August 24, 2017 – Home sales were down again in July 2017 according to the Lubbock Area Housing Market Report. According to the report, 376 homes were sold in July 2017, 14% less than July 2016. Home prices continued their upward trend, however, up 4% compared to July 2016, with the median price for Lubbock area homes being $156,750.
The number of active listings on the market increased almost 7% compared to July 2016, with 953 homes actively listed. Like the majority of Texas, Lubbock remains a strong seller's market in most price ranges. Buyer's should be prepared to make full-price offers, with little to no concessions. Months inventory is the best indicator of a buyer's or seller's market, and this figure increased slightly, from 2.8 months in July 2016 to 3 months in July 2017. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University cites that 6.5 months of inventory represents a market in which supply and demand for homes is balanced. Months invetory is defined as the number of active listings divided by the average sales per month of the prior 12 months. Lubbock's home invetory has not been more than 3 months since November 2014.
Homes spent an average of 65 days on the market in July 2017, five days less than July of last year.
July 2017 Statistics At-A-Glance
An open letter to the home seller
I am a Texas licensed professional home inspector. I inspect properties, big and small, all over West Texas. Texas has the most stringent standards for property inspectors in the U.S.. From training and education, to thorough background checks, we have been through it all to become licensed real estate inspectors. I take great pride in that!
I wanted to take a moment to share with you what you can expect during the home inspection at your property:
First, let me say that I will treat your home with the utmost respect, just as I would any other property. I am a guest, and will conduct myself as such.
It’s important that I can access all areas of the property, inside and out. Some common areas that are difficult to access during inspections are attic access locations, crawlspace access locations, electrical panels, HVAC systems, the garage, storage closets, and the water heater. This list is not all encompassing, of course. As a general rule, the state of Texas does not require property inspectors to move personal belongings to access anything. I would not want to risk damage to your property, so I ask that you do all you can as the homeowner or occupant to make all areas “readily accessible.”
Pets are a non-issue for me personally. However, if your pet could become nervous or anxious with my presence and activity, It might be best for you and I if your pet is placed in a safe location that won’t prevent my access to the entire home for inspection.
I’m often asked if it’s ok if you, the seller or occupant, are present for the inspection. The answer is it’s your property, not mine. I’m your guest.
I will take lots of pictures throughout my inspection. Some are of defects, and trust me your home has defects. I have never inspected a property that was defect free. New, old, it makes no difference. No property is perfect. Some pics I take are merely for my information, and may never make it into the inspection report. Don’t worry, I take all parties privacy very seriously, and would never dream of risking that trust.
I will strive to place everything back just like I found it when I leave.
I appreciate you accommodating me!
TREC License #21098
Double C Home Inspections PLLC
Hundreds of times every year, I see homes with brick veneer or stone veneer. Many of the homes in your own neighborhood are constructed this way, too. There's a common misconception that the brick or stone on these walls is in fact, "the wall'. In fact, a recent local news story on an accident that damaged a home called the destoyed wall "a brick wall". The truth of the matter is the brick or stone on almost all homes in our area is simply a facade, a veneer. It is not structural, though it could present evidence of structural defects. But maybe I better stick to the purpose of this blog entry, huh?
Virtually every home older than 5 years that I've inspected with brick or stone veneer has some sort of mortar joint &/or brick damage on the exterior. Most of the damaged areas 'appear' to be insignificant. Spoiler alert! They're not, and I can prove it!
I was recently hired to consult with a property owner on a recurring problem they were having. When I consult with a property owner regarding an issue like this one, they usually have an idea that they have a problem already, and just want my help to recommend a fix.
Above is a photo of a window enclosed on the exterior with wood trim and brick veneer. Looks like any other window in West Texas, right? No visible defects, right?.....
Here, we have the inside wall behind said window. Obvious to at least some folks, there is staining on the baseboard. Cause? Could be a variety of possibilities. Spills on the interior? Pet urine? Leak from the roof?
The next question a professional inspector will ask is, "Is it still wet?" Or, at least, is the moisture level in the drywall above the baseboard, or in the baseboard elevated when compared to the rest of the property?
No fancy tools necessary when you know what to look for. And I do!
Here we have a simple, highly accurate moisture meter, and as you can see, the moisture level in the drywall above the stain reads over 17%. Is that high? Well, compared to the rest of the living area, this reading is nearly 10% higher than other walls with no staining. So, yes, it's elevated.
With the approval of the property owner, we were able to remove the drywall I just tested for elevated moisture levels, along with the insulation in the wall. I then had the property owner use a garden hose to spray the exterior window near the mortar joints to see what happened, as I had my suspicions. You can see water trickling in near the corner of the window/brick veneer junction. A clear sign that the cause of the moisture staining in this room near the window is due, at least in a large part, to the deteriorated mortar joints on the exterior. This property owner recently purchased the property, and is unfortunately looking at major repairs due to moisture damage and possibly termite damage. This could possibly have been avoided if the property had been well maintained, especially the exterior.
The last photo is of the worst case scenario; different window obviously, with major deterioration at the mortar joints. I'm sure you can probably guess that the moisture intrusion damage in the interior near this window was much more severe!
In conclusion, this is a great reminder that moisture will find it's way into your home if you allow it. It's up to each of us to make sure our homes are well maintained!
If you'd like more information, or to schedule a consultation, please feel free to contact me at (806)544-8540 or (432)202-7544
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