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Home Inspection

Category : home inspection

Getting a Home Inspection

If you are in the process of purchasing a new home, it will definitely be in your best interest to have a home inspection done.

Why Do I need Home Inspection?

To make sure your future home isn’t going to cost you a lot in repairs. But also most lenders will require that you have a home inspected before they will proceed with the mortgage loan. The Bank has just as much interest in the home as you do, so that is why they require an inspection.

Home Inspector:

The home inspector goes through the home, and thoroughly inspects to make sure nothing in is need of major repair. Inspector goes through a home and checks wiring, fixtures, plumbing, and the foundation of the home to make sure it is structurally sound and also inspect the outside of the home along with the roof to make sure there isn’t any exterior damage.

Imagine you found your dream home and you purchased it but didn’t get inspection done. On the day that you and your family move in, it is the happiest day of your lives. Then after you move in, you get your first rain and next thing you know, you have rain coming through the ceilings. The home inspection is very important to both you and the lending bank. You both have an interest in the property, so have the home inspection done.


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Home Inspection and What To Expect

Home Inspection is a non-invasive visual examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home.

Home Inspection may include any combination of mechanical, structural, electrical, combination of mechanical, structural, electrical, plumbing, or other essential systems or portions of plumbing, or other essential systems or portions of the home.

What is non-invasive Home Inspections, inspector can only report on what can be seen, given reasonable access. The Home Inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection.

A material defect is a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people.  The fact that a system or component is near, at or beyond the end of its normal useful life is not, in itself, a material defect.

For example, a cracked foundation or a dangerous electrical condition would constitute an unreasonable risk to people, but a roof covering that had exceeded its intended lifespan would not, unless it was also showing signs of leakage.

Home Inspection report identify in written format, all defects within specific systems and components defined by the Inspection Standards that are both observed and deemed material by your inspector.  Inspection reports may include additional comments and recommendations.

The Home Inspection covers the house itself and that part of the property which has a direct impact on the building. An example of some of the items inspected would be:

  • Attic
  • Roof
  • Exterior
  • Exterior Grounds
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Electrical
  • Interior
  • Plumbing
  • Safety Issues

 After the completion of your Home Inspection, our office will prepare a detailed Home Inspection Report for your property.


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Seller Home Inspections

Category : home inspection

What is Seller inspections? Seller Inspection also referred to as pre-listing home inspection. Seller inspections are arranged and paid for by the seller, usually just before the home goes on the market that helps to identify a defects, problems that gives seller an opportunity to make any repairs that will put the house in better selling condition and to price home accordingly.

To have a Pre-Listing Home Inspection is a good selling point, if the property already had a clean inspection or repairs were already taken care of.

Benefits of Pre-Listing Home Inspection

  • To Identify Defects and repair home prior to listing which can save seller time (gives the seller time address all repairs before buyer does and to obtain reasonable repair estimates.
  • Saves Time since Seller are not under the time constraints of a sales agreement’s
  • Seller can choose his own certified home inspector rather than wait for the buyer’s choice
  • Save money (The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don’t exist or have been corrected)

Benefits for a Home Buyer:

  • Home Inspection is complete by a seller.
  • Home inspection is paid for by the seller.
  • Home Inspection report provides accurate third-party view of the condition of the home prior to making an offer.
  • A seller inspection eliminates hidden defects.
  • Problems are corrected, or acknowledged, prior to making an offer on the home.
  • Home Inspection report can help acquiring financing.

 


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Home Improvements – Can home improvements increase the value of your house?

Category : home inspection

One of the most common reasons people give when asked why they are improving their home is that home improvements increase house value. While this can often be true, it is by no means as universal as some people assume it is. When you’re about to pay out lots of money for a home improvement, it’s worth checking whether the value of your house will increase by enough to pay for it – or, worse, whether it might actually force your house value down.

Let’s start with bathrooms and kitchens. While well-maintained and nice-looking kitchens and bathrooms do add value to a home, there’s nothing to say that they have to be the very latest thing. An older room that is well looked-after and wasn’t a complete abomination to begin with can often help the value just as much as a newly-installed one.

Extensions, on the other hand, almost always increase the value of your home, as they make it bigger. A four-bedroom home can be significantly more valuable on the market than a three-bedroom one, as a bigger family can live in it. However, you need to watch out for building too far out into your garden if you only have a small one: get rid of too much of your garden, and you could knock even more value off your home than you gain from the extra bedroom.

