Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Tune Up Checklist


Fall is here and HomeTeam Inspection Service has a list of tips and areas that you can homeowners can check to ensure that their home is well prepared and more energy efficient as the winter months approach. 

1. Examine Your Home’s Foundation 
  • Examine crawlspace for standing water, mold, or fungus 
  • Install vapor barrier for crawlspace 
  • Check for cracks in basement walls 
  • Identify basement leaks 
  • Check for proper insulation in basement and crawlspace 
 
2. Inspect the Framing and Exterior 
  • Reseal brickwork every five to eight years 
  • Caulk around windows, doors, utility line entrances, and vents 
  • Look for signs of insect activity, especially in crawlspace framing and around floor-framing perimeter 
  • Secure any loose sections of vinyl or aluminum siding and replace damaged sections when appropriate 
  • If necessary, retrofit insulation into sidewalls and attic floors 
 
3.   Check for Problems on Your Roof
  • Clean gutters and downspouts and make sure they are securely attached 
  • Check for missing or cracked shingles 
  • Look for signs of a leaking roof
  • Observe chimney and flu stack for visible damage 
  • Be sure all bath, kitchen, and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic.
 
4. Look Over Any Electrical Wiring 
  • Check outdoor recepts to make sure they are water tight 
  • Change or install bulbs in any outdoor light sockets 
  • Upgrade faulty wiring 
  • Set up GFCI recepts by sinks, lavatories, garage and outdoor receptacles 
  • Contact an electrician if you constantly blow fuses or trip circuit breakers 
 
5. Investigate the Plumbing in Your Home 
  • Put away garden hose and shut off hose bibs 
  • Insulate water supply lines and water heater 
  • Fix slow drip leaks and leaky valves 
  • Install temperature and pressure valves 
  • Tighten any loose fixture attachments
 
6. Take Time to Observe the HVAC 
  • Cover your air conditioner 
  • Tightly seal all ductwork seams with foil tape 
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors or check for battery life 
  • Clean flues from the furnace, water heater, and fireplace 
  • Have a heating contractor inspect and ready your heating system 
 
The above suggestions may require professional assistance to ensure proper installation. To maintain a safe home for you and your family, order a whole home inspection by The HomeTeam Inspection Service, the professional leader in residential home inspections. Our team of expert home inspectors will provide you with a thorough evaluation, covering over 400 points inside and outside of your home. For peace of mind, trust the HomeTeam.

Friday, September 21, 2012

HomeTeam featured on Ocala.com


HomeTeam Inspection Service was recently featured on Ocala.com in an article titled, "Home inspection services on the rise in Marion County." The story dicusses the resurgence of home sales and prices in Marion County, and then details the Home Team servicing the county and surrounding areas. Owner Danny Blankenship talks about the service and also shares stories of some of his odder home inspection encounters. Click here to read the entire story.

Home inspection services on the rise in Marion County
By: Carlos E. Medina

Home sales and prices have seen a resurgence in Marion County recently. The positive signs are good news to more than just homeowners and real estate agents.

Home inspection services are among the other ancillary real estate businesses that were hard hit during the financial crisis.

“We’ve seen some positive movement in the local market. Hopefully, that will continue. There are a lot of great homes out there at very good prices,” said Danny Blankenship, who owns a HomeTeam Inspections franchise that covers Marion, Citrus, Lake and Sumter counties.

In July, the median sales price for a single-family home in Marion County increased to $94,000, nearly 12 percent higher than in July 2011. The number of single-family homes available dropped to 3,368, down 21.4 percent compared with the same month a year ago.

Ken Wilson, who owns a Pillar to Post home inspection franchise in Ocala, also has seen business improve a bit, but he also sees a growing number of buyers routinely skipping the home inspection.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Getting Creative With The Kitchen

When it comes to selling a home, no room in the house seems to have more importance than the kitchen. "Sometimes the kitchen is a dealbreaker, especially when there's so much on the market for buyers to choose from," says Tampa Realtor Susanna Madden. "They want a lot of cabinet space and they like wood cabinets. White cabinets are outdated. They want granite countertops. Most prefer an open kitchen versus a galley kitchen. They like tile flooring in the kitchen. They like things that are clean, pretty, neat, not cluttered, eye-catching. Like what you see in a model home." Those are some pretty high standards. And if you're considering bringing your kitchen up to that level, here's a couple of "dos" and "don'ts" you need to consider.

