How a Realtor can Benefit from a Home Inspection

Here comes the Hot-stepper, not a Deal Breaker!

A home inspection is not only favorable for the buyers & sellers, but it is also quite beneficial for the Real Estate Agent too. Because a realtor is the person who represents the buyer or the seller, they can advocate for the client when they know details about the property. For an instance, a buyer’s agent can tactfully negotiate with the seller for a price revision. Similarly, a seller’s agent can guide the home buyer when he knows the details about the home inspection reports. At this point, the property broker can also help the seller in making an educated decision on the repairs and the selling price before listing the property for sale.

Property brokers may tend to think that Home Inspectors are simply fault finders and the brokers’ sale will fall through for them. However, there is a strong argument for why an ethical agent’s referral adds value to the buyer and benefits all involved. A seasoned real estate agent has years of experience and expertise in the local market and will save a buyer a lot of time, money and frustration by promoting and recommending the concept of Home Inspection.

Realtors’ Survey in USA

  • Eighty-four (84%) percent of buyers requested a home inspection as part of purchase contract.
  • Nearly all realtors (92%) recommend that the buyer get a home inspection.
  • Most Real Estate Agents (84%) have not had any sellers contracts terminated as a result of a home inspection.

Home Inspection adds to Real Estate Agents’ Brand & Credibility and in turn Business Growth

  • Home Inspection can greatly assist in the sales process by making a buyer feel more confident about the purchase. Realtors can discuss the pros and cons with home buyers when they know details about the inspection.
  • Enables real estate agent to make sellers understand the health condition / potential issues in their property.
  • Realtors can Make Recommendations for Repairs. In that way, a seller / buyer can plan to the repair or negotiate on the selling price as per the market status.
  • Builds credibility, makes agents look more professional, and promotes referrals.
  • Increased Referrals From Satisfied Customers – Increased Business

Benefits of Pre – Listing Home Inspection by Property Brokers

Serving the Client
In an ideal situation, the buyers should rely on the experience of their agents for matters as important as Home Inspection. Infact agent referral should actually add value to the buyer. Real estate agents should look at the bigger picture and the bigger picture is caring most about the client’s satisfaction. It’s a question of serving the clients and building strong relationships. For the ones who truly understand the scenario, building strong relationships and good client service is a way to help all involved. It provides the home inspector with business, helps home buyers by providing them access to a dependable home inspector and provides the real estate agents with a solid reputation and peace of mind.

Protecting your Interests
The admonishment of “buyer beware” is especially relevant when it comes to buying a home. Real estate agents and buyers depend on the seller and the listing agent to provide the initial information regarding a property’s condition. When looking for a qualified home inspector, your first thought may well be to ask your real estate agent. After all, he has got you this far. A qualified home inspector is important to an agent’s business. Agents don’t want a finger pointed at them. Reputable real estate agent would not withhold information from a buyer or induce a third-party vendor to withhold information. Agents want their buyers to have full disclosure and be fully informed, those who aren’t will come back to haunt their agents after closing. More importantly, duped clients won’t refer anyone else to them, and given the word-of-mouth nature of the real-estate business, that’s the kiss of death.

Ask your Broker for a Home Inspection report
Besides, a home inspector’s negative findings don’t necessarily mean a deal is off. Buyer’s agents can negotiate repairs or cash credits as compensation. Only as a last resort do they advise the buyer to walk away if the home inspection reflects too many problems. Agents know what you should expect from the inspector, an in depth and complete written report highlighting the issues found along with their recommendations. But it should be objective and devoid of editorial sentiment. The commentary should detail different elements of the home but never offer sweeping generalisations about it.

Don’t get panicked
The agents’ usual problem with home inspectors is not so much that they’ll whitewash certain defects as that they’ll induce panic. They tend to get a panic attack the moment they hear that the property is going to be inspected. They have this inherent wrong idea that the home inspectors work against them, which is absolutely not the case. The Home Inspectors have no intention to tarnish the image of the agents whatsoever. But they should understand that it is in the best interest for all the parties involved. Home Inspectors are the Hot-steppers or the skilled people who are here to help the broker’s sale. They are absolutely not the deal breakers.

To have a competitive edge over others
The brokers can potentially sell the home for more money. If you are able to produce an inspection report that certifies your house as issue-free and without need for any major maintenance, this will help attract buyers. This may save the buyer the cost of arranging their own inspection, and helps ensure an overall smoother closing process. Buyers will have greater confidence in making an offer on your property, because they will have an official document and comfort from an unbiased third party certifying its true condition and value. The brokers, meanwhile can remain stress free.

Last but not the Least – Broker responsibility under the new Act – RERA

  • RERA Registration with all details
  • Maintain records
  • To keep home buyers informed with true project / unit status
  • To sell only registered projects
  • Promoters to display real estate agents’ names on their website
  • Penal Provisions – imprisonment up to one year / fine of up to 5% of the unit cost

Hence, it is safe to say the Home Inspection can greatly benefit a Real Estate Agent in:

  • Client Service – Greater Customer Satisfaction
  • Increase in Trust & Goodwill
  • Increased Professionalism & Brand – more referrals – more business

Avoid 13 Unlucky Mistakes as a First Time Home Buyer

Nothing in this world starts from the second time. There is always a first time – which always comes with its own share of challenges – whether you are baking a cake or buying a home. The first time is that time when you are either unknown or unfamiliar to it. In case of Home, while you’re busy imagining the perfect décor or dreaming of your kids playing in the yard, you may be overlooking some important aspects of home ownership that could end up turning your dream purchase into a disaster.

Buying a home is an emotional rollercoaster. Before you unlock the door to homeownership, you have to consider some crucial points so that you do not commit the same mistakes that a first time home buyer normally may makes.