Although it might seem strange, this same rule also applies to garden features such as swimming pools and ponds. While you might like them, not everyone does – and you’ve just taken a piece of garden that could be used for almost anything and turned it into a single-use feature. Also, swimming pools especially can be very expensive to maintain, which can put off potential house buyers.

Overall, it’s a bad idea to make home improvements just to make money, as you will almost always fail. Instead, just make the improvements that you want, while avoiding any that will really hit your house’s price.


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Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance. And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses. One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system. It’s simple and inexpensive, and taking care of it at least every three months can mean the difference between optimum comfort and avoidable repairs.

What Can Go Wrong

Most homes have some sort of furnace or heat pump, and manA-C System Home Inspectiony of those homes (especially newer ones) have combined heating, ventilation and air-conditioning or HVAC systems. Each type uses some type of air filter or screen to prevent larger airborne particles (up to 40 microns) from entering the system and clogging sensitive machinery. A system that has a dirty filter can suffer from pressure drop, which can lead to reduced air flow, or “blow-out,” resulting in no air infiltration at all. Any of these conditions can cause the system to work harder to keep the home warm or cool (depending on the season and the setting). And any mechanical component that has to work harder to run efficiently puts undue stress on the whole system, which can lead to premature failure, resulting in repair or replacement.

Also, a dirty filter that’s exposed to condensation can become damp, which can lead to mold growth that can be spread throughout the home by the HVAC system. This can lead to serious health consequences, not to mention a compromised unit that will likely require servicing and may require replacement, depending on the severity of the moisture problem.

Types of Filters

Most HVAC and furnace filters are disposable, made of biodegradable paper or similar media, and shaped in cells, screens or fins designed to trap as much airborne debris as possible. Filters can typically be purchased in economical multi-packs, and there are many types that will fit different models of furnace/HVAC units. It’s important to use the appropriate filter for your unit; using the wrong filter that doesn’t fit the unit properly can create the same types of problems as having a dirty filter. Your HVAC installer can show you where the filter goes and how to remove the old one and install a new one. Your unit may also have an affixed label with directions for easy filter replacement.

How Often?

Your HVAC or furnace technician should service your unit once a year. Because a furnace/HVAC unit contains moving parts, it’s important that belts are not cracked and dry, ventilation ductwork is not gapped, cracked or rusted, and components, such as coils and fans, are clog-free and adequately lubricated for unimpeded operation. This sort of evaluation is best left to the professional, unless the homeowner has had the appropriate training.
The filter of the unit, especially if it’s an HVAC unit that will tend to get nearly year-round use, should be changed by the homeowner at least every three months, but possibly more often.
Check your filter’s condition and change it once a month if:
You run your unit six months a year to year-round.
You have pets. Pet dander can become airborne and circulate through the home’s ventilation system just as typical household dust does.
You have a large family. More activity means more household dust, dirt and debris.
You smoke indoors.
You or someone in your household suffers from allergies or a respiratory condition.
You live in a particularly windy area or experience high winds for extended periods, especially if there are no nearby shrubs or trees to provide a natural windbreak.
You live in an area prone to or having recently experienced any wildfires. Airborne ash outdoors will eventually find its way indoors.
You have a fireplace that you occasionally use.
You live on a working farm or ranch. Dust and dirt that gets kicked up by outdoor work activity and/or large animals can be pulled into the home’s ventilation system, especially through open windows.
You have a large garden. Depending on its size and how often you work it, tilling soil, planting, pulling weeds, using herbicides and pesticides, and even watering mean that dirt, chemicals and condensation can be pulled into your home’s ventilation system.
There is construction taking place around or near the home. You may be installing a new roof or a pool, or perhaps a neighbor is building a home or addition. Even if the activity is only temporary, dust and debris from worksites adjacent to or near the home can be sucked into the home’s ventilation system, and this increased activity can tax your HVAC system.

Change the filter immediately if:

The filter is damaged. Whether it happened inside the packaging or while being installed, a damaged filter that has bent fins, collapsed cells or holes will not work as well as an undamaged filter, especially if it allows system air to bypass the filter at any point.
The filter is damp. A filter affected by moisture intrusion, system condensation, or even high indoor humidity can quickly become moldy and spread airborne mold spores throughout the home via the ventilation system.
There is evidence of microbial growth or mold on the filter. Mold spores already infiltrating the home via the HVAC system are not only bad for the unit itself, but they can pose a health hazard for the family, ranging from an irritated respiratory system to a serious allergic reaction. The musty smell produced by a moldy HVAC filter is also unpleasant and may take a while to completely eradicate from inside the home. If you discover that you have moldy air filter, it’s important to have the cause investigated further. An InterNACHI certified Cris Home inspector can help determine the problem so that it doesn’t recur.

