The Importance Of PPI

Once you've found the car that you think is "the one," it's tempting to rush through the buying process so you can get into the driver's seat as soon as possible. But before you fully commit, there's one more important step you need to make and that's to take the car for a pre-purchase inspection (PPI).

What is a PPI?

A PPI is performed by a qualified and licensed mechanic or auto technician, who will give the vehicle a thorough inspection to determine the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of the car. The PPI usually costs around $100 to $200, depending on the service centre and the extent of the inspection, and can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the car. Many quality service centres also conduct a test drive to see what's happening with the car when it's in motion.

Where can I get one?

They should also be open to you taking the vehicle for an inspection by an independent mechanic. As a consumer, it's your right to have a PPI and usually a non-binding offer to purchase and a refundable deposit are considered acceptable pre-conditions to an inspection. If you are getting the inspection done offsite, or you're dealing with a private seller then ideally, you'll want to take the vehicle to a mechanic that you already have a great relationship with. A pre-purchase inspection is the final step to making sure the car you're considering is the right vehicle for you. By arming yourself with information from a PPI report, you can be confident about the history of the vehicle as well as its current state.

A PPI is performed by a qualified and licensed mechanic or auto technician, who will give the vehicle a thorough inspection to determine the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of the car. The PPI usually costs around $100 to $200, depending on the service centre and the extent of the inspection, and can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, depending on the car. Many quality service centres also conduct a test drive to see what's happening with the car when it's in motion.

Do You Need A Home Inspection?

A man doing a home inspectionIf you’re buying a home, before you sign that contract and close that deal, one of the things you need to do is have the home inspected by a professional home inspector. Look, it’s not cheap to buy a home so why would you spend an additional $350 or $400 when you don’t even need to for a home inspection? In this article, we’ll get into why you can’t skip home inspection, even if you can:

You can use it as contingency What do I mean by that? It means that you can walk away from your purchase offer, free of penalty, if the home inspection report reveals that there are major or serious damages in the house. You do have the right to do that especially if there are significant defects in the house.

If you really like the house, you can either ask the owner to have it repaired first before you buy it. You can also negotiate to reduce the cost of the property at a level you’re comfortable to pay, considering the repair that needs to be done in the house. So basically, this is one of way of protecting yourself from buying a house that might not be worth the money.

What home inspectors examine Do know that not all inspectors have the same level of competence, knowledge, ability, thoroughness and experience. Some may be better than others. That’s just how it is. However, a good home inspector should examine the areas that you want to have examined, then give you a report that details his or her findings.

Depending on the size of the house and the areas that need to be examined, home inspection can last for 2-3 hours. No matter how long the process is, make sure that you, the buyer, should go along the inspector. That way you will get a firsthand explanation of his or her findings and you can also ask questions relevant to his or her findings. Being able to see the problems and getting an explanation firsthand, more often than not, makes more sense than just looking at a series of pictures and reading through a series of never-ending texts in the report.

In the report, the inspector notes:

  • If the problem that he or she uncovered is a safety issue or a major/minor defect
  • What needs to be replaced, repaired or serviced
  • Which items are okay for now but needs to be monitored closely, such as the aging air conditioning system. There’s no way of knowing when an item will break down so this is why this information is relevant – to give you a heads up and remove unwanted surprises.
These are the SOPs. However, if you’re lucky enough to work with a great inspector, then he will also tell you about routine maintenance that must be done.

To give you a general idea of what to expect, here are other things that home inspectors will typically check:

  1. Exterior • Exterior walls • Foundation • Grading • Garage or carport • Roof

  2. Interior • Plumbing • Electrical • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) • Water heater • Kitchen appliances • Laundry room • Fire safety • Bathrooms

Home Inspection Checklist For Some DIY Inspection

A man inspecting a house for damages and defectsHomes are subject to decay and rotting over time. To avoid this, you need to have your home inspected. You can do your own regular inspection at home using this hand checklist. This should help you prevent small problems from growing out of control.

What do you need? 1. The checklist – Make sure you print this out 2. Gloves 3. Flashlight 4. Screwdrivers – flathead and Phillips

What are the places to check? 1. Your attic 2. All living spaces 3. Your basement

 

What are you looking for?

1. Rotting wood

Check out the joist ends and sill plates and see for evidence of rotting. Usually, areas with soft spots are prone to rotting –wet or dry rot. So make sure that you don’ skip these areas. Also, you can use your screwdriver and ice pick to check these areas.

2. Holey joists

Sometimes the floor joint’s strength can be compromised due to poorly placed notches and drill holes. So check for these problems. The rule of thumb is that there should be no holes or notches in top or bottom flanges of an I-joist. As to the framing, big holes are acceptable I the center but it should not be at the ends.

Also check and make sure that the drill holes are 2 inches in from top or bottom. It should not be more than 1/3 the depth of an I-joist.

The notches must not be greater than 1/6 of its depth or penetrate the center third of the joint span.

3. Check for presence of termites

If there are termites, you would see presence of snake-like tubes along your joints. If you spot these tubes, it’s better to call the exterminator and do it fast!

