How To Pick A Home Inspection Company

Understanding Your Home Inspection Report

WHAT DOES A HOME INSPECTION REPORT LOOK LIKE?

What to consider when choosing home inspection software

A home inspection is a necessary step in purchasing a new home during a real estate transaction. Most buyers don’t know what to expect from a home inspection report or what’s included in a typical home inspection.

WHAT DOES A SAMPLE HOME INSPECTION REPORT LOOK LIKE?

Many modern home inspectors will deliver you a report in a digital and PDF format, that is viewable on a mobile device. The home inspection report should be highly visual and easy to navigate with a table of contents and summary.

What’s included in a home inspection report?

You’ll likely find a home inspection report broken down as follows:

  1. An informational section that lists general details about the house, like its square footage and construction date
  2. A table of contents
  3. A general summary that includes major issues with the house
  4. Details about major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability

Any defects associated with major systems will be described in the report and often will come with recommendations on how to proceed with the issues (i.e. if a system is old and starts to break down, the home inspector could suggest replacing it in the near future).

You can expect a home inspector to include information about:

  • Structural components like the foundation and framing of the home
  • Exterior features like siding, porches, balconies, walkways, and driveways
  • Roof features like shingles, flashing, and skylights
  • Plumbing systems like pipes, drains, and water heating equipment
  • Electrical equipment like service panels, breakers, and fuses
  • Heating and cooling systems

How to analyze a home inspection report for negotiations

Once the inspection is complete, the buyer will receive the report and determine their next move. Depending on what the home inspector reported, a buyer could drop out of the sale completely, reconsider their initial offer, request repairs or repair credit, or (in rare cases) move forward without any action.

Unfortunately, unless you pay for a pre-inspection, the buyer is the only one who receives a copy of the home inspection report. However, since the buyer will use statements in the report as leverage for negotiations, they’ll often provide a copy of the section to support their requests.

You can request a copy of the home inspection report, but it’s up to the buyer to decide whether or not they want to give it to you. After all, they did pay for it. In the event that the buyer walks away from the sale completely, they’ll often hand the report over so you can make the fixes that sent them running in the first place.

There are ways to prepare and things to keep in mind to help you negotiate the home inspection report without actually seeing it for yourself. Here are some things you can do while you await your fate.

Inspection Issues That Will Cost You

Beyond health issues, look for expensive fixes. “The big-ticket items are structural, electrical, and mechanical issues. “An HVAC, furnace, major appliance, or water heater that isn’t functioning properly is a red flag that is worth raising to a seller.” He seconds the warning about older roofs, not only because of water-damage concerns but also because replacing them can be expensive. Foundation cracks are another costly fix and hint at structural damage.

A few issues that can range in cost to repair: Termites are fairly common in older homes, but the extent of their damage can vary. “If the presence of termites is detected—either past damage or active infestation—it’s up to the seller to fix this issue before the sale can proceed. Make sure to ask your inspector (or a termite expert) about the extent of the structural damage before going back to the seller. Mold is another one to investigate. “Finding mold is never a good thing, but know that it can always be removed,” Rob says, though the cost can be great. One home he helped a friend purchase turned out to have “some major ventilation issues in the attic,” with “massive amounts of mold” uncovered by the inspector. “After consulting an expert, we learned that the issue was so extensive that it required a complete roof replacement to ensure that the mold wouldn’t grow back.” While certainly an extreme example, with mold there is often more to it than meets the eye—and therefore worth getting a second opinion if you see it noted in the report.

Remember, inspectors can’t see through walls or ceilings. “They can only inspect what they have access to.” If you’re still interested in buying a home that’s been flagged for the presence of mold, termites, or even asbestos. “it’s a good idea to bring in specialists to investigate just how rampant these problems are within the home, and how much it might cost to fix them.” And yes, you’ll want to do that before moving ahead with the purchase of the home; depending on how much remediation is required, you might need to go back and negotiate price and repair with the seller.

5 Pointers for Reading and Interpreting Your Home Inspection Report

1. Be with Your Inspector During the Inspection

Being present during the actual home inspection process will allow you to understand the context of what will be written in the home inspection report. This, however, doesn’t mean you should follow the inspector like a pest, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask what the inspector is doing or writing down if you don’t know what’s going on.

Most professional home inspectors will happily answer your questions while they work, provided you don’t get in the way of them doing their job, of course.

2. Zero-in on the State of Your Electrical Status

If you want to sell an older home, be sure to check the part of the report that talks about your electrical system. If it says it’s up to code, it means it can handle modern electrical appliances. Even if you have a relatively new home, it’s not uncommon for many homes to have inadequate electrical systems, usually the result of contractors ignoring building codes or homeowners adding outlets outside an approved junction box.

