Show Notes: Home Buying and Selling Facts – On the House

Show Notes: Home Buying and Selling Facts

By on April 9, 2016

It’s the season for home buying and selling. Being armed with the best information on what to know before you sell or buy a home will save you from surprises that will cost you money later.


Jack-Of-All-Trades Garage Door Opener

Ryobi’s new modular Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener can perform various other tasks, including snooping for carbon monoxide.

The power tool maker has used a modular design to combine a great big bunch of handy capabilities into the door opener. The Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener is said to be 20-percent quieter than its rivals, but surprisingly enough in can be used to produce sound as the plug and play modules include a wireless speaker.

As well as warning about poisonous gases, the door opener can also be turned into a laser-guided parking assist. A LED light is embedded in the bottom, and you can add a retractable cord reel for extra handiness. In case you’re away from home and you’re suddenly overcome by the unsettling uncertainty of whether the door is indeed closed, that can be checked using an iOS or Android app. And as for opening and closing, the electric motor is said to be good for two horsepower’s worth, and the drive belt is reinforced with steel.

The basic package costs $248, and for that price you get a wall controller, a wireless keypad and two remote controls, along with a safety sensor. The available lithium-ion backup battery means the door can be opened at least a hundred times even in the case of a blackout, and other add-on modules start from $44.


What To Ask When Hiring A Home Inspector

 What does a home inspector do?

Inspect every accessible area of a house which includes the roof, heat and cooling systems, the structure, the electrical, the plumbing, the yard, the insulation, the decks, the chimney, the basement, the crawl spaces, the sewage system. The inspector will an extensive report that outlines the exact condition of the home.

 Who needs a home inspector?

Home inspections are for people who are buying houses, but can also be for a seller that would like their house inspected prior to putting it on the market.

 Should I be present at the inspection?

There are some home inspectors who like to do the inspection alone, but following the inspector around you can see everything first hand.

What’s in the report?

A Home Inspection Report is usually about 60 to 80 pages long (without the glossary) that covers all of the major home components. It includes observations on each category, things that are considered a deficiency and need to be examined further or fixed, and recommended upgrades. Not everything is negative ,there may be notes of things that look good or recent upgrades as well. The report should also contains photographs.

 What issues should I be really concerned about?

 Major defects, like a structural failure.

  • Things that lead to major defects, like a small leak in the roof.
  • Anything that may hinder your ability to finance, insure, or occupy the home.
  • Safety hazards, like faulty electrical wiring

 How long does a home inspection take?

 The national average is 2.5 hours, but it could take longer depending on the condition of the house.

 How should I find a home inspector?

In a lot of states, there aren’t licensing requirements; if that’s the case, make sure they have a membership in a home inspector organization, as that means they’re invested in continuing their education and are following standards of practice. It’s also important to check their references online. You should also see how much experience they have and how long they’ve been in the field.

How much does a home inspection cost?

A lot of buyers go for the cheapest prices, but you don’t always get great quality when you do that. You might pay based on the size of the home, the home price and area, special requests, and time of year. The national average is $315.00


Selling Your Home? Things To Think About

 Consider having your home inspected before you list it. You will learn if there are any major repairs needed and can address them before the home goes on the market.

What year was your house built?
Do your lights flicker, or breakers or fuses blow?
Do you have a fuse box or electrical panel?
Do you have aluminum wiring, or knob and tube? What condition is your plumbing in?
How old is your furnace?
How often do you replace your furnace filters?
Do you have a water softener?
Is your roof in good condition?
Are your windows in good condition?
What condition is your foundation in?
If you have a deck or patio, what condition are they in?

Do you have any water problems?                                                                                                                                                                                         Have you had problems with mold or mildew?


Got Mosquitos?

 5 tips to stay ahead of the mosquitoes

 By now, we’re all well aware of the harmful diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, including malaria, West Nile and heartworms. As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about, we’ve been recently introduced to the Zika Virus, which has grabbed media attention after being linked to birth defects in babies through the bite of an infected mosquito. This is why keeping pesky mosquitos away from around your home and yard has become a must-do, especially considering the escalating health risks associated with the Zika Virus.

Homeowners must be proactive about existing or potential drainage problems so they don’t run the risk of having their yards become a breeding ground.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it only takes one week for standing water to turn in to a breeding habitat for mosquitoes. Keeping mosquitoes away from your home, yard and family is much more than a matter of convenience; it may help preserve your health.

