Lexington, MI Home Inspections for Vacation Rentals
Lexington Michigan: A quaint vacation town!
Lexington, MI is a beautiful vacation town located in Sanilac County on the amazing shores of Lake Huron. Tourism has become quite prevalent in the area. There are lots of activities in Lexington in the summer. From festivals and fairs to music and theatre. Many of the downtown Lexington buildings have been restored in the last twenty years. Lexington has many Restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, Motels, Lakefront Cabins, and of course Airbnb’s. In this blog I am going to take a look at what should be taken into account when looking to buy and having a home inspector do a inspection on a Airbnb located in Lexington, MI. In this blog we will specifically go into safety issues associated with Airbnb rentals or vacation rentals specific to Lexington, MI.
Keeping your Lexington Vacation Rental a safe place for your guests needs to be your first priority for the place. Your home inspector should take this into account during the home inspection. Whether this is your first or tenth rental this never changes. Your investment property can quickly become the source of all your problems with costly lawsuits if not. You want guests to have a great time and leave wonderful reviews so your business can grow. I suggest reaching out to others in Lexington who are doing the same thing as you if possible. Whether you have used Thumb Home Inspection LLC for your Home Inspection or not you can always feel free to call and ask questions anytime. At Thumb Home Inspection LLC we pride ourselves on being able to help the community members of Lexington, MI and Sanilac County keep safe. Now let’s get into some basic safety measures you can take in your Lexington, MI Vacation Rental.
It is important to remember a lot of the Lexington, MI cottages and cabins have been there for a long time. Safety standards were different all those years ago when the Homes were built. Once that envelope of the home is secure you can make everything safe. Stopping moisture is always your number one priority in the beginning. It is important to remember there could be long periods of time you do not check on these homes so nothing should be left to chance. Your electrical should be updated. This is a potential life-threatening issue. GFCI receptacles/plugs around areas of water such as Bathrooms, Utility Areas, Kitchens, and Outdoors should all be working. Also, everything should be grounded and updated to modern standards. Some of these old cabins still contain knob & tube wiring. Your home inspector should include in their home inspection report a list of these basic deficiencies if found along with recommendations as well. I recommend child proofing receptacles/plugs. There are many inexpensive solutions for this at your local Lexington, MI hardware store. AFCI breakers are now standard when build new homes and this should be considered when updating electrical components. Ask your Electrician about options for this. There is no making your Lexington Rental too safe for your guests. In my next blog about Lexington Home Inspections, Now lets go into topics about fire safety, Carbon Monoxide detectors, and more.
Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detectors
Now that we have discussed some basics about owning a vacation rental property in Lexington, MI and also the importance of updating your electrical. Let’s further discuss some modern safety features electrical can provide. I will now go into the importance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and some options you have. These items are not typically high in cost but can very well save somebodies life. Many modern devices can even allow you to monitor your Lexington, MI rental from anywhere as they connect right to a app one your phone.
Typical modern standards and codes will have the electrical connect your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors together. Most Lexington, MI cabins and cottages were not built during times that this was standard practice. Ideally if one of the alarms go off, they all will go off. Even if you don’t connect this way with wire there are some modern ways to do this through wireless connections now. Some have standard batteries and others have more modern lithium-ion batteries. You can also have 2 in 1 detector. This is a great option and can save you a little bit of money. Every room should have its own smoke detector. Every floor should have its own CO detector. You can also purchase a gas detector which will tell you if there is a gas leak. This could be a good option especially if the home remains not in use for extended periods of time. It is important to make sure your detectors are up to date. Most all detectors now have an expiration date of 10 years. They will turn a yellow color when they are outdated. Thumb Home Inspection LLC always does a thorough check for these items during a standard home inspection. At Thumb Home Inspection LLC we put safety first above everything else. Always ask your home inspector if you have any questions regarding fire safety or any other home safety concerns.
More Fire Safety:
I can’t put enough emphasis on protecting your guests and your investment with having your Lexington Airbnb up to date in these areas. Being knowledgeable in installing and maintaining these simple but effective devices can mean all difference to your success with your Lexington, MI Vacation Rental. Besides these you should make sure all windows and doors are accessible in the correct ways. Second story bedrooms should have emergency ladders and any basements should have egress windows. A fire plan should be made accessible to your quests. Posted in a welcome package, posted on your website, or anywhere else that makes easily accessible to your guests. Make everything as easy as possible for everyone to understand. Pictures can be helpful as it is a universal language for everyone. Reach out to your local Lexington, MI Fire Department or other Sanilac County resources such as the health department for information as well.
To recap I have gone over the importance of securing the homes envelope to your vacation rental. This includes any parts on the outside that can let in water or air coming in such as your roof, windows, doors, siding, flashings, chimneys, skylights and much more. Homes need to breath but also be protected from water intrusion. A balance is necessary so moisture is kept in check, so mold and other problems do not occur. Once this is done your electrical should be brought up to modern safety standards. After that smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and any other necessary detectors installed. All these things are a good start to making your Lexington, Mi vacation rental safe for your guests. Your home Inspector should be well knowledgeable no matter who it is in these areas. At Thumb Home Inspection LLC, we pride ourselves on keeping safety top priority in our home inspections. In this blog I will dive into some safety concerns that could be hiding out in the open.
