logob

Rhino Blog

Nov14

4 Signs Your Roof is in Bad Shape

4 Signs Your Roof is in Bad Shape

The roof is an important component of your Denver home. Despite the important role the roof plays, Colorado homeowners do not pay attention to their roofs. If your roof were to grab your attention, it means you have a leak or it may be in bad shape.

Despite regular maintenance and taking proper care of your Denver roof, there will come a time when you will need to replace your roof or perform some serious repairs. Roof replacement or repairs can be a costly ordeal, but it’s an important part of maintaining and owning a home.

Several warning signs herald the end of a roof’s life. Here are some of them.

Aged roof

The average roof will typically last for about 20 to 25 years. If your roof is over 20 years of age, then it may be time to consider roof replacement. Even if the roof still looks good from the ground, it is likely that there is a problem.

Sagging roof

A sagging roof can mean several things. It may be supporting too much weight, it may not have been installed properly or it could be weak and deteriorating. No matter what the reason is, this is a clear sign that your roof needs replacement. Ignoring this sign will not only lead to costly repairs, it may also put the safety of your family at risk.

Damaged flashing

Flashing is a layer of sheet metal, which prevents the passage of water in your roof. If you discover a wet stain or a wet insulation in the attic, this is a clear indication that the roof might not be in good shape.

Missing or loose shingles

Shingles must all be intact in order for them to protect your home completely. When shingles become loose or fall off, your roof won’t be able to do a great job of protecting your home. Missing shingles allow snow or rain to enter your home; thus, causing damage to the property. Don’t wait for this to happen. Replace loose or missing shingles as soon as possible to prevent damage.

Nov06

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home in Top Condition

Routine maintenance is important for your Denver home’s upkeep and well-being. However, majority of the defects Denver home inspectors finds are due to lack of preventive maintenance and neglect. Since your Colorado home is your biggest asset, it needs to be carefully looked after.

Regardless of whether you’re planning to put your home for sale or not, there are a lot of things you can do to keep your home in top shape. Read on as we give you some tips to make sure your Denver CO home stays in good condition for the years to come.

Inspect exterior

Inspect your home’s exterior for water damage, leaks, loose pieces and cracks. Keep your home in top shape by properly filling leaks and cracks or replacing rotted siding or trim.

Nothing makes a house look unwelcoming and dilapidated as peeling paint. Give your exterior walls a fresh coat of paint. Your house always looks clean and tiny when it’s newly painted.

Give your house a deep clean

Keep things clean by giving the whole house a proper deep clean. Allot one day for this task and get your entire family working. Dust every nook and cranny, clean the windows, scrub the floor, de-clutter etc. Don’t let dust, dirt and grime build up over the years.

Change out air filters

For homes with smaller families and without pets, it may not be necessary to change your air filters every month. This may be done every 2 to 3 months. If you have pets at home or if you smoke, be sure to inspect it every month and change whenever necessary.

Clean the gutters

Cleaning the gutters is a small task that can prevent big problems. Clean out leaves and debris that may have collected in them. This should be done twice a year to prevent damage to your home’s roof and exterior. Flush the gutters and downspouts with a garden hose after you’ve cleared the muck.

Check the roof

Have a roofing professional inspect your roof at least once a year. This way, they can identify sections that need repair and address the issues immediately. 

Oct23

4 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make with a Home Inspection

Buying a house in Denver Colorado will cost you a fortune. As you probably already know, the expenses don’t stop after moving into your new house. This is especially true if the house have some issues that need to be fixed right away. To be sure that the house you’re buying is in good condition, make sure that you have it inspected before signing on the dotted.

Here are 4 home inspection mistakes you should avoid.

Hiring the wrong inspector

The inspection is only as good as the inspector. In order to make the most out of the inspection, it is important that you hire a professional.

Certifications and licensing vary by state. When hiring a home home inspector, be sure to ask about their credentials - training, experience, and education. Never hire an inspector without doing any research.

Not inspecting new constructions

Building a house is a complex process. With so many people working on different aspects of the house, it is nearly impossible to build one without any flaws. Skipping inspection on a new house is a big mistake.

If you are planning to buy a new house, it is best to have it inspected twice - during the early phase of construction and when it is completed. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your new home is in good condition and won’t require repairs anytime soon.

Skipping the home inspection

A Denver home inspection provides a great way to learn more about the house you’re interested in. Rather than simply waiting for the inspection report, I recommend that you attend the inspection.

