Add Fire Safety To Your Family’s Routine

A family with looking at fire plan Nashville Home Inspection fire safety NashvilleLearn about Fire Safety from Nashville Home Inspector

Think of all the items you replace regularly – your cellphone, lightbulbs and even your toothbrush. But when was the last time you replaced your smoke alarm batteries, or even the alarms themselves? It’s easy to overlook, but the time to think about fire safety is now – before an emergency strikes.

 

Many assume that because they have smoke alarms in their homes, they’re protected in the event of a fire. In reality, smoke alarms need to be installed, maintained and tested regularly to ensure they’re working properly. That effort includes knowing how old smoke alarms and their batteries are, as neither lasts forever. While smoke alarm lifespan and sensing technology have improved in recent years, the fact remains that all smoke alarms – even hardwired and sealed battery models – expire after 10 years.

 

“According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or from missing or dead batteries,” said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert. “Just like other household duties, it’s important to make sure alarm maintenance and replacement and escape planning and practice become a regular, ongoing part of your family’s routine.”

 

First Alert offers the following advice to ensure your family is best protected from fire.

 

Count the alarms

In most cases, one alarm isn’t enough. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), recommends smoke alarms be installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement, as well as one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm on each level and in each sleeping area. A quick and easy way to remember is one on every level and in every bedroom.

 

Install them properly

Does your alarm ever sound when cooking? Chances are, you’ve installed the alarm too close to your appliances. An easy way to reduce false alarms and maximize coverage is to take a moment to review manufacturer guidelines and install alarms in the proper locations. Smoke alarms should generally be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms. It’s also recommended to install smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings. Remember, smoke rises, so high placement provides a direct path for detection. Lastly, don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts, where drafts might interfere with their operation.

 

Get complete coverage

In general, there are two types of fires – quick flaming and smoldering. Today’s smoke alarms are effective at detecting both but use unique technologies that make them better suited for particular locations within the home. The NFPA and other safety advocates recommend installing dual-sensor alarms like the First Alert 10-Year Battery Dual Sensor Alarm because they provide the best potential for early detection of all types of common household fires while helping to reduce the number of non-emergency alarms – all while providing a decade of protection without the need for costly and ongoing battery replacement.

 

Install and maintain

Having smoke alarms is only one part of the story. In order to function properly, all alarms must be regularly inspected and maintained. Make sure to test the alarm, by simply holding down the test button, at least once a month. Also, when testing, it’s important to clean the alarm to remove any dust or debris. This advice holds true even for newer alarms, which feature 10-year batteries, as well as hardwired alarms that feature a battery back-up. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.

 

Plan your escape

Maintaining alarms is essential to every household, but what about your escape route? Unfortunately, recent research indicates that just 25 percent of families have an escape plan that they practice regularly. To develop an effective plan, walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year and make sure to plan a meeting spot. (BPT)

For more fire safety tips, visit www.firstalert.com.


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection

Homebuying Now May Save A Lot

A couple signing paper Nashville Home Inspection Homebuying NashvilleDo the math: Homebuying now may save a lot

By: Nashville Home Inspector

 

Check out Buyer Home Inspection for more details.

It is a common misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to buy a home. Advice to wait and save a large down payment is often based on the theory that the cost of mortgage insurance (MI), which is required when you buy with a smaller down payment, should be avoided. This may not be the best advice and is, in fact, not in line with market trends, considering 60 percent of homebuyers buy with a down payment of 6 percent or less, according to the National Association of Realtors.

 

Nashville Home Inspections advise

Yes, you can qualify for a conventional mortgage with a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price. It is also true that you can reduce your monthly mortgage payment by paying for discount points at closing, but that can be 5 or 10 percent of the purchase price – not 20. And because every buyer’s situation is unique, it’s important to do the math. In today’s market, it could take a family earning the national median income up to 20 years to save 20 percent, according to calculations by U.S. Mortgage Insurers using a methodology developed by the Center for Responsible Lending; a lot can change during that time, in the family’s personal finances and in overall mortgage market trends.

 

How can buying now save you money later?

Consider you want to purchase a $235,000 home. A 5 percent down payment is $11,750 versus $47,000 in cash for 20 percent down. With a 740 credit score at today’s MI rates, your monthly MI payment would be about $110, which is added to your monthly mortgage payment until MI cancels. MI typically cancels after five years; therefore, you will only have this added cost for a short period of time versus waiting an average of 20 years to save for 20 percent.

