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Handy Home Maintenance Reminders

Handy Home Maintenance Reminders

Home maintenance is a task that you might think you're taking care of efficiently, but it's more than just sweeping the front porch once a week or removing seasonal decorations when the celebration is over. There are a number of important exterior household maintenance jobs that you possibly have overlooked. A seasonal home maintenance checklist can help remind you of the necessary tasks around your home that need to be done regularly.



Most Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

Most Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

The most important process of buying and selling houses is the home inspection. Always pay close attention to advice your home inspector provides. Regardless of being the seller or buyer, you should consider their recommendations against the home’s price or estimated value. You should inspect new and old homes because finding problems up front is better than later. Listed below are 10 common problems that might arise during an inspection.

Home Inspector - Home Inspection

Can a Home Inspections Affect Property Value?

Buying a new home may be a top goal for you to accomplish in the near future. In fact, you may have already started looking at homes, and the important factor of property condition may have caught your attention with several homes. Regardless of the age of the property, a pre-existing home may be in poor condition if it has not been well-maintained by the owner. On the other hand, even older homes may be in amazing condition and could have recently been remodeled to make them like-new. It is difficult to determine a property’s true condition by looking at the surface alone.

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Handy Home Maintenance Reminders

 

  • Handy Home Maintenance Reminders

    Home maintenance is a task that you might think you're taking care of efficiently, but it's more than just sweeping the front porch once a week or removing seasonal decorations when the celebration is over. There are a number of important exterior household maintenance jobs that you possibly have overlooked. A seasonal home maintenance checklist can help remind you of the necessary tasks around your home that need to be done regularly.

    HVAC maintenance: A home's heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) is often ignored until it stops working properly, usually during a heat wave. Keeping the outdoor air conditioning unit in good working order means that you won't suffer and sweat through hot and humid days and nights because your air conditioner stopped running.

    The air conditioning system's exterior unit needs to be checked carefully. It's important to make sure there are no leaves, tree limbs or other debris around the unit left over from storms and wind that occurred during the cooler months. These debris should be removed so that air can move around the unit unimpeded. The unit's coils and vents should be cleaned as well, and the fluids checked and topped off if needed. These tasks might better be handled by a qualified HVAC technician.

    Exterior foundation: Your home's foundation, siding and other exterior components might have suffered damage from storms or simply from aging. Taking a look at your home's exterior is an important part of a cool-season check-up. Peeling or chipping paint, damaged siding and holes or cracks in the foundation should be repaired to improve stability as well as appearance. A home inspection company can help you determine how to handle needed repairs.

    Roof and gutters: Your roof and gutters shouldn't be ignored either. Take a look at the shingles on your roof or have a professional do it for you. Shingles should not be curled, broken or missing altogether. Any of these signs means that your roof will start leaking sooner rather than later. Keeping your gutters clean also helps protect your roof. Removing debris that is clogging gutters will help better direct water flow. This will help prevent the water from backing up under your roof shingles or draining so close to the foundation that it collects in your basement or crawl space.

    Trees and perennials: Your trees, shrubs and perennial plants may have experienced some damage from cold temperatures or high winds during the cooler months, or may just be getting older. In either case, you'll need to trim back the dead, dying or diseased sections. This will help the plants last longer and look better. Some trees, shrubs or perennial plants might have grown into cracks around your foundation, causing the cracks to enlarge. Pruning will help eliminate this problem.

    Getting ready for colder weather HVAC system: Your HVAC system, which has so efficiently kept you cool and comfortable during the hot, humid months, now needs to be readied for the cooler and drier season. Filters and coils that worked hard during the hot months should be cleaned so that they can warm your home efficiently when the temperature drops. Make sure fluids are topped off as well. If you don't have the time or knowledge to do this yourself, a technician can handle these maintenance chores quickly and inexpensively.

    Trees and flower beds: Get your trees, flower beds and shrubs ready for the cooler weather as well. Flower beds can be mulched before cooler weather sets in to help protect them. Shrubs that show signs of damage or disease can be treated as well. If you have any tree limbs that are located too close to power lines, it's a good idea to trim them back. You'll be glad you did when your electricity stays on during a wind storm.

    Taking these preventative maintenance steps requires a bit of planning and some of your time, but they pay big dividends in helping to lower costs and prevent headaches later on. You'll be glad that you don't have to make big repairs or replace components that weren't maintained properly. You'll instead have time to enjoy your home.