 The single most effective thing you can do as a homeowner to minimize the presence of mosquitoes around your property is eliminate standing water wherever it occurs. Because mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water, puddles and standing water in your yard can become a breeding ground.

When warm weather arrives, that low spot in the backyard where water always collects becomes much more troublesome than just being an eyesore according to Ryan Larsen, a civil engineer with NDS Inc., a leading manufacturer of water management solutions.

Homeowners may think solving their drainage problems will be difficult and costly, or that they’ll end up with an ugly drainage ditch on their property. But Larsen says it is possible to eliminate standing water cost-effectively and attractively. He suggests homeowners take these five simple steps:

1.Identify actual or potential trouble spots.

Is there a low area in the yard where water collects after rain? Are any downspouts or gutters on your home clogged with debris? Does water linger along a retaining wall, edging, walkway or patio after you’ve irrigated the lawn? Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in very shallow standing water, so anywhere water collects could be a breeding ground.

   2.Address the easy fixes first.

The gutters, downspouts and minor collection spots are easily addressed by simply clearing away the obstructions. When those issues are resolved, homeowners should concentrate on addressing low areas on their property. Specifically, it’s important to look for muddy, wet areas because they can kill grass and attract mosquitoes that can eventually lead to more serious damage to a homeowner’s property.

3.Determine the scope of the problem.

Standing water on a property can occur in multiple spots, from walkways to lawns. NDS offers an online Home Drainage Center to help you identify your problem, possible solutions and whether the resolution is a DIY project or if you’ll need to hire a professional.

  • Choose and install your solution. 

French drains, underground drainage and catch basins are typical solutions for many home drainage problems. Placing drainage underground not only minimizes the risk of mosquitoes breeding in standing water, it can preserve the visual appeal of your landscape. For example, for NDS drainage solutions that involve catch basins, the company offers a wide selection of decorative catch basin grates, so the portion of the system you can’t hide will be visually appealing. Most drainage systems can be installed in just one weekend.

  • Take steps to protect yourself.

Mosquitoes have been around since the time of the dinosaurs (and they’ve been spreading malaria for that long, too.) While eliminating standing water on your property will go a long way toward reducing the number of mosquitoes in your environment, it’s virtually impossible to remove them entirely.


Buying A Home? More Things To Think About

Do you know what’s lurking in your home?

 Radon Testing: According to the EPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and is, overall, the second leading cause of lung cancer. It is therefore worth the extra $100 to $200 that inspectors might charge to have the home tested for radon. They are familiar with every place that needs to be checked and know how to find potential trouble spots quickly. They’ll know the prime spots for gathering samples and will give a much better assessment of the radon levels in your home.

Asbestos: Newer homes shouldn’t need to worry about asbestos, but asbestos was used in home construction up until 1989. Having the home checked for asbestos is probably worth it in older homes with popcorn ceilings. However it does come at a hefty cost. On average, you should expect to spend $400 to $800 for a 1,500 square foot house including lab fees. If the samples come up positive for the presence of asbestos, now an inspection must be done to determine the levels and air quality. Asbestos removal can cost anywhere from $400 to $30,000 depending on the amount of asbestos present. After clean-up and removal, a follow-up inspection is necessary to make sure it was done correctly. That’s another $200 to $400.

Mold: The six most common molds are:







Of these, acremonium, aspergillus, and stachybotrys are the most dangerous, requiring immediate removal. The other three are hazardous to people with allergic reactions to mold and should also be removed immediately. The cost to have your home tested for mold is about $820, while having it professionally removed is around $2,200.

Lead: A home built before 1978 should be inspected for lead in the paint as well as pipes. Paint that has been on since 1978 is probably old, cracked and peeling, anyway, but most people simply paint over such situations. If the paint is in good shape, this is usually all that’s needed. However, if the paint is cracking or peeling it will need to be encapsulated with a bonding agent to prevent lead-infused dust from getting into the air you breathe. Lead pipes can leech lead into your drinking water. If your home meets this requirement, you will need to have it tested for about $300. If the results come back positive for either the paint or pipes in your home, lead removal could range anywhere from $950 to $2,300.

Sewer Scope: Of all the things that homebuyers overlook, the sewer is at the top. Many inspectors will refer you to a sewer scope company since this runs outside their area of expertise. A sewer scope is a worthwhile investment for homes that are 20 years or older with pipes that could be blocked by tree roots. Homes that were built in the 1950s might even have their sewer lines attached to cesspools. The upfront cost for a sewer scope will run from $85 to $300, but it can save you thousands on replacing a sewer line down the road.


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