Friday, July 25, 2008

Here Is The Rest Of The Story

Just as is expected. The seller's repair person did not complete all of the required repairs and several of the completed repairs were not done according to industry standards.
My buyer did re-hire the home inspector to check up on the quality of the repairs. The handy man elected to use flexible dryer vent material to connect the bathroom vent to the roof cap exit vent. The home inspector reminded the handy man that industry standards require a PCV pipe or sheet metal for attic piping- not a dryer vent material.
As I guessed, most of the insulated covered roof soffit vents were still not discovered by the seller's relative/handy man. The buyer's inspector had to not only send over photos, but he also had to hand draw where the remaining vents were located in order for that repair to be completed. The inspector had to make a third inspection of the property after all repairs were finally made in order to verify everything was correctly completed.My buyer thanked me several times for suggesting that he re-hire his home inspector to check-up on and give extensive guidance to the handy man.
My buyer said he was expecting the repairs would be completed by a professional and that he would never have guessed there might be any problems with the repairs.
The knowledge gained by anyone reading this blog might be to always re-hire your home inspector to re-inspect the home you are about to buy to insure the agreed to repairs were fully completed and that the repairs were completed in an industry standard professional manner.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Do You Know If Inspection Repairs Have Really Been Completed?

A current buyer of mine came to agreement with the seller of a property to have some repairs completed to the property before closing. One of the repairs was to have a totally missing vent pipe installed in the attic area. Apparently the builder and county inspector missed the fact that the six foot vent pipe was never installed. The other significant item needing attention was the removal of attic insulation from all soffit vents. Presently the attic is five or six times hotter than it should be because attic ventilation has been eliminated. - Apparently the builder, the builder's insulation contractor and the county inspector missed this too. (A side note is that during winter months, the entire attic area will become damp when the air can not circulate. Hot moist air from the home quickly condensates when it is exposed to the unheated air within the attic area.)

The issue for you to decide is how would you suggest that the needed repairs have actually been completed in a professional manner?

1. Would you trust the seller and listing broker when they confirm in a phone call that the work has been completed?

2. Would you personally take a look to verify these and other negotiated repairs have been completed as a part of your final walk-through inspection? How far in advance of the closing would you do your walk-through?

3. Would you trust that the work has been completed if the seller and listing broker provided you itemized paid contractor receipts for the work?

Do you have any other ideas on how you would become verify the repairs have been completed?

Now, let’s make the process a bit more interesting. Let’s suppose, as is the case with my buyer who is closing this Friday, that the listing agent just informed us that the seller’s brother owns a handy-man service and that the seller’s brother has personally completed all required repairs. Which method would you use to verify all items have been completed?
I suggested to my buyer that he should re-hire the home inspector to verify that all repairs have been completed in a professional manner. Assuming any of the items have not been completed, the buyer would have a strong unbiased outside professional backing his request for further work. It is a lot less likely for the buyer and seller to get into a “he said, you said, they said” disagreement between each other if the original home inspector did the verification inspection.

A future blog will report on what this friendly inspector finds and how buyer and seller reach final resolution on the inspection items - if indeed the repairs have not been completed. My guess is the licensed home inspector will not be satisfied with how the agreed repairs have been completed. Let’s see if I am right or wrong.

Perhaps you might want to consider re-hiring your home inspector to complete your final walk-through before your next closing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why Use A REALTOR® Instead Of A Real Estate Agent When Buying Or Selling Property?

Buying or selling a home is a significant event in almost everyone’s life. It is vital to your financial piece of mind to hire the right person with the highest personal standards of conduct to help you through the confusing process. Did you know there is a significant difference between a REALTOR® and a licensed real estate agent? Most people I visit with assume all real estate agents are Realtors®. This is not true however.

All states require real estate agents to be licensed in their state in order to assist the public when performing the duties of real estate brokerage. But, states nor local governments require their licensed real estate agents to be Realtors®.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is the world's largest professional association. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Founded in 1908, NAR has grown from its original nucleus of 120 to today's 720,000 members. NAR is composed of REALTORS® who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.

