House Inspections Thriving in the Foreclosure Market

February 17th, 2010
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House inspections have been thriving in the foreclosure market as buyers and investors of foreclosed homes make sure they are buying properties worth their prices.

According to house inspectors in Alabama, most of their clients are people buying foreclosed properties or newly-built houses that have been unoccupied for more than one year. They also said that they are detecting common problems such as mold, leaking roofs, moisture, poor air conditioning and heating systems, faulty water heaters and nonfunctioning attic fans.

Home inspector John Glover said that most houses his firm has inspected suffer from lack of maintenance. He said that a lot of homeowners do not spend money to maintain their homes.

In Baldwin and Mobile counties in Alabama, home inspection fees can start from $175 up to a high of $500. Good inspectors list the parts that must be fixed and potential problems that can be addressed in the near future.
Bill Hinton said that he has been advising sellers to fix several problems instead of making a big costly improvement. On the other hand, he has also been advising his buyers to check the more important things such as the foundation, the roof and the attic, and not the cosmetic stuff during house inspections.

Bob Grafe, owner of a Daphne house inspection firm that has been operating for 15 years, said that he has cut down his inspection prices to remain competitive. He added that despite the importance of inspection, some people have been forgoing inspections to save on costs.

Another inspector, James Porter Elder, said that even newly built homes need to be inspected, especially if these properties have been unoccupied for several months. He explained that with the air conditioning and heating systems turned off, mold damage could develop during summer or burst pipes could occur during winter.

According to Elder, who also owns a home inspection firm and who works with the American Society of Home Inspectors, house inspectors will soon participate in a nationwide program of introducing energy-saving systems and green-built houses to American consumers. Elder said that the U.S. Department of Energy will soon launch a program that would educate homeowners about energy efficiency and that would involve house inspectors.

Indeed, the business of house inspections thrives during the downturn especially for home inspectors who do their work efficiently and who make themselves updated with home inspection trends and industry developments.

Home Inspection

Home Inspection Prior to Listing Can Benefit Sellers

January 12th, 2010
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Home inspection prior to listing can benefit sellers, according to real estate brokers.

The pre-market house inspection report can guide the seller about needed repairs and the current conditions of the major systems of the house. The owner can then decide whether to leave the conditions as is and give discounts to the buyer or make the needed repairs so that the maximum price can be asked.

The ready certified house inspection report can also be used as an additional marketing tool when talking with prospective buyers. The report will generate immediate positive feelings about the sincerity of the seller to be honest with buyers.

Future claims or lawsuits regarding the true condition of the house would also be avoided if there is a pre-market inspection report. Any condition of the home that puts the safety and security of current owners and prospective buyers at risk would also be addressed immediately.

Most buyers oftentimes still want their own inspection even if there is already an inspection paid for by the seller. If this is the case, owners should require the inspector and seller to be responsible for any damage directly caused by the inspection.

For both buyers and sellers, hiring a certified, experienced and recommended inspector to carry out the home inspection is important. There have been countless cases throughout the country in which inspectors do not know how residential systems work and are not able to determine the crucial defects that should be detected.

Oftentimes also, inexperienced inspectors record defects that are not really defects and deem some systems as completely non-functional when just a minor part needs to be replaced. An HVAC unit, for instance, needs only its faceplate, a part costing just $95, to be replaced to function well again.

In states that do not require licensing for home inspectors such as California, sellers and buyers should see to it that they hire inspectors who are members of house inspection organizations.

In California, they should choose among members of the California Real Estate Inspection Association or the American Society of Home Inspectors. These associations issue certificates to persons who complete their training modules and pass their inspection examinations.

When hiring home inspectors, sellers and buyers should also be clear about what parts of the house are going to be inspected, what parts are excluded, what kind of home inspection report is going to be accomplished and when the report would be given.

Home Inspection Benefits

New Home Inspector Regulations Will Take Effect in Kansas

December 9th, 2009
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New home inspector regulations will take effect in Kansas in January next year.

