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Articles tagged with: home inspector

Feb21

Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Water Heater in Top Shape

Your water heater is one of those important household appliances you rely on the most, especially during the chilly winter months. Unfortunately, most people do not give their water heaters much thought until something goes wrong. Just like any other piece of equipment, it needs your attention occasionally to save energy and prolong its life.

When harsh winter weather arrives, you want to make sure your water heater is working efficiently. With these maintenance tips, you can increase your water heater’s efficiency and longevity, saving the hassle and expense of a premature replacement.

Insulate your water heater tank

A water heater tank that is warm to the touch needs additional insulation. Go ahead and touch your tank. Insulating your water heater tank is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the energy efficiency and extend the life of your water heater. It can improve its efficiency by up to 40% and reduce standby heat loss by 25-45%.

Install a heavy insulation blanket if your water heater is located in an unconditioned space such as the attic, garage or basement. Don’t forget to insulate your pipes as well.

Flush the tank

Over time, sediment and sludge can collect and settle at the bottom of your water heater. This will prevent your water heater from running efficiently and may even rack up your energy bills.

Flushing out these deposits will ensure that your water is in top shape and prevent malfunctions. The frequency with which to flush a water heater depends on the amount of water used and the size of the tank.

Check for leaks and drips

Water heater leak is something you shouldn’t ignore. If you do not act fast, it can morph into a major flooding disaster that can cause significant damage to your property.

Look for signs of a water heater leak. If you notice a pool of water beneath the tank, a leak inside the tank could be the culprit. Sometimes, a water leak can be hard to determine, especially if the leak is slow. Let your senses guide you. Turn off external sources of sounds, stand beside your water heater, and listen for the sounds of water rushing or dripping. Follow the sound and search for visual signs of a leak. If you hear water, but no apparent signs of a leak, there may be a break inside the tank.

Feb13

3 Reasons to Get a Pre-Listing Inspection

3 Reasons to Get a Pre-Listing Inspection

A pre-listing inspection is done before the house is listed on the market. Some sellers think it’s an unnecessary expense. After all, the buyer will have to get an inspection later on. So, why bother?

There are a few ways that a pre-listing inspection can benefit home sellers. Here are some of them.

Ensures a smoother, more efficient transaction

Selling a house can be stressful. Not knowing if there is something wrong with the house can add to your stress. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like surprises, then we highly recommend that you have the house inspected before selling.

Getting ahead of the game and understanding your home’s condition is a big boon to your peace of mind. Your inspector will provide you with a thorough report that may help avoid the unpleasant surprises a home inspection may bring to light later on.

There will be less issues for your agent and the buyer’s agent to hash through, and prevent you from becoming entangled in long negotiations. 

Allows seller to make repairs before listing the house

Majority of home buyers are looking for a house that is in pristine, move-in ready condition. They aren’t keen on tackling repairs or renovations after moving in on their new house. By getting a pre-listing inspection, you’ll have a good idea about the overall condition on the house.

You have the option to make repairs before listing the house. Not only will it improve your chances of selling, it can also help you sell for top dollar. Since you have enough time to make repairs, you can still shop around and get the best deals from contractors; thus, helping you save a lot of money in the process.

Helps the seller and agent to price the house more accurately

If you want to sell your house fast, it is important to price it appropriately. The problem is that, most sellers have an inflated view of what their home is worth.

In order to price your home right, you need to look at the selling price of similar houses in the area. Also, you should consider the condition of your home. A pre-listing inspection will help you get a clear picture about the state of your house. This will make pricing the home accurately much easier.

Jan13

4 Tips to Avoid a Costly Winter Plumbing Leak

4 Tips to Avoid a Costly Winter Plumbing Leak

Once the air temperature drops below freezing, pipes in unheated spaces may freeze. Standing water left in the pipes will freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst and flood your home. Damage from frozen or burst pipes can cost thousands of dollars in water damage to your home.

Prepare your plumbing in advance to avoid a costly disaster this winter season.

Insulate pipes

Pipes in unheated spaces such as the garage, attic, and basement are more prone to freezing and bursting. Luckily, preventing freezing pipes can be as easy as installing fiberglass or foam insulation.

