August 05, 2021

smoke detector rapid city home inspector

smoke detector

It’s a sad, but true fact. Each year, U.S. fire departments respond to hundreds of thousands of home fires, some involving injuries or deaths. That’s why we wanted to share some important fire safety tips to keep you and your family safe.

Most people don’t realize that in a home fire, smoke is often more dangerous than the fire itself. Smoke quickly obscures escape routes and makes it difficult to take in oxygen. Smoke also is dangerous because of the superheated air and toxic gases, which can permanently damage delicate tissues in the lungs. That is why a speedy evacuation is vital. You may have only seconds to get everyone out of the house in time. Don’t waste precious seconds on retrieving personal possessions.

More than half of all deaths from residential fires occur from 11 pm to 7 am, when most people are sleeping. If a fire should break out during nighttime hours, many people assume they will smell the smoke and get out in time. Yet fumes and gases resulting from a fire can make you sleepy, weak and confused. That’s why it’s so important to have fire detectors in every area of the home, to make sure batteries are changed regularly and to periodically check that the detector is working properly. It’s estimated that 60 percent of all house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke detector. The piercing sound of a detector can save your life! Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the test button to be sure the alarm is working. Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. Make sure you have smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

Fires can start in any area of the home and can be caused by smoking, candles, grilling, faulty heating or electrical equipment and cooking. Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than in any other room in the home. Carefully monitor what you’re doing when you cook. Never throw water onto a kitchen fire arising from spilled grease or oil. You could spread the flames and also place yourself in extreme danger of incurring serious burns. Use a fire extinguisher instead. Each home should have one or more fire extinguishers, and you should make sure you know how to use them quickly in an emergency.

Do you have a fire evacuation plan? All family members should know what to do in the event of a fire. Conduct fire safety drills both at night and during daytime hours until all your family members know exactly what to do and where to go in the event of a home fire.

Follow Red Horse Home Inspection on Facebook.  If you’re buying a home in the Black Hills of South Dakota schedule your home inspection online or call 605-490-2916.

Image source: Pexels

red horse home inspection rapid city investment propertyPurchasing an investment property can be a fantastic way to create wealth, and similar to any other investment, doing the research beforehand is a pivotal step you need to take. If you’ve decided make your first real estate investment, congratulations! Making a real estate investment can be an excellent way to secure your financial future, so your choice is wise. 

Buying Your First Investment Property


Everything, from doing your research to getting your finances in order to choose the area you want to buy in, requires due diligence on your part. Thus, if you want to make sure your purchase is worth it, in your best interest, and cash-flow positive, there are a few steps you need to take before you close on your first investment property.


Educate Yourself


Education is imperative to success in the real estate industry. There is a massive learning curve when investing in either rental or commercial properties. Still, you can ease it by equipping yourself with sufficient knowledge, especially since so much information is available on the Internet now. If you’re genuinely into real estate, the learning part will be fun, but if you have to force yourself to learn, this may not be the ideal path for you. 

Set Your Finances in Order


Master Passive Income points out that there are numerous options available today for financing your first investment property. As you’re learning how to purchase your first real estate, you might start considering applying for mortgage loans. Various loan options offer different benefits, so you need to spot and choose the right mortgage option that best suits your financial situation and goals. 


Still, there are a few things you need to take care of before going for a home loan. Unlike the 3-percent down payment on the property you’re living on, BiggerPockets notes that you’ll need at least a 20-percent down payment for purchasing investment properties. Besides, you shouldn’t carry debts with your investment portfolio, so pay them off before getting started in real estate investing.


As a real estate investor, consider running your business as a DBA (doing business as), which is beneficial as part of your marketing and branding strategy. A DBA name is basically a pseudonym for your legal business name. Many entrepreneurs use it to avoid using their own surname or, for corporations, because an assumed name makes expansion easier, as it’s not necessary to create a completely new corporation. 


Decide What You Want to Buy


Before proceeding further, you need to define your investment goals. For instance, do you want to buy a multi-unit property or a single-family home? Is the low-maintenance setup of a condo better suited for your long-term goals? You can typically get more revenue with a multifamily house, but single-family homes tend to have more equity appreciation potential if you decide to sell later on.


