When you are buying a home in the Black Hills, you can trust Red Horse Home Inspection,
which provides service beyond inspection day. Reach out today for more information! 605-

To attract the best tenants, it is important to keep your property up-to-date and well-
maintained. The more attractive your rental property is, the easier it will be for you to find
quality tenants who are willing to stay longer and pay their rent on time. Here are some
tips from Red Horse Home Inspection on how to make your rental more attractive and
stand out from the competition.

Deep Clean

DoorLoop notes that a deep clean should be done before you list your rental property. This
includes cleaning carpets and floors, dusting, vacuuming furniture, wiping down surfaces
and walls, and decluttering any areas of the property that have become cluttered or
disorganized. Deep cleaning will help make a good first impression with potential renters.

Add Fresh Paint

It’s always a good idea to give your property a fresh coat of paint before listing it for rent.
Not only will this make the interior of the property look more inviting and updated, but it
also helps protect walls from wear and tear caused by tenants. If you don't have time to do
this yourself, consider hiring a professional painting service for a job well done.

Invest in New Appliances

Upgrading appliances can help make your rental more attractive for potential tenants and
also save them money in energy costs in the long run, explains Nest Finders. Consider
upgrading old appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, dryers and washers
with energy-efficient models that are approved by Energy Star ratings or other certification

Modernize with Smart Technology

Installing smart technology in your rental can be an attractive feature for potential tenants
because they can control features such as lighting or thermostats remotely from their
smartphones or other devices easily. Smart technology can also help reduce energy costs
since it is designed to be more efficient. Additionally, installing smart technology provides
an extra layer of security since you can monitor activity at your rental remotely while away
from home.

Upgrade Flooring with Modern Materials

Installing modern flooring materials such as hardwood or laminate is another way to make
your rental more attractive for potential tenants. You may also want to consider installing
eco-friendly flooring options such as bamboo which is highly sustainable because it grows
quickly with minimal water consumption compared with hardwood trees which take years
longer before they can be harvested into usable lumber products.

Invest in a Vacation Home

Your rental property doesn’t have to be a full time residence. There are some great
advantages to buying a vacation home to rent out. People will generally pay a lot of money
if you find a property in a desirable location. Plus, your rates will fluctuate depending on
the time of year as demand changes. You can also block out specific time periods when you
want to use the home yourself.
Buying a vacation home is a little more challenging than buying a primary residence, but
there are ways to get around that cost, too. You could go in on the investment with a few
friends or family members. If you treat it as a timeshare some of the year and rent it more
often than not, the rentals will still likely pay for the house itself. There are plenty of ways
you can play with the costs, and the benefits of owning a vacation home can be great.

Advertise Your Rental

Once you’ve updated your rental with modern materials and appliances, advertise it online
using platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace so that prospective renters know
about its availability. Additionally, you may want to consider setting up a website
specifically dedicated to advertising your rental properties. PDFs are the most SEO friendly
format, so if you plan to post fliers or images of the property, you can easily convert them
into a PDF with the help of a PDF file converter by simply dragging and dropping them into
the tool.
You can also choose to hire a property management company that will manage advertising,
screening tenants, and maintaining the property. This can be a great choice if you have
multiple investment properties or have another full time job.

Protect Yourself With an LLC

Forming an LLC (limited liability company) is one way landlords can protect themselves
against certain legal issues that could arise from renting out their properties—especially if
they own multiple rentals—by limiting personal liability if claims were made against them
as owners of those properties.
As an LLC, you're providing yourself with security, peace of mind and assurance that your
assets can be shielded from any future disputes or lawsuits that may arise between
antagonists such as unhappy former tenants.

Discover the Benefits of Real Estate Investing

Landlords can ensure their rentals stand out from the competition by making updates like a
brand-new paint job and modern upgrades like hardwood or bamboo flooring. Smart
technology adds an extra layer of convenience, while setting up an LLC protects against
legal challenges associated with ownership. By utilizing these strategies regularly in
routine maintenance schedules, landlords will be able to attract high-caliber tenants

home renovation

painting during home renovation

Are you planning to renovate your home but don’t know where to begin? Home renovations can be a daunting task, but with proper planning and execution, it can be an exciting adventure that adds value and comfort to your home. In this article, Red Horse Home Inspection will discuss the basics of home renovations.

Renovations: Positives and Negatives

Before diving into any home renovation project, it’s important to consider the pros and cons. On the one hand, home renovations can increase the value of your property, enhance the functionality of your home, and allow you to customize it to your preferences. On the other hand, home renovations can be time-consuming, expensive, and disruptive to your daily routine. It’s essential to weigh these factors carefully before deciding to proceed with a renovation project.

