A Better Inspection for Your Dream Home

Couple in house + inspection reportAfter carefully searching for just the right home, you’ve found one that fits the bill — your dream home. You’re excited about the move, but also a little unsure. How can you be certain that you’re making the right decision?

One way is to have the home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you understand the condition of the property and avoid unwanted surprises. When looking for an inspector, seek someone has experience, and ask them about their training and background. They should be professionally trained, and they should be certified or licensed where applicable. (Not all states and provinces require certification/licensure.) The inspector should be able to answer your basic questions, such as whether they are insured and bonded.

Keep in mind that a home inspection is a comprehensive visual assessment of the home and all of its systems and components at the time of the inspection. But not all home inspections are created equally.

Why Our Inspectors Are Better
Founded in 1987, NPI and GPI are proud to be among the oldest and most widely respected names in the home inspection industry. Our professionals have assessed more than 2 million properties in the United States and Canada, focusing on detailed, quality inspections and customer service.

NPI and GPI inspectors attend an intensive two-week training course at our home office in Omaha, Nebraska, and then they attend about 80 hours of field training with another NPI/GPI inspector. Keep in mind, too, that our inspectors are backed by a national company, and they have tech support available seven days a week from our home office should they have a question about something on your home.

The NPI and GPI Home Inspection
For your peace of mind, it’s important to understand everything possible about the home you are about to purchase. NPI and GPI inspections are designed to meet strict industry standards (such as ASHI and InterNACHI) and cover the home from roof to foundation:

  • Lots and grounds, including grading, walks and driveway
  • Roof
  • Exterior surfaces and siding
  • Garage (attached or detached)
  • Attic and insulation
  • Bathrooms
  • Electrical system
  • Lighting control systems
  • Fireplace(s)
  • Kitchen
  • Structural components
  • Heating system
  • Air conditioning
  • Plumbing system and fixtures
  • Windows and doors
  • Interior rooms
  • Basement/crawl space

You may attend your entire home inspection or just the summary at the end. Your NPI or GPI inspector will provide you with a written inspection report that gives you a complete and accurate account of your home’s condition. The easy-to-read inspection summary and report lay out information for your use today and in the future.

Life is full of surprises, but that shouldn’t include the new home you’re purchasing. A home inspection will set your mind at ease. A home inspection by NPI or GPI is a cut above the rest.

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What Could a Home Inspector Teach Me About My Own Home?

Submitted by Dale and Tiffany Senkow, GPI Franchise Owners, Warman, SK

Senkow 1

 

1. What could possibly be wrong with this picture? There is a shed close to the house and near an air conditioner. This doesn’t appear to be much of a problem. However, it in fact is.

 

 

Senkow 2

 

In Calgary, SK, there’s a bi-law that states that a storage shed can’t be within 2 ft. of a gas line. If you stand in front of your gas metre and look directly down the path of it, you should not see any large obstructions, such as storage sheds.

 

 

2. In this picture, you see an electrical panel. This issue is actually a potential danger, but home owners live with it daily. Does your electrical panel look similar to this?

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The panel is sideways! This allows the breakers to trip more easily. If a breaker on the top was overloaded it could spark and trip the breaker below. Gravity could also affect the breakers.

Senkow 4

 

3. Here is another commonly overlooked issue: Have you ever noticed this on a home? Do you know the current condition of your gutters?

This gutter is full of leaves. Not only does this affect the effectiveness of the gutter system but it also puts unnecessary weight on the gutter system, which could cause it to pull away from the home.

 

 

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4. How about this dryer vent? What could ever go wrong with a dryer vent?

The screen on this particular dryer vent actually catches the lint instead of it easily dispersing into the air. The lint could build up and block the cover from operating.

 

 

Senkow 6

 

5. How about this handy shoe spot? What could possibly be dangerous about this, you may wonder. Well, to a small child it could look like an adventurous place to play. A baby or toddler might explore this area. However, there is a hidden danger to this area.

 

 

Senkow 7

 

 

More than just shoes could fall from here.

 

 

 

This article is intended to show you some of the simple things a home inspector may teach you. Please leave a comment if you enjoyed any part of this article.

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Is Your Home Ready for Fall?