It’s also smart to nail down a price point and set your budget. Take into account the management of the property and who will do it, the rent you can charge according to the location of the property, home type, and eventual updates you plan to make. Besides the 20-percent down payment you need to have ready, consider other expenses you may have, such as conveyancing, the real estate agent, pest and building reports, and insurance. 


To attract lenders, you also need to clean the property, buy furniture if required, sort out the utilities, upgrade it and perhaps hire a property manager to continue taking care of the place after you are renting it. Make sure they are trustable, reachable, and do a great job in managing the property for you. Hiring a home inspector like Red Horse Home Inspection will also help assuage any major maintenance concerns the lender may have about the property.

Decide the Where


The geographical location is also imperative. When looking for an investment property, focus on the trendier neighborhoods in the area, and try to limit your search to homes zoned for particular amenities, such as a school, grocery store, national park, and so on. 

The Bottom Line


Buying investment property could earn you a good chunk of money, and many still consider it the ideal way to become financially independent. Once you educate yourself and learn about the industry, sort out your finances, and know what and where you want to buy, you are ready to make an offer on your first investment property. 


If you’re looking for home inspection experts to evaluate an investment property or a home to buy in Rapid City and surrounding areas, Red Horse Home Inspection is more than happy to help. Schedule your inspection or contact the professionals at 605-388-2924.


July 15, 2021

by clinton_l

red horse home inspection near rapid city sd

contractor talking to clients

Do you understand the difference between a property appraisal and a home inspection? Surveys show that many home buyers — even those who have purchased homes before – have some level of confusion about these two key aspects of a home purchase.

Appraisals are designed to estimate a property’s value based on a number of different factors. They are typically ordered by lenders during the home buying process to make sure they don’t approve mortgages for more than properties are worth. Appraisers typically document and photograph property amenities, inside and out. Appraisal reports typically take into account a minimum of three comparable sales of nearby properties to arrive at an accurate appraisal value.

While an appraisal can give a home buyer a good idea of a property’s value, it is no substitute for a home inspection. A home inspection, by comparison, is a detailed, hands-on evaluation of a property’s condition. Inspections are typically ordered by a home buyer, not a lender. Homes don’t get a ‘pass’ or ‘fail,” a grade or rating. The inspector simply compiles what he or she observes in terms of property condition in a report. Anything an inspector sees that is unsafe or in need of repair is noted.

While a home appraisal is virtually a mandatory part of the home buying process if you’re taking out a mortgage loan, a home inspection is entirely voluntary. But that doesn’t make inspections any less important. Inspectors look for costly and hidden defects and problems, such as roof issues, faulty heating/cooling systems, structural problems and leaky pipes, that could lead to costly headaches down the line for anyone who owns the home. They’ll also document any of a number of less serious issues.

Many home buyers who pay for a pre-purchase inspection make their offer contingent upon that inspection. Inspections are even more critical when purchasing a distressed property, due to the more limited amount of information potential buyers may have access to about a property’s condition and possible problems.

When you’re ready to buy or sell a home, give us a call at 1-605-388-2924 to learn more about the importance of home inspections.  Easily schedule online today

July 01, 2021

fire extinguisher red horse home inspection inspector rapid cityA new home is definitely a big reason to celebrate. What better way to mark the day than with a thoughtful housewarming gift? If you enjoy giving practical gifts, a fire extinguisher is an incredible choice for a new homeowner. Every homeowner should have one on each floor or area of their home. And many people forget to buy one. Moving into a new home? Put a fire extinguisher on the top of your shopping list.

Fire extinguishers are life savers. Class A fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires involving paper, wood and plastics. Class B are for flammable liquids such as oil and grease and Class C are for electrical fires. Class ABC models work on all the fires above. The higher the rating number on an A or B fire extinguisher, the more fire it can extinguish. But higher-rated units are often heavier — too heavy for some people to hold and operate. If you’re buying a fire extinguisher, make sure it can be easily picked up and operated.