3. Check Your Roof and Chimney

A problematic or dirty chimney not only reduces your home’s value, it can also be a serious fire hazard. If you have a leaky chimney or one that’s been damaged by water, your home inspector may recommend conducting the inspection when it’s raining to verify leaks and cracks. Repairing chimneys can be complicated, and often you’ll get varying quotes from people that offer to fix them, so an inspection will let you get to the bottom of the problem in an unbiased manner.

4. Check for Damage Caused by Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew damage can be a massive repair headache, especially when you catch it when the problem is already extensive. Mold and mildew not only smell bad, it can be a serious health hazard, causing asthma and other respiratory problems.

If your home has an underground crawl space or basement, be sure to check the report for any information on its condition. Selling a home with a serious mold and mildew problem can be next to impossible.

5. How’s Your Plumbing?

Be sure check what notes the home inspector took down concerning your plumbing. Faulty and leaky plumbing can lead to an expensive repair job, so be sure you know what’s going on in this area.

Reliable home inspectors won’t just check the pipes inside your home, they will also check the condition of the exterior plumbing. Seeing as how costly plumbing issues can be, it’s generally a good idea to be present during this part of the inspection and ask as many questions as you can.

And remember, home buyers expect a house’s plumbing to be in top condition before even thinking of buying it, so it’s something you need to have repaired before putting your home on the market.

Understanding Your Home Inspection Report

So What Is A Home Inspection Exactly?

Sometimes, as a professional Home Inspector or pest inspector, I get asked “Exactly what is a Home Inspection?”. And for someone who hasn’t ever been directly exposed to a residential real estate transaction, and perhaps for some that have, it is an excellent question.

In large part, any definition to be applied to the phrase Home Inspection is dependent on where the Home Inspection is being conducted (in what State or municipality) and on what organization, if any, the Home Inspector might have an affiliation. Many states have adopted licensing requirements; some have not. It is worthy of note that an inspection of a home (note that I did not refer to it as a Home Inspection…) conducted in a State with no licensing requirements, by an individual with no or minimal experience and no professional association affiliation, may just be whatever he or she decides it will be at any given time…very, very scary indeed! And, If things are as they should be, we ought to be able to answer the subject question without having to determine what the definition of “Is” is.

When Does a Home Inspection Happen During a Home Sale?

In a home sale, there are two types of home inspections: a buyer’s inspection and a seller’s inspection (or a pre-listing inspection). A buyer’s inspection occurs after the buyer has made an offer on the home, and before closing the sale. After a home inspection, the buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer or request repairs if certain issues come up.

A seller’s home inspection happens before the home is listed. Some sellers choose to get their home inspected as they’re beginning to prepare their house for sale, so they can fix any potential issues beforehand and save time in the closing process.

We’ll touch on the positives and negatives of a pre-inspection a little later.

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

A typical home inspection takes a few hours for an average sized house. Then the report takes about 3-4 days to complete. The home inspector will go through the interior and exterior of the house to record any broken, defected, or hazardous issues with the house and the area surrounding the house.

Buell emphasizes, “The key thing that we look for are safety issues.”

Who Should Be Present During the Home Inspection?

Anyone is allowed to stick around for the home inspection. However, whoever arranges and schedules the home inspection should always be present while the home inspector is there.

Home inspectors have mo such limitations.

Because most local code inspectors are underpaid and overworked, some things get overlooked. In this area, a major city area, code inspectors usually spend a total of 10 – 20 minutes inspecting a house. The average home inspection can take between 2 and 4 hours and is much more comprehensive and detailed. The major difference is that while code inspectors have the authority to require repairs, they have no liability of they miss something significant. With home inspectors, the exact opposite is true. We can call problems out in more detail, but we cannot require that any repairs be done, we can only recommend. The final decision is up to the client.

Many home inspectors also have specialized training to go above and beyond what a normal home inspector would do.,  These things include thermal imaging (using an infrared camera), electrical circuit analysis, mold and Radon testing, to name just a few.  There is also national professional association training and certifications that greatly exceed what almost all states required.

Basic safety checklist

Safety should always be primary to the home inspector, which is why many of the things on the home inspector’s checklist are safety items. Four things they’re on the lookout for include:

  • Smoke detectors: Does the home have them? Are they installed correctly and in the right places (in or near sleeping areas but not too close to the stove)?
  • Ground fault interrupters: These are the special plugs that protect you from shock in areas where water and electricity are in proximity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Safety glass: Are the glass features installed near stairs or water (like tubs and showers), made of safety (or “tempered”) glass?
  • Stairs: Are the steps a uniform, safe height and angle? Do stairs have handrails and guardrails correctly installed and in the right places?