Pipe insulation will not prevent your pipes from freezing, it can also improve the life and performance of your plumbing.  

If your home’s plumbing system is not properly insulated, have it wrapped with insulation to keep the pipes warm.

Disconnect water hoses outside your home

As mentioned above, water inside the pipes may freeze and expand during a cold snap. As such, winterizing your outdoor garden hose is a wise move. 

Most exterior faucets have a separate shutoff valve. Locate the shut-off valve and turn it off. Go outside and open the faucet. Drain any water out of the pipe. Let the water run until it is fully drained. Drain the hose entirely of water and store it inside the house.

Keep the heat on

Energy bills rise during the winter. Some people turn the thermostat down in the hopes of saving energy. Saving energy is good. But before you go crazy with turning the thermostat really low, you also have to think about your pipes.

Turning the heat too low increases the risk of frozen and ruptured pipes. Be sure to keep the heat on and set the thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and prevent water inside from freezing. 

It is also a good idea to leave the cabinet doors under the kitchen sink open, so the air can warm the pipes.

Know where your home’s main water valve is

In case of a major incident such a frozen pipe that has burst, you need to shut off water supply to your entire home. Everyone in your home should know where the main shutoff valve is located, and how to turn it off in case of emergency. This is the best protection against a catastrophic water damage.

Jan02

When to Reduce the Asking Price for Your Home

When to Reduce the Asking Price for Your Home

Your Denver, Colorado house is one of your biggest assets. When it comes time to sell your house, you want to make sure that you get the most money out of it. Often, sellers jack up the selling price, thinking their house is special. After all, they spent several years and have created lots of memories in that house. But in a slow market, it is not uncommon for Colorado sellers to reduce their asking price.

If you are selling your house and you’re thinking about a price reduction, then this blog post is for you. How do you know when it’s time to reduce the asking price for your home? Read on and we’ll tell you more about it.

You’re selling in a buyer’s market

A buyer’s market is a market with lots of inventories. When the inventory is high, the demand falls. In a buyer’s market, buyers have the upper-hand. Given that there are lots of houses to choose from, they would take their time looking at houses until they find the one that suits their taste and their budget.

In order to attract multiple offers, you’ll have to price your home competitively. If you’re motivated to sell and you want to do it fast, then you need to consider the current market value of similar homes in your area. That means, selling your house at a lower price than you initially expect.

If you’re not in a hurry to sell, it might be best to just take the house off the market and continue living in your home until the market rebounds.

You’re not receiving offers

Haven’t received a single purchase offer since you put your house on the market? That can be frustrating, I know. But before you decide to reduce your asking price, you need to determine the reason why you can’t close the deal.

Walk around the house and look at the house from a buyer’s perspective. Does it look nice from the outside? Is it in good shape? Now, take a look at your online listing. Does it include high quality photos? Do the pictures show the best features of your house? If not, then you may want to improve on these aspects and see how it goes.

How about your selling price? We understand that you want to get the most out of your property. But in order to sell it, you need to price it right. Overpricing is the worst mistake a home seller can make. If you’re not willing to reduce your selling price, then you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Getting a home inspection will also give the seller an idea of how to price the home. If the home is in dyer repair, the price will be lower than expected. 

Dec18

Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home This Winter

Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home This Winter

Water damage is a Colorado homeowner’s worse nightmare.  Whether it comes from a leaky pipe, malfunctioning appliance, burst pipe or a devastating storm, just the thought of water flooding your home is enough to make a homeowner shudder. Luckily, it can be prevented.

Use these tips to minimize the risk of flooding or water damage to your Denver Colorado home this winter.

Prevent frozen pipes

Frozen pipes are no fun. They can cost thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention the risk of mold and microbial growth

Pipes in crawl spaces, attics and outside walls are vulnerable to freezing and bursting during the winter months. Water freezes and expands when the temperatures dip below freezing. Since the pipes are rigid, they are likely to burst when there’s too much expansion.

Insulate the pipes that are exposed to cold air. Make sure all the pipes, including the corners and elbows are protected. Also, keep the faucet open during extreme cold weather to release pressure moving down the pipe. This can help reduce the risk of bursting due to frozen pipes. If you are going on vacation, and the weather is very cold outside, we recommend that you leave the heat on in your home.

