Buying a home is one of the most exciting and stressful times in a person’s life. After months of searching, you finally found a house that checks all your boxes – location, size, style, price. Now you want to make sure there are no major issues before signing on the dotted line. This is where a professional home inspector comes in.
Choosing the right home inspection company can give you peace of mind that you’re not buying a money pit. In Dekalb County, there are several reputable agencies with experienced inspectors to thoroughly evaluate the condition of the home. Here are a few of the best home inspector agencies in Dekalb to consider for your upcoming purchase.
HomeTeam Inspection Service
With over 200 locations across the country, HomeTeam Inspection Service is one of the largest home inspection franchises. Their inspectors undergo extensive training and each inspection follows a comprehensive 150+ point checklist to assess the home’s major systems and components.
HomeTeam has multiple inspectors serving the Dekalb area that are highly experienced in evaluating local homes. They use cutting edge technologies like infrared cameras and moisture meters to find issues undetectable to the naked eye. You can even attend the inspection yourself to better understand the home’s condition.
HomeTeam provides a very detailed inspection report with supporting photos and easy to understand ratings on each area. They have an award-winning 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can request a re-inspection or partial refund if anything is missed. HomeTeam offers competitive rates and discounts for realtors and buying again within 90 days.
AmeriSpec Inspection Services
AmeriSpec has grown across 45 states by following their mantra of providing “safety, savings, and satisfaction” to homeowners. Their inspectors take the time to explain issues and point out simple DIY fixes to save on expensive contractor repairs.
For over 25 years, AmeriSpec of Dekalb has helped local buyers make informed decisions about properties. Their inspectors are certified through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). They use state-of-the-art tools like moisture meters and carbon monoxide detectors for an extremely thorough assessment.
AmeriSpec provides a personalized inspection experience. You can attend the inspection or watch remotely via live video. Their detailed reports include color photos and suggested time frames for addressing issues. If you need clarification or want to discuss inspector findings, they offer unlimited consulting after the inspection.
Dekalb County Home Inspections
For the best home inspector agencies in Dekalb with deep roots in the community, Dekalb County Home Inspections fits the bill. Owner Dan Jett has inspected over 6,000 homes in the Dekalb area over the past 18 years. He takes pride in providing an outstanding customer experience.
Dan is a Certified Master Inspector accredited through the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. He has training in structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and more. Dan goes above and beyond a typical inspection, including checking windows, outlets, and garbage disposals.
His inspection reports thoroughly cover all areas of the home with detailed descriptions, itemized lists, and supporting photos. He takes time to explain findings and outline priority fixes. Dan also offers sewer scope inspections and re-inspections for peace of mind. As a local company, pricing is reasonable and inspections are scheduled quickly.
Champion Home Inspection
Serving Dekalb and surrounding counties, Champion Home Inspection takes a no-nonsense approach to evaluating home conditions. The owner, Robert Champion, is a third-generation builder and lifelong Dekalb resident. He has a construction and engineering background, so he knows what to look for in structural and systems issues.
Champion is part of the coveted Champions Club with the American Society of Home Inspectors. He has completed over 5,000 inspections in the area. Robert examines all aspects of the property and provides a checklist-style report organized room-by-room. He gives objective analysis on any major deficiencies that need addressing.
One unique perk Champion Home Inspection offers is a 90-day warranty on major findings. This covers you on issues that Robert may have missed during the initial inspection. Champion also does septic, well, and radon inspections to give buyers a full picture.
Atlanta Property Inspections
As industry veterans, the expert team at Atlanta Property Inspections has inspected over 25,000 properties in 20+ years. Their inspectors have backgrounds in construction, engineering, and architecture.
For your Dekalb home purchase, they follow inspection standards from the American Society of Home Inspectors. Their reports are very detailed with over 50 photos of issues and recommended repairs. You get a thorough evaluation of structure, roof, utilities, ventilation, appliances, and more.
One advantage of using Atlanta Property Inspections is their free 90-day limited warranty. This covers defects and malfunctions that were present at the time of inspection but not discovered. They stand behind their work with the warranty as added consumer protection.
