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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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Cheap and easy ways to winterize your home

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for about 48%
of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. When winter winds start blowing, taking time to
winterize your home can result in significant savings―and it doesn’t need to be expensive
or time consuming. Where should you start? Here are some quick and money-saving ideas:

• Install weather stripping or draft guards on exterior doors
• Seal attic and garage cracks with foam or caulking
• Add extra insulation to your attic or garage
• Install a programmable thermostat and keep it low when no one is home, or
overnight
• Replace your furnace filters
• Lower your hot water temperature to around 120 degrees
• Set your ceiling fans to move in a clockwise direction

Spending some time completing these easy tasks will keep the cold out and extra money
in your wallet this winter

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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!