DO: Fully plan out the remodel before starting. This will probably be the only shot you get at fixing up this house's kitchen. Carefully consider the space you're working in as well as the amount of time you're willing to have this crucial part of your home out of commission.

DON'T: Understimate unforseen factors. With so many appliances, electrical, and plumbing merging in one room, there's bound to be some complications. Make sure you give yourself enough time and money to see this project through to the end.

DO: Consider doing some of the work yourself to cut down on costs. Even if you hire a professional to do most of the job, there are some parts you can probably do yourself.

DON'T: Be afraid to call in professionals if the job gets to big. A project this large can easily overwhelm you. In the long run, it might be easier on your wallet and sanity to just bring in outside help to finish the remodel.

Due to the safety risks involved in home improvements and repairs, we recommend that home owners hire a professional home repairman to handle the home improvement projects and tips listed above if they don't have much experience doing so.

Friday, August 3, 2012

How to Increase Your Home Value This Summer

By Dave Ward, eHow.com Member

The summer is the perfect time to consider how to increase your home value since most of your outdoor repairs, maintenance, and upgrades are more pleasant during the summer. Consider these ideas:

  • Spruce up the landscaping around your home.
  • Give your outdoor paint job a touch up.
  • Pressure wash and treat your deck.
  • Add outdoor living space to your home.
  • Brighten your indoor living spaces.
  • Above all, make your home stand out.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Make The Most Out of Your Outside Time This Summer

Temperatures are rising, flowers are blooming and chirping birds greet us in the morning. It's official, summer is here. Are your yard and home ready? Here are five surefire tricks to help you prep them for sun and fun:

1. Create sensational seating. With summer get-togethers, you're always looking for more seating for guests. But that doesn't mean you need to buy new. If you're like many homeowners, you probably have miscellaneous chairs throughout your home. It might be a desk chair, a decorative one in the corner of your living room or an old one buried in the attic.

Now is the perfect time of the year to brighten it up with a vibrant, new color - such as lime green, poppy or lilac. All you need is a can of spray paint. And the best part is that you can always easily change the color again for fall with some additional paint.

2. Embellish with accessories. Does your living area look as dreary as the past winter months? Before you say replace your sofa for a refresh, consider the power of accessorizing. Summer is the perfect excuse to hit your local home goods store or even thrift shop for a whole new cadre of vases, throw pillows, framed pictures, baskets and more.

Go in with a game plan. Determine a couple of colors you would like to add and have a set budget in mind. This will help you stay focused and allow you to come home with a whole new look for your living room.

3. Paint for patio perfection. With the summer months, your social calendar may already be bustling with a number of parties and get-togethers. Now is the perfect time to update your deck or patio. If you have a bench, table or planters that have seen better days, consider using a spray paint-primer, such as Krylon's Dual Paint and Primer, which allows you to prime and paint in one single step - even on weathered metal. To create a more distinctive look, consider constructing a planter bench, which will provide added seating and a home for your stunning flowers.

4. Create lush landscapes. For a truly manicured yard, it's the small details that make all the difference. For areas where you tend to walk, add large stepping stones to make the path more inviting and help ensure you don't damage your plants and mulch. If you have large trees in your backyard, consider adding a plant bed covered with mulch around the base to provide a cleaner look and make mowing easier.

5. Find a fun and festive fire pit. Making s'mores over a campfire or creating ambiance for evening drinks is a great way to spend a summer evening. Depending on the layout of your backyard and local ordinances, there are a number of options for adding an evening fire to your summer plans. For a more casual feel, you can dig a pit in a dedicated area of your backyard and finish it with decorative stones and seating. Or, for a more formal fire, try a metal fire pit or chiminea. With the wide variety of styles and colors, you're guaranteed to find one that matches your backyard beautifully.