13. Neglecting to Inspect your Dream Home – Know the Health of your Home
It takes a trained eye to be able to see the problems that can exist in a home. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection. Before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. Home inspections are an integral part of the home buying / maintenance process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Home Health Check-up prior or on purchasing a home can bring peace of mind. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home and the future upkeep. A home inspection gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its soundness, quality, finishing and the condition of its civil / electrical / plumbing systems, concealed leak / damp / seepage issues. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house’s physical condition and the soundness, health& safety of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious financial mistake.

1. More to it than mortgage loan repayments/Sure you can afford a house payment?
Many first-time homebuyers decide to buy when they feel ready for a mortgage home loan. But just because one can afford the mortgage payments does not mean one should own a home. There is much more to it. Property taxes, maintenance, insurance and higher electric and water bills are some of the costs that first-time homebuyers tend to overlook when shopping for a place. Even if you can afford it now, plan for increased costs later.

2. Emptying your savings
If you buy a previously owned home, it almost inevitably will need an unexpected / major repair not long after. Maybe you’ll need to replace a geyser or get a new dining table or renovate a damaged wall or a concealed leak. That’s a growing pain for the first-time homeowner. You will find yourselves in a hole quickly if you don’t have enough saved for such unforeseen matters.

3. Due Diligence
Don’t get scared with the technical terms. It simply means doing your homework. Make sure before signing on the dotted lines, you have checked the legalities and reputation of the builder / seller. That means, proper investigation and audit are done on the home you are about to buy and systematic research is carried out and in turn validated. Take proper care before entering into an agreement or financial transaction with another party. Research and plan for any potential handover delays. Do a proper seller / builder due diligence.

4. Provision for Basic Amenities & Ownership Issues
Two very important things that need to be done are the Registration and Mutation of the house. Without Mutation, you won’t be able to pay Corporation taxes. And then say after 10years, you will be bombarded with a huge amount which can be in lakhs which you will be needed to cough up immediately. Don’t be deprived of the basic amenities such as the electricity, water, telephone connection etc. There could be legal hassles as well. Do a thorough legal due diligence.

5. Miscalculating home makeover and renovation costs
First-time home buyers are frequently surprised by high repair and renovation costs. Infact you should double the estimates that you make for repairs and renovations to be on the safer side. Do not go for cheap repairs because in the long run, you will have to keep paying more just to get a small thing corrected.

6. Being Too Picky and Impractical
Go ahead and put everything you can think of on your new home wish list, but don’t be inflexible. First-time homebuyers often have to compromise on something because their funds are limited. You may have to live on a busy street, accept outdated décor, make some repairs to the home, or forgo that extra bedroom. So get your priorities right.

7. Lacking Vision
Even if you can’t afford to replace the hideous wallpaper in the bathroom now, it might be worth it to repair & live with it for a while in exchange for getting into a house you can afford. If the home otherwise meets your needs in terms of the big things that are difficult to change, such as location and size, don’t let physical imperfections turn you away. Don’t be impulsive and buy a home for a minor issue.

8. Think twice before you take the ultimate plunge /Compromising on the Important Things
Don’t get a two-bedroom home when you know you’re planning to have kids and would require three bedrooms. By the same token, don’t buy a condo just because it’s cheaper than a house if one of the main reasons you’re over apartment life is because you hate sharing walls with neighbours. It’s true that you’ll probably have to make some compromises to be able to afford your first home, but don’t make a compromise that will be a major strain.

9. Not Thinking About the Future
It’s impossible to perfectly predict the future of your chosen neighbourhood, but paying attention to the information that is available to you now can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.

Some questions you should ask about your prospective property include:

  • What kind of development plans are in the works for your neighbourhood in the future?
  • Is your street likely to become a major street or a popular rush-hour shortcut?
  • Is there talk of a bridge or a highway to be built in your backyard in five years?
  • If there is a lot of undeveloped land? What is likely to get built there?
  • Have home values in the neighbourhood been declining?

If you’re happy with the answers to these questions, then your house’s location can keep its rose-colored lustre.

10. Changing Jobs
While changing jobs may benefit your career, it may complicate your mortgage approval. A lender wants to ensure you have stable income and employment, and that you can afford to repay your mortgage. If you were preapproved for a mortgage based on a certain income and job, any chances in the interim before closing can be a red flag and delay your closing.

11. Falling in love with a house
There’s something magical about walking into a home that has every trait you’re looking for. For first-time home buyers especially, getting caught up in these moments is common. Unfortunately, just because a home seems to have everything you want doesn’t mean you should buy it. Make sure a home is a good investment, even if it seems like the ideal abode. And, don’t show you’ve become emotionally attached to the house, as this can cause you to lose any negotiating leverage you may have had when it comes to the purchase price or terms or related matters.

12. Failing to consider resale value
While it can be hard to predict whether home prices will go up and down, it’s a smart move to buy a house that’s readily saleable and likely to fetch a premium price when you’re eventually ready to sell. There are certain features that make houses more or less likely to appeal to buyers. Location is a big one, as few people want to buy the best home in the worst neighbourhood. The general property market in your area and a home’s condition can also impact resale value. Talk to a realtor about how market conditions work and whether a property is ever going to be easy to resell. If not, buying it may be a mistake.

The Bottom Line
Buying a home for the first time might be one of the biggest investments you will ever make in your lifetime and it can seem stressful and overwhelming and it isn’t without its share of potential pitfalls. If you’re aware of those issues ahead of time and plan properly, you can protect yourself from hassles, costly mistakes and shop with confidence. For many people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make, but it need not be the most difficult. First time home buyers can learn from the mistakes of those before them and not commit the 13 Unlucky Mistakes.