Atlanta Property Inspections has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau thanks to their professionalism and integrity. They offer group home buying programs and discounted rates for repeat customers. You can be confident you’re making a wise investment decision with their inspection.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
A standard home inspection takes 2-3 hours as the inspector fully examines the interior and exterior of the property. The main areas covered include:
- Structural: Foundation, framing, floors, walls, ceilings, windows, doors, porches, decks
- Exterior: Siding, trim, paint, grading, drainage, roof, chimney
- Electrical: Main panel, wiring, outlets, switches, fixtures
- Plumbing: Water lines, drain pipes, water heater, fixtures, water pressure
- Heating/Cooling: Furnace, AC unit, thermostat, vents, insulation
- Ventilation: Bath fans, range hood, dryer vent, whole house fan
- Appliances: Built-in oven, cooktop, dishwasher, disposal
- Interior: Ceilings, walls, floors, windows, doors, railings, steps
- Garage: Vehicle door, automatic opener, fire separation
- Attic: Framing, insulation, ventilation
- Basement/Crawlspace: Structural issues, insulation, ventilation, sump pump
The best inspectors use technology like moisture meters, outlet testers, infrared cameras, and CO detectors. They will point out simple fixes, code violations, and safety issues. You receive a detailed inspection report with repair recommendations.
Pulling Together the Financing
After finding the perfect home and getting a clean inspection report, the next step is securing financing for your dream home. This process can feel overwhelming for first-time home buyers. Here are some tips to make financing your Dekalb home purchase go smoothly.
Prior to house hunting, talk to lenders and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This shows sellers you’re serious. It also gives you a budget for your search. Pre-approvals are free and rates are locked in for 60-90 days usually.
Review Loan Options
There are many mortgage products available. Conventional, FHA, and VA loans have different requirements. FHA loans allow down payments as low as 3.5% for qualified buyers. VA loans offer 100% financing for veterans. USDA loans are zero down payment options for rural properties. Consider what fits your situation.
Check Your Credit
Good credit scores over 740 get the best mortgage rates. Review your credit reports for errors. Pay down balances and dispute misinformation. Lenders may require credit explanation letters for red flags.
Save for a Down Payment
Plan for a 20% down payment if possible. This avoids PMI insurance. Smaller down payments are ok but will have higher monthly costs. Use savings, gifts from family, inheritance money, etc.
Lenders require recent pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns for income verification. They also need bank statements to show assets. Be ready to explain large deposits or asset transfers.
Lock In Your Rate
Rates fluctuate daily based on market factors. Lock in your interest rate once your offer is accepted. This protects you if rates rise during the buying process.
Communicate with Your Lender
Keep your loan officer updated on your home purchase timeline. Provide requested paperwork quickly to avoid delays. Read documents carefully and ask questions upfront.
With smart preparation, you can secure the financing needed to buy your ideal home. The investment is worthwhile once you have keys in hand to your beautiful new Dekalb house!
Moving into Your New Home Smoothly
The big day is finally here – moving day! After months of searching, buying, and financing, your dream home is ready for move-in. Make your transition smooth by planning ahead with these tips.
Hire Movers or Rent a Truck
Lifting heavy furniture and boxes is hard work. Save your back and time by hiring professional movers. Or rent a truck and ask friends to help load and unload.
Clear the Way
Remove doors as needed to fit large pieces through. Tape down loose rugs. Properly secure valuable antiques and artwork. Measure spaces to ensure your largest items fit.
Pack an Essentials Box
Keep a box with essentials like toilet paper, soap, trash bags, basic tools, paper plates, cups, utensils, phone chargers, bottled water, and snacks. Unpack this first.
Label Strategically Use color coded labels for essential rooms like “Kitchen” or “Master Bedroom”. Label boxes by room for quicker unpacking. Keep floors clear of debris as you work.
Contact utility companies to transfer or activate services at your new address. Update accounts with banks, schools, employers, and subscriptions.
Change your address with the post office, doctors, insurance providers, and DMV. Update voter registration, social security, retirement accounts, and drivers license.
Meet the Neighbors
Once settled in, introduce yourself to neighbors with baked goods or small gifts. Get to know the area by walking around. Look into joining local community groups.
Celebrate Your New Home
Once the unpacking is done, celebrate with a housewarming party. Show off your new space and thank those who helped with the move. Display photos and mementos that make it home.
With proper planning and help, you can make moving day manageable. Settle in and start enjoying your beautiful new home and community!
Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Dekalb
Purchasing your first home is a big milestone. While exciting, it can feel overwhelming navigating the process. Here are helpful tips for first-timers buying a home in Dekalb County.
Get Your Finances in Order
Review credit reports and improve your score. Pay down debts. Start saving for a down payment. Calculate your budget and loan pre-approval amount.
Find a Real Estate Agent
A good agent guides you through the process. Interview several agents and pick one experienced with first-timers and the Dekalb market.
Make a Home Wishlist
Decide what you want like location, size, age, style, amenities. Distinguish needs vs wants. Be flexible but don’t compromise too much.
Attend Open Houses
Visit open houses even if you’re not serious about that particular home. This gives you a feel for different neighborhoods and pricing.