These few easy and cost-effective modifications will guarantee you're ready to celebrate the summer solstice in style. For more projects and ideas for your home, visit www.projectsinacan.com.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Uptick in remodeling activity a sign of the times

Mary Ellen Podmolik | Chicago Tribune | May 20, 2012

The weakest part of the housing industry is single-family home construction, but home remodelers are in line for an upbeat year.

After rising 3.5 percent last year, to $107.4billion, homeowner spending on remodeling projects is expected to increase 12 percent this year and an additional 8 percent next year, says a recent forecast by the National Association of Home Builders and Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.

That doesn't include spending by investors purchasing distressed properties and fixing them up either to resell or to turn into rental units. Add that in and the total spent was close to $300billion last year and is expected to increase.

Credit the anticipated spending to some of the same factors that have helped weigh down the housing market. The percentage of people who moved from one home to another in 2011, 11.6 percent, was at its lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking mobility in 1948. Because of declining home values, 26 percent of homeowners plan to stay in their homes at least 16 more years, and an additional 23 percent said they plan to stay put six to 10 years, according to a recent poll by the National Institute of the Remodeling Industry.

Also, homeowners in areas where the local housing market seems to have bottomed out may be more willing to invest in their properties again, taking on projects they deferred.

Consumers buying foreclosures or homes sold through short sales typically need to make improvements and repairs that last year translated into average spending of $7,300 during the first year of homeownership.

And finally, even homeowners with equity in their homes may decide that in the current market, trying to sell their home isn't worth the effort, so they'll tailor the home to their changing needs instead.

"The mix is going to change," said Kermit Baker, a senior research fellow at Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies. "It's not going to be driven by these upper-end projects. It's going to be driven by these smaller-scale activities and it's been deferred. There's a lot of folks who are not underwater or not that significantly underwater and aren't planning on moving anytime soon."

That's not good for would-be buyers who are waiting for choice inventory to come on the market. It's not good for homebuilders, either. But it's welcome news for remodeling professionals so long as homeowners have saved up enough for the projects or have the creditworthiness to borrow money.

Last year, the five most common remodeling jobs were bathrooms, kitchens, window and door replacement, repairing property damage and whole-house remodeling.

"Remodeling is (now) not driven by price appreciation or preparation for sale — by a lot of the things you'd normally thought of — but rather by simply good old-fashioned 'This is what I want. I want a place that is newer, has all the gizmos and is nicer to live in,'" said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. "It's a return to the real value of a home as a place that I will use rather than trying to gain appreciation."

Baker continues to believe that much of the remodeling industry's growth will come from changes made to homes to allow baby boomers to age in place. "That's going to be one of the really strong markets over the next decade," Baker said. "I'm really not sure the remodeling industry knows how to sell that population really well."

Lower rate and shorter terms: With interest rates on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that hovered under 4 percent, it's little wonder homeowners who refinanced their mortgages during the year's first quarter were eyeing more stable products and shorter loan terms.

According to Freddie Mac, 31 percent of borrowers who refinanced during 2012's first three months traded in their 30-year loans for 20-year, 15-year or shorter-term mortgages. Meanwhile, 68 percent of borrowers who had hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages refinanced by moving into fixed-rate mortgages, the highest share in a year. Mortgage refinancings accounted for 81 percent of mortgage applications during the quarter.

mepodmolik@tribune.com

Twitter @mepodmolik

Friday, June 29, 2012

Home Inspection Offers Peace of Mind to Buyer, Sales Tool to Sellers

By: John Adams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The idea of having your home inspected before it goes on the market for sale is not new. But it is an idea which has gained momentum as buyers have become more and more picky. And today, anything a seller can do to make the buyer more comfortable is considered worthwhile.

Here’s how it works:

A Real Estate agent recommends that a seller pay for a comprehensive home inspection prior to placing the home on the market. There are two reasons for doing this.

1. Any negative findings revealed by this advance inspection will almost certainly be disclosed by the buyer’s inspection after a contract is signed.

By learning about potential problems now, the seller can either repair the problem now or, at the very least, get detailed estimates of repair costs so that buyers are not surprised at the problems they may face in the future.

