Should I Get A Home Inspection?

‘Should I get a home inspection?’ is actually a question for a lot of buyers, but I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want one. It’s a trivial amount of money to spend for some real peace of mind, and an inspection can save a buyer thousands of dollars if things are uncovered.

should I get a home inspection

US Navy photo Jimmy Johnson

I’d never advise against getting an inspection but sometimes market forces make it impossible to secure a property with an inspection condition, or any conditions for that matter. This was the case in the multiple offer environment we saw in the spring of 2017.

Things are better now but a significant number of homes are still selling ‘firm’ with no conditions. It’s very much a sellers’ market and it can be difficult to buy conditionally.

Nevertheless the vast majority of my offers have inspection conditions. No doubt we’ve lost out on a few properties because of this. But I’m pretty certain several of my clients who answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘Should I get a home inspection?’ are pretty happy having spent four or five hundred dollars.

should I get a home inspection

Photo Laura Scudder GFDL / CC-BY-SA-2.5

In one property the inspection uncovered some significant roof and siding issues. In two other cases asbestos was found. Lastly a supposedly rewired house had knob and tube hidden away between floors.

If significant issues are uncovered a buyer has the option of abandoning the deal, renegotiating on price or having the seller remedy the deficiencies. We’ve done all three of these things at one time or another, saving my clients tens of thousands of dollars as a result.

Even if nothing serious is found the inspectors have a wealth of invaluable knowledge and experience to pass on to the buyer. My clients get a thorough education on every aspect of the home which is why it’s essential that they attend the inspection.

Should I get a home inspection? Yes, without a shadow of doubt you should. Getting a home inspection is a good thing.

Here’s three great inspectors I work with:
Canadian Home Inspection Services
Green Trust Services
Pillar To Post

Does A Messy Desk Equal Genius?

The universe loves entropy. It’s the final state of everything if given enough time. This seems eerily familiar to those of us with messy desks and cars.

Can I justify the mess because ‘creatives’ are just born this way? I’m intelligent, and that too is an indicator that I may be prone to slovenliness. Does a messy desk equal genius? According to Cosmo, yes, so it must be true :O

I think being messy is a choice first and foremost. I am prone to this because cleaning and organizing do not excite me whatsoever. I’ve always got things to plan out, reading to catch up on and a million and one other things to do. But cleaning up is necessary simply because of the entropy I mentioned.

My desk’s level of entropy is quite high from time to time, but not so bad that papers wander off. They have their places and no one touches them except me. The entropy in-between my ears causes me to sometimes forget where exactly I put things that’s all.

But the real estate business is not hard in an administrative way. The forms we use are standard and the processing of agreements is typically routine. It’s primarily electronic these days although I do keep paper back-ups as well. These are kept in separate folders far away from the chaos.

Does a messy desk equal geniusSo most of the mess on my desk comes from somewhere else. It is the end result of marketing, doing Open Houses and searches for properties. These things generate a lot of paper. The recycling bin beside me was empty 3 months ago. My Epson Eco-tank printer has gone through 3700 sheets of paper and it isn’t a year old yet.

Being busy and entropy go hand in hand. I come home many nights after dinner and drop the day’s work on my desk. Next day I’m out again with the same clients or new ones and the process repeats. Other times it’s a scramble to get out the door. I’m busy shaving or brushing my teeth while the printer is doing its thing, and fingers crossed nothing goes wrong!

The same can be said for receipts. I buy a lot of stuff for my business at stores, in person. What’s the easiest quickest place to put stuff; the centre console glovebox of my car of course! Come tax time it’s full and I fill a grocery bag bringing it in the house.

Does a messy desk equal geniusAnyway, my taxes are done and my desk is reasonably clean again. I’ve battled chaos inside the house in my office and downstairs in the the man cave as well. The car is another matter entirely. The warm sunny days of late with the sunroof open bathe my dashboard in blinding light and all I see is dust and dirty windows. There’s motes of entropy everywhere! I’d better get cleaning….

