Category Archive

Boiling Decisions Down to Dollars and Cents

Boiling Decisions Down to Dollars and Cents

In a competitive market, buyers are often having to forego a home inspection with the right to ask a seller for repairs. Instead, most are having to do with a Right to Void Only home inspection. So how does a buyer evaluate whether or not they should void their contract or move forward in a deal?

Essentially, it all comes down to dollars and cents. Any good home inspector presents buyers with a life span estimate on the major components in the home and tells them to budget for replacement. Roof, kitchen appliances, HVAC and water heater. So the question becomes, how many of these systems are already showing signs of failure, nearing the end of their useful life or have surpassed their useful life? If more than you can reasonably afford, you have your answer. Void the contract and move on.

Bottom line, a buyer should never try to talk themselves into a home if they can not afford the impending costs of keeping it up in the near future.

Does the Directional Exposure of a Home Matter?

Does the Directional Exposure of a Home Matter?

This topic is always fresh on my mind after a snow storm. The reason for that is I have a north facing home with a front load garage. That means my driveway is also north facing. In fact, that’s my home pictured above. It was taken during a time when snow had melted across the street from me, with the southern facing homes.

When it comes to the north facing driveway, I was none too happy this afternoon. My husband and I had decided that the light dusting of snow we were getting would be melted by the higher temps in the morning. However, being shaded by the shadow of our home, our north facing driveway experienced no melting at all.

This is my north facing driveway with about a 1/2 inch of snow, coated with ice. (We had an ice storm after the snow overnight.) The snow wasn’t deep enough to get a shovel underneath and scoop. Instead, an intensive chiseling and scraping operation was undertaken to get the left half to look slightly cleared. UGH!

Meanwhile, my south facing neighbors left for a walk and said hi. Apparently, Mother Nature’s glorious sunshine cleared their driveway and everyone else’s on the south facing side of the street.

While days like today make me loath the north facing nature of my home, I do have to tell you that the rear of my home having southern exposure is wonderful. I get all day sun in the formal dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook and family room. It balances itself out. And I have to remember, I am never going to be likely to step outside my front door and see a snake. In my back yard? Absolutely.

If you find yourself house hunting with me, you will find me pointing out directional exposures. It is critical to be an informed buyer and understand how details like this can impact how you live in your home.

Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Hose Bibs

Don’t Forget to Winterize Your Hose Bibs

This afternoon, I met a plumber at a listing of mine to figure out why the interior hose bib was not working properly. No matter how long the seller and I turned the shut off right to close it up, it wouldn’t work. Water was still coming out of the hose bib in front.

Today, the plumber diagnosed that a prior year of the hose bib pipe freezing had damaged the interior shut off. It was over $300 to get it fixed.

When you winterize your hose bibs, turn your interior shut off valve to the off position. Either twist it all the way right if it’s a circular valve, or if a lever, turn it until it is perpendicular to the pipe. That’s not it though. You have to OPEN the exterior hose bib. That means turning the ciruclar knob left. That way, no water can get trapped inside.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you haven’t winterized your Northern Virginia hose bibs by now, do it by the end of the day today. Temperatures are plunging.

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