2. The fact that the seller has already paid for a professional home inspection may give a prospective buyer a greater comfort level in going ahead and making an offer on the house.

Buyers like that idea that a seller is willing to admit that their house may not be perfect. It also implies that the seller is not trying to hide anything about the house.

But there is another benefit that a seller may experience by shelling out two or three hundred bucks to get a professional review of the home’s physical condition. By presenting the buyer with a copy of a recent inspection, the seller has gone a long way toward meeting his legal responsibility to disclose any known defects or conditions at the premises.

Lawyers tell me that an inspector’s discussion of a damp basement or a leaky roof serves the purpose of putting buyers on notice for those specific defects. Thus a future lawsuit seeking damages would likely be much more difficult for a buyer to win. The inspection preemptively defuses the issue.

My advice is for sellers to have your inspection photocopied, then handed out to each prospect who enters the front door. Your inspection won’t prevent the buyer from having their own inspection, but it may hold your deal together by preventing painful surprises after the contract is signed.

Article Source: John Adams is a broker and investor. He answers real estate questions on radio station WGKA (920 am) every Saturday at noon. For more real estate information or to make a comment, visit www.money99.com.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Easy tips for sprucing up your home's exterior

With spring in full swing and summer around the corner, there's no better time to spruce up your home. But while most families are reorganizing closets and making trips to Goodwill, they are neglecting the part of their home guests see first - its exterior. After this year's harsh, long winter, the outside of your home probably needs more than a little TLC.

"This was one of the worst winters America has seen in decades and unfortunately, snow, sleet and freezing rain can be damaging to the exterior of any home," says Rust-Oleum Brand Manager Dirk Sappok. "Moisture can create the perfect conditions for the growth of mold and mildew. Dirt, grime and salt residue can also be damaging, if left unchecked. But fortunately, there are products available that can make the outside of your home look brand new."

Here are some tips and tricks for sprucing up your home's exterior:

Make your home's siding shine:
After getting hit with record-breaking snow falls this winter, the exterior of most homes took a beating. Now that it's getting warmer, it's the perfect time to freshen up your home's siding - and you don't need to hire a professional or rent a power washer to make your home look like new. Try a cleaner like JOMAX House Cleaner and Mildew Killer. It is guaranteed to kill mold and mildew and remove tough stains and stubborn dirt without scrubbing or power washing. Plus it's safe for use around plants and shrubs. Or for quick and easy routine cleaning, try JOMAX House Wash. Just hook it up to a garden hose, spray, wait five to 10 minutes for dirt and stains to loosen and rinse off.

Put life back into your driveway:
A cracked, weathered driveway doesn't do much for a home's curb appeal and it's often the first thing guests see when they visit your home. Unfortunately, driveway resealing is a project that many homeowners neglect due to the mess and time it requires. But, resealing a driveway doesn't have to be a time-consuming and messy project. Thanks to breakthrough technology, homeowners can rejuvenate their driveways in one easy step with EPOXYSHIELD Blacktop Coating. Unlike other blacktop sealers that must be applied with a squeegee, EPOXYSHIELD Blacktop Coating can be rolled onto the surface, just like paint. It's drive-ready in just four hours, leaving a jet black finish, plus it lasts longer than traditional driveway sealers.

Don't forget your walkways:
It's easy to revive worn sidewalks, porches and entryways without spending a small fortune on replacing them. Select a product like EPOXYSHIELD Concrete Resurfacer. It comes in a kit complete with all of the tools you need to renew and restore aged, patched and cracked concrete surfaces. The best part is it can be rolled on, eliminating the mess of replacement or traditional application.

For additional spring spruce up ideas and outdoor cleaning tips, visit www.rustoleum.com.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Tips to Save Energy and Money Today

Did you know that the typical U.S. family spends about $1,900 a year on home utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. The good news is that there is a lot you can do to save energy and money at home. Start making small changes today.

The key to achieving these savings in your home is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace—it's a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts. Even a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace will waste a lot of fuel if the ducts, walls, attic, windows, and doors are not properly sealed and insulated. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest to save energy are spent wisely.

Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced utility bills more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes. In addition, your home could bring in a higher price when you sell.

