Top 6 Reasons to Never Waive Your Home Inspection

In a competitive housing market, buyers might be tempted (or even encouraged) to waive their home inspection. Never fall into this trap! Even if the seller had an inspection done prior to listing the home, they might not be providing all of the information obtained from that inspection. Waiving the home inspection waives your biggest protection as a buyer–a clear and detailed report of everything an inspector can tell you about the quality and state of the home. Here are the top 6 reasons to never waive your home inspection:

1. The home inspection is for your protection and tells you about any major issues or problems with the home before you sign on the dotted line.

2. Home inspections look for both minor and major problems with the home, including structural issues, electrical issues, plumbing issues and mechanical issues with appliances and HVAC system. Skipping the inspection leaves you footing the bill for any issues in these areas.

3. The findings of a home inspection are one of the top reasons real estate deals don’t go through. Without a home inspection, you know very little about the house you intend to buy.

4. When you waive your home inspection, you waive your rights to any recourse from the seller for any issues with the home that turn up–usually after you’ve already closed. Once closing is complete, you are the responsible party for any repairs the home needs.

5. Many lenders will not approve the finalization of your home loan without a home inspection report, which puts the sale at greater risk than taking the time to have a good thorough home inspection. By giving you a mortgage, your lender is making an investment in you and your property. If the property has a major issue, the lender doesn’t want your loan to end up in default while you try to cover the cost of repairs.

6. This is your chance to learn everything you can about your new potential home- such as where water shut-offs are, what types of fuel lines come into the home and where they are, any urgent repairs or fixes needed and so much more. Skipping the inspection leaves you without critical details you need about your new home.

In some housing markets, there is considerable pressure to move forward in the process and “lock in” a home before other buyers put in offers by waiving the home inspection. We hope these 6 reasons to never waive your home inspection have given you all the information you need about why a home inspection is so essential in the buying process.

The Benefits of Infrared Thermal Imaging for Your Home Inspection

Infrared thermal imaging, also called infrared thermography, provides a detailed look at differences in temperature patterns within a home. The reasons for these shifts in temperature within a home can indicate a number of different issues and require an experienced thermographer to read and interpret the results. Let’s take a closer look at infrared thermal imaging and how it benefits your home inspection.

What is Infrared Thermal Imaging?

Infrared thermal imaging is a special type of imaging that measures temperature. This technology gives a home inspector a way to peek inside walls and other areas of a home’s structure to look for potential issues that are not as visible or readily apparent. No technology is perfect so infrared thermography does have its limitations, however, an inspector experienced with interpreting the results of infrared thermal imaging can use this data to give the buyer a great deal more info about the home.

What Issues Does Infrared Thermal Imaging Find?

Depending on conditions, here are some of the many things infrared thermal imaging technology could find during your home inspection:

  • Detect hidden water from plumbing leaks inside walls, floors and ceilings
  • Detect walls and ceilings with missing or incorrectly installed insulation
  • Detect leaking ductwork
  • Detect drafts or air leaks from attics and basements
  • Detect vermin infestation, including ants, bees, wasps, termites, mice and other critters
  • Detect water leaks inside walls from windows and doors
  • Detect condensation overflow that has settled below carpets or behind walls
  • Detect water in carpet padding or carpeting materials
  • Detect water beneath exterior materials such as stucco
  • Detect heat loss due to cracks, poor weather-stripping and leaking seals
  • Detect “hot” electrical switches, circuits and connections in the electrical panel that could present a fire hazard

The Benefits of Infrared Thermal Imaging

Given all of the issues that infrared thermography can uncover that are often “invisible”, this technology has some pretty big benefits.

  • See major problems that might not have been discovered in a traditional home inspection
  • Find potentially hazardous wet conditions that can lead to mold growth and sick building syndrome
  • Discover animal and insect infestations before you close on the home
  • Uncover possibly hazardous electrical issues before they threaten the life of you or your family
  • Give you peace of mind

Now that you know what infrared thermal imaging can tell you about a home you’re planning to buy, you probably can’t imagine having a home inspection that doesn’t provide you with all of this necessary information. You don’t have to! Bridgewater Home Watch includes infrared thermal imaging with every home inspection at no extra cost to you. Our job is to ensure you know everything you possibly can about the home you’re buying and that’s why we include it as a regular part of every home inspection we do.

