10 Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality this Winter

The decrease in indoor air quality during the winter months can wreak havoc on your health. Here are 10 tips to improve your indoor air quality this winter. #10 may surprise you!

While Mother Nature may have us thinking otherwise in New Hampshire, the cold days of winter are just around the corner. And with the arrival of winter comes a decrease in indoor air quality as we close up our homes to protect ourselves from the bitter cold. This decrease in indoor air quality can wreak havoc on your health, especially if you already suffer from allergies or respiratory disease. Here are 10 ways to improve the indoor air quality of your home–and your health–this winter:

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Is Your Heating System Safe?

Learn why your chimney, stove, or other solid fuel-burning appliance should be regularly cleaned, maintained, and inspected to keep your home and family safe.

Fall is just around the corner and as the temperatures continue to drop, many of us are looking forward to spending warm and cozy evenings by the hearth. Whether you’re using coal, wood, or wood pellets to heat your home, it’s important that your chimney, stove, or other solid fuel-burning appliance is regularly cleaned, maintained, and inspected. If not, you could putting your home and family at risk. 

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Rehab Loan Options: HUD 203(k) vs. Fannie Mae Homestyle Loan

With today’s dwindling housing supply, many homebuyers are considering “fixer-uppers.” However, after closing on a traditional loan, many people–especially first-time homebuyers–lack the funds needed to make to make the required renovations. But thanks to the HUD 203(k) and Fannie Mae Homestyle rehab loans, the dream of owning a home is becoming a reality for more people. But which is the best option for you? In this month’s blog, the experts at Advanced Home Inspection compare the HUD 203(k) and Fannie Mae HomeStyle rehab loan.

Both  HUD 203(k) and Fannie Mae HomeStyle rehab loans are available for purchase and refinance transactions. And while both are essentially “one time close construction loans,” each allows for different repairs and carries different requirements.

This guide will help you find the best rehab loan for your needs.
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Annual AC System Maintenance Checklist

To make sure your air conditioning system is ready for the dog days of summer, review Advanced Home Inspection’s annual AC System Maintenance Checklist.

Before we know it, the warmer temperatures of summer will be upon us. Will your air conditioning system be ready to keep your home cool and comfortable when things start to heat up outside? To make sure your system is ready for when you need it most, review Advanced Home Inspection’s annual AC System Maintenance Checklist.
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Advantages of a HUD 203(k) Rehab Loan for First-time Home Buyers

In this month’s Advanced Home Inspection blog, we discuss the many advantages of a HUD 203(k) rehab loan. With high home prices and low inventories throughout the state, many first-time home buyers in New Hampshire are entering the housing market with the help of a HUD 203(k) rehab loan.

What is a HUD 203(k) Rehab Loan?

The HUD 203(k) rehab loan is a specialized renovation or construction loan that’s backed by the Federal Housing Administration. It is unique in that people can borrow money equal to the estimated appraised value of their home after the repair work is completed. No other rehab loan (or other type of loan) offers this.
“Through a 203(k), you can get into a home at a lower price than you could through any other loan program,” says David Cassavaugh, licensed home inspector and owner of AHINH, one of the only certified HUD 203(k) consultants in NH.
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Hiring a Home Inspector

Not all home inspectors are created equal. Here are 5 questions to ask when hiring a home inspector.

The search was long, but you’ve finally found the home of your dreams! The next step is hiring a home inspector. But not all home inspectors are created equal. How do you go about hiring a home inspector?  Whether you’re buying a new home, or preparing your home to be put on the market, a home-inspection by a qualified inspector will help you identify any problems or concerns within your future or existing home.

Here are five questions to ask when hiring a home inspector:
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Is There More Wind Than There Used To Be?

As a home inspector, I am always looking at the exterior of the home with regards to how the home has weathered over the years since being constructed and whether the exterior shell is providing the proper protection for the interior elements.

My wife hasn’t noticed any difference, but living where we do on top of a small mountain (the top of my driveway is 978 feet above sea level and we are located at the base of a valley)., I have certainly noticed over the six years since we have been here that it has gotten noticeably windier.

In fact, two years ago, a strong gust of wind ripped part of my cedar siding off our house and propelled a piece of the siding through the rear window of my brand new car like a spear. I had to argue with my insurance company about paying the claim on my car – but that’s another story.
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What is the purpose of a Cupola?

Still on the theme of uncommon architectural features on homes and barns, I was driving past a house the other day with a cupola on top and matching cupola on the barn, and I started to wonder about the origin of the cupola.

So after some research, it turns out that cupolas are not just for show. They were invented with a practical purpose in mind. In fact it seems several purposes…

So the origin of the word “cupola,” is from Latin meaning little dome. And although most people believe that it is a decorative feature and nothing more, many would be surprised to realize that there are several reasons for the addition of the feature to both homes and barns. Continue reading “What is the purpose of a Cupola?”

What is a Canadian Dormer?

Canadian Dormers are an architectural feature that is common around many parts of New Hampshire. Interestingly enough, if you “Google” them, you don’t find any information on them. But talking to many builders around New Hampshire, the name is appropriate and does apply to the feature.

And as home inspectors, we don’t necessarily have to know what many features are actually called, but in my opinion, it’s nice to know the correct name. We could just call them dormers and that would be appropriate enough, but considering that we have so many unique architectural features here in New England (such as Beverly Jogs – see my blog on those…), it’s great to be that much more knowledgeable for our clients, especially those not native to New England. Continue reading “What is a Canadian Dormer?”

What Exactly Is a Beverly Jog?

As home inspectors, we are often confronted with architectural peculiarities on homes. Often times we are left wondering what we are looking at.

So today we came across a feature on a house in Francestown, New Hampshire known as “Beverly Jog.” I would describe the portion of the home as simply an addition to the original home with a shed roof. But upon researching the house, which is listed on the historic registry, I came to discover that the structure has a name.

A “Beverly Jog” as it is known, is pretty much as I described it. It’s an addition to a home. Usually for the purpose of providing a new interior staircase to an upper level floor. Often times, the structure is designed to have a similar roof and outer appearance to the rest of the home. But it undoubtedly juts out from the home, hence being called a “jog.”

Note that if the house has a Gambrel roof, it is sometimes referred to as a “jut-by.” Continue reading “What Exactly Is a Beverly Jog?”