Our Latest Reviews!

We really appreciate our Clients taking time out to provide us with a review.  It helps us make sure that we continue to provide the high level of service that we strive to provide to each and every person who uses County Home Inspection!

These are our latest reviews:

Latest Reviews - 3 April 2017

You can see more here and here!

Peterborough Open Houses – 25th & 26th February 2017

There are 24 Open Houses listed for this weekend – you can view the full list here .

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Below are a few homes whose Open Houses are on Sunday 26th.

You can click on the property address for full details, or click on the Realtors name to head to their website!

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688 George Street, Peterborough is listed at $209,900 by Susan Bowie of Royal LePage Frank.  This Open House is on Sunday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.

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876 Sydenham Road, Peterborough is listed at $309,900 by Josh Collins of Century 21 United.  This Open House is on Sunday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.

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224 Cowling Heights, Peterborough is listed at $349,900 by Adam Simmonds of Flat Rate Realty.  This Open House is on Sunday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.

Don’t forget – once you have found your dream home, contact us to book your dream home inspection!

Well Water Testing – What You Should Know.

It is recommended that you test your well water regularly for the indicator bacteria total coliforms and E. coli.

If present, it is an indication that the water may contain harmful micro-organisms that can make you sick.

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Testing at least three times a year for bacteria is recommended by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Early spring is a good time to test your well water for bacteria. Another good time is the day after a heavy rainfall. Melting snow and running water can carry surface contaminants into your well water. If your well water is safe under these conditions, it is most likely to be safe the rest of the year.

Test your water even if your water seems fine, because you can not always taste, smell or see bacteria or other contaminants. Do not rely on your neighbour’s test results – wells that are only a few steps apart may have different water quality.

Besides routine testing, you should also test:

  • after major plumbing work or well repairs
  • if you detect changes in water quality, including taste, odour, and appearance
  • if regular well users experience unexplained health problems that may be water related (e.g. stomach cramps, diarrhoea or vomiting)
  • after flooding (if flooding is common in your area you may want to retrofit your well. Contact an MOE licensed well contractor)

 

Thank you to Well Aware for this article – the full, original version can be viewed here.

Space & Basement Heaters – how to use them effectively this Winter.

Being smart with your heat will save energy and save money

It’s no secret that most of us use more energy in the winter. And if your home is heated electrically, you’ll likely see big changes in your electricity bill for the winter months compared to summer.

That might be true even if your home has a gas furnace. Many of us supplement heat with electric space heaters, especially in basements or other cold areas of the house.

But before you plug in those heaters or turn up the thermostat, check out our tips to make sure you’re making smart heating choices. Remember; the goal is to keep you warm, not your entire home.

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Start by only heating the space you’re using

One of the biggest advantages of baseboard heating (compared to central heat) is that you only heat the rooms that you’re using. But even if the heat is only on in the living room, turning it up higher than needed will bring your costs up.

To save energy, always turn your thermostats down at night when you’re sleeping, and consider lowering the heat all the time in rooms you don’t use or when you are away.

Heating costs rise about five per cent for every degree above 20°C (68°F) that you set your thermostats.

Most people are comfortable:

  • Reading, or watching TV at 21ºC (70°F)
  • Working around the house at 20ºC (68°F)
  • Sleeping at 16ºC (61°F)

And don’t forget to ensure that your heaters are ready to deliver all that heat they’re creating. Keeping baseboard heaters free of dust and dirt (try giving them a good vacuuming before turning them on for the first time in the fall), and away from furniture, heavy carpets and drapes ensure the most heat is delivered from the baseboard to the room. Keeping your heaters free from obstructions is also important to minimize fire risk.

Portable space heaters not a good choice for large rooms or multiple spaces

My family had an old plug-in space heater that we kept in the basement for the winter months. It kept my sister and I warm when we were watching television, but my mom definitely noticed every time we used it. That’s because whenever it was first plugged in, the lights throughout the basement would flicker momentarily, a sure sign that the heater was guzzling power at a rapid rate.

The fact is that most portable space heaters use a lot of energy, so if the room you’re trying to heat is large, or you have multiple heaters in multiple rooms, you could see big changes on your bill.

To make the most of your portable heater, use it in a small or enclosed space, and try placing it in the corner of the room. Keep doors shut to keep the heat in the room that you’re using.

No matter what kind of space heater you’re using, it’s important to keep safety top of mind. Ensure it won’t tip over, use it on a level floor, keep blankets and fabric away, and never go to sleep with the heater on.

