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House

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by ProRacerNorm, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Jun 18, 2010 at 8:34 PM
    #1
    ProRacerNorm

    ProRacerNorm [OP] Member

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    So I'm going to look at a house tomorrow and it is really looking at ending up being a buy. This is gonna be my first house and I can't wait but worried at the same time. Anybody have anythings that I should look for because I know my stuff but any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jun 18, 2010 at 8:38 PM
    #2
    HondaGM

    HondaGM Roll Tide

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    flood zone?property taxes?
     
  3. Jun 18, 2010 at 8:39 PM
    #3
    ProRacerNorm

    ProRacerNorm [OP] Member

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    property taxes are decently low for the area and it is about 1000-1500 yards from the Delaware river
     
  4. Jun 19, 2010 at 3:45 AM
    #4
    BCTacoma2010

    BCTacoma2010 Michigan Member

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    Get a home inspection done! The best money you can spend.
     
  5. Jun 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM
    #5
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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  6. Jun 19, 2010 at 9:30 AM
    #6
    fhlashsf

    fhlashsf Well-Known Member

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    Look at recent comps, make sure you're getting a great price. If there's lots of inventory in the market assume prices will go down...Also, check the financing and make sure there are no hidden charges and you're not going to see your payments go up significantly in a few years. I don't see home prices going up for awhile in most parts of the country there is simply too much inventory...Just make sure the price is low and the financing is solid. If I were buying now I'd lowball everyone...With prices and the market the way they are make this a business decision and try to keep emotions out of it...(easier said than done) In the end you'll love owning---but only if you're very smart about it from the onset...Good luck!
     
  7. Jun 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM
    #7
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    I am a Home Inspector. Just back from this mornings job, as a matter of fact...

    Tell me about the house.

    How old? (Difference things to look for, depending on age of home)
    Style home. Cape, colonial, raised ranch...(Difference things to look for, depending on style of home and the climate, which i see in NE)
    Foundation type? (Basement, crawlspace, slab...)
    Foundation material? (Poured concrete, block, ...)
    How old is the roof?

    ...for starters...
     
  8. Jun 19, 2010 at 10:02 AM
    #8
    ProRacerNorm

    ProRacerNorm [OP] Member

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  9. Jun 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM
    #9
    Brunes

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    Is there a good place to look/learn about some of these basics for a non-home inspector?? Cause I'm in the process of house hunting too- and I will be a professional home inspection done, but I don't want waste the time/money if there are basics that I can check myself.
     
  10. Jun 19, 2010 at 10:36 AM
    #10
    ProRacerNorm

    ProRacerNorm [OP] Member

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    URD MKII Stage 3, Borla Cat-back, Doug Thorley Headers, ICPW Tail and Third Brake Lights, ToyTec Ultimate Lift Kit 3", GrillCraft MX Series Upper and Lower, Kenwood Double-Din, 18" RBP 94R with 285/65/18 tires.
    Yeah i know it is I have seen modded tacoma out that way and was wondering if it was anybody's on here
     
  11. Jun 19, 2010 at 3:50 PM
    #11
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    It definitely helps to rule out the 'dogs' before starting the buying process on any one property. I always teach the heck out of my clients during the inspection so that if the first one strikes out, they learn so much from it that they almost always will nail it the 2nd time.

    Construction varies by area of the country. I take it the 'Big Easy' is LA?

    When you start looking, put up some links to the properties and i'll check them out for you and tell you what sets one apart from another. (Pros / Cons of each) You'll get a great perspective on what matters the most from that and learn a lot about what to look for yourself in your area. I'll be able to fill in the blanks easier at that time when i see what types of structures you have there.

    Bare basics; Water is the homes biggest enemy, so good drainage and a good roof are priorities. Roof and foundation are more often than not the biggest points of interest. If you are looking at homes with basements, look at the roof on the way in and go right to the basement. Look for a dry basement with straight walls, poured concrete over block, look at the base of stair stringers, posts, anything that would give you a history of possible water issues over time. (This is what i mean by send links when you get there, in as much as i don't know your araes construction until i see some links. I don't even know if basements are typical of construction there)

    I would try and get a home with a roof in the 1st half of it projected 'useful life' so you don't have a new roof looking at you before you catch you financial breath from buying the place.

