Moving clutter makes it nearly impossible for a
Home Inspector to do his job correctly.
It is in the Seller’s best interest to make sure the home is accessible for an inspection. If buyers cannot obtain a satisfactory inspection because of the clutter, then it may cost the seller a potential sale.
According to the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) an inspection addresses only those components and conditions that are present, visible, and accessible at the time of the inspection.
The inspector is not required to climb over obstacles, move furnishings or stored items.
The inspector is not required to turn on decommissioned equipment, systems, utility services.
The inspector needs access to:
· Electrical Outlets/Plugs
· Electrical panels
· Windows & Doors
· Appliances → Water Heaters, A/C Units (inside and out)
→ Kitchen Appliances – ready to use
· Attic Access
· Under House Crawl Space
EXAMPLE: A water heater located in a closet should have clear access to be inspected. Water heaters in a garage should also have clear access.
Having items stored on top of or around the water heater can be hazardous as well as keep it from being accessible to an inspector or a plumber should it need repair.
If seller is packing and storing packed boxes in rooms, it is suggested to leave at least a 2 foot clearance around the edge of the room for inspecting.
Buying a Home is The Most Expensive Purchase Most People Will Ever Make.
Get The House Facts – Hire A Licensed Home Inspector.
Keep your foundation protected with these tips from the Texas A&M AgriLife Water Education Network.
If you find a foundation crack, fill it with caulk or waterproofing sealant to avoid water accumulation under your home.
Check your sprinklers regularly for leaks, broken heads, and other maintenance to avoid costly water damage and potential flooding.
Avoid overplanting around the foundation. You need to be able to see the foundation all around the house. Large plantings that touch the walls encourage wood rot and wood destroying insects to relocate into the walls.
Because the deck performance can have a strong effect on shingle performance, most shingle manufacturers require certain minimum decking standards. The deck must be structurally stable, solid, smooth and secured adequately to rafters or trusses.
Basically there are two types of shingle underlayment: water-resistant and waterproof. Shingle manufacturers recommend the use of underlayment except on roof-over installations.
Water-resistant shingle underlayment - Resistant is the key word. It is often referred to as roofing felt, tarpaper or asphalt felt. Sun and moisture degrade the material quickly, and then the nails penetrate the material. If the wind blows off a few shingles, it serves as a backup – making the difference between a few drips and a waterfall.
Waterproof shingle underlayment - Waterproof underlayments were designed to seal the roof and to prevent water from getting inside the building due to ice dams and/or wind driven rain. Unlike the standard felt underlayment, it is unaffected by moisture so it does not wrinkle.
Drip edge flashing
Though not used throughout the United States, drip edge flashing is often installed to prevent wind driven rain from getting under the underlayment and damaging the sheathing along the edges.
Common findings found during an inspection:
workmanship. But if everything else is correct, a roof with misaligned shingles will
probably shed water.
The bottom tabs are always cut off. By cutting off the bottom tabs, the self-sealing adhesive can be placed along the bottom of the overlying first course to help prevent blow off.
The use of a whole shingle makes that impossible, and also creates a slight hump under the bottom of the second course that could play a role in damming.
NOTE: You won’t have much luck trying to convince a roofing contractor with 30 years’ experience that his starter courses have been wrong, but it’s important to note if it does not comply with the manufacturer’s specifications, it could have an influence on the limited warranty, but it doesn’t void the warranty because shingles warranties are for product defects not installation error.
3. Overhangs – Inadequate shingle overhang is an indication of amateur workmanship. Insufficient overhangs typically cause water damage to fascia and rake boards. Excessive overhang is also common.When shingles overhang too much, they are more likely to have wind up lift and to blow off. Also over time, the excessive shingle will curl over to create an unsightly view.
4. Improper Nailing – Most shingle manufacturers prefer nails to staples. Proper nail placement is critical in shingle performance. Incorrect nailing or lack of nails can result in shingle blow off and/or shingles slipping out of place.
Additional common problems:
After the precursory inspection of the new roof, it’s time to check for a few more common problems that can be seen by the observant eye.