For Sale By Owner

For Sale By Owner properties are a unique challenge.

A seller attempting a For Sale By Owner has opinions on professional real estate that are less than flattering. This mindset can be hard to shake. It usually centres on value and a perception that a professional brings nothing to the table.

Reality usually kicks in pretty hard for these sellers. Doing a For Sale By Owner is a daunting task.

 For Sale By OwnerA layperson’s view of pricing isn’t much better than a guess. The home owner has zero skills in marketing and no platforms either. Who will they call for photography? What about video? Can they put themselves in front of a camera and do convincing copy? What about Open Houses and showings? Staging?

Then there’s the negotiations, if they’re lucky enough to get offers. Who’s at the table having a look at the contract the buyer’s brought? Who’s going to write a counter offer? Who’s going to push for more money without alienating the other side?

Deposit cheques, lawyers, requisition dates, showings, conditions to be dealt with, chattels, Notices Of Fulfillment and what to do about them, inspections, walk throughs, appraisals, fixtures, insurance, movers, lock boxes…..

Businesses that offer discount For Sale By Owner services may not mention that 95% of potential buyers have an agent expecting to get paid at least 2% of the sale price.

Trust is the final hurdle a For Sale By Owner seller deals with. The public doesn’t trust them. What are they hiding? Why don’t they use a professional?

 For Sale By OwnerI picked up For Sale By Owner clients earlier this year. They needed their home sold ASAP and got in touch with me online. We met and I signed them a few days later. A month of very hard work ensued. I did exactly as I promised and I’d like to think I’ve changed my clients’ opinions of Realtors for the better.

Here’s what they said,

We tried listing our own house. Could not sell it. Found Andrew Shackleton with Royal LePage. The man was awesome, he looked out for our best interests, did amazing pictures and videos and described our house like it was a palace. He got it sold for us like he said he would, over asking. If you want to buy or sell, look no further than Andrew.

Things I Think About Just Riding Along

Am I going to smash my face on the bars or the pavement? This isn’t normally something I’d think just riding along. My friend had sheared the front off his bike once doing huge 8 foot drops to flat. But he is naturally athletic and somehow avoided mangling his good looks. I’d hit the manhole cover at 50 km/h and the impact sounded like a musical note in its purity. A sharp ringing hit my ears as my tire deflected off one of the squares cast into the surface.

It was over before I had time to react and I’m stunned I didn’t crash. I didn’t even get a flat tire. When I got home I carefully inspected my front rim for cracks and dents. I checked over the rest of the bike for damage. Nothing amiss, no cracks, the carbon fiber fork and my own handiwork were fine.Just Riding Along

All bikes break at some point, especially higher end stuff, but this one is mine. Questions of engineering matter but my skill counts too. I’d stopped worrying about the first one I built long ago. But this one is new and untested. If it breaks I’d prefer it happen years from now from metal fatigue instead of poor workmanship on my part.

Those first few pedal strokes on a new frame cause the heart to flutter a bit. My ears are super human and attuned to pick up the slightest creaking or cracking. All those joints under tension or compression. How good are they? Continue reading

The Joys Of Aging

One of the joys of aging is trying to not fall apart. Each and every year I find something new that isn’t working right. This is making my return to fitness challenging and frustrating. I’ve got some big cycling goals this year and a new bike made by yours truly. I certainly can’t let my body get in the way! The Joys Of Aging

A few broken bones and some knee issues were the worst things I’d done to myself in my youth. And I’ve been lucky with very low blood pressure and stable body weight throughout my life. Riding my bike in my 30s was just a fun thing to do that happened to be good for me as well.

I didn’t entirely notice sliding into middle age until I began to get hurt. I don’t bounce back from minor injuries. Crashing less would help but it’s just part of the sport. I’ve had bursitis several times. A torn ligament in my hand took 18 months to heal. And my health issues are definitely age related. A decade back I developed a retina problem in my right eye. I also had a prostate cancer scare. My enlarged prostate is likely benign but I’m not risk free either. Continue reading