Do you know how to use a fire extinguisher? In an emergency, fire fighters say many people can’t get one to work on the first try. Read the informational material that comes with your device. Consider having local fire department personnel show you how to use it or attend a training class. The acronym PASS can help you remember the basics of operation: Pull the pin to release the handle, aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire, squeeze the trigger, and sweep the discharge stream at the base of the fire.

Fire extinguishers are not designed to fight a large or spreading fire. Even against small fires, they are useful only under the right conditions, such as when a fire is confined to a small area, like a wastebasket; when everyone has exited the building; after the fire department has been called or is being called; and if the room is not filled with smoke.

Today’s fire extinguishers are less expensive, lighter and more effective than they were years ago. There are even designer fire extinguishers on the market today that blend in with your home decor and serve as a conversation piece!

If you are buying or selling a home in the Black Hills give us a call at 605-490-2916or schedule your home inspection online.

Follow Red Horse Home Inspection LLC on Facebook and get weekly safety and home maintenance tips.

rapid city home inspector inspection black hills

Trying to find the perfect home? As you search through the options available on the market, you may come to a game-changing realization: Your perfect house doesn’t exist – yet. However, you can make your dream home a reality.


That said, you can’t do it alone. When it comes to building a home, you need experienced professionals by your side to guide you through the process. Here’s a look at the five pros you need, courtesy of Red Horse Home Inspection


  1. Realtor


The first step is to purchase the land your dream home will sit on. For this, you will need a realtor. Picking the perfect realtor, though, can be difficult. It’s important to ask questions, such as, “How many sales have you handled in my target neighborhoods?” “What’s your fee?” “Who else will be working with me?” and “Has a client ever filed a complaint against you?” Once you find someone who checks all the boxes, it’s time to move on to the next step.


  1. Builder


No matter what kind of home you want, you’ll need someone to build it. Creating a new home is hard work, and it requires serious industry knowledge and trustworthy experience. If the work is done incorrectly, fixing it can be an expensive problem. You need to know that your house is built properly so you can live a safe, happy, and affordable life inside of it.


The best way to find a reputable home builder is through recommendations, and by interviewing several different prospects. Checking out customer reviews gives you a good sense of what working with any given builder will be like. Interviewing a mix of home builders and getting multiple quotes will help you settle on the right person who can affordably make your dream home a reality. 


  1. Inspector


You need to get a good inspector like Red Horse Home Inspection to check your home at different building stages. Some builders have in-house inspectors, but it’s always a good call to have an independent inspector check out the work, as well. This way you have an increased sense of trust and confidence that the inspections are thorough and honest.


  1. Designer


Once your home is built, you’ll want to make the interior your own. Even if you have a pretty good sense of your own décor style, it’s a good call to hire a designer to help you bring it to life. There are many subtle aspects of interior design that can make or break your aesthetic. A pro will be able to identify all the best opportunities to make your space great.


To pick a great designer, take a look at several different portfolios and find a few that have examples you like. Meet them in person or do an informal interview over the phone. If you like their work and you get along well, it’s probably a good fit. Hiring an interior designer will typically cost between $2,000 and $5,000.


  1. Landscaper


Getting your interior in shape is only one aspect of making your dream home perfect. You also need to make sure the exterior looks the way you’d like it to. Regular care and maintenance might be manageable on your own, but consider hiring a landscaper to lay down the groundwork. A good landscaper will have a sense for where to put different kinds of plants and lawn décor.


There are several great things about having a professionally landscaped space. First and foremost, it will make your yard an escape from the hustle and bustle of regular life. Secondly, however, it can be very practical. Landscapers can advise which plants thrive in different environments, allowing you to make the most of your environment.


On the same token, consider hiring a tree removal service if you have any tree you no longer want or pose a risk to your property. Search “tree service near me” online to see what’s available, and then use review sites to get an idea of what customers think of these contractors. Keep in mind that it can cost between $50 and $1,500 to have a tree professionally removed.


