Best Home Inspection Tips

What are the best home inspection tips? Should you hire a home inspector?  If you are new to buying a home or even if you have purchased homes in the past, it’s always easy to overlook a problem. Even professional home flippers make mistakes and find unknown problems after closing. But if you take the time to do a pre-inspection before you make an offer, you can save yourself lots of time and money.

Before you look at a house, you should arrive earlier than the Realtor and drive the neighborhood. Look carefully at the conditions of the homes in the neighborhood. Take a street photo as well as a picture of the exterior of the house you are looking at. If you look at a lot of houses, a digital photo will help you keep clear in your mind what the good and poor aspects of this house are.

Remember to bring a flashlight with you. Often empty homes do not have utilities and some areas of the house do not have adequate lighting to inspect fully.

Here’s my list of the best home inspection tips:

  1. Inspect the roof carefully for worn or curly shingles. A worn roof can cause lots of problems inside that you might not see if water has infiltrated the structure and mold has built up.
  2. Look at the foundation walls carefully for cracks or signs of poor drainage. Foundation problems can be either a big red flag or an opportunity to get a really low price from the seller.
  3. Look for stains on the ceilings – this could be another sign of roof problems
  4. Check the windows for proper operation and signs of rot. Does it look as if they are allowing lots of air infiltration. If they are double pane windows, is there moisture between the two layers of glass?
  5. If there is a crawl space or basement look for telltale signs of termites. A pocket knife can help you check how solid the wood is.

Once you have made an offer on a house it is a good idea to hire an home inspector. I’ve used home inspectors to learn the skills needed to be able to do a pretty thorough inspection. 

Elite Home Inspections: Tips on Hiring a Professional Inspector

Elite home inspections are called as such because they are conducted by trained and certified inspectors, not just by your local handyman or carpenter. Their knowledge surpasses that of assessing the conditions the different parts of the home, but also extends to knowledge of certain laws and regulations pertaining to building codes. Their overall inspection will help you as a homeowner decide whether you should buy the property or not. Even though there really is no house that can be deemed perfect, any buyer would definitely want one that has the least repair needs.

If you or any of your friends are in the process of buying a house, you may want to make use of the following tips when looking for a certified inspector.

Experience

No one becomes an expert on elite home inspections overnight. It takes years of experience and highly specialized training. Therefore, the first thing you should check is the how many years the inspector has been inspecting homes. The inspector assigned to your property should have experience with your type of home. Are you buying a single family residence or is it a condominium? Perhaps you are looking at a mobile home or manufactured property. Ask the inspector to provide you with a sample report of the same type of home that they have inspected in the past.

Certifications, Credentials, and Licenses

When speaking with a home inspection company, always ask for copies of their certifications and licenses. Anyone can claim that they are a certified inspector, but if there are no documents to back that up, then be wary. You can also check if they belong to a local home inspection association. These associations require inspectors to maintain a working knowledge of the latest building code. By testing their members regularly on industry standards homeowners are more likely to receive an inspector who knows what they are talking about and what to look for when inspecting properties of all types.

Sample of Report and Inspection Checklist

The reports made after elite home inspections often consist of 40 or more pages. This is because inspectors make sure that every detail is recorded for the future homeowner’s benefit. If the sample given to you has less than ten pages in it, then consider that as a red flag. Chances are, their inspectors do their jobs in a hurry and are not very detailed in their observations. To probe further, ask for a copy of the inspection checklist. It should include structural and mechanical components of the home. The plumbing system and electrical wirings should be there. Make sure they will be providing a mold inspection and termite inspection as part of their elite home inspection services.

Length of Inspection

When the inspector comes to your home, ask how long it would take him to do the job. This will vary depending on the size of the home, but it should at least take about three to four hours. If the inspector is done after an hour then you should be concerned because he may have done it in haste and has likely overlooked some defects. We have even heard of some companies doing “drive-by” inspections. Ideally you will want to be present at the inspection to avoid this scenario.

Communication

During the hiring process, select an inspector that communicates well. After all you are going to have many questions so you will want someone who responds professionally and knows how to articulate your homes issues. If it takes them several days to answer a simple query, then they may be as slow in providing you with the results later on or with accommodating your complaints, if you ever have one. Efficient property inspectors can often provide a report the day of the inspection.

Warranty

Finally, a good home inspection service must offer a warranty to the client. This warranty can be valid for 30, 60, or 90 days and, obviously, the lengthier the better. This will ensure that the inspector did his job seriously or he will be liable for any repairs that will transpire due to damages that he failed to report. These inspectors usually have an error and omission insurance that will cover this, although some will ask the client to sign a waiver to limit their liability. For your protection and to ensure that you are getting good value for the service that you hired, go with the inspection company that offers the best warranty.

Use these tips when you are looking for companies that will provide elite home inspections for you or for the people you know. This guide is a surefire way to ensure that you get the best professional out there.

All About Better Homes and Gardens

Our home is our own private space.Whether you are building a dream home or just want to add a little spice to your existing house, all you need is a little time. If you have a garden, you can experiment with a lot of plants, colors, themes, fountains and more. Before venturing to discover whether you really have that ‘green thumb’, you need to study a little about garden plans, flowers, lawns, trees & shrubs, herbs & vegetables, house plants, landscaping, regional gardening, container gardens, garden guides, paths, pergolas, seeds, pests, fertilizers etc.

Just go through some planting guides and you will have a fairly good idea. I found the Better Homes and Gardens site offering useful Growing Zone Maps of USA spanning Northeast, South, Midwest, Mountain and Plains, Pacific Northwest, southern California to the Desert Southwest with the ideal locations for growing different plants.

Better Homes and Gardens is a popular magazine in the US Published by the Meredith Corporation, the magazine focuses on homes, kitchen, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating and entertaining. It began its course in 1922 when Edwin Meredith, the United States Secretary of Agriculture under Woodrow Wilson, founded the magazine. The magazine has kept in touch with the pulse of the changing times, and today it also has a website.

The Better Homes and Gardens website is quite interactive and user friendly. The site offers relevant information on topics related to food and recipes, garden, holidays, health and family and crafts. What I personally do not like about the site is, when you open the home page, there is are special offer pop up windows asking you to sign up. But of course, you can just ignore that, close the window and move on to navigate the site.

The website also has a section devoted to Garden Slide Shows. Here, you can view every garden slide show that the magazine has ever done. Tools and Guides is another a helpful section in the website. Arrange-a-Deck, Garden Flower Gallery, Garden Newsletter, Plan-a-Garden and Plant Finder are some useful features. The site also has a forum with a number of great sections but it does not appear to be too active.

The Expert Advice section of the Better Homes and Gardens is probably the most useful. You will find experts sharing their opinion on flowers, roses, lawns, pests and problems, trees & shrubs, vegetables & fruit and tips & techniques. If you have a doubt about something, just express it here and you will probably get your answer. The website also provides you with the option of joining the club to avail of weekly updates, weekly recipes, newsletters, home improvement ideas and other offers. If you are looking for seasonal e-cards or interesting desktop items or online gifts you may again stop at this site. Some of these offers are fairly priced while others are comparatively a little high.

Targeted at providing useful information, Better Homes and Gardens is fast becoming a preferred magazine in the United States.