problems and expenses that you will face if you buy a home with various defects. Remember, you cannot go after the previous owner once you sign the deed of sale, so be wise about it and hire a professional home inspector.

Tips for Choosing A Perfect Home Inspection Company

Purchasing a new home is a big investment. Before investing your hard earned money in buying a house that you have dreamt of, it is important that you check every aspect of it. One of the most significant aspects is getting the entire home inspected before you sign any contract in the process of buying a house.

The industry of home inspection is full of competent home inspectors. There are dozens of home inspection companies that offer reliable home examination services to their clients. But along with the availability of professional home inspectors, the home inspection industry is also plagued with fraud companies who call themselves competent home inspectors. So, it is a must to screen and qualify a company before hiring their inspection services.

There are a number of things that you must keep in mind while selecting a good home examiner for inspecting your new house. Some of them have been mentioned below:

Experience- You must consider hiring the services of a professional who performs at least 300 inspections per year. House inspectors having more years of experience are most desirable for the job of home inspection.

Knowledge- The home inspection company you choose must be knowledgeable enough to understand every system in a home. Professionals having a relevant degree in the field of engineering or architecture are considered best for the work of home assessment. Professionals dealing in general construction are also considered ideal for the role of house inspectors.

Reputation- When you are dealing with a professional company, it is important to note the reputation of both the company and the inspector who will be performing the work of inspection for your house. You must always request your hired company to send you a trained and reputed inspector for inspecting your home.

Getting relevant reports- Ensure that your hired house inspection company provides you a report that covers all the aspects of scrutiny. The inspection of your new house must include a signed report that describes what inspection was carried and also it will include the conditions of the inspected items. There are a number of home assessors who provide a checklist of items that they inspect. On the other hand, there are professionals who provide a written description of all the items that are inspected.

The cost of the inspection – Before you hire the services of a professional home examination company, you must also ask them to give you an estimate of the total cost associated with the inspection of the house. Once you get an estimate, you can compare it with other companies before hiring any particular company.

You must consider all the above points because at the end, it is the knowledge and experience of the home examiner that matters a lot in the work of home inspection.

Home Inspection Checklist: What to Look for in a Home Inspection Company

Are you buying a home? Buying a home is probably the most complicated (and important) purchase most of us will make in our lifetime. Like any major purchase there are features and specifications for all homes. On paper it may be the features that sell the home but if any of those features are in disrepair, you might be signing up for more than you bargained for and getting less than you paid for.

When you’re purchasing a home, you need to know what you’re getting. There are a few ways you can help protect yourself — one of them is with a thorough home inspection. Hiring a qualified home inspection company to take a look at the home you’re interested in buying is very important. At the same time, you need to understand what’s involved with a home inspection so years after your purchase, you can keep up with the maintenance of your home. Here’s why…

When you are buying a home it is important that you understanding what’s involved with a home inspection. It can pay dividends for the rest of the time you own your house.

First, it’s important to note that some things are not covered in a standard home inspection:

Pests – Pest inspections require a licensed pest control specialist to perform inspections of building structures to determine damage or possibility of damage from pests.

Radon — Radon gas is an invisible, odorless gas produced by the normal breakdown of uranium in the soil.

Lead paint – Inspecting a home for lead-based paint is not typically included in a home inspection because it takes place over several days and requires special equipment.

Mold – Mold inspection is a separate inspection because it requires three separate air samples and surface sample analysis. Since mold inspection is beyond the scope of a traditional home inspection, be sure to specifically ask your home inspector if he or she would recommend a mold inspection.

Asbestos – Asbestos is generally outside the scope of a home inspection because asbestos requires its own thorough review. Like with mold inspections, be sure to specifically ask your home inspector if he or she would recommend a separate asbestos inspection.

Orangeberg Sewer Pipe — Also known as “fiber conduit”, Orangeberg Sewer Pipe is bitumenized fiber pipe made from layers of wood pulp and pitch pressed together. It was used from the 1860s through the 1970s, when it was replaced by PVC pipe for water delivery and ABS pipe for drain-waste-vent (DWV) applications.

