5 Key Inspections You Need Before Buying a Home

The single biggest purchase many of us will ever make is buying a home. Compared to the cost of a large repair bill or health care bill down the road the amount of money for these inspections is peanuts.

1. Home Inspection

It is mandatory in most states to have a home inspection done. Don’t expect a home inspector to give you cost estimate of any defects they may find. A separate contractor will give you those costs. These are basic things a home inspector will check out the condition of.

a) Structure – general construction of walls, roof, ceilings, floors and foundation
b) Exterior – sidewalks, driveways, fences, landscaping
c) Plumbing – sinks, toilets, drains, showers (does not include sewer/septic inspection)
d) Electrical – main panel, circuit breakers, grounding, light fixtures and receptacles
e) Appliances – dishwasher, fridge, stove, microwave, washer/dryer
f) Central Systems – Heating/Air, water heater, duct work, fireplace
g) Garage – main door, side entry door, firewall, lights, ceiling, roof
h) Roof & Attic – vents, roof construction, flashing & gutters (does not include guarantee of life expectancy of roof – you will have to hire a roofer for that)

2. Termite Inspection

Termites cause a lot of damage to homes. They can survive in all types of climates and have even been found in Alaska. A Termite Inspector will visually inspect all accessible areas of the home for evidence of wood destroying insects or organisms. When the inspection is complete you will receive a termite inspection report.

3. Mold Inspection

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If you or one of your family members has allergies, a mold inspection is critical. Mold causes many health issues. Mold survives in dry and humid climates and for millions of years. The mold inspector will use a variety of techniques to gather samples. These samples will be taken back to a lab and grown for 5 to 7 days to check for toxicity. You will be sent a report with the results.

4. Radon Inspection

The US Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency recommends all homes be tested for radon. What is radon? It is a natural odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that has been proven to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Coupons for Radon Test Kits can be obtained from the National Safety Council for $15-$25 or from a local home supply store. Once you have completed the tests, you send them off for analysis free of charge. If you decide not to do this yourself you can hire an inspector.

5. Septic Inspection

If the home you are buying has a private septic system, hire a professional septic contractor to do the inspection. Home Inspectors as a rule will not do a septic inspection. To do a proper inspection the septic tank should be pumped out. It is common to have the seller pay for the pump out and you pay for the inspection. If you purchase the home, you will have the peace of mind that the tank is empty and has been inspected.

Having these key inspections done will give you peace of mind. It may also save you from purchasing one of those “money pit” homes. Don’t try to ignore doing these inspections. It isn’t worth the risk.

About the Author: Russie Weidl is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute and currently works for Watson Realty Corporation in Lake Mary Florida. She is also an Accredited Staging Professional. Russie has been the recipient of many awards throughout the years for excellence in her profession. For the second year in a row she was recently awarded the FIVE STAR Best in Client Satisfaction Real Estate Agent in Lake Mary, Florida and the top Hot 100 Real Estate Professional in Orlando, Florida. To get some free and very informative reports from Russie visit her website at http://www.russiesells.com/content/reports.html

Author: Russie Weidl
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Before You Sell Your Home, Know Who to Call

Pop quiz time: when you sell a home by yourself, how many people are involved in the process?

You may have answered two: the seller and the buyer. While these two are probably the most important people involved in the sale of any home, by no means are they the only people to consider. Just because you have decided to go the For Sale by Owner route doesn’t mean you get to eliminate the middleman. Selling a home involves more people than you realize.

In fact, there could be as many as twenty people involved in the sale of your home, people you may have to hire in order to complete a legal, smooth transaction. That’s right. Were you to sell your home through an agency, some aspects might be covered by the agency with their own people. Otherwise, fees for various services will come out of your own pocket.

Let’s take a look at some of the people involved in the sale of your home:

Attorney / Real Estate Specialist – Unless you are a lawyer, you may require the services of an attorney specializing in real estate law to see you through a sound contract. There may be certain regulations applicable to your property and/or region that a layperson may miss in a contract. Make sure you know everything in your contract before you sign it, or have a lawyer assist you.

