One of the toughest decisions you may come across when you finally find your dream home and you’re ready to put your offer in. Do I need a home inspection? I’ll make it really easy for you – YES. Going in for a subject free offer may be very appealing to the owners and may give you the upper hand in a multiple offer situation but it’s also a large gamble. To put it very simply, a house is the single largest investment most individuals will ever make throughout their lifetime, and when you make this purchase you want to know exactly what you’re getting with no hidden surprises. Forgoing the home inspection may win you the home, but it could also win you years of headaches and nothing but expensive hidden problems throughout. Let me ask you this, how well do you trust the owners? Do you trust them to disclose every single detail that’s wrong with their home? Probably not, and other than that they may not know the extent of the problems that may be laying underneath their very eyes. Having a certified Home Inspector come in to evaluate your potential home is the best way to discover the truth and have an unbiased honest, informed opinion.
Why is it important to get the inspection done?
Getting a home inspection on your potential home gives you the ultimate piece of mind that you need. You won’t need to worry about the structure of your home, roof or foundation crumbling because any issues would’ve been brought to your attention during your home inspection report. It also will give you a road map to a maintenance schedule and give you the opportunity to budget for any repairs that you will need to make in the near future. Keeping you aware of what’s going on with your home.
I’m buying a new home do I still need one?
Yes – the answer will always be yes. Most of us would assume, I’m buying a brand new home, why on earth do I need a home inspection when I already know there’s no problems with the roof or foundation since it’s brand new. Well, there’s more to it. Having a home inspection done before the sale is final is the last stop. The home inspector will make sure everything is working properly and no repairs are needed before you move in. Ultimately having a home inspection done on a new home will give you the negotiating power before you sign on the dotted line to have any repairs done, before you hand over the money.
How to choose your home inspector?
Choosing a home inspector can be overwhelming. With the internet conveniently at our fingertips it’s easy to access a large directory of home inspectors in your area. A helpful hint in choosing the right home inspector for your new home is to research research research! Look to see how long they’ve been in business for and if they have a few years under their belt. Secondly, assure that you will be receiving a report onsite once they complete their inspection. Having the report handed to you right then and there gives you the opportunity to address any questions or concerns you may have. Open availability is also important. Buying a home can move quite quickly; you want to make sure that the home inspector will fit the schedule that will best work for you. Lastly, word of mouth and references. There’s no better way than finding out the good, the bad and the ugly than reading reviews. Check out their Facebook page or website and see what others have to say! Just remember the key to choosing the right home inspector is do your research!
What to expect?
Depending on what home you’re looking at having inspected, whether it’s a condo, townhome or detached house it can take anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours. Your home inspector will complete a detailed walk through of your potential home outside & inside. It’s a complete top to bottom review of the physical structure of the home as well as its electrical and mechanical systems. The inspector will make sure all the major appliances are functioning correctly. They will also assess the heating and air-conditioning systems to assure everything is working properly. They will examine the plumbing to validate that there is no leaks or water damage to the home. If there is a basement, crawl space or attic your home inspector will either crawl up into the attic or down into the basement/crawlspace to ensure that there are no problems. While your inspector is doing the walk through of the inside/outside of your potential home they will be taking notes and pictures for the report. Most importantly your inspector will provide you with an unbiased professional opinion of the homes condition with your report at the end of the inspection.
Having an expert in your corner when it comes to taking a look at your potential home is worth every penny when you’re buying; whether it be your first of your fifth investment in real estate. This blog post has been made possible by the contributions by the gracious Daniel Fedosenko of Mr Home Inspector Ltd. We are grateful for the opportunity of interviewing you for this blog post.
With the warm weather upon us, many of us are beginning to plan our summer vacation activities and adventures, for a lot of us that means travelling. Before you even print those plane or cruise tickets, take a moment to think of the steps you can take to secure your home before you leave on vacation. Peace of mind on the road, or while you’re in another country is worth a lot. Avoid having to file an expensive insurance claim when you return by following these simple tips & tricks.
Mail for Days - Place a hold on mail and newspaper. There’s nothing worse than leaving on a two week vacation to have 14 newspapers piled at your front door or in your mailbox. This is like a welcome mat for burglars ask a neighbour to pick up your mail and newspapers every day or visit your local post office to place a hold on your mail.
Move It - Leave a car in your driveway. This is an easy step to help deter home break ins. Having a presence at your home is key. Whether this means, having a friend or family member drive you to the airport or having your neighbour park in your driveway occasionally. The occasional shift in position makes your home look occupied.
