Choosing your “Home”

Old or New??? Many buyers have this decision to make early on. What do you really want? An older house with charm, maybe some fine woodwork…  (Yes, it may be lacking some of the modern improvements and some energy upgrades…) Or do you want a Newer home with all the” bells and whistles?” but maybe no history…   Tough decision?

Maybe, but I always tell my clients: (Not necessarily in this order!)

  • Speak to your Realtor
  • Speak to your Attorney
  • See your banker or mortgage broker
  • Get Pre-approved, (Know your range)
  • Have a list with your dreams…
  • Look at houses, many houses…

One or more of these houses will give you that special feeling… (You will get the “Feel” that you’re home! That is when you arrange to get it Inspected! Choose your Inspector, ask many questions and move on…

Home Inspectors see many homes, all types and sizes… They have an idea where the weak points are in each design, in each locale and sometimes they may even be familiar with the particular builder. You may even be lucky enough to get an Inspector who has owned and/or owns the style you are seeking. Do not be afraid to ask.

Home Inspectors will check that house to determine if there are any significant issues. They will present you the good and the bad. You will have to determine if you will be comfortable with the findings to buy or move on… Newer Homes are not necessarily perfect! (I found Over $38k worth of “mistakes” in a $4 million dollar – Brand New Home! Never been lived in…) I have inspected many 100, even 200 year homes with few issues. Much depends on the care, (Love) given by their occupants, all After the builder was done… (I have also found some horrors… from Same builders!)

YOU will have the opportunity to make that building, that house, into Your HOME… YOU will have the opportunity to pass it on to someone else, someone who follows you. It will not be New anymore but it will have memories and hopefully you will have instilled some additional charm…

All this comes after! Let your Home Inspector have a chance to help you choose. Give your HI a chance to make sure the house, your choice, is worthy of being your HOME! I can usually hear the smile in people’s voices as they are making the appointment. Sometimes I can also detect fear, fear that I will find something serious… I always say, Let’s look it over together. I will tell you what I see, YOU will decide if it is serious, a real deal breaker… I get them to understand that NO house is perfect! All need TLC to make it a home. I help you find what it needs, and you decide how much you love it. Old or New there is a house for you… Get your Home Inspector to help.


Is your house sick?

We all go to our doctor regularly, especially as we get older… but do we ever have a doctor check our house?

No, I’m not a doctor but I am a Home Inspector and I am amazed at how many sick houses there are… Most of us have no idea what’s happening in our attics, crawlspaces, electric panels and many other important areas. Many of these areas may need to be tweaked before they create some real problems…

Many Home Inspectors can perform Energy Audits to help you save money, but all of them can help you learn more about what is happening in your house. Yes, they can probably answer many of those questions, which may have perplexed you for years and they may even prevent a disaster before it happens…

I have found many issues, in some exceptionally well kept homes, and which the homeowners had no clue even existed. On more than one occasion, the issue could have killed someone. Sometimes my reviews prevented extensive property damage and sickness.

Houses are mysteries and wonderful but they need to be maintained, just like the human body… A check-up now and again can help your homes last for many years while providing security and growth. All the house needs is the proper maintenance and maybe a little TLC by having a visit from your friendly H.I.


Final walk-thrus … Walk the walk!

One of the biggest mistakes many buyers make is NOT TO CHECK their dream house BEFORE closing! What a great opportunity to view the “naked” house and see any/all hidden secrets. Someone said that this tour should be performed in the company of the Seller. This will alow you to ask questions, (Definitely recommended to have a list of prepared questions including settings for HVAC, garbage pick-ups etc. It is highly recommended that someone focus solely on this check/walk-thru . (Yes, measuring and future furniture placement, coloration, blinds, drapes etc. are important BUT…once the property is yours, guess who pays for any issues??? After closing it is usually too late for any recourse!)

The following items should be tested: (Minimal listing- You may decide on more…)

  • Try every light fixture and switch. (if unknown function- ask seller!)
  • Let water run, look under sinks for leaks, flush toilets, test Jacuzzi.
  • Put all appliances thru full cycle!
  • Open and close all doors and test garage door openers
  • Inspect ceilings, wall and floors (Check the attic and crawlspace for changes, etc.)
  • Run garbage disposal and exhaust fans
  • Test heating and air conditioning
  • Open and close ALL windows
  • Make sure all debris is removed from in/out of the home and walk around the property

Many buyers, try to perform these Walk-thrus themselves but find they can get easily side-tracked. Home Inspectors can perform these reviews while you do your thing. Many Inspectors will even offer a discount if arranged at the Initial Inspection. Sometimes it may even be advisable to hire a different inspector to obtain a different view. The key point is DO NOT PASS UP the opportunity to make that LAST check before the house becomes your Castle. Do THAT WALK‼

What to Expect … Before, During and After a Home Inspection

I am often asked how long will a Home Inspection take? I have to smile as I give my answer… It all depends… Normal Inspection 2- 3 hours but if there are many issues, and/or buyers are inquisitive and ask many questions 4hours or more is not uncommon…

Personally, I only schedule two Inspections per day and try to have a space between my appointments, just in case… (many times, especially with 1st time home buyers, there is a need for questions and clarifications, AFTER the actual Inspection. This, is usually where the infamous question, “Would you buy this house?” is asked.  It is also the time where most inspectors explain about: significant and Insignificant issues. (Be aware! There is no such thing as a Perfect House! Every house is changing daily. It is aging, being bombarded, inside and out… Parts of the house are wearing as the surroundings shift… Inspectors only get an opportunity to see this interaction and/or the results, within a very narrow window… Yet, the inspector has to make an evaluation and provide the recommendations… Definitely worth those few hours…  Some Inspectors deliver their findings Onsite but most review their photos and notes then create the final report and deliver the doc within 24-48 hours.

You now will have the opportunity to share the Report with your attorney, family, friends and other experts. Some of you will choose to share with the Realtors. The REPORT and all its contents are yours! You can do what you will. The Inspector is bound by confidentiality, and cannot divulge the results to anyone without your permission.

Your Report should provide you with sufficient materials and data for you to make an informed decision. You, will ultimately need to decide whether your dream house/purchase is in fact “right for you”… The Report and your attorney can protect you as you move forward.  It is highly recommended you read the full report. Many sections may appear to be unimportant but will in fact clarify some apparent insignificant issues. Some of these issues may in fact be significant to you and your family because of health issues unknown by the inspector. Some issues, which are normally not issues, but may harm some family member do to allergies etc. Read the full Report and contact the inspector for any clarification.

Inspectors, like your attorney, are there for your benefit. Do not hesitate to use them. Their experience and detail can prove priceless. Licensed and Certified Inspectors have rigid ongoing training and educational requirements. Use these experts, let them help you… Good hunting!