Pre-Sale Inspections

3 Things to Fix Before You Sell Your House

Preparing your home for sale can be quite strenuous. What can you do to increase your home’s value? And what repairs/additions will give you a good return on the value? The entire real estate market is crazy and difficult to navigate. That’s why, as experienced Maryland home inspectors, we wanted to put together this little guide offering suggestions for how to get the best value for your home.

Inspect Home Before Sale

Fix Any Structural Issues

Most people neglect the structure of their home when they’re thinking about selling. While that scented candle you placed out is nice and acts as the cherry on top, that’s just it. It’s just a cherry. The structure of your home is the ice cream itself, and without it you don’t have a sundae, just some whipped cream and a cherry (which isn’t half as good!).

Many home-buyers take a home’s structure into serious consideration. Things like the roof, HVAC, the water heater, and pipes are all integral parts of your home, and if not functioning properly, make the home less appealing. If any of your home’s structural components are old or are in need of repair, you should seriously consider either repairing or replacing them. If anything is in too bad of shape, your home may not be approved by a Maryland home inspector.

Make Sure Your Landscaping is Top-Notch

One of the first things a potential home-buyer sees as they approach your home is not your house, but your yard. You want to make this first impression a good one. Many sellers think only about the house itself and neglect the yard, leaving it cluttered and unkempt. This is a big mistake.

Make sure your yard is cleaned up, with no junk or clutter laying around. Then spruce it up a bit! Cut the grass, trim the hedges, plant some new trees and flowers, put new mulch in the planting bed. You get the idea. You may even want to consider hiring a professional landscaping company. Whatever you do, just have your yard looking its best!

Update and Modernize Your Kitchen

One of the most important rooms in your house when it comes to selling it is your kitchen. Today’s buyers want a kitchen that could rival that of Gordon Ramsey’s. There are a couple of things you can do to renovate or revamp your kitchen. You could conduct a full-blown overhaul, redoing and replacing everything, though this is time-consuming and costly. Many sellers choose to update and upgrade kitchen appliances like the refrigerator and the oven. This is the best way to go, it’s cost-effective, and most buyers put a lot of stock into what appliances come with the home.

How Do I Know Which Things I Should Fix and Which Ones to Leave Alone?

If you’re having trouble deciding which components of your home should be fixed before you sell, don’t worry. This is a big decision and one that’s difficult to make. Take some of this stress off yourself by contacting a professional Maryland home inspector. Highland Home Inspections has served Maryland for years and we’ve learned the ins and outs of the real estate business. Give us a call today, we’d love to help you in any way we can.

Pre-Listing Home Inspections

Are you considering selling your home? Before you list it, it’s important to get a pre-listing home inspection. Let’s learn about what this inspection checks for and why you need it!

The buyer of your home will have an inspection done before closing to determine if there are any problems with the home’s interior or exterior. The quantity and severity of these issues can affect both the price they are willing to pay for the home and the quickness with which they move into the home. You as the seller have a helpful advantage – you can have a pre-listing inspection done before your house even goes on the market.

Pre-sale home inspections

Your pre-listing home inspection helps you detect issues with your home early so that you can proactively address them before the buyer’s inspector does their own analysis of the home. Included in the pre-listing home inspection are checks for:

 

 

Outdoor

  • No standing water, drainage away from house
  • No septic system leaks
  • Landscaping, trees, walkways and yard in good condition
  • No bushes touching the home or branches overhanging the roof
  • No evidence of rot or infestation
  • Secure and adequate railings
  • Driveway, patio and sidewalks in good condition
  • No rot or decay of wood shingles on roof
  • No curling of or damaged/missing shingles

Structural

  • No cracking, rot or decay in siding
  • No large cracks in stucco
  • No wood-to-earth contact in siding

Interior

  • Sufficient insulation and ventilation in attic
  • No open electrical splices
  • No stains on floors, walls, ceilings
  • Floors, walls, and ceilings straight and level
  • Electrical outlets operate properly
  • No damage to fireplace
  • Adequate water flow in sinks
  • Plumbing fixtures in good condition
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working properly
  • HVAC operational and in good condition

Having the pre-listing inspection conducted makes you aware of any of these issues you may have well in advance and allows you to make any necessary fixes to both the inside and outside of your home. This way, when the buyer’s inspector comes to take a look, you’re less likely to have big problems holding your buyer back from closing the deal and your home sale will go a lot quicker and smoother.

