When Do Issues Become Deal Breakers in a Home Inspection

Have you ever gone shopping for your dream car, only to find during the test drive that the ride is less than smooth or that the backseat is smaller than you first thought? Maybe there’s that unidentifiable squeak every time you start to accelerate; maybe the cockpit lights aren’t really your preferred color.

But it’s your dream car. You still love the color, the body lines, the V8, 5.0 liter engine. So, the question becomes… are those issues things you can live with or are they deal breakers?

The same approach of weighing the good against the not-so-good should be taken when buying a home. There exists nary a single home, nor commercial facility, that is perfect or comes through inspection without issues. And buyers need to remind themselves of such when receiving the results of a home inspection. When it comes to “imperfect” home inspections, when is it a good time to walk away?

The job of your certified home inspector in Westminster is to thoroughly inspect each and every room and the structure and infrastructure of said room. Because it is important for that inspector to provide all of the information found regarding the soundness and safety of the home, an inspector’s report will contain every item they find that is unusual, out of the ordinary, breaks code or is dangerous or deficient in any way. This should not however, lead the potential buyer to present a laundry list of fix-its to the seller. The report simply lists the existing flaws or quirks about a home. It is up to the buyer to decide at what level an issue becomes a deal breaker and if they are ready to walk away from their next home if the seller is not willing or able to fix those issues. If it is still the home of your dreams, focus on those important health and safety problems that need to be address and use those as negotiation points in your contract.

Why Should a Home Seller Get a Pre-listing Inspection?

home inspections Denver In this very hot Colorado real estate market, many advantages are leaning towards the seller, rather than the buyer. With limited inventory and demand far-exceeding supply, recent sellers of residential property seemingly have it easy. But there is a downside to the rising drive. Offers are being made with the intent to simply hold a property, while the buyer continues to look, using the home inspection findings as an excuse to back out of the contract without risking the loss of their earnest money.

Tina and Mark Hibbs experienced this problem, not just once but twice, during the recent sale of their home in Northern Colorado. “The first buyer used some very small issues to back out of her contract after we had taken our home had been off the market for 21 days. Another buyer, just a month later, did the same thing – citing what he called “health and safety issues” found during inspection. These supposed issues were easily fixable and we were willing to do so, but they simply dropped the contract. That told us that they had little interest in actually attaining the property but were just using our contract as a backup. We lost another 22 days on the market with that fallout,” explained Mark about his ordeal.

“If we had just taken the initiative to get a pre-listing inspection, I believe that we could have avoided the frustrations and weeded out the less-serious buyers from the get-go,” added Tina.

As a tool, pre-listing inspections aide home sellers by protecting them in a variety of ways. First, an inspection, initiated by the seller, allows the homeowner to address any possible issues, eliminating them from being used as bargaining chips during the contract process. By having all repairs and defects handled before listing, your home becomes more attractive and therefore more sell-able. Disclosure about those problems that the seller doesn’t intend on fixing can also be listed, eliminating the risk of objection and possible contract dissolution.

Second, a completed home inspection report from a certified home inspector can help you to realistically set a listing price that makes sense. By making allowances for that outdated HVAC system, for example, you can avoid losing time and money negotiating during the contract period having priced your home with those allowances in mind.

Third, having that completed inspection available during showings, delivers a level of confidence in your property and may help sway potential buyers your way, increasing the chance of early, and possibly multiple, offers. When a buyer can understand that there are no major defects or problems, and allowances have been made for any minor ones, that buyer is much more likely to make a decision with which they feel comfortable.

Our 11th Month Warranty Inspection

home inspections in Denver Metro Is the clock ticking on your home warranty? If you’re coming up on the first anniversary of owning your home, that warranty that came when you made the purchase is about to expire. Rather than simply hoping that if things are going to go wrong, that they do so now, why not get some assurance on that insurance?

By being proactive and scheduling an 11 month warranty inspection, available through Denver’s premier home inspectors, Safe Investment Home Inspections, you can avoid having to pay for those structural defects or issues that have raised their nasty little heads without you knowing it. Our home inspections ensure that the condition of both the interior and exterior of your home is up to par and not vulnerable to future problems. We also perform a thorough check-up on all of your home’s major components and systems, including plumbing,electrical, foundation and roof. We’ll back up all findings with a dated, comprehensive report, complete with pictures as records that you can use to hold your builder to their warranted promises before they expire.

Following the InterNACHI’s comprehensive standards of practice, our team of certified home inspectors in Centennial, Westminster and the rest of the Denver Metro area strive to ensure that our client’s new home is as safe and secure as it was the day they bought it. For your 11th month warranty inspection, call our team at 303-233-0750 before the clock ticks away the time you have left on your home’s warranty.

