Tag Archives: Home Inspection

Can a Home Inspections Affect Property Value?

Can a Home Inspections Affect Property Value?

Buying a new home in Florida may be a top goal for you to accomplish in the near future. In fact, you may have already started looking at homes, and the important factor of property condition may have caught your attention with several homes. Regardless of the age of the property, a pre-existing home may be in poor condition if it has not been well-maintained by the owner. On the other hand, even older homes may be in amazing condition and could have recently been remodeled to make them like-new. It is difficult to determine a property’s true condition by looking at the surface alone.

Some home buyers intentionally look for outdated homes in poor condition with the hopes of creating value through improvements. Others prefer to buy a property that is well-maintained and in move-in condition. Obtaining a property inspection is not a required part of the real estate purchase process in Florida, but it is a step that many buyers choose to take. You may be wondering how a home inspection impacts a property’s appraised value or if it plays a role in valuation at all. With an improved understanding of what these two reports are, you can better understand their impact on your buying decision.

Understanding the Components of an Appraiser’s Valuation

In a typical real estate appraisal, the appraiser reviews the property’s value from three different perspectives. At his or her discretion, the final value may be determined through a reconciliation of all three methods or only through one or two of the methods. These methods include a review of sales comps, the property’s replacement value and the income capitalization approach. In many cases, the latter method is used for investment or income-producing real estate. The sales comp approach requires the appraiser to review several comparable properties that are located very close to the subject property and that have recently sold. The price per square foot of these properties is analyzed by the appraiser. Keep in mind that the appraiser may make adjustments based on key selling features in the homes and other notable differences while reconciling the data and analysis. The replacement value approach takes into account the estimated cost of building a similar home from the ground up, such as if the property was completely destroyed and needed to be rebuilt. It is based on construction costs in the area at the time as well as on the general type of finish-out in the home.

Learning About a Property Inspection Report

Many Florida buyers request a home inspection to be completed on a property that they are interested in so that they can learn more about the true condition of the home. Many potential repair issues may go undetected by an untrained eye. Some issues may require in-depth review by a skilled inspector and even special equipment or tools to uncover. A property inspector will usually review all major components of the home, such as the foundation, the roof, the major appliances, the electrical system, the plumbing system and more. While he or she is not licensed in each of these areas usually, he or she can provide insight on areas of concern that should be inspected by a licensed specialist.

Repair items that are identified by a property inspector are typically categorized based on their severity. For example, some cosmetic issues may be noted, such as cracked tile. Other issues, such as an exposed electrical wire or loose stair railing, may be classified as urgent life and safety issues.

Examining the Impact of a Property Inspection on Property Valuation

Be aware that an appraiser is not always provided with a copy of a property inspection report. In some cases, the two professionals walk the property on the same day and complete their reports at roughly the same time. If the timing of your purchase plans permits, it may be wise to obtain a property inspection before paying for an appraisal. In some cases, the condition of a property may be so dismal that a buyer decides to walk away from the transaction altogether. In this case, delaying the appraisal order can save the buyer money. In many cases, some areas of concern that have been outlined by the property inspector may impact the appraiser’s valuation. The appraiser’s attention may be brought to areas of concern after reviewing the inspection report.

The two primary valuation methods that an appraiser may use for an owner-occupied or non-investor property are related to the property’s condition. These are the sales comparable approach and the replacement value approach. Remember that the appraiser will adjust the price per square foot based on key selling points as well as negative factors, such as a cracked foundation. Likewise, the appraiser will discount the replacement valuation by any significant repair costs.

Exploring Why a Buyer Would Walk Away From a Property

You may think that all buyers would want to walk away from a property that has many smaller repair issues or at least one serious issue, but this is not the case. Some buyers will use this information as a basis for negotiating a better deal on the sales price. Others will ask the seller to fix the problem areas before closing. If the seller agrees to one of these two options, the closing may take place under the revised contract terms.

