Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y and the Home.

 

When I was growing up our toothpaste came in lead tubes, lead paint chips abounded and we blew asbestos out of the car’s brake linings while smoking non filtered cigarettes.  Mom would make us scrub mold off the basement walls without gloves and Radon might have been a car part but I never heard of it.  How did we survive?

Baby boomers were not as educated as the generations that followed and if you ask most of us today we hardly care.  Does this mean it’s not important?  Of course not!  Much time and research has gone into investigating the ill effects of these things.  Will everyone have issues with mold or Radon?  No.  Obviously some people are more sensitive to mold and with thousands of different types of good and bad mold there is no definitive way to know how you will react unless you are tested. So… what should you do?

Get your home and your body tested.  I’m not particularly affected by mold or allergies while my wife is very sensitive.  We have spent more than $10 having her tested and to this day still don’t know exactly what she is allergic to.   Should I care?  Of course…. She might read this…

There are many professional testing companies and plenty of home testing kits available.  We can generally avoid Lead except when China tries to sneak some in on their products but mold and Radon… start with eliminating moisture!

High moisture elevates Radon levels.  High moisture is the primary contributor to mold.  Eliminate moisture and these conditions can be improved.  Simple grading around the building is generally what a Home Inspector will recommend.  Have your downspouts cleaned, connected properly, and discharging at least 6 feet away from the home and make sure the water is draining away!  In addition to reducing moisture, this helps eliminate breeding grounds for wood destroying insects. So what about Generation X and Y?

They want to know.  In this age of information they are very concerned about having the most and correct information and then being able to make an educated decision about a direction to take.  I applaud the younger generations for this.  They are willing to take the time and incur the expense so they can do the right thing, and why not, it’s their health.  Information abounds.  Isn’t America great?

Now… give me a Camel and pass that air compressor… I want to blow the dust off your brakes.

 

Resources for your perusal.

http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.html

http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/tenants.html

http://www.epa.gov/lead/

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How To Survive a Home Inspection


A home inspection is one of the most crucial steps on the path to old-house ownership. Here’s how to use it to determine if you should take the plunge on that fixer-upper.

By Jane Powell

Buyer beware: What looks like a dream house from a distance could turn out to be riddled with problems upon closer inspection.
Buyer beware: What looks like a dream house from a distance could turn out to be riddled with problems upon closer inspection. Lori Martin photo

You’ve taken the leap and made an offer on an old house, and the seller has accepted it. Caught between euphoria and dread, you have only a few short weeks to reassure yourself that it’s the right house for you—and make sure you haven’t agreed to sink your life savings into a proverbial money pit.

And while you need to investigate the neighborhood, the zoning, the schools, and other concerns, the biggest piece of what the real estate people call “due diligence” will be the physical inspection of the house. Much of your decision on whether to go ahead with the sale, and a large part of your plans for fixing the house after you buy it, will be based on this document.

Article.

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Divorce and the Home Inspection.

I am celebrating 29 years of marriage with my first wife in April so I don’t know about divorce other than second hand knowledge. I can’t imagine how it feels to go through it.  What I do know is that often one spouse or the other gets the house while the other get the pension, savings or other assets they have accumulated together.  If you end up with the house don’t get the short end of the stick…get a Home Inspection before you agree to your final terms.  Here’s why.

Regardless of the age of the building there can be serious defects that may devalue the property.  It’s not unthinkable that portions, let’s start with the roof, could be nearing the end of its useful life.  Replacing a roof can cost thousands of dollars.  A Heater, AC or Heat Pump is also a major expense.  These things, according to Murphy’s Law, will happen just when you can’t afford it.  A divorce is basically a business transaction, so treat it as such.  Keep the emotions out of it and make sure you know what you’re getting.

If you have lived in the home for a while, it is likely that the major house systems have worked just fine, and most people don’t contemplate replacing big items until they fail.  Nothing lasts forever, things break or wear out.

Worse than the things that you might expect to replace and may have even taken into consideration, is the unexpected.  There are many potential issues with foundations.  Unless you know what to look for, a seemingly minor issue may lead to substantial costs.  It’s not uncommon for structural repairs to go into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Don’t mistake an appraisal for a Home Inspection.  Appraisers don’t necessarily take into account repairs that may be needed.  You need a Home Inspection!

