Home Inspection in Maryland
By essence, a home inspection in Maryland is a thorough process that requires objective visual examination of a property’s physical structure and systems. This begins from the roof down to a home’s foundation. Home inspection services can be likened to a physical check-up. So if there are issues or symptoms found, the home inspector can immediately recommend further evaluation.
What Do Baltimore County Inspections Include?
A home inspection report in Perry Hall and Baltimore County, MD will review various conditions of a home’s systems. This could be the central air conditioning, electrical, heating, interior, and plumbing. The inspector will also asses areas like the attic and roof, as well as the basement, ceilings, floors, foundation, doors, windows, and visible insulation.
Should You Do It on Your Own?
No matter how seasoned or experienced a homeowner is, he/she still lacks the expertise and knowledge of a professional home inspector. The latter is the type of professional who has inspected thousands of homes and is very familiar with tons of elements of home construction, proper installation, and maintenance. Even more so, he understands how the different systems and components are designed to function together and why they tend to fail.
It is worth noting that most buyers find it quite difficult to remain totally objective and unemotional about the property they want; hence, their judgment is heavily affected. Since the goal is to acquire the most accurate information, it is only ideal to work with a third-party opinion courtesy of an expert who provides home inspection services in general.
Is It a Requirement?
If you need to acquire permits, say, for renovation projects, then you are required to have a home inspection. This is most especially the case when trying to flip a property. Keep in mind, though, that inspection rules could vary. For instance, you might be required to have a permit before a certain type of project is started, with new wiring installations and wall demolitions being the popular ones.
At the end of the day, you will find it beneficial to a hire a general home inspection company in Perry Hall and surrounding areas in Baltimore MD. If you are trying to market a property, it is only expected from potential buyers to schedule an inspection. And mind you, the lender is often required to do so. This is where you need to be fully aware of any possible problems in advance, so you can address them right away.
How to Pass a Home Inspection Maryland: 9 Steps to Success
Remove Clutter – This is without a doubt the simplest step in passing Baltimore county inspections. You just have to remove clutter. Start with basic cleaning, as it will help inspectors view the many areas of a property with little to none intrusion. This could be the space under your sink, or anywhere else a Maryland home inspector will look at. Considering all the odds and ends are out of the picture, it will be much easier to perform an inspection. Believe it or not, there are inspectors who find it frustrating when they do not have good access to electric panels. Make sure you move your boxes, clothes, or other belongings out of the way, so the inspector can perform his job accordingly. And since he would need access to your heating and cooling system – including areas with mechanical equipment – you should move stuff that blocks access.
Make Sure Your Appliances Are Emptied – Like the aforementioned tip, this one is also simple. However, most people tend to overlook it. Always make sure that all appliances are emptied, as the inspector may find the need to turn them prior to starting a full inspection. This includes, but not limited to, dryer, dishwasher, stove, or washing machine. Not only is this being polite to the inspector, but doing so can also make the entire process much smoother. After all, no inspector desires to deal with a smoke alarm when the oven is being tested.
Provide Attic Access – If your property has an attic – and most houses do – the inspector must have easy access to it. You simply provide a ladder; it should pretty much get the job done. Remember that you want to create a courteous and friendly atmosphere while the inspector is around. Setting up a ladder is a step towards it. If inspectors do not have access or having trouble doing so, it will take them a couple of hours for the job to be done. Apart from providing a ladder, you should also remove any obstacles in the way of the entrance. Obviously, you do not want an inspector to have to move something when you could have done it earlier.
Get Away – Whether you agree or not, it is always ideal to leave the property before home inspection companies in Perry Hall and surrounding areas in Baltimore County MD arrive. As a matter of fact, experts say that it is best to leave at least an hour prior to the scheduled arrival time. That is because inspectors are usually fond of arriving early so they can prepare for their task. As for sellers, it is also recommended not to be present. Doing so will allow buyers and inspectors to feel more comfortable. More importantly, the space you give will enable them to speak with more candor.
Unlock All Doors – You need to do this before an inspector arrives. Considering the fact that an investor would want to check every area of a property, it is only right to prepare each area for the inspection. So, as much as possible, you must unlock any gates and/or doors to areas such as crawl space, garage, and shed, among others.
