Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Avoid These 7 Rookie Mistakes When Choosing a House Inspector



Buying a home is a huge investment, and for most people, it’s one of the most important decisions they will make in their lifetimes. 

A qualified house inspector performs thorough checks and lets you know about maintenance work and impending repair works. As a homebuyer, this helps you sniff out bad deals and gather irrefutable data points to negotiate a better deal. Moving into a house that has not been inspected can also be a safety concern. Everything from lead paint to a weak foundation can put you and your loved ones at risk.  

Home inspection services are also recommended if you are someone who is trying to sell your house. Inspection reports put potential buyers at ease about the condition of the home and help you close the deal faster. Home inspection reports also let you resolve disputes that relates to the condition of the house by ensuring maximum transparency. 

While there is no denying the importance of getting a home inspected before finalizing the deal, it’s equally important to choose the right inspector. The following are 7 mistakes most new homebuyers make when selecting a home inspection service. 

Selecting a Service Without Checking Sample Reports

All reputed home inspection services allow customers to look at their sample reports. Just like their name suggests, these are dummy reports that show you how their final report is going to look like. Most reports by reputed firms include multiple photos of problem areas as well as a detailed description of the problem. Some reports also include repair advisory that lets you know the possible cost of repairing the issue. 

House inspector services usually have a dedicated page for sample reports on their websites.

Not Understanding the Time and Cost Implications 

A lot of people don’t realize that home inspection can take about 2 to 3 hours to complete. This means they need to make arrangements to ensure the house remains available for inspection. People trying to buy a house may need to schedule a meeting with the real estate agent or the current homeowner to ensure a smooth inspection. 

Home inspection services are also not cheap. This means it’s only advisable to get a house inspected after all other details have been checked and agreed upon by both parties. Standard home inspections cost around $400 to $700. The price is dependant on the location of the house and total square footage. Bigger the house, the more cost it takes to inspect it. 

Not Enquiring About the Exclusions 

A standard home inspection service typically does not include pool inspection, radon inspection, sewer scope checks, and garage inspection. What’s included in the standard package depends solely on the home inspection company. 

This is why it’s important to ask about the exclusions and the list of addon services that may be bought to cover them. 

Picking a House Inspector Who Has No Insurance

Home inspectors need to have liability insurance as well as insurance to protect its employees from workplace injuries. Liability insurance helps cover the cost of any damage that happens during the inspection process. Something like occupational accident insurance protects inspectors by covering their medical costs if they happen to get injured when performing checks. 

These are vital because not having insurance may force you to pay compensation if the house gets damaged or if the workplace injury leads to a lawsuit.

Selecting a Home Inspection Firm That Also Does Repairs

You need a home inspection firm that does not offer home repairing services. This ensures that the inspection company has no vested interest and they have nothing to gain if the house needs repairs. 

Oftentimes, home inspectors have sister firms that does repair works and they get commissions for every referred customer. Do your research by checking online reviews and looking up the parent company of the home inspection service. 

Not Knowing What the Inspection Includes 

You want a service that offers a comprehensive inspection for a lower cost. To make sure you get a good deal, you need to know what the inspection service includes. All standard packages should include thorough inspections of the plumbing, electrical systems, roof, foundation, and basement. Inspectors should also look for moisture damage, wood rots, and issues such as asbestos, mold, and lead paint. 

Picking an Inspector Unwilling to Discuss the Findings in the Report

You typically don’t want an inspector who just sends you the digital report and calls it a day. A good inspection firm will take the time to explain the report. They will explain what repairs need to be done urgently and which ones are minor. They should also inform about potential safety hazards and provide recommendations about mitigating them. 

* Guest post

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

I got married and how I’d do a wedding in another lifetime


We did it, we went off and got married. It was very lowkey and did not take much organising for it was just us, two witnesses at a registry office followed by afternoon tea at a hotel. I purchased a flowery satin dress in a blush pink colour and Sweep wore a suit that he already had – very untypical I know but that is what we both wanted at the time. In fact, it cost us hardly anything for the whole day since we had recently purchased some land and felt like that was more important to be frugal. A large wedding was out of the question also as we have a really, really small family and are quite introverted. We went to the registry office in Sweep’s work van decorated in ribbons, met our lovely witnesses, said our vows and then all went for cakes, scones, cocktails and tea. All back in time for my son home from school!
chimney sweep wedding


However, in another lifetime I’d have had a large family who would fuss and want a large wedding party to attend, I’d have tons of friends and would have spent a long time planning everything from the dress to the favours and the flowers. When I was younger I was obsessed with weddings and went to bridal fayres to try dresses on for fun, I studied floristry at an agricultural college, completed a wedding coordinator course and was convinced that was the job I wanted, a bit like J-Lo in the Wedding Planner. Funny to look back at this. 

In this other lifetime I would love a wedding by the sea, perhaps the Cornish coast or in Dorset, for there is something about the sea and drifts of pink sea thrift that I find very romantic. I’d look for large group accommodations where we could all stay, it would be child friendly and even allow the dogs to stay, after all they would be included in my dream wedding; girl dogs would be wearing flower collars and our Burt would wear a bowtie. Accommodation like party houses would allow friends and family to stay together and enjoy the wedding reception without being far away from their beds at the end of the evening so nobody would need to worry about a taxi. My son could have space to be away from it all when the noise became too much and it would be easy to look after family members who may need a rest from the long day. It would be a wonderful gathering and surrounded by gorgeous gardens where we could have our wedding photographs taken.
Summer Garden

Having a wedding party that involves as many flowers as possible would be my dream. However, the next best thing for me is that the land that we purchased will become partly dedicated to growing cut flowers, gorgeous English flowers for other brides so I feel I have my dream in a sort of way. I attended a DIY wedding some years ago where the bride had grown her flowers in a polytunnel and it worked out so well. Seasonal flowers in jam jars, cans and bottles adorning the church and the marquee was very summery – scented Sweet Peas, Astrantia, blush roses, frothy Lady’s Mantle and Ammi with dots of pastel corn flowers.
English cut flowers

The grounds where the wedding would be set would also have to be very flowery with deep herbaceous borders and roses scrambling up arches and arbours. Some of the gardens I visit on my travels would be perfect, summer gardens with lupins, spires of delphiniums, pink peonies and purple foxgloves; beautiful grounds for our guests to chat and have drinks from afternoon to evening. These are the items I would prioritise, the location, comfort of guests and the floral aspect. On a limited budget, thinking about what is most important to you is the best thing to do and then compromise on the rest. For instance, the cake is something I am not too bothered about, something simple and summery would be my ideal, nothing fancy. The dress too, a proper ivory wedding dress for my dream wedding (although I loved my real dress for my actual wedding) but if I’d had a large event, I still would have chosen something on the budget end, very simplistic and plain but classy. Bridesmaids dresses would be off the peg from a high street store.
Wedding day itinerary

There was something very liberating about the way we chose to get married but if circumstances had been different, I would have loved a larger wedding to share with other people and one where it was the whole day and evening. The thing I missed the most was having photos done of the day as I have just a few snaps. It would have been great to have those pictures within the English country garden of grand house and pictures with family members.

However, I did love our day and our two witnesses were very special people. There was no stress and the day felt so relaxed, plus we spent less than £300 with most of that the admin fees for registering the marriage and the registrar ceremony, we even had the cocktails knocked off our bill as the ones we wanted were not available and now I am selling my dress so perhaps this was the cheapest wedding ever! The most important thing is the marriage and life going forward.

Mr and Mrs

*Collaborative post