Archive for the ‘Physical Inspection’ Category

THE TRUE MEANING OF “AS-IS”
November 10, 2015

“AS-IS”: To Sellers, it means a quick and easy escrow after negotiating only once with a Buyer. Buyers, on the other hand, think it means they are getting a smoke-smelling cosmetic fixer with 70’s green shag carpeting and 80’s ivy-print wall paper for a decent price. At the time a contract is accepted by all parties, the chances are minimal that the Buyers have seen the Seller’s disclosures, let alone know the secrets of the house.
When Buyers exercise their legal right to do inspections of the property (and they usually do), they often walk away with a much-changed perspective of the dream home they thought they were buying. What is a Buyer to think when the Seller says there is no problem with the roof, only to have the inspector reveal that besides water stains on the rafters, there are pots and bowls set out in the attic surrounded by towels? (Yes, this happened.)

Leaking-Roof1
What about issues that even the Seller may be unaware? Broken sewer lines, unsafe fireplaces, and compromised electrical systems are often discovered in these inspections. What would anyone’s reaction be to learning that the firebox in the furnace is cracked?
Most of the concerns of Buyers have to do with health and safety issues and code violations. Even if the Seller has lived with these issues for years, the Buyer may not wish to test their luck. They may have been ready to tackle paint and flooring, but not have the funds to remove asbestos ceilings or correct serious code violations. However, with some concessions by the Seller, the Buyer may be willing to continue in the transaction. This will mean another round of negotiations where the Sellers need to stay focused on their ultimate goal and what is in their best interest to reach that goal. Sometime a $500 or even a $5,000 concession is better than starting the whole process over again with a new Buyer. By the way, the Seller will need to give any inspection reports or quotes received from the previous Buyer to the new Buyer.

Rich and Jan McMillen
www.TOHomes.com/

 

THINK TWICE ABOUT ATTIC AND RAFTERS STORAGE!
October 30, 2011

A man in Michigan is suing his in-laws because he fell through their attic helping them retrieve Christmas decorations.  So we are using this opportunity to remind everyone most attics are built for one purpose – to hold up the roof.  The rafters and trusses are designed to support the weight of the roofing material.  They are not normally engineered for the weight of stored items.  Stressing the trusses, rafters, and joints beyond the structural integrity they were designed for can cause damage and ultimately failure of the roofing system.

Unfortunately, many people think that the attic and the rafters in the garage are great places to store stuff.   They often lay wood flooring in the attic and will install a ladder to create permanent storage space unconcerned with the weight of the items they store.  We have seen boxes of books and paper records, furniture and more stuffed into these spaces.

To compound the problem, homeowners often wish to promote an attic storage area as a feature of the house when they list it for sale. They don’t understand the potential future liability of promoting this illegal storage space in the event that the trusses are structurally compromised later by the unwitting buyer.

We recommend homeowners not to utilize their attics for storage; and when selling their home, never advertise it for that use.

Rich and Jan McMillen
www.TOHomes.com
 

TOP TEN PHYSICAL INSPECTION ITEMS
August 30, 2011

Selling a home can have a lot of emotional ups and downs.  That roller coaster ride does not end with a signed contract.  Sellers have been known to lose their lunch on the Physical Inspection Plunge.  Safety issues will usually be recapped in a report and these are especially of concern to buyers.

Following are ten common problems discovered during the physical inspection:

  1. Furnace – Flex gas line entering furnace is not to code as it can break during an earthquake
  2. Electrical – GCFI missing in kitchen, bathroom, garage, or outside; outlets not properly grounded or polarities reversed; wiring that is not up to code (e.g. added garage lighting and automatic garage door openers); open junction boxes (often found in the attic)
  3. Water Heater – not properly strapped, anchored and braced; pressure valve release not exiting to exterior.
  4. Fireplace – cracks in fire box or chimney; gas fireplace missing a damper clamp; spark arrestor missing on chimney.
  5. Dishwasher missing air gap. 
  6. Smoke detectors missing or non-functioning.  There is no carbon monoxide detector (now required). 
  7. Windows and doors do not open, close and lock easily.
  8.  If there is a pool or spa, the gates to yard are not self-closing. 
  9. The door to garage is not fire-rated and self-closing. 
  10. Holes are in firewalls between garage and house.

Since these are safety issues, owners should keep themselves safe and not wait until their home is on the market to address them.  Protect yourself today!

 
Rich & Jan McMillen
 
www.TOHomes.com