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Do I Need A Home Inspection?

Is a home inspection needed?

Protect your interest

When you buy a Charlotte NC home, you buy its amazing features and great location. You also buy its flaws. Not all homes are perfect. Even some new construction homes have minor flaws.

Your home is a big investment, and you want to make sure it is in good condition when you buy it.  It is your right to know the weaknesses of the home you are going to purchase, and the home inspection allows you to learn that.

Many buyers feel that the home inspection is something they can do themselves because it seems easy to check the condition of the home and find out if the electrical or heating systems are working.  While it’s true that a home inspection only covers and inspect things that are visible, there are many things you don’t check when buying a home.

For example, one of the reasons you love the living room is for its stone-lined fireplace. Have you checked if it is safe? Did you check the wiring of the home? How about the plumbing?  All these things are covered in the home inspection.

Top 3 benefits of a home inspection

  1. It saves you money. Home inspections cost $300 – $400 depending on the size of the home. It is a small amount to pay compared to your possible expense a couple of years later when you have to rewire your entire home, or when you need to have your foundation repaired.
  1. It allows you to negotiate for a lower price. When the home you like is still at the upper end of your budget price range, a home inspection may give you the means to negotiate the price to your favor.
  1. It gives you a good deal. Not only does a home inspection allow you to ask for a lower price, it also gives you the power to request needed repairs. Some sellers are willing to deduct the amount of repair from the listing price.

What’s included in a home inspection?

Home inspections start from the top of the house down to the bottom, but it will not cover everything in the Charlotte NC home you are planning to buy. The inspector has a list of different items to look at in the home. These inspectors are trained and certified by the state and are experts in what they do.  The following are some areas covered in an inspection:

  • Structural components including foundation and framework of the house are covered. The inspector will check if the foundation is solid, and if the walls are straight. This is especially helpful if you are buying an older home.
  • The roofing system is composed of the shingles, flashing, fascia and skylight which will be looked at. The inspector will check for defects which may cause drips or loose gutters.
  • Exterior portions of the home will be covered including the siding, porches, and driveways. The inspection will check for cracks, rot or decay in the siding.
  • The plumbing system which includes pipes, drains, and water heater will be inspected to check for deficiencies.
  • Heating and Cooling system and its distribution equipment will be analyzed.
  • Interior features like walls, ceilings, windows, doors, etc will be looked at.
  • Insulation and ventilation will be inspected to see if it was installed properly.
  • Fireplaces which include chimneys and vents will be inspected for problems.
  • Kitchens will be checked from plumbing, to electrical and appliances.
  • Bathrooms will be inspected for venting, leaks and more.

You will be provided with the detailed findings, which you can use as basis for further price negotiation. As a buyer, the home inspection report is your way of checking the investment you’ll be making is sound and will not give you any problems in the near future.

Call me, Nancy Braun, at (704) 997-3794. Allow me to make your real estate experience a smooth and enjoyable journey.

How To Choose A Home Inspector in Charlotte NC

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Hiring a qualified and experienced home inspector to do the home inspection is key to successfully buying your Charlotte dream home. Once you've found the perfect home and your offer has been accepted, you'll want to be sure that you have the home inspected prior to closing. It's a good idea to speak to your agent about making your offer contingent on a clean home inspection prior to closing.

A contingency plan can be very helpful before a home inspection takes place, so that you may renegotiate the price based on repairs and problems or walk away entirely. Once the report is filed, your agent will inform you of the best course of action.

Choosing an Inspector:

Your real estate professional will likely have a list of inspectors they have worked with and that they will recommend to you. To help, here are 5 things to consider to help you choose the right inspector for a proper home inspection:

1. Qualifications
Ask what is included with the inspection and find out whether the location or age of your home requires specific certifications as a home inspector.

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2. Home Inspection
You can ask for sample reports of home inspections done in Charlotte, NC to see how thorough the inspection will be; a detailed report will be very informative and helpful.

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3. References
Every good inspector should have references, which you can call and speak to about their experience.

4. Memberships
Not all home inspectors are a member of a national or state association, so this should not be your only deciding factor. Those who are members however, do require continued training and education in the field.

5. Errors and Omission Insurance
Inspectors are human and may miss something in a home from time to time. To avoid any issues, make sure to ask about errors and omission insurance to see what inspectors are liable for once when the inspection is over.

You can also ask the home inspector if you can tag along as they do the home inspection; this way you can see first-hand what needs to be addressed or fixed.

Inspectors are responsible for making sure that you're getting the best quality for your purchase. They will want to search every nook in the new home, so don't be surprised to see them checking floors, crawling in the attic or heading out onto the roof. Other things they'll check for will include plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, fireplaces, chimneys, the foundation and more.