5. Check for holes: On steep roofs, roofers will often install a toe board (2x4"nailed through shingles) to hold materials and/or roofers on the roof. After shingles are complete, the board is removed and the nail holes are either forgotten or caulked.
6. Normal and Premature Decline: When inspecting older shingles, it can be difficult to distinguish between what is “normal for the age” decline and “premature” decline.
Research shows shingles rapidly age during the first years after installation, some granule loss, minor curling around edges and even small blisters may develop, all considered normal.
7. Lack of Ventilation – Research has shown improperly vented attics or air space inhibits air movement and usually increases moisture content. Under these conditions, heat builds up and shortens the shingle life.
The big picture – When inspecting a roof, it wise to first look at the big picture. I step back far enough to get a clear view of the house and its roof. As I slowly walk around the house looking up at the roof, I make mental notes of anything unusual, such as unevenness, sags, dips, or obvious damage.
These observations will be worthy of a more focused look later, because dips or irregularities can be prone to leak. Obviously sags or unevenness could be an indication of a structural problem and will be investigated when inspecting the attic.
****Please note this is a condensed article directed at informing about some basics of roofing, not educating about how to install roofs.
You’ve purchased your first home… jumped through all the hoops and had lots of people tell you what to do and how to do it. They handed you the keys and left.
Now what? What they don’t tell you is that you will need a few tools to help with moving in and the future maintenance and repairs you will need to do to your home. Of course you will want to hire professionals to do the big stuff like plumbing repair or electrical work, etc. But there are those little things that you will need to do and CAN do like hanging pictures or other décor, or fixing those dings and bumps you made moving in.
Here is a handy list of some “get started” tools that are inexpensive but quite handy.
About some way to organize your tools so that they are accessible for future uses. Most will fit in a handy inexpensive 5-gallon bucket or plastic tool box. Get a couple of hooks to mount on the wall in the garage or utility closet for your broom, dust pan and extension cord.
Are Home Inspections Worth It? - Price vs. Value
By Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor.com
Home inspections are an important part of determining whether a home will need additional repairs or maintenance before it’s sold or bought. But are they always worth the investment? It depends on whether the benefits of home inspection outweigh the cost. This information will help you decide.
Why Get a Home Inspection?
Home inspections are used to provide an opportunity for a buyer or seller to identify any major issues with a home prior to closing. Realtors are also known to include home inspection clauses in some situations, such as new home construction.
What is Covered in a Home Inspection?
In new home construction, inspections generally cover:
Home inspections are limited. Even with an inspection, you may end up with undiscovered issues you’ll have to fix down the road. Home inspections only find the “visual cues” for problems. A foundation crack, slanted floors, doors that don’t properly close -- these are signs of bigger problems. However, problems without visual cues -- pests, radon, lead -- may crop up after the inspection. Some inspectors offer radon testing as an add-on; some will recommend asbestos testing services if your home appears to be at risk.
Some areas inspectors won’t look at include:
The cost will vary depending on a variety of factors. Ask ahead of time how an inspector charges. The average inspection will last three hours. Always accompany your inspector on an inspection, asking questions throughout the process.
Compare this cost against the value of the home inspection. If you’re a seller, an inspection will help you understand exactly where there are problems in your home that could make or break a sale (i.e., cost you a lot of time and money and keep your home on the market for longer than it should be). If you’re a buyer, this inspection is crucial to understanding how much money you may need to spend on a home after the sale. For new home construction, it’s an imperative part of the building and finishing process. Either way, addressing issues early through a home inspection can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.
The views reflected within are solely those of HomeAdvisor and their Authors.
Everyone can use a little encouragement from time to time. And a little accountability.
For the past few months, I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed. I’ve struggled with some of my deadlines (which I never have in the past). I’ve had a hard time saying no.
Occasionally I think about all the “need to-dos” and “want to-dos” and “should dos” and wonder how the list got so big.
So, last week, instead of focusing just on my to-do list, I also did something I haven’t tried before. I made a “done” list.