Real Estate Appraiser – It would be nice to slap an arbitrary value on your property, but in order to sell your home it must first be appraised for approximate. A licensed real estate appraiser helps determine the worth of your property through various factors, including damage and reconstruction, value of nearby homes, and overall condition of the surrounding area. Some real estate agencies may have somebody on staff for this purpose.

Property Inspector – To adhere to various disclosure laws, it is required to know everything about your home before you sell. A licensed property inspector is brought in to make a thorough, unbiased evaluation of your home. Such reports are helpful to the seller as well as the buyer, as a careful inspection may alert the property owner to needed repairs he did not know existed.

Mortgage Loan Officer – Say you have a potential buyer for your home. Great! Now you need to know whether or not he can pay. Here, the assistance of a mortgage loan officer is needed to confirm the buyer’s qualifications and evaluated overall financial health. This way the seller is armed with that knowledge and can determine whether or not to sell.

Environmental Specialist – What is the condition of your neighborhood and surrounding area? Do you live near a plant or factory that may offer living hazards like pollution? An environmental specialist offers services to evaluate the home and surrounding property for potential health risks. Depending on where you live, you may be required by law to report such anomalies.

Tax Advisor – Are you or the buyer required to pay certain taxes attached to the sale of your home? A tax specialist may be needed to evaluate the sale and report any levees that must be paid.

Lead Paint Inspector – Especially if you are selling an older home, you may require aid of a specialist to determine if your home contains lead, whether by current paint or remnants of old coatings.

Radon Gas Expert – Like carbon monoxide, radon gas cannot be seen or smelled, and is very deadly. Radon gas emanates from the breakdown of uranium, and may be a potential hazard if you own an older home. An inspector may need to be called in to check if your home tests positive for radon.

Sanitary Systems Expert – Make certain your pipes and sewage systems are operating correctly. A quick call to a sanitary inspector for a clean bill of health here may be needed.

Occupancy Permit Inspector – Your home may be subject to various occupancy laws, especially if your property is not detached. An occupancy permit inspector can advise you with regards to such regulations.

Zoning Inspector – Is your home only zoned for residential purposes, or may it be sold as commercial property? A zoning inspector can determine the overall usability of your home.

Survey Company – Where exactly are the property lines? Do you own more acreage than you realized. You may need to hire a surveyor to help determine the exact square footage of your property.

Flood Plain Inspector – Do you live in an area susceptible to flooding and hurricane damage? If your property rests near a flood plain, you may need to have an inspector take a look at it to determine if your home is safe from potential hazard.

Termite/Pest Control Company – You may have termites and not know it! Before you consider selling your home, it is strongly recommended to have a pest control expert inspect your home for termites, insects and other risks associated with vermin.

Title Company – Are you legally able to sell the home at all? Is the property under your name, or do you need the permission of a third party like a former spouse or relative to sell? Enlist the assistance of a title company to confirm ownership.

Insurance Consultant – Are you liable for anything beyond the sale of the home? Will a potential buyer be able to insure the home against all natural disasters? You may need to consult with your insurance agency before you consider selling your home to know what is needed from you.

Moving Company – Last but not least, once you do sell your home you have to move all your stuff! Unless you plan to rent a van and do it yourself, you will have to call a moving company to assist you.

When you think about it, there are many people involved in the sale of a home. Though you likely won’t see all of them at once, your house can expect to receive lots of company as you prepare to sell, not all of them buyers! This is why it is important to consider all factors before going through with a For Sale by Owner option.

With a real estate professional on your side, however, many of these tasks may be covered by the agency. This is why it is recommended that you consult with an agent even if you plan to sell on your own. Get all the facts before you hang your sign.

Kathryn Lively [http://blog.thewriteseo.com] is a freelance writer who writes for American Loss Mitigation, helping homeowners stop foreclosure, and for Exclusive Tenant Rep, Virginia business real estate solutions.