There is a lot of information available and more Lawyers and Realtors are becoming aware of the value of a Home Inspection before a divorce is final.  Consider one for your peace of mind.

For more information check out,  Kelly Lise Murray’s Web Site

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What to look for in Home Inspections

A home inspection often means the difference between a sale and no sale, even if the deal that results isn’t exactly what the owner expected.

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Don’t Shoot The Messenger.

 

I’m a Home Inspector.  I love my job.  When clients hire home inspectors they do so for several reasons.  The most important reason is so that we can do an evaluation of the property and report back on the building’s systems and their current state of efficiency or deficiency.  The ironic thing is that almost all homes have deficiencies, and everyone has to live somewhere, so the client is faced with a decision.  Can they live with the home in its present condition and/or are they willing to make investments to improve it.  Since I have spent my whole adult life in and around construction I am in favor of making improvements.  On the other hand, not everyone thinks like me and many would rather buy in to a home that needs few or no repairs.  This comes at a price.  Decisions, decisions…

Our reports are based on the condition of the home, our education, training and background.  It’s as simple as that.  However, we can be made to look like the ‘bad’ guys just by doing our jobs.  No one likes to hear bad news and, depending on how you look at it, we bring bad news.  We’re often known to Realtors as “Deal Killers.”  Since the majority of our work (at least my work) comes from Realtors.  It’s a tough position.

Legitimate Home Inspectors have a Code of Ethics.  The American Society of Home Inspectors has a deliberate Code of Ethics that we all agree to abide by.  In part it says, “Integrity, honesty, and objectivity are fundamental principles embodied by this Code, which sets forth obligations of ethical conduct for the home inspection profession. The Membership of ASHI has adopted this Code to provide high ethical standards to safeguard the public and the profession.” ASHI Code of Ethics.

I view doing Home Inspections as a privilege.  I also take my reports seriously.  I want to make friends as much as the next person, but I’m not in a popularity contest.

So please… don’t shoot the messenger!

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Clothes Dryer Venting Safety

Lint and additional debris can build up in your clothes dryer vent and may cause your dryer to exhaust at less than optimum efficiency. This creates potentially hazardous conditions including carbon monoxide intrusion and the possibility for exhaust fires. If a gas clothes dryer is improperly vented or the exhaust duct itself is blocked by lint or debris, carbon monoxide can be forced back into your living space.

 

For full article click HERE

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Chimneys

Many American homeowners think their chimneys only need to be cleaned and inspected if they burn wood in their fireplaces or wood stoves. But almost all heating appliances, whether they burn gas, oil, wood or coal, rely on the chimney to safely carry toxic gases produced by the heating system of the house.

A carbon monoxide detector can warn homeowners of potential poisoning after the deadly gas has already entered the living area, but an annual chimney check can help prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home in the first place.  Full Article

For information on Chimneys and Safety see the Chimney Safety Institute of America at CSIA

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About Lead-Based Paint

Lead is a highly toxic metal that may cause a range of health problems, especially in young children. When lead is absorbed into the body, it can cause damage to the brain and other vital organs, like the kidneys, nerves and blood.

Lead may also cause behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Some symptoms of lead poisoning may include headaches, stomachaches, nausea, tiredness and irritability. Children who are lead poisoned may show no symptoms.
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Home Inspections Can Save You Money And Stress

I won’t lie to you buying a house is an expensive thing to do, there are fees to get a loan, there are closing costs, there is the time and money you spend when you are looking at houses. It sometimes seems that every single phone call is someone wanting some more money from you. It can be easy to discount the costs that are not required to get a loan, the home inspection usually falls into this section but forgoing it can be a mistake.

Your best protection against buying a home that is substandard in any way is to have it inspected by a qualified home inspector. It can be difficult as you have probably falled in love with the house and are imagining how your children will look playing in the garden. You don’t want to think that there could possibly be anything wrong with your future home, but isn’t it better to know sooner rather than later that the roof will need replacing in a year or two.

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First you need a truck

This truck was originally part of the work force for the company I worked for.  We donated it to a missionary that was on furlough for a year and when he went back to Africa I bought it from him.  Recently added the lettering to ‘personalize’ it.

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