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Posted by Lea Nabipour on 4/2/2018

Once you start the process of buying a home, you may begin to feel as if you know everything there is to know about real estate. There’s so much house hunting, researching and negotiating that the process can be dizzying. Once you get into a contract and start the home inspection process, a whole new host of questions comes to the table. Now, you need to know the nitty gritty of what you’re about to buy. 


Once you hire a home inspector, it could seem like they are speaking an entirely different language. These inspectors will be looking for any and all potential problems with your new dream home. In order to get the most out of your home inspection, you’ll want to ask smart questions.


How Much Of An Impact Does This Have?


Home inspectors cannot legally tell you whether a property is “good” or not. They can only tell you the things they find wrong with the property, or where they see a need for improvement. These inspectors will seem pretty even keeled when you meet them, so they can be hard to read. They’re all about facts. Asking them what kind of an impact a certain problem will have can help you to make a more informed decision. 



Who Can Fix This?


In many states, home inspectors cannot legally make repair recommendations. They can however give you an idea of how easy or how complicated it may be to fix something. You may find that you’ll be able to make simple repairs on your own rather than hire someone for a big price. The only drawback is that home inspectors cannot actually “fix” anything for you. They can only give advice.  


What’s A Priority?


Your home inspector can give you an idea of what issues in the home you are about to buy need to be fixed first. Since the inspector's job is to point out absolutely everything- both big and small- you’ll want to know what has the biggest priority so that you can plan accordingly. If things are at the “end of their lifetime” rather than in need of a simple repair, you’ll understand as a homebuyer how much money you’ll need to shell out for repairs sooner rather than later.   


Where Is That?


Many times as home inspectors as heading through the property, mentioning things that need repairs and attention, you may have no idea what they are referring to. It’s a good idea to have a notepad and and a camera so that you can refer back to what the inspector was talking about. Some inspectors even insert digital pictures into their reports, so you can ask about that when you’re hiring an inspector.   

How Does That Work?


Inspectors can often give you an idea of how different moving parts of the home operate. If you’re new to homeownership, or come across something that you have never seen before, your inspector will be happy to help you figure it all out. It can be a lifesaver once you move in since you’ll already know how much of the house operates.





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 12/18/2017

If you're an apartment renter ready to take the plunge into home ownership, there are a lot of reasons to be excited! Owning your own home does bring with it additional work and responsibilities, but the feeling of pride that accompanies it makes it all worthwhile!

Once you get used to the idea that "the buck stops here" and that there's no landlord to handle repairs and maintenance any more, it won't take long to get into the rhythm of being an established property owner. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your first experience with home ownership is a satisfying one.

  • Get a good real estate agent. A real estate professional can provide you with valuable guidance, advice, and information about houses you're considering in your desired neighborhoods and price ranges. A buyers' agent can help you avoid many of the potential pitfalls of buying your first home and help you stay within budget. They'll assist you in clarifying your priorities and work on your behalf to find homes that meet your requirements. A service-oriented agent will not only point out the positive aspects of houses you're considering, but they'll also discuss ideas for adapting the home to your specific needs and lifestyle.
  • Hire an experienced property inspector. A seasoned home inspector can take a close look at the condition of the house and property you're considering and help make sure there are no major structural defects, safety issues, or operational problems with the home's systems and components. Although every property inspector approaches their job a little differently, their inspection service should include everything from the roof and foundation to the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. They may also report to you on the condition of the home's insulation, its exterior, and any existing or potential drainage problems on the property. Certain aspects of the house may be excluded from the inspection if it's difficult or unsafe to gain access to them. A top-notch home inspector can also provide useful insights into repairs that need to be made on the house. As a side note, professional property inspectors are often members of The American Society of Home Inspectors and follow the organization's Standards of Practice.
  • Visit a lot of different houses for sale before making a final decision. It also pays to have a checklist with you to keep track of how each house stacks up to your requirements and expectations.
While your emotions will invariably play a role in your final choice, many other factors should also be taken into account, including the character of the neighborhood, proximity to conveniences and shopping, and the quality of the school district. Your real estate agent and/or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development can provide you with a handy checklist for evaluating and comparing homes for sale.





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 11/21/2016

You can't see it. You can't smell it. You can't taste it. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reports 1 in 3 homes have potentially dangerous levels of radon. The Surgeon General's Office estimates that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you are having a home inspection or you have lived in your home for a long time the US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and National Safety Council all recommend you test for radon. Your home inspector can test for radon, or you can purchase a do-it-yourself test. If you have a well you will also want to make sure to test the water for radon. If your home has high concentrations of radon (over 4 pCi/L) you can mitigate the radon. You can find a list of certified radon mitigators here.    





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 1/18/2016

If you live in or are buying an older home you may be concerned about asbestos. Asbestos was banned in 1978 because of the health risks associated with it. Asbestos fibers are dangerous when inhaled.  The microscopic fibers can become lodged in the respiratory system and lead to asbestosis or scarring of the respiratory tissues. Asbestos was commonly used as a binder and fire retardant in many building products. It can typically be found in acoustical ceiling tiles; thermal insulation of boilers and pipes; steel fireproofing, cement asbestos siding and roofing; tile and sheet floor coverings. Inspectors are most concerned with what is known as friable asbestos (easily crumbled or pulverized to powder) and often recommend it be removed. It should always be removed and disposed of by a qualified contractor. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency for an updated list of qualified testing and or mitigation contractors.

 
   





Posted by Lea Nabipour on 6/29/2014

At your home inspection you notice the windows look dirty and hazy, they even have water droplets inside the panes. The seals are broken. You immediately think you will need new windows or do you? What you see is a failed or broken window seal. Window seals usually fail due to age, the typical window seal will last around 10 - 15 years. Other reasons a window seal may fail are:

  • Pressure changes caused from hot and cold weather
  • Building settlement
  • Movement from opening and closing
  • Objects hitting the window
  • Pressure washing
  • Deteriorating frameworks
If you can't stand the look of the hazy windows and decide to replace them make sure to find a company that offers a good warranty plan, look for a 10-20 year warranty.