Appraisals are influential during the sale of a home, as they are required in order to receive a mortgage loan and they could potentially scuttle an otherwise solid transaction. Homeowners should learn a thing or two about how appraisals are performed and other basics, which can be found in out new article on property appraisals.
Successful landlords are not only calculating and deliberate businessmen, they must also be responsible providers and astute followers of the law. To make the job easier, we’ve assembled a number of tips, some of which you’ll find nowhere else. Learn how patience can be a great asset, how charging less rent than market value might be wise and why it might be beneficial to not immediately ask for the security deposit in our new article on how to be a successful landlord.
It may come as a surprise that a majority of renters don’t have renters insurance, which can protect them from heavy losses caused by fire, theft, liability and more. While these policies may benefit most tenants, those who live in an upper floor or who have pets may be in particularly need of insurance. To find out more, check out our new article on renters insurance.
Carpet beetles are like clothes moths – their larvae are voracious eaters of wool and other animal fibers and they can be killed through basic sanitation. Carpet beetles’ appetites are even more varied, however, and infestations are harder to spot because the adults often don’t loiter nearby. As with clothes moths, proper identification and treatment are essential to protection of your clothes and possessions. To find out more, check out our new article on carpet beetles.
Clothes moths don’t threaten most items and they aren’t a danger to people, but they are responsible for an enormous amount of damaged clothing, carpets and other fabrics. If you witness moths fluttering around your closet, you’ve probably got an infestation, but understand that it’s the larvae, not the adult moths, that actually eat fabric. And it’s easy to confuse clothes moths with different types of moths that pose no threat. To find out more about these pests and what you can do to stop them (and what doesn’t work), check out our new article on clothes moths.
This course is the largest, most in-depth insurance adjusters course available. It’s also very educational for home inspectors. The course helps inspectors pass the Florida’s state examination. There are mutual reciprocity agreements between states whereby an adjuster holding a license in one state can successfully apply for a license in another state and vice-versa. You may be able to apply for a adjusters license in another state without having to first pass that state’s exam or pre-licensing course. And, in keeping with InterNACHI’s commitment to Continuing Education, this course is open and free to all members, and can be taken again and again and again. A great well-rounded learning tool for inspectors.
Considering the amount of unsupervised time that the average baby spends in their crib, parents should seek to eliminate all choking, suffocation and entrapment risks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and various other organizations create standards by which cribs should comply, but not all do, especially older hand-me-downs. These guidelines set a maximum allowable distance between slats, for instance, to prevent children from getting part of their bodies through them. Decorative knobs, mobiles and ribbons, too, present hazards. To find out more, check out our new article on crib safety and inspection.
The requirements for a bedroom are stricter than you might think, mainly because occupants must be able to escape in case of a fire. The window and door, in particular, have to provide an easy means of escape. But there are other factors as well, from ceiling height to natural lighting and closets. Sellers often advertise a room as a bedroom when it would more accurately be described as a den, and landlords rent these rooms out to get extra cash. I the city finds out, however, problems can arise. To find out more about the requirements for bedrooms and the risks posed to violators, check out our new article on non-conforming bedrooms.
Dust mites are too small to see, they feed off of your shedding skin and they congregate in houses by the millions. Scary? Well, they’re actually only a problem for those with allergies, and the critters are easily killed. Simple vacuuming and clothes drying will kill most of them and their growth can be limited by lowering indoor humidity. To find out more about dust mute detection, dangers and mitigation, check out our new article on dust mite inspection.
The Texas Real Estate Commission has a rule on the books that states inspectors shall not pay for inclusion on a list of inspectors or preferred providers. But is this rule being obeyed?
Central vacuum systems are little-known in the United States, but in other areas they’re commonly built into new construction. While quieter, more powerful and longer-lasting than portable vacuum units, central vacuum systems are pricey and they must be regularly maintained. To read more about them, check out our new article on central vacuum systems.
Trampolines may be fun and health-promoting, but they are also very dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics specifically states that they should not safe for home use and home insurance policies rarely cover trampoline-related injuries. But people are going to use them anyway, so it’s best they use them safely. To find out safe behavior and installation tips, check out our new article on trampoline safety and inspection.
Ceramic and natural stone tiles are excellent choices for flooring material, but they each have their own maintenance and inspection requirements. To find out about moisture damage, crazing and more, check out our new article on ceramic and stone tile inspection.
In spite of the rapid expanse in home sizes over the last half-century, the past few years have seen a reduction in the size of the average American house. Perhaps spurred on by recession-era belt tightening, a trend has developed called the small house movement, which eschews the unnecessary lavishness of large homes and the endless debt they accrue. Many homeowners have downsized to homes smaller than 1,000 square feet and in some cases, smaller than 100. Energy bills plummet, as do mortgages and maintenance, it’s a totally different lifestyle, and you can find out more by reading our new article on the small house movement.
Believe it or not, but people are now building their homes out of Styrofoam. In Hawaii, a company has built a handful of these homes, which are easier to heat and cool than conventional homes and they actually cost less to construct. Japan takes it to the extreme, especially in one village where 480 Styrofoam dome homes serve as lodging, recreational facilities and retail shops. These homes, which look they were built for smurfs or hobbits, can be constructed in just a few hours and they’re earthquake, fire and typhoon resistant! To see more, check out our new article on Styrofoam homes.