The house-search grind loses its appeal when nothing’s quite right. If you can’t find what you want, why not build a new home? With these experts by your side, you’ll be able to bring your vision to life.


Photo Credit: Unsplash 

From U-Factors to UV Rays, All You Need to Know


Did you know that 25% to 30% of your home’s heating or cooling bill is spent on heat gain or loss through the windows? That’s more than a quarter of the money you pay to run your furnace or air conditioner taken up by inefficiency. While no window can perfectly eliminate gain or loss, energy efficient windows can go a long way to help you better insulate your home, reduce your energy consumption, minimize your energy bill and help the environment.


It’s no wonder that there are government and industry rating systems and recommendations to help you make the most informed choice about what energy efficient window might be right for you. But these systems can sometimes seem impenetrable and meaningless without understanding the different kinds of benefits and savings energy efficient windows offer. Below is a quick primer to assist you on your way to bettering your home and helping the environment—with windows!


Bottom-Line Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows


Replacing your existing windows is not inexpensive, but it might be a wise decision for any one of the many benefits offered by energy efficient ones, including:


  • Savings on utility bills. The Efficient Windows Collaborative, a public-private non-profit promoting efficient windows, estimates that replacing your existing windows can save you at least 15% on your monthly heating costs in cold climates and between 11% and 37% in hot climates. New homes benefit too: by 24% for cold climates and at least 12% in hotter ones. Those are benefits you can take to the bank.


  • Consistent comfort. Inefficient windows become places where air is exchanged between your home and the outside world. Cold air can pool by your windows, fall to the floor and create an uncomfortable draft while hot air and excessive sunlight can warm rooms in your house to an unpleasant degree. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has determined that the more efficient your windows, the lower the probability of discomfort you’ll experience at home.


  • Avoid condensation. Have you ever had droplets form on your window panes during the winter? Did this moisture drip to the floor, leaving streaks on your wall? Energy efficient windows can reduce the occurrence of condensation and help save you from streaks, corrosion or other damage caused by moisture.


  • Protect your furniture from sunlight. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your skin, of course, but they can also damage your sofa, carpets and wood floors through fading. Energy efficient windows can come with low-emissivity coatings that not only improve the insulating abilities of your windows, but protect your home’s things from UV damage as well.


Which Energy Efficient Window is Right for Me?


Depending on whether you live in a hot or a cold climate, what you need from a window might be different. There are three factors that can play a particularly important role in determining which energy efficient window is right for your home:


  • The U-Factor. This is the rate at which your windows permit non-solar heat to be exchanged between your home and the outside world. The lower the U-Factor, the less heat transferred and the more energy efficient your window is. Lower U-Factors are helpful for both those who want to keep the heat in and those who want to keep the heat out.


  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This number reflects the amount of heat produced by the sun’s rays in your home through the window. The lower the number, the less heat can be produced. Those in cold climates might therefore want a higher number to allow the sun’s rays to provide some warmth outside of summer, while those who enjoy the hot sun most of the year might prefer the solar-blocking properties of a low SHGC.


  • Condensation Resistance. For those who live in cold climates a window with a higher number, which will be more resistant to forming water droplets indoors, might be the right choice. 


Though energy efficient windows can do a lot of work to help your home heating and cooling costs, they can only work properly if installed correctly. Great companies like Local Home Pro provide the level of expertise necessary to ensure the maximum benefit from your beautiful new windows. 


June 03, 2021

home inspection near rapid city, sd Black hillsReady to make a move? Finding the right property can be a daunting task. In addition to selecting a design and a floor plan that you like, you also have to think about the condition the house is in.

Although it might be tempting to sign a mortgage as quickly as possible and start the moving process, it makes much more sense to invest in a thorough home inspection first. We take great pride in offering our customers home inspections covering areas of the home such as:

Walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors. We’ll look at a wide range of structural components throughout the house.

Interior plumbing system. We’ll look for signs of leaks and other issues, such as water damage.

Foundation. The foundation is the backbone of any building. We’ll look for any issues there, too. In some cases, foundations can be repaired, but it’s often an extensive and costly process.

