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Congratulations! You have just purchased your first home. Now you can relax, right? Not at all! You are just getting started. This is an important time to take steps to make sure your homeownership is as stress-free as possible in the future. Here are five of the more important things to take care of as you move in.
Emergency needs are the first step. Verify the location of smoke/CO2 detectors and fire extinguishers and make sure that they are in working order. Learn where all of your water and gas shutoff valves are, as well as all breaker boxes. Test them to make sure they work, and label all the breaker box circuits. (If breakers are already labeled, verify the labels – phantom circuits are not uncommon). Immediately fix anything broken or inaccessible.
Verify your evacuation route and protection plans for emergencies like tornadoes and fires. Prepare a home first aid kit. Make sure you have accessible numbers for your local police, fire department, government offices, utility company and other important numbers. They are available in your local phone book (remember those?).
Don’t forget simple things like flashlights and the most important tool you will ever own – a toilet plunger.
Set up a schedule for your regular home maintenance. Online resources are available to serve as a basic guide – just add anything specific to your house.
Remember to bring all of your important records like school records, insurance files, and medical/dental records – they will be important as you establish new contacts.
As much as you would like to relax, take some time to do these preparatory steps. You will never know how much headache you saved yourself by doing so.
A standard home inspection look at the basic issues a house may have if there is a problem. Like a general primary care physician, if an issue outside of a standard exam were to arise (such as an abnormal beating heart), then a heart specialist will need to take over and evaluate the patient further. The same can be true for a home inspection that yields far greater problems.
If you’re curious what inspectors look at, check out the list below:
The Roof: The shield of your home is important to the overall quality of a home. Inspectors need to know how old a roof is, as well as check the downspouts, draining systems, and buckled shingles. If a home has a chimney or skylight, you can be sure they will be evaluated too.
Electrical Work: Everything from the outlets, breakers, fuses to the wires, service panels are inspected in each room to ensure safety. If a major issue is identified, it’ll be written up in the final inspection report outlining our recommendations.
The Foundation: The framework of the house should be sturdy and have the ability to withstand gravity and the weather. An inspector will verify if that is the case for a home. If we identify a major problem, you’ll be informed and it’s updated in the report. Our recommendation may be that you bring in a specialist to assess the seriousness of the problem — this is something you can probably get the seller to do once he/she is aware of the problem.
Interior: The stairs, stairways, railings, walls, cabinets, garage system, counters, tubs, toilets, and ceilings are checked by an inspector to verify whether or not it is functional. Damages or defects that are found will immediately be reported.
Exterior: The windows, doors, sidewalk, trim, balconies, porch, deck, and surface drainage will be tested.
Plumbing: Everything concerning the water system in the house is evaluated to determine the quality and safety of the water supply. The lining, pumps, and pipes including the drainage, fuel, and heating systems are inspected. There should be adequate water pressure and the plumbing should be free of rust spots, corrosion, or banged pipes which are problem indicators.
Fireplace: Fireplaces are attractive, but can be the most dangerous, so an inspector will check out the flue and vent and the fuel burning appliances to determine if it poses a fire risk. If a home has a fireplace, it will be evaluated, but it something a specialist should look at if you are worried.
Air Conditioner and Heater: Both appliances are turned on to see if they work and are powerful enough to cool or heat the home efficiently. Their age and energy level are inspected too and reported up.
Ventilation: insulation and ventilation are important in the house so heat and toxic substances can exit the house. Fires, mold, mildew, and toxicity problems may be found in a home that does not have proper ventilation.
Got questions about our inspection process? Give us a call right now!
An inspector’s job is to help a buyer decide if they want to buy a home by providing them with information they were previously unaware of in the form of a home inspection report. Home defects can pose problems for a buyer, so it’s vital you understand how minor or how serious a problem is.
As a Dallas home inspector, it’s our job to find and identify defects that fall into three main categories:
How “bad” a non life-threatening defect is in the home will ultimately be defined by the customer after a professional inspection report is handed over to the client.
It is important that buyers know about defects prior to closing on a home if they do not want serious issues to become their problem after they become the owner. A detailed home inspection report puts you in a position to negotiate who fixes what. It also puts you in a better position to negotiate the price of the property down so you can take on the repairs yourself.
Don’t skip out on getting an inspection … a detailed inspection report puts you in control… Call us today!
Termites are little buggers that can cause big problems in a home when they gnaw away and destroy wood on site. Normally, when you are in the process of purchasing a home, many lenders require you check the house for termites before they approve you for a mortgage.
There are also occasions where it is not required, but avoiding a termite check when you have the option to choose one can wind up costing you more.
Our Dallas home inspection company can help you determine if a home you’re considering to buy has termites before the sale is complete.Termites are very destructive and many homeowner insurance policies seldom cover it. Hiring an inspector to check for termites can save you in the long run.
Termite inspections take about an hour to complete and it is important to be there when it is done, that way the inspector can show you what they see as well. They can also describe issues to you directly that would have likely been more complex to understand if you were to rely on the written report alone.