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Bottom Line

A solid home inspection in your dream home is very important considering the large investment you are making in buying your Charlotte home. Be aware of all of the potential problems in the home and work with a professional you trust who will seek out any potential problems before you make a decision.

Ready to buy? Here are the Top 11 Things to Know When Buying a Home and 5 Ways To Be A Smart Home Buyer.

For more properties, be sure to browse our homes for sale in Charlotte NC and allow Showcase Realty to assist you!

Call us today at 704.997.3794 or send us a message here!

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

A home inspection helps find potential expenses beyond the sales price, which puts homebuyers in a powerful position for negotiation. If there are any issues discovered during the home inspection, buyers can stipulate that the sellers either repair them before closing or help cover the costs in some other way.

If the sellers do not want to front the money to complete the repairs, buyers could negotiate a drop in the overall sales price of the home!

Perhaps even more importantly, a home inspection buys you peace of mind. Your first days and months in a new home will set the tone for your life there, and you don't want to taint that time with worries about hidden problems and potential money pits.

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

Showcase Realty's top Charlotte real estate agents can help home buyers in Charlotte with all of their real estate needs including home inspections. Our list of preferred vendors include top Carolina home inspectors and professionals in Charlotte.

To help you understand how much money a home inspection can save you, here are some numbers from HomeAdvisor to drive the point home ”¦ so to speak.

Roof - Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections. Roof repair can range between $316 and $1046, but to replace a roof entirely can cost between $4,660 and $8,950.

Plumbing - Don't underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage that costs between $1,041 and $3,488 to repair. Your home inspector will look for visible problems with the plumbing such as leaky faucets, water stains around sinks and the shower, and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors show plumbing problems.

Foundation - If your home inspector sees that the house is sinking, that means water is seeping into the foundation; cracks in walls, sticking windows, and sagging floor also indicate foundational problems. The foundation is so important that if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, lenders will not lend money on the home until those issues are solved. Foundation repairs can reach as high as $5,880 to repair.

Heating and Cooling - Ensuring the home's heating and cooling system is working properly is very important. Your home inspector will make you aware of any problems with the existing system and let know you whether the system is past its prime and needs replacing.

You don't want to throw down $3,919 to replace an aged furnace. Nor do you want to spend $5,238 replacing an ill-working air conditioner. Replacing and repairing a water heater gets pricey too. Wouldn't you rather use your savings for a vacation?

Electrical Systems - When thinking of the electrical system, no problem is better than even a small problem. Electrical problems might seem small, but they can blossom into thousand-dollar catastrophes.

Make sure your home inspector examines the electric meter, wires, circuit breaker, switches, and the GCFI outlets and electrical outlets.

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

As you can see, a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a general home inspection can save you tons of money and future headaches.

Showcase Realty can connect you with the right Charlotte home inspectors to get the job done without costing too much.

Call Showcase Realty today at 704.997.3794 to learn more about how our Charlotte real estate agents can help you with the home buying process.

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December 3, 2014

Finding the Right Home Inspector For You

Finding the Right Home Inspector For You

You plan to buy a house, you saw one, you made an offer, the offer has been accepted and your funding is now ready. However, before you continue with the home buying process, ask yourself, are you sure your soon-to-be-home doesn’t have any major defects that will eventually cost you a lot along the way?

Therefore, you should never neglect one of the most important parts in the home buying process and that is doing a home inspection by an excellent home inspector. But how do you choose one? We’ve prepared for you some important tips to remember when choosing a home inspector.

Assess the inspector’s experience. You can do this by checking into how long he has been in the business and how many home inspections he has performed in the past. Ask about his expertise, the way he conducts the inspections, what will be included in his report, and how much he charge for his services. If possible, ask the inspector to give you a sample copy of a written report he has completed before. Remember, there is certainly no equivalent to experience as it enhances and broadens a person’s knowledge and skills in inspecting homes.

Check if the inspector is associated with a professional inspection organization. Although this won’t totally eradicate the bad options, it can help a lot in weeding out fly-by-night inspectors. But this doesn’t mean you’ll simply chose an organization, we highly recommend those professionals affiliated with groups like the National Institute of Building Inspectors, American Society of Home Inspectors, or the National Association of Home Inspectors.

Make sure the inspector has errors and omissions insurance. Your potential home inspectors should have errors and omissions insurance specifically for conducting home inspections. The purpose of the insurance is to cover mistakes of a home inspection – any flaws of a home that the inspector may have overlooked.

