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.
Without question, this inspector and likely every other inspector in Texas has one defect they identify more than all others: "A cooking range anti tip device was not installed at the time of inspection. Correction is recommended. This safety device is commonly supplied with the appliance from the manufacturer." What's so important about this little piece of metal? The range can easily overturn when the door is opened, and can potentially fall forward onto whomever might be in front of it. Children die all too often due to the lack of a missing anti tip device on ranges. In addition to being a terrible tragedy each time it happens, it is 100% preventable!
How you can check your oven for an anti tip device: Look behind the oven along the floor. If the anti tip device is present, you should see a metal bracket along the wall near the floor. Not there? One of the rear legs of the stove slides into the tilt bracket, securing the stove to the floor. The brackets come as part of the stove’s assembly kit or you can purchase them at a hardware store. You only need a few basic tools to complete this project.
Things You Will Need
Drill and drill bits
As always, this is not a repair recommendation, so attempt at your own risk. Not sure if you're up to the task? There's no shame in asking for help from a handy friend, family member, or pro!
1.Turn off power to the stove or unplug it. If the stove is hardwired, turn off power to it at the breaker box. You don’t need to disconnect the gas line, if applicable, but please be extra careful if your range is a gas model. It is possible to damage the gas line or connection when moving the range if you're not careful!
2. Pull (slide if possible) the stove away from the wall, taking care not to damage the floor.
3.Locate the template for the stove anti-tip bracket. It may be with the installation instructions or packed with the bracket.
4.Set the template on the floor so the back of it is flush with the wall and the side is flush with the cabinet next to the stove. If the cabinet’s counter top has an overhang on the side, move the template so the outside edge aligns with the counter top edge. Mark the location of the two screws required for the bracket onto the floor.
5. Drill two 1/8-inch pilot holes through the marked spots for the tilt bracket on a wood floor. Drill 3/16-inch pilot holes with a masonry bit for ceramic or stone floors. Insert plastic anchors into the holes.
6. Attach the tilt bracket to the floor with screws from the assembly kit. Use longer screws if your flooring is too thick for the screws to penetrate into the sub-floor.
7.Turn the back adjustable legs of the stove counterclockwise to extend them. Both legs should extend the same length.
8.Push (slide if possible) the stove into position, taking care not to scuff the floor. Do not pinch or bind the electrical cord or gas line. As you push the stove all the way back to the wall, you should feel and hear the adjustable leg on the side with the bracket slide into the anti-tip bracket. If you aren’t sure it’s aligned, pull out the bottom drawer of the stove. You should be able to see the bracket. If not, open the oven door and pull out the racks to see if the stove still wants to tip. If necessary, pull the stove away from the wall and push it back again at a slightly different angle.
9. Double check your work. Then, turn the power on again or plug the stove into its outlet.
It doesn’t matter what side of the stove you install the bracket.
Some manufacturer’s use L-shaped tilt brackets that screw into the wall. Follow manufacturer’s directions on how to use the template for these models.
If no template is available, measure the distance of the leg from the back and side of the stove. Set the bracket on the floor at those same dimensions and drill pilot holes so you can secure the bracket.
A real estate inspector is tasked with the difficult job of finding defects in a home that at least in theory, should not have defects. I have inspected hundreds of newer construction properties with dozens of defects. Below is a prime example: A townhome less than 12 months old, already showing multiple problems, including....
As so many of us have had roof replacements completed on our homes, it is so important that you make sure to ask your roofer to check all gas appliance vents in your home and attic. This can cause a potentially unsafe condition in your home!
Lots of unusual weather, including lots of hail this year in West Texas.
The most frequent question I'm getting lately is: "How damaged is the roof from hail, and should we have it replaced?"
Answers: Just because your town had a hail storm roll through does not mean your roof has *ANY* hail damage. Just because the roofing contractor has a sign in the neighbors yard, does not mean your roof has hail damage. Hail damage can depend on the size, quantity, and direction that the hail fell from the sky. It can also depend on the brand, style, age, and quality of the roof covering materials. It may sometimes make sense to wait until spring/summer are past to replace your roof. (I mean, who wants to replace their roof twice in one year?) It's rare to see a roof leak caused by hail damage.
Call your insurer as soon as you've found a home to put in a contract on. They'll likely send a rep out to check the roof themselves and make a determination on whether they'll insure it.
I'm here to help! Don't hesitate to call, text, or email!
There are lots of times in our lives when we may need to walk away. Relationships Jobs Arguments Desserts....
One of the most important times you need to be ready to walk away is during the home buying process. So many times after a home inspection, I will see the alarm bells and red flags in front of a perspective buyers eyes and I'll wonder what they'll do next. As I mentioned in my previous post, it's not for me to decide whether or not a buyer should buy a home or not. But I can provide them with the information they need to make the most informed decision possible. No home inspection company on earth can find every defect in a home, but the best inspection companies like Double C Home Inspections will give their client all of the readily identifiable information available on the day of inspection to allow the home buyer to decide: Ask for repairs, or Not? Ask for a reduction on the home price, or Not? Walk away, or Not? As a home buyer, all of the power to make these decisions is in your hands!
The TV show "Who wants to be a millionaire" was a huge phenomenon in the US many years ago.
Did you know it's still on the air today?
Anyway, one of the most famous catchphrases from the show was "Phone a friend". The purpose of course was to allow the contestant to actually call a friend to help with answering their question in order to win. The friend didn't make the final decision, but they sometimes greatly influenced the contestants' decision. The best "friends" even went against the contestants inclination on the right answer, and saved them from losing it all.
I can't help you with winning a million dollars, but I can help you with deciding on whether or not to make one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make. You need at least one person in your corner that's going to tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not. That's where I come in. I have no allegiance to Real Estate Agents, or anyone else involved in your home purchase. I simply want to help you make the decision, one way or the other. People are often surprised when I say that I don't care if they buy the home or not. That's not my call. It's yours.