Components of a Home Inspection

The Home Inspector – A home inspector is more than someone that has some construction knowledge or experience. A home inspector is a problem solver and will need to understand the subtle signs of component failures and have the ability to direct the client to the solutions. Home Inspectors must be expert communicators also. The presentation is important both verbally and in writing. And have no doubt that he/she may be an employee of a company but his/her prime motto is the well being of your home.

State of the Art Tools & Technology – The Home Inspector is armed with the latest tools & technologies to detect issues, even the hidden ones.

The Inspection Process – The inspection team typically consists of home inspector, electrician & a plumber. The process involves a non-invasive, visual examination of all accessible areas and its respective elements along with any add-on components.

Software driven Report – Software driven reports are generated within 24 hours of the inspection process is completed and submitted to the clients which explains the issues along with relevant real time pictures and its relevant solutions.

Remove Mold With Mold Inspection

Mold Problem – How to Check For Mold in Your Home

Proper inspection of the house every year and proactive cautions are very important to get rid of this deadly mold problem. A home is an expensive asset of a person which can easily be damaged by a mold, there are 50 types of harmful molds that can destroy the health of a person in a few hours.

Point of Concern:

It is recommended to wear a mask or gloves at the time of inspection, it helps to prevent the unnecessary contact and harmful inhaling.

Identification of mold

Mold problems are different in types according to the palace;

It may be in different color like white, black, yellow or brown.

Its texture may be like leather or cotton.

It carries a rotten or pungent odor.

MOLD, ALLERGEN AND PARTICULATES INSPECTION AND TESTING

Mold is a fungus that can be found everywhere, but it will grow more aggressively in moist areas without proper ventilation, or on surfaces that do not dry easily. Modern building materials and methods, such as well insulated homes where outside air does not easily come into the house, allow for mold growth.

While some types of fungi may be useful (to make antibiotics, cheeses and beer), others are toxic and potentially harmful. Increased awareness of sicknesses associated with mold and the concern of insurance companies to insure property that is mold infested has made testing for mold almost a necessity when buying or selling a home.

Mold may or may not be visible. When it is, it appears as a surface stain or discoloration, or as a dark growth. At times, a musty smell is present. Mold poses a health hazard when present in large quantities, called colonies.

With our mold testing services we conduct an initial non-intrusive visual inspection focused on the discovery of mold growth and moisture intrusion – the leading causes of fungal contamination and mold growth.

  • Use of a moisture meter and thermo-imaging (as needed) to help locate areas of actively wet building materials.
  • Use of a temperature and humidity meter to determine the relative humidity in the areas inspected.
  • Outdoor cursory check, if the living areas inspected have outside walls.

Mold Inspections in San Diego, California

If your home smells moldy but you cannot see the mold source, you might need a mold inspection to locate hidden mold. Also, you might want a mold inspection if your San Diego home had water damage or if you (or your tenants) are experiencing health problems. Mold could be hidden in many possible places including:

Back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling

Top side of ceiling tiles

Underside of carpets and pads

Inside walls around pipes that are leaking or have condensation

On walls behind furniture where moisture has formed

Inside ductwork

Roof materials above ceiling tiles from roof leaks or insufficient insulation

Why You Must Need San Diego Mold Removal If Infested:

Mold removal in San Diego CA has recently become one of the most common service residents in San Diego are looking for. This further confirms the data, why San Diego ranks number #1 spot in the list of cities most affected by mold in California State. Mold causes serious health risks, especially to young children and this is why it becomes mandatory to get rid of that as soon as possible. A major mold infestation can ruin your home value—and your health! When you find mold growing in your home, sound the alarm and get rid of it fast. Delay can mean extensive and costly remediation and repairs. Without proper mold removal, the mold can go dormant until the next bit of moisture revives it. Mold Removal in San Diego should not be hurting your pockets. Getting quotes from various mold remediation companies in San Diego will take care of this problem without breaking your budget.

Air Quality in the Home

Indoor Air Quality testing Services we provide include;

Pre-remediation mold inspection and air and/or direct sampling for mold in your homes IAQ.

Post-remediation clearance testing to ensure your remediated areas are “clear and ready for occupation.”

VOC testing for the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds in your homes IAQ.

Tobacco smoke testing for the presence of tobacco smoke in your homes IAQ.

Formaldehyde testing for the presence of Formaldehyde in your homes IAQ.

Radon testing for the presence of Radon in your homes IAQ.

IAQ Testing for the presence of Alergens in your homes IAQ.

Indoor Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality is just a fancy term for whether the air in your home is safe to breathe.  Whether you are buying or selling, or if you are just interested in maintaining a current residence, educating yourself on the air quality in your home will help to ensure that the health and safety of all residents, as indoor air quality can affect all living things inside the home.