Love receiving a long inspection report that you have to navigate? Probably not!
Check out our blog for some inexpensive, simple fixes that will make for an easier to overcome inspection report!
#1 - Anti siphon valves on exterior hose bibs What is it? An anti siphon valve hose prevents outside water from siphoning through an outside faucet and contaminating the drinking water used in a home, or the municipal or well water supply the home is connected to. Believe it or not, if the local fire department were to connect to a hydrant in your neighborhood, the pump suction from their engine has enough muscle to suck the water out of your garden hose & into the municipal water supply without these devices installed on your hose bibs! Why it's considered a defect? TREC SOP states: the lack of back-flow devices, anti-siphon devices, or air gaps at the flow end of fixtures is considered a defect. How much do they cost? Around $5 for a brass (better) version. Where should they be? At all exterior hose bib locations. Simple to install by hand, these will fit on a hose bib before the garden hose is installed.
#2 - Range anti-tip device What is it? An anti tip device is designed to prevent a range (free standing oven/stove combo) from tipping over when weight is applied to the front of the appliance. Children die every year due to this metal bracket not being installed properly on these appliances. Why is it considered a defect? TREC SOP states: the absence of an anti-tip device is considered a defect. How much do they cost? From $5 - $10 depending on the brand and style. Where should they be? If you're unsure if you need one, here's a quick checklist: Is your range free standing? Most are, but some are built into the cabinetry, and therefore likely wouldn't require one. Carefully slide the range away from the wall, and look along the floor (you can use a smartphone to save reaching over so far). If in place as needed, it will be found along the floor and look something like this:
Follow the instructions from the manufacturer and install where needed. Simple and inexpensive. One less defect to be found on your next inspection report, but more importantly, your home is now a little safer!
#3 Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms/detectors What is it? Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms/detectors are designed to prevent your death from smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation, and possibly reduce damage to your home in the event of a fire. You'd be surprised how many fire fighters homes I've inspected that were missing these important appliances! Why is it considered a defect? TREC SOP states the absence of working smoke alarms: (I) in each sleeping room; (II) outside each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping rooms; and (III) in the living space of each story of the dwelling is considered a defect. Where should they be? See above & follow manufacturers instructions. How much do they cost? Smoke alarms can be purchased for $5 - $10 each for a battery operated version.
Here's hoping your inspection goes smoothly and you'll have fewer defects to correct! If you'd like to learn more about homes and home inspection related topics, feel free to check back here often. Thanks for your time!
Getting older stinks! And we all can admit that some folks age better than others. I mean, have you seen William Shatner? The man is in his late 80's and looks like he's in his 50's!
The "aged well idea" can be said for other things too. I have completed 2500+ inspections to date in West Texas, and I've therefore seen at least that many HVAC units. Remember, I have based this info on my own experience only, and your mileage may vary. Based on this experience, here are the brands that seem to last longer to me: Trane - It's hard to stop a Trane, and that seems to be more than an Ad slogan. I have seen dozens of Trane units well over 25 years old. Lennox - I haven't seen nearly as many Lennox units that are as ancient as Trane units, but I can tell you that Lennox units do seem to age well. The unit in the photo was almost 15 years old, but as you can see, looked much newer. Carrier - I have seen a number of older Carrier units still going strong. My own home has a Carrier unit that's nearing 20 years old, and still plugging along. Rheem/Ruud - For whatever reason, this brand seems to have been particularly popular in West Texas in the early 2000's. At any rate, I've seen a number still cruising along and nearing 20 years old. There are a number of other brands I don't see all that often and therefore can't make a good judgement on their longevity. I'm sorry if your home has a Payne or Goodman unit. From what I've seen, these seem to be cheaper units and I rarely if ever see them older than 10 years.
According to the US Dept of Energy, the national average lifespan for an A/C unit is about 15 years, so if your unit is older than 15 years, look at it like a WIN and plan for replacement soon!
Maintenance can help too. Whether you reside in Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Snyder/Colorado City or any of our awesome West Texas small towns, one thing is for sure: In the summer it's hot, in the spring and fall the dirt blows, and in the winter, it gets cold! Employing a professional to inspect and service these units at least annually can sometimes improve lifespans and save you $$ in the long run.
After thousands of inspections completed all over West Texas, I've heard more than my share of inaccurate information about property inspections, property inspectors, and all that's associated. Buying a home in Lubbock, Odessa/Midland, Snyder/Colorado City, or any of our awesome small towns in West Texas can be daunting. Knowledge is power as they say - check out the info below to learn more
More often than not, this incorrect information comes from misunderstandings and miscommunication. As I've mentioned before in earlier posts, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. It's important to know what we're doing before we do it in most any situation, particularly when making such a big investment. This is where research & communication come in. Research on your part: learn all you can about the home buying process, the home inspection process, the appraisal process, the financing process, the closing process, etc. Research on your Agent's part is crucial too. Also, are they good communicators? And are you a communicator in return?
As far as the home inspection process is concerned, I can help with some common misconceptions that I hear often:
Myth #1 - Whatever the inspection report says, it has to be fixed before the home is purchased. I hear this one often from first time home buyers and buyers moving to West Texas from out of state. The truth is the exact opposite; nothing HAS to be fixed per any laws. Now, financing can absolutely impact this, but financing has no bearing on home inspectors or what we are licensed by the State of Texas to inspect and report.
Myth #2: The inspector will be able to tell you what class of shingles are on the roof and how old the roof is. Surprisingly, this myth I believe is perpetuated by Realtors more often than not. And it's just simply not true. An inspector could make an educated guess at both, (much like a roofing contractor is sometimes happy to do). But to know the class of shingle, or the age of the roof, you'd need to get that info from the roofing contractor that installed it. This is sometimes difficult info to come by; is the roofer still in business? Does the seller know who installed the roof? Etc. This may be why some realtors want the inspector to stick their neck out on this issue. If you find an inspector that will, trust me, he or she is simply guessing, and nothing more!
Myth #3: The inspector moves furniture and the seller's other belongings in order to inspect.
I haven't heard this one in a while, but again, simply not true. To put this in perspective, look at this from the seller's point of view. Your selling your home and you have nice floors, and attractive furniture. Now picture someone coming in and sliding your couch or entertainment center out of the way in order to look behind them. The floor is scratched or the furniture is damaged. Then, the buyuer ends up not purchasing the home. The seller has scracthed floors and now has to try again selling their home! See the predicament? Again, any inspector who willingly moves personal belongings in order to inspect is either very new to the industry, or very desperate! Either of those are not a reason to choose a home inspector!
Myth #4: The inspector inspects every single component in the home during an inspection. This one can truly hurt you as a home buyer if you go into the home inspection looking for this expectation to be met. It's simply not realistic for any person to complete such a tall order, day in and day out. Think of how different homes are. Some have sprinkler systems, some don't. Some have septic systems, some don't. Some have pools, many don't. Some have cable for TV and internet, some don't. Some have water softeners and RO systems, some don't. I could continue, but you get the idea. Every licensed home inspector in Texas is required to inspect specific areas of the home or property. These areas they are to inspect are generally components you would find at the vast majority of homes or properties. Things like electrical systems, plumbing systems, etc.