Tips on Changing the Filter

Turn off the unit before replacing the filter.
Use the right filter for your unit and make sure it’s not damaged out of the package.
Follow the directions for your unit to make sure you’re installing the filter properly. For example, many filters use different colors for the front and back (or upstream and downstream flow) so that they’re not installed backwards.
Make sure there aren’t any gaps around the filter frame. If this is the case, you may have the wrong size filter, or the filter itself may be defective or damaged.
Use a rag to clean up any residual dust before and after you replace the filter.
Securely replace any levers, gaskets and/or seals.
Turn the unit on and observe it while it’s operating to make sure the filter stays in place.
Note the date of filter replacement in a convenient location for the next time you inspect it. A filter that becomes dirty enough to change within a short period of time may indicate a problem with the unit or ventilation system, so monitoring how often the filter requires changing is important information for your technician to have.

Call a technician for servicing if:

Your unit fails to turn back on.
The fan is slow or makes excessive noise, or the fins are bent.
The coils are excessively dusty or clogged.
You notice moisture intrusion from an unknown source anywhere in the system.
Homeowners who take care of the easy task of changing their HVAC filter can help prevent system downtime and avoidable expenses, as well as keep their families living and breathing comfortably. Cris home inspections Cris Home inspector can provide more useful tips and reminders during your annual home maintenance inspection.


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Home Inspection Services

Cris Home Inspections Has been in business for over 15 years and our Inspectors are experienced in the construction and electrical industries. We have the knowledge and experience to do the Home Inspection right. We are fully licensed, insured, binded and guarantee your satisfaction.

Home Buyers Inspection Services:

One of the many steps in the real estate purchase is to have a home inspection on your future home so there wouldn’t be any surprises and home that is being purchased should be inspected no matter of the age new or old. So the Buyer could learn true conditions of the home. Cris Home Inspectors will review different components in the home with you and discuss were those components fall in their life cycle, and how to maintain and improve the condition of the home. We provide a detailed home inspection report explaining the condition of the home both positive and negative. Our Home Inspection Reports are easy to read and understand with high resolution photos. During the Home Inspection process we will inspect and discuss any problems the home may have. Our professional Home Inspectors will do the job right.

Home inspection Services for Real Estate Professionals:

Your clients turn to you for advice during many stages of the home buying and selling process. In particular, many clients look for guidance in hiring a home inspector. Our work is a commitment to the understanding that your reputation is our responsibility. We are there as a resource to assist you and your clients making the ever important decision of buying or selling a home. We walk the client through the Home Inspection process from the beginning to the end. We are always available to answer any questions you might have and to be helpful home inspection resource for you and your client. We are fully insured Home Inspection Company and all of our Home Inspectors are Internachi Certified and you can be sure that your client will receive excellent service from a qualified home inspector.

Home Sellers inspection Services:

Pre-Sale Home Inspection provides confidence in the condition and value of your home. The last minute discovery of problems by a buyer can lead to a time delay, Expenses and even to derail of the sale. By taking care of any repairs or modifications up front, the final sale will have fewer complications and expedite the escrow process. Buyers have more confidence when looking at a house that has already been inspected. More confidence means more offers.


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Wind Mitigation Inspection saves me money on homeowners insurance.

Wind Mitigation Inspection – How can wind mitigation inspection saves me on my homeowners insurance.

You are a Florida resident – Florida state exhibits tropical storms and hurricanes every summer and fall.

Wind Mitigation InspectionMany home owners receive wind mitigation inspections to assess the preparedness of their homes and businesses in resisting the effects of windstorm damage or loss. Interestingly, even in Florida, wind mitigation inspections are not required by insurance companies or mortgage lenders – it’s totally optional, unlike some derivative of the four-point home inspection (which assesses the status of a property’s electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems plus the roofing) or a more intensive roof condition inspection. So why would someone want to order an extra inspection if it isn’t 100% needed? Because it could save you money!

That’s right – SAVE YOU MONEY. Wind Mitigation Insurance is the only inspection that is almost guaranteed to result in some level of insurance discount on your insurance premium.

Here is why – Following an intensely active tropical storm season and resulting all-out battery on the US, a handful of insurance companies not-surprisingly went bankrupt over mounting claim and reparation costs. Officials in states like Florida and Louisiana, hard hit by strong storms like 2004’s Charley and Ivan and 2005’s Katrina and Rita, saw an exodus of insurance companies and homeowners left high and not-so dry. They knew they needed to do something to help property owners and insurance companies alike… FAST.