 

Most Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection

Most Common Problems Found During a Home Inspection A home inspection is an important part of the buying process of any home. Whether you’re the one buying or the one selling, you need to be paying close attention to the recommendations of the home inspector and factor that into the price. Home inspection problems are common for any home that is inspected, whether new or old. While there are a number of problems that can be noted, we’re going to be discussing the top ten most common.

Erroneous Electrical Wiring

A good home inspector will assess the power outlets throughout the home and the fuse box or breaker box. Some common problems that are found in this category include reversed polarity outlets and double taps. Reverse polarity outlets happen when the neutral and hot wires are attached to the opposite terminal. This is corrected by switching the wires to the correct terminals. Double taps happen when two electrical feeds are attached to one breaker. This problem can be remedied by installing a twin breaker. Faulty wiring could lead to major fire hazards that could result in the destruction of the home and surrounding area. This danger is why wiring is a highly essential part of any home inspection.

Heating System Issues

The inspector will remove the cover of the heating system to see if the system is being properly serviced. It’s very common for home inspectors to find heating systems that have not been properly maintained, which is identified by the amount of sot view able. It’s recommended that heating systems get maintenance checks annually to ensure they are cleaned and in working order. The remedy for a failed heating system is to have it properly cleaned and inspected by an HVAC specialist.

Plumbing Leaks

Small leaks are commonly found in areas around sinks and toilets. These leaks are noted by the home inspector. The cause could be a broken seal, incorrect plumbing materials, or corroded plumbing. If this shows up on a home inspection report, it’s vital that you speak with a plumber to have the source of the problem identified and fixed. Leaks are not something that you want to let go as they will only get worse and lead to more damage over time.

External Maintenance Issues

Apart from the inside of the home, the exterior is another essential part of the inspection. Most home inspection problems with the exterior of a home usually have to deal with the fascia. This is an important part of the home that allows for proper ventilation of the roof. A lack of the fascia being properly installed can cause a decreased life span of a home’s roof. Another major factor that is examined in the external maintenance inspection is the gutter system. Any lack of a gutter system to remove water from the home can cause issues with mold and water damage in the home.

Faulty Windows

A simple concept that many people buying a home overlook is the use of the windows. Common home inspection problems are faulty windows. This could be anything from the window being painted shut to cracks in the window. It’s important that all windows are operable and do not let air escape in or out when shut. Older homes tend to possess more problems with faulty windows due to the way windows were previously installed.

Structural Problems

The foundation of the home is what all the rest stands on. If there are major problems with the foundation, it can affect the structural integrity of the rest of the home. It’s also important to note that fixing foundation issues can get quite pricey, which is why you want to know any issues ahead of time when buying a home. Common structural problems include cracks in the foundation, floors that slope, and doors that stick.

Roof Problems

Roofs are another very costly expense to replace and repair. This is why a home inspector can be very tedious when accessing the roof of a home you’re thinking about buying. You don’t want to be dealing with a few thousand dollar bill over a problem that the seller should’ve fixed. Common roof problems include missing or broken flashings, curled shingles, leaks, and improper ventilation. These problems can lead to the degradation and premature aging of the roof.

Poor Drainage

Checking basements and crawl spaces for mildew and other signs of water leaks is a must of every home inspector. When these signs are identified in the basement or crawl space, it’s an indication that the home has poor drainage. This typically is due to improper grading around the home that forces water against the home’s foundation instead of away from the home. Grading requires a large expense to bring in soil and, in some cases, requires the removal of porous soil from around the home. You want to ensure this is not a problem that a potential home has that you’re thinking about buying as the costs could be significant.

Water Heater Specifications

Due to new housing requirements, it’s very common for older homes to have water heater inspection problems. These issues typically are dealing with the size of the vent for the heater and the lack of the temperature pressure relief valve, or TPRV. If you’re buying a home that wasn’t recently built, it’s likely you’re going to see the water heater on the list of housing problems.

Poorly Maintained Home

Keeping up with the regular maintenance that a home requires is something that a home inspector will look for. This category encompasses many potential issues that can be noted about both the interior and exterior of the home as well as the property. Some common signs of a poorly maintained property include worn carpeting, cracked driveway, peeling paint, stained flooring, and loose caulking.

A home inspection is meant to give both the buyer and seller necessary insight into the health of a home. As a buyer, you want to ensure that the home is structurally sound and has no major hidden issues that will require a large investment later down the road. As a seller, it’s important to look over these ten common issues and ensure they are fixed so that your home can be sold for the highest value possible.





Home Inspector - Home Inspection

 

  • Can a Home Inspections Affect Property Value?

