Anyone who owns a home would agree the upkeep and repairs are never ending.  Yard work, painting, washing, and cleaning go on forever; ebbing and flowing with the seasons.  Sometimes components wear out, fail, and create noticeable issues.  Other times these failures aren’t noticeable until thy escalate into large and expensive problems; or worse yet, health and safety concerns.  One simple way to save your home from unnecessary damage is to have an Annual Home Maintenance Inspection; which is very similar to the Pre-Listing or Buyers Inspection, but usually a fraction of the cost.  The Annual Home Maintenance Inspection looks at the major systems and components:  plumbing, electrical, HVAC, structural, and roofing.

Plumbing

Sometimes plumbing materials degrade slowly over time before they fail completely.  Large leaks cause noticeable and expensive damages.  Small leaks if undetected can cause both damage and mold.

Electrical

            Power surges, age, water, rodents, or non-professional work can wreak havoc on electrical service panels. Electricity, if not correctly contained, can cause death or fire.

HVAC

            HVAC systems can last for a long time if properly maintained.  If not, they can not only create unnecessary expense, but can also contribute to mold growth.

Structural

Out-of-square windows and door frames can be a result of failures of the foundation.  Foundational issues are most times caused by water intrusion; which if identified early can be avoided.

Roofing

Considering the cost of replacing your roof is exceptionally high, it’s imperative you identify defects and make repairs as soon as possible.  Heavy storms and the age of the roof can contribute to making your roof vulnerable to a penetration in the roof covering.   Even a small leak can deteriorate roofing material, destroy framing members, and initiate the growth of mold.

 

 

Conclusion

Just like going to see your doctor annually can help catch diseases and medical disorders before they become irreparable, your home deserves the same level of scrutiny.  Identifying a defect can be difficult for the untrained eye and should be left to a Professional Home Inspector.  Look at your Home Inspector as your “Home Doctor” who will protect your home and save you money…if you let them.

 

About the Author

Jeremy Miller, MBA – Jeremy is the Owner of TIER-1 ELITE INSPECTIONS; a Professional Home Inspection company serving Southern Kentucky.  Jeremy draws upon his vast background as a prior Navy SEAL, Military Officer, and Law Enforcement Executive, to create, lead, and manage high-performance teams. He’s the proud husband of a beautiful wife and father to amazing children.

The truth can be unpleasant. In a real estate transaction, the truth about the condition of a property can cause a myriad of emotions; in buyers and sellers alike. Sometimes the major and material defects called out by a Home Inspector can not only be difficult to discuss, but can also strain the relationship between you and your clients. What if there was a technique you could employ to constructively discuss defects with your clients and keep the conversations both productive and healthy. Good news! There’s a qualitative approach that will help you master how your clients digest the Home Inspection Report.

Framework for Reflective Practice
Posited by Rolfe, et al, in 2001, the Framework for Reflective Practice is a model used to reflect upon a concrete experience or issue with the ultimate goal of improving future outcomes. This model breaks each issue/problem into three separate parts: What?, So What?, and Now What? This approach helps standardize the way issues are discussed and resolved. This compartmentalization greatly reduces time spent in discussion, removes a great deal of subjectivity and emotion, and helps focus all parties on a objective and tenable solution. Using this technique, you can discuss each inspection report issue quickly and constructively with your clients.

What?
Identify one specific issue and articulate it in one succinct sentence. Don’t bundle issues, but rather discuss them one at a time. At first blush this may appear to take longer, but is ultimately faster as you will not need to re-address issues.

Example – The electrical service is only rated to 60 AMPS.

So What?
Identify the impacts and ramifications of the issue. You should root the impacts in fact with the least amount of emotion as possible. Sticking to fact-based impacts will help keep you objective and greatly reduce time spent in discussion.

Example – National Electrical Code calls for 100 AMPs as the minimum service for a residence.

**Of note, a good Home Inspector will typically frame a defect in the “What?, So What?” format for you in their associated narrative. You’ll just have to articulate the “Now What?.”

Now What?
Identify what needs to be done in order to remedy the situation or improve future outcomes. Again, these need to be realistic, objective, and fact-based remedies.

Example – Request the Seller upgrade the electrical service to at least 150 AMPS.

Conclusion
An unfortunate reality is every home has defects. A good home inspector will bring these defects to light for their clients. A great agent will discuss these defects with their clients in a productive and healthy manner. Now that you’re familiar with this technique, you too can be that “great agent!”

About the Author

Jeremy Miller, MBA – Jeremy is the Owner of TIER-1 ELITE INSPECTIONS; a Professional Home Inspection company serving Southern Kentucky. Jeremy draws upon his vast background as a prior Navy SEAL, Military Officer, and Law Enforcement Executive, to create, lead, and manage high-performance teams. He’s the proud husband of a beautiful wife and father to amazing children.

Buying a home can be stressful in and of itself.  You look and look for the home you want and take tour after tour.  Once you finally find “the one,” you have the stress of making the offer and hoping it’s accepted.  With an accepted offer, your stress now grows exponentially as you await the esoteric results of the Appraisal and its more straight-forward sister, the Home Inspection.

The Home Inspection is typically the victim of much underserved anger and resentment.  It has a candor only appreciated by the Buyer; as the Seller just believes, “it’s being rude.”  It’s easy to see why the Home Inspection has gotten a bad rap when viewed in the entirety of the process: a written Home Inspection Report, checklists, photographs, what the Home Inspector said directly to you, and the Seller’s Disclosure.  Yes, it’s overwhelming.

However, there are really only four issues which really matter:

  1. Major Defects (such as a structural failure)
  2. Things which lead to Major Defects (such as a small leak due to a defective roof flashing)
  3. Things that may impede your ability to obtain financing, legally occupy the home, or obtain insurance.
  4. Safety Hazards

Any of the above-listed issues should be corrected as soon as possible.  However, any other defects cited in the Home Inspection Report can be dealt with later.  It’s also important to remember…no home is perfect.

About the Author

Jeremy Miller, MBA – Jeremy is the Owner of TIER-1 ELITE INSPECTIONS; a Professional Home Inspection company serving Southern Kentucky.  Jeremy draws upon his vast background as a prior Navy SEAL, Military Officer, and Law Enforcement Executive, to create, lead, and manage high-performance teams.  He’s the proud husband of a beautiful wife and father to amazing children.