Study Market Trends Research prices, inventory, days on market, and interest rates. Look for off-market opportunities that sellers may consider. Understand factors influencing the local market.
Make an Offer
Once you find “the one”, move fast with an offer at or slightly below list price. Send a pre-approval letter and earnest money deposit with the offer.
Inspect Before Committing
Hire a professional best home inspector agencies DeKalb to evaluate the physical condition inside and out. Ensure there are no dealbreaker issues before closing.
Be Prepared to Negotiate
Most offers involve some back and forth. Know where you can compromise on purchase price, closing date, repairs, contingencies, seller contributions, etc.
Read Everything Carefully
Don’t gloss over any documents. Review disclosures, inspection reports, appraisal, loan estimate, etc. Ask your agent to explain unfamiliar terms.
Stay patient during the process and you’ll close on your ideal starter home! Best of luck Dekalb first-timers!
Maintaining Your Dekalb Home’s Value
After going through the home buying process, you want to maintain your property’s value. Here are tips to keep your Dekalb home in top shape inside and out.
Keep Up with Regular Maintenance – Replace air filters, inspect the roof, power wash exterior surfaces, check water heater and HVAC systems, drain exterior faucets in winter. Prevent small issues from becoming costly repairs.
Improve Curb Appeal – Keep the lawn mowed, trees and bushes trimmed, beds weeded, shutters in good repair. Add colorful flowers by the entry. Repaint the front door or install a new welcome mat.
Update Interior Finishes – Paint walls in neutral colors, refinish wood floors, upgrade lighting fixtures, replace worn carpeting. Modernize kitchen and bathrooms within budget.
Enhance Outdoor Living Spaces – Build a patio or deck, install a privacy fence, create a fire pit gathering area. Outdoor upgrades boost value for Dekalb homes.
Add Special Features – Consider installing a pool, hot tub, outdoor kitchen, or basement home theater. Smart upgrades customize the home for buyers.
Increase Energy Efficiency – Replace old windows and doors with energy efficient models. Upgrade appliances, install a programmable thermostat, add insulation in the attic.
Organize and Declutter – Clean out closets, basement, and rooms you don’t use. Stage home with decor in neutral tones. Remove personal clutter and furniture.
Monitor the Local Market – Check comps to see what other homes are selling for. Make updates to stay competitive. Time the sale for peak season.
With ongoing improvements and updates, you can maximize your Dekalb home’s resale value when the time comes. Protect your investment with proper maintenance and repairs.
Is It Time to Sell Your Dekalb Home?
Knowing the optimal time to sell your house is key to maximizing profit. Here are signs it may be time to move on from your Dekalb home:
Changing Needs – Your home no longer fits your lifestyle due to family size, new job, or retirement. Consider if renovations can adapt to the home or if moving makes more sense.
Competing Homes – Fresher and updated houses draw buyers. Make upgrades so your home can compete. If the cost doesn’t justify the return, sell before it falls further behind.
Declining Value – Poorly maintained homes decrease in value quickly. If repairs are too costly and issues worsen, it’s best to sell sooner than later.
Hot Housing Market – When housing inventory is low and prices rise, it’s advantageous to list your home. Capitalize on high demand from buyers.
Moving for Work – Relocating for a new job may require quick action. List as soon as possible to have time to sell before moving.
Right Return on Investment – Review the current value versus your remaining mortgage balance and original purchase price. The ratios may align for your goals now.
Life Changes – Major events like marriages, babies, empty nesters downsizing require different housing. Be flexible and willing to sell when it suits your needs.
Monitoring the factors above ensures you sell at the optimal time for maximum profit. Don’t become trapped in a home that no longer fits your life.
Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent
A knowledgeable real estate agent guides you through every step of selling your home. Here’s how to pick the right agent for your needs in Dekalb:
Experience – Look for 5+ years of real estate sales experience. Local expertise is a plus. Ask about specific experience with homes similar to yours.
Track Record – Review the agent’s recent sales data including average days on market. High sales volume indicates a strong network of buyers.
Marketing Plan – Ask about marketing strategies beyond the MLS listing. Look for creative ideas to showcase your home’s unique features.
Negotiation Skills – A top agent can negotiate the best price and terms. Ask about recent sales and see if they exceeded listing prices.
Responsiveness – Note response time when contacting the agent and how quickly your questions are answered. This indicates level of service when under contract.
Resources – A great agent has relationships with inspectors, lenders, contractors, movers, stagers, photographers, etc to assemble the dream team.
Compatibility – Most importantly, choose an agent you trust and have good rapport with. Ensure your personalities mesh.
Take time to interview agents before selecting representation for your Dekalb home sale. The right agent gets top dollar in the shortest time.