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The Need for Home Inspection & Radon Testing

A special thanks to Kelly Foley of AmeriSpec for participating in this weeks video. He is an ASHI Certified Member and has been in the home business for a long time. Watch the video, you'll learn a lot and if you have any questions give him a call at 402.393.3696.

You Better Give Sherlock Holmes a Ring!

No, you don't need the fictional detective inspector. However, you do need a home inspector! Think of this as a "pre-emptive strike" to maintain or increase your home's value before you put it on the market.
Here are the benefits an inspector provides you:

Benefit 1: The inspector can uncover any problems that need fixing, and you can correct them before any potential buyers enter your home. Such an inspection can prevent your sale from falling through!

Benefit 2: With an inspection, you can show prospective buyers receipts to prove the work has been done. Buyers love proof! In reality and in their eyes, it underpins the value of your home and the asking price.

Benefit 3: You may be able to factor the cost of the inspection into the asking price for your home!

Benefit 4: When you have a pre-sale home inspection completed, you're able to estimate if the discount the prospective buyer is asking is reasonable. In other words, you can refuse unreasonably low offers if you know the value of your house, including the degree of its defects.

So, How Do I Find a Qualified Home Inspector?

I can recommend a certified home inspector who will do a great job for you. However, if you decide you want to do it on your own, make sure he or she is qualified!

Con artists sometimes pose as home inspectors, taking your money and giving you nothing but grief in return. Here's how to know if an inspector is the real deal:

Ask your friends for referrals. If they've had a good experience, go with that home inspector. I’d recommend you interview a minimum of two or three inspectors before choosing one. Make sure they’re full-time professionals conducting several inspections a year.

If possible, select a home inspector who’s a member of The American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors. These association members follow a stated code of ethics. In addition, they’re prohibited from having a professional interest in the sale, repair or maintenance of a property they inspect. They’re also forbidden from using their inspection business as a way to find customers for a handyman service that they “happen” to own. You may want to go on the Internet and use ASHI’s “Find a Home Inspector” link to identify potential candidates in our locality.

As part of the interview process, ask for samples of comprehensive reports (about 20-50 pages in length). The samples should be painstakingly done and backed up with complete details, including photos and diagrams. If an "inspector" refuses to give you a report or provides only a sloppily written 2-to-5 page sample, run the other way!

What Does a Home Inspector Cost?

Frankly, the rates vary. On a national level, the rates fall in the range of $200 to $400. As part of the interview process, I recommend you ask several inspectors for their rates so you can get an idea of the price range. In the end, keep in mind that while the cost of an inspection may seem high, it can actually add several thousand dollars to the value of your home! So, don't think of it as a cost; think of it as an investment!

What Exactly Does a Home Inspector Evaluate?

In general, he or she will look at the following areas:

- Electrical System Wiring, Service Panel and Service Capacity
- Energy Conservation/Safety Items
- Exterior Walls, Siding, Trim
- Floor, Wall, Ceiling, Roof Structures
- Foundation, Footings, Crawl Space, Basements, Sub-flooring, Decks
- Gutters, Downspouts
- Heating & Cooling Systems
- Insulation & Ventilation
- Interior Floors, Walls, Ceilings
- Moisture Intrusion/Mold
- Overall Structural Integrity
- Plumbing Systems
- Property Drainage/Landscaping
- Roof & Shingles, Chimneys, Attic
- Walks and Drives
- Windows, Doors, Cabinets, Counters, etc.

Should I Be Present During a Home Inspection?

You bet! A typical inspection takes three hours or more, so I recommend that you be present for at least the first 30 minutes to make sure the job is being done thoroughly. At the end of the inspection, the home inspector should give you a point-by-point summary of what needs to be corrected in order to add value to your home!

Radon Inspection

From http://amerispecusa.com/services.html
The Midwest ranks as one of the highest areas in the Nation for average radon content.  Nebraska is the fourth highest and Iowa is number one. Although Texas is not a "hot spot" for radon, elevated levels have been detected in a few areas. Often relocation companies will require radon testing as part of their program.

When a home has been mitigated for radon, it is a major plus when the system is installed properly to know the levels are being properly maintained.  A home that has not been mitigated that previously tested low will likely have a radon level that will fluctuate with the seasons and with the weather conditions.

This inspection includes the placement of testing devices to measure the ongoing level of radon in the habitable areas of the home. These measurements evaluate the level of radon to determine if any form of improvement is required. The EPA document A Citizen's Guide To Radon (Third Edition) provides the basic information everyone should know about Radon. For more information on how to reduce your radon health risk, call your state radon office for copies of these guides:

-Other Radon-specific publications are located at: www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/pubs/

-Other Indoor Air Quality-specific publications are located at: www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/

If you plan to make repairs yourself, be sure to contact your state radon office or visit our publications site for a current copy of EPA's technical guidance on radon mitigation, "Application of Radon Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses. "

Hope you enjoyed this very useful information about home inspection! If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us! You can reach me at 402.680.2500!


  1. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you

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  2. Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information. home inspections