Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yep - Even New Construction Homes need a Home Inspection

I’m working with some very excited clients who are buying a new construction home.  The builder is very well respected in the area and is known to build a good, solid home.  Last week, we were informed that it is okay to do a home inspection to ensure all systems are working well and there are no obvious issues prior to the new owners moving in. 

In a conversation with my clients, they questioned the need to have a home inspection.  They indicated they have visited the home regularly during the build process and feel like all was going well (from what they could tell), so aren’t sure if it is necessary to spend the money for the inspection.  I shared that mistakes can happen or things get overlooked, even with a really good builder, and it is probably cheap insurance to find out about any issues now versus waiting.  They agreed and the home inspection was conducted yesterday morning.

Most of the ‘repair needs’ found during the inspection are pretty easy fixes.  For example:
  •         Missing vapor barrier in spots in the crawl space
  •        Construction debris left in the crawl space, on the roof and in the gutters
  •          Loose wires under the fireplace that need to be contained in a junction box
  •          Garbage disposal not working properly
  •         Caulking at counter top/wall junctions.
The real benefit from yesterday’s home inspection was the discovery of a significant amount of standing water in the crawl space and very soggy ground around the backyard landscaping.  Since there is newly laid sod, the soggy ground could have been overlooked and said to have been caused by the need to over water the sod to ensure the grass sets.

However, with the amount of standing water in the crawl space – during a time when we have not had any significant rain in months – it could be a bigger issue.  Imagine if the Buyers didn’t have a home inspection and closed on the home.  During their one-year inspection next September, they potentially could have a pool of water in the crawl space, the beginning of mold in the attic and possibly other issues that may need to be addressed.

In previous new construction home inspections, issues such as missing attic insulation, improperly installed low-point drain, sewer lines not hooked up, leaking pipes (plus others!) have been found and saved the buyers a lot of future angst!

So, yep, it is worth the expense of the home inspection on a newly constructed home.

Monday, September 18, 2017

August 2017 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2017.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   3,034 in August 2017 vs 3,001 last August:  1.1%
  • Pending Sales:   3,072 in August 2017 vs 3,325 last August:  -7.6%
  • New Listings:   4,048 in August 2017 vs 4,203 last August:  -3.7%
  • Average Sales Price:   $392,600 in August 2017 vs $429,000 last August:  10.7%
  • Total Market Time: 34 days in August 2017 vs 34 days last August:  0.0%
  • Inventory in Months: 2.0 months in August 2017 vs 1.9 months last August
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.84 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.39 months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.69 months

Monday, September 11, 2017

When Disaster Strikes... The Importance of a Home Inventory

When tragic disasters occur - fires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes - many people are faced with the loss of their homes and possessions.  Imagine if you lost everything, and then had to list all of your possessions in order to file an insurance claim - not just your TV or furniture, but all your household goods, clothes, kids toys, holiday decorations, etc.  For me, this would be a true test of my memory - which could result in a lower insurance payout.

Consider these statistics:

ABC News recently published an article, 'Why your disaster kit needs a home inventory' , focusing on the importance of creating an inventory of all your belongings. The article also includes some tips and tools on how to create an inventory at your home, as well as suggestions for what to do if you don't have a home inventory after disaster strikes.

So, how do you get started in creating your home inventory?  Your insurance carrier may offer a free home inventory app.  On-line sites such as Homezada.com offer home-inventory programs.  And there are several software programs you can purchase to help you catalog all of your belongings.  At a minimum, it is suggested to take photos  or video from floor to ceiling in each room, and in the drawers and cupboards.  It is best to update your home inventory about once a year, save digital receipts of major purchases, and store your photos/videos at an off-site location.

While it may be a big job, it will be less stressful than having to recall and list all of your possessions at a time of loss - and will help your claim get processed faster.

Friday, September 8, 2017

6 Features of Functional Furniture Flow

image: flowersThe way you place furniture in a room can make all the difference in the world. Placement can either make a space feel open and inviting or cramped and off balance. Easily fix furniture faux pas with these arranging tips, and create a space that's design-show worthy. 

Flow high and low. The flow of a room has more to do with movement of the eye than the body. Maintain a clear view across the room especially towards the windows. Keep items low in the center and high around the perimeter. High-backed chairs and floor lamps, for example, can reduce the feel of space when placed in the natural line of sight. 

The 3-foot rule. Paths between and around furniture will feel less restricted when kept at around 3 feet. Keep in mind, too, that curved and oval pieces are easier to navigate around than square ones. 

Avoid the wall. Pulling furniture towards the center of the room dramatically increases the flow. But if you don't have the square footage for the "3-foot rule" between walls and sofas, 12 inches will do. Add some art to the wall behind and enjoy the new open feel. 

Love thy lighting. Overhead lighting is fine for tasks, but in the evening it can be harsh and unpleasant. Secondary lighting from table or floor lamps is essential for defining seating areas and reading nooks. 

Chair affair. If you have lots of accent chairs but no one sitting in them, you probably have too much seating. Create extra room and occasional seating with double-duty pieces like an over-sized ottoman that can act as a coffee table when you don't have as many guests. 

Get in balance. Placing large or heavy pieces right next to slender or minimal pieces can feel off kilter. Maintain a more balanced feel by grouping items of similar "visual weight" together. 

Test these tips in your living areas and feel the flow! 

Sources: Apartment Therapy, Bob Vila and YOU Magazine Sept 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Homework Series - September

  • Clean clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper, and space under dryer
  • Check fire extinguisher and repair or refill as needed
  • Trim or remove shrubbery around foundation, and leave a minimum of one foot between plantings and buildings.
  • Check exterior of house for signs of mildew or paint failure