Pro-Tips for A Successful (And Efficient) Home Inspection

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Leaving lights on makes your inspection easier and faster as we move through your home.

Are you preparing to sell your current home, or are you investing in a home inspection for insurance, appraisal, or other personal reasons? We know that the process can be intimidating, and feel somewhat invasive, especially for those who are in the process of selling a home and are likely not the ones who chose the inspector. Getting the inspection done quickly is preferred by many homeowners, yet it’s our job to make sure each point is checked thoroughly and that our report is comprehensive and detailed for the potential buyer and/or the appraiser. Who said that you can’t have an efficient and complete inspection that’s also fast? We have some tips from the pros that will make your inspection process go smoothly, move more quickly, and get the needed results for all parties involved. For your inspection, remember…

  • Be sure all utilities are turned on (power and water) and that all appliances are hooked up to said utilities to be easily tested. This shaves a lot of time off of the inspection process since we can quickly and easily move through your home testing the oven/stove, water heater, HVAC system, irrigation system, etc.
  • Check all light bulbs, and turn on key lights in the home. Having functional light bulbs in all light fixtures of the home lets us clearly see that they are in good shape and functional. Having lights on throughout the home also lets us see other parts of the room with a glance over without having to take extra steps (and time) to get our own task lighting.
  • Clear out clutter! The more clutter in your home, the more we have to move around to get to the areas we are required to inspect for our report. Make it a goal to remove as much clutter from your home as possible, and if you do have boxes, furniture, etc. stacked up excessively, at least try to move it away from the walls and key points of the home (like windows, vents, etc.) so we can access them more easily.
  • Have pets restrained appropriately (or have them off-site during the inspection). Most pets stay out of the way and are not a bother. However, if you have a dog (or cat) that is very aggressive, difficult to manage, etc. it will make the inspection process go much more slowly if we are continually having to work around the animal. If efficiency and speed is what you want, your pup might be better off staying with a friend for a couple of hours, or taking a walk with a neighbor.
We hope these pro-tips will make you feel more prepared for your next home inspection, and give you a better idea of what to expect. Our goal is to make the inspection process a positive experience all the way around, and because we are local to Polk County, we take our jobs seriously (and personally) since we are providing service for our friends and neighbors. Give us a call and put your home in good hands.
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Diving into the Details: Your Pool Is Part of Your Home Inspection

swim-ring-84625_640.jpgNothing makes you long for a good swim more than a hot summer day here in Florida. For that reason, many homes have pools as part of their backyard landscape, and once installed, that pool is considered part of their home and property, and therefore must be included in the property value, real estate listings, and, when you’re preparing to buy or sell, in your home inspection. Because of this, you need to make sure your inspector of choice is capable of, and experienced with, inspecting pools and pool areas of homes for sale.

Residential Inspection Consultants is one of the most trusted inspection providers in the Polk County area, and we are skilled in inspecting pools along with the rest of a home to make sure buyers or sellers can have peace of mind moving forward. Points checked during your home pool inspection can include (but are not limited to)…

  • Checking mechanical parts (including pumps) to ensure all are functioning properly
  • Inspecting tile/pavers in and around the pool
  • Inspecting pool screens for holes, broken pieces, etc.
  • Inspecting doors leading to and from the pool for security and safety purposes
  • If the pool has a pool gate, we will inspect this as well to make sure all parts are functional and secure

A pool is an important part of your home, and in many cases, is a selling point for buyers when they are moving to the greater Lakeland area and surrounding communities. No one wants to move in only to discover that the pool they looked forward to is a source of angst and frustration thanks to replacements and repairs needed from the very beginning. With a detailed home inspection, including your pool, you can have the peace of mind, and be prepared for any issues up front and have a plan to remedy them in place ahead of time, instead of unpleasant surprises after move-in day. If you’re preparing to move, or are preparing to sell your home, give us a call. We offer many options above and beyond home inspections, including wind mitigation, radon testing, and insurance inspections. We are ready and waiting to help you!

