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Inspector Insights: What Most Homeowners Miss

This month The Home Inspectors was featured in Redfin‘s article, Inspector Insights: What Most Homeowners Miss by Mike Cahill. The article rounded up home inspection experts from all over the country and asked them about some of the most frequently overlooked repairs that homeowners forget to fix.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Some of the pre-sale repairs that are most often overlooked are any item that would potentially be covered under the Home Warranty that the seller may be providing to the buyer i.e. electrical, plumbing, appliances, etc. Any item covered under the Home Warranty that is listed as “deficient” in a home inspection report would be considered a “known” pre-existing condition and NOT covered by that warranty. With this in mind, I always recommend that buyers request these repairs to be made so that they can get the full value of the Home Warranty if one is offered. It is always to the seller’s benefit to remove any potential negotiating points from the buyer. – The Home Inspectors

For the full article, visit

There’s nothing more rewarding than owning your own home. With home ownership comes the responsibility of upkeep and unless you are willing to pay experts for every tiny detail– it is beneficial to know a thing or two on how to maintain your home. We compiled a list of a few important skills that every homeowner can master!

Changing the Air Filter

Figure out where the HVAC is located in your home. Most air filters are located in the blower compartment of the furnace. Determine what size the filter is, take out the old filter and replace it with a new one. Make sure you pay attention to which way the air filter should go in. It should have an arrow with the direction the air flows through it. Air Filters should be replaced every three to six months. Schedule to have air filters delivered to your house every three to six months and then it’s easy to remember when to change it.  

Knowing How to Turn Off the Water Valve

You’ll want to know how to shut off the water supply of your home if you ever have a leak, need to replace the water heater or for any other plumbing fixes. Depending on the home’s age, the shut off valve may be located inside or outside the home. Before turning the water supply back on, make sure repairs have been completed and that faucets, shower knobs, etc. are closed. 

With every home inspection, The Home Inspectors provides you with educational videos, specific to your home, that you show you how to turn off the main water, water heater and gas supplies and how to change your air filter.

Updating Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms can last up to ten years but the batteries in them should be replaced every year and smoke alarms should be tested once a month. Set a repeating calendar reminder so that you remember to do both of these. In addition to a smoke alarm, every house should have a carbon monoxide detector. Since carbon monoxide is a gas that is odorless and colorless and therefore cannot be seen or smelled, the only way to know if you have elevated levels is through a detector.

Cleaning Gutters

Making sure your gutters are clean is important as they collect all the leaves and debris that fall on the roof of your home. Check them often around the fall and winter seasons so that they will be ready for the spring rainy season. Otherwise, your gutters will get clogged. As a rule, you should at least clean your gutters once a year. To clean gutters, simply grab a ladder that can reach the height of the roof, gloves and start grabbing the leaves in the gutters until clean. If residue is left, you can run water down the gutter to clean it.

Watering for your Foundation

Watering isn’t just about keeping your flowers and garden looking nice. It’s important for the moisture level of the soil around your foundation to remain consistent. Going from a downpour to completely dried up and cracking soil can result in foundation issues. If your area hasn’t had a lot of rainfall, you should water your foundation using either a garden hose, soaker hoses or a sprinkler system. Simply water until ½-1 inch of water is distributed, or until runoff occurs. You want to water about a foot away from your foundation and remember that slow, consistent and uniform watering is the guideline to follow.

Checking Crawl Space Regularly

If you have a pier and beam house, then you have a crawl space to access underneath your house. This makes access for plumbing repairs a lot easier than with slab foundations. If you have a crawl space it’s good to look down there every once in awhile to make sure you have no plumbing leaks. It’s easy for there to be a small leak that goes unnoticed but leaves a pool of water under your home which can lead to mold and wood damage. Set a calendar reminder every couple months to look under there.

Routine maintenance is essential to preserving a properly functioning home much like having annual medical and dental exams or regular changing the oil in your car. The Home Inspectors offers Home Maintenance Inspections for a comprehensive look at your home. Your Home Maintenance Inspection will provide you details of the current condition of your structural systems, electrical systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing systems, appliances and optional systems (i.e. pools/spas, sprinkler systems, septic systems). Like with all of our other inspections, we include a FREE Wood Destroying Insect Report (Termite Inspection).

Ready to schedule a home inspection? Contact us at any of our locations – DFW 972.235.0800, Austin 512.993.5100, San Antonio 210.990.0726 or schedule your inspection online!

On occasion, we see information provided by some of our competitors or other industry related sources that list all the items that might be considered “deal breakers” due to findings from the home inspection. So, let’s address the question:

“What deficiencies could or should be considered deal breakers when buying a home?”

The short answer should be “None of them.”

When reviewing the findings of an inspection report, none of the deficient items should be considered “deal breakers.”

A good Inspector knows that it is not possible to ascertain the level of tolerance that any one client may have towards any one deficiency or the cost, time, and inconvenience associated with it. It is our duty to provide clarification of our findings and answer any questions that may arise in order for the client to make an informed decision. The completion of the inspection and the review of its findings are just the beginning to the next step in the negotiating process.

Once the Inspection Report is in hand and the findings have been reviewed, the first thing to do is “Relax”. The inspection report will probably show the house in a different light than before as this is likely the first “analytical” look at the home. Being prepared for this slight change in perspective will make the process much easier.

It’s important to remember, any of the deficiencies in the report can be corrected. Are they minimal cosmetic updates or will they take more time and money to repair? Determining the answer may require getting quotes from qualified specialists in those trades. The greatest asset at this point is the Realtor. They will have the contacts, knowledge and expertise to help guide this process and help determine what, if any, repairs or price concessions are negotiated with the seller.

Before you allow information that may seem alarming scare you aware from your dream home; relax, review the findings, gather your thoughts, ask questions, get clarifications and make informed decisions.

Having a trusted home inspector is important. Contact us at any of our locations: DFW 972.235.0800, AUSTIN 512.993.5100 and SAN ANTONIO 210.990.0726  or schedule an online home inspection today!


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