Anything I did during that day — no matter how big or small — I added to the done list. At first, I thought I was being kind of silly … and maybe wasting time. But by the end of the day, I was a big fan of the done list.
Three really good things happened because of the done list.
First, by the end of the day, I had a record of everything I’d done.
Often, when I reach the end of the day, I wonder how much I really accomplished. (Sometimes — usually — it doesn’t feel like as much as I’d like.) With my done list in hand, I was able to review everything I’d achieved during the day.
And honestly, it was not insignificant. I could see that even though I hadn’t crossed a couple of bigger things off my to-do list, I’d made good progress and that they would be getting the coveted line through them soon.
That was a nice feeling.
The second thing I noticed is that when I was tempted to waste some time — surfing Facebook or playing WordTwist — I didn’t. Because I didn’t want to add it to the done list.
Instead, I did something else I’d feel good about seeing on my list at the end of the day. It wasn’t always work-related. At one point, when Facebook was calling my name, I opted to play the piano for 15 minutes instead. While I wouldn’t have liked seeing “Facebook — 15 minutes” on my done list, I did like seeing “Played the piano.”
And the third thing I noticed was that my momentum built throughout the day. Toward the end of the day when I’m usually looking at my to-do list and thinking, “What’s the point … I’ll just start fresh tomorrow,” I was thinking, “How much more can I add to my done list before I knock off at five?”
What a difference!
Now, I probably won’t use a done list every day. But if I’m feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, or unfocused, the done list is my new go-to tool.
I hope you’ll give it a try to see if it works as well for you!
by Heather Robson, blog writer for Wealthy web writer
After buyers move in to their new home, they should be prepared for some home fixes to present themselves each season, says Rich Escallier, a handyman in Chicago. "If you can go six months without finding something that raises your blood pressure, you're lucky,” Escallier says.
CBS MoneyWatch recently released a checklist of routine maintenance and small home repairs that home buyers should expect to do their first year to help avoid more costly problems from surfacing later on:
During move-in week: Turn on all major appliances and run them for a complete cycle. Even if the buyer already completed a home inspection, they should test again, experts say. After all, “if you have a minor leak under the dishwasher, that water leaks into the subfloor and you can't see it," says Daniel Cipriani with Kade Homes & Renovations in the Atlanta area. "But you'll start to notice the hardwood floor buckling."
45 days after move-in: Change the HVAC system filter and vacuum out the air intake vents. “Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward preserving the new home appeal for a few years,” CBC MoneyWatch notes.
Six months after move-in: Inspect the exterior of your home in both the summer and fall to ensure rainwater is draining away from the home properly. Also, clean out clogged gutters and downspouts. "Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house," Cipriani says. "People don't think it's a big problem, but otherwise water pools against the foundation and doesn't have anywhere to go."
Every year: Inspect the home’s roof for any missing shingles and gaps around the chimneys. Also, check the ceilings inside the home for any water spots and indications of potential leaks.
Experts also note that every two years, home owners would be wise to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect their furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. A ruptured reservoir could potentially spill 40 gallons of water in a mere few hours so experts recommend home owners install a water alarm with sensors in the collection pan underneath the hot water heater. The sensors cost about $25 and can help save home owners from costly water damage.
Source: “Repairs Every New Homebuyer Should Make,” CBS MoneyWatch (Aug. 26, 2013)
Daily Real Estate News | Monday, October 07, 2013
Having the property ready for an inspection can prevent unnecessary delays. For liability reasons, inspectors do not move personal property. Most inspectors will charge an additional fee if they return to the property to inspect items that were not accessible or if the utilities were off.
The buyer/seller should confirm that:
“Seller shall permit Buyer and Buyer’s agents access to the Property at reasonable times. Buyer may have the Property inspected by inspectors selected by Buyer and licensed by TREC or otherwise permitted by law to make inspections. Seller at Seller’s expense shall turn on existing utilities for inspections”. (Excerpt from Paragraph 7A of the TREC One to Four Family Residential Contract No. 20-7)
Schedule an inspection: www.entechinspections.com