A REALTOR® has taken a significant step that can benefit you whenever you are buying, selling or renting a property. In order for an agent to become a Realtor®, the agent must take additional classes to learn the Code of Ethics and the Professional Standards of Conduct that have been developed by the National Association of Realtors®. Realtors® must then agree to conduct themselves under NAR's strict rules of conduct. Realtors® also become subject to discipline if they should violate any of the Codes of Ethics rules. State licensed real estate agents are not bound by the strict Code of Ethics that Realtors are. So, which type of professional do you want representing you during your next real estate transaction?

The next time you decide to purchase or sell a property, be sure to verify that you are working with an individual who has taken the professional steps to become a National Association Realtor®. It will cost you nothing, but can save you money and result in a much smoother real estate transaction.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Just Moved? - Looking For A New Doctor & Best Hospitals?

If you are new to the area or are simply looking for a new doctor, it is important to find the right doctor for your needs. Personally, one of my needs is to find a doctor who is respectful of my time. I seek out doctors who do not make me wait an unreasonable period of time because patients are backed up in their waiting room. I found a primary care doctor with extensive credentials and in his practice for many years who believes in short patient wait times. How, simply by asking questions of receptionists when I called to discuss the doctor's behavior. Some were not willing to discuss the wait time nor bed side manner issue at all (perhaps because they knew they would be in trouble if they answered my questions honestly.)

You might also want to read patient reviews of several doctors before making your selection. Here are a few helpful websites that can aid you in finding a great doctor.

Find local doctors in the yellow page:

Find good doctors for people over 50 at: AARP Doctors

Read patient reviews of doctors
Find additional doctor ratings and reviews


Compare Hospitals too. This site lets you search hospitals nationally by:
Geography: What services are provided by which hospitals
Procedures: Find which hospitals are know for specific medical procedures like heart attack, abdominal surgery...
Process of care: See how well hospitals are rated for specific procedures
Outcome: Includes in-hospital and 30 days after discharge mortality rates for heart attack & heart failure.
Patient experiences: See what patients say about their hospital care
Cost & payment: Learn the average charges for specific procedures as compared to national averages
For example, in the Denver area:
National Jewish Health (University of Colorado Hospital) was named the nations best respiratory hospital for the eleventh year running. Craig Hospital is once again in the top 10 nationally for rehabilitation for the 19th consecutive year.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Housing Market Continues To Improve

Metrolist data for June shows Denver experienced a 9.5% drop in listed inventory during the past 12 months. (June of 2008 had 27,295 properties listed as compared to 30,145 units in June of 2007.) Another excellent change is that last month the Denver market had 8,382 units under contract; a 13% increase over June of 2008. This is the highest number of under contract properties in Denver for June since 2003.

These changes are fantastic news for the Denver Real Estate Market. It means we are starting to see improvement and are heading toward a more balanced market; which is very healthy for both the buyers and sellers.

When the market swings too far either direction, it is not good for either buyers or sellers. Since most sellers typically turn around and buy another home, it is most advantageous when they can relatively easily sell their present home. If, like during the past couple of years, many sellers have not been able to sell their present home, they can not buy another. So, the entire market becomes plugged up and home values drop along with market confidence. Lenders then also become more conservative in their lending practices and make it more difficult for buyers to qualify. Appraisers begin to under value homes in hopes of not being behind the market in their evaluations. These low appraisals actually force the market even lower. The downward spiral keeps accelerating to the point that the market is under valued; like it is in many areas of Denver today.

A healthy and balanced market exists when buyers and sellers are actually freely able to sell and buy when they want to. Although our market never stays exactly balanced, the closer to balanced we are, the healthier our market becomes. Homes then continue to experience normal and healthy appreciation. Buyers, sellers, lenders and appraisers all have confidence in the housing market. The market moves freely and uninhibited from artificial forces. Everyone wins when we have a balanced market.

Feel free to call or write with your comments on this topic. If you are considering buying a home, now is one of the best time to do so that we have seen for the past several years. Interest rates are still holding around 6.0% and available inventory remains high.