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Preparing For A Home Inspection

 

Turning On Your Utilities For Your Home Inspection

 

Frequently Asked Questions





Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it the report take to fill out?

The average Inspection will take about 2-3 hours on-site. It depends on the size, age, and condition of your house. It will then take an additional 2-3 hours at my office to add photos and further information.

Can I have a copy of the report at the time of the inspection ?

Yes. You will get a "preliminary" paper Report at the time of the Inspection minus photos. It will be complete enough so that you can start making decisions immediately. The "completed" Report (with photos) will be emailed, faxed, or mailed to you within 24 hours.

 

Should I attend the inspection?

I strongly urge the client to be at the Inspection site at least at the end of the Inspection process. At that point, I will review the Report with you and take you through a walk-through. If you are unable to attend, I will email, fax, or mail the Report to you and go over the details over the phone. Remember, there are no time limits to asking questions.

 

How will your report compare to others?

Click on Sample Report and check out my Report. You will immediately see the extra attention to more details and thoroughness.

 

What makes you better than other Home Inspectors?

My 25 years in the light remodeling and home repair service gives me the edge over others because I can "see" behind walls and know how building components such as plumbing and electrical were installed. With that experience I can offer better money saving recommendations on how to order repairs. And finally, my continued education certification efforts above and beyond the TREC minimum standards makes me that much better informed and qualified than the next Inspector.



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Preparing for a home inspection

If this is a Buyer's Home Inspection, then the Buyer and/or the Real Estate Agent should coordinate the home inspection with the seller with the following preparations:

  1. Coordinate the home inspection when the seller (and children) can be away or out of the house for at least 4 hours.

  2. Clean working space around windows, attic doors, outlets, appliances, water heaters, and A/C systems.

  3. Leave all utilities connected and all pilot lights ignited.

  4. Leave any keys that may be needed.

  5. Keep all pets safely locked away.

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Turning on your utilities for your home inspection

Find out what utilities are available at the house. They will be all-electric and water or electric, water and gas. This information can be found on line, in the disclosure statement or ask your Realtor to help you.

  • If your house is still privately owned then the Seller must follow this Contract rule: “Seller at Seller’s expense shall immediately cause existing utilities to be turned on and shall keep the utilities on during the time this contract is in effect”. This rule comes from the 12/05/2011 TREC (The Texas Real Estate Commission) promulgated One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale). This rule is found under “Section 7-A Property Condition”. Discuss this with your Realtor.

  • If your house is bank-owned, it will be your responsibility to call and pay for the utilities to be turned on by your city water utilities department and a local electricity and gas providers. Schedule all available utilities to be turned on for at least 3 days in time for your inspection schedule.

  • If your house is a HUD home then follow these general rules: Your Agent must fill out a Utility Activation Authorization Form that is used by the local HUD Asset Management Company. The Company may take up to 2 days to authorize. They will give you only 3 days in which to have the utilities on. Your Agent must be present during utility activation (the water service at least), inspections, appraisals, and utility de-activations. The Buyer is responsible to pay for the Company’s re-winterization fee of $150.00 (Sept. 1 thru April 30) and for all utility activation fees to the utility companies.

Everyone takes two utilities for granted: Water and Electricity. But asking about gas service is usually overlooked. It’s not until the day of the inspection when the buyer finds out that one or more of the appliances require natural gas. These appliances can include the water heater, range, furnace or fire place. It’s at that point when the buyer also learns of another surprise: An additional fee to return to finish the inspection once the gas service is connected. This fee can be up to half of the original inspection fee. Here are some tips to help you avoid these two potential problems:

  1. From the street as you are driving by a house, look up at the roof. Evidence of gas appliances will be in the form of one or two round metal flues with round, louvered caps and sticking up about two feet from the roof top. The thinner one will be for a gas-fired water heater and the thicker one will be for a gas-fired furnace. A chimney will be either gas or wood-burning fireplaces. (Photo 1)

  2. Look for the gas meter. This grey-painted meter will be placed either at the rear by the alley or on either side of the house. You will be able to see the meter from the street if it is placed on either side of the house. If the meter is at the alley, you will see a grey-painted pipe coming from the ground and entering through the wall. This will have an inline shut-off valve. (Photos 2 and 3)

  3. You can look for further evidence of gas-fired appliances once you have access inside the house. Sometimes the electricity may not be on and you may not have a flashlight. But you will still be able to see certain gas appliance components:

  4. A gas-fired water heater will have a yellow, corrugated flexible gas pipe entering a gas control box toward the bottom section of the tank. This tank will also have a silver-colored, round gas flue attached to the top of the tank and extend up and through the ceiling. This flue continues into the attic and out the roof. (Photo 4)

  5. If the furnace is within view, usually in a closet and not in the attic, it too will have the same yellow, flexible gas pipe and round flue attachment visible. (Photo 5)

  6. A gas-fired fireplace will have a round pipe sitting at the bottom of the firebox which enters from the side wall. The round, chrome-finish gas shut-off valve key insert will usually be immediately to one side. (Photo 6) If there are ceramic logs present, look underneath for the pipe.

  7. The stove top will also tell you if it is gas. Gas stove tops will have exposed round, flat burners with small holes all around its edge.

Educate yourself well and plan to have all available utilities on in time for your inspection. Be sure to pay extra attention for the possibility of gas service in your house. Make sure all available gas pilot lights are on; most inspectors will not light them.

This information will save you time, headaches and extra cash output.

COURTESY OF STAR BRITE HOME INSPECTIONS
Phone: 469-230-7026
frank@sbhinspections.com

Revised March 2012

 

>> How to tell if a house has gas services and appliances <<

 

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