There are, however, many instances when a buyer will walk away from a home. For example, if the seller is not willing to negotiate on the sales price or is not willing to repair the damage before closing, the buyer could decide not to move forward with the purchase. For some buyers, the specific type of damage or the severity of the damage may be a deal-breaker. For example, if it is determined that black mold is growing in the home, the buyer may not feel comfortable living in the home even if professional mold remediation is completed. This is a matter of preference based on his or her comfort level.

Keep in mind that some buyers also do not want to inherit a laundry list of repair issues from the seller. They prefer to buy a property that has been well-maintained. Regardless of any discounts or concessions that the seller may be agreeable to, the buyer may simply not want to deal with making those repairs on his or her own.

Now that you understand more about how an appraisal and property inspection could be related, it makes sense to consider ordering a property inspection and reviewing the inspection report closely before ordering the appraisal.

To hire the best Home Inspector in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida – Please call West Coast Home Inspection Today! (239) 464-3386

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How You Can Protect Your Home from the Elements During Florida’s Rainy Season

How You Can Protect Your Home from the Elements During Florida’s Rainy Season

Florida is called the “Sunshine State” for a good reason. It is gorgeous and warm about 95 percent of the time. However, the other five percent of the time, it is rainy and hurricane seasons. Home owners who live in Florida need to take the proper precautions every year to make sure that their homes are in good shape, enough to withstand the elements. Making necessary updates to your house now, before the storms hit, will in turn save you thousands of dollars rather than pouring out thousands of dollars to repair and replace damaged property. Here are some tips on keeping your house protected from Mother Nature during Florida’s rainy and hurricane season.

Do You Have Proper Home Insurance Coverage?

Double check your home owners’ insurance has the proper coverage on your policy. For example, your home is depreciating in value every year, meaning that the cost to insure it will be higher. It is important to check the amount of coverage that you’ll need every couple of years. You may want to get a second opinion on your current insurance if your coverage amount seems. Your Home Owner’s policy will not cover flooding, however, there is still an option on how to get flood insurance coverage for your home. You can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. This service would be a necessity for people living in high-risk flooding areas of Florida. If you think that you are in a high-risk flooding area of Florida, and you want to get flood insurance, do not hesitate – do it now! There is a 30-day grace period before your insurance policy goes into effect.

Check and Protect Your Roof!

Checking and protecting your roof can save you thousands of dollars in the long run during rainy season and hurricane season. It is important to note that you should inspect your roof after every storm to look for missing shingles and for water damage, not just before the storm. You should hire a roof inspector to properly inspect the roof before the rainy season or hurricane season begins. Roof inspectors can give you a more in-depth look at the problems of your roof (if there’s any at all). If there are weak areas on the roof, the roof inspector should secure them with hurricane straps so the roof will stay intact during a natural disaster. Replacing a roof is expensive, so it’s best for you to take care of your roof to help it last for years to come!

Inspect the Exterior Inspection of Your Home Regularly

It is important that when we are talking about home inspections, we cannot overlook the Foundation. The home owner should walk about the foundation of the home and carefully inspect all areas. Check for any sign of water damage around the outside of the home. Any loose soil? That could also be a sign of water damage that needs to be repaired. On the outside of the home, if there are bubbles in the exterior paint that means that moisture and water are getting through to the inside of the house. Also, it is important to inspect all downspouts around your home. Make sure that they are directed away from your home. This can cause water to drain in excess near your foundation and water will then be getting inside under your foundation. The homeowner also should install weather-stripping around the doors and windows. This helps the doors and winds can withstand high gusts of wind and rain.

Inspect the Interior of Your Home

When performing an interior home inspection, it is important to check and make sure that all your electrical outlets are about 3 inches above the floor. This will help ensure that your appliances will survive the flood without an electrical power surge. You also need to look for any cracks or breaks in the walls where water could collect in the event of a flood and potentially form mold. You may want to consider dry-proofing your home by painting with wall sealants to keep water out and adding foundation vents to let water flow through your home instead of collecting in one big pool of water.

