Summit Insurance Group
108 N. Statesville Rd.
P.O. Box 2485
Huntersville, NC 28070

704.659.2141
Fax: 704-659-2148
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Summit Insurance Blog Archives

Summit Insurance Group Huntersville, NC

 

July 16, 2018

Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

Moving into a newly purchased home can be one of the most stressful and challenging life moments for any homeowner. An important part of the process of purchasing a home, aside from the financial considerations, is the required home inspection. Once you make an offer on a home, it is critical to have a licensed home inspector go over it with a fine-toothed comb before you finalize the purchase. As the home buyer, it is your responsibility to choose an inspector wisely and stay involved through the entire process.

You might consider checking to see if there are any professional memberships or associations in your area that can recommend a licensed inspector. A helpful tool like the one available from the American Society of Home Inspectors might be a good place to start your search for a licensed home inspector in your area.

Choosing an Inspector

Finding a qualified, licensed and experienced home inspection professional is the first step. How and when the inspection and inspection report will be done is another important factor in choosing the right inspector for your needs and timeline. Here are some questions to ask potential candidates:

  • Can I see your home inspector license? - A professional inspector should always carry their license. Do not contract an inspector who fails to show proof of certification.
  • Are you currently working/have you ever worked for the seller’s realtor? - Your home inspector should be working for you and you only.
  • What is your education, training and experience? - Home inspection is a unique discipline, and your inspector should have specific experience in residential inspections. The inspector should be able to provide you with their history in the profession, along with references. You should review your inspector’s residential inspection experience and make sure you are comfortable they have the experience you are looking for.
  • Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association? - There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see membership ID or other due diligence you deem appropriate.
  • What does the inspection cover? - If you don’t already know, ask your inspector if there are any specific requirements in your state. The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suggests you should ask him or her to provide you with information ahead of time and have your inspector confirm that the inspection and subsequent report will meet any applicable state requirements and comply with standards of practice and code of ethics. Be sure to identify and make a special request for areas you want to ensure are inspected, such as obvious flaws, deficiencies, or any problems you noticed during your own inspection.
  • Will I be able to attend the inspection? - Attending the inspection is invaluable. Seeing your new home through the eyes of an expert is a huge educational opportunity in homeownership. Refusal to allow you to attend should raise a red flag.
  • How long will the inspection take? - Two to three hours is the average for a typical single-family home. Anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection (and may also be a red flag).
  • How much will it cost? - Cost varies depending on region, size and age of house, scope of services and more. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality.
  • What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take until I receive it? - According to HUD, you should ask to see samples/examples of previous reports. Do you understand the reporting style? Does the turnaround time meet your needs in regards to making your decision? HUD reports that most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

During and After a Professional Inspection

During and after the inspection, good home inspectors will expect you to ask them questions. Once you receive the report, carefully review any findings. Ask the inspector about anything you don’t already know yourself or fully understand (e.g., How old is the plumbing system? What are the parts that make up the heating and cooling system? What is that crack in the foundation?)

Your home inspector should be willing to explain things more than once and in different ways until you feel confident you understand the issue and potential solutions.

Take Notes of Your Own Observations, Too

You should also do your own initial home inspection before making an offer. Evaluate the conditions of and be alert for obvious flaws/deficiencies including:

  • Foundation - Are there any cracks, sagging, shifts, or encroaching trees? [look at a ceiling to make sure there aren't any leaks]
  • Drainage & Leaks - Are there any soggy areas near the house/foundation? Any signs of leaks near ceilings and windows?
  • Roof - What is the overall condition? How old is it? Encroaching trees? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? How does the chimney look?
  • Attic / Basement - Are these spaces damp? Is there insulation?
  • Electrical - Are all wall switches working? Are outlets grounded? Does the electrical panel box have circuit breakers? Are there any exposed electrical wires in or outside of the home?
  • Plumbing - Try all fixtures and inspect all pipes. Any sign of leaks, unusual noises or obvious malfunctions? How old is the hot water tank? Any evidence of mold or mildew in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, basements or other areas where water is normally used or found.
  • Doors & Windows - Inspect and open all doors and windows. Are there any sticking points, peeling paint, signs of leaks, or drafts?
  • Appliances - Evaluate the age and condition of any appliances that will be included in purchase.
  • Heating / Cooling Systems - Turn (or ask realtor to turn) all systems on. Do they seem to heat or cool properly? How old is the furnace and/or A/C system? Have they been recently converted or upgraded? Is there an oil tank? Where and how old is it? Is there any sign of rust on heating/cooling system parts and fixtures?
  • Radon - Long-term exposure to radon gas can pose a serious health risk to people and pets. Ask the realtor if a radon test has been performed within the past year, particularly if the house has a basement and is in a high-radon (EPA radon zones). If radon has ever been detected in the house, has a radon mitigation system been installed by a licensed Radon installation

February 8, 2018

5 Driving and Car Maintenance Resolutions

Whether it’s following a regular maintenance plan or making sure you’re prepared for an emergency, we’ve pulled together five driving and car maintenance resolutions for the New Year.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

February 6, 2018

Builders Mutual Names Summit Insurance Group Inc. to the Status of Champions Club

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

January 30, 2018

Does Your Home Business Need Insurance?

If you’re doing business at home, you’re smart to have insurance. The amount of your sales doesn’t matter. The amount of loss you could face should something go wrong is what counts.So how can an entrepreneur protect a home-based business? Start by insuring your business right away. You can choose from one or more of these three basic types of insurance, depending on your business's complexity and type.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

November 6, 2017

Early Year-End Tax Planning to Take Advantage of Possible Tax Reform

So, why do we think early tax planning is appropriate this year? Actually, with the prospect of major tax reform on the horizon, some strategies can be employed before the end of the year that can substantially reduce your 2017 tax bill. 

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

October 17, 2017

Enhance Your Cash Flow, Enhance Your Business

The Top Tips You Need To Know

To put it simply, enhancing your cash flow isn't just about enhancing your accounting — it's also about enhancing the very organization you've already worked so hard to build. With that in mind, there are a few key tips you'll absolutely need to know about moving forward.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

September 25, 2017

10 Insane (BUT TRUE) Ways to Grow Small Business Profits

When you were a kid, you imagined becoming an entrepreneur — a dream that turned into reality a few years ago when you started your first small business and began enjoying the freedom of being your own boss. But, since then, your profits haven’t grown at the rate you’d hoped they would. If you can relate to this scenario, you’re not alone.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

September 12, 2017

What if a customer falls in your store?

I've never met a store owner who wanted someone to get hurt while shopping at their business. The thought of a customer falling for any reason is enough to make most proprietors shudder. Much worse, imagine someone falls and gets hurt, and then puts the blame on you. That's enough to keep any business owner up at night.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

September 6, 2017

Tips for Reducing Your Debts

Generally, it is sound financial advice for you to get out of debt. But that may be easier said than done, especially if the debt is sizeable compared to your ability to repay. 

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

August 23, 2017

Preparing for Severe Weather

Every company should have a written disaster program in place that outlines the procedures for monitoring and responding to changes in weather conditions, as well as the process of communicating severe weather advisories and alerts to employees. 

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August 15, 2017

9 Life Changes to Tell Your Insurance Agent About

Are you anticipating big changes in 2017? If so, you probably have a lot on your to-do list in order to get prepared.  One thing you won’t want to forget to do is talk to your insurance agent.

Click HERE to read more...

 

 

August 7, 2017

Why Do Small Businesses Fail?

How Can I Prevent This?

 

Many people dream of starting a small business.  There’s no magic-bullet solution to a successful business, but if you  want to ensure you are doing everything you can, you should first be aware of the common reasons that small businesses fail. 

Click HERE to read more...