 

With home price appreciation, today’s $235,000 home will likely cost more in the years ahead and this will also have an impact on the necessary down payment and length of time required to save for it. There are other variables in the equation too, such as interest rates. As federal rates rise, so too can the costs associated with financing a mortgage. The savings a borrower might calculate today could be altogether negated by waiting for even a few more years. Another factor is that rents are on the rise across the nation, leading to a reduced capacity for many would-be homebuyers to save for larger down payments.

 

If you decide to buy today with a low down payment mortgage option, it is true that MI is an added cost on top of mortgage principal and interest, but keep in mind that it is temporary and goes away. Again, it typically lasts about five years. Private MI can be canceled once a homeowner builds approximately 20 percent equity in the home through payments or appreciation and automatically terminates for most borrowers once he or she reaches 22 percent equity. And when MI is canceled, the monthly bill goes down. Importantly, the insurance premiums on an FHA mortgage – the 100 percent taxpayer-backed government version of mortgage insurance – cannot be canceled for the vast majority of borrowers with FHA mortgages.

 

So, do the math and let the numbers guide you. There are many online mortgage calculators that can help. Check out lowdownpaymentfacts.org to learn more.


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection services.

House Cleaning Tips For Allergy Sufferers

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Home Inspection Nashville noticed many people turn to nasal sprays and antihistamines to combat seasonal nasal allergies or hay fever, but keeping the home clean is just as important in the fight against allergies.

 

You may check Nashville Home Inspection Mold Inspection for more details.

Keep the outdoors out

While it is hard to control exposure to pollen and other triggers when outside, those with allergies can avoid bringing pollen into the house with them. Keep shoes and jackets limited to the entryway or mudroom, and shower and wash hair before bedtime to stop the spread of pollen.

 

Vacuum often

One key to minimizing allergens at home is to vacuum at least twice per week. Start by using attachments to clean surfaces up high, working down to the floor. Make sure to vacuum curtains and upholstery as well as hard surfaces, and pay extra attention to entryways and areas around windows.

 

It’s also important to select vacuum accessories that have been designed specifically to capture allergens. Arm & Hammer Premium Allergen vacuum bags are designed of synthetic material to capture even more allergens, dust and pet hair from the home’s surfaces. In addition, the brand’s HEPA filters trap particles 75 times smaller than a human hair. Including 99.97 percent of dust mite debris, animal dander, molds, and pollen. Replace bags every couple of months and filters at least every six months.

 

Wash bedding with hot water

Bedding also should be a focus when attempting to allergen-proof the home. Sheets, blankets, and comforters attract dust mites in even the cleanest environments. Wash bedding once a week in hot water to keep allergens at bay. It’s also smart to consider protective covers for mattresses and pillows to stop dust mites from getting in too deep.

 

Keep air dry

Too much moisture in the air can help dust mites thrive, and may also lead to mold. Using a dehumidifier, especially in humid climates or summer months, can help control the spread of mold and dust mites.

 

Minimize indoor plants

While plants can build ambiance in the home, some indoor plants can amplify allergy symptoms by releasing spores and other allergens into the air. For those with a green thumb who can’t live without plants at home. Make sure to research the plants that are least likely to increase pollen or mold exposure indoors.


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection services.

 

Rent VS. Own

Woman with keys in her index finger Nashville Home Inspection Rent vs. Own NashvilleRent vs. Own: Which is the right for you? Ask our Nashville Home Inspector

 

If you’re thinking of buying your first home, you’ve probably wrestled with the decision to rent or own your home – and for good reason.

 

Owning a home is a big commitment. With it comes a lot of responsibility and a long-term financial relationship.

 

But which is right for you? To answer that, let’s lean into the facts.

 

The improving housing market

Good news! Since the depths of the recession, the housing market has made a heroic comeback. That can be attributed to a number of factors, including a drop in unemployment and a stronger economy.

 

But as the housing market has recovered, it has experienced some growing pains. With a sharp increase in demand, housing supplies are being strained. This means, among other things, that prices are going up.

 

For families and individuals still recovering financially, finding affordable housing options can be difficult. This applies to home sales and rentals.

 

Making the decision

With rental and sales markets heading toward record highs, the decision falls back to what is best for you. Specifically, what is financially feasible.

 

Let’s look at the basic numbers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median gross rent paid from 2012 to 2016 was $949 monthly. Compare that with the median selected monthly owner costs with a mortgage, which was $1,491 over the same time period.

 

Then there are utilities. The median monthly electricity cost for renters in 2015 was $82, with owners paying $117. For piped gas, the median amount renters pay monthly is $42, while owners pay $58.

 

For renters, it is wise to carry renter’s insurance. Some landlords will also charge maintenance and other fees. Utility costs will also vary depending on the quality of the structure and materials used as well as the size of the rental space.