    Buying a new home may be a top goal for you to accomplish in the near future. In fact, you may have already started looking at homes, and the important factor of property condition may have caught your attention with several homes. Regardless of the age of the property, a pre-existing home may be in poor condition if it has not been well-maintained by the owner. On the other hand, even older homes may be in amazing condition and could have recently been remodeled to make them like-new. It is difficult to determine a property’s true condition by looking at the surface alone.

    Some home buyers intentionally look for outdated homes in poor condition with the hopes of creating value through improvements. Others prefer to buy a property that is well-maintained and in move-in condition. Obtaining a property inspection is not a required part of the real estate purchase process, but it is a step that many buyers choose to take. You may be wondering how a home inspection impacts a property’s appraised value or if it plays a role in valuation at all. With an improved understanding of what these two reports are, you can better understand their impact on your buying decision.

    Understanding the Components of an Appraiser’s Valuation

    In a typical real estate appraisal, the appraiser reviews the property’s value from three different perspectives. At his or her discretion, the final value may be determined through a reconciliation of all three methods or only through one or two of the methods. These methods include a review of sales comps, the property’s replacement value and the income capitalization approach. In many cases, the latter method is used for investment or income-producing real estate. The sales comp approach requires the appraiser to review several comparable properties that are located very close to the subject property and that have recently sold. The price per square foot of these properties is analyzed by the appraiser. Keep in mind that the appraiser may make adjustments based on key selling features in the homes and other notable differences while reconciling the data and analysis. The replacement value approach takes into account the estimated cost of building a similar home from the ground up, such as if the property was completely destroyed and needed to be rebuilt. It is based on construction costs in the area at the time as well as on the general type of finish-out in the home.

    Learning About a Property Inspection Report

    Many buyers request a home inspection to be completed on a property that they are interested in so that they can learn more about the true condition of the home. Many potential repair issues may go undetected by an untrained eye. Some issues may require in-depth review by a skilled inspector and even special equipment or tools to uncover. A property inspector will usually review all major components of the home, such as the foundation, the roof, the major appliances, the electrical system, the plumbing system and more. While he or she is not licensed in each of these areas usually, he or she can provide insight on areas of concern that should be inspected by a licensed specialist.

    Repair items that are identified by a property inspector are typically categorized based on their severity. For example, some cosmetic issues may be noted, such as cracked tile. Other issues, such as an exposed electrical wire or loose stair railing, may be classified as urgent life and safety issues.

    Examining the Impact of a Property Inspection on Property Valuation

    Be aware that an appraiser is not always provided with a copy of a property inspection report. In some cases, the two professionals walk the property on the same day and complete their reports at roughly the same time. If the timing of your purchase plans permits, it may be wise to obtain a property inspection before paying for an appraisal. In some cases, the condition of a property may be so dismal that a buyer decides to walk away from the transaction altogether. In this case, delaying the appraisal order can save the buyer money. In many cases, some areas of concern that have been outlined by the property inspector may impact the appraiser’s valuation. The appraiser’s attention may be brought to areas of concern after reviewing the inspection report.

    The two primary valuation methods that an appraiser may use for an owner-occupied or non-investor property are related to the property’s condition. These are the sales comparable approach and the replacement value approach. Remember that the appraiser will adjust the price per square foot based on key selling points as well as negative factors, such as a cracked foundation. Likewise, the appraiser will discount the replacement valuation by any significant repair costs.

    Exploring Why a Buyer Would Walk Away From a Property

    You may think that all buyers would want to walk away from a property that has many smaller repair issues or at least one serious issue, but this is not the case. Some buyers will use this information as a basis for negotiating a better deal on the sales price. Others will ask the seller to fix the problem areas before closing. If the seller agrees to one of these two options, the closing may take place under the revised contract terms.

    There are, however, many instances when a buyer will walk away from a home. For example, if the seller is not willing to negotiate on the sales price or is not willing to repair the damage before closing, the buyer could decide not to move forward with the purchase. For some buyers, the specific type of damage or the severity of the damage may be a deal-breaker. For example, if it is determined that black mold is growing in the home, the buyer may not feel comfortable living in the home even if professional mold remediation is completed. This is a matter of preference based on his or her comfort level.

    Keep in mind that some buyers also do not want to inherit a laundry list of repair issues from the seller. They prefer to buy a property that has been well-maintained. Regardless of any discounts or concessions that the seller may be agreeable to, the buyer may simply not want to deal with making those repairs on his or her own.

    Now that you understand more about how an appraisal and property inspection could be related, it makes sense to consider ordering a property inspection and reviewing the inspection report closely before ordering the appraisal.