Their solution: Incentivizing wind mitigation inspections as a means of properly safeguarding properties in targeted areas, in the hopes that insurance companies increase their odds of insuring more secure, less damage-susceptible properties

In 2006, Florida became the first state in the nation to mandate that insurance companies offer some reduction insurance costs if a wind mitigation inspection is sought and certified upon review by a qualified inspector (usually a board-certified inspections contractor)

So you’re wondering – Do I just get an inspection and save on insurance? And how much could a person stand to save?

Well, that all depends on the features of your property. An inspector will evaluate the wind-mitigating characteristics of your home or business. Post-inspection, that inspector will make recommendations for any improvements or repairs the property owner could make on their home to enhance its sustainability against windstorm damage. He or she then submits a state-standard inspection report to your insurance agency. The report is viewed as a benchmark of your home’s ability to withstand storm damage, and an appropriate discount is then applied – in Florida, an average discount of 30% is typical, saving a few hundred to over $1000 annually on your insurance premium.

Every state can vary on what safety features inspectors look for. As an example, Florida looks at 8 key categories, described below:

Roof Covering: inspectors want to know when the roof was installed and does if it meets building codes. In Florida, the code standard was updated in 2001.
Roof Deck Attachment: inspectors will determine what type of roof decking is used and how it’s attached to the underlying structure, like if it’s nailed or stapled down. If nails are used, nail length and spacing between each will also be noted.
Roof to Wall Attachment: the roof attachments become the focus here: are trusses attached with nails or hurricane clips? Are the wraps single or double? The more secure your roof, the better impact on your wallet!
Roof Geometry: is your roof hip or not? Nope, the inspector won’t care how cool it is, just how it’s shaped – a hip roof resembles that of a pyramid, and is a definite qualifier for a discount.
Gable End Bracing: if the roof is a gable style, an inspector will review if the gable ends are braced to Florida Building Code standards. Gable ends measuring more than 48 inches tall should be braced for reinforcement, and inspectors will be checking for this qualification for discount.
Wall Construction Type: Inspectors will review the construction materials used on your home for framing, reinforcement, and outer fascia, and at what percentages. Steel reinforced concrete block homes may yield a better discount than one with a plywood-only frame and plastic siding.
Secondary Water Barrier: This is a newer item for roofs. If your roof was installed or upgraded before 2008, it’s fairly unlikely you’ll have this sort of barrier. As with most newer features, photo documentation, at a minimum, will be required for a discount in this area.
Opening Protection: Here, inspectors are looking for impact rated shutters or impact windows and installed-protection devices from wind-born debris for doors and windows. They will also be checking the rating of the devices, if you have them (as in- are they hurricane-rated?). 100% of all openings need to be covered with Hurricane rated protection to qualify for this discount.
In the end, investing in a wind mitigation inspection is at your own discretion. The potential cost-savings per year could easily outweigh the cost. If you live in a coastal region, avoiding a wind mitigation inspection is at your own peril.


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Home Buyers Inspection Services

Home Inspection

Home Buyers Inspection

Home Buyers Inspection Services: One of the many steps in the real estate purchase is to have a home inspection on your future home so there wouldn’t be any surprises and home that is being purchased should be inspected no matter of the age new or old. So the Buyer could learn true conditions of the home. Sometimes new homes may have structural problems that can be revealed by a home inspector.

Cris Home Inspectors will review different components in the home with you and discuss were those components fall in their life cycle, and how to maintain and improve the condition of the home. We provide a detailed home inspection report explaining the condition of the home both positive and negative.

Our Home Inspection Reports are easy to read and understand with high resolution photos. During the Home Inspection process we will inspect and discuss any problems the home may have. Our professional Home Inspectors will do the job right.

Home Inspector inspect the following:

Interior Condition of the Home
Garage
Exterior Home Site
Building Foundation
Exterior Home Walls
Roof
Roof Support Structure
Insulation
Attic
Electrical
Plumbing
Central Air and Heating System

Cris Home Inspections company is dedicated to providing you with valuable information about your new home. We provide home inspection services throughout Palm Beach County, Martin County, Miami and Dade County.


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Why Do I Need a Home Inspection?

home inspectionOnce you are ready to buy your dream home then you might want to get a home inspection to insure your house for safety and any major repairs. But before getting the proper insurance on your home it may need to experience other inspections such as a 4 Point, Windstorm Mitigation Inspection or a Citizens Roof Certificate Inspection.

The insurance agency will do an investigation of the home from the inspections information to decide whether or not a house is “insurable”. Banks won’t provide loan on a home without insurance.