4. Your heater is making some noise

Your heater may hoard sediments and over time they manifest themselves. So if you start hearing your water heater gurgle or snap, that’s the best time to drain out the sediment. If you don’t know how to do this, call a pro to do it for you. Flushing it with 3 to 4 gallons of water can lengthen the life of your heater.

5. Cracks on your foundation

This is very important and should not be missed. However, hairline cracks shouldn’t cause you to panic. But when you see cracks that are either horizontal or vertical and are growing, then you should take note of that. I would suggest you call a pro before it gets bigger or wider, much more when they’re already unnaturally wide.

Home Inspection Shortcomings and Post-Inspection

Learn about what you should do after a home inspection

Home inspection is usually done before a home buyer buys a house, when the seller wants to make sure the property is in tip top shape before selling it, or when homeowners want to check damages in their house.

While home inspection is the best way to go to check defects in the foundation and other items in the house, it’s not really a full-proof process. The inspector may not always identify everything that’s not right with the property. Remember that inspectors only check for visual cues. But if the cues cannot be seen, then the inspector may not be able to identify possible damages.

For example, is there’s a problem with your door, let’s say it does not close properly, or your floors are slanted, then there’s a possibility that this integrity issue has resulted to some cracks in your foundation. However, these cracks may not be seen or identified unless you pull up all the flooring in the house. Your home inspector cannot really tell for sure if there are indeed cracks and what is the extent of the damage.

Another shortcoming is that inspectors are generalists. This means that, they can only tell you what’s wrong with your plumbing system but they won’t be able to fix it. It’s either they will recommend a third party to do the job or you can call your plumber to fix it for you. They will also give you an estimate as to how much it may cost you to have it fixed.

What does this mean for you? Additional cost.

Home inspectors cannot fix termite problems or thoroughly check termite presence in your house unless he has a license to do that. Typically, they will also recommend a third party to do that, which means one thing –additional cost too.

 

So what do you do after the inspection? Your home inspector will provide you with a detailed report of the result of the inspection. So what do you do with it?

  • As a home buyer, you can walk away from the deal if there are major damages that might be too expensive to fix so long as the contract has an inspection contingency.
  • You have the option to ask the seller to have the damages fixed. If not, then negotiate for a lower price. Don’t forget to take into consideration the price that you’ll have to pay if you’re going to be the one to fix it.
  • Let’s say the property is owned by the bank and is sold as-is, then get estimates on how much it will cost you to have it repaired. Then create a plan for repairs. You can start with the most important and affordable to fix.

Questions To ask a home inspector

Ask your home inspectors the right questionsQuestion 1: How much does a home inspection cost? The cost of home inspection varies, depending on the company, the size of your home and the areas that the inspector needs to check. Typically, it’s around the area of $300 to $450, more or less. I would not recommend that you opt for the inspector that quotes the cheapest. Yes, you might be able to save $100, but it may cost you thousands in the end.

Home inspection may not seem relevant now but trust me, it’s one of the best and biggest investments in your life.

Also, apart from the initial quote, there might be additional charge for the following inspections:

• Wood destroying insects • Radon • Water testing • Lead testing • Septic inspection

Before you call a home inspection company, be sure you know the following information: • Square footage of your house • The number of living spaces in your house • The areas you want to have inspected

 

Question 2: What is your experience? Experience is very important. The more they spend on the field, the better they are at doing their job. Experience is the best teacher, right? Find a company with inspectors who have years and years of experience. And make sure that you ask for references so you can talk to their previous clients and ask about the company’s performance while working on their property.

 

Question 3: Are you licensed? Before you ask this question, make sure that you’ve done your research. First, you need to ask about the licensing requirements in your area. Once you’re sure of this, then you can call up some home inspection companies. Also, don’t forget to ask to see the license just to be sure about it. Reputable companies are more than happy to show them to you.

 

Question 4: Are you fully insured (errors and omissions insurance)? Home inspection companies should be covered by insurance not just to protect themselves but also to protect you. You see, if accidents happen while working in your property and they’re not insured, you’re liable to pay for their hospital bills. Also, if they make wrong judgement calls and cause damage to your property, then it’s just right that they pay for it. However, if they’re not covered by insurances, then that’s not possible. So make sure that you ask this question and more importantly, you have to see the documents.

 

Question 5: what does the inspection cover? Typically, a home inspection involves examination of the foundation of your house, plumbing, heating and electrical structures. They will basically inspect your entire home for any signs of threat to its integrity.

 

Question 6: Are you going to give me a report? Reputable home inspectors will provide a detailed report after the inspection. It will include all the details that you need to know about the defects and problems in the house.

Purchasing a home is a huge investment and it’s really crucial to hire a home inspector prior to closing any deal. You should know if the house you’re buying is in tip-top shape. Otherwise, why buy it? Hiring a home inspector will allow you to negotiate for a better deal in case there are problems in the house. But also make sure that you hire a good inspector. He must be precise and should do a thorough and exhaustive inspection.

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