Home safety basics:
Home maintenance will need to be a priority for your Lexington, MI rental home. This includes everything from keeping paint up to date, to replacing loose deck boards. Let’s start from the outside of the home and work our way into the home. As we move along, we will discuss areas of concern. The first area a guest will come to is your rentals driveway. Keeping all walkways, driveways, decks, stairs, porches, and entrance ways safe is important. If you plan on using it for winter rentals keep this in mind particularly. Lexington, MI is known for snowy and icy winters due to lake effect snow from being located on Lake Huron. If you are a Lexington local or live in Michigan you could overlook this. People will come to your rental from all over the world. Some may have never seen snow. So keeping entrance ways safe is important because tourists sometimes don’t recognize dangers that we are used to being from Michigan. Driveway and walkways should be level. Cracks in concrete that could lead to falls should be fixed. Loose boards on decks should be secured. Hand railings should be graspable and at the correct Height. Anything more than 2 steps high should have a hand railing. Decks that are high should meet standard codes. Spindles for deck railings/balusters or stairs(indoors and out) should meet codes such as but not limited to less than 4 inch spacing. This is not only for children but also to keeps pets safe. Even if your rental is not kid or pet friendly people will break this rule. It should be taken into consideration. Lexington, MI is a beach town. That means people will be in their bare feet naturally. Loose deck boards with nail pops could easily become the cause of a injury if not addressed. This same way of looking at potential hazards on the outside should be repeated and duplicated on the inside. Everything should be secure, and all loose ends tied up. Attention to detail becomes important in this part of the process. If I could add something that would be outside of a home inspections SOP it would be to have an area or closet with maintenance tools and cleaning supplies locked up. All chemicals especially. Keep these items outside in a shed or garage locked up, especially when flammable. Thumb Home Inspection LLC will always have a safety first approach when performing home inspections. Our home inspectors at Thumb Home Inspection LLC care about safety above all other aspects in our home inspections.
To go over a quick recap of what we discussed I will start with the envelope of the home. Your home inspector should always be checking for water intrusion or moisture coming in the home during the home inspection. Mold along with many other problems can occur and keeping the home dry is the first place to start. Now that your roof is working and your home is dry, make sure you electrical is up to date and meets current safety standards. This could be a potential life-threatening issue if left unchecked and unmonitored. Make sure your home inspector is checking for fire safety issues during the home inspection. Your guests are depending on you providing a safe environment for them. There should be adequate number of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and any other detector needed for the home. Make sure your home inspector is checking for unsafe walkways, paths, decks with loose boards, decks with stairs, cracked driveways, railings and handrails, and any other outside hazards. Safety concerns inside the home should be taken into consideration as well. Secure any nail pops in hardwood floors or unlevel walkways. Thumb Home Inspection LLC has a safety-first approach when doing home inspections. Whoever or whatever home inspector you hire make sure safety is their number one priority during their home inspection. Now let’s move on to another issue that is somewhat specific to some Sanilac County and Lexington, MI homes and properties. This issue does occur across all homes on the water or by our water ways in Michigan, however.
Well & Septic:
Well and Septic issues can be quite costly. Also, there is a responsibility you have as homeowner to see that your waste is properly disposed of. On top of that well & septic issues can be harmful to your health and the wildlife around you. Many of these cabins, homes, cottages, were part time residency or vacation homes at one time. Upgrades were not always considered when families moved into the homes full time. Septic tanks and drain fields are designed to handle specific amounts of waste. Overstressing can cause failure. Shoddy do it yourself wells, septic tanks, and drain fields was a problem for the area as well. The good news however is most of these problems have been solved as the Sanilac County and City of Lexington have made strides to fix these issues. Buyer beware however some homes still have these issues. Let’s talk about the issue of water safety first. This can mean a lot of different things. If your septic tank is failing or drain field is too close to your well it could contaminate your water. E. Coli is a common problem when this happens. If your drain field empties into Lake Huron or surrounding areas, it can be harmful to people and wildlife. Beach closings happen every year because in the Great Lake Regions because of E. Coli outbreaks. The Michigan Department of Agriculture, EGLE, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Sanilac County Health Department, EPA, DNR, and City of Lexington are all different agencies that would respond to the issue of improper sewage dumping. This may not even be known by the homeowner themselves. It still can become a headache, however. Thumb Home Inspection LLC is here for your well inspection, septic tank inspection, drain field testing, and water testing needs. Thumb Home Inspection LLC uses a professional laboratory located in Howell, Michigan.
We did not cover every possible safety hazard, but we have a good start now. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about a home inspection or what standards your home inspector should be following.