Why a Sewer Scope Inspection is a Must

make a sewer scope inspection a must when buying a homeSo you’ve been eyeing that old town neighborhood with the charming craftsman homes and the Victorian mansions and lucky you – one that fits within your budget was just listed. Where these older homes can be very attractive with their unique charm, their tree-lined streets and established neighborhoods, you need to fully understand the challenges a home more than a half-century old can pose. Not only do you get decorative gables and porcelain doorknobs; you get possible termite damage, foundation issues and cracked sewer pipes. Where these issues are often minor, they will still need to be addressed. Which is why a sewer scope should be included in your home inspection when considering closing on a vintage home.

Few property and home owners understand that the sewer line that leads to the city main line are actually the responsibility of the homeowner. Should a broken or root-infested sewer line cause a back up, you can be held liable for the damage it causes. These backups can cause loss of property to both homes and businesses in the direct vicinity and can cost thousands to repair. Where your insurance company usually pays for the clean up and restoration of these backups, the repair or replacement may be excluded and their costs come directly from your own pocket.

A sewer scope, performed by your local home inspection company in Denver, shows just where your sewer line is vulnerable to breakage or backups and to what extent. With the use of a camera, a scope of your sewer and septic lines can help identify weak spots or other issues within older lines, helping potential homeowners avoid what could be monstrous problems in the future. Make sure to ask about sewer scopes in Denver when scheduling your home inspection.

Radon: What You Don’t Know ….

Sharing family features with its nasty and unpopular cousin, carbon monoxide, radon gas is also odorless, invisible and without taste. And can be deadly in high doses. Posing as a cancer threat, radon gas present in your home has been credited for an approximate 21,000 deaths due to lung cancer every year; second only behind cigarette smoking according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Where carbon monoxide can build within an enclosed space and is created when using fuel-operating appliances like gas furnaces, stoves and other appliances, radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil rock and water. Radon is released into the air naturally but is easily dispersed in outdoor environments. Home basements can create an atmosphere where radon gas can accumulate to dangerous levels if proper radon-resistant features have not been implemented or within older homes. Moving up through the ground, radon gets into homes through cracks in basement floors and walls, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes and through construction joints. Radon can even be carried into a home through the water supply.

The EPA estimates that nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Colorado’s unique atmosphere and environment has led to higher levels of radon here than elsewhere in the country, making its detection imperative for any homeowner. Because it is undetectable to the human senses, testing is of the utmost importance as it is the only way to know if dangerous levels of the gas exist in your home. Safe Investment Home Inspections’ home inspectors perform hundreds, even thousands of radon tests in Denver homes every year. Schedule your radon test now and breathe easier.

Tiny Bug. Huge Problems.

Termites. Don’t let their tiny size fool you. They are one destructive little bug. And they are seemingly everywhere. Though many new residents of the Denver area may tell you that termites can’t live or thrive in Colorado, it’s a myth that needs to be dispelled. Termites can and do reside in the Mile High City and throughout various areas of Colorado. The subterranean termite is native to the Rocky Mountain state and is a common pest at altitudes below 7500 feet; which include areas of Denver, obviously. Understanding that not only do they exist here, but what conditions help them thrive, can help homeowners avoid the nasty destruction that they can cause. Home inspectors in the Denver area can help you discover the signs that the home you are considering investing in has actually been infested.

Poor drainage and irrigation in landscaping and the increased moisture levels around building foundations and walls can create the moist soil that termites thrive in. Furthermore, because of the erroneous belief that termites can’t live here, construction in Colorado has been lax in the past regarding termite-proofing. Disregarding termites as a non-threat, contractors and homeowners alike have used less-than-favorable building standards that have resulted in the wood to ground contact that termites delight in. Other sources for termite populations include dead tree roots, firewood piles, exposed building elements and buried fence posts.

A professional home inspection is the best way to protect yourself against the damage of termites, as by the time you actually see them, the damage they cause can be extensive. Call for a comprehensive home inspection at 303-233-0750.


Benefits of Thermal Imaging

Infrared thermal imaging has a number of applications across a variety of industries, and though using it to check whether your sweet potato fries are too hot to eat is possible, its really not the best use of this innovative technology. Offering Arvada homeowners thermal imaging surveys, in addition to our comprehensive home inspection services, allows us to quickly and accurately detect building flaws and areas of concern in regards to electrical, plumbing and insulation components. By showing surface temperatures of solid objects, like solid walls and electrical boxes, thermal imaging easily shows the differing ranges of temps within that material. The benefits of thermal imaging for either home or business use include:

home inspections arvada

The Increased Savings By Reduction in Energy Usage

According to various recent studies, Americans was about 58% of the total energy we produce in this country. Where some of that is due to bad habits, such as not turning off the TV or lights when no one is in the room, a good portion is from the energy-inefficiencies of our homes themselves. Thermal imaging helps show where energy is leaking through gaps and seams around windows or doors and where insulation is lacking. Thermal imaging shines a spotlight on those areas that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.