Although you’re not really required to attend the inspection, you shouldn’t miss out on this opportunity. Here, you can walk with the inspector as he goes examines different parts of the house. He will point out some areas of concern and may even give you some tips on how to address these issues and how to best care for the house. You may also ask some questions to the inspector.

Not reading the report carefully

Home inspectors provide a written report after the home inspection. This includes a list of all the issues that are present in the house.

Go through the home inspection report carefully. You may find a long list of issues. Many of them may be minor issues that do not warrant immediate repair. Lookout for major issues like structural damage, mold infestation, water damage, electrical issues, and plumbing issues. From here, you can decide your next step in the homebuying process. You can negotiate a lower price, ask the seller to tackle repair or back out of the home sale.

Oct09

Top Deal Breakers for Home Buyers

You have reached a point in your life when you need to move to a bigger house to accommodate the needs of your growing Colorado family. How you prepare your home for sale will determine how quickly your home sells.

No matter how lovely your house is, majority of Colorado home buyers will walk back out of the door if they find some icky issues in your home.

Here are some of the biggest turnoffs for potential Denver home buyers.

Poor curb appeal

Curb appeal is the attractiveness of your home when viewed from across the street. It is important to improve curb appeal because most buyers would drive by the house before they decide to book your house for viewing.

Often, sellers are too busy beautifying the interior of the house that they end up forgetting about the exterior. If they find that the house looks messy and unkempt from the outside, they may assume that the house hasn’t been maintained and cared for. As a result, they may lose interest in viewing the house. 

Dirt and grime

Nothing will scare off a potential home buyer than a dirty, filthy house. As a seller, your goal is to help buyers envision themselves living in your home. It would be impossible to do that in a house with crusty kitchen counters, grimy floors, and dirt everywhere.

Before selling, you want to make sure that the house is in the best possible condition. As such, we highly recommend that you deep clean the house. Clean and scrub every part of the house. Make it sparkle.

Odors from pets or smoking

While you consider your pet a part of your family, some people don’t like dogs, especially pet odors. House odors from pets take top billing on the uh-oh list. A house that smells like cigarettes may also turn off potential buyers. Many of them will turn around and walk back out of your door once they notice the odor.

Since you lived in that house for years, you may be immune to the smell. While preparing your home for sale, we suggest that you invite a friend or a colleague over to your home to help you determine if your house smells. If it does, take the necessary steps to get rid of the odor. Perfume isn’t enough to cover up the odor.

Oct09

What Type of Home Inspection Do I Need?

Buying a house in Colorado is a big financial obligation. If you’re not careful, it can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. As such, it is best to have the Denver Colorado property professionally inspected prior to closing.

A Denver home inspection helps potential buyers determine the overall condition of the house and identify any major issues. This is designed to help potential buyers make a more informed decision and prevent them from being scammed.

What type of home inspection do you need to have when buying a house? Here are some of them.

General home inspection

A general home inspection will give you a good idea about the overall condition of the property. The house may look nice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in great shape. By hiring a professional inspector, you’ll be able to determine the issues that are present in the house, as well as some potential problems that you may have to deal with in the long run.

By knowing the actual condition of the property you’re interested in, you can make a more informed decision and decide whether or not it is a worthy investment.

Radon gas

Radon gas is a colorless, odorless gas. Long-term exposure to radon gas can potentially cause health problems. In some cases, it can even be fatal. Since it is invisible odorless, most people aren’t even aware about the presence of this toxic gas in their home. The only way to find out is through testing.

Our house is our safe haven. It is where we feel safe and relaxed. When looking for your dream home, you should look beyond the physical appearance and consider the safety of your family. This is especially important if you have young kids. Don’t skip this step.

Mold testing

Mold is also a potential health threat. Young kids and older adults are more susceptible to the negative health effects of mold. It can cause allergy symptoms, trigger asthma attacks, and even aggravate existing health conditions. If left unaddressed, mold problems may also cause structural problems. It literally eats at materials like floorboards, ceiling tiles, drywall, and wall paper.

Mold can start growing and multiply very easily. This is why it’s important to address the issue as early as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is spread in different parts of the house.

Molds are difficult to get rid of, and remediation is costly. In fact, the average cost of mold remediation is $2,000 to $6,000. Make sure that you do this type of inspection before signing on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to find out about the mold problems after moving in to your new house.

If you are buying a home in Denver Colorado or surrounding areas and need a home inspection, call Steel- Rhino. We can give you a solid, honest inspection of the home you are considering to purchase. 

Oct02

4 Signs There is Mold in Your House

Most people are aware of the dangers of mold to our health. Aside from being a health hazard, it can also negatively affect the value of your Denver Colorado home. The problem is that most people aren’t even aware that mold is present in their Denver home.