 

Homeowners will pay property taxes, insurance and an estimated $500 annually for routine maintenance, according to the Census Bureau.

 

The benefits of homeownership

At a glance, it may seem that renting is the lower cost option. But there are certain benefits to homeownership that may offset the additional regular costs. According to the Tax Policy Center, the primary benefit of owning a home is imputed rental income. Simply put, making a monthly payment on a home that you own is like paying rent to yourself.

 

While that money is not taxed, it comes with another benefit – potential tax deductions. When you file your federal taxes, you may be able to deduct a portion of the mortgage interest you pay. Talk to a tax professional for more information on the expenses you can deduct and the limits for those deductions.

 

Beyond the numbers

Homeownership provides a variety of benefits beyond the numbers. For many people, a home is the largest investment they will ever make. The upgrades, work, and care put into the home that you own can add value to your investment. It also adds a sense of pride knowing that it is yours.

 

“Having a place to call your own, a place to return to at the end of the day, makes life better,” said Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc. President Eric Hamilton. “You can see it from the moment they make the decision – that sense of pride. It’s a life-changing event and a memory that will last a lifetime.” (BPT)


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection services.

Smart Home Update 2018

LG Smart Refrigerator Nashville Home Inspection Smart home update 2018 NashvilleNashville Home Inspection Smart home update 2018: New products that organize your life through voice

 

The artificial intelligence that’s already taking the world by storm is ramping up even more in 2018. Enabling a number of innovative new smart home tools that can make your life easier. More comfortable or just more fun.

 

Throughout the year, consumers worldwide are expected to spend $102 billion on hardware, services, and installation. Related to smart home systems, an amount expected to ramp up to $157 billion by 2022. The number of connected things installed in smart cities by next year? Nearly 1.1 billion, predicts Statista. Increasingly, people will enjoy the convenience of being able to monitor and control their surroundings. The simple touch or a few words of direction. In fact, a 2017 study found 24 percent of consumers already own a voice-controlled device. Another 20 percent plan to purchase one in the next year.

 

“Pretty much anything can be made smart these days,” notes Bernard Marr in Forbes. “For our homes, there are obvious smart products like TVs and less obvious ones, like yoga mats that track your Downward Dog. We can carry out a whole range of tasks on the move simply by touching a screen.”

 

Some of the hottest smart home products that have recently debuted:

 

* LG’s entire line of OLED TVs is now AI enabled. They also let you speak right into the remote control so, with one word, you can check weather reports, search for content from over-the-air or streaming sources (including Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or YouTube), order items through Google or even control other IoT devices within your network. Even better, LG Electronics has invented a next-generation OLED TV that combines the most powerful A9 Intelligent Processor created with Atmos audio technology. The result? The LG SIGNATURE OLED TV W8 offers stunningly clear and detailed pictures, cinema-quality sound and ultra-fast response times.

 

* Seeking the smartest refrigerator on the market? The Wi-Fi-enabled LG ThinQ InstaView is the first to offer built-in Amazon Alexa that responds to your spoken directions. Creating to-do lists and grocery lists, ordering the groceries themselves, controlling your refrigerator settings, playing the music of your choice and otherwise stepping up to make your life easier. A convenient touchscreen panel lets you instantaneously peruse the weather, recipes, shopping sites or the contents of your fridge – without losing energy by opening the door.

 

* Hands-free speakers with voice-activated assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo. Helping tens of millions of people worldwide efficiently manage their lives by interacting on command with everything from home appliances to entertainment systems to information sources to online shopping venues.

What’s for dinner?

Recipe apps like SideChef and Innit already deliver fast and intelligent answers to that age-old question, giving everything needed to plan and prepare the next meal. Voice-controlled AI takes this to the next level. Innit is now connected to some models of smart ovens, and for SideChef that feature is coming online in 2018. What does that mean for home chefs? When they speak to the oven to start heating, it will already know those roasted veggies need 25 minutes in a 425-degree oven.

 

* In its latest version, the Bluetooth music headset that may already be a staple of your life allows you to access the Google Assistant by voice so you can instantly access a range of functions beyond just music. The LG TONE PLATINUM SE lets you request and receive notifications and answers to questions, send text or audio messages and more while you’re on the go.

 

Thanks to the continual evolution of technology, we can start the new year with fun new products aimed at making our lives more efficient, organized and enjoyable. And that pattern should only continue into the future.

 

“Already, many of us wake up in our ‘smart beds’ to a Bluetooth-connected alarm clock that communicates with our WiFi-enabled speakers,” notes marketing consultant A.J. Agrawal in Entrepreneur. “Soon, all our devices – microwaves, washing machines and even bird feeders – will be connected to the web. With geospatial data from all of our devices, tech-savvy companies will be able to optimize and automate systems. Eradicating inefficiencies caused by human error.” (BPT)


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection services.