Autumn House_shutterstock_115567654Autumn is upon us, and there are many things you should be doing around the house to prepare for the cooler weather of winter. Here’s our handy checklist:

  • After leaves have fallen, clean the gutters to keep water flowing away from the house.
  • Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets/bibs, drain and store hoses, and shut off the water.
  • Check caulking anywhere two different materials meet. Specifically, check wood siding joining the foundation wall and where window or door trim meets the siding.
  • Check for broken or cracked glass and damaged screens or storm windows.
  • Insulate pipes in crawl spaces and attics.
  • Have the chimney flue inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Also, inspect the damper.
  • Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures.
  • Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone.
  • Clean, repair and store outdoor furniture.
  • Trim tree branches that hang over the roof or gutters.
  • Mulch around bulbs, shrubs and trees to prevent drastic soil temperature change from destroying plant root systems.
  • Check the reversing/safety mechanism on garage door operators.
  • Inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles and repair.
  • If you have a pool, check the pool cover for damage and repair or replace if necessary.
  • Make sure the seal between your garage door and the ground is tight. Add a layer of weather stripping if necessary.
  • Have your heating system inspected and cleaned by a certified professional, and remember to change your furnace filters regularly.
  • Change the direction of ceiling fans to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
  • Test and change the batteries in all smoke detectors.
  • Empty all soil from outdoor pots and planters.
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It’s Never Too Late to Change Careers

Picture2Tired of the corporate grind or working for someone else, encore entrepreneurs — those over 50 who plan on working through their retirement — are looking at changing careers by going into business for themselves. Oftentimes, this involves starting a franchise business.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), one in four individuals between the ages of 44 and 70 are interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and this is one of the fastest-growing groups in the United States.

If you’re a member of this group, then now is a great time to explore your options for owning your own business. National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada have plenty of open territories where you can start your own residential and commercial property inspection business. We offer an intensive, comprehensive training program, and our home office staff in Omaha, Nebraska, will help you every step of the way as you build your business.

Named a top low-cost franchise by Franchise Business Review, National Property Inspections, Inc., scored outstanding with 4.1 stars on our 2014 franchisee satisfaction survey — click here to read the survey summary. In addition, National Property Inspections, Inc., is listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2014 Franchise 500 and the magazine’s top low-cost franchises list.

Ready to start your new career with NPI or GPI? Contact Julie Erickson at 800.333.9807, Ext. 24, or email julie.erickson@npiweb.com for more information.

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Don’t Let Your Builder’s Warranty Expire Without Getting Your Home Inspected

ÁþVIf you built your home or bought a brand-new home, then it came with a 12-month builder’s warranty covering construction defects. But would you know if your dream house was harboring defects? You would if you got an 11th-month builder’s warranty, or if you had the house inspected at closing time.

If you had your new home inspected at closing time, great job. If you didn’t — thinking as most people do that new homes don’t need to be inspected — then now may be a good time to get that inspection, before your builder’s warranty expires. Even if your builder is outstanding and reputable, subcontractors performed a lot of the work, and you don’t necessarily know their reputation.

You’d be amazed at some of the common defects that our NPI and GPI inspectors find on brand-new homes:

  • Cut trusses in the roof system, which can cause a sagging room and structural instability
  • Improper or missing caulking around windows, which allows air and moisture to enter the home, potentially resulting in wood rot, mold problems and higher energy bills
  • Insufficient amounts of insulation in the ceiling or attic, which affects energy costs and the comfort of the home
  • Reversed polarity in electrical outlets, which is a fire and shock hazard
  • Roof covering or flashing improperly installed, which could cause a leaking roof, damaging ceilings and causing possible mold growth

Defects like these and others that are found before the expiration of the builder’s warranty can be fixed at no cost to you as the homeowner, as they are covered under the builder’s 12-month warranty. So don’t delay; order your builder’s warranty inspection before your warranty expires.

To find an NPI/GPI inspector in your area, visit http://npiweb.com/FindAnInspector/tabid/80/Default.aspx in the United States, or http://gpiweb.ca/FindAnInspector/tabid/157/Default.aspx in Canada.

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NPI and GPI Welcome Four New Franchise Owners in July

Picture2National Property Inspections, Inc., parent company of National Property Inspections in the United States and Global Property Inspections in Canada, is excited to announce four new business owners who will take the company’s brand to new areas:

  • Russ Leap is from Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and his franchise territory will cover Fayette and Somerset Counties in south central Pennsylvania.
  • Jon McCreath hails from Acworth, Georgia, with franchise territory covering Bartow, Cherokee and Paulding counties northwest of Atlanta.
  • Dragan Milanovic is from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and his franchise territory will cover Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
  • Doug Stoner is from Lititz, Pennsylvania, with franchise territory covering Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

“We’re thrilled to have these new franchisees on board with NPI and GPI,” said Roland Bates, president of National Property Inspections, Inc. “Each of these business owners has worked very hard to make his dream of owning his own business a reality, and we will be with them every step of the way as they build their businesses.”

