I again have been asked to look at a home that has been recently purchased. The thought the family had, was to buy a home that needed some work and then improve it to suit them. Many people do this, and they rely on the home inspector to guide them on this major purchase. I won’t be asked to inspect a home before a purchase.
What has happened is that now that the family is in the home, problems are showing up. Like most families after they move into their new (to them) home, they don’t have a large amount of cash for additional repairs or if issues arise. The added problem in this case is the health of the family is being affected by the home.
They did what they should have…they walked through the home with the inspector and discussed various issues. However the issues raised by the home buyer were not considered of great importance to the inspector. The problem is that these issues might indicate additional problems, which could be of major concern. The next issue is that the costs suggested by the inspector and/or real estate agent for repairs in no way reflect the reality of the actual repair costs. So while they bought the home at less than listing price, the less than anticipated purchase price did not leave them enough to cover the cost of the repairs and issues that are now apparent, due to neglect by the previous home owner. In addition, I noted other problems that were missed by the inspector. The only saving grace – maybe – for the homeowner is that a form was signed by the previous home owner, which indicates that all work done on the home was done with permits. A lot of wo rk was done, that would not pass inspection and was clearly done by non professional trades.
nov10 02 Home InspectionsDoes the real estate industry in general work in the interest of the home buyer? All the agents, inspectors, and lawyers have a vested interest in the sale proceeding. While they all may not get paid by the home sale like the agents, they may rely on the referrals and/or repeat business from the agents. So everyone involved, is not going to seriously rock the boat when you are planning on purchasing a home – the deal puts food on their tables. So what can you do when planning your next home purchase?
First understand how the system is set up. Next, look for some independent help. While I will not do or be asked to do a home inspection, I have been asked for my opinion on issues and thoughts on the work being considered for a home to be purchased. So look for a renovation contractor to help you confirm if issues you see are major or not. You may also want to hire trade contractors to look at things like the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. Ensure that your real estate agent works for you when purchasing a new home and keep looking for the home that is right for you.
When I look at home, I have a very good idea what the problems are and what it would take to fix them. Do you? When you are planning the biggest purchase in your life, take some time and really understand what you are buying.
Window home security begins with ensuring that all your first floor windows are tightly shut and locked throughout the day and night. The same holds true for second floor windows if you have a tree growing next to your house. Next, you can increase window home security by reinforcing what you already have.
Window Home Security for Double-Hung Windows
Your double-hung windows probably came with thumb latches. Increase window home security by replacing the latches with keyed locking mechanisms. If the extra expense is a problem, here’s an alternative:
1. Drill a sloping hole downward into the top frame of the lower window.
2. Drill through into the bottom frame of the upper window.
3. Insert a metal pin that’s long enough to remove by hand. (Hint: Use the pin of a carriage bolt.)
Window Home Security for Sliding Windows
Just like sliding doors, sliding windows can also be easily lifted up off their tracks, giving intruders easy access. But you have three alternatives to increase sliding window home security.
1. Wood pole/dowel. If you slip this into the upper channel of a sliding window, it can stop it from being taken off its track. Just make sure you fit the pole so the window can still slide.
2. Sheet metal screw. Drill holes and install the screws across the top into the upper channel. Choose a screw head that’s big enough so it doesn’t drop down, but make sure the window can still slide freely.
3. Anti-slide product. There are commercial products specifically designed to secure sliding doors and windows. Choose the jamb, screw-on device, lock, or bolt that’s right for you.
Window Home Security for Louvered Windows
Did you know that an unsecured louvered window is a bad security risk? Such poor window home security can both jack up your home security insurance premiums and make you a favorite of burglars as well. You have three options.
1. Glue it. Use industrial strength glue (e.g., epoxy) to attach panes to frame permanently.
2. Replace it. Use instead a fixed frame of solid glass or another kind of ventilated window.
3. Secure it. Install a metal grill or grating.
Window Home Security for Fire Exits
You should always leave a window in each bedroom available to serve as a fire exit, especially for kids and houseguests. When you’re at home or asleep at night, police and fire departments recommend that you leave the key next to the window or inside the lock for easy exit during a fire.