Ask for the type of equipment he’ll use for the home inspection. Never hire an inspector who’ll only use a flashlight throughout the inspection because he will not be able to provide you with the best and comprehensive home inspection results. There are actually now lots of sophisticated testing device today and if the inspector is serious about his job, he will invest in such delicate yet costly device to give the best services to his clients. Proper equipment will include electrical circuit analyzers, digital moisture meters, digital cameras for documentation, electronic carbon monoxide and fuel gas analyzers, along with the traditional necessary equipment.

Get feedbacks and recommendations. One of the most effective methods to get the best home inspector is to get recommendations and feedback from family or friends who have worked before with such professional. In this way, you already have an overview about his knowledge and skills. As much as possible, do not hire an inspector who’s affiliated with the seller, the seller’s agent or the agency selling the house.

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November 3, 2014

Must-Know Things About Home Inspections

Must-Know Things About Home Inspections

For all homebuyers, having your home inspected by a professional is an important step in the home buying process. Home inspection is an educational process that helps reduce your risk when buying a home. Therefore, as a homebuyer, it’s important that you have a good understanding on the home inspection process. Therefore, we have discussed below some important things you need to know about home inspections.

  • Choose an accredited home inspector. This step is one of the most important things you need to do once you have decided to buy a house. At present, several professional home inspection organizations are trying to set new standards of quality through accreditation. For instance, members of the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. or NAHI, need to meet strict membership criteria for each level of their membership. Therefore, when you’re looking for a home inspector to hire, check their credibility, background and license. It also recommended that you consider at least three licensed inspectors before choosing the one you’ll hire. Be sure to interview your prospective candidates and ask for referrals from their past clients. Lastly, hire the inspector base on his qualifications and not because he offers the lowest fee or he’s the only one available right away.
  • Attend the inspection together with the inspector. Once you’ve decided the date and time of the inspection, be sure you attend the inspection and never leave the inspector’s side. This allows you to see for yourself the different aspects of the house especially those that need renovations or repairs.
  • The inspector should be thorough with the inspection. You have to ensure that the inspector turns on all appliances to make sure they work especially if they are included during home selling. Furthermore, check the two most expensive and important parts of the house, which are the roof and foundation, that are best viewed from the attic as well as the basement.
  • Inspect what’s outside the house. When you’re done checking the interiors of the house, you’ll also need to check what’s outside. Experts recommend staying away from homes that are near main roads, high-tension electrical wires, and sumps as these will eventually cause a lot of problems when you start living in your new home.
  • Get a report of the property inspection. You can request a verbal and a hard copy of the summary of the property inspection especially one that focuses on the deficiencies. And if there are lots of deficiencies found, it’s your responsibility to obtain three quotes for the repairs from independent firms. The inspector should not provide estimates or recommend firms to hire for repairs or renovations.
August 26, 2014

Inspecting A Foreclosure Property

Foreclosed homes, like any other homes, need a thorough inspection especially to rule out any huge safety issues. Although buying a foreclosure sometimes allow you to save thousands of dollars, it’s important that home inspection is done to ensure that you also won’t need to pay thousands of dollars just to repair any damages or renovate the house. Here are some of the common areas that you need to pay attention to during home inspection.

Molds and pests. Pests like bats, termites, rats, and squirrels among others like living in a place that’s quiet and a vacant foreclosed property can give that to them. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to find some of these during your home inspection. You’ll usually see chewed boards or droppings during your home inspection indicating their presence in the property.

As for the molds, when you notice that there’s a musty odor when you enter the property, then this may indicate the presence of molds. You’ll usually find some odors on empty toilets or sink traps.

Utilities. An important part of the inspection is checking whether all the utilities – water, gas and electricity are still functioning. Therefore, before a home inspector examines the property, be sure that you’ve already arranged all the utilities to be functioning to determine their condition.

Theft and vandalism. Since some of foreclosed properties are left vacant or abandoned for quite some time, people may start vandalizing in both the interiors and exteriors of the property. Together with this, vacant houses also become prime targets for theft, which is why some items in the property might have gone missing. Hence, a thorough inspection is needed to determine which areas of the property needs replacement, repair or renovation to ensure that it doesn’t compromise the safety of your family once you live there.

Damages from foreclosure rage. Although this isn’t common, some previous homeowners start to damage the property they’re going to leave during the foreclosure proceedings. You’ll usually notice damaged wall sockets as people yank the plus or broken windows glasses or holes in the walls or doors where the fists or feet of the homeowners went through. Sometimes, it might just be because the homeowner doesn’t have any money to make any renovations or repairs on the property.

Are you eyeing to buy a foreclosed property in Charlotte? Do you need a home inspector to help you? Get in touch with Showcase Realty as we know the right professionals to help you get on a thorough home inspection.

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