It should go without saying that home inspectors are not plumbers. That’s not enough for the greedy inspectors who foist these inspections on unsuspecting clients for hefty fees. Even if the camera inspections are free they are ILLEGAL unless the inspector is also a licensed plumber. If you doubt this read the ruling issued by the Texas Real Estate Commission.
This article will give you some insight into how your home builder (or real estate agent) will answer any possible question you may ask – with bullshit.
Buying a home is a considerable expense, but the beautiful thing about it is that you have your own place that it may just replicate your dream home. We are sure you want to keep it that way over the years, which is why maintaining the property is essential. Preparing for the process of maintenance or rehabilitation might save you some time and money and here are some tips to keep in mind in that area.
This might be unnoticeable, but it is an essential component when it comes to preventing potential problems in the future. It’s the gutters that catch water that runs off from the roof and divert it in the opposite direction from your house, which makes them an integral part of the residential drainage system. If you head to the basement and notice that water is accumulating, the reason may be small water diversion or improper gutter maintenance. You should ensure to clean the gutters once or twice every year and do not only use the hose to rinse them, but also inspect the channels and physically remove any debris.
Just to be on the safe side, you should do this twice per year – in the spring and in the autumn. You should be looking for any form of damages, as well as discolorations. This will help you to prevent any future leaks and loss that they may cause. You should mainly focus on shingles that are located around your chimneys, vents, and skylights, as this is where most leaks occur. If you notice any discoloration, you may need to repaint that section. Or, while you are there, why not repaint the entire roof to complement your house siding?
When you plan to do this, make sure to have enough time and patience to do a proper job. If you notice a joint that may lead to leaks, consider using house wrap to improve weather resistance. Pay particular attention to wood siding if you have one. If you haven’t done anything to maintain it in a while, there is a good chance that it will need repainting. However, your primary concern should be that there is no damage from insects or water as wood is prone to that.
Once you are done with the exterior, move to the interior of your house and start with the walls. You should look for potential leaks and places where drywall perhaps needs to be removed, as well as anything else that may seem out of the ordinary. If you have stone accent walls, make sure to check their condition by looking for grout between them. Also, keep in mind that various impacts may have damaged or loosened them.
Walk from one room to the other and look for possible issues. If you are starting from the bathroom, check the toilet tank, washing machine, and dryer for possible leaks. Experienced homeowners say that you should pay particular attention to the metal ends of the hoses used for water supply. As for the water heater, you should make sure to drain it at least once every year. The reason is that sediments from the water that settles on the floor of the heater may damage its bottom.
The chances are you also have some leaky faucets in your home, so make sure to include that in your upcoming maintenance session. You should also analyze the pipes and check if the water flows freely through them or they need to be unclogged. Finally, do not forget to check the condensation hose of your air conditioner and see if you need to change the air filters in your central heat and air unit.
Once you have all the things that you need to do list, it is much easier to organize your maintenance session and conduct it in the most effective way. If you are a homeowner, the chances are that you will need the help of a professional. However, informing yourself on what needs to be done before calling your maintenance guy can save you both some time, and you may even keep some money in your pockets.
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There really is no such thing as a free lunch. Renting a property out might seem like a way to bolster one’s income without requiring additional work, but anyone with even the slightest amount of experience as a landlord will be quick to correct that line of thinking. From destructive parties to flushing things that ought not enter a drain, you’ll always find a story that reflects poorly on the profitability of renting.
Not every horror story starts with something as simple as a hole kicked in the wall behind a door or a carpet stain that is easily fixed. Sometimes the real horror stories are the tales that involve taking advantage of little-known loopholes, laws or simply the kindness of a landlord until it reaches a natural breaking point. These are just a few of those stories to offer a few straightforward reasons to study up before you hand your keys over to a stranger.
Imagine a landlord’s dream scenario: Your rental property has a small issue. It’s nothing life-threatening, but it does cause a small inconvenience to someone who lives there. The issue requires what might be nearly impossible, either through neglect of a contractor while installing fixtures or a massive renovation project just to reach the source of the otherwise small problem. So far this sounds more like a nightmare, but wait: Your tenant is willing to live with the issue in exchange for a reduction in maintenance fees. Rent still comes in, no massive project is required and everyone is happy.
Except for lawmakers, as this very scenario is explicitly against the law in states like New York. Landlords being required to keep up their property isn’t a new idea yet it is absolutely required even in cases where a tenant might otherwise be happy to ignore the problem in exchange for some form of reimbursement.
If you’re concerned about the state of your building, make sure you brush up on rental codes and requirements for your area even if the problem is a small one. Something as simple as a toilet that backs up every week without major incident could require massively expensive repairs. When all else fails, brush up on how to fix a toilet that won’t flush and roll up your sleeves if you have to. Bringing in outside help is almost always more expensive in the short run.
Companies like Airbnb work to make renting an easier process in the short term, especially for those on vacation or simply wanting to see unfamiliar sights but don’t want to shack up in a hotel for two weeks. While that aim is all well and good, the act of renting out your property through a site of that nature opens you up to squatters taking advantage of a legal gray area that could leave you without your home for some time.
This exact scenario happened to Cory Tschogl, a California property owner who rented out her condo for what was supposed to be a month-long stay, only to have rental protection laws kick in just in time for the renters to refuse payment and squat for an extended period of time. Though they eventually left the premises under the cover of darkness, Tschogl reported no longer feeling safe in her own condo and will likely sell it to avoid potential retribution from the squatters.
Taking the word of references may cut it for some areas, but not every landlord wants to put their livelihood at stake. Screening tenants thoroughly through a reliable service is the best way to avoid being burned by renters with a history of poor habits. Know the laws for your state and know the reliability of your renters before you sign anything over to anyone.
While there are plenty of stories that regale with accounts of respectable homes being turned into burnt-out husks by negligent or criminal renters, sometimes a less obvious hobby can hurt you in the long run even if you aren’t aware of it. Jimmy Moncrief told an amusing story about trying to have a rental property refinanced, only to be denied after the home he had inspected turned out to house a massive collection of water pipes traditionally used for recreational marijuana use.
While he never mentioned any explicit damage to the property or even wrongdoing on the part of the renters he still found himself out of the running for refinancing over the lack of value found in the property along with similarly related factors. It’s a good thing he found the situation humorous.
Renting isn’t for everyone and being a landlord requires patience, handy know-how and a fair knowledge of local laws to ensure you end up ahead in the end. Brush up on statutes and speak with people who have been there before to see how their stories might save you from reliving their worst rental nightmares.