The first thing to point out is that every home and home buyer are different which means that every home inspection is different and the importance of home inspection items are different. Below are some common things that are inspected during a home inspection. Keep in mind that some items in this checklist may not be necessary for your particular home – and that this list does not include all the item inspected by a professional home inspection service.

General Home Inspection Checklist

Lot and Neighborhood

Lot Area

Does the grade slope away from the home or towards the home
Are there any areas where the soil has settled near the foundation or driveway?
What is the elevation of the home in relation to the street and neighbors?

Exterior

Roofing

Is the peak of the roof straight and level? Or is there sagging?
What is the condition of the roof vents? Are they visible?
Are there gaps between flashing and chimneys, walls or other parts of the roof?
Is there sagging anywhere else on the roof such as between the rafters or trusses?
What kind of shingles are used? How much deterioration has set in such as curling, warping, broken shingles or wider gaps between shingles in the roof?

Chimney

Is the chimney square to the home and level? Or is it leaning?
What is the condition of the bricks? Are any bricks flaking or missing?
What is the condition of the mortar? Is it cracked, broken or missing entirely?

Siding

Is the siding original to the house? If not, how old is the siding and how is it holding up?
Are the walls square and level or bowed, bulged or leaning
What material is the siding? Brick, wood or plastic?
What condition is the siding in?
Is there loose, missing, rotten or deteriorated siding or paint?
How does the siding fit connect to the foundation?

Soffits and Fascia

What are the soffits and fascia made of? Common materials include wood, aluminum or plastic?
Are there any problems such as rotting or broken pieces?
Are there any missing pieces of soffit or fascia?

Gutters and Downspouts

Are there any leaks or gaps in gutters or downspouts?
Does the gutter slope toward downspouts?
Is there any rust or peeling paint?
Are all gutters and downspouts securely fastened?
Is there a sufficient separation of the downspouts from the foundation?

Doors and Windows

Are there any problems with paint, caulking or rotten wood?
Are the windows original to the home? If not, how old are they?

Decks or Porches

What is the porch or deck made of? Check for paint problems, rotted wood and wood-earth contact.
Is there any settlement or separation from the house?
If possible, inspect the underside of the porch or deck.

Foundation

Are there any cracks, flaking or damaged masonry?
Are there any water markings and powdery substances on the foundation? If so where are they located?
Are the walls square vertically and horizontally? Or bowed, bulged or leaning?

Basement

Is there any evidence of water penetration (stains, mildew/odors, powdery substances, loose tiles, etc.)

Flooring

Is there any deterioration of flooring or carpet?
Are there any cracks in the tiles or mortar?
Do you notice any water damage or stains from previous water damage?
Is there any sagging or sloped flooring?

Interior Walls

Check that the majority of windows and doors work.
Are the walls square and vertically and horizontally straight?
Is there any cracked or loose plaster?
Look for stains, physical damage or evidence of previous repair.
Are there any drywall seams or nails showing?

Ceilings

Review all plaster for cracks or loose or sagging areas.
Are there any stains from water or mechanical damage or evidence of previous repair?
Are there any seams or nails showing?

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Check that all fixtures are secure including sinks, faucets, toilets and cabinetry
Are there any cracks in the fixtures?
What is the condition of the tiles and caulking surrounding sinks and tub and shower areas?
What is the condition of the faucets? Do they work? Is there sufficient water pressure?
Check under countertops for any water stains or rotting materials.
Check that the majority of the cabinet doors and drawers are in working order.

Electrical and Mechanical

Type, style and age of heating and cooling systems with service history.
Type, age and condition of water supply piping and drains.
Size and age of electrical service — Are the outlets grounded? Visible wiring in good condition?

The Importance of a Home Inspection Professional

As you can see, the home inspection checklist is exhaustive (and this list doesn’t even cover it all!) So if you’re in the market for a new house or are in the process of purchasing a new home, make sure you have a home inspection done by a reliable home inspection company – so you can protect yourself from the unforeseen. Also periodically review the items on this home inspection checklist so you can ensure the working order of your home for years to come.