Home Features For Retirees

Senior couple sitting in house deck - Nashville  Home Inspection Home Features For Retirees Nashville TNNashville Home Inspection 5 must-have home features for retirees

As we move through the different stages in our lives, our housing needs change too. The home you were excited to move into in your 30s might not be ideal for those now nearing retirement.

 

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, between 2015 and 2035, the number of people over the age of 75 living alone will nearly double from 6.9 million to 13.4 million. Being prepared for retirement and aging is important, so we’re going to take a closer look at the specific housing features that would most benefit those who are looking to downsize or find that perfect home to “age in.”

 

1. Walk-in showers

Installing a walk-in bathtub or large shower is a good idea for ease and safety. Having extra room to move is not only aging-friendly but a timeless trend that is easy to maintain. Clayton, one of America’s largest homebuilders, features optional walk-in showers with benches that are available in many of their homes. This is a feature that’s great at any age.

2. Wide doors and hallways

Spacious doors and wide hallways do the double duty of making your home look great while providing enough space to maneuver a wheelchair or walker through if needed.

 

3. Open floor plans

A home design trend that is perfect for any homeowner age is an open floor plan. But for boomers, an open floor plan is more than just an aesthetic feature. Having wide spaces that allow you to move around is essential to maintaining your independence as you grow older. It also helps add more natural light and is ideal when gathering with family and friends.

 

4. Low maintenance

Fixing up an older home with good bones might look fun on TV, but it’s not something you will want to deal with in your retirement. Rather than trying to troubleshoot problem after problem, look for a newly constructed home. Not only will you have fewer maintenance issues, but you can design a flexible floor plan that fits your lifestyle.

 

5. A customizable floor plan

The features listed so far are part of what is commonly known as age-in-place design. These home features work for people of all ages but are designed so you can age into them. In addition, make sure the home you purchase is single-story and fits the lifestyle you want for your future.

 

As you grow older, you realize there is no one, perfect dream home. Rather, there are different dream homes for different stages of your life. At Clayton, we know one home model does not fit all, and that is why we offer a range of models and designs that are easily customizable, affordable and stylish, allowing you to get the most out of your silver years. (BPT) – Sponsored ad content by Clayton Homes


Nashville Home Inspection logoNashville Home Inspection has been providing Home Buyer InspectionHome Seller’s InspectionBuilder’s Warranty, Certified Move-In Ready, Mold Testing and Radon Testing to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Gallatin and the surrounding areas since 1999. Meet our home inspector Nashville team to help you with these home inspection services.

3 Essential Home Maintenance Tasks To Keep A Clean Home Happening

vacuuming, a essential home maintenance taskHelpful information from Nashville Home Inspection

Today’s typical family home is a buzzing hub of activity where meals are cooked, homework is done and family game nights are contested.

In the background of it all: the home appliances that keep home life moving along.

Focusing on a few home maintenance tasks can keep home appliances performing efficiently and effectively. Here are your essential top 3 on the list: [Read more…]

4 Steps On How To Avoid Cold Weather Woes

Article courtesy of Nashville Home Inspection

As sweater season knocks on the door, it’s time to prepare for the brisk temperatures ahead.

This winter, keep your home, health and well-being top of mind with these 4 simple tips on how to avoid cold weather woes: [Read more…]

6 Tips To Make Your Bathroom Sellable and Enjoyable At The Same Time

sell it or enjoy it 6 bathroom tipsFrom your friends at Nashville Home Inspection

When it comes time to sell your home, not all rooms are created equal.

Sure, potential buyers will walk through the entire house, but their opinion of a few primary rooms can ultimately determine whether they choose to offer or walk.

Your bathroom(s) — especially your master bathroom — are among these key rooms.

As you prepare to put your home on the market, it’s time to take an honest look at these spaces. What do the bathrooms say about your house? Do they say “buy me now” or “no thanks”?

If it’s the latter, then it’s time for a few home improvements that will turn the sale of your house from stale to sold. [Read more…]

How to Winterize Your Home in 3 Easy Steps

Helpful information from Nashville Home Inspection

While temperatures across the country are still mild, major snowfall in some parts of the country has given some Americans a bitter taste of what to expect this winter.

Depending on where you live, winter may mean cooler, rainy days or lake-effect snow with four feet of the white stuff at your door.

Every fall, homeowners across the country take all the precautionary steps to winterize their homes to protect against burst water pipes as well as improve their overall comfort throughout the colder months.

[Read more…]