Easy low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy:

  • Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
  • Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  • Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use (TVs and DVDs in standby mode still use several watts of power).
  • Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120°F.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR label on home appliances and products. ENERGY STAR products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Article Source: Visit http://www.energysavers.gov/ for more energy-saving ideas.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tips to bring prospective buyers into your house

Selling your house may be a challenge in today's real estate market, but with a bit of elbow grease and some good planning tips, you can entice potential buyers to view your home, and hopefully make a viable offer.

Before you even list your house for sale, take a good look at the property and your home. Consider curb appeal. Freshen up your landscaping, pick up any equipment or toys lying around and update your lights so the home looks as welcoming during the evening as it does during the day.

Take a walk through your house, starting with the garage. If you have a lot of tools and equipment stored there, consider finding a new place to store everything, so potential buyers can really see the garage. Keep your tools handy, but still out of sight by tucking everything into the back of your truck under an Access Roll-Up cover, manufactured by Agri-Cover, Inc., a North Dakota truck accessory company. Made of heavy-duty, double coated vinyl, the truck bed cover installs quickly and easily with a clamp-on installation and is designed specifically to fit your truck. Since the roll-up cover is lockable, it will also protect all your tools and equipment while traveling. When not in use, the cover can be rolled up behind the cab and never has to be removed.

Next move inside. As you walk through the rooms, look at the walls, flooring, ceilings, lights and furniture. Paint is inexpensive, and a fresh coat can quickly spruce up the look of a room. If the room appears overcrowded, consider storing a piece of furniture to help open up the space.

You may determine some remodeling or repair work is needed prior to listing your home. If you have holes in your drywall, or gutters that are clogged or broken, these are easy improvements that won't cost you a lot of money, but can help you sell your house faster. Transporting tall ladders to reach the gutters or large sheets of drywall isn't easy with just your pickup truck. But the Adarac Truck Bed Rack System will make this part of your home improvement project much easier. The truck bed rack sits neatly behind the cab, and is capable of carrying a 500-pound load with ease. Eyelets secure your load so you don't lose it while going down the road.

Your goal is to get your house sold, as quickly as possible and close to the price you're asking. The best way to accomplish this is to get as many people looking at your property as you can. So before you decide to list your house, try some of these tips to put your best house forward.

Friday, June 1, 2012

HomeTeam featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HomeTeam Inspection Service was recently featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an article titled “Third time's a charm for Fox Chapel dad." The article was written by Anne Orso, stemming from the interview and photo shoot with Ray Fonos and John Pasquella. The article focused on the professional friendship between both men, and how Ray took a chance on John without any experience in home inspection and that it paid off on so many levels. The article also talks about how John had to reinvent himself three times in this economy due to career setbacks, and how he is now finding success with HomeTeam Inspection. Click here for the full article, or begin reading below.

Third time's a charm for Fox Chapel dad
By Anna Orso / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Call it a stroke of luck or a leap of faith, but John Pasquella will tell you his third chance of finding passion in his career was neither. He'll say it was just a case of someone else caring enough.

The 36-year-old father of two who calls Fox Chapel home is beginning to turn his life around -- with the help of a local businessman -- in the face of a turbulent economy after a process of "re-inventing" himself. Twice.

His story fits with the trends -- the national unemployment rate for April was 8.1 percent, a number that's been steadily decreasing since September after rising to even higher levels during the recession, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(Read more)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pointers for Prepping Your Deck and Backyard for Summer Fun

Warm weather is here to stay, which means people everywhere are spending more time outdoors. If the sunshine, gentle breeze and chirping birds are calling your family outside to enjoy some fresh air, it's time to get your outdoor space ready for fun activities. With some smart home improvements, you can easily prep your patio and deck for a full season of enjoyment.

1: Tricks for properly cleaning patio furniture
Today's patio furniture can be as comfortable and stylish as indoor options, and similarly, it needs to be periodically cleaned. Resin, resin wicker or metal furniture can typically be cleaned with mild soap, water and a sponge or nonabrasive brush. Metal pieces can be polished with a light coat of car wax to bring back shine and protect it from rusting. Insider tip: If you live in an area with a lot of pollen, you may want to wait to clean outdoor furniture until it is done dropping.