Child and Elderly Safety at Home

There is no place like home for children growing up or growing old. However, children & the elderly are more prone to injuries at home than anywhere else as they spent a lot of time at home. No doubt they should be subjected to constant supervision but it is also imperative to make the home safe as well.

As we say, Prevention is better than Cure!

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury is to make some physical changes around the house. Look at your home and think about what the obvious risks and hazards are. Remove the risk or hazard, if possible, or add a safety product to minimise the chance of injury.

Before considering what safety precautions you need, remember you can always change the layout of a room to help create a safer environment. If you are building or renovating your house, you can incorporate specific safety features in your design. Incorporating safety features at the design point in the majority of cases will be much more economical than to amend and make it safer at a later time.

Make home safe: Easy things you must do

Preventing falls at home for both Child & Elderlies – “To Do List” on Home Safety

Falls are the most common cause of injuries in every age group. Some tips to combat this issue are:

  • To install safety guards across entries to stairs and balconies and to always supervise your child / elderly on stairs and balconies, even if you have guards.
  • To remove throw rugs and loose mats and to make sure larger rugs are not rippled or torn.
  • To remove extension cords and other potential tripping hazards such as books, plastics, clothes and shoes from pathways.
  • To move low tables and other furniture to make it easier to move around the house.
  • To make sure chairs are of right height and have sturdy armrests.
  • To check to ensure light fixtures have at least 60-watt bulbs and that nightlights are available in hallways, bathrooms and bedroom.
  • To make sure handrails in the home (at appropriate places) are sturdy and in good conditions.
  • To use non-skid mats in the bathtub and on shower floors and install grab bars next to the toilet or shower wherever necessary.
  • To lock windows, particularly upper-storey windows or shield them with firmly attached window guards so your child can’t fall out. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings.
  • To use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture to help prevent injuries from falls and to soften/cushion falls against sharp and rough edges.

More Home Safety Tips to follow:

Bathroom Safety: One very important point that needs special mention is keeping the Bathroom dry. Elderly people mostly slip off at wet areas and cause irreplaceable damage to themselves. Even a small spill on the floor should be wiped away immediately. This point should be kept in mind and taken care of accordingly.

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • Install hand rails.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.

Water safety / Do Not Leave Your Kids Alone in the Water: Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including bath tubs / swimming pools. Water safety depends on 100% supervision whenever your child is around water pools, baths and buckets with water. For bath safety, always supervise and give your full attention to babies, toddlers and children in the bath. Make sure the water level is not more than the waist line of your kid when you place her/him in a tub or sink.

Tips for electrical safety at home:

  • Get a licensed electrician to install safety switches, which cut power off quickly to avoid electrocution.
  • Get a licensed electrician to do any repairs.
  • Replace electrical appliances and cords if they’re worn.
  • Use power point covers.

Burns and scalds: Keep your child / elders away from fire and hot surfaces, especially around stoves, ovens, microwaves, heaters and other appliances. Hot drinks and too-hot baths are a major cause of scalds. Keep hot drinks away from and out of reach. Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.

Strangulation and suffocation especially for children: These items include soft toys, bedding, blinds, cords and ropes, and bags, boxes and packaging. Here are some essential safety tips:

  • Keep stuffed toys, cushions and piles of clothing out of baby’s reach.
  • Wrap blinds cords in cleats attached to the wall at least 1.6 m above the floor.
  • Tie knots in plastic bags, and keep them away from children.

Tips to keep your family safe around glass: Install safety glass in windows and doors or apply shatter-resistant film to windows and doors of older homes. Put stickers on glass at eye level.

Poisoning for both Child & Elderlies: Poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children and elder people, often poisoned by common household chemicals and medicines. Remove potential poison items. Store chemicals, medicines, cleaning supplies and other poisons high up in a locked cupboard or cabinet. Children can’t tell the difference between medicine and candy. Install child-safety latch on the doors of cupboards where you keep your poisonous items.

Channelize your child’s inner Spiderman/Superman: One common accident that occurs in every other household is when a child tries to imitate any cartoon or superhero character. Parents should make it a point to make the children understand the danger of imitation. They should be made to differentiate the ‘reel from real’ and it should be a continuous process.

Remote control has a missing battery cover: Be especially careful of button batteries, the kind you find in watches, greeting cards, and some toys which are higher voltage than traditional batteries. If your child swallows any type of battery, it can get lodged in the oesophagus and cause severe damage.

Indoor Surveillance Cameras: Children / Older people might have in-home caretakers, maintenance staff or other hired help who come and go. That’s where indoor cameras come in handy. These surveillance cameras keep a watchful eye on the home to protect against theft, abuse and other crimes.

Most of the tips covered are applicable for both Child Safety as well as for Elderlies.

No matter how careful you are, it is essential that you stay prepared in case there is an emergency condition. Fortunately, mishaps or accidents can certainly be avoided through preventive measures and by educating your kids about safety rules to be followed at home. But remember your ‘Dennis the Menace’ will find every opportunity to be innovatively naughty as much as possible. So Be Alert & Safe and Happy parenting – for both your child and your parents!

With support & modifications home is the safest place!

Interior Designers and Home Inspectors – A match made in Heaven

Home Inspection is an aid in Interior Design for ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

Both Interior Designer and Home Inspector were doing their jobs well

Let us suppose ‘Interior Designer’ to be a beautiful girl and a ‘Home Inspector’ to be a handsome guy. Both were happily doing their respective works and earning a lot of kudos for it too. But they haven’t met. They were unaware of each other but destiny had some other plans for them. The beautiful ‘Interior Designer’ became a crucial part in every home or property. Likewise ‘Home Inspector’ was steadily making his presence felt and climbing the popularity quotient.

