Not All Renovations are Created Equal

I just read today that home owners in certain parts of the U.S. spent an estimated $1,400 each on renovations and remodels in 2013. The report, issued by the National Association of Home Builders, went on to state that those homes, on average, were built in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.   However, in Georgia, this average expenditure registered slightly higher at $1,648 per owner.

This information made me wonder how many of these home owners hired professional contractors to help versus undertaking the task themselves. Sometimes, I see innovative remodels that make me scratch my head.  Take this remodel for example – new appliances and updated countertops with cabinetry. However, the lack of planning is evident as indicated in this photo.

A lack of planning new appliances and cabinets no date

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other times, I see well planned and executed improvements such as this bathroom renovation.

 A well executed renovation no date

 

I guess what I want to say is that if you are going to spend $14oo- $1600 on average, and in some cases much more to renovate your home – you may as well maximize your spending in order to get the most out of the investment in the long run.  Why install new appliances and cabinetry if you cannot access everything? Also, if and when the time comes to sell the property, you will want to ensure that the remodel makes sense. A bathroom with ample space and a combination of traditional as well as modern features will translate to more than one type of market segment.

This just goes to show that not all renovations are created equal. That just makes the home inspection process that much more interesting – and important!

 

To see what we do visit our youtube video site at:http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience theIHI Difference. 404-788-2581

 

 

Have you turned on your heat pump yet? – Efficiency tip by the Atlanta Home Inspector

jjjjoIn our region, we seldom have to turn on the heat until the winter months. However, today with the wind making itself know,it made me start to think about needing to turn up the heat. I was also thinking about the home inspections in Atlanta that are performed.

During Atlanta home inspections is your current inspector checking the furnace or heat pump?

Did you know that heat pumps are an efficient choice when the temperatures are 32 degrees or higher? With that being said, when it drops below that temperature, the heat pump must “ask” for a little assistance. This assistance comes in the form of electric heat strips (also known as auxiliary heat), which increase the operating cost of the entire system. Sometimes, this can even be as much as 5 times the normal operation.

So, how would a homeowner avoid using the auxiliary heat? Well, it is always a good idea to service the heat pump to ensure that it is working properly. By keeping dirt and debris out of the unit, the air will flow more freely, as well.

It is also a great idea to keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature. Typically, somewhere below 70 degrees will keep the usage down – meaning the bill will more than likely be less.

 

Visit our website at http://www.ihihomeinspections.com to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581
- See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4209168/a-health-and-wellness-check-up-for-your-home#sthash.0Is3G9LY.dpuf

 

 

 

Immediate Results with IR Scan

IR_0315 About 35% of heating and cooling is lost through the roof, according to energy experts, and walls, windows, and doors can also contribute to air leaks. What this translates to for you – is higher energy bills as your heating and air system struggles to keep up.

So how do you know if you have air leaks?

Unless you want to stumble around your home with a lit candle to see if it flickers at every window, door, or vent, it may be best to invest in professional services that provide Thermal Scans.

With his camera, the Atlanta home inspector  can determine the source of your moisture woes by providing a non-destructive, immediate result service. The camera sees and measures heat signatures. Therefore, moisture will appear as a different color on the camera enabling the inspector, David Lelak to locate the source.
Don’t tear down any walls, Don’t pull up the floor. Let the thermal imager find out what is inside first. Just like an x-ray shows us what bone is broken, the IR will show us energy descrepancies. The same Thermography is also used to monitor equine health conditions.

If you need the Atlanta Home Inspector to see through your walls
Call IHI Home Inspections at 404-788-2581 or  Book your appointment online to receive a special discount http://www.ihihomeinspections.com

How To Change Your Doorbell

Here is a simple fix that the Atlanta Home Inspector would like to share with you. The simple, step by step video will explain how you can change your doorbell all by yourself, thanks to Lowes for supplying the video footage.

When we move into a home, we make changes. Appliances get replaced, rooms get painted, and floors get refinished or recarpeted. It part of how we make a home “ours”.

One item we tend to skip, though, is the changing of the doorbell. In most Atlanta homes, the existing doorbell is “good enough”.