Here are 4 signs there is mold in your Denver Colorado house.

There’s a musty odor

Just because there are no visible signs of mold, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your Denver home is mold-free. Sometimes, you can’t see it but you can smell it. Often, a musty, moldy odor is the only clue that mold is present in your home.

Your allergies never subside

Exposure to mold can trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms often include sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy throat, puffy eyes, and skin irritation. If you usually experience allergic symptoms every time you’re at home, and the symptoms seem to go away when you leave the house, mold exposure may be the cause of the problem.

You notice dark spots on your wall

If you notice some dark spots on your wall, then you know you have a problem. The question is, how much. Just because you only see few spots on the wall, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the mold growth is limited to that area. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Address the problem immediately as soon as you find out there is mold in your house. The last thing you want is for molds to spread in different parts of your home. Not only is it costly, it can also pose a threat to the health of your family.

There is a leak in your home

Most people assume the leaks are a minor problem. Some people would just ignore that dripping sound, thinking it’s not that big of a deal. But if left unaddressed, it can lead to bigger, more complicated problems.

According to the U.S. EPA, a leaky faucet can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. It can also lead to mold growth. Damp and wet environment provide the perfect condition for mold to thrive. If you failed to address leak problems, chances are there is mold present in your home.  

Sep20

Signs It’s Time to Walk Away from a Home Purchase

You’ve spent most of your weekends looking at houses. You have finally found the house of your dreams. Unfortunately, something came up in the midst of the homebuying process. Now, you’re wondering whether or not you should push through with the transaction.

Here are 3 signs it’s time to walk away from a home purchase.

Not everyone is on board

If you’re buying a house with your spouse or partner, then both parties should be on the same page. Before you start looking at houses, we suggest that you make a list of the features you want and need in a house.

Even if you think you have found the perfect house, if your partner doesn’t think it’s the one, then you shouldn’t push through with the transaction. Since both of your names are on the mortgage, both parties should walk away happy.

Even if you have already sent the contract to the seller’s agent, you are free to withdraw the offer. Let the agent know that you changed your mind. This is acceptable, provided that the seller hasn’t signed yet.

There are serious inspection issues

If the home inspection report comes back with some major issues, you may want to think twice about buying the house. Major issues such as structural damage, water damage, roof problems or faulty electrical systems are not only costly to fix; they can also pose a threat to the health and safety of your family.

If you find any of these issues on the home inspection report, it may be time to hit the brakes on your home purchase.

You can’t afford it

Some people fall in love with a house because of its appealing features or because it has character. The last thing you want is to fall in love with a house, and then find out later on that you can’t afford it.

Before you start house hunting, sit down with your partner and crunch some numbers. It is also a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only will it give you a good idea about how much you can afford, it can also prevent disappointment down the road.

If you can’t afford the house, it is best to back out of the real estate deal. There is no point in buying the most attractive house in the neighborhood if you’ll end up living like a peasant in the coming years.

Sep11

Common Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide

Most sellers will be upfront about the issues present in the house. Other sellers, however, will try to hide some issues in the hopes of selling their house fast.

If you are planning to buy a house, beware. The house may have some issues the seller don’t want you find out.

Here are some of the most common problems home sellers try to hide.

Leaks

Leaks are one of the most common problems in the house. It can be from plumbing fixtures, pipes or roof leak. Sellers will try every quick fix possible to temporarily plug that drip.

A leak may seem like a minor problem, but if not addressed immediately, this can lead to bigger, more complicated problems. Water damage, mold growth, and structural problems are just some of them. These issues are not only costly to address, they can also pose a threat to your family’s health and safety.

Water damage

Signs of water damage can be hard to miss. It often manifests as a stain or blotch on the walls and ceiling. Peeling paint is also a common sign of water damage.

Most sellers would paint the walls before putting their home on the market. Not only will it help freshen up the look of the house, it also helps conceal the stains on the walls and ceiling.

HVAC systems

HVAC systems usually last for a very long time. In fact, the average lifespan of an HVAC equipment is between 15 to 20 years. But once it reaches the 10-year mark, it tends to break down and becomes costly to operate. Replacing older units with newer, energy-efficient models will help you save money and stress down the road.

It is easy to tell whether the HVAC unit is ancient or not, but some sellers try to hide the age of their HVAC system with 3 words – I don’t know. When in doubt, ask your home inspector about it. They can find out that information very quickly.