Both Interior Designer & Home Inspector work on all kinds of properties (home, office, retail, shopping malls, commercial, schools, warehouse, etc). They design / inspect both new or existing properties and whether a property owner / buyer is planning new interior design or home improvement / renovation / makeover or home remodeling.

Complimenting Roles

Description Interior Designer Home Inspector
Role
  • Play a key role to create a functional & quality interior environment of homes.
  • Make interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colours, lighting, and materials.
  • They read blueprints, building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.
  • Complete Healthy Check-up of Homes.
  • All areas inspected (bedroom / bathroom / living / dining / kitchen / balcony / servant quarters, etc)
  • All systems & elements covered (Ceilings / Walls / Floors / Doors / Windows / Electrical / Plumbing / Cabinets / countertops / Ventilation & Exhaust systems / Water Supply, etc.)
  • Inspection Coverage: Material Types, Installation & Finishing, Operations & Functionality, General Safety, etc
  • The 3 D Inspection of Issues – Detect the Issues, Describe the outcome, Direct Solutions
Benefits
  • Professional & Expert Assessment
  • Turnkey Solution
  • Combining Style in Right Manner
  • Focused Design
  • Make Spaces Functional And Appealing
  • Economical Budgeting & Time Management
  • Deliver Latest Trends
  • Provides extra level of security and peace of mind.
  • Warning signals: In-depth analysis that spotlights not just current needed repairs but also issues that may become a problem in future.
  • Investment of approx. 0.1% to 0.5% of property value on inspection – property life increased & maintenance cost can be reduced remarkably.
  • Decreases depreciation rate.
  • Earns a better selling platform and bargaining position to the seller / realtors.
Objective Ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

The unforeseen problems

After investing lakhs / crores of rupees in buying a home, in interiors like paints, wallpapers, furniture etc , when defects arise, the interiors / exteriors get damaged – Issues start creeping-in including:

  • Dampness, Water Seepage / Leakage / Moisture / Termites
  • Cracks / Patches / Peeling / Undulation / Improper Finishing
  • Improper joint fillings / Gaps / Extra Cuts / Improper Slope
  • Issues in Doors & Windows
  • Plumbing Issues
  • Electrical issues – short circuit / damaging wires, conduits, making life of occupants risky.
  • Safety / Functionality Issues

There is no way to protect, other than, replacing it or incurring huge costs in repair & maintenance.

And then one fine day they met

There were fireworks and miracles! When the home inspector and an interior designer joined hands, the final product and service that they gave birth to was of superior standard. And most importantly they made other’s dream homes’ come true.

Home Inspection is an aid in Interior Design for ensuring proper functionality, beauty, good health, safety & longevity of a home / property.

In interior design and décor, it is very important to know the place & its condition, in and out, for optimum end result. And so, the first and the most populated step of an interior decorator is to engage a home inspector to inspect the place. An interior decorator sets the overall vibe of a place by deciding what colour palette, paint finishes, lightings, furniture, accessories will go into that particular space. For this, he / she needs the inspector to perform the inspection in order to get an exact picture of the overall dimension, condition, nature, look and feel of the space. Only then, an interior decorator would be able to deliver the desired end-result in the most efficient manner.

Top interior designers follow this route; they go for the property / home inspection first to get the overall vibe of the place and then decide on what will and will not go with it.

Home inspection goes a long way in making the interior designers evaluate and understand the conditions of the structure / components / elements of homes e.g., presence of invisible dampness / moisture can be located with thermal imaging technology during the inspection which will help interior designers design the furnishing of home better and ensure longevity of the furniture installed in the home.

Home Inspection will also aid them in designing beautiful homes to make home owners happy and realise their dream homes come true. The interior designers will not have complaints from the customers because now they are aware of each wall, door, window, plumbing / electrical issues, etc. e.g., they can put up a wall paper or fix a cabinet without any worries.

Are you Renovating or Remodelling your Home or giving it a Makeover? Home Inspection Before Renovation – Here’s some food for thought!

‘The great benefit of owning your own property is the freedom to do home renovations or makeovers or remodelling the way you choose’

Home / Property Improvement is defined as the addition to or alteration, conversion, improvement, modernization, remodelling, makeover, repair or replacement of a property, flat, office, building or part of a building. So it can said that Home Improvement encompasses Renovation / Makeover / Remodelling.

People renovate / remodel / makeover their homes for a variety of reasons:

  • Increase comfort or enjoyment of the home.
  • Fix a safety issue.
  • Improve the home’s value – health and long life of the property.
  • Upgrade the home’s function or updates your outdated home.
  • Increase the efficiency of the home.
  • Your home wants to dress up too.
  • Avoid the stress of buying a new home.

There are plenty of other reasons to renovate or remodel. The key point is to think about what you are aiming to achieve.

Biggest mistake that people make when Renovating or Remodelling houses? Not taking it Seriously!

Inspect Before You Renovate – Top 5 Reasons

Home renovation or Home Remodelling is a big project, you should not take it lightly, but very seriously in order to maintain aesthetic decency, functional ease and of course to make each penny spent worthwhile. Do not renovate or remodel without having a Home Inspection done – Why do you ask? I will give you reasons which you cannot ignore and should not defy.

Don’t let your Home rob your comfort & enjoyment

Have you been complaining about the comfort factor of your home for some time now? Would you like to make minor or major changes without knowing what’s lurking behind the wall on which you are planning to fix a new trendy cabinet? Note down the things that have tarnished your comfort and put them in front of a Home Inspector so that again few years down the line your home doesn’t rob you off your comfort.

Keep your home close and your wife closer

Are you waiting for the cracked sink to fall on your wife’s newly manicured feet? I assume ‘NO’. Fortunately the crack on the sink was visible to you. But there can be many such cracks on the wall, floor, ceiling etc. which are no way visible to you and are sure to pose dangerous threat if not taken care at the right time. Imagine even if a small chunk of ceiling falls on your wife…God bless you. So before you renovate, get a Home Inspection done to avoid such unforeseen situations.

