The dreaded inspection—jargon, issues, and “make or breaks”

If you’re buying or selling a home, the inspection process can be nerve-wracking for people. It often brings up questions or concerns that may be a little bit overwhelming at first. The inspection provides an overall evaluation of the home’s condition. Inspections can be complex, depending on the home and its condition. Every inspection provides a detailed look at all the working systems of a whole house. Then, depending on the home, there can be additional inspection processes that look at the sewer, oil tank, roof, or radon levels.  Doing an inspection should be written into your sales contract, so you can expect to have one from the get go.

When you’re getting an inspection, be sure to use a licensed inspector. These people need to complete continuing education courses and are experienced with inspecting a variety of different styles and homes of various ages. Your Realtor will give you advice on a recommended inspector or inspection company.

How the process works:
When a buyer gets an inspection done, the seller may not know what the results are for a couple of days. When the buyer gets the results, they will get a copy of the report and determine what they want to ask the seller to fix, if anything. Most often, the buyer has 10 days to get repair requests to the seller. The Realtor will help the buyer determine which “to-do” items are reasonable to ask for and what isn’t.

Once the seller gets the list, they are given some time to get quotes or bids on the items that need completion. Having an experienced Realtor to work with you during this process is important, as the back-and-forth process can create much dialogue. It is critical that everyone understands each other and having an agent you trust here can help guide you along through some of the confusing details. Many times, the inspection process requires negotiation and a Realtor can be an asset in this part.

As a seller, this time can be nerve-wracking, as you are waiting to get quotes done and wondering what the result will be! Your Realtor will help you decipher the requests that come in, determine what is customary, and negotiate on your behalf. Again, your Realtor will play an important role in helping you get through the many hoops that can sometimes happen with the inspection process.

Buying and selling a home requires many different steps and it’s okay to have a lot of questions along the way. The inspection process can be very involved, and I am happy to sit down and talk with you about it if you need additional clarification.

Posted on November 20, 2017 at 6:21 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Energy Savings Tips

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Winter weather has arrived and we’re likely to have more snow and ice in the coming months. When the frozen weather hits, we want to stay warm and cozy, but not break the bank on heating bills. Here are some simple winter energy savings tips that can help you save energy and keep your heating bill under control.

Tip #1: Don’t let air leaks go unattended.
If your home is leaking cold air in and warm air out, you’re likely wasting hundreds of dollars every year. Be sure to caulk and seal around any small openings around windows or doors. Door frames should have weather stripping secured around door frames, especially if they are showing signs of deteriorating. If you have old ductwork in your home, call a professional heating and cooling company and ask about duct sealing. This can be an affordable and effective way to seal air duct leaks and will help keep harmful particles out of the air you breathe inside the home.

Tip #2: Service your furnace.
Plan on having your HVAC system serviced once a year. These regular check-ups are helpful because technicians can take a close look at the furnace or heat pump and be sure that everything is working at its peak. They’ll replace air filters, offer solutions on how to make the system more efficient during the winter, and will point out any problems that may need repair.

Tip #3: Turn your thermostat down.
When you keep your thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree range without changing it all the time, you can save up to 5% on heating costs. If you keep your thermostat down to 68 degrees at night and instead use extra blankets while you sleep, you could be saving a lot of money every year. In addition, if you plan on being away from your home for an extended period of time, set the thermostat to 55 or 60 degrees. There’s no need to keep the heat on in an empty house.

Tip #4: Replace old appliances.
Has it been a while since you’ve replaced your appliances? Did you know that old appliances (especially old refrigerators) are huge energy drains! Replacing your old gas or electric appliances with those that have Energy Star® labels can be a great way to save energy and decrease your monthly utility bills.

These tips aren’t just helpful in the winter, either. They’re helpful all year long! Stay warm this winter!

Posted on December 22, 2016 at 12:03 am
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Weatherize Your House During Autumn Weather

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Autumn has arrived and that translates to falling leaves and wet weather. Weatherizing your Pacific Northwest home for the fall weather is important. Here are some tips on how to keep your home warm and dry during the new season.

Tip #1: Weatherize your windows.
Do you have drafty windows? Older windows can allow cold air to creep in and can also bring in rain water into the window sills, causing mold and moisture build up. Consider caulking your windows so there is no leakage and if you have any cracks or broken panes, replace them right away. Replacing these will also save energy, which means you’ll pay less on your utility bill.

Tip #2: Keep gutters cleared out.
Autumn can bring heavy wind and rain, which means your gutters will be put to the test. Make sure that gutters are kept free of debris, twig, or leaf buildup. If they’re overflowing, it will cause the gutters to work harder and could cause leakage onto your roof or siding, which could cause damage later down the road.

Tip #3: Seal up doors.
Leaking doors, like leaking windows, can cause drafts and moisture build up. Make sure that the seals around your doors are working properly and if you notice any cracks or issues with caulking, get it fixed right away.

Tip #4: Be sure to check your roof.
Weatherizing your roof is key, especially once we head into the cold winter. Inspect your roof regularly, checking for missing, cracked, or curled shingles. If you see anything noticeable, call a roofing specialist right away. If you don’t get things repaired, water could creep in and threaten the overall integrity of the roof.

If you need advice on where to call when it comes to weatherizing your home for autumn, I can help with some local, reputable contractors and companies. Keeping your home maintained well will help you stay comfortable during the upcoming cooler months!

Posted on October 15, 2016 at 10:51 pm
Nancy Johns | Category: Home Buying Tips, Home Remodeling Tips, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,