Obtaining Legal Permits

Renovations are subject to various laws and regulations, which vary depending on your location and the type of renovation you’re planning. To avoid legal issues, it’s crucial to research and attain any necessary permits before commencing any work. This includes building permits, zoning permits, and environmental permits. By getting the necessary permits in advance, you can ensure that your renovation project complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

Benefits of Going Paperless

When dealing with renovation projects that involve a lot of paperwork, it’s essential to keep track of everything. One way to do this is by converting all renovation documents into PDFs and storing them in a dedicated folder. And if your goal is to combine PDF files to keep everything in one place, there are numerous tools available online that can help simplify the process.

Home Improvement Loans

Home renovations can be costly, and you may need additional funding to supplement your budget. One option is to apply for a home improvement loan, which can provide you with the necessary funds to complete your renovation project. Home improvement loans typically have lower interest rates than other forms of credit, making them an attractive financing option for homeowners.

Apps to Use

Frontdoor – the app connecting you to experts for your home renovation projects – is crucial in most renovations. These projects can be complex, and it’s often necessary to hire professionals like architects, contractors, and interior designers to assist you. With Frontdoor, you can easily connect with local service providers, read customer reviews, and find the right professional for your specific renovation needs.

Defining Your Targets 

Communication is essential in any home renovation project. To ensure that everyone is on the same page, it’s crucial to clearly define your desired outcome. This includes outlining your goals, preferences, and budget constraints. By doing so, you can avoid confusion and misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.

Having a Reserve 

Home renovations can be unpredictable, and unexpected expenses can arise at any time. To prepare for this, it’s advisable to keep a contingency fund that can cover unforeseen expenses. This should be a separate fund from your renovation budget and should be reserved for emergencies only. A good rule of thumb is to set aside around 10% of your renovation budget for contingencies.

Home renovations can be a rewarding experience that adds value and comfort to your home. However, it’s crucial to approach them with careful planning and execution. By converting all renovation documents into PDFs, applying for a home improvement loan, using a home maintenance and repair app, and more, you can ensure that your renovation project is successful and stress-free.


happy african american woman reading home inspection report in rapid cityDo you feel like the mortgage industry has a language all its own? You’re not alone. Surveys show that many consumers get frustrated with all of the unfamiliar terms, acronyms and phrases that are part of the mortgage application process. Here are some of the most common (and confusing!) mortgage-related terms, explained:


FHA is short for the Federal Housing Administration, an agency that is a popular source of low-down-payment home loans. VA is short for Veterans Affairs, an agency that has a popular home buying program for military personnel and veterans. The USDA — the U.S. Department of Agriculture — also has a low-down-payment home loan buying program. These agencies aren’t actually providing loans to home buyers with minimal or no down payments; they are providing guarantees to encourage private lenders to do so. Ever heard the term ‘conventional’ loan? That’s simply a loan made without a government incentive.


If you’re shopping for a home, you’ll want to be pre-approved for a mortgage loan before making an offer. Pre-approval demonstrates to a home seller that you may take out a loan up to a certain amount based on your income, credit score and debt load. Pre-qualification is a much more cursory check by a lender and doesn’t mean you’ll actually get approved for a home loan.


This acronym is short for principal, interest, taxes and insurance. These four things combined will make up all or most of your monthly housing payment.

Closing costs.

These are costs associated with the transfer of a property from one owner to another. Closing costs do not include the purchase price of the property but do include the cost of an appraisal, the buyer’s credit report fee, the cost of a title search, title insurance, recording and processing fees and other fees. Buyers and sellers typically each pay a portion of the overall closing costs. Sellers, for example, customarily pay the commissions of the real estate agents involved in the sale. Closing costs also are called ‘settlement’ costs.

Loan estimate (formerly the Good Faith Estimate).

This is a federally-mandated form that provides you with basic information about the terms of a mortgage loan for which you have applied and estimated costs in acquiring the loan.

Closing Disclosure (formerly the Truth in Lending statement).

This form details all costs associated with making and closing a home loan. You’ll find your loan’s APR, or annual percentage rate, here. Is your APR higher than the rate quoted by your mortgage company? It’s okay. It’s typically higher because the APR takes into account not only the mortgage rate, but other costs associated with the loan you’re responsible for, such as origination fees and discount points.

Origination fee.

This is a fee paid to a lender for processing your home loan. It’s typically paid in the form of up to 1 percent of your total loan amount. Don’t confuse this fee with discount points. Each discount point, equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount, can be paid to lower your interest rate. The more points you pay, the lower your interest rate.

Amortization Schedule.

