Home Inspection Cost- What to Consider When Choosing a Home Inspection Company

If you are in the process of buying a home, you are no doubt counting the cost of every decision you make...

Now you have just been informed that you are going to NEED to get a home inspection and you are left wondering: "How much is this home inspection going to cost me?"

That is a good question to ask, because how much you spend on a home inspection could also help you to determine what you will have to spend on the home after closing and over the next few years. How is that, you may ask? 

Because in a good home inspection, there are a lot of variables. Home inspectors do not do invasive testing to be able to see behind walls or under carpets, but a good inspector will still be able to prepare you for what could lie ahead. 

 

Think about a home inspector like one of your favorite detective shows. You always have that one detective on the show that has seen it all and knows exactly what to do next and where to look for clues.... they know this because they have been trained by another good detective or have had years of experience. But there is also that other detective, the one who isn't as passionate about his job and doesn't know what he doesn't know... that guy is always getting himself into trouble!

What is the point? 

The point is that home inspecting is a little bit of an art. Inspectors have to be trained very thoroughly to be that good detective we all know and love.  

 

So the point is that you get what you pay for, and, no doubt, as you are about to make one of the largest investments of your life, you want the BEST - even if the best does cost you $50-100 more.


"The Average home owner spends $1,000-$5,000 a year in repairs and maintenance" 

If your inspector potentially saves you thousands every year you own your home, wouldn't an additional $50-100 bucks be worth it? 

What your Home Inspector should be an expert in:

  • Electrical
  • Heating 
  • Plumbing
  • Structure
  • Roof 
  • Foundation

A home inspection that is cheaper, but does not bring to the table expert advice in any of these areas could end up costing you several thousand in the long haul. 

Lets look at a few ways that choosing the right home inspector could save you thousands:

  • Average price of replacing a roof: $4500 - $9000 (Depending on size)
  • Average Price of replacing a Furnace: $1900 - $3000
  • Average Price of replacing a Water Heater: $800+ (Depending on size and efficiency)

Now, let's look at what a home inspection will cost:

  • Average price of a Home Inspection: around $350 (Depending on the size of the home)

"IF THE HOME INSPECTION CATCHES JUST ONE OF THESE THINGS.

IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY."


We know you have a lot to consider, and we want to be your Personal Building Consultants for Life, so if you have an questions about your personal home inspection or are looking to get a quote on your home inspection, please done hesitate to call (616) 530-3240 or schedule online here.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee

 

Creme Brulee screams class (how do you like those two words together??) but is easy and relatively inexpensive - compared to what you pay for it at a restaurant!  This easy Pumpkin and Spice recipe, adapted from BakingAMoment.com, is a great addition to the autumn pumpkin craze!  Adding fresh ginger instead of dried gives this pumpkin a little kick . . . and a good health salute!  Try it and let me know what you think!!! I insert a + sign to the spices because I think you have to be somewhat generous to bring the flavor out - but don't go crazy!!

INGREDIENTS:

·         4 egg yolks

·         1 cup heavy cream, divided

·         3 tablespoons dark brown sugar (loosely packed)

·         a pinch of kosher salt

·         1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, or the seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

·         ½+ teaspoon ground cinnamon

·         1 teaspoon fresh finely shredded ginger

·         ¼+ teaspoon ground allspice

·           One Third cup pure pumpkin puree

·         about 4 teaspoons granulated sugar, for bruleeing

DIRECTIONS:

1.    Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

2.    Place the egg yolks in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

3.    Place half the cream in a small pot, along with the brown sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, then stir in the vanilla and spices (off the heat). Allow to steep for a few minutes, then pour in the remaining cream.

4.    Slowly and gradually add a little of the warm cream into the egg yolks, whisking. When all the cream has been added, and the yolks are warmed, run the mixture through a sieve.  This will give the creme a very silky texture that will wow your guests!  After going through the sieve, whisk in the pumpkin and transfer the mixture to a spouted container. Divide equally between (4) 4-ounce ramekins or canning jars.

5.    Pour very hot, close to boiling water in a 2 inch cake or pie pan and then place the filled ramekins in, making sure the water covers up to 2/3 the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centers are still jiggly.

6.    Remove from the water bath and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.

7.    Sprinkle about a teaspoon of granulated sugar over the surface of each custard, then brulee with a kitchen torch or under the broiler.

 

Does Water Drain Differently in Australia?

I was told, before we took our epic journey to Australia and New Zealand a few months ago, that toilets flush the reverse direction in Australia and New Zealand.  Reallllyy????

Being one who loves science, I had to investigate.  With us being a home inspection company, this might prove interesting.  As we traveled from Melbourne, to Tasmania, to Sydney, to Cairns - it didn't seem as if there was time for such an experiment.  Do you know how awesome Australia is?  And how much there is to see in a month???  Well, put it on your mind-blowing fun list to do in life.  I don't call it a bucket list, because I don't want to look at it from the perspective of dying - I want to reallllllllllly live!  Check out my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/momscouponbook) and friend me to see some of its amazingness!

I mean, we were busy hiking remote areas, holding baby wombats - which is the subject of a whole new blog entry (coming up), meeting and getting to know the culture and the incredible people of Australia!

Finally, before we left the country, I thought I would take a minute to see if toilets in Australia do indeed travel backwards.  Check out the video for yourself and tell me what you think:

Not too conclusive, right?  This had to do with the type of toilet and where the water is directed.  We can give Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti kudos for having environmentally conscious toilets, though!  But it doesn't answer the question that was originally posed!

So, I asked some of our friends in Australia to help us.  The people of Australia are lovely, and we so much appreciate and enjoy our new friends!  One of our friends on the East Coast sent us this video of their bathtub drain, and they even threw in some glitter so we could see it better!  Which direction is it going?