A haunted past

According to the National Association of Realtors, violent crimes, murder or suicide that took place in the house doesn’t have to be disclosed during the selling process. Don’t expect the seller to offer that information to you during the home selling process.

If you’re squeamish about it, sites like DiedinHouse.com can clue you in on a property’s unsavory past.

Sep04

Home Inspection Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Getting the house inspected is one of the most important things you need to do when buying a house. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the property you are interested in is worth investing on. Plus, it gives you an option to opt out if the problems are too big or unsettling.

There is no denying the importance of home inspection in the home buying process. The problem is that, there are lots of myths and misconceptions being circulated. As a result, most people find it difficult to separate the facts from the myths.

Here are some of the most common home inspection myths you need to stop believing.

Newly constructed homes don’t need to be inspected

It’s a no-brainer to have an old house inspected before closing. But should you hire a home inspector for a new home? The answer is yes.

No house is perfect. Even new homes can have problems too. You need to remember that even the most experienced home builders commit mistakes, which often leads to some issues. A home inspection provides a great opportunity to address constructions errors before they turn into major problems.

It doesn’t matter which inspector you hire

Most states do not require home inspectors to be licensed. This makes it difficult to separate the good ones from the inexperienced ones.

There are lots of home inspectors out there, but you can’t just hire the first one you run into. Considering how much money you’ll be spending on your future home, you want to make sure that you hire the best one. In order to make the most out of the home inspection, be sure to hire someone who has the knowledge, skills, and experience. If possible, hire someone who has been in the business for several years.

A home inspector will tell whether or not to buy the house

A home inspector will inspect every aspect of the house. They will identify the issues that are present in the house. Some may even give you an estimate or the expected costs of repairs. That’s it.

As a buyer, it is your responsibility to decide whether or not to push through with the home sale. The home inspector will not make the decision for you. Attend the home inspection, ask questions, and carefully read through the home inspection report to help you make an informed decision.

Aug28

Red Flags You Shouldn't Ignore When Buying a House

Getting the house inspected is one of the most important things you need to do when buying a house. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that the property you are interested in is worth investing on. Plus, it gives you an option to opt out if the problems are too big or unsettling.

There is no denying the importance of home inspection in the home buying process. The problem is that, there are lots of myths and misconceptions being circulated. As a result, most people find it difficult to separate the facts from the myths.

Here are some of the most common home inspection myths you need to stop believing.

Newly constructed homes don’t need to be inspected

It’s a no-brainer to have an old house inspected before closing. But should you hire a home inspector for a new home? The answer is yes.

No house is perfect. Even new homes can have problems too. You need to remember that even the most experienced home builders commit mistakes, which often leads to some issues. A home inspection provides a great opportunity to address constructions errors before they turn into major problems.

It doesn’t matter which inspector you hire

Most states do not require home inspectors to be licensed. This makes it difficult to separate the good ones from the inexperienced ones.

There are lots of home inspectors out there, but you can’t just hire the first one you run into. Considering how much money you’ll be spending on your future home, you want to make sure that you hire the best one. In order to make the most out of the home inspection, be sure to hire someone who has the knowledge, skills, and experience. If possible, hire someone who has been in the business for several years.

A home inspector will tell whether or not to buy the house

A home inspector will inspect every aspect of the house. They will identify the issues that are present in the house. Some may even give you an estimate or the expected costs of repairs. That’s it.

As a buyer, it is your responsibility to decide whether or not to push through with the home sale. The home inspector will not make the decision for you. Attend the home inspection, ask questions, and carefully read through the home inspection report to help you make an informed decision.

Aug20

Important Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

A home inspection is one of the most important steps you need to take when buying a house. It will help you determine the general condition of the house you are interested in. This will prevent you from buying a house in need of major repairs.

Considering how important a home inspection is, you want to make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable, experienced and well-trained. By asking these questions, you can protect yourself from hiring an unqualified inspector.

What certifications do you hold?

Not all states require inspectors to be licensed. Because of this, just about anyone can pose as an inspector. To help you distinguish the good ones from the bad ones, it is best to ask if they are certified with a national home inspection association.

ASHI and InterNACHI are two of largest home inspection organizations in the country. If the inspector you are considering is a member of any of these organizations, you can be sure that he is knowledgeable and well-trained.

What does the inspection include?

A home inspection includes a detailed inspection of different areas and systems of the house. Before hiring an inspector, you need to know what is and isn’t included in the inspection. You need to have a clear understanding of what the inspection entails.

Do you carry insurance?

Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Even the best home inspectors commit mistakes. Accidents also happen when you least expect it. Make sure that the inspector your hire carries both professional and general liability insurance so you’re protected.  Ask to see proof of insurance before they set foot on your property. You’d be surprised to know that some Colorado home inspectors don’t have insurance.

How long will the home inspection take?

The inspection should be as thorough as possible. The average Denver Colorado home inspection takes about 2 to 3 hours. The bigger the house is, the longer the inspection will take. Older houses take longer to inspect than new ones. If someone tells you that the inspection process will be done in an hour, you may want to look elsewhere.

How much do you charge?

Although you need to factor in the cost, this should be the least of your concern. Remember, you are paying for their services. The more experienced the inspector is, the higher their rate is.

If you make a decision based on the price alone, you may end up hiring someone who is inexperienced or doesn’t really know what he’s doing.

Aug08

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip a Home Inspection

So, you have found the house of your dreams. The seller has accepted your offer. You’re eager to shop for new furnitures and move into your new house. Not so fast. Before you sign on the dotted line, you want to make sure that the house meets your expectations. The house may look great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s in pristine condition.

A house can cost a fortune. As such, most buyers are looking for ways to save money. Often, they would skip the home inspection in an attempt to cut cost. When making the biggest purchases of your life, you want to make sure that the property you’re eyeing on is worth investing on. Don’t be tempted to waive the home inspection.

Here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t skip a home inspection.

Reveal the big picture

A home inspection is one of the most important steps you need to take when buying a house. A professional inspector will help you determine the condition of the house and minor and major issues, as well as potential problems you may have to face later on.

You need to know what you’re getting into before making a final decision. The home inspection will give you more information about the property you’re interested in and help you make a more informed buying decision.

Negotiating tool

Fixing and repairing issues in the house is not only costly, it can also be stressful. If the home inspection report comes back with a list of major issues, you can either ask the seller to address these issues before closing or negotiate a lower price.

Peace of mind

A house is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. Unlike clothes, shoes, and bags, you can’t ask for a refund if you decide later on that you’re not happy with your purchase. Once you have closed on the property, there is no turning back.

Before you sign on the dotted line, you want to make sure that the house you’re interested in is in great shape. The only way to find out is through a home inspection. Knowing the actual condition of the property, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your future home is in good condition, and that it’s a good investment. It is worth the extra cost when you’re making the biggest purchases of your life.

It provides an out

Fixing and addressing issues in the house can be costly and time consuming. This is especially true when you’re dealing with some major issues such as roof damage, structural damage, mold infestation, and water damage. By learning about the issues present in the house, you can decide whether to push through with the transaction or just back out of the sale.

Aug08

6 Hidden Hazards in Your Denver Colorado Home and What You Can Do About Them

Our home is our safe haven. After a long, stressful day at work, many of us look forward to resting and relaxing in our home. We think of it as a place of comfort and safety. If you have kids, creating a secure, welcoming, and safe environment for your family is on top of your priority list. If you think you’re safe in your Denver Colorado home, think again.

There are numerous hazards inside your Denver home that people tend to overlook. The biggest dangers are the ones that you can’t see. They are posing a threat to the health and safety of your loved ones, and you’re not even aware they are present in your home.

Here are 6 hidden hazards in your home, along with some suggestions on what you can do about them.

Mold

Molds are a natural part of the environment. They are literally everywhere, but active mold growth requires moisture. If you recently experienced flooding, water damage, roof leaks or pipe leaks, odds are there is mold inside your home.

Exposure to mold may cause a multitude of health problems. Not all people are sensitive to molds. Some develop reactions when exposed to mold while others do not. For those who are sensitive to molds, exposure to molds can cause allergic reaction. They usually develop symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, sneezing, eye irritation, wheezing, throat irritation, and skin irritation. The symptoms may worsen overtime. Infant, children, older adults, and immune-compromised individuals are more susceptible to molds. Often, these individuals develop more serious reactions such as shortness of breath, coughing, and asthma attack.

Mold starts to grow within 24 to 48 hours of moisture problem or water damage. If you have recently experience water damage, act fast and address the problem as soon as possible.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is as colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. It can build up inside your home without you even knowing it. The problem is that once you breathe in carbon dioxide, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in the body and leads to poisoning. CO poisoning kills more than 200 people a year. It is a serious issue you shouldn’t take lightly.

Carbon monoxide is usually produced by burning fuel. If you have fuel-burning appliances like wood stove, fireplace, water heater, and furnace, you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. To thwart danger posed by carbon monoxide, we highly recommend that you install carbon monoxide detector in your home. Also, make sure that all fuel burning appliances as well as the vents and chimneys are inspected annually.