Each of these new business owners completed the 120-hour intensive training program in July 2014 at the National Property Inspections, Inc., headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, and is now undergoing field training with another NPI/GPI business owner.

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NPI and GPI Welcome New Business Owners and Employees

We really are like a family at National Property Inspections and Global Property Inspections, and we get excited when we have new business owners to welcome to the family as they bring NPI and GPI to new areas of North America. Please help us welcome the following new business owners and employees to our family.

  • Gary Drenning, Hollidaysburg, Pa., NPI franchise owner
  • Scott Hoenig, Mansfield, Texas, NPI franchise owner
  • Ken Roleke, Tucson, Ariz., NPI franchise owner
  • Tim Shuford, Jamestown, N.C., NPI franchise owner
  • Dean Walter, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, employee of GPI franchise owner Gerry Millen
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I Want to Speak to the President

Submitted by Roland Bates, President, National Property Inspections/Global Property Inspections

RolandPicemail sizeAs the president of the company, I get a variety of phone calls. One thing I’ve learned is when the caller asks, “Are you the president of the company?” 99 percent of the time it’s a complaint call. Occasionally a complaint is warranted. Oftentimes they are not, and despite my best effort to sound insightful, the first word out of my mouth is, “Huh,” followed by a struggle to find the right words. What follows are a few examples of those calls:

Buyer/Caller: I am so upset with the inspector. He is so dumb … The toilet was leaking and he told me, “You’ll have to fix that.” I am a single mom. What makes him think I know how to fix a toilet?

President: I don’t think he meant you personally. I think he meant you should hire a plumber.

Buyer/Caller: Oh.

 

Caller/Realtor: I refer him lots of inspections and he just insults me very much.

President: What did he do to insult you, sir?

Caller/Realtor: He invited me to an outdoor dinner and told me to bring my own chair. If I invite him to my house, I let him sit on my chair!

President: He must like you and has paid you a compliment by inviting you to his cookout. He must not have enough chairs for all his quests and doesn’t want you to stand. So, he has asked you to bring your own chair.

Caller/Realtor: You take his side … [click].

 

Seller/Caller: I just got a copy of the inspector’s report, and I am very upset about what he said.

President: What did he say to upset you, sir?

Seller/Caller: He said my electric panel is unsafe and should be replaced.

President: Are you saying it doesn’t need replaced?

Seller/Caller: I know it needs to be replaced, I’m an electrician! I want to know who’s going to pay for it.

President: I’m not sure I know how to help you, sir. That’s something you’ll need to negotiate with the buyer.

Seller/Caller: Where did you say you are?

President: I’m in Omaha, Nebraska.

Seller/Caller: Nebraska? So you’re one of them corn-heads. That figures … [click].

 

Relocating Employee/Caller: My wife and I both work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and we’re going to have you and your company investigated by the Pentagon.

President: And why would you want to have us investigated, sir? (It’s hard to know what he said next. I was too busy thinking, “What does someone who tracks the planting of soybeans have to do with the Pentagon?)

Relocating Employee/Caller: I know the roof is pretty old, and it does leak here and there, but what gives some inspector the right to call my roof defective?

President: If I’m hearing you correctly, sir, aren’t you also calling your roof defective? (Apparently we were not in agreement on this point because he started yelling obscenities.)

At any rate, he must have been serious about the Pentagon investigating me. Every time I drive somewhere cars follow me.

I have to go now. My phone’s ringing.

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NPI Annual Conference 2013

This Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th we will be having our annual company conference in Omaha, NE. Every November franchisees from throughout Canada and the U.S. come to Omaha to learn about new technology, developments in the inspection industry, and how NPI and GPI are doing. We love it whenever National Property and Global Property Inspections franchisees visit. It’s our time to see old friends and welcome new ones. It’s going to be a great conference.

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Welcome To The Family!

John McKnight of Kensington, CA, Dennis Twigg of Garden Plain, KS, and Nick Eaton of Cambridge, ON are all new franchisees with NPI/GPI. Congratulations John, Dennis and Nick, and welcome to NPI and GPI!

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