Wood pieces can benefit from a quick cleaning also. For finished wood, use an oil-based soap and a soft brush or cloth. If you have a treated wood deck, picnic table or Adirondack chairs, use a pressure washer and deck cleaner to remove dirt. Remember to use the low-pressure tip so you don't damage the wood. If you have questions, visit www.lowescreativeideas.com for educational articles, videos and additional tips.

2: Get the grill ready for a season of tasty treats
Every warm day is better when you enjoy the succulent flavors of food cooked on the grill, but to keep the food tasting its best, the grill needs to be kept clean. At the start of the season, it's wise to do a thorough, deep cleaning on your grill. If you have a gas grill, remove the propane tank, flame guards and disconnect the igniter wires, removing the igniters. Move the grill over a drop cloth and clean the inside with dish soap, water and a scrub brush. Grates may need to soak in a bucket before getting scrubbed. Once dry, reassemble and get cooking.

In addition to the deep cleaning, remember each time you cook to scrape the grates to get rid of any food residue from previous uses. Simply light the grill and after a few minutes, the heat will have loosened the residue and you can do a quick scraping with a wire brush before putting on your tasty meats and vegetables.

3. Prep the deck in half the time
Staining and sealing your deck is an important maintenance step so its beauty and integrity last for many years, but it's also something most homeowners dread because it can be a lot of work. The good news is there are some new innovations that are making the process much easier.

Before you start this project, look for new products that both stain and seal at the same time, simplifying the project and saving you a lot of time. Staining and sealing simultaneously waterproofs, protects and beautifies your wood. Plus, if you do encounter unplanned precipitation in the middle of the project, your deck is still protected.

4. How to grow beautiful plants to enhance your space
With your deck prepped and your patio furniture and grill clean, now it's time to dress the area up with some plants. You can easily incorporate splashes of color by adding containers full of your favorite varieties. Why not make it a family activity and visit your local Lowe's nursery to pick out plants and supplies together? When shopping, keep in mind the color of your deck and furniture and pick plants in a complementary color scheme. You might also want to plant some fruits, vegetables or herbs for your own family garden. Ask a Lowe's garden specialist for advice on what varieties thrive in a container environment.

Once home, spread out your supplies and let your entire family's green thumb come alive. After your plants are nestled into pots and containers, place around your outdoor living space in clusters which provide a better visual look than a single plant standing alone. Remember to water regularly and monitor sun exposure so the plants aren't getting too much or too little.

These few steps can help get your deck or patio ready and beautiful for months of enjoyment. From playing outdoor games to grilling traditional summer fare to relaxing as the sun sets, you'll get a lot of use out of your outdoor space.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

HomeTeam featured on Franchise Chatter

HomeTeam Inspection Service was recently featured in an article called "Why Successful Franchisees Should Be Recognized for Their Achievements (Q&A with Adam Long of HomeTeam Inspection Services),” written by Franchise Chatter blogger Ambrosio. In the article, Adam discussed what factored into the decision in choosing Colin Conroy as Franchisee of the Year, the benefits of recognizing outstanding franchisees for their achievements, and advice for other franchisors to recognize franchisees for their success. Adam also praised Colin for his hard work and commitment to the HomeTeam model. Click here for the full article, or begin reading below.

Why Successful Franchisees Should Be Recognized for Their Achievements (Q&A with Adam Long of HomeTeam Inspection Service)
by Ambrosio

Adam Long joined HomeTeam Inspection Service in May 2004, and has been the Vice President of Shared Services for HomeTeam since April 2007. Adam manages the information and technology programs for the corporate office and the franchisees. Prior to HomeTeam, Adam was employed by Fifth Third Bancorp and worked at the Corporate Office in downtown Cincinnati. Adam is a member of the International Franchise Association.

In this interview, Adam talks about what goes into choosing a Franchisee of the Year and why HomeTeam rewards franchisees in this way.