Ideally, you should have one in every floor and place them near the sleeping areas. This way, everyone will be alerted by the presence of this silent killer. Also, make it a habit to test the detector regularly and replace the battery as needed. This is a simple step to ensure that your entire family is protected from the dangers of carbon monoxide. Remember, carbon monoxide is an invisible gas. Without a functional detector, it would be impossible to detect the presence of carbon monoxide inside your home.

Electrical issues

Electrical fire is one of the leading causes of residential fires. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical fires account to about 6.3% of all residential fires. This equates to about $1.3 billion in property damage.

Outdated wiring, faulty outlets, faulty appliances, and misuse of extension cords are just some of the most common causes of electrical fires. Most electrical fires are preventable. Don’t let these issues cause a fire in your home.

Older homes usually have inadequate electrical wiring, which can be an electrical and fire hazard. Keep you and your family out of harm’s way by hiring a certified electrician and have your electrical system inspected. If you often use electrical cords, be sure to keep them away from sources of water and heat. Also, never place them beneath the carpets. Inspect all electrical cords and discard all plugs or cords that are frayed or worn.

Structural damage

Some cracks on the wall or a door that’s a little tough to open may not seem like a big deal, but structural damage is a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. This means the foundation can no longer support your home. With a weak foundation, your home would collapse. Not only is it expensive to repair, it is also extremely dangerous.

Water damage is one of the most common causes of structural damage. If left unaddressed, it can create the perfect environment for mold growth and can eventually weaken your home’s foundation. Avoid permanent damage to your home by taking corrective action right away.

Lead

Lead-based paint was used in many homes from 1922 to mid-70s. It was added to paint to resist moisture, maintain a fresh appearance, and accelerate drying. Later on, they found out about the health risks associated with lead. As such, the federal government banned the use of lead-based paint in 1978. If your house was built before 1978, there is a good chance that there is lead in your home.

Most old homes still have lead paint in them, which is a major health hazard. Lead is a highly toxic metal that can be harmful to people of any age. People can be exposed to lead through ingestion of lead-contaminated food, water or dust. Young children are more susceptible to lead toxicity because they tend to put different things in their mouth. Another route is through inhalation of lead particles. Once it’s in a person’s bloodstream, it can affect multiple body systems.

Lead does not present a health hazard as long as it is not flaking or chipping. To reduce the risk of lead poisoning, be sure to keep all paint in excellent condition and clean up paint chips safely. Also, families living in older homes should have their house tested to confirm the presence or absence of lead in your home.  

Radon

Radon is a natural by-product that is produced during the breakdown of radioactive elements such as uranium. Just like carbon monoxide, radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can be detrimental to one’s health. The gas is carcinogenic. Breathing in radon, especially over a long period of time, increases your risk of developing lung cancer. Studies suggest that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer among smokers.

According to studies, 1 out of 15 homes in the United States have high radon levels. It usually occurs in the outdoor air in small amounts that it isn’t considered as a health risk. Radon can enter your home through cracks in the walls, floors or basement drain and gets trapped inside. In some cases, it can build up to an unsafe level. When this happens, it can become an indoor air hazard for your family. But the problem is that, most homeowners aren’t even aware that there is radon gas in their home until it’s too late.

Since radon is odorless and colorless, the only way to determine the presence of radon in your home is through testing. You can either do the test on your own or hire a professional to do it for you. It doesn’t cost that much either. Have your home tested for radon. It can save the lives of you and your loved ones.

Jul17

Do Home Inspections Really Affect Property Value?

Buying a house has always been a part of the American dream. Studies suggest that 80% of millennials desire to become homeowners someday. They are moving out of their parent’s basements and into buying homes. In fact, millennials hold the largest share of homebuyers at 36%.

A house is one of the biggest purchases one will ever make in this lifetime. Considering the amount of money to be spent in buying a house, buyers are very cautious in purchasing a property. They don’t just want a beautiful house. They want a property that is in move-in condition. They are in search of a property that doesn’t require lots of time, money, and effort to repair. Homebuyers want to make sure that the hose they are investing on is in good condition. This is where home inspection steps in.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure of the property. Based on the visual inspection of accessible features, it determines the present condition of the house, as well as its major systems. The procedure is usually done by a professional home inspector – someone who has undergone extensive trainings and certifications.

Home inspection is usually done during a real estate transaction. Often, it is done at the request of the buyer. The buyers are usually the ones who hire a home inspector. Not only does it help them identify problems that are present in the house, it also gives them the assurance that the house they are interested in is worth investing on. Learning the actual condition of the property can help buyers save a lot of time and money in the long run. Not only is it beneficial for buyers, it can also work to your advantage when selling your house.

