Should You Get A Home Inspection?

The home inspection phase is a pretty exciting time in the home buying process! 

Buying a home is a huge investment and one of the most important purchases you will make.  This is your chance to make sure you understand the condition of the home.

Wikipedia defines a home inspection as a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.

A good idea and worth the peace of mind, a home inspection is an inexpensive way to determine the current condition of the home and is typically performed after an offer has been accepted.  Inspections should be performed for existing homes and new construction as a home inspector can uncover potential defects or improper installation of systems regardless of age.  Refer to the inspection and resolution clause of the purchase and sale agreement for the length of time you have to perform all inspections.

You should choose a home inspector you trust and who is licensed.  The inspection process takes roughly two to four hours and is usually attended by the buyer, home inspector and buyer’s real estate agent.

The cost of a home inspection can range from $300 to $500 depending on the size of the home and location and is typically paid for by the buyer at the time the service is rendered, as it benefits the interests of the home buyer.

The purpose of the inspection is to find any defects or safety hazards throughout the home in areas such as the foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and appliances. There may also be a need to inspect the environment, pools & spas and septic & wells if those systems are present.  You will have the opportunity to walk through the home with the inspector and ask any questions you may have pertaining to the home and its integrity. The home inspector will then provide a detailed report that can be used to negotiate necessary repairs.

If you are planning to sell your home, a pre-listing home inspection can be performed before the home is listed on the market.  This inspection, paid for by the home seller, provides a written report to the seller as to the condition of the property and can uncover issues that may compromise a sale.  This type of home inspection allows the seller time to perform necessary repairs before the home is made available for sale.

UltraSound Home Inspections shares a sample report so you can see what you can expect from an inspection report.

If there’s a subject concerning home inspections that I didn’t cover or you have a specific question, let me know in the comments.

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Disasters Happen. Make a Plan!

PREPARE FOR THE STORM

Plan ahead for disasters

  • Gather and scan important documents including insurance policies, birth certificates, social security cards, credit and bank account information, vehicle registrations, wills and appraisals of valuables and keep a digital copy saved to the cloud or on a thumb drive to keep in your emergency kit.
  • Prepare a digital home inventory, take video or photos of each room
  • Prepare your finances. Set up online banking, have cash on hand
  • Appoint a person that lives away from your immediate area that can keep family and friends updated
  • Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes and shelters
  • Download the free Zello app for community updates and information
  • Fill vehicles with gas
  • Stock up with non-perishable foods
  • Prepare a list of emergency telephone numbers (police, sheriff, fire, hospitals, veterinarians, ASPCA, FEMA)
  • Six things to know before a disaster video

PREPARE YOUR HOME

  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest setting
  • Unplug appliances and electronics
  • Turn off air conditioner and propane tanks
  • Store food using the USDA Food Safety and Information Service (FSIS) guidelines
  • Bring in anything that can be moved by high winds (pots, outdoor furniture, bicycles, trash cans, etc)
  • Install hurricane shutters or board windows
  • If you plan to remain in home, purchase a generator, lanterns and NOAA weather radio
  • Identify the location of home’s water, gas and electric main shutoff valves and switches

PREPARE YOUR FAMILY

  • Ask friends and family outside of your immediate area if they would be able to shelter you and your family, including pets, if necessary use a rolling suitcase for emergency kit so that you can easily take with you in case of evacuation
  • Make a Plan Checklist
  • Family Emergency Communication Plan Card
  • Family Emergency Plan Information
  • Family Emergency Plan in Various Languages
  • Family Emergency Kit

PREPARE YOUR PETS

  • Gather and scan current photo of all pets, pet registration and immunization records
  • Familiarize yourself with local animal control, animal shelters, pet friendly hotels and emergency shelters that allow pets
  • Microchip pets and update registration information
  • Attach a weather resistant, smart pet tag with current contact information on all pets
  • Ensure you have pet medications with you in case of evacuation
  • Have a secure carrier for each pet and mark with pet identification and contact information
  • Pet Disaster Plan
  • Pet Disaster Preparedness

AFTER THE STORM

  • Assist the injured and provide first aid where appropriate
  • Be calm, patient and understanding during recovery process
  • Report loose or dangling power lines to the electric company, fire or police department
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate or dry your home
  • Check for gas leaks
  • Look for electrical system, sewage and water line damage
  • Check refrigerated foods for spoilage
  • Take photos of damage
  • Save receipts of lodging and food for reimbursement
  • Use bottled water or boil water until public announcement of water safety
  • Report damage to homeowner’s insurance and FEMA
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