Check your water heater

Water heaters have an average lifespan of about 8 to 12 years. But if not properly cared for, sediments can build up inside the tank and corrode. Eventually, this may cause your water heater to leak or overflow.

A leaking water heater can cause massive damage. To prevent this from happening, check your water heater periodically for pooling water on the stand it rests on or on the top of the tank. Also, check for moisture surrounding the plumbing connections.

Clean gutters

Cleaning gutters is an easy job to put off. What people fail to realize is that this simple task can actually prevent future water damage.

Your gutter works by directing water away from your home’s foundation. But if there’s a build up of debris in your gutter, it might not be able to do its job properly. As a result, water may spill through the roof, into your foundation and down to your basement.

Dec12

Top Tips for Selling Your Home in Winter

Top Tips for Selling Your Home in Winter

Selling a house is not an easy task. The freezing temps, snow, and the fact that everybody is busy preparing for the holidays make selling a house even more difficult during the Colorado winter. This is why a lot of sellers choose to wait until spring before putting their home on the market.

If you are ready to sell your house, you don’t have to wait. Here are 4 tips for selling your home in winter.

Make the most of your entrance

Winter can be dark and dreary, but that doesn’t mean that your home should look old and boring.

Spice up your home by painting your front door with a bold color. This will boost curb appeal and make your home more inviting. Evergreen plants can also liven up a drab landscape.

If you live in areas where snow falls, it is important that you clear your walkways and driveway of snow and ice. You want to make sure that potential buyers can make it to your front door without an accident.

Get the temperature right

No one likes hanging out in a chilly house. Pump up that thermostat. You want the temperature to be comfortable enough and to give potential buyers a reason to linger.

Now is not the time worry about your utility bill.

Let natural light in

Dark and cramped spaces are a big turnoff for potential homebuyers. After all, no one wants to walk into their new home and feel like they are trapped in a dungeon. Make sure your home has plenty of natural light.

Maximize natural light in your home by opening your curtains and blinds during the day. It can make your house so much brighter instantaneously. It is also a good idea to examine your windows. Any dirt or cloudiness on your panes will deflect light. If you wish to let more natural light in, get scrubbing.

Get into the festive spirit

Aim for tasteful decorations such as a nice wreath on the front door, a pinecone centerpiece, and silver glass ornaments. When adding holiday decorations, pay attention to the color scheme. Skip the red and green garland if your living rooms has a clean, all-white color scheme. Rather, opt for white candles and a white tree to complement your palette.

One last pro-tip; you want to keep neutrality throughout, so you better leave the life-sized nativity scene in storage.

Dec04

4 Things to Do Around the House Before Winter Arrives

4 Things to Do Around the House Before Winter Arrives

Winter is on its way. For many of us, that means heavy jackets, freezing temps, and snow. It’s time to start getting your Colorado home prepared for the winter months ahead.

Here’s a list of projects you should consider completing before Old Man Winter bears down on your area.

Seal cracks and holes around doors and windows

Any holes or cracks around the doors and windows let lots of cold air in and allow heated air to escape. If left unaddressed, this can cause your heating bill to skyrocket.

Seal the air leaks around your doors and windows to keep cold air from entering your house. Foam weather stripping can help eliminate those air leaks. Rope caulk can effectively seal larger gaps.

Inspect your roof

Your roof essentially protects your entire household. You want to make sure it is in good repair before the temperatures dip.

Visually inspect your roof. One of the easiest ways to spot roof leaks is through your attic. Go to the attic on a sunny day and turn the lights off. Look for small specs of light coming through the shutters. Also, look for streaked or water-stained areas on the beams or roof trusses. If you spot any of these, it is best to call in a professional and have it repaired.

Minor roof damage can lead to leaks and an assortment of problems eventually. Get your roof fixed before the weather turns bad.

Clean the gutter

It is not uncommon for gutters to accumulate leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters can spell trouble for your home. They can allow snow and melting ice to seep into your roof or flood your home’s foundation. This is why it is important to clean and flush out your gutters at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall.  

Most people dread getting on the roof to clean the gutters. Keeping your gutters clean is a must to keep them performing properly and protect your roof, walls, and foundation from damage.