Anyone who is selling their house will go through a home inspection. You don’t need a real estate transaction to have a home inspection. If you are eager to know the actual condition of your house, you can hire a home inspector and have the house inspected any time.

Do home inspections really affect property value?

If you’re wondering whether or not a home inspection affects the value of the property, then the answer is yes. This is especially true when you’re selling.

You may not have plans of selling your house right now, but time will come when you’ll be ready to put it on the market. Read on to find out how home inspection can affect the value of your home.

You can make repairs before selling

First impressions matter when selling a house. If you want to sell your house fast and for top dollar, you need to make sure that your house is at its best. A charming and attractive house is definitely an advantage, but you also need to make sure that is in great shape as well.

If you are considering selling your home in the near future, we highly recommend that you have your house inspected before putting it on the market. This will help you identify potential and existing problems in your home.

Structural issues, plumbing problems, electrical problems, roof damage, and water damage are just some of the most common issues found during a home inspection. These issues are costly to repair and may negatively affect the value of your property. By learning about the issues present in your home, you are given the opportunity to fix them before putting your house on the market.

As mentioned earlier, most buyers are in search of properties that are in move-in ready condition. They don’t want to be bothered with repairs. By making the necessary repairs before selling, you are making your house more attractive to potential buyers.

Most sellers don’t have enough time or money to tackle all the issues listed on the home inspection report. That’s fine. You don’t have to fix everything. Just try to tackle as much issues as you can. Repair the roof, replace broken window glass, repair leaky faucets, fix broken appliances and HVAC systems, and patch holes and cracks in the walls and ceilings. By repairing certain issues and making improvements before listing your home, potential buyers will think that your home is well loved and maintained. As a result, you’ll be able to sell your house quickly and for top dollar. Plus, you’ll put more money in your pocket.

Make the buying process quicker and smoother

A home inspection involves a visual inspection of the house’s structure, as well as its major systems and appliances. By checking every aspect of the house, the inspector may be able to uncover issues you may not be aware of. You will also be provided a copy of the home inspection report within 1 to 3 days.

As mentioned above, it is often the buyer who hires a home inspector. Once it’s done, they have 3 options – they would ask the buyer to tackle repairs, negotiate for a lower price or back out of the transaction.

A home inspection is a vital part of a real estate transaction. Buyers are likely to have it done before they agree to buy the house. By performing a pre-selling inspection, there would be no surprises during the selling process. You are fully aware of the issues present in the house. You can either tackle these issues or just leave them as is. If you don’t have enough money to handle repairs, you can just disclose the issues to potential buyers and reduce the price of your home to accurately reflect its condition. They will uncover the truth eventually, so there is no point in concealing these issues.

By disclosing the issues in advance, it will help combat any suspicions they may have and reduce a buyer’s need for a price concession. It will also reduce the negotiation process since there won’t be much left for the buyers to negotiate on. With all the cards on the table, it will eliminate last-minute surprises and strengthen your home’s selling power.

Even if a buyer request to do their own home inspection, they are less likely to back out of the sale due to unsatisfactory conditions.

Get a pre-listing home inspection

Selling their house fast and for top dollar is a dream most home sellers share. This is why many of them spend time and money in beautifying their house. Often, sellers tend to focus on cleaning, decluttering, staging their home. We understand that you want your home to look its best. But if you want to get the most money out of your property, you need to look at the house with a buyer’s eyes.  

Having a pre-listing inspection will help you identify the issues you may have overlooked over the years. It will also give you a good idea about the current condition of your house. Equipped with this information, you’ll have the chance to take care of certain things before listing your home for sale. This will help increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Having a pre-listing inspection done, you can plan better and possibly a better price on your home. If you’re considering selling your home, please feel free to call us to schedule a pre-listing home inspection.

Jul15

6 Tips for Choosing a Home Inspector

Buying a house is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. You are finally fulfilling your dreams of becoming a homeowner. But considering the amount of money you’ll be spending on that property, you want to make sure that you do it right.

Most homebuyers make the mistake of falling head over heels on a particular property. Let’s face it. It can be difficult to resist the charm of an older house. With decades of history and unique character, a lot of buyers get smitten when they first encounter an old house. When buying a house, however, you shouldn’t just focus on the aesthetic appeal. You want to make sure that it’s in pristine condition as well. This is where a home inspection comes in handy.