Protect Your Home from Mold

During the Florida Rainy Season, it is imperative that you check your home routinely for small leaks and any sign of water damage around your exterior or interior of your home. Mold is a fungus that likes to grow in moist areas and it can begin growing just 24 hours after a flood happens. In certain cases, mold can also occur through a small leak that was not attended to in time and it got progressively worse before the homeowner noticed. As far as insurance goes, most insurance policies have stipulations that the coverage will only cover mold caused by natural disasters. Check your policy again to be sure if mold from water damage is covered when the water damage was not caused by a natural disaster. To try to minimize the chance that your home will mold, you can do these precautionary steps:
• Have air conditioning in your home.
• Use a dehumidifier occasionally.
• Have tile in your bathroom instead of carpet.
• Always use a cleaner that has bleach when cleaning in moist areas.
• Check all seals around sinks, bathtubs, anywhere water will be present.

Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Season

As we are talking about inspecting your home for water damage for the upcoming Rainy Season, let us not forget about Hurricane Season, which can be tough for many Floridian home owners. When hurricane season begins, it is important to do an inventory of your belongings, meaning, take a few photos of your possessions so that in the event your home was destroyed by a hurricane, it would make filing insurance claims a little bit easier. It is also important to inspect your garage door and make sure it is reinforced. Many people do not think about the garage door, but if it is not reinforced, powerful winds gusts get can inside of your home, causing severe damage to the interior windows, doors, and the interior of your roof.
When inspecting your home to make it hurricane proof, remember to check your windows and doors for cracks and make sure they close properly. In the event of a hurricane, high wind gusts could rip your door off of its hinges if the door is not properly closed. Broken windows will let rain inside of your home causing water damage. In the event of a hurricane, use storm shutters on your doors and windows or literally board them up with plywood.

Protecting your home is a huge priority during Florida’s Rainy Season and Hurricane Season. If you commit to taking preventative measure now, before something happens to your home, it pays off in the long run. For example, if you ever want to sell your home, it will sell much faster if there’s never been any kind of water damage or damage from a natural disasters. Taking care of your home now, will definitely help your home to stand up to the elements during Mother Nature’s favorite time of the year.

To hire the best Home Inspector in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida – Please call West Coast Home Inspection Today! (239) 464-3386

Home Inspection details

Home Inspection – The Devil is in the Details

During my service in the United States Coast Guard, I learned a lot of valuable lessons that I have been able to carry over into my civilian life. Through my training and experiences, I became adept at attention to detail, keeping my head during pressure situations and reporting on situations completely and honestly. These same values have permeated my life since then, and I bring these same values to my business. As I am doing a home inspection, my main goals are to pay attention and document every pertinent detail. I do this to protect you from making the kind of mistake that can turn what may be your largest purchase into your largest nightmare.

To hire the best Home Inspector in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida – Please call West Coast Home Inspection Today! (239) 464-3386

seasonal home maintenance checklist

Our Helpful Home Maintenance Checklist

This Will Help Keep You on Track All Year

Home maintenance is a task that you might think you’re taking care of efficiently, but it’s more than just sweeping the front porch once a week or removing seasonal decorations when the celebration is over. There are many important exterior household maintenance jobs that you have possibly overlooked. A seasonal home maintenance checklist can help remind you of the necessary tasks around your home that need to be done regularly.

Southwest Florida’s climate can most accurately be divided into two seasons: the very hot, wet and humid season that corresponds to spring and summer, and the somewhat cooler and drier season that could be called fall and winter. Certain preventative maintenance jobs are best performed during one of these two seasons.

Preparing for the hot and humid season

HVAC maintenance: A home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) is often ignored until it stops working properly, usually during a heat wave. Keeping the outdoor air conditioning unit in good working order means that you won’t suffer and sweat through hot and humid days and nights because your air conditioner stopped running.

