Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
Saturday, April 8th, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Tuesday, April 11th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know. We understand that you have lives, and families, and work. We will work something out that works better with your schedule. Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner! 😀
Happy Saturday Night!
Well, the packing adventure continues, and is slowly coming to the end when The Move will happen. If we survive this…it will be a miracle! It’s weird, in the early years of our marriage my husband and I moved a lot. We moved 5 times in our first 5 years together, and then lived in a duplex for 4 years before we moved into our first (and current) home. So, with all those moves, how did I not know that my husband and I had such different packing styles? What do I mean? Well, my husband’s packing style involves looking at something and if he isn’t sure what it is….it gets thrown away. Crazy, right? My packing style involves looking at things, and if I am not sure…well, then it must obviously be saved! I even have boxes actually titled, “miscellaneous crap that we may never go through”. I currently have 3 of those, but at least I titled them honestly! 😀
So last week we talked about home inspections, but what happens AFTER the home inspection? Well, let’s talk about that… So this week, I had two home inspections (both at vacant homes) with clients, and with 2 different inspectors.
Inspection #1 was with dear friends of mine who are finally buying their first home, and I am very excited for them. The home is a bit older of a home, but has a great floor plan for their family with updated windows, new(er) roof, awful salmon pink painted kitchen cabinets (easy fix!), a huge separate family room (a built on addition), a large living room , and 2 dining areas. There is a storage area that I knew had some electrical issues but my clients are going to remodel that room for a studio for their oldest son. Every home has pros and cons, and this homes ‘cons’ like a bedroom with a lot of built ins (perfect for their youngest son), and the smaller master actually works for them and are more like pros. They wanted/needed a FAMILY home so the family areas are most important, and their vision for the storage room is awesome! This is the perfect home for them, and that is what counts. The inspection, of course showed some items that needed repairs. Every home is going to need some repairs. What buyers need to look for is anything that could affect the health or safety of the home, or it’s occupants…anything that could require a contractor. My clients decided to request a pest control operator to come out as the inspector was finding evidence of rats. Ewww… ; The home currently has ceiling heat and in 3 of the rooms it wasn’t working, so we asked for the heat in those 3 rooms to be repaired, or replaced with cadet wall heaters. There was some wood rot on the back corner of the family room addition that we requested repaired, and for the chimney to be cleaned and inspected by a licensed chimney contractor. Four items…not bad. My clients did NOT ask for the electrical in the storage area to be repaired because they have other plans for that as well. An appraiser ‘could’ require it to be repaired, but as it isn’t currently living space…they probably won’t.
At this point, we have requested these repairs, and now the seller has the right to respond. They have 3 days to come back with a response, and that could be that they will do all the repairs, or that they will do none of the repairs, or maybe that they will do some, but not the others….or with a different response all together. Once we receive the sellers response, my clients have the option to accept the sellers response, decline the response and back out of the contract (my clients would get their earnest money back), or maybe offer a different solution. One of my sellers that I am helping sell her home offered the buyer $1000 towards their closing costs instead of doing any repairs…and the buyers were cool with that.
The average inspection runs about 2 hours, and this one was running a bit longer than that. My clients were leaving, and I was ready to leave too as I needed to go pick up my 7 year old from school. So I start shutting off lights…..and the inspector sits down at the table! Why does that deserve an exclamation mark? The inspection is done…. he went over his findings with my clients, and we are all leaving….so why is he sitting down at the table? I was confused. “Hey, thanks for the inspection. I’ve already turned off the lights in the family room, and I’ll check the back bedrooms while you get your stuff together.” Ok…I said this with a smile because I thought that maybe that is what he was doing, but it was what he said next that threw me off… “oh no worries. I am not done yet. Go ahead and go and I’ll lock up when I am done.”
ummmm….a couple of things here… 1) you said you were done to my clients, and we went over the report. You’re not done? Why did you say that you were? 2) As a realtor, I am required to be at the home. I opened the lockbox with my key and so I am responsible for locking it up. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.
Me: “um….I can’t leave until you do….sorry”
Inspector: “oh, it’s ok. I just need to finish up some paperwork. Go ahead and go, and I will lock up. Lots of agents I work with do this”
Me: *thinking that just because every other agent jumps off a bridge doesn’t mean I am going to do so too* Instead I said, “then you work with some stupid agents. I’m sorry, but I don’t work that way. If I unlock the house, then I will be locking it up. It’s my responsibility from the moment I unlock the home to make sure that I leave it in the same condition. I’m sorry but I can’t leave until you do.” ok…maybe not the most tactful way I could have put that, but sometimes I’m like that….