Don’t let the sale process fall through

Put up a house for sale or rent that will be appealing to the buyers and tenants. Don’t just cover that big damp in the living area with a new wall paper. The wall paper will pop up and then eventually flake off. You can run, you can hide but you cannot escape the buyers or tenants. If you want this mess, then you can continue playing hide & seek or else seek the expert advice of a Professional Home Inspector. They will tell you the necessary actions to be taken and you can remain stress free before and after sale.

Give in to your desires

Craving for a man cave to hold parties reminiscent of old times? Or you want a new look and feel to your bathroom? Get a cool Interior Decorator to convert your dream into reality. They play a key role to create a functional and quality interior environment of homes and make home owners happy. Home Inspection will aid them in designing beautiful homes and make their dream homes come true. Home Inspection is an aid in interior design for ensuring longevity of the elements of a home.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is good advice… sometimes but not always – I know that there is only one tap that is giving you some trouble and you have taken a good decision by planning to change the entire plumbing system then what’s the harm in taking a better decision by involving Home Doctors who will not only diagnose your plumbing system but also your electrical system and every other aspect and will provide you with a health report card of your home along with best solutions!

In remodels and renovations, the unknown is really the name of the game. But you can make the unknown known to you by engaging the experts – Your friendly neighbourhood Home Inspectors.

5 Reasons to get a Home Inspection before listing your Property for sale

A pre-sale home inspection should be undertaken by Sellers. It is done, before the property is put on the market for sale.

Opting out of a building inspection may seem tempting on the surface when the sellers think of saving a few thousand rupees, but

  • Making sure the property you are selling is healthy & safe often requires only minor in-expensive repairs which are deemed absolutely essential.
  • Also from an aesthetic point of view, the seller must present a home which is beautifully maintained, attention is given to details and upkeep.

Hence, from a careful evaluation of the condition of the property to ensuring an effective and smooth closure, a pre-sale home inspection, serves as a foundation for concluding a hassle free sales transaction.

There are many good reasons why you should get a building inspection report done before you sell a property. Here are just a few well worth considering.

Know what you are selling

There can be nasty surprises lurking behind the walls, in the plumbing lines or under the floors. Hence, it could be argued that the process can be even more stressful for sellers than buyers, who will either find
themselves having to re-list their property or be asked to cover expensive repairs even if they weren’t aware of them prior to closing their sale. As a home seller, the first thing you need to do is provide potential buyers with a list of any known issues / inspection report of the home you are selling. These will make the buyer develop faith in you, believe that you are being transparent and there is nothing to hide. Failure to disclose known defects could put the seller at risk of losing the sale. So hiding ANYTHING is not a wise idea, ever.

Save your valuable time and money

If a seller is ready with a pre-sale inspected home then it will save seller’s valuable time. Or else, the buyer will get it inspected in his/her sweet time, and then will ask the seller to repair any issues found etc.The whole process will take a much longer time than expected. Then the repairing issues will also crop in which will be subject to negotiations on both parties in terms of money. If the seller conducts an inspection before listing the home then it gives the seller the time to make repairs beforehand at a nominal cost.On the other hand, if the inspection is done by the buyer, the seller will be rushed into making somedecisions because the seller is concerned with sealing the deal with the potential buyer. When this happens,the seller won’t have enough time to consider all his/her options and find solutions for his/her problems at a reasonable price. All these can be avoided when the inspection is done before the seller negotiates with any potential buyer.

Setting an appropriate asking price

Having a completed inspection report from a certified inspector will help the seller arrive at a realistic list price and may be premium as well. The major advantage of conducting your own home inspection is that you can retain control of the selling and negotiation process. By identifying problems early and on your own terms, you can fix them to your financial advantage.

Expedites the entire process & limiting liability

If home inspection has been performed, full disclosure has been made, which eliminates the possibility of future legal action for non-disclosure. This often speeds up the sale of the home and certainly limits the
seller’s liability. The fewer deficiencies, the better the report on the home you wish to sell. Also why spend that extra time? Your thoroughness in testing beforehand is sure to expedite the whole process.

To have a competitive edge over others

The seller can potentially sell the home for more money. If you are able to produce an inspection report that certifies your house as issue-free and without need for any major maintenance, this will help attract buyers. This may save the buyer the cost of arranging their own inspection, and helps ensure an overall smoother closing process. Buyers will have greater confidence in making an offer on your property, because they will have an official document and comfort from an unbiased third party certifying its true condition and value. You, the sellers can remain stress free.

The most successful and stress free property sales involve a Seller who knows exactly what he/she is selling and a Buyer who knows exactly what they are buying!

Why should a Home Owner / Buyer have a Home Inspection?

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a new home and forget to make the important decision to have a home inspection.Home inspections are an integral part of the home buying / maintenance process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. A home inspection prior or on purchasing a home can bring peace of mind. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home and the future upkeep. A home inspection gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its soundness, quality, finishing and the condition of its civil / electrical / plumbing systems.

