Home Inspections

Home inspections will vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing. A large historic home, for example, will require a more specialized inspection than a small condominium. However, the following are the basic elements that a home inspector will check. You can also use this list to help you evaluate properties you might purchase.

For more information, try the virtual home inspection at www.ASHI.org, the Web site of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Structure: A home’s skeleton impacts how the property stands up to weather, gravity, and the earth. Structural components, including the foundation and the framing, should be inspected.

Exterior: The inspector should look at sidewalks, driveways, steps, windows, and doors. A home’s siding, trim, and surface drainage also are part of an exterior inspection.

  • Doors and windows
  • Siding (brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, wood, etc.)
  • Driveways/sidewalks
  • Attached porches, decks, and balconies

Roofing: A well-maintained roof protects you from rain, snow, and other forces of nature. Take note of the roof’s age, conditions of flashing, roof draining systems (pooling water), buckled shingles, loose gutters and downspouts, skylight, and chimneys.

Plumbing: Thoroughly examine the water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, and fuel storage systems. Drainage pumps and sump pumps also fall under this category. Poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots, or corrosion can indicate problems.

Electrical: Safe electrical wiring is essential. Look for the condition of service entrance wires, service panels, breakers and fuses, and disconnects. Also take note of the number of outlets in each room. 

Heating: The home’s heating system, vent system, flues, and chimneys should be inspected. Look for age of water heater, whether the size is adequate for the house, speed of recovery, and energy rating.
Interiors: An inspection of the inside of the home can reveal plumbing leaks, insect damage, rot, construction defects, and other issues. An inspector should take a close look at:

  • Walls, ceilings and floors
  • Steps, stairways, and railings
  • Garage doors and garage door systems

Ventilation/insulation: To prevent energy loss, check for adequate insulation and ventilation in the attic and in unfinished areas such as crawlspaces. Also look for proper, secured insulation in walls. Insulation should be appropriate for the climate. Excess moisture in the home can lead to mold and water damage.  

Fireplaces: They’re charming, but they could be dangerous if not properly installed. Inspectors should examine the system, including the vent and flue, and describe solid fuel burning appliances.

Source: American Society of Home Inspectors (www.AHSI.org)

Posted on March 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm
Chris Almasi | Category: Cumberland County, Home Buyer News, Moving, Southern Maine

Moving Tips

  • Plan ahead by organizing and budgeting. Develop a master “to do” list so you won’t forget something critical on moving day, and create an estimate of moving costs.
  • Sort and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Have a garage sale, donate to a charity, or recycle.
  • But don’t throw out everything. If your inclination is to just toss it, you're probably right. However, it's possible to go overboard in the heat of the moment. Ask yourself how frequently you use an item and how you’d feel if you no longer had it. That will eliminate regrets after the move.
  • Pack similar items together. Put toys with toys, kitchen utensils with kitchen utensils. It will make your life easier when it's time to unpack.
  • If hiring movers decide what, if anything, you plan to move on your own. Precious items such as family photos, valuable breakables, or must-haves during the move should probably stay with you. Don't forget to keep a "necessities" bag with tissues, snacks, and other items you'll need that day.
  •  Remember, most movers won’t take plants. If you don't want to leave them behind, you should plan on moving them yourself.
  • Put heavy items in small boxes so they’re easier to lift. Keep the weight of each box under 50 pounds, if possible.
  • Don’t over-pack boxes. It increases the likelihood that items inside the box will break.
  • Wrap every fragile item separately and pad bottom and sides of boxes. If necessary, purchase bubble-wrap or other packing materials from moving stores.
  • Label every box on all sides. You never know how they’ll be stacked and you don’t want to have to move other boxes aside to find out what’s there.
  • Use color-coded labels to indicate which room each item should go in. Color-code a floor plan for your new house to help movers.
  •  Keep your moving documents together in a file. Include important phone numbers, driver’s name, and moving van number. Also keep your address book handy.
  • Print out a map and directions for movers. Make several copies, and highlight the route. Include your cell phone number on the map. You don’t want movers to get lost! Also make copies for friends or family who are lending a hand on moving day.
  •  Back up your computer files before moving your computer. Keep the backup in a safe place, preferably at an off-site location.
  •  Inspect each box and all furniture for damage as soon as it arrives.
  • Make arrangements for small children and pets. Moving can be stressful and emotional. Kids can help organize their things and pack boxes ahead of time, but, if possible, it might be best to spare them from the moving-day madness.

 

Reprinting from Realtor® magazine (Realtor.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copy write 2008 All Rights reserved.

Posted on March 17, 2016 at 2:38 pm
Chris Almasi | Category: Home Buyer News, Home Seller News, Maine, Moving