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Six questions to ask when looking for the right home inspector

Unless you’re buying or selling a home, you probably don’t know of a home inspector or inspection company, but things will quickly change once you find a house you want to purchase! Your real estate agent will likely be the person who first mentions a name or company to you. Though references are helpful and a great place to start, you should be diligent, ask questions, and be comfortable with the company you hire. You can easily narrow your search by asking some key questions. Here are the top six questions worth asking:

1. Are you licensed?
2. What is involved in a home inspection?
3. How long has your company been in business?
4. Do you include a written report?
5. What equipment will you use during the inspection?
6. What sets you apart from other home inspectors?

Two organizations that provide certifications are the National Association of Home Inspectors and the American Society of Home Inspectors; visit their websites for inspectors in your area. Though the price of the inspection is important, it shouldn’t be the determining factor. Looking at the big picture, the cost of a home inspection is low relative to the price of the home you’re having inspected. Remember, you often get what you pay for!

703-771-8374

www.donofrioinspections.com

schedule@donofrioinspections.com

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Real Estate Agents…Should you be recommending home inspections to your clients?

For your clients buying a home could be the largest single investment they will make. To minimize any surprises or difficulties, you should recommend a home inspection.

A home inspection will help your clients to learn as much as they can about their dream house before purchasing it.  Inspections can identify the need for major repairs, pinpoint builder oversights, or address maintenance problems within the home. For you as an agent, it will provide valuable information to use during negotiations.

What can you expect? A home inspection is an examination of a home by a certified inspector who will examine both interior and exterior elements including the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.

Specifically this includes:

  • The heating system.
  • The central air conditioning system (temperature permitting).
  • Interior plumbing and electrical system.
  • The roof, attic and visible insulation.
  • Walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors.

A good home inspector will take time to answer questions during the inspection and once the report is received.  Many agents attend the inspection with their clients.  Many companies (including ours) supply a report after the inspection that is filled with pictures and narratives highlighting what areas of the home are considered acceptable, marginal, or defective.

For further information about what is and what is not included in a home inspection, check out https://www.nachi.org/sop.htm

The bottom line…home inspections are a win-win for all parties involved!

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Termite/WDO inspections


When buying a home, your lender may require homeowner’s insurance, which in turn usually means a termite inspection. Even if your lender doesn’t require homeowner’s insurance, most lenders still require a termite or Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection.

Termites may be small, but they typically live in large colonies. It’s possible to go for years without knowing they’re destroying your home. Termites need food (such as wood), moisture, and warmth to survive. Wood building materials in and around homes can provide the perfect food source, and insufficient grading that allows puddles to form near your foundation or air conditioning units that create run-off moisture can offer the perfect amount of moisture for termite colonies.

Some indications you may have a termite infestation:

  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in or around the foundation of your home
  • Cracked or bubbling paint (which may indicate termite droppings)
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Mud tubes on beams or in crawl spaces

A termite inspection will let you know if you have any infestation. Give us a call or visit our website to learn more!

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Request to Repair or Replace

Although it would be nice for the seller to fix every home inspection issue, there are only so many repairs most sellers are willing to do.

What should you ask a seller to repair or replace? A sound rule is to focus on the larger items that require permits. Once the repair or replacement is done, request the seller to supply building permits or receipts. This approach should make the buyer feel better by proving that the work has been inspected by an authority; it also puts the cost of the re-inspection in the seller’s lap. If a repair is so minor that it doesn’t require a building permit, then why ask for it? Chances are if a seller is going to make these types of repairs, they probably will be done with the least amount of work or money possible. Some major home inspection items worth asking a seller to fix include:

  • Infestation of termites or wildlife
  • Major drainage or ongoing water problems
  • Mold problems
  • Radon levels above EPA suggested levels
  • Major electrical defects that cause safety issues
  • Significant plumbing problems
  • Lead paint

To help you better navigate this part of a home sale transaction, Donofrio & Associates offers a new tool―Repair Request Builder. It’s an easy way to create a report for clients to create an addendum for the sellers―and the best part is that it’s FREE as a part of your home inspection. This reporting system will cut down on the amount of time spent putting together addendums following the inspection. The tool’s highlights include:

  • Email/texting capabilities
  • A menu of specific defects
  • Dollar amount credit request options
  • Requests for repairs or replacements

To learn more about Repair Request Builder, visit our website!