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School librarians are committed into keeping the library well organized, assisting little children find the resources they need for their education and are highly dedicated to creating a learning environment year round. All of their hard work often goes unappreciated. So today we observe this day to you librarians. Hats off to you for your wonderful work in helping our future children. Happy School Librarians Day!
Now that you completed a home inspection and passed with flying colors, it’s time to celebrate. Call up your friends for a house warming party!
You aren’t required to hire a home inspector when you’re buying a house, but it’s a good idea. A really good idea. To think of it in cartoon terms, SpongeBob SquarePants may enjoy living inside a pineapple, but you really don’t want to live in a lemon.
But that can happen even when you have your house fully inspected. There are ample stories of homeowners who hired a home inspector only to later regret not hiring someone else. Nicole Praise, a neuroscientist in Los Angeles, could tell you that.
“I had a doozy of a home inspector,” she recalls.
Before she moved to California a few years ago, she lived in Pocatello, Idaho, and bought a home there. Her home inspector gave her the proverbial thumbs up and reported that she had a fine house. But when Prause sold her home almost a decade later, her homebuyers used the same inspector. And this time, the inspector, who was obviously more seasoned and experienced on this go around, reported that an addition to the house was missing a foundation.
“It cost me $5,000 in the sale price,” Prause says, who advises that anyone uncertain about the inspection process hire two inspectors. “It’s a relatively small cost to have them double check each other,” she says.
But for those who want to stick with hiring one home inspector, and who would like to get it right that first time, certain signs can reveal that you haven’t hired the best. In fact, there are usually quite a few clues that should tell you it’s time to find a new inspector.
Your inspector wants to inspect solo. You may be all for letting your inspector do his or her thing while you run errands or measure for curtains, especially if you aren’t a DIY-er. But, look, this is a big purchase, and you’re going to live here. You should learn everything you can about your new home.
“Many home inspectors will point things out to you – spots that are OK now but will need future maintenance; a quirky way something works; or other useful information that might be hard to get any other way,” says Cara Stein, a freelance editor and book designer in Huntsville, Alabama.
“At a minimum,” she adds, “most will mutter disparaging remarks about any poor-quality repairs. This is invaluable information that doesn’t make it into the home inspection report. You’re paying for it; you might as well get it.”
Your inspector isn’t licensed in the state in which you’re buying a house. This can really be easy to discard if you live, say, within 50 miles of a state border, and many of your friends or colleagues are from a neighboring state. You could easily brush it off if you live in North Dakota, and your inspector is from South Dakota.
But it matters, says Kim Soper, real estate agent and co-founder of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Cypress in Lexington, Kentucky.
“When we go back and negotiate repairs with the seller, the first thing the seller and seller’s agent will see is the inspector you chose was not licensed in that particular state. Therefore, your repair request may not be considered valid,” she says.
And it should go without saying that if your inspector has no license, that’s bad news.
The inspector’s building code information is confusing. Of course, you probably aren’t familiar with building codes, so seeing them in your written report later is going to be confusing no matter what. Still, if you learn in the process of looking at the report that something is off, you may want to bring in another home inspector for a second opinion.
“Here is what I mean,” says Sam Craven, who owns a house flipping company in Houston. “A house built in 1973 was built to the 1973 building code. The code could say that the ceiling joists have to be 18 inches apart. Well, the 2015 code says that the joints must be 12 inches apart. It’s a perfectly functioning roof and will remain one for the life of the home, but when a building inspector notes this down in the inspection report, it needlessly scares homeowners into thinking the roof is going to collapse at any minute.”
A good inspector, Craven says, “will point something like this out, but put a footnote that explains it in clear terms that the roof structure is not deficient.”
Soper agrees. “Building code changes every year,” she says. “The home only has to be to code the year it was built. Most inspectors understand this, but some will tell you nothing is up to code and that scares a buyer when in fact, the only homes up to current code are homes that were built in the last day or two.”
Your inspector tells you everything is fine. Yes, believe it or not, that can be a red flag. Sure, if your inspector tells you everything is OK that may mean … everything is OK. But if your inspector doesn’t turn up anything amiss, do take a moment to ask yourself: Did I ask enough questions?
Heather Ronayne, an investment operations manager at a wealth management firm in Warren, New Jersey, found that out the hard way. Several years ago when she and her husband bought their house, the home inspector, she says, “seemed competent,” but over the next several years, they found a lot of surprises in their home.
The electricity box was installed upside down, and someday, certainly before they would ever sell the home, they will have to get it completely rewired, Ronayne says. They ended up replacing their windows and doors, since they decided freezing in their own home wouldn’t be fun. The kitchen has some problems, too.