Disclose Known Flaws – It holds true that this one may go straight against your instincts; however, it is actually imperative for you to disclose all flaws concerning your property. Make sure you disclose all issues that you are aware of, such as leaks or intermittent-working air conditioner. Just do not imagine that people will strongly react to every flaw they see. It is much better to disclose issues upfront, so you can avoid the possibility of surprising potential buyers. Mind you, they tend to react more negatively if you try to keep something secret. While you can always have everything fixed before an inspection happens, items that require your utmost attention must be disclosed upfront. At the very least, try to leave a note for your inspector recognizing your willingness to have these issues fixed in the near future.
Documentation of Maintenance – Let’s say you just repaired an issue or two. It is important that you maintain documentation of repairs. Start by creating a separate folder for this type of documents, as it will help a Maryland home inspector acquire easy access to what has been repaired. This includes insurance claims from damage that was obtained in the past. The same documentation must also be kept for inspections, particularly those that reveal no problems. If you have an engineer who recently inspected your home and yet he failed to notice any issue, it only makes sense to inform the inspector right away. This information is not only relevant to the whole inspection process but is also helpful.
Check Light Bulbs – This is pretty much straightforward. You just have to ensure that your property’s light bulbs are properly working. It may be a bit insignificant, but a single bulb that is not working may indicate a serious problem. It could mean that there is a wiring problem. In order to avoid this type of mishaps, make sure that all light bulbs are working accordingly.
Limit The Inspector’s Work – First of all, this does not mean that you have to do the job for them. This rather means that you must do everything you can to make the life of home inspection companies in Perry Hall and Baltimore County MD a lot easier. Remove stuff that may get in their way, so they can go for a smoother transaction. Ensure that your home is neat and accessible, as these can create a favorable impression for the inspector. And if it does happen, your chances of selling the property a lot faster are high.
Introducing Maryland Association of Home Inspectors
The Maryland Association of Home Inspectors or MAHI is basically an inclusive organization that is dedicated and solely focused on serving the home inspection field in Maryland. They offer a membership program that is open to all licensed home inspectors in the said state.
For inspectors, MAHI strives to:
- Advance and further improve the home inspection field in Maryland.
- Ensure that the education and qualifications of members are prioritized.
- Educate people (e.g. consumers, real estate professionals, etc.) about the field and significantly enhance the awareness of MAHI.
- Become the essential link to every quality home inspection in the state.
For buyers, homeowners, sellers, and realtors, MAHI strives to:
- Provide protection to consumers by way of supporting a home inspection process that is both informative and educational.
- Give customers access to home inspectors who are insured, licensed, and reputable. More importantly, they make sure that these inspectors continually adhere to approved home inspection Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics
- Provide support to local legislators by helping protect consumers from deception, fraud, and misleading practices. That way, a fair and competitive business atmosphere is achieved.
Tips for Finding the Right Maryland Home Inspector
- Your first move is to work with some who loves the idea of you being present. A great home inspector is the type who wants the homeowner to be there throughout the inspection process. By doing so, the owner can get the most out of the experience, instead of just looking at and understanding a report later on.
- Speaking of reports, do not forget to always look at a sample and make the moment count. So, what exactly does this one mean? Basically, the quality of the inspection report can be a make or break. It serves as a good indicator, so to speak. Some home inspection companies tend to offer sample reports, either on their website or physical office. This allows you to have the ability to check for clarity and formatting, as well as determine whether or not photos are included.
- Spend some time going through review sites. Keep in mind that a Maryland home inspection is a thorough process. Hence, you must do your own homework. You can simply go over Google, Yelp, and other sites. That is because they continue to be a great source of customer reviews, allowing you to learn about a company’s home inspection services. Apart from good ratings, a great company will usually try to engage with customers and address concerns immediately.
- Do not forget to inquire about experience and certifications. You can achieve this by interviewing the inspector and asking him about his work history. Ask him, too, if he has some certifications and if he belongs or represent a professional organization. This information can help you determine the level of professionalism and commitment they have in the industry.
- Remember To verify their license and insurance. Sadly, many people tend to overlook this one. Although it is a no-brainer, there is really a need for you to double-check contractors and find out if they have the much-needed licensing or insurance. A good home inspection Maryland company will always provide copies of these items, even if you do not ask.
- Find out if there are additional fees involved for extra items. If you have any areas to inspect that are not usually included in an inspection, inquire if the inspector will charge additional fees. An epitome here is the septic system, though foundation problems are also common.
- A Maryland home inspection is not a difficult thing to do. It is not hard to pass either. However, you must be equipped with the right know-how, so you can make sure that everything goes smoothly. You want to leave a good impression after all.