Home Inspections a Crucial Piece of the Real Estate Puzzle

“Whether you’re buying something that’s 100 years old or brand new—whether it’s 5,000 square feet or 500—you should inspect. It’s money well spent and it’s about being a smart buyer or seller,” says Larry Wallenstein, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Consultants Realty 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Wallenstein knows the true value and importance of a home inspection and the effects it can have on his transactions. For the past 17 years, he’s used HomeTeam Inspection Service for all his inspection needs.

“It’s about reality,” he says, noting the significance of always attending inspections. “The inspectors point things out that you can feel and touch…I think that’s very important. If you read something on paper, you don’t always understand it. If an inspector walks you up to something and says, ‘Look at this,’ that makes a huge difference.”

Unique to most inspection companies, HomeTeam sends a team of inspectors on site, helping to keep inspections and transactions efficient. In fact, HomeTeam of Southeast Florida will send as many as five HomeTeam inspectors. They make sure the job is thorough and the property is well assessed.

“I’ve never been a believer that somebody can be a jack of all trades. When you use a company like HomeTeam, you get people who are trained in specialties, so you’re going to get a better quality of results,” says Wallenstein.

HomeTeam delivers a robust variety of tech tools to support everyone involved, from online scheduling to text and email reminders about inspection dates. Electronic reports are also delivered, chock full of photographs reminding buyers about what they saw in-person at the inspection. Working with HomeTeam has proven to be invaluable for Wallenstein and his customers, which is why he’s stuck with the company for so many years.

The local HomeTeam that Wallenstein works with is owned by Colin Conroy. Every time a new category arises in the inspection process (such as when mold and defective drywall became issues), Conroy would personally call Wallenstein to fill him in on the new details.

“When I started in the business I knew nothing. I remember sitting on the floor of an empty house listening to Colin say, ‘This is really important because…’ and ‘This is how we’re going to look at it and how we’re going to explain it to the customer,’ so I respect him tremendously,” says Wallenstein.

Home inspections can save buyers and sellers a lot of time and many headaches along the way. Wallenstein even stresses the value of pre-listing inspections, so sellers can deal with problems head-on rather than having to budge on the price down the road. But whether he’s representing a buyer or a seller, home inspections remain a very important piece of the puzzle, and HomeTeam Inspection Service is always there.

“They’re always responsive,” concludes Wallenstein. “Working with HomeTeam is about knowledge, it’s about efficiency, and it’s about being accessible for the customer and willing to help them understand.”

By Nick Caruso, Real Estate Magazine 

Ask the Expert: How Can Homeowners Ensure Preparedness For Fall?

Q: What can homeowners do to ensure their home is well prepared and more energy-efficient throughout the coming months?

A: Fall officially begins this month and HomeTeam Inspection Service—the only national home inspection company to utilize a team of inspectors onsite—offers the following home maintenance tips.

Roof
Inspect the roof covering and flashing from the ground for indicators of wear, like missing, loose or cracked shingles or tiles. Water can seep into these areas and cause damage if left unattended. Contact a professional roofer for repair or a replacement evaluation if water intrusion is occurring or suspected.

Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are critical in protecting your home from water damage. Fall is one of the most important times to check your gutters and downspouts to ensure they’re not rusted, rotted, disconnected or full of debris.

Fireplace
Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean your chimney, fireplace and vents at least once per year, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. A do-it-yourself inspection for creosote buildup can be performed by wearing goggles and a basic disposable dust mask. Take a flashlight and your fireplace poker and scratch the black surface above the damper (smoke chamber). If the groove you scratch is paper thin, no cleaning is needed. If it’s 1/8 inch thick, schedule a cleaning. If you have 1/4 inch of creosote, don’t use the fireplace until it’s cleaned—a chimney fire could occur at any time.

HVAC
Get your furnace cleaned and serviced by a professional before the heating season begins. Also, clean or replace your furnace filters as recommended throughout the year. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.

Ensure that all supply and return vents aren’t blocked or closed, as this causes the return duct to pull in cold air from cracks in windows and doors. In addition, the warm air that’s still trying to push up through closed vents will either start to leak out ducts that aren’t sealed properly, or be forced back down into your basement or floor cavities.

Trees and Bushes
Trimming trees and bushes provides many advantages to your home’s exterior. Trim so that all leaves and limbs are at least three feet away from your house. This prevents them from hitting the sides of your house when it’s windy, decreasing the amount of leaves and debris that will end up in your gutters.

Windows and Doors
Cracks in the seals around windows and doors allow heated or cooled air to escape, which can cost you money. Caulking and weatherstripping can wear over time, so check the seals around your windows and doors. One of the easiest ways to diagnose this issue is to close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. If the flame flickers at any spot, you likely have an air leak. Replace or add caulk or weatherstripping where needed.

Buddy Stark, Director of Operations for HomeTeam Inspection Service,  Real Estate Magazine

HomeTeam Inspection Service Debuts New Location in Tri-County Area, PA

Milford, OH – For over 25 years, HomeTeam Inspection Service has been providing fast, trusted and accurate home inspection services throughout the United States, and is proud to debut its newest location in in Tri-County Area, PA.

Owner Michael Foglia served in the United States Army for 21 years as an Engineer Officer before retiring earlier this year. Michael served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and earned a Master’s of Engineering Management at the University of Missouri S & T.

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HomeTeam Inspection Service Debuts New Owner in Fort Collins, CO

Milford, OH – For over 25 years, HomeTeam Inspection Service has been providing fast, trusted and accurate home inspection services throughout the United States and is proud to announce the Fort Collins, CO location has a new owner.

Nicklaus Diede and his wife Stephanie have acquired HomeTeam Inspection Service from the former owner, who is looking to transition toward retirement. “Real estate growth in Colorado led me to the home inspection industry and the marketing, branding, team concept and support provided made HomeTeam the right fit” says Diede.

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HomeTeam Expands with New Location in Grand Rapids, MI

For over 25 years, HomeTeam Inspection Service has been providing fast, trusted and accurate home inspection services throughout the United States, and is pleased to announce its newest location in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Owners Jeff and Kelly Ulicny are excited about their new business in home inspections. Jeff brings 30 years of successfully leading large organizations and producing customer satisfaction. Kelly brings 15 years’ small business ownership experience and a lifelong passion for real estate including buying, selling and managing properties.

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