Roof. Roofs protect us from the elements, but they’re also exposed to wind, water, and the sun’s harsh UV rays. An inefficient roof can jack up utility costs and make your home inefficient. A roof that needs to be replaced can be costly. We’ll take a look at the roof, attic and visible insulation.

Heating and cooling system. Weather permitting, we’ll take a look at both of these systems and how well they work.

Electrical system. We’ll take a look for any visible signs of electrical issues.

After we complete our home inspection, we may recommend additional testing by a specialist in a specific area if we spot an issue we’re concerned with, such as termites. We always welcome home buyers to accompany us on our home inspections, because we can answer any questions they may have before they receive our written report.

Don’t rush through the home buying process. Take your time and make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Call us today to learn more. 1-605-490-2916.  Easily schedule your  inspection online.  Follow us on Facebook and get maintenance and safety tips.

Side view of Happy African american couple having fun together in living room at homeMoving into a new home is a happy — and hectic — time. There’s so much to do! Your to-do list is overflowing in the days and weeks after purchasing a home. That’s why we wanted to share with you two tasks that you’ll want to put at the top of your to-do list to help keep you and your family healthy and safe.

Replace the batteries and inspect the smoke alarms. It’s one of the first things you’ll want to do after getting the keys to your new home. The batteries in battery-powered smoke detectors should be changed at least once a year. The units themselves should be replaced every 10 years. You’ll want to test units monthly. If you aren’t sure how old the smoke detectors are in your new home, replace them.

Make sure you have enough smoke detectors, too. The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnected smoke alarms are the best way to go —when one smoke alarm goes off, they all go off. Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan. Make sure your family has one.

Check or install carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It’s an invisible, odorless gas. Because you can’t see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can kill you before you know it’s there. Make sure your new home has CO detectors on each floor and make sure that they are replaced every five years. (Check each alarm’s manufacture date so you know when it’s time for replacement.) You don’t need carbon monoxide detectors only during the winter months — carbon monoxide is a year-round threat.

Install a CO alarm outside each sleeping area, inside every bedroom, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Choose an alarm that is tested and listed by a Nationally Accredited Lab such as ETL or UL.

Follow Red Horse Home Inspection LLC on Facebook to get weekly safety and maintenance tips.

If you are ready to schedule your home inspection give us a call at 605-490-2916 or schedule online.

Red Horse Home Inspection services the Black Hills of South Dakota.  This includes Rapid City, Summerset, Sturgis, Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, Custer, Hot Springs, Hill City, Keystone, Hermosa, Rapid Valley, Belle Fourche, Box Elder, New Underwood, and surrounding areas.

You’ve moved in. You’ve redecorated. You’ve settled in and you’ve even hung those nifty new curtains you bought a few months back. 


One night, you wake up freezing.  When you’re in the process of buying a home, it often feels like you’ve stepped into a world where you always have another item on your rapidly growing to-do list and the sealing tape is always disappearing right at the moment you need it.


So when you’ve found the house that you want to move into and you’re getting close to making an agreement with the seller, arranging a home inspection can feel like another thing that’s getting piled onto your already overcrowded calendar. 


Is the home inspection even necessary? Should you be emulating the 20% of Redfin homebuyers who waived the home inspection in June of 2020?


Here are four ways that a home inspection can make your efforts to become a homeowner easier.

1. It Can Simplify Your Final Mortgage Approval

As a general rule, lenders will weigh several factors when qualifying your mortgage application:


Your income level, the state of your credit, your debt-to-income ratio, and whatever other financial information that they consider relevant. 


However, one of the details on the list of things that lenders care about is whether or not the home is insurable. And how do insurers decide to extend their services?


They often rely on the home inspection report to figure things out on their end. So much so that it’s not unusual to see them refuse to insure in the absence of an inspection.


At the end of the day, there are lots of factors that may impact your mortgage approval. But a home inspection report can give you one less barrier towards getting that final “Yes.”.

2. The Report Can Save You Money

There are few scenarios where nitpicking to show interest can work in your favor. But surprisingly, home purchases are one of them.


