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Older Home Inspection Tips – Replace Your Knob and Tube Wiring

One area of significant concern with older home inspection is the wiring. During the period between 1930 and 1950, when household demands for electricity were much lower, most home wiring included a type of wiring called knob and tube. Today’s homes use much more current to run all of the newer appliances families require to live a comfortable lifestyle. In older homes with this type of wiring fires are much more of a risk.

A simple trip to the basement of your house can reveal if you have this type of current system. If you see white knobs attached to the joists with wires running through them, chances are this is knob and tube wiring. The knobs acted as insulators from objects while the ceramic tubing provided the support for wires as they travel through floor joists.

Older home inspection today requires catching this type of wiring system with recommendations of complete replacement in order to avoid costly or life threatening fires. This includes replacement of not only the fuses but the wires as well. Simply put, If you upgrade the panel, then replace the wiring as well.

An important side note is that a lot of insurance companies will not write or renew policies where there is existing knob and tube wiring. Nothing can be more frustrating than finding out your proud real estate purchase will not be covered prior to closing.

Rather than hoping your house passes inspection, make sure your professional older home inspection includes the wiring system and recommendations for replacement before it causes undue headache.

Home Inspection: Pre-inspected Listings

The future of real estate?

* Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser.

* Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties – purchasers, vendors and Realtors.

Deals are less likely to fall through.
Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals – and often needlessly. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there’s a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers by not explaining that minor and typical problems are just that – minor and typical.

If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is drawn. There will be less likelihood for surprises after the fact. Deals will be less likely to fall through.

Pre-inspected listings can avoid renegotiation.
In a buyer’s market, most houses have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale… then the home inspection is conducted and the purchaser wants to renegotiate.

If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is generally a lesser need for renegotiation. As most Realtors know, renegotiation can be very difficult. Vendors have already mentally sold the house; purchasers are suffering from ‘buyers’ remorse’. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters.

A vendor who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. He or she may even sell their house faster.

Unrealistic vendors.
An inspection at the time of a listing can also help a Realtor deal with a vendor who has unrealistic expectations. The inspection report is good ammunition for explaining why you can’t ask top buck for a house that is not in top condition.

Repairs prior to sale.
Sometimes, the home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately. A pre-inspected listing allows the vendor to repair the problem prior to putting the house on the market.

If the inspection occurs after the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser could walk, renegotiate or depending on the inspection clause, the vendor may have the option to make repairs. A repair made by an unmotivated vendor to satisfy the condition may not be the best repair and may not meet the purchaser’s expectations. This has caused more than one deal to not close.

Peace of mind for the purchaser.
There is no doubt that part of the value of a home inspection is a guided tour of the house for the prospective purchaser. Perhaps the inspection company could return to do a walk-through with the purchaser, if requested.

Reputable inspection companies.
Pre-inspected listings will only have value if the home inspector and/or company is perceived to be reputable, qualified and properly insured. Prospective purchasers might have little or no faith in a report created by someone they perceive to be working for the Vendor or Listing Agent.

Editor’s Note: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent any policy or opinion on the part of Electrospec or it’s representatives. It is intended only as “food for thought”, and it is hoped that no one will be offended by the suggestive nature of any parts of the article.

Summary.
Does the future of home inspections lie in pre-inspected listings? Will offers be cleaner and deals less likely to be renegotiated or fall through? Will pre-inspection afford purchasers, vendors and Realtors a new measure of equilateral protection?

Hmmm…

Five Tips To Quickly Recognize Serious Structural Problems – Home Inspection Tips For Denver-Boulder

Five tips to quickly recognize serious structural problems

Serious structural problems in houses are not very common, but when they occur they can be difficult & costly to repair. These tips won’t turn you into a home inspector, but it will give you some of the common indicators of structural concerns. In these cases, a structural engineer should be called out to investigate further and provide a professional opinion.

Tip 1 – Leaning House

Take a macro-look at the home from across the street – is the house obviously tilting or leaning, or one edge of the home separating?

Tip 2 – Exterior Walls & Entries

Look for areas of wall separation greater than ½” in size
Check the Chimney area well – is the chimney separating from the home?

Tip 3 – Doors & Windows

Do doors and windows open freely? Look for cracks around the edges of windows and doors, and for sagging lintels on brick homes.

Tip 4 -Floors & Walls

Are there drywall cracks > ¼” in size? Are there uneven floors near corners?

Tip 5 – Basement Foundation Crack

Look for significant cracks both inside and outside on the foundation, particularly near corners, around windows, and any cracks that run the full length vertically or a considerable length horizontally.

Summary

o Tip1 – Is the house obviously leaning?

o Tip 2 – Are there large external cracks?

o Tip 3 – Are doors & windows sticking?

o Tip 4 – Are walls cracked or floors uneven?

o Tip 5 – Are there basement cracks present?

Any of these may indicate a structural issue that should be inspected or reviewed by a structural engineer. Structural concerns when selling or purchasing a home are the most costly items you can be faced with. Look closely at these areas, or ask you home inspector to focus on these areas in a separate walk through of the home. If you aren’t sure about something you see, have a structural engineer look at it. The cost of an inspection will be well worth the peace of mind in knowing the severity and extent of the concern.

George Scott, Scott Home Inspection LLC,

http://www.scotthomeinspection.com/