Here are some great reasons to have a home inspection:

  • Don’t Judge a Home by Its Façade – Protect against the Unknown:
    Especially for those buying newer construction, a home inspection may feel like a waste of money. No matter the age of the home, there can be costly troubles unknown to the average buyer. Problems with wiring, plumbing or damp issues may not be visible during a showing and you’ll need to get an expert opinion. A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about the condition of a home and its systems. This makes the buyer / owner aware of what costs, repairs and maintenance the home may require immediately, and over time. Home Inspection is crucial when purchasing a property because it will save you from hassles and lacs.
  • Save Money:
    Those who skip out on the expense of Home Inspection may realize in a few years that a timely inspection and rectification will turn out to be much cheaper than doing rewiring or rectifications (due to damp, uneven slope issue in bathroom, etc.) five years down the line of the entire house. Timely inspection and rectification will save your cost, precious time and effort.
  • Safeguard Yourself with RERA:
    Launch of the path breaking Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA, India), 2016: The recently enacted RERA Act in India provides for a 5 years free-of-cost guarantee from structural / workmanship defect or any other quality or provision of services or any other obligations of promoter from the date of possession of new homes.
  • Forecast Future Costs:
    A home inspector can diagnose the current condition of the property. All components in the home have a ‘shelf life’. Understanding when they require replacement or servicing / maintenance can help you make important budgeting decisions.
  • Learn to protect your investment:
    A Professional Home Inspector is a valuable educational resource. He or she can suggest specific tips on how to maintain the home and ultimately save you lacs in the long term. This is a valuable educational opportunity. It is advisable never to pass up the chance to see your forthcoming home through the eyes of an expert.
  • Your dream home needs a solid foundation:
    It is advisable that people use the home inspection to understand the nuances of what may be the biggest purchase they ever make. People fall in love with a piece of property based on the colour of the walls, the location of the home or something else. They are completely blind to the issues that can make their dream home a nightmare. Overlooking a serious issue could result in a costly problem down the road.

A home inspection will definitely give the buyer peace of mind and put the buyer’s mind at ease that the home is in good shape. It can also become a negotiation tool in closing, and could inform the buyer of potential future maintenance and upkeep.

Hence, every penny spent is worthwhile! Also, Home Inspection comes at a small price, while the health, safety, security and peace of mind is priceless! Peace of mind is just an inspection away.

For more educative information, please visit www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/blog-posts/

MACJ – A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections, Professional Home Inspectors
Inspected Once, Inspected Right

Home Loan – The fine art of lending / It all begins with Homes / Dream Homes / Healthy and Safe Homes

A loan advanced to a person to assist in buying a house or flat is Home Loan.

A sum of money borrowed from a financial institution or bank / NBFC to purchase a house. Home loans consist of an adjustable or fixed interest rate, repayment period and payment terms.

When a person applies for a home loan, some of the typical things they have in mind are whether they should go for a fixed interest rate or a floating interest rate, what’s the ideal repayment period, the terms and conditions they would be comfortable with, prepayment clause, etc. However, seldom does one think about the entire concept of a “home loan” from the lender’s perspective. What does your bank think about when looking at your loan application?

In Their Shoes: Home Loans from a Lender’s Perspective:

HDFC, LIC Housing Finance, PNB Housing Finance, Diwan Housing, ICICI Bank, SBI, India Bulls, etc. the leading lenders in India, consider some of these following points before giving out home loans:

  • In their own words, the first and foremost criterion is whether the Customer is Genuine or not; that is why they ask for the KYC, all identity proofs and legal documents to make sure that Mr.X is actually Mr.X and not Mr.Y and also to check his banking / credit history.
  • Assessment of Repayment capability of the borrower: For this, the lenders check what percentage (50% – 70%) of Yearly income of an applicant should be considered for EMI calculation of the loan amount to be granted. This is for ascertaining the amount of loan applicability as also his repayment capacity. Last few years income proof is also needed to be submitted.
  • Banking / Credit Track: ICICI along with other banks bank examine the nature of banking and the banking habit of the borrower. The borrower may otherwise be very well off but there can be chronic cheque bounces from his/her end or maybe unable to manage money etc. This is a very important criterion for providing home loan.
  • Checking the legal & technical prospect of the property to safeguard the home buyer:
    Title: ICICI bank and all other banks and institutions carefully check whether the property in question clearly stands in the name of the borrower and the property is free from any encumbrances. They also carefully scrutinise the entire history of the title of the concerned property from legal point of view.
    Technical aspects: The technical aspects of the property are very carefully checked. Such as whether the flat or building is constructed in strict accordance to the sanctioned plan. Let us explain with a simple example. Say the builder took permission from the government /Municipal Corporation to build G+ 4, but instead he builds G+6. In this case, the building becomes illegal and the banks will not provide home loan for this particular property to safeguard the buyer from illegal transaction and undue harassment.
  • While granting a home loan, lenders generally ask the applicants to submit a copy of their bank’s account statement, for six months to a few years. These are very important documents from the lender’s perspective, for determining the applicant’s home loan eligibility. Here’s what the lenders look for, in a bank account statement:
    • The existence of any loan being serviced
    • The level and nature of activity
    • Inward and outward cheque returns
    • Account balance and nature of debits
  • Finally, the clauses of the loan agreement are extremely important for the lender. When submitting a loan application, the borrower needs to agree to the clauses of the loan. The lender disburses the loan only when they are satisfied with the warranties of the borrower. This gives the lender the right to impose penalties on the borrower if any clause is dishonoured during the loan tenure.

Home Loan & Home Inspection must go hand in hand

Home is one of the biggest investments one make in his/her lifetime. And to make this dream come true, we have numerous banks giving out Home Loans. With the home loan, one either buys a home or an apartment or builds a home etc. So their dreams are fulfilled…for the time being.