(Read More)

Friday, May 11, 2012

HomeTeam Franchisee Colin Conroy featured on Franchise Chatter

HomeTeam Inspection Service Franchisee Colin Conroy was recently featured in an article called "Franchise Success Secrets: Q&A with HomeTeam Inspection Service’s 7-Time Franchisee of the Year, Colin Conroy Part 1 & 2”, written by Franchise Chatter blogger Ambrosio. The article discussed how HomeTeam Inspection Service Franchisee of the Year Colin Conroy, got his start with the company, what has contributed to his success, and some of the lessons he has learned along the way. Colin also talked about his current operations, which has generated approximately 30,000 inspections since he opened. Click for Part 1 and Part 2, or begin reading below.

Franchise Success Secrets: Q&A with HomeTeam Inspection Service’s 7-Time Franchisee of the Year, Colin Conroy
by Ambrosio

Even though the housing market is still unsettled, one Fort Lauderdale business owner is enjoying continued success in the home inspection market. HomeTeam, the nation’s leading residential home inspection company, recently recognized Colin Conroy with the 2011 Franchisee of the Year Award for continued excellence in South Florida.

“This is our seventh time receiving this award, and it’s thrilling each time it happens,” said Colin. “Even during rough times in the market, we have never stopped being the best at what we do. We can already feel an improvement in the market this year, as we did last year.”

Colin’s twelve franchises cover the following three SE Florida counties totally: Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade.

(Read More)

Friday, May 4, 2012

HomeTeam Inspector John Pasquella on The Ellen Show

Here's your Friday pick-me-up! HomeTeam inspector John Pasquella and his family were recently featured on The Ellen Show. At first, the Pasquellas thought they were just being sent on a vacation by Ellen, but when they came home, they found their home had a huge home makeover. Watch the clip below:
 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Root for the HomeTeam: The Story of Bobby Cox

Bobby Cox isn’t managing baseball teams any longer, but he can still be found right around home. Make that homes.

Just like his famous namesake, Cox is a former manager; he served as minor league general manager for the Cubs, Tigers and Blue Jays. These days, however, Cox is owner of the Savannah-based HomeTeam Inspection Service. The company’s primary service area includes Effingham, Chatham and Bryan counties.


Cox has owned the franchise for 10 years and provides home inspections for buyers and sellers. During that time, he and assistant Tim Lurtz, both certified home inspectors, have performed over 3,200 inspections. Cox says they've never done fewer than 400 inspections for the last five years, and in 2011, despite a slow real estate market, they had a record year and upped that number by 150 compared to 2010.

Cox attributes the spike to foreclosures and people knowing who they are. He also cites the reputation of the company, which has over 200 locations around the country. “That’s a lot of knowledge out there,” Cox says.

Following his stint in baseball, Cox had a number of jobs, including manager of a Spanky’s southside restaurant in Savannah. He got into his current position after spotting a HomeTeam franchise for sale. “I thought it was something I could do,” Cox says. “I was looking to do something, and I wanted to own my own business.”

Cox and Lurtz perform “visual” inspections as a team, giving them an “extra set of eyes.” They provide a computer-generated narrative report that is e-mailed to the client. Prices range from $275 to $500, depending on square footage. The average price is $300 to $325.

Cox says he likes people and enjoys meeting them from all walks of life. He also takes pride in his role of helping people achieve their dream of owning a home. “I like that we play a part in the process,” Cox notes. “We make sure there are no surprises. I think it’s worthwhile. I like to see them move into a new home.”

Home Team Inspection is a member of the Savannah Board of Realtors and Young Council of Realtors. In 2008, the former organization named Cox’s business its affiliate of the year.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weatherizing Your Home for All Seasons

With the winter months fading slowly in our rear-view mirrors, it’s time now to think about keeping your home operating efficiently as we move through spring, summer and fall. Follow these tips to not only remain comfortable in your home all year long, but also save money and increase the longevity of your property:

Turn it Up (Or Down): While it may seem like reverse-logic, setting your thermostat to a higher temperature during spring and summer and lower in the winter will cut down on energy costs. When you are traveling, you can also increase or decrease the temperature settings (depending on the season) while you’re away to save even more money.