Keep yourself warm, and you’ll need less heat

Whether you’re using central heat, baseboard heaters, portable space heaters, or a combination of all three, the best defense against a big heating bill is to keep yourself warmer to start with. Small changes to your behaviour can help keep you comfortable enough to set that thermostat a little lower.

And those savings can add up: turning the heat down by just two degrees can reduce your home heating costs by 5 per cent. If you program your thermostat to set back the temperature by five degrees for eight hours of every night, you will save about 10 per cent on your heating bill.

One of the best things you can do to keep costs down is to bundle up. Use blankets, wear warm clothing and slippers, and ensure bare floors like tile or hardwood have rugs. If your feet are warm, you’ll feel much warmer in a room, even if the thermostat is turned a degree or two cooler.

You can even use ceiling fans, if you have them, to direct warm air in the room back down towards you.

Thanks to BC Hydro for this article – the original of which can be viewed here.

Home Buyer’s Remorse & How to Avoid It!

Psychologists have helped people identify why they may not be satisfied with a recent purchase. It’s called buyer’s remorse. The emotions or circumstances that caused you to buy that new watch or new dress or new car may change right after the purchase and now you decide you don’t want it, or worse, you don’t LIKE it. In those cases you simply return the item. However, in the case of home buyer’s remorse, returning the home is not so easy.
Home Inspection

Buyer’s Remorse & How to Avoid It!

Although it may sound like a far-fetched idea now, home buyer’s remorse is real. This is the reason that so many home experts tell home buyers to take their time and pick the place that is right for them. While a loan officer can help avoid some problems by making sure you are pre-approved for a mortgage vs pre-qualified, that may not be sufficient. Likewise, a real estate agent can help you avoid problems by steering you away from aproperty that could disqualify you from your mortgage. However, there are other factors at work that you need to consider prior to finalizing the purchase of your next home.
Don’t Get A Home Simply Because You Can
Some folks will stop on the way home from work and pick up some fast food for supper even though they have plenty of food in the pantry and fridge at home. They simply have the money and the restaurant is on their way home.
That is not the way to purchase a home. Just because the price falls within your budget, your lender can approve you for the home, and you are the only person bidding on the property does not mean this is the best home for you. Even if you get approved for a great interest rate with an FHA mortgage or VA mortgage or USDA mortgage, there is more to buying a house than just the finances.
Inspect Each And Every Room
It may sound a bit extreme, but if you plan to live in a place, you should be familiar with every single room in the house. Ask your real estate agent to meet you at the home with the intent of looking over each and every room. Open each door, look through each window, go through the closets, look at the ceilings, inspect the carpet (or tile, or hardwood) and keep looking. Very few homes are 100% perfect for your tastes and needs. The idea of this inspection is to determine if you can be happy with the condition of the home or if there is some major repair that needs to be made prior to purchase.
Review the Photos Again
After looking at the property and taking time to inspect all the rooms, it is time to review the real estate photos of the home. Look at each room and decide if your stuff can physically fit in the right places.
For example, you may have a large love-seat, full couch and 2 recliners in your current living room. If the real photo shows only a couch, recliner and coffee table with very little extra space, you may not be comfortable in the new setup.
Review the pictures of the bedrooms carefully as well. See if the rooms appear dark and dreary on a sunny day or if they appear to be the right size for what you need. Looking at the pictures after you have looked at the house may point out a deficiency that you did not notice previously.
Check Out The Home At Different Times
It is never a good idea to purchase a property after just one visit. This is likely the biggest cause of home buyer’s remorse.
Although it is best to visit a home with your real estate agent, there is nothing wrong with simply going by the property or driving through the neighborhood and taking some mental notes at different times of the day.
For instance, drop by the home within 30 minutes of the time you anticipate leaving for work. Note the activity, or lack of, throughout the neighborhood. Is there more traffic than you anticipated? Are there more pedestrians than you normally see?
Conversely, go by the home after you get off work. Again, take some notes of what you see. Are your potential neighbors working in the yard, walking the dog, watching their kids play in the yard? Is the neighborhood generally quiet or loud? All of these observations can help you get a feel for the place and make a decision about living in the area.
Look at the Home Alone
While it is OK to look at a new property in the presence of other buyers, it is not ideal. You may see something that interests you but you have questions. Or you may wish to ask the agent a question in private. Or you may just feel like sitting in a specific room for a few minutes by yourself without distraction.
Talk to your agent and ask if you can get a private showing of the property. If the agent is agreeable, ask her/him to give you some space and let you explore the home on your own. This gives you a chance to look at the place without pressure.
Go Through All Disclosures From The Seller
The majority of sellers will have some disclosures on their property. It could be something as simple as noting the last survey was done when the home was built. Or it could be something more important. Regardless of the number or magnitude of the disclosures, now is the time to go over them. Make notes of the things that you don’t understand and discuss these with your real estate agent.
Also, ask the real estate agent if there are standard reports like termite bonds, inspection reports and flood zone reports.
Summing Up Home Buyer’s Remorse
We don’t want to paint a picture that buying a home is all work and no fun. However, we do feel it is important for all home buyers to take their time and do everything within their power to avoid home buyer’s remorse. Explain to your agent the type of home you are looking for, the number of bedrooms, size of the yard, location, etc. When you think you have picked the right home, and you are ready to put in a contract, ask your agent to compare your intended property to your original list. This will help you decide if you are getting the property that you went searching for in the first place.
Thanks to Luke Skar for this article. The original can be viewed here.

