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Two words that every home owner hates to hear…water damage

Water damage can occur for several reasons including leaks, clogs, broken pipes/hoses, or overflowing appliances.  Other reasons include leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, or foundation cracks.  Additionally, weather events such as heavy snow or rain can cause water damage. The possibility this type of damage will occur is high.

What’s the problem?  Moisture!  It promotes the growth of mold and other organisms, which in turn increases the risk for serious health problems.

You can’t control the weather, but you can address issues in your home that may lessen the chance flooding or leaking will occur.  Let’s take a look at what you can do to help prevent water damage:

  • Improve the grading around your home: When the grade around the foundation slopes towards the home, problems are inevitable. In the short term, water pooling near your home can lead to rot and mold.  Over the long term, the house’s structure could be compromised due to movement of the foundation.
  • Check plumbing and appliances for leaks.
  • Check your roof for worn areas or missing shingles.

Don’t let water issues cause expensive problems.  Keep up on maintenance, watch for leaks, and address problems immediately.  If you are interested in an Air Quality Mold Test, give us a call today!

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Termite/WDO inspections


When buying a home, your lender may require homeowner’s insurance, which in turn usually means a termite inspection. Even if your lender doesn’t require homeowner’s insurance, most lenders still require a termite or Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) inspection.

Termites may be small, but they typically live in large colonies. It’s possible to go for years without knowing they’re destroying your home. Termites need food (such as wood), moisture, and warmth to survive. Wood building materials in and around homes can provide the perfect food source, and insufficient grading that allows puddles to form near your foundation or air conditioning units that create run-off moisture can offer the perfect amount of moisture for termite colonies.

Some indications you may have a termite infestation:

  • A temporary swarm of winged insects in or around the foundation of your home
  • Cracked or bubbling paint (which may indicate termite droppings)
  • Wood that sounds hollow when tapped
  • Mud tubes on beams or in crawl spaces

A termite inspection will let you know if you have any infestation. Give us a call or visit our website to learn more!

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Home inspections—when should you run for the hills?

Home inspections can be scary. Just when you think you’ve found the perfect house, an inspector comes along and tells you everything’s that’s wrong with it. Though most things that turn up during a home inspection aren’t deal breakers, some are more serious. Here are a few items you should watch for; problems in these areas can end up costing you a lot of money:

  •  Electric panels: Some brands of electrical panels should be replaced due to safety issues, including Federal Pacific, Zinsco, and Bulldog Pushmatic. All of them have issues around not tripping properly when excess current goes through them.
  • Decks: Decks are built to last 12–15 years. Older decks may present issues with the fasteners, which can corrode and lose their hold on the house.
  • Chimneys: If a chimney is cracked and is beginning to separate from the house, it may need to be taken down and rebuilt.
  • Trusses: Broken or altered trusses are always an expensive problem because they can affect the structural integrity of a home.
  • Environmental hazards: A professional should address hazards like asbestos insulation or floor tiles, termite damage, mold, or lead paint.

Always attend your home inspection and use the time to talk with the home inspector. Knowing the problems ahead of time will allow you to make a good decision about purchasing a home.

To learn more about asking a seller to repair or replace an item found during a home inspection, read our blog post from 9/20/2018. It also talks about our latest agent tool: Repair Request Builder.

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Request to Repair or Replace

Although it would be nice for the seller to fix every home inspection issue, there are only so many repairs most sellers are willing to do.

What should you ask a seller to repair or replace? A sound rule is to focus on the larger items that require permits. Once the repair or replacement is done, request the seller to supply building permits or receipts. This approach should make the buyer feel better by proving that the work has been inspected by an authority; it also puts the cost of the re-inspection in the seller’s lap. If a repair is so minor that it doesn’t require a building permit, then why ask for it? Chances are if a seller is going to make these types of repairs, they probably will be done with the least amount of work or money possible. Some major home inspection items worth asking a seller to fix include:

  • Infestation of termites or wildlife
  • Major drainage or ongoing water problems
  • Mold problems
  • Radon levels above EPA suggested levels
  • Major electrical defects that cause safety issues
  • Significant plumbing problems
  • Lead paint

To help you better navigate this part of a home sale transaction, Donofrio & Associates offers a new tool―Repair Request Builder. It’s an easy way to create a report for clients to create an addendum for the sellers―and the best part is that it’s FREE as a part of your home inspection. This reporting system will cut down on the amount of time spent putting together addendums following the inspection. The tool’s highlights include:

  • Email/texting capabilities
  • A menu of specific defects
  • Dollar amount credit request options
  • Requests for repairs or replacements

To learn more about Repair Request Builder, visit our website!