This handy document shows how much principal and interest is applied to each payment and illustrates the payoff process over the life of your loan.

If you are buying a home in Rapid City or the Black Hills give us a call or schedule your home inspection online.

Take a look at a sample report or read our latest reviews.

Beautiful Custom Kitchen Design Drawing and Gradated Photo Combination.New car smell is divine, but the smell of a newly-built home might be even better. Pristine carpets, freshly painted walls, the scent of freshly-cut lumber lingering in the air — it’s hard to beat the excitement of taking ownership of a brand new property.

Everything looks great, and you have been involved in the construction process every step of the way. Why, then, would you need a home inspection? There are several reasons.

The biggest one: New doesn’t mean perfect. Building a home is a massive undertaking much like fitting together a big jigsaw puzzle. It involves many different types of subcontractors, from plumbers and roofers to HVAC technicians and electricians. Mistakes can happen in any of these areas. And while builders and municipalities have their own inspections, it’s not unusual for issues to go unnoticed. And city inspectors are looking only to see if a home meets code — minimum building standards set by the city in which the home is being built. That’s not the same as a thorough inspection. And even the best builders can miss problems.

Ideally, you’ll have your home inspected twice — once before the walls are closed and again, after the home is complete. An inspection before the walls are closed is a great opportunity to see portions of the home that aren’t normally visible or accessible. Both inspections should be performed before you take possession of the home, so that the builder can address them prior to you moving in.

Some defects are more serious than others, of course. Foundation cracks and improper grading of the property, for example, can lead to costly problems down the line. Electrical problems can pose a serious safety threat. Plumbing problems can be a serious headache as well, and absolutely no one wants to find out their air HVAC system has issues when the time comes to cool or heat your home.

Whether you’re purchasing a new or existing home, an inspection is an important step in the home buying process. To learn more about having a property inspected, give us a call at 1-605-490-2916.  Easily schedule your home inspection online.  Check out a sample home inspection report and see our latest reviews.

cardboards at the new home with cartDo you have a move in your future? Whether you’re handing the moving process yourself or hiring a mover, here are some important steps to ensure your move is a successful one:

Hiring a mover

Do your research.

The Better Business Bureau hears from consumers nationwide who have had major problems with their moves, such as having their belongings stolen or damaged or any number of other problems. Check the moving company’s record with the state in which it is based. In addition, all interstate movers must be licensed by the federal government and are assigned a motor carrier number. These numbers can be verified on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

—Get at least three written estimates.

The key is to insist on in-home estimates instead of an over-the-phone estimate. Don’t automatically go with the lowest estimate; consider a mover’s record and references and take into account what each company includes for the price quoted. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

—Consider purchasing insurance. 

When moving, you’ll have several insurance options available to you, ranging from full replacement value to more limited coverage. The most extensive coverage, full replacement value, is the most costly. But with that coverage, any of your belongings that are lost or damaged will be repaired or replaced or you’ll be given a cash settlement.

Moving yourself

Line up friends and family willing to help.

You’ll need help making a move, and it’s important to make arrangements well ahead of time for help on moving day. You’ll need people to help you move heavy and bulky items, both in the city you’re moving from and the area you’re moving to.

Rent a truck or trailer from a reputable company.

Ask friends and family for recommendations and check the company’s record with the BBB.

Go through your belongings before the move.

Whether you’re moving yourself or having a moving company handle it, go through your belongings and donate or sell those things you no longer use. Food, especially canned food, can be heavy. Donate excess food items and items you no longer need or use before moving day. You’ll have less to move!

Have a plan for moving valuables.

Keep jewelry and other high-value items close and secure during your move.

Check your insurance options.

Check with your insurance agent to review your insurance options in the event your personal belongings are damaged, lost or stolen during a move.

If you are buying a home in Rapid City or anywhere in the Black Hills give Red Horse Home Inspection a call 605-490-2916 or schedule your inspection online.

Follow Red Horse Home Inspection on Facebook and Instagram.


Couple buying their new houseIn the market for a new home? Purchasing a home is definitely something we don’t do every day. So it’s easy to make mistakes, and when it comes to home buying, mistakes can be costly. Here are some of the most common errors made by first-time buyers:

Shopping before getting pre-approved.

Pre-approval is an essential first step before starting your home search. Without consulting a mortgage company, you aren’t going to know how much house you can afford or how much you’ll need to have for a down payment. You also should know that most sellers today disregard offers from buyers who aren’t pre-approved by a mortgage company. Get pre-approved before you start looking at homes.

Looking for homes on your own.