Keep it Clean - If you’re travelling for more than a week hire a lawn care or snow removal company to clean up the yard while you’re away. Manicured outdoor spaces give the appearance of the house being occupied.
Shine Bright – Since most robberies happen at night, install timers on various lights throughout your home to turn on at all different times so it looks like someone is home. Also consider installing motion activated lighting outdoors to keep your home secure.
Keep it Safe – Always keep your valuables such as extra cash, or expensive jewelry in a code locking safe. If your home unfortunately gets broken into, you don’t want them getting their hands on your expensive jewellery.
Garage Hack - tech savvy burglars can easily crack the code to trigger your garage door to open. Make sure you disable your electric garage door opener before you leave.
Let it Slide – Sliding doors are often the easiest and weakest link to your home security. Insure that they are locked correctly and for added security place a cut to fit stick or rod in the tracks.
Sound the Alarm - If it fits into your budget, consider installing a home security system before you leave. Many companies offer monitoring for a low monthly cost. Burglaries are much less likely to happen if there is an alarm system in place.
Shut it off – Turn off your internal water valve. The last thing you want when returning from a peaceful vacation is a flooded home from an old pipe bursting or your washing machine hose failing.
Remove the spare keys – Remember those spare keys you left under the planter? It’s time to bring them in so no one uses them while you’re away!
Taking these necessary steps to protect your home can really help put your mind at easy while you’re away. Bon Voyage!
Despite the chill that’s still lingering in the air, spring is finally here! Many of us associate the word spring with budding flowers and sunshine, but it also means that it’s time to break out those cleaning gloves and tackle the task of Spring Cleaning.
Spring cleaning is no small task, it can often turn into a huge project. To make your spring cleaning tasks a little more manageable, here are a few tips that can help you tackle your home.
1. Plan of Attack
Lists can often help people stay organized especially tackling a project like Spring Cleaning. Before you get started, walk through each room and write down what you want to accomplish. Writing a list out also helps to make sure you have all the cleaning materials you need before you start.
2. Turn up the Tunes
Put together a cleaning playlist to make the task more fun! Listening to music while cleaning may help make things go by faster, keep you motivated and of course it’s an extra work out!
3. Clean One Room at a Time
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and side tracked when you want to accomplish cleaning your entire house! Baby steps… stick with cleaning one room at a time, or pick two or three rooms to accomplish on the weekend. This way your whole house isn’t thrown upside down all at once. Much easier to manage.
As you go through each room, make sure to declutter. Recycle old magazines, put items you no longer use, need or wear, like that tshirt you bought a year ago but never wear into a three bin system; keep sell or donate. Decide if it’s worth it to sell, or simply put it in a box to donate. Using a three bin system works well to keep you organized and on task
5. Set a Timer
It’s hard to stay on track when cleaning. You may find items you’ve forgotten about, lost, or old photographs, and before you know it you’ve spent the entire day cleaning just one closet because your too busy reminiscing the past. Set a timer so you don’t fall into this trap. Much like a list, it can help you stay on track.
6. Recruit Some Help
Don’t do all the cleaning yourself. What’s better than a cleaning party?! Recruit your kids, significant other or friends to help you out. When you can divvy up the work, it will hopefully take less time than if you do it all by yourself and its good company!
7. Top to Bottom
Start cleaning from the top of the room and work your way down. Knock down all those dusty cobwebs from the corner, dust the light fixtures, clean the windows, dust the furniture, and finally finish with the floors.
8. Think Green
Many chemical-based cleaners emit hazardous fumes. No matter what cleaners you use, remember to always read the labels. Instead of using numerous rolls of paper towel for cleaning, check out a microfiber cloth. They can be used on multiple surfaces and pick up dust like no other!
9. Fresh Air
Even when it’s cold and cloudy outside, it’s a great idea to open up all the windows in the room you’re working in. It lets the fresh air circulate and immediately freshens up the house. If you’re sensitive to all the dust you’re stirring up while cleaning the fresh air will also help.
10. Reward Yourself for a Job Well Done
Having something to look forward to at the end of a long day of cleaning sure makes things go faster. Plus, you worked hard and deserve it. Treat yourself to that bottle of wine you’ve been eyeing or take the opportunity to order in dinner; because let’s face it, who likes to make dinner and make a mess in your newly clean kitchen after a full day of spring cleaning.
Alright, so these tips won’t make all the dirt magically disappear, but the tips above may help you make the task a little bit easier. Remember to take your time and have fun! You don’t have to do everything in one day, that’s why it’s called “Spring Cleaning”