If a home had issues with termites before, but doesn’t currently have an infestation, it should not necessarily deter you from wanting to continue going through with the purchase.
Depending on the home, an inspector may also recommend a previously treated home get treated again if they find evidence of underground termites regardless if there is not current activity, or any sign of them.
Need help inspecting your home for termites?
Nothing makes a home more appealing than a swimming pool. But there’s a lot to think about when deciding to buy a home with a pool. For example, there’s the required maintenance, increased water bill and heating bill (if the pool is heated), and so on.
Taking care of a pool is easier when it doesn’t have a lot of problems to begin with. Pools by themselves can be complex because of the various equipment and supplies that’s involved to ensure it stays clean and clog-free.
The pool itself needs to be inspected to ensure it is solid and leak-free. There are filters, gears, pumps, and heaters that need to be checked along with the plumbing and electrical equipment.
The decking surface around the pool, the covers that serve as a security blanket, and the hardware surrounding it should also be tested to determine the longevity and condition of the pool.
When a pool is in good condition, it should run smoothly without any problems. Whatever issue is not found when equipment is turned off will be found when they are on. Another test, a pressure test, should also be conducted to determine if a pool has leaks.
If you know you want a house that comes with a pool, you should discuss all the details mentioned above with the seller before you close on the home.
Normally, when you buy a house with a pool, you are agreeing to purchase it as-is. Before you sign any papers, know what you are getting into. Not rushing will keep you from getting stuck with a dysfunctional pool on your own.
In the event you have never owned a pool, or don’t understand the mechanics involved to ensure the pool you buy is good, Reliable Home Inspections can offer you a pool inspection alongside your standard home inspection.
You want to be able to purchase both your home and pool with confidence. We have been in business for over 18 years and our inspectors are experienced and are trained to look for problems.
There’s not a person in the world who’d willingly want to buy a home that is infested with mold. However, purchases like these are made because the microscopic spores can be hard to detect with the eyes when it is not severe.
The best areas to check for mold are the ceilings, beneath the floor, between the walls, or in less conspicuous areas such as the attic and basements. Mold is highly attracted to water and can be found where there is carpet, paneling, pain, or wallboards.
It can also nest in other areas that have poor ventilation, extreme dampness or areas that did not have adequate time to dry in the event the house once dealt with flooding.
Mold is a fungus that may be green, gray, black, or white and it comes in various shapes and can cause serious health complications.
Side effects such as rashes, unusual bleeding, respiratory issues, seizures, and extreme fatigue can occur when mold is toxic. Worst case scenario: it can also produce mycotoxins which are far more deadly.
If you are uncertain if a home has mold, or would like a second opinion, give Reliable Home Inspections a call.
If you do decide to go on with the purchase, and the owner was not aware of the mold, you can ask the seller to lower the asking price on the house so you can pay to resolve the problem. Alternatively, you can have the seller take care of the mold issue before you finalize the purchase.
There’s typically two types of home buyers … one that is unaware of the pending complications a home has; and those that are aware the home has a flaw or two, but tend to undermine how serious those complications are.
While it may be acceptable for you to hold off fixing minor issues you can deal with later, it’s a good idea to watch out for a few of these red flags mentioned below:
Buying Homes that were ‘flipped’ – While you can find great deals with these kind of homes, you want to have an inspector see if corners were cut. Oftentimes, investors buy damaged properties with the sole purpose of flipping for a quick profit. Many times, they’ll try and fix big problems by spending as little as possible. You want to have an inspector who is experienced and know what to look for. Our Dallas home inspectors can help you avoid buying a ‘lemon’.
Check the Windows – Windows are meant to ensure cool air and heat does not escape, and windows also prevents water or dampness from entering the home. Windows that are foggy, potentially have broken seals, and should be checked. If the damage is extensive, sliding doors or windows may need to be replaced. But if you’re aware of these problems prior to buying, you put yourself in a great situation to negotiate the repair by the seller.
Plumbing in the Home: Plumb lines are installed inside the walls of a home. If the plumb lining is bad, it can lead to water leaks and other damages. Reliable Home Inspections can also check to see if a home has polybutylene piping, which are no longer in production because they are notorious for causing leak complications. In the event a home has it, we’ll disclose that in your home inspection report.
Old HVAC Systems: Any HVAC system that is over 20 years old likely needs to be upgraded. We can check out the unit to see how well it functions. If it’s time for a new unit, we’ll let you know.
Bad Roofs: The same goes for shingles … If it’s discovered the shingles are curling, this is typically an indication of roofing problems. This matter will need to be investigated further.
Mold of any degree is bad because it can grow like wildfire; this is something that should be talked about with the owner before you buy the home or property.
Should an inspector find any fed flag issues, the real estate agent you work with can help you negotiate with the seller. Contact us right now to discuss your home inspection needs in the Dallas metro area.