The air conditioning system’s exterior unit needs to be checked carefully. It’s important to make sure there are no leaves, tree limbs or other debris around the unit left over from storms and wind that occurred during the cooler months. These debris should be removed so that air can move around the unit unimpeded. The unit’s coils and vents should be cleaned as well, and have the proper amount of freon checked by a qualified HVAC contractor. These tasks might better be handled by a qualified HVAC technician. Living in Florida also means living with all manner or creature that might find its way into parts of your HVAC system. Every year we find at least one frog that get stuck below the fan and never made it back out. When the air conditioner kicks on in the heat of summer we are hit with the very distinctive odor caused by the dead frog.

Exterior foundation: Your home’s foundation, siding and other exterior components might have suffered damage from storms or simply from aging. Taking a look at your home’s exterior is an important part of a cool-season check-up. Peeling or chipping paint, damaged siding and holes or cracks in the foundation should be repaired to improve stability as well as appearance. A home inspection company can help you determine how to handle needed repairs.

Roof and gutters: Your roof and gutters shouldn’t be ignored either. Take a look at the shingles on your roof or have a professional do it for you. Shingles should not be curled, broken or missing altogether. Any of these signs means that your roof will start leaking sooner rather than later. Keeping your gutters clean also helps protect your roof. Removing debris that is clogging gutters will help better direct water flow. This will help prevent the water from backing up under your roof shingles or draining so close to the foundation that it collects in your basement or crawl space.

Trees and perennials: Your trees, shrubs and perennial plants may have experienced some damage from cold temperatures or high winds during the cooler months, or may just be getting older. In either case, you’ll need to trim back the dead, dying or diseased sections. This will help the plants last longer and look better. Some trees, shrubs or perennial plants might have grown into cracks around your foundation, causing the cracks to enlarge. Pruning will help eliminate this problem.

Swimming pool: Your swimming pool is an essential and enjoyable part of your family’s home life, so it needs to be consistently maintained. If you haven’t used the pool for several months, it will need to be cleaned, particularly if it wasn’t covered. Leaves and other debris will need to be removed, then the water will need to be topped off. You’ll want to make sure the chemicals are properly balanced, a task that is often handled by a professional pool service. Once the chemicals are balanced and the pool is clean, maintaining the filtration system and keeping debris out of the pool will be a weekly or even daily task.

Getting ready for the cooler season

Doing regular home maintenance to prepare for the cooler, drier season is a bit different for Southwestern Florida homeowners than it is for those in colder climates, but it’s still important. Overlooking these tasks can lead to more serious problems later.

HVAC system: Your HVAC system, which has so efficiently kept you cool and comfortable during the hot, humid months, now needs to be readied for the cooler and drier season. Filters and coils that worked hard during the hot months should be cleaned so that they can warm your home efficiently when the temperature drops. Make sure and have the proper amount of freon checked by a qualified HVAC contractor If you don’t have the time or knowledge to do this yourself. A qualified technician can always handle these maintenance tasks quickly and inexpensively.

Trees and flower beds: Get your trees, flower beds and shrubs ready for the cooler weather as well. Flower beds can be mulched before cooler weather sets in to help protect them. Shrubs that show signs of damage or disease can be treated as well. If you have any tree limbs that are located too close to power lines, it’s a good idea to trim them back. You’ll be glad you did when your electricity stays on during a wind storm.

Swimming pool: You’ll need to prepare your pool as well for the cooler months when it isn’t being used. The most important thing you need to remember is to keep some water in your pool during the cooler months to help protect it. The chemical levels should be checked and adjusted if necessary, and the filter should be cleaned. When these chores are done, it’s essential to cover your pool for the cooler season so that debris won’t cause additional harm your pool.

Taking these preventative maintenance steps requires a bit of planning and some of your time, but they pay big dividends in helping to lower costs and prevent headaches later on. You’ll be glad that you don’t have to make big repairs or replace components that weren’t maintained properly. You’ll instead have time to enjoy your home.

To hire the best Home Inspector in Fort Myers, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Naples, Estero and Bonita Springs, Florida – Please call West Coast Home Inspection Today! (239) 464-3386

Home Inspection
Home Inspector
Home Inspector Fort Myers Florida
Home Inspection Fort Myers Florida