Inspector: “uh…ok. Let me get my stuff then. I guess I can finish this at home. Let me just check a few things.” He seemed surprised that I wouldn’t just go along with this… I’m still surprised that he wasn’t done when he said he was, and that he expected me to leave him alone in the house after I opened it up.
ugh!! This really kind of irritates me….. ok, more than kind of…
So, what about inspection #2? Well, this was a newer home on the east side of town. Great neighborhood filled with beautiful homes, and this home was priced great because it’s not as flashy as the other homes….in other words, it needs some cosmetic updating, but totally livable. Walking around the home when I showed it, the ground around the home was very wet and spongy. I know, I know…we’ve had a lot of rain recently, but in this area…I fully expected the inspector to find water in the crawlspace, and guess what he found in the crawlspace? yep….water. Ok…no big deal…..lots of neighborhoods are more prone to water in the crawlspaces due to high water tables, and again…with the amount of rain we have had recently, not a surprise. For this home, my clients request the sellers to have a licensed drainage contractor to come out to put appropriate drainage under the home to take care of that, to have the furnace inspected, repaired, and serviced by a licensed HVAC contractor (we couldn’t get the furnace to turn on, and that is so not a good thing as heat IS a good thing), and …and this is a weird one…. the seller needs to replace the front bay window. One of the things that this inspector does is to open/close all the windows. While doing this he asks my client and I to come look at this and says it is broke. The window isn’t broke…there’s no crack so we are confused….until we look closers. It is a vinyl window with two panes, and the inside pane was shattered and then cleaned up.
There was only ONE pane of glass, and looking close you could see sharp glass edges where the second glass pane should have been. Crazy!! ….and we would have missed it if it wasn’t for the inspector! He’s a good one! 🙂 He requested my client walk around with him, and pointed out items as he found them so he could show them to her, and discuss them. When he was done, he went over the condition of the home (overall very good), and what items as a homeowner they should be considering….items to consider asking the seller for, and items that, as homeowners, they need to understand to do later. Then he thanked her for her business, received payment, and we were all done except for a final walk around. These are not first time homebuyers. They moved here from east Washington, and were referrals. They are very, very nice and this house works perfectly for them, and their family as it is in the school districts they need to be in….and they understand that cosmetic upgrading is pretty easy and is a good way to build equity when done right. They will make this house sparkle and shine like the neighboring homes do.
One of thing that these clients understand….while many people are looking for their ‘forever’ home, you would be surprised just how short of a time ‘forever’ is. Remember Alice in Wonderland? “Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.”
The average time a family lives in their home is 5-10 years. Yes, there are exceptions on both sides…that’s why it is an average. When we purchased our first home I thought it might be our ‘forever’ home, but then changed that to about 10 years a couple of years after we moved in, but we’ve lived here for 15 years. My husband thinks our next home will be our ‘forever’ home, but honestly…probably about 15-20 years before we will move on from that one. Forever is a very long time that blinks by. Our lives are constantly changing.
I have a couple of clients right now hoping for their ‘forever’ home, but should be looking for a ‘starter’ home. Get in to a home while the market/interest rates are good, build up equity, and then move in to a longer forever home…. until the next one. Now this does not mean that I want people to move all the time….heavens no… moving/packing SUCKS!!! I want my clients to be in their homes for as long as the home fits their needs….whether that is 2 years, 5 years, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years… or forever! I will definitely still be here to help in 2, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years… I am hoping I could retire around 30 years from now, but yeah… I will still probably be here, but all I am saying is that my car better be driving me around by then!! 🙂
Now that these clients inspections are done, we wait for the sellers response. Usually the buyers/sellers can work out something for repairs that works for both parties, but sometimes they can’t. If we can’t work something out then the deal will fall apart. The home will go back on the market, my clients will go back on the house hunt, and their earnest money will be returned to them since inspection is a valid reason to back out and get the earnest money returned. The cost of the inspection is just that…the cost of the inspection. I fully expect that these requested items shouldn’t be issues. Any buyer is going to ask for working heat (c’mon…heat is good!) and water in the crawlspace to be repaired. If the sellers don’t fix it for us they will have to fix it for someone else. Once this is all good and both parties have agreed then it is on to the appraisal, and one step closer to keys!
As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one. Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships. Your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. 🙂 We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
Upcoming Topics: Buyers Due Diligence,
What are the ‘Hidden’ Costs of Buying a Home? …..
What if I don’t have a Down Payment? ….. &….
What happens after an offer is made?
Last Week: Home inspections 101
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,