Well, if you’ve ever had a mind to change your home’s hard-wired doorbell system, the good news is that changing your doorbell is a simple, do-it-yourself project. Whether you want chimes, songs, or the traditional ding-dong, all you need is a screwdriver, some tape, and the new doorbell system.

This 2-minute video from Lowe’s maps it out :

  1. Cut the power to your doorbell from your circuit breaker
  2. Unscrew the doorbell face plate
  3. Replace the face plate with your new doorbell
  4. Locate your in-home receiver and remove the chime system
  5. Replace the chime system with your new system

The video also includes helpful tips such as how to use tape to prevent “losing” wires in your walls, and how to label your wires for faster re-wiring.

Changing a doorbell is a quick, 1-hour project. Use the video’s guidance to make you don’t miss a step.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David & Bonnie Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

How To Store Your Winter Clothes For The Summer Season

As the Woodstock weather turns warmer and the days grow longer, it’s time to pack away your winter clothes to make room for spring and summer things — just make sure to store your cold-weather clothes properly.

They’ll look better, wear longer, and will be ready to go when winter rolls around again next year.

Here’s what to do.

First, you’ll want to launder your winter clothes before you pack them up — even if they were never worn and/or don’t appear to be soiled. Clothes can sometimes have spots or stains that aren’t readily visible. Use unscented detergents, and skip fabric softeners and other additives that could attract insects.

Take items that can’t be washed to the dry cleaner.

Next, you’ll put your clothes into storage containers. Ideally, use bags or boxes that won’t degrade and will seal out dirt, dust, insects and moisture.

Fold clothing neatly before adding it to the container and pack “loosely”, allowing air can circulate. Tuck a lavender or cedar sachet into each container to help repel bugs. Both lavender and cedar are safer for use than mothballs and they smell much better.

For bulky items such as coats, use padded hangers and cover the clothing with heavy plastic wardrobe bags. If you don’t have padded hangers and don’t want to buy them, drape wood hangers with folded towels to fill in the shoulders of your coats without stretching them.

Keep the storage boxes and hangers in a dry place, away from sunlight. Sunlight can fade your fabrics.

Then, make sure to clean your closets thoroughly before filling them with the next season’s clothes. Dust the shelves and ceiling, wipe bars and flat surfaces, and give the floor a good vacuum.

Your closet will be clean and fresh and ready for the new season.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home
inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit. You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online. We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time. Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

 

Do you see the Atlanta Home Inspector?

 

 

 

    Do you see the home inspector?

Sometimes he is in the most interesting places!

Whether it is up high

or down low

the Atlanta Home Inspector is sure to go

                                                      to great lengths to show

you what you need to know.

IHI Home Inspections  404-788-2581 

 

 Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

 

Building Permits On The Rise

The new construction housing market appears primed for growth this season.

According to the Census Bureau, the number of single-family building permits issued in February rose to 472,000 on a seasonally-adjusted, annual basis, marking the highest building permit tally since April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit program.

Building permits are a pre-cursor to new home construction.

In 2011, from the date of permit-issuance to the date of “ground-breaking”, an average of 27 calendar days passed. February’s data, therefore, is a signal that the market for newly-built homes should be strong this year, an idea supported by the most recent homebuilder confidence survey.

As buyer foot traffic soars, homebuilders expect to make more sales in the next 6 months than at any time since the housing market’s collapse. Builder confidence is at a 5-year high.

Last month, however, single-family housing starts slipped.

As compared to January, February’s single-family housing starts fell by 50,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. The 10% drop represents the largest one-month drop since February 2011. It’s a statistic that may suggest that this year’s results are simply seasonal.

For buyers of new construction, the news is mixed.

Rising permits and builder confidence may mean that Canton homebuilders will be less willing to negotiate with today’s buyer on upgrades and/or home prices. However, as more new home supply is set to come online, excess housing stock could help keep home prices low.