Don’t go it alone. You’ll want the experience and knowledge of a real estate agent on your side. An agent can provide another perspective on the home you are thinking about buying and help you avoid common home-buying mistakes.

Using up all your cash on a down payment.

Many buyers want to put as much as possible down on their home purchase to lower their monthly payment and/or to reduce or eliminate mortgage insurance premiums. Just make sure you have enough cash remaining for unexpected expenses after you’ve bought your home.

Skipping the home inspection.

Never skip a home inspection when buying a home, if at all possible. A quality home inspection can reveal critical information about a home’s condition you’ll want to know before you sign on the dotted line. Your real estate agent can help you make an offer on a home contingent upon a home inspection.

Have questions about this important step in the home buying process? Give us a call to learn more about what’s included in a home inspection or to schedule one: 1-605-388-2924.

Buying things.

Hold off on purchases of items such as furniture before you complete your home purchase. Your home loan pre-approval is dependent on your current financial situation. Adding more debt could put your home loan in jeopardy. Plus, this isn’t the time to be adding more financial obligations or draining your savings account.

Schedule your home inspection with Red Horse Home Inspection by calling 605-490-2916 or schedule online.

Follow Red Horse Home Inspection on Facebook for home safety and maintenance tips.

Man cleaning the gutterIn spring, we say “Spring has sprung,” but what’s the equivalent for fall, “Autumn has arrived?” Ok, we’ll work on that one a bit. But in the meantime, the arrival of fall means it’s time for some home maintenance! Luckily there’s a lot you can do yourself — inexpensively —to reduce the chance of a costly wintertime home repair disaster, make your home safer and save a bit of money. Here are some things you’ll definitely want to do before winter weather hits:

Install carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless gas. A detector could save the lives of everyone in your home in the event of a malfunctioning furnace, hot water heater, stove, room heater or fireplace.

Test your smoke detectors

If they are battery-powered, change the batteries, too.

Reverse your ceiling fans

Warm air rises, so switching your fan’s blades so they run in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat will push warm air back down into the room. (Fans should run counterclockwise in the summer months.) In the winter, changing the direction of your blades can save on heating costs, especially in rooms with high or vaulted ceilings.

Caulk around windows and doors

Caulk doesn’t cost a lot, but can make a real difference in terms of energy savings throughout your home.

Divert water away from your home

It’s easy to add extensions to your home’s downspouts so that water runs at least three to four feet away from your home. Doing so can prevent too much water from pooling near your foundation and entering your home.

Clean your gutters

By helping to direct rainwater away from your home, gutters prevent water damage. But they can’t do their job when they are clogged with leaves and other debris. It’s a job you’ll want to do — or hire someone to do — twice each year. You’ll also want to clean out your downspouts and make sure water is being directed away from your home. While you’re at it, inspect your roof — or have a professional inspect it — so that any damage can be fixed before winter.

Clean your chimney

Before you start your first fire of the season, have your fireplace or wood stove chimney cleaned and inspected. It’s an important way to prevent a home fire.

Let us know what you’re doing to get ready for cooler days.  If your are buying a home in Rapid City or in the Black Hills give us a call or schedule online.  Check out Red Horse Home Inspection on our facebook page for more home safety and maintenance tips.


Couple Celebrating Moving Into New Home in rapid city after a home inspectionYour down payment is in the bank and you’re pre-approved for a mortgage. You’re all ready to start looking at homes. Here are some tips for home buying the smart way:

Don’t go it alone

Some tech-savvy buyers like to use the Internet and mobile apps to search for homes. That’s great — the Internet is a great tool for finding homes you want to look at in person. But there is no substitute to also having someone by your side who can help you navigate the home buying process. Buying a home could be the biggest purchase you ever make, and consulting an expert can make all the difference. That’s why even though most home buyers today use the Internet at some point in the home buying process, nearly 90% of all home buyers work with a real estate agent. Your real estate agent can help guide you through the home search, help you make an offer, assist you with negotiating with the seller and other parts of the home-buying process.

Don’t be swayed by staging

You found a home that looks like it could be featured in a magazine. But don’t be swayed by expensive furniture and decor. Pay close attention to the basics — the condition of the roof, the heating and cooling system, and plumbing — anything that would be costly to upgrade or repair. Those are the things that really matter and could be hard on your finances if they aren’t in good condition.

Never skip a home inspection

Many home buyers who skip home inspections regret it later. Don’t be rushed into purchasing a home. Take your time so that you can truly find the home that’s right for you and your family and have it inspected by a knowledgeable, reputable and independent third party. (That’s us!)

Want to learn more about the importance of a home inspection? Give us a call! 1-605-490-2916.  Schedule your home inspection online.  Follow  us on facebook and instagram.


