Other than choosing the right home, choosing the right home inspector is one of the most important decisions that you can make in the home-buying process. The reason for this is simple. A well-trained and experienced inspector will use his or her knowledge to help you to understand the true condition of the home that you are considering purchasing. This knowledge is essential as you go forward with the contract to purchase the home, negotiate for repairs, or back out of the contract altogether. How to choose the best home inspector to help you in this crucial process is the question that I will answer for you in this blog.
What do you think the most popular word was in all real estate listings across the country? Well, I found an interesting article that answers this question. A study analyzed the language used in over one million listings in order to determine what words were used to attract clients to homes listed at various price points.
I’ve put together a list of some completely-free things that you can do around your home that will help you to save money on your home heating bills. I’ve also listed some things that you can do that will cost some money – most of them a minimal amount – that can lead to some savings that can really add up and help you to cut your heating costs this winter. I recommend that you start with the biggest problems when it comes to making your home more energy efficient. If you have an older, leaky, poorly-insulated home, then there should be several opportunities for improvements that can help you to slash your heating costs this winter. (And obviously your cooling costs in the summer). If you already have a well-sealed home, then your opportunities for savings will be limited, but there are still some things that you can do.
Many people have heard about Federal Pacific brand panels, but in my experience, Zinsco electrical panels are not as well known. Zinsco electric panels have some inherent problems that can make them unsafe. In this article, I will explain why these panels are unsafe and give you some guidance about what to do if you have one of these panels in your home or in a home that you are considering purchasing.
With the heating season upon us, there are some things that we should all be aware of to help protect our families from carbon monoxide (CO). More than 400 people in the U.S. die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The dangers of carbon monoxide are magnified by the fact that it is odorless, tasteless and colorless; therefore, it can kill or injure you without you even knowing that it is present in your home.
Are Federal Pacific brand panels safe? Should I replace my Federal Pacific electric panel? Do Federal Pacific panels cause fires? These are some of the questions that are asked both online and by my clients when one of these panels is encountered in a home. In this article, I will do my best to answer these questions and to give you some guidance about what to do if you have one of these panels in your home or in a home that you are considering purchasing.
I often hear or read questions that saysomethinglike“Can’t I do my own home inspection?” Or “My uncle is an electrician. Can’t I have him do my home inspection?” Home Inspectors are trained to know and understand building codes and standards. They understand safety standards and know what to look for when it comes to safety. An experienced home inspector will have performed thousands of inspections, and will have learned where to look and what to look for in order to find those serious, but hard-to-find problems with a home.
Reading and understanding a home inspection report can often be a daunting and sometimes scary thing. When you receive and read over your report, you may see many items that are marked as “deficiencies.” This does not mean that the home is falling apart, because most homes (even “good” homes) have multiple deficiencies. Don’t let the number of deficiencies scare you. There may indeed be one or two items that are very serious that need to be addressed or, in the worst cases, may even cause you to change your mind about purchasing the home, but this is not the case with most homes.
In Texas, home inspectors are licensed and regulated by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC). TREC has set forth the requirements of a residential home inspection. The standard home inspection will cover almost every system in the home. It covers the following systems:
A typical home inspection in Texas will cost anywhere from about $250 - $500. While this may sound like a lot of money to some home buyers – especially when added to all of the other expenses involved with purchasing a home,
At Morgan Inspection Services, we use an infrared camera on all of our home inspections to help us to see things that otherwise might be invisible. What exactly is an infrared camera and what does it do? Infrared is part of the non-visible wavelength of light. Heat creates infrared energy. So basically, an infrared camera is a camera that can see heat (and cold). Infrared cameras, or thermal imaging, sees heat differences, and these heat differences are often clues to hidden problems. A home inspector who is also a Certified Residential Thermographer can use an infrared camera to look for thermal anomalies (indications of hot or cold areas that look a little out of the ordinary.) Since water cools as it evaporates, it produces a very obvious cold spot. Likewise, the flow of electricity heats up wires, switches, connections, appliances, etc. This is normal. But if there is a damaged or loose electrical connection, then that connection will most likely be hotter than the rest of the area, and will stand out as a hot spot to a thermal camera.
If you are constantly having to add water to your pool, the pool may simply be losing water to evaporation or it may be leaking? How do you know, and why does it matter? A leaking pool can lead to some serious problems, so it is important to know if it is leaking - especially if you can see any cracks in your pool. You can hire a company who can come out with some specialized equipment to determine if it is leaking, and then to locate and repair the leak. This could be quite expensive. Another option is for YOU to determine if there is a leak, and to call the repair company out only if your test determines that there is indeed a leak.
Now that school is out for the summer and the weather is heating up, many of us have or will be getting our swimming pools ready for our families to enjoy. I remember when my children were young, they wanted to spend as much time as possible playing in our above-ground pool during the summer. Pools are a wonderful thing for families to have, but please don’t allow a fun thing to turn tragic. It only takes a couple of minutes for a small child to get out the door and into the family swimming pool, so please take all necessary precautions to keep your family and neighborhood children safe.
If you are planning to sell your home, then there is a good chance that it will be inspected once you have it under contract. There are some things that you as the homeowner can do to help the buyer to get a more positive inspection report. Obviously, a better report will help the buyer to see the home in a more positive light and, therefore, will increase the likelihood of the sale.
Here are some things that you can do.
Have you ever noticed moisture in between the panes of glass in the double-paned windows in your home? Or do you have a white cloudy buildup in a window that makes it difficult to see through? If you have seen either of these phenomena in you home, then your thermopane window has failed.
Thermopane windows are made with two or three layers of glass that are separated by a space filled with a gas, commonly argon.
Have you ever thought about replacing the windows in your home? If so, then you’ve probably considered the benefits: they can make your house look better; they can make your house more comfortable; they can make your house quieter; and they can save you money. If you are considering upgrading your home and want it to look better, or if your current windows are in very poor condition, then replacing your windows is probably a good idea. However, if the main reason that you are considering replacing your windows is to save money, then you should probably read this post.
If your home is served by a septic system then there are some things that you should be aware of. “Out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to septic systems – or at least, it shouldn’t. If you take care of your septic system, it will normally take care of you for many years; however, if you neglect it, you can have some big and expensive problems on your hands.
From my own experiences and observations, range hoods or vent hoods are one of the most-neglected appliances in the home. Range hoods are not just designed to be used when you burn some food and want to get the odor and smoke out of your kitchen. Range hoods serve multiple purposes – all of which are related to the indoor air quality of your home.
A common plumbing deficiency that I see in many older houses is an “S” trap. The most common places that I see “S” traps are under kitchen and bathroom sinks in older homes.The reason “S” traps aren’t allowed is because they have the potential to suck, or ‘siphon’, water out of the trap as the water flows down the drain.
I’ve spoken to many homebuyers who are concerned about the cost of a home inspection. As the expenses of buying a home pile up, it is easy to understand why it might be tempting to do some comparison shopping and to choose the least expensive home inspection that you can find. However, this is not a good idea – here’s why.