If you’re planning to buy new construction in GA this year, be sure to ask your real estate agent about the local home supply, and how the market is currently trending. With mortgage rates low and the summer buying season approaching, you may find some of your best deals of the year available in just the next few weeks.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Atlanta Home Inspectors Stay Busy Due to Affordable Housing Market

Home Opportunity Index (2005-2012)

Even though Atlanta didn’t make the top of  the most affordable homes list, the Atlanta Home Inspector  has been busy. The overall  affordability of homes nationwide was  higher last quarter. The lowest mortgage rates in history, a sustained median income, and slow-to-recover home prices throughout GA and the country, means that the request for Atlanta Home Inspections has increased, due to the abundance of real estate activity in our area!

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the quarterly Home Opportunity Index read 75.9 in 2011′s fourth quarter. More than 3 in 4 homes sold between October-December 2011, in other words, were affordable to households earning the national median income of $64,200.

Never in recorded history have U.S. homes been as affordable on a national level. Even on a regional and local level, affordability soared.

Affordability was highest in the Midwest; 7 of the 10 most affordable markets nationwide were in the nation’s heartland. 

The Top 5 most affordable U.S. cities in Q4 2011 were:

  1. Kokomo, IN (99.2% home affordability)
  2. Fairbanks, AK (97.5% home affordability)
  3. Cumberland, WV (96.9% home affordability)
  4. Lima, OH (96.0% home affordability)
  5. Rockford, IL (95.5% home affordability)

These are each considered “small markets”. The most affordable “major market” was the Youngstown, Ohio area, where 95.1% of homes sold were affordable to households earning the area’s local median income.

Not surprisingly, America’s “least affordable cities” were regionally-concentrated, too, with 7 of the 10 least affordable markets located in either California or Texas.

San Francisco (#3), Santa Ana (#4), and Los Angeles (#5) led for the Golden State but, for the 15th consecutive quarter, the New York metropolitan area took “Least Affordable Market” honors.

Just 29 percent of homes in and around New York City were affordable to households earning the area’s median income last quarter. It’s a large jump from the quarter prior during which 23 percent of homes were affordable.

The rankings for all 225 metro areas are available for download on the NAHB website.

If you plan to buy an Atlanta foreclosed home,  have a real estate professional on your side. The internet can teach you much about how the GA housing market works, but when it comes to writing contracts, you’ll want an experienced agent on your side.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that foreclosure home, please recommend us to them, so that they  know what “As-Is” really means. When you find your foreclosure home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections,  serving Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Lock An Instant 13% Savings On Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

Mortgage payments down 13%

Falling mortgage rates make owning a home more affordable. Mortgage rates are directly tied to monthly mortgage payment so as mortgage rates drop, so does the cost of home-ownership.  

It’s a money-saving time to buy a home in Atlanta — or to refinance one. Mortgage rates have never been this low in history.

According to Freddie Mac, last week, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.87% nationwide for borrowers willing to pay an accompanying 0.8 discount points plus closing costs. 0.8 discount points is a one-time closing cost equal to 0.8 percent of your loan size, or $800 per $100,000 borrowed.

This represents an incredible value as compared to February of last year. 

It was exactly one year ago that mortgage rates begin their long slide lower. On February 11, 2011, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reached its peak for the year, reading 5.05% in Freddie Mac’s nationwide survey. If you are among the many U.S. households that bought or refinanced a home around that time, you could choose to replace your current home loan with a new one and save close to 13% on your monthly mortgage payment.

13 percent saved on your mortgage is a noteworthy statistic.

Look at this 30-year fixed rate mortgage payment comparison over the last 12 months :

  • February 2011 : $539.88 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed
  • February 2012 : $469.95 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed

Because of falling mortgage rates, a homeowner with a $250,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage would save at least $175 per month just by refinancing into a new loan at today’s mortgage rates. That’s $2,100 in savings per year. 

Even after accounting for discount points and closing costs, the “break-even point” on a mortgage like that can come relatively quickly.

We can’t predict mortgage rates so there’s no promise rates will stay like this forever. If you’re planning to buy a home or refinance one, the best way to keep your monthly payments down is to lock your rate while rates are still low.

The market looks ripe for that now. 

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Elevated Radon Levels in an Atlanta Area Home are Combated by a Well Done Mitigation

Radon exisits everywhere, not just at Atlanta Home Inspections. Radon is an odorless, colorless, shapeless gas that exists naturally in our environment. When levels are elevated, radon mitigation is needed as a control and detterent.