Image via Pexels

One of the most popular activities for people during the pandemic has been refreshing their homes. When you’re stuck inside with nowhere to go, it only makes sense. During the beginning of the pandemic, getting the supplies you needed for renovations was difficult. We’ve finally hit a point where most things are back in stock, and at a reasonable place. With new COVID variants coming out frequently, there’s still reason to start renovating your home. If you’re considering renovations, here are some tips on how to get things done efficiently and effectively, brought to you by Red Horse Home Inspection.

Plan Your Renovations Around Creating a Healthier Space

As we’re spending more and more time indoors, it’s important that you make your home into a healthier space. Many home renovations have included converting spaces into fitness areas, allowing people to stay home to work out.

Another health-conscious decision you can make is creating a dedicated home workspace. By doing so, you can help to separate work life from home life, creating a healthier balance when you’re forced to work from home. The distinction between the two spaces is significant.

Know What Jobs You Can Do, and What Jobs Need a Professional

It’s important not to dive into the deep end when you’re doing home renovations. Many jobs are able to be done on a DIY basis, but some are going to require the assistance of professionals. Let’s take a look at both categories.

Some DIY Home Renovations

There are a ton of DIY home renovations that just about any homeowner can do. Some of the most popular include:

  • Painting. Painting both inside and outside surfaces can be done by anyone. Just make sure that you thoroughly prep the surfaces. This helps the paint stick.
  • Refresh cabinets. Replacing cabinets is a big job that requires a professional touch. If you like your cabinets, but want to update them a bit, replace hinges and knobs. This updates their look without doing a full replacement.
  • Update your ceilings. By adding simple tongue-and-groove boards to your ceilings, you can change the look of any room, and make them visually intriguing.

Jobs That Need a Professional Touch

Some jobs just aren’t suitable for a DIY approach. These common jobs should be left to the professionals:

  • Replacing bathroom fixtures. Any job that requires modifying the plumbing should be left to, you guess it, a plumber.
  • Changing light fixtures. Similar to plumbing jobs, electrical jobs should be left to electricians.
  • Structural updates. Everyone loves an open floor plan. You can’t just go knocking down walls, though. Professionals need to make sure that walls aren’t load-bearing, something that most homeowners aren’t experienced enough to do.

Financing Your Renovations

When you’re making significant updates to your home, you’re probably going to have to dip into your savings. If that’s not an option, you may be able to refinance your home to free up some cash. A cash-out refi replaces your existing mortgage with a new loan for a larger amount. The difference between the loan amounts are what you, the borrower, receives to renovate your home with.

Update Your Space

Updating your home is going to add value to it, of course. However, you should also remember that it’s going to enrich your life. We’re spending a lot of time in our homes, thanks to the pandemic. Renovations can help you enjoy yours again!




Hispanic couple sitting on the sofa reading a book at home with their baby son and young daughterYou can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says radon gas is deadly. It’s second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer.

Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. While smokers are particularly vulnerable, non-smokers aren’t immune. Nearly 3,000 non-smokers die each year from radon-related lung cancer, the EPA estimates. High radon levels occur in homes in every state and in every type and age of home. About one in 15 houses have it. Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels.

Radon Testing

You can conduct the test yourself with easily available kits, or hire a professional. Short-term testing — two to three days — gives you a snapshot of current conditions. Long-term testing of 90 days or more gives you a year-round average.

Radon Results

A reading of 4 pCi/L — just 4 “picocuries” per liter warrants further testing. A “curie” is a unit of measurement for radioactive substances. A picocurie is one-trillionth of a curie. What if radon is there at levels of 4 pCi/L or higher? First, the EPA states that any radon at all can be dangerous, though risk decreases at lower levels. If you’ve got elevated radon levels, a professional radon contractor can help.

What is Radon

Radon is a product of uranium, found in small amounts in nearly all soils. As the uranium naturally decays, it releases radon gas into the outside air, or into homes through openings in the foundations such as cracks. Trapped inside the building, the gas builds up. It can and does happen whether buildings are new or old, drafty or tightly sealed.

How to Fix

Radon contractors have several methods for reducing home radon levels. The “soil suction radon reduction system” is one of the most common. A fan pulls radon gas from under the house and vents it to the outside through pipes and vents. What’s right for your home depends on its design and other factors. Costs also depend on the home’s design, as well as the extent of the problem.

For detailed information on radon, including sources, risks, testing, solutions and prevention, visit the EPA at this link.

Schedule your home inspection and radon test with Red Horse Home Inspection of the Black Hills.  Take a look at a sample home inspection reports and see customer reviews.  You can easily schedule your home inspection online.