Things to do and expect when:
Buying a Home
When you buy a home, it is one of the largest investments you will make in life. You are not just choosing a house, it is the place in which you will raise your family. Being prepared in the beginning will make this process less overwhelming and chaotic. The items on this page are meant to provide you with detailed information and to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, we’re only a phone call, text, or email away!
Hiring a Home Inspector
Designed to help you understand the overall condition of a property, home inspections could potentially save you considerable time in the purchase process and potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Here are the types of inspections to consider when hiring your home inspector:
Standard Home Inspection
Areas which may be covered include lot grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember to review your inspection rights that are clearly stated in the Purchase & Sales Agreement and that they may vary from area to area. In some cases homes can be sold “as-is” even though an inspection may take place. You still have the right to a professional home inspection. It may be the best money you spend.
Radon Gas Inspection
Radon gas levels are detected and measured in this type of inspection. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that between 15,000 – 22,000 deaths per year result from radon gas exposure, therefore they recommend that all homes be tested for radon gas. The EPA recommends that homes containing 4.0 or more Pico Curies per liter be remedied. The cost of said remediation is normally the responsibility of the seller.
Termite Pest Inspection
A termite pest inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Inspection requirements vary by state, and most home inspectors will include any visible insects or damage on their reports. Some may also have a licensed termite pest inspection company in their arsenal.
Lab analysis will determine if asbestos fibers are present and evaluate their condition. If friable or non-friable conditions exist, buyers should seek professional assistance. Consult your home inspector if you suspect this is present. They are a one stop shop.
Composition Board Siding
Consult your home inspector if this product exists on the home you are purchasing. The condition of this type of siding and any areas of high moisture should be evaluated during the home inspection. This is a key product manufactured to replicate traditional wood siding at a fraction of the cost.
Lead Paint Inspection
The painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches. Download the lead based paint pamphlet for more information.
SeptiChekTM is an evaluation performed by an on-site waste management professional. It involves accessing the cover of the septic tank to examine the fluid level inside the septic tank. The tank is then pumped to check the condition of the tank and its baffles. The leaching field is probed to check the level of sub-surface liquid waste (effluent). This test alerts the buyer to a wide range of potentially costly septic system repairs or failures. The SeptiChekTM evaluation provides more reliable information of potential problems than a septic dye test. This is typically a buyer expense. If the house is on a septic system, the seller should provide a Subsewage Disclosure & Permit if one is on file with the state.
Pool/Hot Tub Inspection
This determines the overall condition and operability of a pool and/or hot tub’s equipment. Additionally, the condition of the pool deck will be inspected for deterioration and/or other noticeable defects if they are open and accessible at the time of inspection.
Private Well Flow and Potability Inspection
Some loans may require this. It is designed to determine whether or not a private well adequately supplies water to the house. Samples are sent to a lab for potability (drinkability) analysis.
Stucco Siding Inspection
There are two types of stucco siding buyers need to be aware of: cement-based “traditional” stucco and synthetic stucco. An inspection of the siding’s application according to manufacturer’s installation specifications is recommended. Synthetic stucco siding is commonly referred to as Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS).
- When considering a home with stucco exterior, we recommend an inspection be conducted to determine the condition of the siding.
- Synthetic stucco is predominately found in the Southeast but it is present in homes in other areas of the country as well.
- Hidden structural damage has been documented in synthetic stucco homes in 34 states.
- Moisture readings are taken to determine if the system has already experienced water intrusion.