Are You Ready for Your Pre-Listing Home Inspection?

Highland Homes Inspections is a Maryland home inspector dedicated to helping make your home as safe as possible. Contact us to learn more about our inspection services or to schedule your pre-listing home inspection today!

What is Radon and Why do we Test for it?

Radon testing is one of the key components of a home inspection, but what exactly is radon? And why is testing for its presence in your home so important? Let’s find out!

What is Radon and Why do we Test for it?

What is Radon?

Radon is a type of gas that was discovered in 1899. It is odorless, colorless, and radioactive. It’s known to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the USA, and the number one cause of this type of cancer in non-smokers. Radon is not commercially produced, as it occurs naturally during the breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium.

Traces of this gas are found most commonly in igneous rock, soil, and well water. Radon levels fluctuate over time, which is why it’s so important to have a reliable radon monitoring system or detector in your home. When you are selling your home or purchasing a new one, it’s essential to have a professional test for radon gas to ensure the health and safety of you and your family.

Here’s a recent video we put together to help explain Radon, what dangers it can cause in the human body, and why we strongly advise clients to perform radon testing in Maryland.

How Does Radon Enter a Home?

If you have radon in your home, it is likely that it came in through the basement. The gas is exhausted from rock that is far beneath the ground and moves through the soil surrounding your home’s lowest level. Radon gas slips easily through holes and gaps in your basement walls or floors. Even more discreetly, it can seep through pores in concrete. Additional ways radon can enter the home are through:

  • The spaces around pipes that enter the foundation
  • Warm indoor air rising
  • Fireplaces and furnaces
  • Well water
  • Open areas inside your walls

How Can I Reduce Radon Levels in my Home?

  1. Install a radon removal system. This allows for the immediate venting of radon gas from the inside of your home to the outside. These devices are commonly known as Soil-Suction Radon Reduction Systems.
  2. Seal open spaces in floors and walls. Sealing cracks in the foundation, walls, and floors of your lower level will give radon gas less points of entry into your home.
  3. Install a heat recovery ventilation (HRV) system. These systems are designed to increase ventilation in your home and are most effective against radon when installed only in the basement.

Highland Homes Inspections is a Maryland home inspector with over 27 years of experience in the industry. To learn more about radon testing, or to have your home tested for radon gas, contact us today!

5 Common Issues with Town Homes

Townhouses and row homes are convenient for those who are looking to downsize from a large single-family home or expand their space from a cramped condo. Because of the way town homes are built, there are some inspection points you need to look out for when purchasing.

As Maryland home inspectors, we see plenty of issues with townhouses and row homes that buyers commonly overlook:

5 Common Issues with Town Homes

Issue #1 – Decks

In many townhome communities, neighboring decks are built so that they are connected to one another. It is all too common to overlook rot or other deck damage on the areas where your deck joins your neighbors’.

It’s important to have these spots checked thoroughly by your inspector so you know what parts of the deck may need repairs before you purchase the home.

Issue #2 – Roofs

Townhouses and row homes share a common roof with neighboring units, which can cause problems for new homeowners who are unaware of the condition of the roofs connected to their own.

Although your roof’s inspection can have positive results, a mildew-ridden or pest-infested neighboring roof can easily spread these problems to yours.

Issue #3 – Exterior Maintenance

It’s easy to keep your yard in great shape when neighbors take good care of their yards consistently as well.

However, if your neighbor’s yard is overrun with weeds, there is little you can do to prevent them from spreading to your own yard. This can add a lot of extra lawn maintenance to your weekly chore list.

Issue #4 – Attics

Sharing walls with neighboring homes also means that the attics are right next to one another. Attics are inviting to insects, birds, and rodents looking for a dark, warm place to call home.

If there are pests living in your neighbor’s attic, they can easily chew and claw their way through the walls or insulation into your attic as well.

Issue #5 – Foundation

The foundation of your townhome may also be shared with neighboring units, making it yet another key inspection point before you purchase. If you are not able to inspect the foundation of the neighboring homes, speak with the HOA to determine when the foundation was last inspected and get a report of the condition it was found to be in.

Highland Home Inspections Can Help With Townhouses.

Looking to purchase a new townhome? The professionals at Highland Home Inspections have been leaders in home inspection since 1989 and are well educated on all the red flags to look out for when inspecting homes for potential buyers.

Contact us today to schedule an inspection or to learn more about the services we offer.