Counterclockwise - so, just to be sure, let's get another Aussie example.  This was another very dear friend who was willing to help out! Let's go down under on the south side of the country - Melbourne, Australia!

Again, this sink drains counterclockwise.

But how does that compare to us here, in Michigan?  Well, we had to complete this experiment!  So, we tried to drain the sink, as shown here.  Unfortunately, glitter was not something we had in stock, which again shows how cool Aussies are:

So, it does go in the opposite direction!  Just to be sure, let's see how the toilet drains.

Again, the direction is clockwise, whereas the Australia drains went counterclockwise.  Many credit this to what is called the Coriolis Effect, which Wikipedia describes: "In physics, the Coriolis effect is a deflection of moving objects when the motion is described relative to a rotating reference frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the left of the motion of the object; in one with counter-clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the right."

Some scientists, however, contend that something as small on a global scale as a toilet or a sink is not effected by the Coriolis effect, but typhoons and hurricanes - forces much larger - are an example of things that demonstrate this physics phenomenon.  So what do you think?  Certainly there can be other factors involved, but the videos provide a valid testimony to this. For more information, you can check out the Wikipedia article, ScientificAmerican.com, or go Down Under and do some research!  I choose "C"!  It is a lovely place!

Next, we will examine other important questions that plague mankind, such as, does the toilet paper roll need to have the paper over, or the paper under?  Being a little facetious here, but we will look at certain phenomena in buildings that might get us to think!  After we tell you about holding a baby wombat!

Dawn Wilder

 

 

Chocolate Covered Pomegranates

Healthy and loaded with antioxidants, this recipe, adapted from wholelifestylenutrition.com, is a wonderful treat for company or as a gift!  Let me know how fast they diappear!

First, You Will Need:

  • 1  whole pomegranate
  • 16 oz. Ghirardelli 60% Dark Cocoa Chips
  • 1 mini-muffin pan (I used a 24 muffin pan)
  • 24 muffin insert
  • Double boiler or makeshift double boiler

Instructions:

  1. Remove seeds from pomegranate and place in bowl.
  2. Place the inserts in the muffin pan.
  3. Fill each muffin insert 1/3 to 1/2 full.
  4. Bring water to a boil in bottom pan of double boiler.
  5. Place the chocolate chips in the top pan or metal bowl that fits as a double boiler.
  6. When the water in the bottom pan begins to boil, place the metal bowl or pan with chocolate chips over it, stirring continually.
  7. When all the chips are melted, pour chocolate over pomegranate in each muffin insert.  
  8. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
  9. Serve, and enjoy the chocolates!



Pumpkin Apple Cobbler

It is still pumpkin season in our home, and this super easy recipe, adapted from FleeceFun.com, packs a WOW for anyone that is a pumpkin fan!  It took me about 10-15 minutes of prep before it went in the oven!

  • 1  15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 2 large cans apple pie filling
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Combine first three ingredients and put in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in the butter and place crumble mix on top of the cobbler.
  4. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  5. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ie cream and enjoy!

Keep You and Your Family Safe During Storms and Power Outages

Just when we thought we could take no more winter last week (April 12), we get the most obvious sign of spring – storms.  Last Saturday, a mix of hail, straight line winds and possibly tornadoes swept through West Michigan in a matter of minutes and did some damage.  Thousands were without power.    

Since this won’t be the last storm this year, what can you do to keep your family safe during storms and power outages?  Things can happen quickly during the chaos of a storm or outage, and, since there are many factors involved, we are going to focus on what to do when there is a power outage.  First things first – as soon as the power goes out, make sure:·          

1.  Unplug all motor-driven appliances (refrigerators and freezers), heat-producing appliances (stoves, curling irons, etc.) and sensitive electronic equipment (televisions, stereos and computers) to minimize the danger of fire and to prevent an electrical overload when power is restored. Leave one light on so you'll know when power is restored.  Think what happened here, and prevent it.  Power surges can cause fires.

 

·         Keep refrigerator, freezer and cooler doors closed as much as possible. If power will be out for a long time, contact a dry ice distributor. Find a local dry ice distributor in your phone book or online at yellowpages.com.  Meijers often carries dry ice as well.

·         Call your gas or electrical company and have their phone number handy.  Most gas and electrical companies have a way for you to report the outage and can call you with updates automatically.

Generators

Great during a power outage, but please consider safety for your family!

Great during a power outage, but please consider safety for your family!


Carbon monoxide hazards

Never use a generator in an enclosed or partially-enclosed space. Generators can produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. Remember that you cannot smell or see CO. Even if you can't smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.

Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home.

Follow  the instructions that come with your generator. Locate the unit outdoors and away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.

Use battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer's installation instructions. Test the CO alarms and replace dead batteries.

NightHawk provides one of the best CO detectors around.

NightHawk provides one of the best CO detectors around.

 

Electrical hazards

Keep the generator dry and do not use it in rain or wet conditions. To protect from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open, canopy-like structure. Dry your hands before touching the generator.

Plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin.

Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as "backfeeding." This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.

 For best results, use an appropriate power transfer switch, installed by a professional.

 

Fire Hazards

 Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool down. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.

Never store fuel for your generator in the home. Gasoline, propane, kerosene, and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly-labeled, non-glass safety containers. Do not store them near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage.

Keep this information handy with your emergency preparedness kit.  You don’t have one, or you are overwhelmed when you think of putting one together?  Stay tuned for our next article on Emergency Preparedness.

Helpful Links:

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2003/CPSC-and-FEMA-Warn-When-A-Storm-Knocks-Out-Power-Dont-Risk-Carbon-Monoxide-Poisoning-by-Using-Gasoline-Powered-Generators-Indoors/

www.dteenergy.com

www.consumersenergy.com

www.FEMA.gov

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