Starting January 1, before house inspectors can carry out their home inspection tasks, they need to first register with the Kansas Home Inspector Registration Board and increase their liability limit to $2,000 or higher. They must also comply with educational requirements and residential inspection standards.

According to members of the board, they surveyed house inspectors across the state before they created regulations. They said that after Kansas lawmakers approved the Home Inspection Certification and Financial Responsibility Act, they worked with house inspectors to develop residential inspection standards and continuing education requirements.

They conducted public meetings in Topeka, Kansas City and Wichita to talk with homebuyers, real estate agents and house inspectors and obtain inspection input.

To help homeowners and prospective homebuyers, board members also developed a set of detailed home inspection guidelines so that clients would know what are done during inspections, which parts are inspected and which parts are not.

Despite the opposition of some inspectors to the new home inspector regulations, a lot of house inspectors welcomed the new registration and liability rules. They understood the rationale behind the registration program, which is to make house inspection a more respected profession.

With registration, certification and continuing education, incompetent house inspectors will be prevented from practicing, thereby reducing the number of people destroying the image of house inspectors.

According to registration advocates, the profession of house inspection should be regulated because it is one of the most crucial parts of home buying and homeownership. Buying a home entails large amounts of money, credit records, families and emotional investments, so the persons inspecting the homes to be purchased should be able to describe the real conditions of the properties and identify potential problems.

If house inspectors fail to see major problems in the properties, buyers would be buying homes that they must repair at high costs within months of their purchases or immediately after their move-in.

For prospective homebuyers looking for house inspectors to hire, they need to check not only state certification, but also membership with reputable state and national house inspection associations, such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.

House inspectors with background in home construction are oftentimes preferred because they know how things are put together, but homebuyers also need to ensure that the chosen home inspector does not identify defects and then volunteer his contracting service to resolve the problems.

Home Inspectors

Home Inspector Takes Greater Role in Minnesota Cities

November 16th, 2009
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The city home inspector has been increasingly taking a greater role in the monitoring of foreclosed and vacant homes in the Minnesota cities of Lakeville and Burnsville, which are both located in Dakota County. As vacant foreclosure homes continue to rise in the two cities and as mortgage lenders fail to maintain the properties, Burnsville […]

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Building Inspection – a Requirement by NeighborWorks

November 12th, 2009
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Building inspection is one of the requirements of NeighborWorks in its PEARLS program before a foreclosure home is purchased for the program. PEARLS stands for Purchase Efficient Affordable Homes and Rehab, Lease and Sell. The homes acquired under the program need to be rehabilitated well before they are sold or rented out to families that […]

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Choosing a Home Inspection Company for Environmental Testing

November 6th, 2009
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Choosing a home inspection company carefully for environmental testing is important because you are testing for the existence of hazardous substances that adversely affect the health and well-being of your family. For radon testing, look for certified radon testers at, the web site of the National Environmental Health Association, or at, the web […]

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Home Inspection to Prepare a Home for Sale

October 26th, 2009
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If you have been considering selling your home – although not immediately – you will find that ordering a home inspection will be the logical thing to do. By doing so, you can enjoy the leisure of repairing the defects in your home at your own pace. A professional home inspector will be able to […]

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Home Inspector Will Take the Stress Out of Distressed Sales

October 22nd, 2009
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An experienced home inspector will be able to help you ensure that the house you are buying in a distressed sale, such as a foreclosure, auction or short sale, is worth the money you are spending. Typically, distressed properties have defects and damages, but you would want to ensure that these issues are not major […]

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Conduct Inspection Houses Before Winter

October 15th, 2009
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Considering that the fall season is almost over, home improvement experts are advising homeowners to conduct inspection houses. This way, all defects can be repaired before winter comes. If you do not know where to begin, consider the following guide: Since you will be using your boiler, furnace or stove during the cold days, it […]

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Proper Inspection Homes and Saving on Home Insurance Cost

October 13th, 2009
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For some Florida homeowners, saving on insurance costs has been made possible with proper inspection homes. The state already requires insurance companies to offer discounts or credits to homeowners who install safety features that will reduce loss and damages due to fire, burglary or even floods. Such discounts are not enough if you are serious […]

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