Author: Kathryn Lively
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Understanding the Risks of Lung Cancer and What Causes It

Have a look at the risk elements:

Smoking:

Cigarette smoking is the first cause of lung cancer. 90 % of this cancer type cases happen in humans who smoke. The more cigarets you smoke, the greater your risk of getting it. Cigarette smoke carries over 4,000 chemicals, many of which are verified to be cancer causing substances named carcinogens. Carcinogens induces permanent damage to your body’s desoxyribonucleic acid cells and raise the chance of cancerous change.

Radon inspiration: Radon (Rn) is a gas not perceived by sight, taste, or smell. Radon is the 2nd most popular cause of cancer. Radon gas causes between fifteen and twenty thousands lung cancer dyings each year in the U.S.A..

Workplace chemicals
Humans (mine workers, plumbers, and shipbuilders) who are unprotected to certain workplace materials, such as asbestos, have a greater risk of lung cancer because inspired fibers and dust can become integrated in the lung cells, causing a chronic unhealthy reaction that can sooner or later result in cancerous cell changes.

Secondary smoke
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has categorized second-hand smoke as a known cause of cancer in people. Second-hand smoke is also known as environmental tobacco smoke and is categorized as any mixture of smoke given off by the lighted end of a cigarette, cigar, pipe, or smoke expired from a smoker’s lungs. Second-hand smoke is responsible for about 3.400 lung cancer deaths in the United States. every year. Many of the carcinogens in second-hand smoke include methanal, benzol, vinyl chloride, arsenous oxide, ammonium hydroxide, and hydrogen cyanide. These factors have an straightaway effect on your circulatory system.

Age
As with several cancers, your risk for producing lung cancer increases with age. The longer you smoke and the more cigarets you smoke, the higher your chances of getting cancer. Less than 1 % of cancer cases happen in people under age forty. The evolution of lung cancer raise thereafter, with the common patient age at diagnosis around sixty.

Angelica Burger also writes reviews and guides for Hardtail yoga pants and Gutter Cleaning Tools

Author: Angelica Burger
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Proper Home Ventilation to Improve Air Quality at Home and Avoid Health Risks

Home ventilation is crucial to maintain the high air quality at home. There are so many pollutants nowadays that are dangerous to all of us, including carbon monoxide, mold and radon, that one cannot be too careful in avoiding such pollution every day. There are many sources of indoor pollution, including pressed wood products that make the home furniture, various air sprays and fresheners, damp carpets and various pesticides.

Some of the best ways to determine whether various pollutants entered the home are either by experiencing sudden physical symptoms such as headaches, sudden dizziness, or by noticing various signs in the house. Particularly important is strong condensation on the windows and interior walls which point to improper ventilation. Of course maybe the easiest way to notice this is by feeling the stuffy air at home and by smelling weird and out of place odors. All these can raise a red flag in your mind as to having a possible indoor pollution problem.

Another way to test for wrong air quality is by using the radon test. This particular test is quite cheap and it tells you whether radon (a radioactive gas) is present in the house. Sometimes a very low level of radon is no problem for health, so the test will tell you whether the levels are ok or are too high and can cause health hazards.

These days smoking of cigarettes has been banned in all public places in most western countries and with good reason. Tobacco smoke is quite dangerous to all of us and is a serious carcinogen. If there is somebody smoking in your home, now it is the time to do something about it. Follow the lead of the government and ban indoor smoking. Your kids might just thank you for it a few years down the road.

An area that can be particularly hazardous to health if not properly ventilated is the bathroom. Mold and unhealthy steam can occur very easily after taking showers and hot baths and they not only damage your health (mold is considered a carcinogen as well) but also tend to destroy your wooden doors, cabinets and your walls in the long run. Statistics show that bathrooms that have no proper ventilation need to be remodeled much faster than those with good air flow at all times.

One of the best ventilation fans for the bathroom are the Panasonic ventilation fans. Visit my website at bathroom ventilation fans to learn more about them and their ventilation benefit for your home.

Author: Zoltan Zongora
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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