Things to Look for in a Home Inspection

Usually, by the time you schedule a home inspection, you’re at least halfway in love with a house. You’ve walked through it many times, and you’ve likely made note of any concerns you have regarding the home’s condition. The inspection is the last hurdle separating you from the house of your dreams, so it’s only natural for you to want it to go well.

Ultimately, though, you really don’t want a home that doesn’t pass the most rigorous inspection. Hire an impartial inspector who has no loyalties to anyone involved except you. The most qualified home inspectors do cost more than one you might find by happenstance, but when you compare this cost to the overall investment you’ll be making in this new home, it becomes clear that this is not the moment for penny-pinching.


Plan to be present when the home is scheduled to be inspected. Bring a notebook with your questions and concerns listed. Take clear, detailed notes of any key pieces of information.

If you’re able, we suggest making a video recording of the inspection process. Your home inspector can tell you important and helpful things about your home that you may think you’ll be able to remember, but when it’s 2 a.m. and you find yourself struggling to recall what that home inspector said about your water heater three years ago, you’ll be glad you have it on tape.

While no home is perfect (even a brand-new home can have flaws), there are a few serious issues you should consider immediate deal-breakers.


Improper Water Drainage and Water Damage

Anytime water drains back toward the home instead of out and away from it, you’ve got a real problem. Improper drainage leads to damp and wet crawlspaces, foundation displacement, dry rot, and mold.

Look for:

  • Musty smells
  • Walls that are discolored near the floor
  • Warped baseboards
  • Windows that are no longer square
  • Interior doors with gaps that show at the top when the door is closed
  • Slanting floors

If you observe any of these issues, we strongly suggest moving on to a new property. Water damage is difficult to assess without tearing into walls and flooring, but it is almost always breathtakingly expensive and complicated to repair.


The Stucco Home’s Vital Weep Screed

Stucco homes are popular for good reason; stucco is attractive, and, when applied correctly, will endure for a lifetime. However, when a stucco exterior is applied incorrectly, water will flow into the walls and interior of the home!

Here’s how a weep screed works: contractors know that water will sneak past a stucco exterior anywhere it can find a crack or unsealed home fixture, so they install a component called a weep screed around the home. The weep screed protects the home itself from the water by redirecting any incidental flow back down the weep screed and out of the home.

Unfortunately, when concrete close to the home’s walls has been poured too high, the weep screed becomes buried and can no longer function as intended. Instead, water will accumulate and damage the home.

During the inspection, walk around the home and trace the weep screed. If at any point the weep screed disappears into a concrete surface, wave down the inspector. The inspector should be able to tell you if the flaw you’ve detected will lead to water damage down the line.


Degraded Roofing Materials

The age of a home, the materials used, and the level of craftsmanship all must be considered when evaluating the home’s roof. If the home you’re considering has aged more than ten to fifteen years, find out when you’ll need to fully replace it.

The average cost of a full roof replacement is around $7,000. Ideally, your new home would have at least 10 good years ahead of it, but if you find a place you truly love at a price that can’t be beat, it might be worth springing for a new roof if it’s the only major repair required.


Common Roofing Materials

  • Asphalt
    • Life expectancy: 15 – 40 years
    • Red flags: blisters, cupping, and granular disintegration
  • Wood
    • Life expectancy: 15 – 40 years
    • Red flags: cupping and curling, lifted shingles, insect damage, rot, and missing tiles
  • Terra Cotta, concrete, and slate
    • Life expectancy: 20 – 100+ years
    • Durable but brittle, and susceptible to damage from rapid temperature changes
    • Cannot be walked on due to its brittle nature, so a very high ladder and binoculars will be required to spot damage
    • Cracking, missing tiles, and substandard repairs are all red flags and might mean extensive water damage

Substandard Electrical Wiring

Ask any fire chief: home fires started by older or substandard electrical wiring happen ALL THE TIME. While modern houses are usually wired correctly and amply, older homes often are not.

Warning signs include, but are not limited to:

  • Extension cords run from room to room
  • Exposed wires in any area of the home
  • Open splice wire using electrical tape or connectors (should be considered a serious fire hazard and must be fixed immediately)
  • Outlets that are not grounded properly
  • Aluminum wiring should be replaced and will cost thousands of dollars

These issues are the most serious and costly repairs you may encounter during home inspections, but your real estate agent will do their utmost to convince the current owners to pay for repairs. Remember, other potential buyers will encounter the same issues with the home if they have hired a skilled home inspector, so it’s likely that any sale will be made with due consideration to any outstanding repairs.

Pursue the home of your dreams by all means, but also be prepared to engage in some haggling if your inspection turns up anything serious. In the end, remember that accurate information and a skilled realtor are all you need to make a savvy decision while house hunting.

How to Move With Your Pet

Moving tests the “planner” in us all. The details, the prep –  the lists of what to prepare for seem to be never-ending. But one thing that seems to slip people’s mind is prepping to move your pets. After all, they’re members of the family – so it feels like they can just hop in the car and go, too! However, depending on the type of pet and move – there is likely some planning involved. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to moving your beloved furry one:

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Knowing When You’re Ready to Buy a Home

When preparing to buy a home, it’s important for buyers to work with a real estate professional who can advise the best possible strategies for getting a mortgage and finding an affordable home. This partnership can make the real estate sales process go a lot more smoothly.

Perhaps the most important part of getting into the housing market – especially if it’s for the first time – is to do as much homework as possible before diving in, according to Bankrate. That means first determining what homes in a given area are selling for, and what that would mean to the would-be buyer in terms of monthly costs, incorporating charges like mortgage payments, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, property taxes and so on. Closing costs must also be considered at this time.

Once that number has been determined, the real estate sales process becomes a lot easier to navigate.

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5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

 

 

Visiting an open house should be more than just a casual walk-through of the home – it’s a great time to talk with the listing agent and ask questions. Here’s a list to get you started.

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Should You Stage Your Home?

 

 

Spring in real estate is such a busy time and we know many of you are getting ready to list your homes! As you move on to your next dream home, let’s stop to talk about some important aspects of listing your current house! The National Association of Realtors®, or NAR, reports that 81% of Realtors® on the buyer’s side say that staging helps buyers see the property as a home. That’s some pretty strong statistics!

We have lots of reasons to stage and the pictures really speak for themselves but if you need more of a push…

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Homeowner Expenses You Can Write Off On Your Taxes

Homeowners carry expense burdens that renters are able to avoid. Home repairs, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes are the heavy hitters, often consuming so much of their income that homeowners find themselves less able to purchase the goods and services they desire, not to mention luxury items and vacations.

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6 Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home soon? Is your home on the market but not getting the showings and offers you’ve been hoping for? If either case is a reality, there are some things you can do to lead to faster and more profitable sales.

Here are 6 things to avoid when selling your home.

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How’s the Nashville Real Estate Market?

How is the market? It’s a question our agents get asked a lot, and for good reason. If you’re considering buying a new home or selling one that you already own, the market trends and predictions are important in the decision-making process. Below is our most recent market update information for Davidson, Maury, Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford, and Sumner counties to help you make the most informed and beneficial choices possible.

Davidson County Market Update

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