Reality hits when after moving in, the truth behind their four walls comes infront of their eyes. No matter how unfortunate it may seem but they are bombarded with unexpected situations. Situations which may have arose as Home Inspection was not carried out. Their dream home turns into nightmare with damp / seepage issues (For more on Moisture / Damp / Seepage issues refer to the link – www.macj-abuyerschoice.com/real-estate/moisture-damp-seepage-invisible-silent-killer-unsuspecting-criminal/) ruining their favourite wallpaper or paint flaking off or something or the other. Now the damp in their walls have dampened their spirits. There could be other issues , Rust, Termites, inferior materials / brick work / improper RCC structure causing cracks, sub-standard wall plastering, inferior flooring causing cracks / black spots, tiles with mismatches and found to be broken and cracked at several places, electrification of inferior quality causing short circuiting / damaging the wiring, conduits and other electric appliances making life of the occupants risky, no proper drainage for the outflow of water causing seepage/leakage in the ceiling, poor internal installations of units e.g, water, light, gas, power, sewerage, doors, windows, etc. A person has put in so much hard work in acquiring a loan, then building a home or buying it and now he/she doesn’t deserve to face this.

If these issues are taken care of at the time of unit completion / delivery by conducting a thorough home inspection / audit, it will help take corrective action today at a nominal cost / time and probably avoid unnecessary potential future damage and high costs. It will also help you talk to your seller to have the issues taken care of at that stage. It will in general increase the life of the home by many years and help you to know your home better.

In fact, home inspection will also serve as a guide to the seller to understand the issues and take corrective correction before selling. This will add to his credibility and saleability of the unit.

It will also help home loan lenders to assess the quality of the home and ensure that the same is healthy and safe.

Hence, home inspection will benefit all stakeholders (including seller / buyer / developers / realtors / lenders).

We at MACJ – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections are committed to keep your prized possession healthy & safe.

Conclusion

Getting a home loan today is much simpler than before. Loan providers are more flexible, but money is always lent with the intention of getting it back. That is why lenders carefully draw up loan agreements. They seek to ensure that they do not go into a loss-making agreement with a borrower. As a borrower, one must read the terms and the conditions of the loan beforehand. Ensure that they suit you, as only then will you be able to repay the loan in a proper way.

Last but not the least – know “How Healthy & Safe your Home is” – get a professional home inspection done. Understand, how healthy and perfect is your home, whether it is upto the mark in terms of all (damp, electrical, material type, masonry, plumbing, civil, door, window, etc.) conditions or not. Get a Pre-inspected home or get a Professional Home Inspection done on the home before / after taking the home loan. Get a complete healthy and safety check up of your home (new or existing). For more information on Professional Home Inspection visit www.macj-abuyerschoice.com. GET YOUR HOME INSPECTED!!!

Electrical Safety at Homes

Electricity can turn you off.
Be careful with power, or this will be your last hour!
Be an Electrical safety hero. Score an accident zero.

Electricity is part of our lives. We use it from the moment we wake up and throughout the day. Although we feel intolerable without electricity, the fact is that numerous accidents, mostly fire related accidents are caused due to electric hazards. Electric current can race through a person who contacts an energized electrical circuit or an object or that has become energized, such as metal and water. The current can cause a shock, severe burns, heart attack, or electrocution. Even a small amount of current can be fatal. We sometimes forget how powerful and dangerous electric faults can be, and so though not always but at maximum times we are the ones to be blamed for the electrocution or fire caused by electricity. The simple reason is negligence from our side be it while laying an electrical layout, while supervision of work or during usage e,g. wire connections ,wire jointing  or wire gauge. Hence, make electrical safety at home one of your prime concerns.

Potential Intrusion/Damage Areas

Whereas an electrical fault can occur at any point at the entire wiring system, the main potential areas are:

  • Meter room
  • Distribution Box in your home / flat / apartment
  • High wattage electrical Appliances
  • Overheating wires
  • Socket outlets and lighting fittings

Damages

The human body conducts electricity very well. That means electricity passes very easily throughout the body. Direct contact with electrical current can be deadly.

  • Electrical shock can result in paralysis, minor or major burns, heart attack.
  • Fire caused due to electrical fault, overheating or electrocution can create huge damage to both life and property.
  • The worst damage it may cause is death.

Some Warning Signs:

Majority of the times general accidents occur due to electrical issues from the symptoms that are in front of us but generally we overlook those things. We are providing a general list of the things one needs to take care of as soon as you observe such instances at your home:

  • MCB (Miniature Circuit Breaker) that trips frequently or sparks during operating
  • Flickering lights
  • Overheating —Wires getting heated quickly, Discolored switch plates or outlet covers (though not visible usually)
  • Electrical shocks — even a mild tingle
  • Damaged wire insulation (though not visible usually)

Safety Issue: Double phase power used in single phase switch board.

Naked wire used for switch to switch parallel connections, will increase current loss and decrease efficiency.

Switch socket board close to sink, will get affected due to water splashing during sink use.

Visual Image of Electrical Joint Box

IR image showing heating at wire joints inside due to faulty connection.

Some Basic Electrical Safety Tips:

An electrical system at home consists of large aspects and needs expert supervision but there are few basic things which can be taken care by anyone. Some such things are mentioned below:

1) Always use RCCB (Residual Current Circuit Breaker) for short circuit protection or shock protection.
2) Keep switch / socket boards away from reach of children, use safety caps on all unused electrical outlets.
3) Ensure along with the assistance of a licensed technical personnel that the earthing system is working fine at your home.
4) Do not use any electrical appliance or operate switch / socket bare foot at wet areas. Remember that water and electricity are a deadly combination.
5) Do not keep any electrical point close to shower / bathtub / sink / wet areas.
6) Do not use any electrical appliances during thunderstorm / wind / rainy weather; better to keep them off during those times.
7) Always use IS marked electrical products.
8) Always get your electrical works done by a licensed electrician.
9) Never attempt to repair any kind of electrical fault by yourself until you are an electrician or electrical engineer.
10) Do not plug a bunch of stuff (sockets / instruments) into one outlet or extension cord.
11) Do not pull out an electrical cord from the socket board by pressure.
12) Do make sure all electric cords are tucked away, neat and tidy.
13) Gets professional home inspection of your home done periodically to know the details of your home including electrical safety.

