Attention Sellers: What you need to know for a home inspection

11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection


 

“According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. Here are 11 you should know about if you’re planning to put your home up for sale.”

 

Homebuyers Want to Know Your Home Inside and Out

While homebuyers are as individual as the homes they plan on purchasing, one thing they share is a desire to ensure that the home they will call their own is as good beneath the surface as it appears to be. Will the roof end up leaking? Is the wiring safe? What about the plumbing?  These, and others, are the questions that the buyers looking at your home will seek professional help to answer.

According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection. We’ve identified the 11 most common of these and, if not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair.

In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you’re looking for. And knowing what you’re looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones.

11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection

1. Defective Plumbing

Defective plumbing can manifest itself in two different ways: leaking, and clogging. A visual inspection can detect leaking, and an inspector will gauge water pressure by turning on all faucets in the highest bathroom and then flushing the toilet. If you hear the sound of running water, it indicates that the pipes are undersized. If the water appears dirty when first turned on at the faucet, this is a good indication that the pipes are rusting, which can result in severe water quality problems.

2. Damp or Wet Basement

An inspector will check your walls for a powdery white mineral deposit a few inches off the floor, and will look to see if you feel secure enough to store things right on your basement floor. A mildew odor is almost impossible to eliminate, and an inspector will certainly be conscious of it.

It could cost you $200-$1,000 to seal a crack in or around your basement foundation depending on severity and location. Adding a sump pump and pit could run you around $750 – $1,000, and complete waterproofing (of an average 3 bedroom home) could amount to $5,000-$15,000. You will have to weigh these figures into the calculation of what price you want to net on your home.

3. Inadequate Wiring & Electrical

Your home should have a minimum of 100 amps service, and this should be clearly marked. Wire should be copper or aluminum. Home inspectors will look at octopus plugs as indicative of inadequate circuits and a potential fire hazard.

4. Poor Heating & Cooling Systems

Insufficient insulation, and an inadequate or a poorly functioning heating system, are the most common causes of poor heating. While an adequately clean furnace, without rust on the heat exchanger, usually has life left in it, an inspector will be asking and checking to see if your furnace is over its typical life span of 15-25 yrs. For a forced air gas system, a heat exchanger will come under particular scrutiny since one that is cracked can emit deadly carbon monoxide into the home. These heat exchangers must be replaced if damaged -they cannot be repaired.

5. Roofing Problems

Water leakage through the roof can occur for a variety of reasons such as physical deterioration of the asphalt shingles (e.g. curling or splitting), or mechanical damage from a wind storm. When gutters leak and downspouts allow water to run down and through the exterior walls, this external problem becomes a major internal one.

6. Damp Attic Spaces

Aside from basement dampness, problems with ventilation, insulation and vapor barriers can cause water, moisture, mould and mildew to form in the attic. This can lead to premature wear of the roof, structure and building materials. The cost to fix this damage could easily run over $2,500.

7. Rotting Wood

This can occur in many places (door or window frames, trim, siding, decks and fences). The building inspector will sometimes probe the wood to see if this is present – especially when wood has been freshly painted.

8. Masonry Work

Re-bricking can be costly, but, left unattended, these repairs can cause problems with water and moisture penetration into the home which in turn could lead to a chimney being clogged by fallen bricks or even a chimney which falls onto the roof. It can be costly to rebuild a chimney or to have it repainted.

9. Unsafe or Over-fused Electrical Circuit

A fire hazard is created when more amperage is drawn on the circuit than was intended. 15 amp circuits are the most common in a typical home, with larger service for large appliances such as stoves and dryers. It can cost several hundred dollars to replace your fuse panel with a circuit panel.

10. Adequate Security Features

More than a purchased security system, an inspector will look for the basic safety features that will protect your home such as proper locks on windows and patio doors, dead bolts on the doors, smoke and even carbon monoxide detectors in every bedroom and on every level. Even though pricing will vary, these components will add to your costs. Before purchasing or installing, you should check with your local experts.