    Also - Inspectors and inspection reports vary big time as well, so its tough if you're just calling people out of the book. On site reports benefit the inspector more than you. Detail you will appreciate later means expect the best reports to be emailed by the next day.
    Also - Human nature is the path of least resistence. Many realtors will often refer inspectors who seem to work more for them than you, sugar coating the findings to not complicate the sale, leaving you to pick up the pieces when reality strikes later.
    I have numerous relators who won't refer me to their clients, (i'm too 'picky') but call me when it is for a family member or friend. Think about that one for a minute...

    ...hodge podge comments while answering the phone. Hope they help and make some sense.

    Again, send me links to some properties you are interested when the time comes and i'll point out stuff that will give you help. You'll get the hang of it and it will help you work through it.
     
  12. Jun 19, 2010 at 4:12 PM
    #12
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    Eye down the walls from each exterior corner to see if the walls are straight. Cracks with displacement near corners suggests that wall is bowed in somewhere between the corners.

    With an 82 yo home with a crawlspace, i like that the foundation walls seem high in relation to the grade. Helps to lessen the vulnerability of the sill / rim (wood structure on foundation walls) to moisture.

    That being said, an 82 year old home with a crawlspace means bring a strong flashlight and an extra pair of shoes and pair of gloves and look around the perimeter of the crawlspace at the wood structure for moisture damage or even darkening of the wood that would suggest past issues. Your hoping to see lighter colored wood (structure) that would suggest moisture hasn't been an issue over the history of the home.

    Look for dips in the floor and bouce around the floor inside and near outside walls looking for excessive flexion. (Bounce) If the floor gives too much, could suggest damage (water damage, dry rot, wood detsroying insect) to the structure. Also - From the crawlspace, look at the sill plate beneath that bathroom window. Without a waterproof curtain, there could be damage to that area. ...and you'll want to install one if all goes well.

    Tap on the tile below that window with your knuckles and see if it sounds consistent with other tile. Loose tile will sound different.

    I think you guys in NJ have more issues with termites that we do. Look around the outer perimeter for mud tubes on the walls and inside the walss of the crawlspace. Termites travel in mudtubes to keep moist. A screw driver to poke at any suspicious wood would also be great if you can get away with it...

    Also - Look at the roof deck from the underside. Moisture can rise up through the home from the crawlspace, resulting in a darkened roof deck, delamination, mold / mildew. A dust mask for checking out the attic roof deck and around the perimeter with your light is recommended.

    Also, see how long the seller owned it. Looks like it might be a 'flip', in which case you want to look extra hard for covered up moisture related issues, and those are the areas you want most to check. (Crawlspace and attic)

    Gotta go...
     
  13. Jun 19, 2010 at 4:19 PM
    #13
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    Nice place...

    One thing to consider... are you married or planning on it, serious with anyone? Baby in the near future? That's a small house if any of the above are in the works, you will outgrow it in no time.
     
  14. Jun 19, 2010 at 5:04 PM
    #14
    Brunes

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    LOL- Yeah...New Orleans.

    We went out looking today- and I saw a lot of dogs-There were some bank owned properties that have been ont he market since early 09...They were in horrible shape. This is the real shining star out of our efforts today: http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/14-Robert-Circle_Gretna_LA_70056_1117995524

    Getting more info about it later tonight- but the stuff you said makes sense thinking back about the houses we saw today.

    That bold part is messed up- but- Wanna come visit New Orleans for a few days??
     
  15. Jun 19, 2010 at 5:10 PM
    #15
    ProRacerNorm

    ProRacerNorm [OP] Member

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    Well I basically checked all of those things since I know some stuff and after looking at other houses in the area it is amazing shape for that price. Everything you said to check looked really good. Thanks for the advice guys I am going to get prequalified Monday and putting an Offer! And no I ain't married
     
  16. Jun 19, 2010 at 5:31 PM
    #16
    dexterdog

    dexterdog My pee parts itch

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    Prices like that make me want to move.