Our experience and expertise – MACJ – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections

We being a professional home inspection company comprises of experienced technical personnel and we have inspected more than 800 homes in apartments, standalone units, bungalows, Office space and even heritage type buildings in Kolkata alone where we have been able to detect and provide remedy for numerous electrical problems / issues which have benefitted our customers. Infact, most of them have rectified there problems / issues as per our advice and are happy and satisfied that they got their home inspection done at the right time. We inspect your home as our own. Your Safety is our first priority and a proper home inspection is our commitment.

Key Parameters of Our Inspection:

1) Electrical Safety (Our first priority during inspection).
2) Thorough inspection of the electrical wiring system  (Detailed Wiring connection & Wire Gauge)
3) Inspection of each and every switch / socket boards (Operation and wiring).
4) Position of installation of electrical fan, light points, switch & socket boards.
5) Need Based DB / MCB charting (Value added service that comes with every inspection giving you the exact location of the load distributed from each MCB)
6) We ensure you home free of electrical shock & electrical accident, and better service life of electrical equipment along with electrical safety.

Moisture / Damp / Seepage – The Invisible Silent Killer : Unsuspecting Criminal

Moisture is an important concern to building designers since it is the single most important agent of building deterioration. Moisture control is fundamental to the proper functioning of any building and hence it is important to protect occupants from adverse health effects and to protect the building and its contents from physical damage. Moisture is also the prime reason for electronics getting damaged. There are ways to combat this invisible demon from wreaking havoc on your home and health. We need to catch this unsuspecting criminal red handed before it carries out its dastardly acts.

Some Trigger Points /Warning Signs

  • Flaking of paint/wallpaper/wall
  • Presence of Termite
  • Woodwork deterioration
  • Dark patch in wall / ceiling
  • General odour, musty smell from clothes
  • Soggy paint/wallpaper/wall
  • Visual leak
  • Mold growth
  • Rust
  • Collapsed False ceiling
  • Damaged electronic devices
  • Allergenic or immunological illness, infections, skin irritation in humans

Potential Sources (initially hidden and then gradually spreads)

  • Ceiling, Walls, Floor
  • Doors & Window
  • Roof, Terrace, Basement
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Concealed leak (insulation on Air Conditioner gas pipe, drain pipes)

Potential Issues that may arise

Health Hazards – Too much moisture can negatively affect health

When mold or mildew grows in your home, its airborne spores can travel through your air ducts and be inhaled. These spores can cause allergies, infections, skin irritation, and more. Asthma is also triggered by the sensitization of dust mites accruing humid, wet regions of a structure. Common hazards include:

–    Upper respiratory (nasal and throat) symptoms & lower respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children
–    Cough, wheeze
–    Asthma symptoms in sensitized persons with asthma
–    Allergies, skin diseases
–    Dyspnoea (shortness of breath)

Mechanical Problems

When humidity settles on toilet tanks, water pipes, HVAC systems, and other mechanical objects, it can slowly cause rust or fungus and lead to failed parts & mechanisms. Failed parts can prevent proper operation & may mean costly fixes.

Electronic problems

Electronics are especially susceptible to damage by condensation. Moisture can corrode contacts inside and lower insulation resistance, which may cause short circuits.

Issues in the External surface

–    Major architectural deterioration like Cracks, popping of plaster, some parts of plaster.
–    Deterioration of structural elements like concrete / steel, reducing the self-life of the building.

Issues in the Internal surface

–    Termite infestation leading to deterioration of wood-works.
–    Molds growth.
–    Efflorescence of walls, tiles, stones.
–    Bleaching and flaking of paint.
–    Deterioration of carpet & furniture.
–    Popping and removal of plaster.
–    Collapsing of ceiling.

Solution

  • Once spotted, one must find the main source of moisture before embarking on a programme of treatment and prevention involving a combination of good ventilation, heat, damp-proof courses and good maintenance.
  • Before initiating any kind of repair, it’s highly important to understand what caused the issue.

Moisture Intrusion Assessment through Thermal Imaging Technology By MACJ – A Buyers Choice Home Inspections

Detecting moisture intrusion problems is an application for thermal imaging. Moisture intrusion may be identified through basic visual inspection if it has led to obvious defects, such as staining or mold growth.  By the time visible evidence has presented itself, however, significant damage may have already been done.  In many cases, moisture or water intrusion may have been developing for a while before obvious signs become apparent.  By employing thermal imaging technology, we can locate moisture / damp issues before they become large problems and lead to serious damage, as well as gather details in cases where moisture intrusion has already become obvious.

Scope of Work

We provide one stop solution in collaboration with a Global MNC using Thermal Imaging Infrared Technology having experienced team:

  • Moisture mapping assessment through inspection and thermal imaging technology.
  • Scanning of the walls, ceiling & floor with Thermal Imaging Technology.
  • Inspection of the related Plumbing systems / Shafts.
  • Identifying the source of seepage, moisture, damp.
  • Step wise solution recommendations.

Result

  • Long Term Solution
  • Mostly non-destructive solution
  • Cost of repair much lower
  • Life of property and humans increases or does not Deteriorate

Our Expertise & Direct relevant experience

  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment of Residential units / Offices / Bungalows.
  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment through thermal imaging of a premium commercial office of one the largest business groups in India.
  • Inspection of untraceable leak in a large banquet hall – water dripping into lower floors.
  • Inspection of Damp / Seepage of basements in buildings (old /new) with premium multiple units
  • Damp / Seepage assessment of roofs of buildings (residential / commercial).
  • Moisture/ damp/ seepage/ leakage assessment through thermal imaging of a premium office complex and of a premier shopping mall.