7 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

7 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Buying a home is exciting. For most people, it’s the most expensive purchase of their lives. Before you finalize anything, make you sure you schedule an appointment with a certified home inspector. The city only cares about making sure that your home meets a minimum standard, you can’t rely on a government building inspector to notice every potential problem with your home.

If the home inspection goes sour, there’s a chance that you’ll no longer be interested in the property. That’s why it’s so important that you hire the right person. Buying a home with severe structural or electrical damage is a nightmare if you’re not prepared for it.

Before you make any calls, look at home inspector reviews online. Ask your friends if they have any recommendations.

Once you have a candidate in view, there are a few questions that you should ask.

  1. Are You Insured?

State laws regulating home inspections are far from consistent. Some inspectors will be licensed and others will not. Some will have insurance and some will not. You don’t want to work with an uninsured inspector. You might end up being forced to pay for their medical bills if an accident happens while they’re examining your property.

  1. Can I Be There During the Inspection?

A lot of homeowners like following along with the inspector. It’s a reliable way to find out about the flaws in your home. The inspector might even be able to warn you about potential maintenance issues that you should expect.

If you want to shadow your inspector, make sure that you ask if it’s alright first. Some people prefer to work on their own and forbid clients from joining them.

  1. How Much Will It Cost?

There’s no point in pretending that cost doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be your first question, but it shouldn’t be your last either. Think about your budget and choose someone whose rates fall within your means.

Just make sure you don’t try to be too cheap. You don’t want to encourage your inspector to cut corners.

  1. Do You Perform Repairs as Well?

General contractors sometimes moonlight as home inspection agents. This isn’t necessarily a problem except it calls into question what their real expertise is. Contracting work requires a different skill set that home inspecting.

You also need to be wary of contractors/inspectors who try to push you into approving unnecessary construction projects.

  1. What’s Your Plan?

Different inspectors follow different strategies. Before you can determine if someone’s requested rate is reasonable, you need to know exactly what they propose to do. Will they look at every outlet? Turn on the air conditioner? Run the dishwasher?

A lot of what a good home inspector will do might seem tedious. However, they’re specifically looking for small errors. Glaring mistakes tend to out themselves. You want to hire someone who is extremely meticulous and thorough.

  1. Are You Experienced with Older Homes?

Older properties, because they’ve been around long enough to be beaten up by time, people, and the weather tend to be more problematic than newer ones. Your inspector is more likely to discover issues with an older home.

You don’t have to buy a new model home to be happy. You just need to take precautions. A quality home inspection performed by an independent third-party will tell what you need to know about the property.

If you’re buying an older home, you should choose a highly experienced home inspector.

  1. Do You Have Any References?

Be wary of inspection companies that don’t have a lot of reviews. If their workers were doing a good job people would be talking about it online. If you can’t find anything out anything about the company on Google, it’s a sign that they’re either not as established or not as legitimate as other inspection companies.

If you do find reviews, look closely at what they say. Are there lots of complaints about missed appointments or the inspector not showing up on time? Scores of disgruntled customers?

Hire Your Inspector

After you’ve spoken with two or three candidates, you should have a good idea of who you want to hire. Focus on choosing someone who you feel comfortable with. You might have a lot of questions as the process unfolds and you want to work with someone who will patiently answer you.

Ready to move in? Schedule your home inspection so it falls a few days before your final walk-through with your contractor. You’ll need to see the final inspection report before you can make any decisions.

4 Important Steps to Take to Get Your Home Ready for Sale

4 Important Steps to Take to Get Your Home Ready for Sale

When you decide to move your family from one home to another, it can be a very stressful time. Whether you are moving for work-related reasons, because you need a larger home to accommodate your growing family, or because you want to be closer to your parents, there are steps you should take to make your home ready to put on the market.

You also want to do what you can to reduce the stress levels on everyone in your family. One of the best ways is to be prepared and organized by:

  • Having a plan to follow
  • Throwing out or getting rid of things you don’t need or want
  • Renting a storage unit when closing dates don’t align

Get Rid of Clutter

Start by getting rid of all the clutter in your house. Look at this as the perfect opportunity to throw out, donate, or sell things you have hanging around your home that you don’t use, don’t want, or don’t need.

Go through every room in your house and carefully look at all your furniture, accessories, and items in your closets and drawers. If you find clothes you no longer wear, donate them to a thrift store.

Do you have a piece of furniture that you don’t like anymore? Try selling it on Craigslist or eBay. Or you can put it out at the curb when your county picks up bulk items. Someone might drive by and see your unwanted things as something they need.

Another idea is to have a garage or estate sale to sell all the items you don’t want to bring with you to your new house.

Not only will your house show better to prospective buyers when it is not cluttered, you will be making your life easier when it comes time to pack and unpack. Why bother taking things you don’t need or want with you to your new home?

Give Your House a Deep Cleaning

Making your house sparkle requires you to go above and beyond just vacuuming and dusting that are part of your usual daily or weekly cleaning.

Cleaning your house from top to bottom includes but is not limited to:

  • Washing the inside and outside of windows
  • Cleaning window treatments, baseboards, inside and outside of appliances, ceiling fans, and light fixtures
  • Dusting vents and polishing switch plates
  • Removing cobwebs

Cleaning your house to get it ready to put on the market is a huge job. You can tackle it yourself or hire a company to do it for you. There are cleaning companies that offer one-time deep cleaning services. For more information visit: https://amazoncleaning.net/ to learn more about what this package includes.

Kitchens and bathroom are often big selling points for home buyers and should be given special attention. Besides keeping them clean, you should make sure they are uncluttered and neat as well. For example, make sure your bathroom towels are clean and folded nicely.

Keep your kitchen countertops as uncluttered as possible and remove a lot of the stuff you have hanging on your refrigerator.

Fix or Update Things That Need It

If money is no object, you can make a list of all the things in your home that need to be fixed or updated and hire someone to do it for you. If you do have financial constraints, there are some things you can do yourself such as:

  • Applying a fresh coat of paint to rooms that need it
  • Fixing leaky faucets
  • Updating old light fixtures or lamps
  • Cleaning up your landscaping

If your home needs larger repairs like cracks in your foundation or a leaking roof, and you can’t afford to hire a professional, you might be able to work out a deal with a prospective buyer to take the repair costs off of your selling price.

Stage Your Home

The way you have your furniture arranged to fit your lifestyle might not show your home in the best light. Staging is not the same thing as decorating, although some simple decorating tips like setting your dining room table can add to how your home looks and feels to buyers.

Staging refers to how your home makes someone feel and is akin to dressing your house up to get it ready to sell. You should stage your home after you’ve done your minor repairs, repainting, de-cluttering, and cleaning.

A home that is staged correctly, will make it look cleaner, bigger, warmer, and brighter and make buyers want to make an offer.

For example, smaller rooms should have less furniture in them to make them appear larger. Blinds and shades should be left open to let the natural light in during the day. To make your home look brighter at night, turn on your lights and lamps. If you want some ideas on how to stage your house, take a look in magazines for suggestions.

Your goal is to make your home as presentable and welcoming as possible to potential buyers. Selling your home can be very stressful, but by following some of the above suggestions, it will be well worth the effort.

 

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