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Home Inspection

Recommended Home Inspection Company: Accurate Inspection LLC Radon Man LLC

If you are buying a home, an inspection could reveal problems you never would have noticed. An inspection can require the seller to fix what needs fixing before you buy the home. You could also find issues that make you decide not to buy. If you're a seller, an inspection can help you find problems before you put the house on the market, letting you make the repairs without wrangling over the cost with a potential buyer. Learn why you should get an inspection before selling your home.

A typical home inspection covers all major mechanical systems, structural integrity and cosmetic features this includes:

  • Heating & cooling systems
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Interior and exterior
  • Garages
  • Slabs
  • Baths

  • Kitchen- which includes cabinets, counters, sinks, faucets, garbage disposals and built-in appliances
  • Exterior walls
  • Parapets, trim
  • Chimney
  • Foundation
  • Basement and crawl space

*Pest Inspections are typically conducted as a separate fee but are conducted the same day if requested.

Inspectors examine the attic and roof to assess the insulation, ventilation, framing, roof surface, flashing, penetrations, drainage, overhangs, gutters and downspouts.

A home inspection should take approx. 2 hours or more, depending on the complexity of the job. Costs range from $300 to $600 for typical homes.

Day of Inspection

The inspector performs an initial site evaluation. Then the inspector takes you on a tour to point out the assets as well as any potential problems. Pay attention, watch, ask questions and learn. A thorough inspection can find problems related to water entry, roof leaks, insect infestation, unsafe wiring, failed septic systems, poor plumbing, wet basements, mold and mildew, and safety hazards.

At the end of the inspection, you receive a written report detailing all the findings. The report should contain photographs and descriptions of any damage or defects found during the inspection as well as details on the location of damage. Pictures help you understand the scope and location of the damage, and visual proof makes it easier to get repair estimates.

So how can an inspector have expertise in so many different things? The simple answer is: Some don't. That's why it's important to check an inspector's background and references. 

Most home inspections are thorough, but even the best inspectors might not catch everything. The condition of the home is the 'snapshot' of that day. The home inspector is not going to find every possible thing wrong or that could go wrong. That's an unrealistic expectation.

Choosing the Right Inspector

Look for an inspector before you shop for a home. If you choose a home first, time is critical and you may feel pressured to pick the first inspector you meet.

  • Ask friends and family for recommendations or look up a list of local inspectors on the American Society of Home Inspectors website, (Ashi Website) Interview inspectors, ask about their backgrounds, the length of time they've been in the business, number of inspections they've performed and type of report they provide.
  • Look for an inspector with a broad knowledge of a home's systems and structures, not just a specialized person; such as a plumber or electrician.
  • Make sure your inspector is objective, independent and does not have any affiliation with the real estate agency selling the home.
  • Choose an inspector who carries errors and omissions insurance.
  • Take the time to speak with several inspectors and have confidence in their skills and demeanor.
  • Be sure your inspector is familiar with the particular type of house you're considering. Homes of different ages, designs and materials each have special risks and offer special signs, symptoms and clues to hidden damage.
  • Choose an inspector who can deliver a completed report with plenty of time for review. 
  • Request an electronic copy so you can email it to friends and family.

Home Staging Guide

When Realtors talk about staging your home, they're referring to a method of decorating your home that is designed to showcase its best assets, impress buyers, and sell it quickly. In a NAR 2017 survey, 29% of sellers agents said the sales price for staged homes were between 1% and 5% higher than un-staged homes. Staged homes sell faster, 39% of sellers agents reported that staging a home reduces days on the market. 77% of them say it is easier for people to visualize a staged home as their own.

Why Home Staging Is Important

Relative to the amount of time and money involved, staging may be one of the most lucrative projects you ever undertake. Potential buyers aren't just looking for a structure to inhabit, they're also looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyles. Staging can create a more emotional purchase for the buyer, which ultimately can generate more money for the seller. Buyers don't want to see work that needs to be done upon moving into the home. For every problem they see, they’ll deduct its cost from their offering price. If they see too many problems, they may pass on buying the home completely.

Staging Tips

While there are plenty of room-specific staging tips, if you're on a limited budget, it's best to focus on big-picture improvements and on the areas that will make the biggest difference in your home's selling price.The exterior and the entryway are an important point of focus because they can heavily impact a buyer's first impression.The living room, kitchen, all bathrooms, the master bedroom, and outdoor living space, such as a back patio, are also important.

Declutter

The most essential task when staging a house involves purging and deep cleaning, an empty-as-possible house looks bigger. Remove knick-knacks and personal items from all surfaces. Don’t just put them in closets; potential buyers usually look in those, and you want yours to appear roomy. Box up spare belongings and get them out of the house.