Schedule heating maintenance

During the winter, the furnace becomes your most important appliance. It helps keep you and your family warm and toasty despite the frigid weather. That said, you want to make sure that your heating system is up to snuff and ready to roll before winter weather strikes.

Schedule your annual HVAC maintenance to ensure your furnace operates optimally in winter.

During the HVAC inspection, your professional technician will check all parts of the furnace, make repairs and make sure that the system is clean and in good repair. If you put it off until winter, you might have to wait for a long time because a lot of homeowners are also in need of their services.

Nov20

How to Sell Your House for Top Dollar

How to Sell Your House for Top Dollar

Unless you have already bought your forever home, the time will come when you will need to sell your Denver home. When that time comes, you want to make sure that you get the most money out of your Colorado property. After all, it is your biggest asset.

Use these tips to sell your Colorado home quickly and for the highest price possible.

Improve curb appeal

Curb appeal is how your house looks from across the street. If you are looking to sell your house, then you need to make a good first impression. Improving your home’s curb appeal will not only attract potential buyers, it will also increase the value of your property.

You don’t need to spend a huge sum of money to catapault the appeal of your home. Simple, inexpensive makeovers such as washing and repainting your home’s exterior can make your house sparkle. Plus, it can add greater value to the asking price.

Price it right

Sometimes, sellers are tempted to jack up the price of their house in the hopes of getting the most money out of their property. However, this strategy may backfire.

Majority of homebuyers have been looking for the perfect house for months. Often, they are most interested in new listings. You can expect more viewings and receive more offers during the first 2 weeks of listing, provided that the property is priced competitively. If it is significantly more expensive than similar properties, prospective buyers may lose interest and your house may linger on the market longer than expected. Nobody wants a house that rots on the market.

If you want to sell your house quickly and for top dollar, you need to price your based on the estimated market value. Keep an eye on similar properties nearby to make sure your pricing is similar.

Get the house in tip-top condition

Most buyers are looking for their dream home. They are looking for a house that doesn’t just look good, but is in good, move-in condition as well.

Before putting your house on the market, it is imperative that you focus on some home improvement projects. Tackle some issues such as plumbing problems, leaky roof, chipping paint, and a dingy floor. You want to make sure that your house is in pristine condition before selling.

Preparing your home for sale is one of best things you can do to maximize its value and make it more competitive on the market.

Sep20

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

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.

Jun06

Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

Most buyers have a house inspected before they buy it. One of the biggest fears of sellers is for buyers to find out about some issues they aren’t aware of. This is why it is important to have the property inspected before putting it on the market.  

Getting a pre-listing inspection offers some benefits to sellers. It will help you determine what condition your house is in and avoid any unexpected surprises. This will ensure that the selling process goes smoothly and gets you the most money for your home.

Hire a good inspector

There are lots of inspectors out there. Since home inspectors in some states are not required to be licensed, it can be difficult to identify the good ones from the bad ones. Anyone can easily pose as a home inspector, especially in states where regulations are not stringent.

If you have family or friends who recently bought or sold a house, feel free to ask for recommendations. Your real estate agent may also know a good inspector. But before you hire one, make sure that you do some research to protect yourself from hiring an unqualified home inspector. Go online and read reviews from past clients. It is also a good idea to interview the inspector, ask a few questions and see a sample of a home inspection report.

Prepare the house for inspection

The primary purpose of a home inspection is to examine the condition of the house. In order to do their job properly, inspectors will need access to different parts of your home. They need access to the attic, basement, garage, crawlspace, and other areas. Get rid of clutter and remove anything that blocks access. Prepare each area for inspection and unlock all doors before the inspector arrives.

Attend the home inspection

Attending the home inspection isn’t mandatory. But whenever possible, we strongly recommend that you be present during the inspection.

By attending the inspection, you’ll be able to identify the issues you have never noticed and determine which ones need immediate repair. This way, you can make certain repairs prior to selling.

Read the report

A home inspection report is basically a huge list of everything that is wrong with your house. Make sure that you read the report carefully and thoroughly to help you understand the condition of your home. If you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar, you need to pay attention on major issues as well as those that can pose a threat on the health of potential homeowners. You want to make sure that your house is in pristine condition before putting it on the market.