Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Tale of Two Houses (part 2)

House #2 was a coustom built brick ranch, constructed about six months after Mary’s house, on a hillside in the same quiet neighborhood. About five months before Mary put her house on the market this house was sold. Before I tell you the rest of the story, just let me say, neighbors should talk more.

Herman, Mary’s neighbor, decided to put his house on the market and used a Real-estate Agent that had gone to school with his oldest daughter. The Agent (Janet) recommended that Herman hire a professional Home Inspector to do a Pre-listing Inspection. Herman did not think that this was such a good idea, to invest another few hundred dollars, in a house he had lived in for so long, and knew everything about. Herman’s daughter, much like my daughter, gave him great advice that he reluctantly took.

Yes, Herman hired a professional Home Inspector and had a pre-listing inspection on his house. When the inspection report came back, Herman was surprised to find out that a house he knew so well needed a little over 8,000 dollars of repair. Herman had the repairs made prior to listing his house. Now growing up in this neighborhood and knowing “Old Man Herman”, I am sure he shed a few tears when his wallet opened and eight grand fell out.

But now to the happy part. The house did stay on the market a few months, but a good offer was made, pending the buyer getting a home inspection.

The buyers Home Inspector turned in a clean report, the house closed without a hitch, and Herman was a happy man. Almost as happy as he was when he got three months of free cable. If poor Mary had only known.

Oh, I forgot to tell you that Mary is in her new place, and loves it, especially the Saturday night Senior Dance, where her dance card is always full.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Tale of Two Houses (part 1)

House #1 was a custom-built brick ranch, constructed in the summer of 1962 on a hillside in a quiet neighborhood. In the beginning of this year the original owner, for health reasons, decided to sell this wonderful old house.

The seller (we will call her Mary) well, because that’s what her name is. Mary called a local Real-estate Agent and came up with a price comparable to the houses in this neighborhood. The house was listed at $295,000. A few years ago, houses in this neighborhood at this price sold almost the next day. The house stayed on the market almost 60 days before an offer of $277,900 was agreed upon, of course contingent on the buyer’s home inspection.

Mary was hesitant about taking this offer, but with the time issue, it would be worth the cut in price to have the house sold, and move in to her assisted living complex. However, Mary did not expect what happened next...

The buyer contracted a professional Home Inspector and waited for the Home Inspector’s report. The Home Inspector was a professional and did not nit-pick, but did find some major components of the house to be in the last part of their useful life.

To make a long story short, the list consisted of:

1. Old waste lines in the crawl space that needed to be replaced.
2. The roof did not leak, but was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
3. An aging oil furnace, that needed to be replaced.

This came to a modest grand total of $15,200.

Mary agreed to sell at the lower price and also had to have the repairs done.
This brought Mary’s loss to, well you do the math.

Did Mary have to agree to that? No, but she needed to sell and it had already gone this far, and she took a big loss.

Suppose Mary had known about the $15,200 worth of repairs prior to placing the house on the market. She would not have allowed herself to get caught in this situation.

The moral of the story is that the small fee for a pre-listing inspection would have saved Mary this nightmare, not to mention money

Join me tomorrow for the Tale of Two Houses (part two).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Questions and Answers

Question: Are we in a buyer’s market?

Answer: Well, yes.

Question: Can a seller do something to protect their investment when selling their property?

Answer: Yes

Question: Can a home Inspector help make a difference?

Answer: With out a doubt

Question: How can a Home inspector make a difference to a seller?

Answer: The answer is a pre-listing inspection.

Question: What is a pre-listing inspection?

Answer: A whole house inspection paid for by the seller before the house is put on the market.

Question: How can this save seller money?

Answer: Stay tuned tomorrow “For the Tale of Two houses”

Friday, April 25, 2008

Placing your house on the market?

Are you placing your house on the market?

If the answer is yes, then here are some tips that will help you in today’s market:

1. Spruce up the curb appeal.

2. Select a professional Real estate agent or team of agents.

3. Hire a professional Home Inspector to perform a prelisting inspection. This will eliminate surprises for the buyer’s Home Inspection.

4. Prepare your home for the Buyer’s home inspector by having a pre-listing inspection performed.

Be sure to check out Monday's posting - "Are we in a buyer's market?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

Introduction - homes and home inpections

Hi, my name is Al Garrett, and welcome to my blog.

This blog is dedicated to the wonderful world of homes and home inspections.

Here is a quick definition of the two:

home - one's place of residence
home inspection - An visual nspection of a home done by a professional, to establish the structural and mechanical integrity of the house.

Over the pasted 36 years, I have dedicated my life’s work to the building trades. Currently, I conduct training classes and seminars for home inspectors as well as provide technical support nationally for home inspectors. I have an extensive background in all aspects of commercial and residential construction ranging from historical renovations of Colonial and Civil War-era buildings to new construction projects such as shopping centers, hospitals, and nuclear power plants.

As a residential contractor, I built and repaired homes. I constructed county rehabilitation housing projects and created the Project House Program - where I taught new homeowners how to properly repair and maintain their homes. I served for years as Department Manager of a construction department, where I supervised the construction department. I created guidelines for all potential sub-contractors, and monitored and reviewed the stats of all work in progress and completed.

In the early seventies, I worked with my dad as an apprentice brick mason doing historic renovation on some of the famous historic sites in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia. After four years as an apprentice, with the skills I developed working with my dad, I moved on to a company where I became foreman of an historic renovation company. As a young man I left my historic roots to built high rise buildings. I slowly came back to my roots as a residential contractor, doing repairs, renovation, and new construction. This was not enough - I had to perform home inspections, and form that, I developed a strong desire to teach people how to properly maintain their homes.

This blog will contain stories, instructions, pictures and more! Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope that you enjoy the infomation regarding homes and home inspections that I will provide.