Clean

In the kitchen, many potential buyers are looking for new appliances that come with the home. If you can't purchase new appliances, make sure the ones you have are spotless. Make sure your bathroom sparkles, from the corners of the tub, to the sink drain, to that spot behind the toilet you don't think anyone can see. Your goal should be to make everything look new.

Depersonalize

Buyers need to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove all the family photos, refrigerator art, put away all the toys and anything else that is highly personal or evocative of the home's current inhabitants.

Remove Odors

Pets, kids, cooked food, a moist bathroom, smoking, your sink, trash and many other conditions can make your home smell. You are immune to your home's aromas, ask a friend or neighbor to get their opinion. Air out the entire house by opening the windows air fresheners or scented candles can trigger allergies, and you don’t want prospective buyers feeling itchy.
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If you have pets, wash everything they touch. Consider hiring a professional.

Define Rooms

Make sure that each room has a single, defined purpose. And make sure that every space within each room has a purpose. This will help buyers see how to maximize the home's square footage. A finished basement can become an entertainment room, and a junk room can be transformed into a guest bedroom. Even if the buyer doesn't want to use the room for the same purpose, the important thing is for them to see that every inch of the home is usable space. This includes alcoves, window seats, corners, breakfast nooks, etc.

Wallpaper and Paint

Take advantage of your home's natural light. Open all curtains and blinds when showing your home. Add supplemental lighting where necessary. Outdated or broken light fixtures can be cheaply and easily replaced. If you think your existing fixtures are fine, make sure to dust them including light bulbs and clean off any grime. Play with different color temperatures of lighting, the whiter the light, the more it looks like daylight. 

Light & Bright

Take advantage of your home's natural light. Open all curtains and blinds when showing your home. Add supplemental lighting where necessary. Outdated or broken light fixtures can be cheaply and easily replaced. If you think your existing fixtures are fine, make sure to dust them including light bulbs and clean off any grime. Play with different color temperatures of lighting, the whiter the light, the more it looks like daylight.

Furniture

Make sure furniture is the right size for the room, and don't clutter a room with too much of it.

A good rule of thumb is to remove about half your furniture. Furniture that's too big will make a room look small, too little or too small furniture can make a space feel cold. Don't use cheap furniture, either. You don't have to pay a lot of money to switch out your existing furniture. (You may even be able to rent the furniture you stage your home with). Either way, make sure the furniture looks nice, new, and inviting. You'll also want to arrange the furniture in a way that makes each room feel spacious and homey.

​​​​​​​The NAR survey found the living room is the most crucial space to stage, next comes the master bedroom, followed by the kitchen. Your last priority can be any extra bedrooms.

Walls and Ceilings

Cracks in the walls or ceiling are red flags to buyers because they may indicate foundation problems. If your home does have foundation problems, you will need to either fix them or alert  potential buyers to them; fixing any foundation problems would be better in terms of getting the home sold. If the foundation only looks bad but has been deemed sound by an inspector, repair the cracks so you don't scare off buyers.

Curb Appeal

Your home's exterior will be the potential buyer's first impression. It may even determine their interest in viewing the inside. Make sure your lawn, hedges, trees, and other plants are well-maintained, and neatly pruned and eliminate any weeds. Make sure the sidewalk leading up to the house is clear and clean. To brighten windows, wash them well, and consider adding flower boxes or add potted plants on your front stoop.Power wash your home's exterior can make it look almost freshly painted but with less effort and expense. If you have a pool, showcase it by making sure it's crystal clear. 

Final Touches

Just before any open house or showing, make sure that your staging efforts have the maximum impact with a few last-minute touches that will make the home seem warm and inviting. These include putting fresh flowers in vases, letting fresh air into the house for at least ten minutes beforehand so it isn't stuffy, and putting new, plush, nicely folded towels in the bathrooms and closing the toilet lids.

The Bottom Line

Even if you have plenty of cash, don't put too much money into the staging process. You want to emphasize the home's best features, but keep in mind that what sells the home and what will make the home usable for the buyer are not necessarily the same thing. Overall, to get the most bang for your buck, your home staging efforts should be designed to appeal to the widest  possible range of buyers. The more people willing to submit purchase offers for your home, the higher the selling price will be.

Pest Inspection

A pest inspection generally focuses on wood-destroying insects. Price for Service $75 Inspector may discuss the following if found & give suggestions.
Recommended company: Accurate Pest Inspections

Cockroaches

Only a few varieties of cockroaches are able to infest homes in the United States, but these pests spread disease, smell bad and are tricky to kill.

Mice and Rats

Mice and Rats are on the hunt for a food supply and can contaminate up to 10 times more food than they actually eat. If they do get in, they can spread disease and even bite family members, so rodent pest control is a top priority.

Termites

Termite damage is extensive, causing at least five times more destruction than house fires in a single year. A termite infestation is serious and must be dealt with quickly by a professional.