Close it up: No matter what the season, it’s important to make sure doors are shut and HVAC vents closed in rooms that you don’t frequently use. This will increase the efficiency of central air or window air conditioner units you use to cool off when the weather gets hot and will prevent warm air from escaping any heated spaces. You may want to have your air ducts, windows and doors checked by a professional for any leaks to prevent bleeding.

Blowing in the Wind: If you live in a property without a central heating or cooling system, installing ceiling fans is an effective and inexpensive way to circulate fresh, cooled air throughout your home. During the winter, reversing the direction of the fan blades can help circulate heated air around living spaces. Ceiling fans can be purchased at major home improvement stores and can be easily installed.

Seeing Things in a New Light: Not only do compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs give off less heat than incandescent bulbs, they also reduce your home’s carbon footprint by using 65 to 70 percent less energy while lasting 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. CFL bulbs come in a variety of design to fit all sockets and can be used throughout your home all year long.

Batten Down the Hatches: Don’t forget to give the outside of your home a visual inspection, most importantly the roof. Keep an eye out for rotting or damaged shingles. Making sure your gutters are clear all year long is another way to prevent water damage and ice dams as the seasons turn. Trim dead or branches that hang over your house to prevent one of those limbs from falling and potentially damaging your home during thunder or snowstorms.

Following these simple solutions can help you operate your home more efficiently, safely, and keep you and your family comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HomeTeam Inspection Service Basic Home Checkup List


Just like you, your home needs a good, thorough check up every once in a while to keep things running smoothly and prevent miniature disasters from happening down the road. Below are a few easy steps you can take to keep you and your home happy:

Exterior checks:
  1. Take a stroll around your property and keep an eye out for any cracks in the foundation, damaged siding or crumbling bricks and walls. Patching any damage now will save you big down the road.
  2. Don’t forget to look up to spot rotting shingles or other damage your roof may have experienced from inclement weather and have your roof repaired in a timely manner. 
  3. Check your driveway, especially if you live in areas that experience multiple seasons, as cracks can form in both concrete and asphalt. Fixing these cracks is a relatively pain-free process. 
  4. Make sure all your gutters are free and clear to prevent water and ice damage. 
Interior checks: 
  1. If you hear any trickling noises from your toilets and faucets, it would be wise to tighten these up to not waste water to preempt any further plumbing issues. 
  2. Replace filters in your HVAC system every 60-90 days to maintain clean and efficiently produced air in your home. Also make sure to vacuum and clean around the units. 
  3. Check all of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they function properly. Furthermore, Consumer Reports recommends replacing all units every 10 years. 
  4. If you have a basement, check for any dampness around windows, floors and walls. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is in proper working order to prevent flooding. 
By performing the easy checks above a few times throughout the year and fixing any small problems will save you headaches, as well as money, in the long run. 
 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

National Radon Action Month

January is National Radon Action Month. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. Unfortunately, many consumers – even homeowners – don’t know what radon is! In its most scientific sense, radon is the chemical element of atomic number 86, a rare radioactive gas belonging to the noble gas series. It’s colorless and odorless, and the reason it is hazardous to your health is due to its radioactivity. In fact, radon is responsible for the majority of exposure to ionizing radiation. Believe it or not, it can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas like attics and basements.

Depending on how a building is built and how it is ventilated, radon can accumulate in basements and dwellings. It can also come in through cracks in solid floors, construction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around services pipes, cavities inside walls and the water supply.

The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General urges all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools, and other buildings for radon. Exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, and testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family.

According to the EPA’s website, there are four things you can do during national radon action month:
  1. Test your home - EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes in the U.S. be tested for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive
  2. Attend a National Radon Action Month event in your area - Look for radon events in your community. Contact your state radon program for more information about local radon activities.
  3. Spread the word and spend time during National Radon Action Month encouraging others to learn about radon and test their homes.
  4. Buy a radon-resistant home - If you are considering buying a new home, look for builders who use radon-resistant new construction.
By educating yourself and following these tips, you can do your part to protect your family and your community from the dangers of radon. If you would like to check your home for radon, give your local HomeTeam Inspection Service a call. We would be happy to help you.

 
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