“Each cabinet is badly pieced together, shelves are made of wood paneling, all doors are different sizes, countertop does not fit, the dishwasher is badly rigged to the sink,” Ronayne says, adding that she and her husband didn’t notice any of this because at first, it all looked fine to their “novice eyes.”
There were other problems they would discover as well. Some trees are too close to the house and have caused damage, and the driveway would need to be completely replaced. But beyond the actual house, the outdoor property wasn’t part of the inspection, Ronayne says.
“Overall, we still like our home,” she says, “but our primary intention in hiring a home inspector was to avoid expensive investments into the home.”
Jennifer Toone Corrigan, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island, also recalls her inspector giving rave reviews. In hindsight, she now realizes that was actually an ominous red flag.
“He was so taken with the house – he kept saying things like, ‘Wow, this place is great!’ This is a find!’ – that he missed obvious termite damage, faulty plumbing and bad electrical wiring to name just a few issues,” says Corrigan, who discovered all of those flaws weeks and months after buying the house and moving in.
Of course, sometimes the red flags are glaringly obvious, and if so, consider yourself lucky for learning right away that your inspector is subpar.
Says Craven: “One time I had a home inspector that was so bad he blew fuses in the house, turned on the oven with paperwork and plastic inside and almost fell off the roof. I never called him again.”
When you see how small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, and how quickly they are being taken over, it’s remarkable to ponder about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working souls contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive.
If you’re picking up muffins for the family picnic or need a handy dandy hammer to build that treehouse, stop by mom and pops bakery shop or grandpa’s hardware store of 50 years. Keep their hard work alive.
Photo by: By Reuben Saltzman
You can have a nice warm brown surprise if you skip a home inspection. The cause of brown water flowing into your bathtub is, there is rust sitting in the hot water system and/or at the tub/shower valves. Rust can accumulate while the water is not used and flushes out when water is turned on. If that’s the case, the nipples have to be replaced, this doesn’t get better with time, it gets worse!
5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Retirement
By Abby Hayes,
Downsizing to a less expensive home during retirement can improve your finances. But you should thoughtfully crunch the numbers, including moving costs, fees and taxes, before deciding if a smaller home will help you come out ahead. Here are five things to consider before moving in retirement:
1. How will a monthly mortgage payment affect your retirement budget? Consider how taking on a new home will affect your retirement cash flow. Many homeowners rely on a 30-year mortgage, which often has low payments. But that means you could be on the hook for monthly payments for the majority of your retirement years.
Take a look at how your monthly expenses will change in the new house. If you’re moving from an expensive apartment in a city center to a small suburban home, your mortgage payments may decline after the move. Aim for a mortgage payment that won’t hinder your ability to pay for your other retirement wants and needs.
2. What about additional housing costs? Homeownership often results in a lower monthly payment than renting, but this isn’t the case everywhere. Owning a home also comes with additional expenses, some of which crop up unexpectedly. The costs for repairs and upgrades could cut into your retirement savings. If you can’t swing last-minute repairs in your tight retirement budget, then buying an older home may not be for you.
Annual income typically drops dramatically for retirees when they stop working. So what could have been an affordable mortgage payment for you ten years ago may be out of reach in retirement. Talk with a lender before you apply or run your numbers through a mortgage calculator to see if you may qualify for a mortgage.
4. Should you rent instead? Homeownership is a common goal for most Americans. But buying a home won’t necessarily save you money compared to renting. Renting requires a steady monthly payment that won’t go away. But it also means you’re not on the hook for one-off expenses such as repairs and basic maintenance. Plus, renters don’t have to pay property taxes or expensive homeowners insurance. So if you know you will have to pay a monthly mortgage payment well into your retirement years, renting may turn out to be the better option.
However, renters could be subject to unpredictable increases in their monthly payments each time their lease ends. Retirees who rent could also be asked to move and forced to search for a new place to live.
5. What mortgage term can you afford? If you decide to buy a home during retirement, consider what mortgage term you will be able to afford. If you can swing a 10- or 15-year term, that might save you money in the long run. The costs will be heftier up front, but you may be able to work part time at the start of your retirement to help cover the costs. Then, once you pay off the loan, you won’t have to worry about having that mortgage payment coming out of your savings every month.
Buying a home during retirement can allow you to move closer to family members or relocate to an area with amenities you enjoy, even if you have to take out a new mortgage. A carefully chosen new home can also be an opportunity to reduce your monthly bills in retirement.
Don’t goof around and buy a home without an inspection. It can cost your dearly. Check it before you buy it! www.checkithomeinspection.com
Being a single parent is not a life full of struggles, but a journey for the strong.
– Meg Lowery