Bathroom Vanity Ideas

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A bathroom vanity needn’t be straight out of the shop or supplied by a manufacturer or cabinetmaker. Indeed, thinking outside the square can turn up a one-of-a-kind vanity with character and function to boot. Sideboards, desks and cabinets — whether new or used — can all be repurposed to provide storage and surface space.

Here are 13 pieces of furniture that have been cleaned up and repurposed as stylish bathroom vanities.

 

This article is from Houzz and you can view the original here.

Are Condo Inspections REALLY Necessary?

Compact, easy to maintain, affordable and convenient – these are just a few of the reasons why many home buyers opt for the simplicity of condo living. Some might argue that not having to shovel the driveway in the depths of winter might just be incentive enough!

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Whether the buyer is a young professional looking into condo ownership as a stepping-stone to home ownership, or an older couple is considering downsizing to a residence that will better suit their needs as they move into retirement, the reasons are vast and the options are endless. One thing that remains fairly constant, however, is that a condo is a sizeable investment and one worth protecting.

Read on to find out what a condo inspection is and how it could save you money in the long run.

What is a Condo Inspection?

A condo inspection is a type of home inspection ordered by the buyer or owner of a condo that consists of a walk through inspection of the interior systems of the unit.

What is included in a Condo Inspection?

A condo inspection is a visual inspection of the following:

  • Heating System
  • Electrical System
  • Plumbing System, including faucets, toilets, bathtubs and showers (e.g. are they draining properly?)
  • Interior structural elements, including windows, walls, floors, doors, etc.
  • Ductwork and Vents

It will also include observations and recommendations, for example – issues with doors / hardware, caulking / grout, air filters, and more…

Some inspectors may check the appliances, including a recall-check which, as the name describes, lets you know if any of the appliances in the home have been recalled. However, it’s important to note that any inspection of appliances is not mandatory and inclusion of this in an inspection will differ from one inspector to another.

Typically, and understandably, an inspection on a condo will be less exhaustive and costly than an inspection in a home. While it is true that there are less systems to examine in a condo unit, you shouldn’t devalue the benefits of having a home inspector examine these condo features because the cost to have them repaired once out of warranty will undoubtedly far exceed the price tag on an inspection.

What is not included in a Condo Inspection?

A condo inspection does not include the following:

  • Common areas of the condo building are not inspected, i.e. roof, exterior, stairwells, hallways, lobby, amenities, etc.
  • Concealed items such as the electrical and plumbing cannot be inspected (same in a standard home inspection).
  • Fire protection items, including sprinklers, are not tested
  • If the building’s mechanical system is in ‘cooling mode’, then the heating mode cannot be tested (and vice versa).
  • Wiring, lighting and receptacles are tested, but this is not a comprehensive review (i.e. only a sampling is tested, and this is the same in a standard home inspection).
  • As mentioned above, the appliances are not covered in a standard condo inspection, but some inspectors do include this along with a check for recalls (same in a standard home inspection).

The Benefits of Condo Inspections

One of the main benefits of having a condo inspection early, in the case of a new condo, is being able to sort out issues you may not be aware of with the builder while still under warranty. In the case of resale condos, sometimes a renegotiation of the price might be possible if you include a pass of a condo inspection as a condition of sale.

It is unfortunate but there may have been a poor installation of some item, so even a brand new condo could have a number of costly issues not necessarily related to deterioration or due to age. The value in having an unbiased third party come in and point out any deficiencies or potential risks is immeasurable.

All the more reason…

Finally, here are the  top 3 reasons for getting a condo inspection:

  • The condo is more than 5 years old. We recommend condo inspections no matter the age, but in the case of a condo that is more than 5 years old – it is highly important!
  • The buyer or the real estate agent have concerns about the building / unit.
  • Easing anxiety for a buyer of a new condo during the warranty process / period.

This article was written by  and the original can be viewed here.