8 Reasons Why A Pre-Listing Home Inspection Is So Important

Anyone who has bought or sold a home is aware that a home inspection with the buyer is part of the process. Too many sellers wait until that point to discover there is a major problem with their listing, and the deal with the buyer hangs in the balance. This can all be avoided with a pre-listing home inspection. Here are 8 reasons why a pre-listing home inspection is so important:

1. The buyer’s home inspection is the main place in the process where the sale falls apart.

2. With a pre-listing home inspection, the seller can help avoid costly and unexpected surprises while also streamlining the sales process.

3. The pre-listing inspection provides the seller with valuable information about the current state of the home. The seller can use this information to make necessary repairs or address any major problems before the home is ever listed for sale. Being a proactive seller and solving problems before the buyer ever sees them makes the whole sales transaction smoother and easier.

4. A pre-listing home inspection relieves stress and gives the seller peace of mind. Selling a home is stressful enough without the added worry of whether some major problem will be discovered during the buyer’s home inspection. Your pre-listing inspection relieves stress because you know the sale won’t be delayed or derailed by unforeseen problems with the home.

5. A pre-listing inspection helps you and your agent price it right. Setting the listing price is one of the toughest decisions when selling a home. Price too low and you lose money but price too high and you turn off buyers. Without a pre-listing home inspection, you’re choosing a price based on the assumption that there are no necessary repairs or major problems. That’s a big gamble to make!

6. Improve buyer’s confidence in the condition of the home and net stronger offers with a pre-listing home inspection. Showing buyers that you’ve already done the legwork to ensure the home has any necessary repairs by having a pre-listing inspection and list of remedies for any problems found makes them more comfortable making an offer in line with your asking price.
Note: Doing a pre-listing home inspection does not eliminate the need for the buyer to do their own home inspection during the buying process.

7. Avoid renegotiation with a pre-listing home inspection. Renegotiations are a seller’s nightmare because the seller nearly always loses money during a renegotiation. You can avoid renegotiations with a pre-listing home inspection and by performing any necessary repairs uncovered in that inspection. Staying out of renegotiations helps you avoid losing money during the sales process.

8. A pre-listing home inspection allows you to fix any major safety issues before agents and buyers are touring the home. A claim against your homeowners insurance for an injury that happened during a showing due to safety issues can harm buyer’s confidence in your listing.

If you’ve never considered having a pre-listing home inspection, there are 8 reasons above that show why it’s an important step to take before you list your home for sale. Are you getting ready to list your home soon? If so, call Bridgewater Home Watch to schedule your valuable pre-listing home inspection at (843) 903-HOME (4663).

Your Garage Fridge/Freezer and GFCI Outlets

If you have or are considering getting an extra refrigerator or freezer for food storage in your garage, it’s important to be aware of issues that can arise from using this appliance with a standard GFCI outlet.

What is a GFCI Outlet?

A GFCI outlet (also sometimes called a GFI outlet) is a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter device. This type of outlet is easily identified by the small buttons on the face of the outlet labelled “Test” and “Reset”. GFCI outlets help protect people from electric shock and electrocution. A GFCI outlet monitors the amount of electric current flowing between the “hot” side of the outlet (slot on the right) and the “neutral” side of the outlet (slot on the left). If the GFCI detects an imbalance, it trips the circuit as a safety feature. This is great for protecting people from potentially dangerous electric shock but not so great if it trips the circuit for the extra fridge/freezer in your garage. By the time you realize the circuit has been tripped and power shut off to your appliance, your stored food could be defrosted or even spoiled completely.

What Should a Garage Fridge/Freezer Plug Into?

In most homes built within the last few years, you will find only GFCI outlets in your garage and wonder how and where to plug in your garage-located fridge/freezer unit. The best solution is to have an electrician install a dedicated circuit with a standard outlet. This will protect your primary electrical system by using a dedicated circuit and provide a more reliable standard outlet to power your appliance. This solution ensures safe operation of the appliance without the worry of a GFCI tripping and resulting in a fridge or freezer filled with spoiled food.

If you’re forced to use a GFCI outlet for the freezer or fridge in your garage, we recommend purchasing a GFCI trip alarm. GFCI trip alarms are fairly inexpensive and you can find a number of options available between $15 to $30. Some very new models also incorporate smart features that can sync with your smart home hub to send you a notification when the trip alarm goes off, so you know there is a problem even if you’re away from home and not present to hear the alarm. Depending on the smart home hub system you have, this can increase the cost of the GFCI trip alarm because of the added features.

Have questions? Call Bridgewater Home Watch for answers to your GFCI and electrical system questions at 843.903.HOME (4663).