A home inspection will help you learn as much as you can about the house you are interested in. It can be used as a tool for future planning. It can pinpoint problems, major defects, potential threats, and safety concerns present in the house, and even give you an idea about the life expectancy of the appliances, roof, furnace, and other systems. By knowing about the current condition of the property, you can plan ahead and make an informed decision. Playing such an important role in the home buying process, it is important that you hire a reputable home inspector.

Keep these tips in mind when hiring a home inspector.

Ask for referral

Buying a house isn’t something we do very often. Most people would only do it once or twice in their lifetime. That said, many of you may not have an idea where to find a home inspector. If you have family, friends or colleagues who recently bought a house, then don’t hesitate to ask them for referral.

Your real estate agent is also a great resource for referrals, especially if they have been in the business for a long time. He/she should be able to recommend a few well-qualified inspectors. Keep in mind, though, that real estate agents only work on a commission basis. They won’t get paid unless you buy the house. If you are confident that your real estate agent has your best interest at heart, then you can hire the home inspector he/she recommended. But to be on the safe side, we highly recommend that you do your research before you hire a home inspector.

Qualifications

Finding a reputable home inspectors require some research. There are so many home inspectors out there. Given that some states do not require licensing, anyone can just call themselves a home inspector. The last thing you want is to hire someone who is inexperienced and doesn’t know what he’s doing.

In the process of hiring a home inspector, it is best to narrow down your list to 3-5 inspectors, and speak to them one by one. You may want to ask about their qualifications and certifications. Although not all states require licensing, we recommend that you ask about their background and experience. How long has he been in the business? Also, be sure to hire someone who has undergone extensive training. Remember, it takes training and years of experience to develop the necessary skill and insights to be a legitimate home inspector.

If you are planning to buy an old house, it is best to hire an inspector with a background in inspecting similar houses. Older homes usually present problems and issues that are uncommon in newer houses.

Membership

Reputable home inspectors are typically members of InterNACHI and ASHI. InterNACHI stands for International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Meanwhile, ASHI stands for American Society of Home Inspectors.

When you choose to work with an InterNACHI and ASHI-certified home inspector, you can be sure that you’re working with a professional inspector, who has completed technical examinations, numerous inspection courses, and adhered to recognized standards of practice. Being a member of these organizations doesn’t necessarily mean that he/she is an expert, but you can be sure that you are dealing with a qualified and experienced inspector.

Ask for sample home inspection report

After the home inspection, you will receive a copy of the home inspection report. The report contains the details and findings of the inspection process. Most inspectors will have the report ready within 24 hours of inspection.

Home inspection reports come in different formats. Some come in narrative format, while others use a checklist-style report. Others even include photographs. Before you hire an inspector, we recommend that you obtain a sample of the home inspection report. This way, you can see whether the format works for you.

Carefully read through the inspection report. Is it comprehensive and easy to understand? A good report should be clearly written, identify the issues and what should be done to fix them. If they have included some photos, even better. It will be easier for you to discern described on the report if they are accompanied with photos.

Ask to attend the home inspection

The home inspection is your chance to learn more about the property you are interested in. While the home inspection report will point out the flaws and issues present in the house, it doesn’t compare to the experience of going through the house. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand the extent of the problem unless you have seen it in person.

We know that you have a hectic schedule, but we encourage you to carve out time out of your busy day to attend the home inspection. It will only take 2 to 3 hours of your time, but it will be worth it in the end. So go ahead and ask the inspector if you can take part of the process. If he says no, then that would be a major red flag. Do not hire that inspector.

A good inspector will allow you to tag along and even talk about any possible repairs that may be needed. Some would even give you estimates for repairs, so you’ll have an idea how much you’ll need to spend to make the house more liveable.

Compare costs

Buying a house can cost a small fortune. Aside from the down payment, there are also some added fees associated with home buying. Appraisal fee, taxes, closing fee, home inspection fee, moving costs, repair are just some of them. These fees can easily add up to several thousands of dollars.

Often, buyers are looking for ways to save money. Unfortunately, many of them would scrimp on home inspection. They would settle for the ones the lowest rate or skip it altogether. Considering how important the home inspection is in the buying process, you wouldn’t want to scrimp on the home inspection.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to save money and find a good deal. In fact, we recommend that you talk to 3-5 inspectors and compare costs. But if you are looking for a qualified home inspector, the rate should be the last thing to consider. Find a good inspector by using the tips above. He/she should be certified, have undergone extensive training, has years of experience, as well as detailed and thorough home inspection report. If the rate is amenable to you, then you may have found a good deal.

[12  >>