Type of Home Inspections…

Home inspections:

This is an unquestionable requirement for new and old homes. An inspection will focus on the state of the pipes, warming, cooling and electrical frameworks. The structure is also inspected to guarantee it is sound and to focus the state of the top, siding, windows and entryways and also the safety peculiarities of the home. Most purchasers want to pay for these inspections so that the examiner is working for them, not the dealer. Don’t let minor conceded support issues or non-real errors destroy the arrangement for your dream home.

Remember that no house is flawless and anything & everything might be altered. The inquiry is at what cost? You and your Real Estate Agent need to talk about the discrepancies found and choose if you need further arrangements. Your Real Estate Agent is committed to pay special attention for your best interest.

Wind mitigation Inspections:

As a property holder with windstorm protection, state law qualifies you for certain premium reductions, however without an inspection, you can’t get them! In the event that you haven’t had a windstorm protection inspection at your current home, you may be paying higher for your windstorm insurance.

During a windstorm mitigation, a certified inspector will cover the key peculiarities that may diminish the measure of harm your home endures amid a tropical storm hurricane or a windstorm. These features fall into a few classes, for example, outer construction, roof shape and construction, entryway and window opening assurance and in addition the correct year the house was made. An alternate component may be the height of a property and how it identifies with wind speed.

4 point home inspections:

A 4 point inspection is a skilled examination by the inspector of the roof, the electrical framework, plumbing framework and the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system. The distinctive systems on your house have a fluctuating yet to some degree unsurprising life span. The greater part of the data accumulated for 4 point inspection relates to simply that. Notwithstanding, the data is not constrained to the future of the systems. Additionally, considered are issues, for example, sort of wiring utilized as a part of the home and even the makers of the equipment.

Citizens roof certification Inspection:

This kind of Certification Inspection is typically done at the request of the protection carrier. They will commonly ask for it because of the data they have on document is demonstrating that the top roof is approaching the end of its normal life. The review is utilized to archive the latest dated of complete substitution. Along these lines, it is absolutely important for the property holder to have a duplicate of the permit and/or contract of the latest work finished.

The inspection can take up to 1 hour to finish and it contains the report with permit documents and visual images of your roof. In case no records of a late re-roof are available, the inspector will evaluate the valuable life remaining.

Check with your insurance company and approach in the event that it would be worthwhile for you to get a Citizens Roof Certificate Inspection it may spare you on your insurance premiums.


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Wind Mitigation Inspection Can Reduce Your Home Insurance Policy

Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Cost with Wind Mitigation Inspection

Insurance Company’s offer discounts on your homeowner policy premiums for building construction techniques and features that provide greater protection for your home or business.

Windstorm Mitigation discounts are offered for features that protect your home or business from wind damage caused by major storms.

These discounts apply only to the wind portion of your policy premium. They are not offered for mobile homes.

Wind Mitigation Inspection

Wind Pressure

  Opening protection devices:

Rated shutters to protect all windows and doors from wind-borne debris

Special impact-resistant windows and doors with proper paperwork (Notice of Acceptance)
 
Roof shape

Roof Types Diagram

Roof Types Diagram

 

Hip roof (sloped on all four sides like a pyramid)

Flat Roof

Other (not Hip or Flat)

 

Roof Covering – 2001 Florida Building Code (FBC)

Roof Covering

Roof Covering

Broward County – Roof must be newer than 9/1/94
Palm Beach County – Roof must be newer than 3/1/02

  Roof-deck attachment

Clips (minimum of 3 nails)
Single Wraps Straps (single strap that wraps over the top of the truss/rafter & is secured with a min. of 2 nails on the front and 1 on the back.)

Ask your Insurance agent for more information.

Other Home Insurance Discounts

Certain types of policies also may qualify for additional discounts:

  • Fire alarm systems – Centrally monitored systems, with and without sprinklers, may be eligible for discounts.
  • Burglar alarm systems – Systems must be monitored to be eligible for premium discounts.
  • Sprinkler systems – Documentation is required before any discounts are applied, and the cost of any required certification of discount eligible features is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Ask your Insurance agent whether your policy may qualify and To schedule your home inspection contact Cris Home Inspections at (561) 393-9977

To download copy of Wind Mitigation inspection page in printable format click here


Recommended Links

Eaton Insurance
Phone (561) 966-1848
www.eatoninsurance.net

Furman Insurance
Phone (954) 943-5050
www.furmaninsurance.com

Real Estate Agent
Mark Baker
Phone 561-336-6333
www.buyingpalmbeachhomes.com