Experience Matters: The Importance of Hiring a Home Inspector with References

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Hiring a home inspector isn’t something you usually keep at the forefront of your mind…until, that is, it’s time to sell your current home, or purchase a new one thanks to a job change and resulting move, upsizing/downsizing, or simply wanting a change of pace. When that time comes, you could be tempted to simply place the decision regarding a home inspection up to your realtor, but that could be a costly mistake (even if you trust your realty specialist). Hiring your home inspector should be based on multiple factors, including licensing and insurance, price, references, and, of course, experience.
Experience for a home inspector is very important, and it tends to go hand-in-hand with references. Inspectors with experience have a leg up, and are usually the best choice in any given area when someone is buying or selling a home. Why?
  • Inspectors with experience understand the area. That means they know what to look for based on the region. Here in Florida, inspectors will pay special attention to areas of your home that could be damaged by environmental conditions (mold, sun damage, etc.), damage from storms that has been previously covered but not actually repaired, or pest issues, whether current or leftover evidence from previous infestations.
  • Experienced inspectors know “trends” for homes in their area. Perhaps you’re purchasing a home in a sub-division built by a popular spec home provider, or you’re purchasing from a well-known contractor that has built multiple homes in your region. Inspectors who have “been around the block” (literally AND figuratively!) know the strengths and weaknesses of these particular home builders, and can look for evidence of issues they’ve seen in the past. Perhaps one company is notorious for poor tile jobs, or for accidentally installing light fixtures incorrectly. If your inspector is familiar with the trends, he or she can take that background knowledge into your inspection and will know exactly what to look for.
  • Inspectors with experience offer peace of mind. As mentioned above, experience goes hand in hand with references, and references give you the peace of mind that your inspection company follows through with their claims, offers quality work, etc. Hearing from other happy customers gives you confidence in your decision, and all of those references can only come with years of experience.
Residential Inspection Consultants has been operating in and around the Polk County area for over 20 years. The business is family owned and operated, and we are passionate about our work. We have satisfied clients throughout the Lakeland region, and we’re ready to work with you as you begin the exciting process of buying or selling your house. Give us a call or make your appointment right from our site!

Time to Negotiate! Managing The Sale Following Your Home Inspection

31959492_1660836460630258_3288629241339445248_nIn the world of buying and selling a home, home inspections tend to be the “gloom and doom” of the process, since maybe homeowners assume they’ll end up with a long list of required repairs and replacements to be done in order for them to sell their home. In this same way, those purchasing a home fear that results from an inspection could be the stumbling block in the process of continuing the sale, and they’ll be back to square one searching for a home. Fortunately, neither of these scenarios are entirely true. Yes, a home inspection is a time when any needed repairs will be noted, but they only disrupt the buying and selling process in a very small percentage of extreme cases.
When preparing for your home inspection as a seller, take care of as many apparent issues as you can before the inspection even happens. By repairing any broken shutters, gates, or fencing, taking care of clogged drains or leaky sink faucets, making sure appliances are in working order, etc. you are alleviating some of the details that become a headache when an inspector comes around. By doing this, you know that only larger scale problems or issues that are hidden from amateur eyes will be on the inspection report, and a smaller list means easier negotiations later on. For those buying a home, prepare yourself ahead of time for what you will/won’t accept from a seller. Also, keep your eyes peeled during your home showings and walk-throughs. If a broken tile or a cracked patio bothers you, you need to address that up front in your initial questions for the seller and/or your offer paperwork. This prevents problems that arise from trying to change an offer or manage negotiations further along in the contract process.
Once you actually have an inspection complete, deciding what to do with the results can be tricky, and this is where your realtor and the realtor of your buyer/seller will come into play. They are trained professionals who know how to negotiate the deal so both parties are satisfied in the end. For example, if an inspection report comes back saying the house needs an outside faucet repaired, some shingles replaced, and the water heater replaced, the homeowner can choose several options. They can choose to do everything and therefore guarantee the sell of the house, or they can pick and choose things off the list which they feel they can manage, and leave other items up to the new owner. Details of this process are best discussed with your own realtor who will be in contact with the buyers/sellers and their own realtors, and communication and compromise can take place. This leads to a positive buying/selling relationship and will (hopefully) leave all parties happy as they walk away from closing day.
If you are ready to buy a new home, or are preparing to sell your current one, Residential Inspection Consultants is ready to help. We serve clients in the greater Polk County area and Central Florida residents know they can trust us to be thorough, ethical, and the very best in the business. We are fully licensed and insured so you can have peace of mind when you hire us to take care of your home. Give us a call for your appointment!