Beetles

Powder-post beetles are a group made up of several species of wood-boring insects that get their name from their ability to turn the inside of a piece of wood into powder. Commonly confused with carpenter ants and termites, powder-post beetles are thought by some researchers to be the second leading cause of insect damage to homes in America.

Ants and Carpenter Ants

Ants are extremely stubborn and difficult to get rid of. Carpenter ants are more dangerous to the structure of your home and can be even more challenging to eradicate.  Our inspection will show the presence of these little red pests or put your mind at ease, knowing they are not in your home.

Fleas and Ticks

Both of these critters can enter your home via your pets, so you will especially benefit from our Pest Inspection if you have a family dog or cat.  For more information on pest control involving your pets, contact your veterinarian 
for flea treatments.

Spiders

Most spiders are harmless, but a very small percentage are poisonous, like the brown recluse and the black widow.  
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We definitely want to inspect for these scary arachnids before the homeowner takes possession of the house.

Silverfish

Silverfish can do extensive damage to books and clothing. The best means for getting rid of silverfish is to catch them.

Photography

 

Getting Your House Ready for a Photoshoot

Recommended Company for Virtual Tours, Aerial Photography & Real Estate Photos: Windowstill

  • Thoroughly clean the whole house (vacuum, clean hardwood floors, countertops, & windows)
  • Turn on all ceiling lights and lamps
  • Replace all burnt out light bulbs
  • Turn off ceiling fans
  • Turn off TVs and computer screens
  • Open all blinds, letting all the light in
  • Remove personal photographs
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to show the floor
  • Place all shoes and jackets in the closet

Exterior

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Tidy up the landscaping
  • Remove empty planters
  • Remove cobwebs from eaves and door frame
  • Remove visible hoses
  • Remove toys (soccer goals, basketball hoops, kids toys, dog toys, etc)
  • Clean porch and tidy up outdoor tables, chairs, and chair cushions
  • Clean pool
  • Remove pool cleaning equipment
  • Remove trash cans
  • Turn on any fountains
  • Remove pet waste

Kitchen

  • Clean off countertops completely. Small things like a knife block or coffee maker are acceptable
  • Hide trash can in closet 

Dining Room

  • Clear, dust and polish table tops
  • If available decorative table settings, one centerpiece
  • Remove kid's chairs and booster seats
  • Straighten all chairs

Family Room

  • Remove all magazines, papers, and mail, etc.
  • Remove kid's toys
  • Declutter fireplace mantel
  • Clean interior of fireplace
  • Arrange pillows

MASTER BEDROOM

  • Make bed
  • Clear nightstand of personal items
  • Remove cell phone charging cords
  • Remove clutter from dresser
  • Remove family photos
  • Remove items from under the bed that are visible

BEDROOMS

  • Make bed(s)
  • Remove personal items
  • Remove any stickers and posters from walls Remove any visible items from under the bed(s)

BATHROOMS

  • Clear countertops completely
  • Remove soap, toothbrushes, medication, make-up, deodorant, etc.
  • Close toilet lid
  • Clean shower and remove shampoo, soap, razor, etc.
  • Set out clean towels
  • Remove floor mats to show floor

PETS

  • Remove food and water bowls
  • Remove pet beds
  • Remove toys
  • Remove all waste and pet hair
  • Contain pets in a hidden kennel or outdoors

Radon & Asbestos

 

What is Radon? Why is it important to know?

Radon is produced from a natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It enters homes, offices, schools and other buildings through cracks in floors and walls, construction joints or gaps around service pipes, electrical wires and sump pits. People who breathe in these radioactive particles and or swallow water with high radon levels over long periods of time, are  susceptible to lung damage and lung cancer.

Click Here to learn more about Radon & its health risks for your family:
Prices may vary from $125-200
Radon Mitigation ranges from $650-2,200

When purchasing a home, consider testing your home for radon while getting a home inspection.
Recommended service provider to test or mitigate: Accurate Inspection LLC Or research a company that works for you: Angielist

What is Asbestos & why do I need to be aware of it?

Many people love to do renovations and home improvements, homes built in the 1920s-1980s most likely will have Asbestos,a mineral fiber identified only with a special type of microscope. The presence of asbestos is not dangerous. If it is left alone and not released into the air; the mineral fibers will not likely pose any health risks. 

Click Here to learn about Asbestos & its health risks for your family:
Click Here to read EPA Guidelines

The national average for asbestos testing is $502, with the typical range between $224 - $811
Ask your local professional how much it would cost to remove.

Looking to test for Asbestos?  Click Here

 

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Nicole is dedicated to expanding her knowledge to better service her clients in purchasing and selling existing homes, finding vacant land, and guiding people through building their custom home.

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