If the stairs look like they’ll need professional carpet cleaning or if the cabinet hinge looks like it needs replacing, there are a number of repairs and minor fixes that could land you a surprisingly big discount on your home purchase.


At the end of the day, however, buyers and sellers may disagree on what deserves a discount. But when the home inspector is pointing problems out, the report can put some extra weight in your corner as you haggle your way through the home buying process.

3. A Home Inspection Report Can Give You a Heads up on Repairs

Picture this.


cold in the dead of winter and you learn the hard way that your furnace was on its last legs. Or, worse, maybe you find out from your doctor that you’ve been breathing in mold over the past few years without realizing it.


What happens then?


The truth is that sometimes signs of major problems under the hood may not be visible at first. And if you’re not someone who looks at houses for a living, you may not spot some of these issues even after several walkthroughs. 


A home inspection report ensures that you’ll be moving into your new home with fewer unknowns. If there’s warping in your bathroom floor or if your air ducts aren’t as clear as they should be, you’ll know once you receive the report.

4. It Lets You Get an Objective, Third-Party Opinion on the Home

When you’re in the thick of a house hunt, it’s easy to start second-guessing yourself.


Is this house really everything I’ve hoped for and then some? Is this the right place for me or is it all too good to be true?


If the seller wants to get out ASAP, they’ll be doing all they can to present the property in a good light. Or, if they’re not real estate professionals, they may not even know that there are problems with the house.


A home inspection report can put many of those nagging doubts to rest. And that peace of mind is something that can’t be underestimated.




When the end of your home search is so close that you can taste it, it’s only natural to wonder if the home inspection is even needed. 


Home inspection reports are often considered a key step in the home buying process because they can simplify your journey towards homeownership. Whether you want to know a little more about the property or you’re searching for a discount, the home inspection report can grease the wheels of your house purchase. 


And sometimes, when you’re drowning in the logistics of your mortgage application and your move, these details can make a world of difference.


Schedule your Home Inspection with Red Horse Home Inspection.  Call us at 605-490-2916 or easily schedule online.  Follow us on Facebook to get weekly safety and maintenance tips.  Check out a sample home inspection report here.


May 05, 2021

Portrait Of Happy Baby Girl Playing With Toys In PlayroomMoving into a new home? If you have children, it’s a great time to make sure your home is safe for the smallest members of your household. Every 30 minutes, a child in the United States is injured as a result of a TV or furniture tip-over incident. Most of those injuries happen at home, involving children younger than 7 years of age.

How do these injuries happen? Generally, they come from climbing. Children spot a toy atop a dresser or bookshelf and decide to monkey their way to it. The unfortunate result is that the child’s weight tips the furniture over. When it comes to television sets – which constitute about half of all injuries – the problem usually comes from oversized screens toppling over after a child grabs it.

What can you do to keep your children safe? Here are tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Secure your television. Televisions that are not wall mounted should be correctly anchored so they won’t move or topple over. Expect that a toddler or small child will try to push or pull the television.

Read all instructions. Follow all manufacturer instructions to secure TVs and furniture. Purchase quality hardware and equipment needed to secure heavy items.

Secure top-heavy furniture. Bookshelves, dressers and other types of furniture are prone to tip-overs. Secure furniture to the wall. You must correctly secure restraints to both the furniture and a stud in the wall. Pay close attention to instructions; incorrect installation can fail to prevent a tip over.

Remove tempting objects. Remove items that might tempt kids to climb, such as toys and remote controls, from the top of the TV and furniture. Store heavy objects on lower shelves or in lower drawers. When securing furniture, pay close attention to anything in your child’s room or where they spend most of their time.

Red Horse Home Inspection of the Black Hills of South Dakota.  We service Rapid City, Sturgis, Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead, Hot Springs, Custer, Hill City, Keystone, Hermosa, Box Elder, New Underwood, Belle Fourche, Newell, and surrounding areas.  If you need to schedule a home inspection give us a call at 605-490-2916 or schedule online.  Follow us on facebook and home maintenance and safety tips for your home.  Check out a sample home inspection report here.