11. Structural/Foundation Problems

An inspector will certainly investigate the underlying footing and foundation of your home as structural integrity is fundamental to your home.

When you put your home on the market, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises that could cost you the sale of your home. By having an understanding of these 11 problem areas as you walk through your home, you’ll be arming yourself against future disappointment.

Real Estate News- July Home Sales

Snohomish County
Listings: 4,546, down 23 percent
Pending sales: 1,217, up 38.7 percent
Closed sales: 851, up 17 percent
Median prices: $225,000, down 16.7 percent
For the first time in a long time, home sales rose significantly in July in comparison to a year ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday.

There were 851 homes sold in the county last month, a 17 percent increase from July of 2010. More significantly, there were 1,207 pending sales in July, a 39 percent increase from a year ago. The combined median price of single-family homes and condominiums was $225,000, a 16.7 percent drop from a year ago. The median was at $225,000 in the county in November of 2004.

Prices continued to fall largely because of the number of foreclosed homes on the market. Snohomish County was in a building boom when the recession hit, and many of the newly built homes and newly purchased homes went back to the bank.

The low prices have prompted many homeowners to lease their homes rather than sell them. There were 4,546 homes for sale last month in the county, a 23 percent drop from a year ago.

In a statement, the listing service called the increase in pending sales encouraging and noted that home prices and mortgage rates are usually low.          


MCLEAN, Va., — Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates dropping sharply amid falling bond yields and signs of a weaker than expected economy. The 30-year fixed averaged 4.39 percent, its lowest level for 2011. The 15-year fixed and 5-year ARM set new historical record lows averaging 3.54 percent and 3.18 percent, respectively.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.39 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 4, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.55 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.49 percent.  
For first time home-buyers and those looking to refinance this is good news and I must say in looking for homes for clients the bank owned ones are selling incredibly fast. For the rest of us that purchased during the bubble only time will tell but, if your really wanting to move leasing out your current home may be an option. I have seen rents go up significantly due to demand and even those competing against others to get the lease. What a switch for sure!

Real Estate News- July Home Sales

Snohomish County
Listings: 4,546, down 23 percent
Pending sales: 1,217, up 38.7 percent
Closed sales: 851, up 17 percent
Median prices: $225,000, down 16.7 percent
For the first time in a long time, home sales rose significantly in July in comparison to a year ago, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday.

There were 851 homes sold in the county last month, a 17 percent increase from July of 2010. More significantly, there were 1,207 pending sales in July, a 39 percent increase from a year ago. The combined median price of single-family homes and condominiums was $225,000, a 16.7 percent drop from a year ago. The median was at $225,000 in the county in November of 2004.

Prices continued to fall largely because of the number of foreclosed homes on the market. Snohomish County was in a building boom when the recession hit, and many of the newly built homes and newly purchased homes went back to the bank.

The low prices have prompted many homeowners to lease their homes rather than sell them. There were 4,546 homes for sale last month in the county, a 23 percent drop from a year ago.

In a statement, the listing service called the increase in pending sales encouraging and noted that home prices and mortgage rates are usually low.          


MCLEAN, Va., — Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates dropping sharply amid falling bond yields and signs of a weaker than expected economy. The 30-year fixed averaged 4.39 percent, its lowest level for 2011. The 15-year fixed and 5-year ARM set new historical record lows averaging 3.54 percent and 3.18 percent, respectively.
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.39 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 4, 2011, down from last week when it averaged 4.55 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.49 percent.  
For first time home-buyers and those looking to refinance this is good news and I must say in looking for homes for clients the bank owned ones are selling incredibly fast. For the rest of us that purchased during the bubble only time will tell but, if your really wanting to move leasing out your current home may be an option. I have seen rents go up significantly due to demand and even those competing against others to get the lease. What a switch for sure!

Seafair is here Seattle!

