I am always inspired when I listen to Simon Sinek. In a recent meeting with his team he expresses some key concepts about the the state of business in this new world - this isn't new, the world has stopped before and companies who do not adapt will perish. Sinek says, "companies with an infinite mindset are in reinvention mode; companies with a FINITE mindset are in survival mode".
THE 1% RULE
When you consider the life cycle of every component of a house, a reasonable annual estimate of the cost of normal maintenance is 1% of the value of the house. One year you may replace the furnace; a few years down the road you may re-surface the roof. Throw in the odd unexpected repair in between and you average 1% per year. It’s incredible but this rule is not far off, both for very expensive and very inexpensive houses.
If you strip away the cosmetics, a house is made up of the structure, roof, exterior envelope and the “systems” of the house. The “systems” are things like heating, plumbing, electrical and cooling.
All components and systems eventually wear out. Fortunately, they don’t all wear out at the same time. Different components have different life cycles. Houses tend to settle into what you might call a “normal maintenance pattern”.
WHAT’S THE MESSAGE HERE?
A homebuyer should arrive at the home inspection with realistic expectations. If you are buying a 12-15 year old home, let’s face it, you may need a new roof covering. If you are buying a 60 year old home, you may have to update some plumbing. Don’t let this scare you away from a perfectly good home.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Want a a short list of typical life cycles of the most common components of the home? Contact us at Horizon Home Inspectors by email at email@example.com and request a FREE copy of our Life Cycles and Costs report.
Horizon Home Inspectors is looking for licensed, qualified candidates to join our growing home inspector staff. We want to meet your favorite, local inspector and invite them to join our growing team.
Why would an independent inspector would want to join our team? Horizon Home Inspectors provides
all at no cost to the inspector.Help us gear up to better serve you!
Recently a real estate agent told me her broker recommended editing the home inspector’s report by selecting the reported defects that she, the agent (and her client), thought was most appropriate for the repair request before sending it to the seller’s representative.
A similarly dangerous issue I have experienced in the past is agents paraphrasing comments made in the inspection report, creating their own “summary” of the documented defects, and forwarding that version of the report to the seller’s agent.
What happens when these well-intentioned agents choose wrong or omit a critical detail?
The home inspection is a complicated document describing hundreds of intricate details and defects. While some issues are cosmetic others are visible symptoms of serious problems which, when edited, paraphrased or manipulated, undermine the depth and scope of the inspection. Change the report and you change its meaning.
The real estate agent should never be put in the position of determining which issues are important and which are merely cosmetic. The home inspector was hired because of their unique expertise so editing their report completely undermines their professional opinion. The home inspector has the training, experience and insurance to determine the deficient from the cosmetic – the real estate agent does not.
The real estate contract describes the difference between a cosmetic defect and a structural or mechanical defect. The home inspector should also know the difference and should be able to issue a report that clearly distinguishes between the two. If the agent thinks they know better than the inspector, then it’s time to choose a better inspector.
Every agent should have a short list of qualified, competent, experienced and insured home inspectors and trust them to provide their service without editting and furthermore, expect that inspector to stand by their work and be able to defend their opinions to the client and the seller or their representatives.Regardless of their knowledge or experience, the real estate agent should never assume the risk of altering a document as comprehensive as a home inspection report.
As a part of our service, Brad Tholen Home Inspectors will be sending each of our clients a free lifetime subscription to HomeBinder ($120 value).
HomeBinder allows our clients to organize and save all related home information in a convenient online application. From storing paint colors, to getting maintenance reminders, HomeBinder will ensure you have all the details you need in the future right at your fingertips.
Soon after the inspection our clients get an email from HomeBinder with a link to access their personalized binder. All you need to do is pick a password and you’ll have private access to that binder going forward. If you need or want, you can share the binder with your spouse or family member.
We’ll include a maintenance schedule and through which our clients get emailed maintenance reminders about key home tasks and they will always have access to their inspection report. when its time to sell the home HomeBinder will help with buyers, your accountant and the appraiser.
Learn more at www.homebinder.com.
How important is getting a home inspection? In the April 2016 issue of CB2 Magazine, Kitty Bartell examines the process and importance of the home inspection in today's real estate transaction. I had the privilege of spending some time with Kitty in preparation for her article. Look for the article, and our add on pages 100 and 101 in the April Real Estate issue of CB2.
Always use a licensed and insured inspector or contractor. It’s important that the people you are entrusting with your home and safety are qualified to be doing the work in the first place. A license is not a guarantee that you will have a great experience however it is a tool to ensure that you can have recourse in the event something goes wrong.
Jack-of-all-tradesmen are everywhere and just because they have a sign on their truck and a business card does not mean they are licensed. A recent sting operation in South Carolina shows just how prevalent unlicensed workers are; a recent release from the SC State department of Labor, licensing and Regulation described a sting resulted in uncovering 70 non-licensed contractors:
Six investigators from the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Office of Investigations and Enforcement and three staff members reviewed internet listings and physically monitored home improvement store parking lots across the state to look for people who were advertising plumbing, electrical, carpentry, HVAC, roofing, home inspecting and other building services requiring licensure by LLR.
Residential Builders Administrator Janet Baumberger said. “This is the second time we have participated in the sting, and each time we have discovered at least 70 cases. We look forward to participating again to further protect consumers.”
The Residential Builders Commission licenses all residential builders and home inspectors and licenses/registers all specialty contractors in the state. The Commission investigates complaints from homeowners having problems with builders or licensed/registered specialty contractors and, if necessary, takes disciplinary action against them.