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The Reality Of Home Inspections

Home inspections are one of the most necessary steps in the purchase of any home, new or old. as a home is a major purchase, likely the most major purchase, and the most expensive purchase you will ever make, it only makes sense to ensure that you are getting what you paid for. Make sure that when you have the home inspected it is by a reputable and in dependent home inspector. It is their job to examine every aspect of the home and to make sure that not only is it safe, but that the seller has been earnest with their disclosure about the home. They can also help to find things that the seller may not have been aware of themselves. This is especially true in homes where the seller has not owned the home for an extended period of time.

Inspections are are a required aspect of real estate sales. They are in place to ensure that the home that is transferring hands is safe and livable. Inspectors visually check many aspects of the home during an average inspection. The most notable things are the home’s systems like plumbing, heating, electrical and so on. Another major aspect of a home inspection is the checking of the foundation and home itself for structural stability. If there is a problem like cracks in the foundation or leaks in the basement an inspection will identify these problems so that they can be dealt with before the sale is complete.

One thing that many regular inspections don’t look at that should be looked at is the possibility of mold in the home. Some inspectors are not fully versed in the identification of mold so it would benefit you greatly to find an inspector who is trained in the identification of mold. This will be particularly important in any home that is in close proximity to a water source such as a lake or river. Is is important to know about mold in a home as certain types of mold can be extremely harmful. Mold of any sort can inflame allergies and conditions of the respiratory system.

Don’t sell yourself short on a home purchase and be wary of any seller who seems to want to have the inspection step skipped. Maybe they are trying to hide something? Unless you get the inspection you may never know for sure.

Home Inspection: Pre-inspected Listings

The future of real estate?

* Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser.

* Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties – purchasers, vendors and Realtors.

Deals are less likely to fall through.
Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals – and often needlessly. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there’s a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers by not explaining that minor and typical problems are just that – minor and typical.

If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is drawn. There will be less likelihood for surprises after the fact. Deals will be less likely to fall through.

Pre-inspected listings can avoid renegotiation.
In a buyer’s market, most houses have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale… then the home inspection is conducted and the purchaser wants to renegotiate.

If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is generally a lesser need for renegotiation. As most Realtors know, renegotiation can be very difficult. Vendors have already mentally sold the house; purchasers are suffering from ‘buyers’ remorse’. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters.

A vendor who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. He or she may even sell their house faster.

Unrealistic vendors.
An inspection at the time of a listing can also help a Realtor deal with a vendor who has unrealistic expectations. The inspection report is good ammunition for explaining why you can’t ask top buck for a house that is not in top condition.

Repairs prior to sale.
Sometimes, the home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately. A pre-inspected listing allows the vendor to repair the problem prior to putting the house on the market.

If the inspection occurs after the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser could walk, renegotiate or depending on the inspection clause, the vendor may have the option to make repairs. A repair made by an unmotivated vendor to satisfy the condition may not be the best repair and may not meet the purchaser’s expectations. This has caused more than one deal to not close.

Peace of mind for the purchaser.
There is no doubt that part of the value of a home inspection is a guided tour of the house for the prospective purchaser. Perhaps the inspection company could return to do a walk-through with the purchaser, if requested.

Reputable inspection companies.
Pre-inspected listings will only have value if the home inspector and/or company is perceived to be reputable, qualified and properly insured. Prospective purchasers might have little or no faith in a report created by someone they perceive to be working for the Vendor or Listing Agent.

Editor’s Note: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent any policy or opinion on the part of Electrospec or it’s representatives. It is intended only as “food for thought”, and it is hoped that no one will be offended by the suggestive nature of any parts of the article.

Summary.
Does the future of home inspections lie in pre-inspected listings? Will offers be cleaner and deals less likely to be renegotiated or fall through? Will pre-inspection afford purchasers, vendors and Realtors a new measure of equilateral protection?

Hmmm…

Home Inspection Tips – Getting Reliable Radon Test Results

You can’t see or smell radon, but it could be in the home you’re buying, selling or building, and it poses a threat to your health. Therefore, it’s important to have a home inspector or other qualified professional test the home for radon levels to determine if repairs are needed that will reduce those levels.

How can you be sure to get reliable test results? First, the testing should be done on the lowest level of the home which is regularly occupied, such as a basement, play area, or area that may be used as a workshop. It’s also important to decide how long the test should take and when it will be done. A short term test requires a minimum of 48 hours. Interference to the testing should be kept to a minimum as well.

Special equipment is needed for radon testing. Your home inspector or other qualified professional radon tester will have equipment suitable for your particular situation. The office that deals with radon issues in the state where you live should have the latest information about the best equipment and methods for testing.

There are passive and active devices for radon testing. Passive devices do not need electricity. Such devices include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electret ion chamber detectors. Each device must be exposed to the air in the home for a specified period of time, depending on the device’s requirements. They’re then sent to a lab for analysis.

Passive devices can be used for short term or long term testing. They’re generally inexpensive. They may also have features to help deter interference that could adversely affect test results.

Active testing devices require electricity to function. They include continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors, which measure and record the amount of radon or its decay products in the air over a period of time. Many of these devices provide a report that will reveal any unusual or abnormal swings in the radon level during the test period. A qualified tester can explain this report to you.

Some of these active devices are specifically designed to deter and detect test interference. There are some technically advanced active devices that offer anti-interference features. Although these tests may cost more, they may give you a more reliable result.

How can test interference be prevented? First, use a test device that frequently records radon or decay product levels to detect unusual swings. Use a motion detector to determine whether the test device has been moved or testing conditions have changed. Use a proximity detector to reveal whether people are in the room, since that could affect the results.

It’s also a good idea to Record the barometric pressure to identify weather conditions which may have affected the test. Also, record the temperature to help determine if doors or windows were opened. Your tester may apply tamper-proof seals to windows to ensure closed house conditions.

It would be a good idea to have the home seller or occupant to sign a non-interference agreement.

Your inspector or qualified radon tester should be knowledgeable about these and any other necessary precautions to make sure your radon test results are reliable.