    I would definitely get a home inspection and follow the inspector around throughout the whole inspection and have him/her explain things he or she is looking for. As stated above this will also help out if the first deal falls through and you are looking at other properties.
     
  17. Jun 19, 2010 at 5:57 PM
    #17
    Brunes

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    Yeah-Home Inspection is no questions asked.

    About the price- I'm not sure what you pay in insurance/taxes- but it's alot down here- I'm anticipating 4K insurance....if not a bit more. About 1500 in taxes per year as well. So- Not as bad as some...but pretty stiff. Not to mention- someone said something about an oil spill (sarcasm :D in effect)
     
  18. Jun 20, 2010 at 4:38 AM
    #18
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    Looks solid, nice.

    4 year old roof is big. Looks like an architectural shingle from the one distant shot from behind., which is better in both appearance and longevity.

    I like the stance of the home in relation to the lot, though take a good look at that rear wall including near the corners. The rear view photo makes the ground appear to slope inward somewhat. That wall and the outside wall opposite leading to the garage rear side would be the walls i would look most closely at.

    I missed in the link if it was basement or crawlspace? They only refer to a 'lower level'. A lot of times, you can see evidence of that movement from the outside in the foot to foot and a half of exposed foundation that is exposed above grade.

    I'd also look for step cracking in the brick. Movement below can result in step cracking, which in itself is of limited concern if it is light cracking and isn't displaced ('shifted', or one side of crack closer to you that other) at the crack.

    I'd take a peak in the attic too. 'Outlet' venting (square box / top vents in your case) seems limited, though there appears to be hoods for bath fans, which is good. Look for plywood (or OSB) roof deck sheeting pinching at the seams. You can usually see this from the exterior (if it is happening) by eyeing up the roof lines. Smooth slopes without unusual raised lines is what you are hoping to see when adequacy of venting is in question. Trapped moisture inside an attic due to less than adequate roof venting can lead to swelling of the deck sheeting which can result in the above condition.

    Also, i don't see them touting the age of the furnace or A/C. I'd find out how old they are and budget accordingly. You can often find out by looking at the 1st 4 serial numbers on the data plate on each unit. On the A/C, it would be on the exterior condensing unit. The furnace usually requires you take the top cover off to look inside. (Example, 4798..... would suggest that furnace is 12 years old. (98')

    Average forced air furnace here lasts near 18-20 years, and typical A/C unit lasts 15-20, though i suspect your expected life exp. for new for each may differ, especially in the case of the central air would be shorter due to climate.

    How old is the home?
     
  19. Jun 20, 2010 at 4:43 AM
    #19
    V-TRAIN

    V-TRAIN Well-Known Member

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    get an inspection. age of heat and air unit and shingles are big areas when i look at houses.
     
  20. Jun 20, 2010 at 1:36 PM
    #20
    HBMurphy

    HBMurphy Ban Pending

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    I hire home inspectors on a regular basis - look for ASHI or CREA certified people. You want someone that is aware of the issues that occur in your specific area such as Radon, malfunctioning/faulty/recalled microwaves/ovens/furnaces/water heaters/water softeners/floor joist systems, etc.

    Also consider a mold inspection - as much as I think most of the law suits are bunk, it is an excellent way to find small plumbing, roofing/flashing leaks that may otherwise go unnoticed. I had a client that purchased a 2.8 million home that was a top executive/scientist with a very well known biotech company that thought these tests were bunk since he knew that every home has mold. After our mold test we found about 10k of water damage due to a second story drip sprinkler.

    If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

    Also, most states require agents to do an visual inspection to the best of their ability taking in to account their personal and professional experience. I have worked in construction, studied archittecture and engineering, so by CA law I have to inspect the home from that perspective. If your agent only says "Hire an inspection company" or cracks in driveway, you may ask him to be more detailed.

    Good luck
     
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