Protection against problematic structural components

Overheated electrical boxes, light fixtures and wiring can prove to be a dangerous issue if left undetected. We can use thermal imaging to determine whether your home’s electrical system is working as it should, ensuring the home or business owner of its safe operation.

Insurance against growing problems

Small plumbing leaks can create pretty large problems. By being able to detect even the tiniest changes in temperature, caused by dripping or running water, we can help a resident avoid structural issues or damage and the growth of mold.

The Hidden Structural Dangers You Should Know About

We believe we know dangers when we see them: that curvy mountain road with no guard-rail; the snarling, growling beast that your neighbor claims is a dog; your angry wife at 1:00 a.m. They all possess tell-tale signs that tell you to be cautious and to stay away.

But, of course, there exist dangerous elements in this world that look completely benign. Unfortunately it is within our own homes that we may expose ourselves to certain dangers without ever being aware of their presence. As home inspectors in Centennial we are trained to find and recognize these dangers within any structure.  The top hidden health dangers within our homes include:

  • Mold. There is a distinct odor to mold, making it easier to detect. Moist, damp and dark areas are breeding grounds for mold spores that can cause allergy and  respiratory problems and, in extreme cases, certain types of cancers. Mold needs to be remediated and removed from any building structure as it can spread quickly doing quite a bit of damage during its lifetime.
  • Lead paint. Though the mere presence of lead paint is not inherently dangerous, trying to remove it can expose one to a variety of health risks. Lead poisoning has shown to cause developmental delays in children, vomiting, hearing loss, weight loss and fatigue. Old, peeling and cracking paint from pre-1970’s era homes is likely to contain lead and should be professionally removed to mitigate prolonged exposure.
  • Asbestos. Like lead paint, when left alone, asbestos poses little risk. However, when asbestos is released into the air through remodeling or updating efforts, it can cause a variety of health complications including serious respiratory illnesses and certain forms of cancer. If working with building materials that may contain asbestos, make sure to get those materials tested before attempting to remove them. If it is shown to contain asbestos, professional abatement and mediation is required by code.


When is that Wiring Issue a Real Problem?

Even in brand new homes, electrical issues can be uncovered during home inspections, and though any incongruence can create anxiety in a potential investor or homeowner, it is important to note that not all electrical issues present any danger. The trick is understanding which of those issues are actual problems and require immediate attention and which ones are just those that are outside of local code and may need at least a second look. Hidden electrical and wiring issues are estimated, by the Electrical Safety Foundation International, to cause more than 53,000 home fires a year. These fires cause almost $1.5 million in damage and kill more than 500 people. These are common warning signs of an electrical system that are potentially dangerous to you or your family and should be dealt with quickly:

  • Damaged wires. Old age, misuse, heat and corrosion can cause wiring to fray or crack. Make sure to hire a professional to replace any damaged wires that are pointed out by your home inspector.
  • Scorch marks on outlets or switches. All of a home’s electrical elements should be cool to the touch at all times. If your home inspection shows any indication of warm spots or scorch marks around outlets make sure that the electrical system is given a thorough update.
  • Overloaded circuits. Constantly having to reset tripping circuit breakers in an indication of the system being overloaded. Have it assessed by an electrician for recommended improvements to avoid the possibility of electrical fires.
  • Dimming Lights. The activation of other household appliances should not cause your light fixtures to dim. Lights that dim when you turn on other fixtures is an indication of a wiring or circuit breaker issue. Have it assessed for safety’s sake.
  • Popping, sizzling and cracking. Sounds coming from your appliances, outlets and switches should never be overlooked as they are signs of a serious problem.





The Cool Factor of Home Inspection

How cool is the concept of home inspection? Really. Think about it. How helpful would it be to have the advice and guidance that a home inspector delivers, in other aspects of your life? An inspector for other important decisions? A mentor whose sole purpose is to educate you about the product you are about to commit to – like when purchasing a car or taking a new job? Seriously,  even getting a haircut would become much less of a daunting task if you were to be able to have the unbiased opinion and guidance of a knowledgeable professional.

Being able to rely on the extensive knowledge that a home inspector possesses is a perk that is unique to the real estate industry. Because residential and commercial structures entail so many different systems and elements, it is nearly impossible for buyers to be thoroughly versed in every possible aspect of a building. Which is why a certified commercial and home inspector is so valuable. No building is without its challenges or issues, but an experienced home inspector will understand when an issue is merely an imperfection or when it is truly a problem. Home inspections in Westminster can reveal problems and answer questions for both buyers and sellers of real estate and often play a big part in negotiations, allowing real estate transactions to go more smoothly and close quickly.

Of course we believe that no potential buyer should ever purchase a building of any type without a professional inspection. It’s just smart business.