 
 
 
 
 
 
I love Sea Fair and it’s finally that time again! This weekend August 5-7th, 2011; Genesee Park Check out the event line up.
 Now I must admit we haven’t been in a few years after a scary time a few years back with the kids. We took our 16ft. ski boat out and got right in the middle of the fun unfortunately it was not so much fun. There were so many boats and the waves so high that we had a hard time maneuvering in all the madness! Our poor boat got a real workout being tossed everywhere and honestly afterward my body felt beat up. My youngest who was three at the time was all hyped up about seeing the “Blue Angels” After the show he looked at us and said I’m mad at you, those weren’t Blue Angels they were just airplanes! It never dawned on us that he was thinking he really would see Blue Angels!  So with that we have learned not to take our boat out there on race day but if you’re like me and still want to see the incredible feats of the Blue Angels how about viewing a practice show? Watch as the “Blue” Boeing F/A-18 Hornets practice their spectacular passes and dynamic maneuvers over Lake Washington. Grab a seat along the lake or get a close-up look as they take off and land from the Museum of Flight. Here are some of our favorite spots and times to catch the Blues:
§  Thursday: 9:45 am – Noon; 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm (practice show)
§  Friday: 12:45 pm – 2:40 pm (practice show)
§  Saturday: 12:45 pm – 2:40 pm (full show)
§  Sunday: 12:45 pm. – 2:40 pm (full show)
Where are the best viewing spots?
Mt Baker Ridge Viewpoint, 1403 31st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker Park Bathing Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr S, Seattle, WA 98144
East Portal Viewpoint, 1400 Lake Washington Blvd S
Day Street Boat Ramp, 1402 Lakeside Ave S
Colman Park, 1800 Lake Washington Blvd S
Seward Park, 5895 Lake Washington Blvd S
Pritchard Island Beach, 8400 55th Ave S
Park on the Lid, 2030 72nd Ave SE, Mercer Island
Groveland Park, 7740 SE 58th Street, Mercer Island
Slater Park, 2835 60th Ave SE, Mercer Island
Enjoy this wonderful family tradition but be safe and as always have fun!

Seafair is here Seattle!

I love Sea Fair and it’s finally that time again! This weekend August 5-7th, 2011; Genesee Park-   Check out the event line up.
 Now I must admit we haven’t been in a few years after a scary time a few years back with the kids. We took our 16ft. ski boat out and got right in the middle of the fun unfortunately it was not so much fun. There were so many boats and the waves so high that we had a hard time maneuvering in all the madness! Our poor boat got a real workout being tossed everywhere and honestly afterward my body felt beat up. My youngest who was three at the time was all hyped up about seeing the “Blue Angels” After the show he looked at us and said I’m mad at you, those weren’t Blue Angels they were just airplanes! It never dawned on us that he was thinking he really would see Blue Angels!  So with that we have learned not to take our boat out there on race day but if you’re like me and still want to see the incredible feats of the Blue Angels how about viewing a practice show? Watch as the “Blue” Boeing F/A-18 Hornets practice their spectacular passes and dynamic maneuvers over Lake Washington. Grab a seat along the lake or get a close-up look as they take off and land from the Museum of Flight. Here are some of our favorite spots and times to catch the Blues:
§  Thursday: 9:45 am – Noon; 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm (practice show)
§  Friday: 12:45 pm – 2:40 pm (practice show)
§  Saturday: 12:45 pm – 2:40 pm (full show)
§  Sunday: 12:45 pm. – 2:40 pm (full show)
Where are the best viewing spots?
Mt Baker Ridge Viewpoint, 1403 31st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144
Mount Baker Park Bathing Beach, 2521 Lake Park Dr S, Seattle, WA 98144
East Portal Viewpoint, 1400 Lake Washington Blvd S
Day Street Boat Ramp, 1402 Lakeside Ave S
Colman Park, 1800 Lake Washington Blvd S
Seward Park, 5895 Lake Washington Blvd S
Pritchard Island Beach, 8400 55th Ave S
Park on the Lid, 2030 72nd Ave SE, Mercer Island
Groveland Park, 7740 SE 58th Street, Mercer Island
Slater Park, 2835 60th Ave SE, Mercer Island
Enjoy this wonderful family tradition but be safe and as always have fun!