Let’s Make it a Great 2022!
As we bid farewell to 2021, all of us at A-Pro are looking forward to promising news in the real estate industry.
What will the New Year bring us? Depending on who you talk to, expert forecasts for housing in 2022 range from very encouraging to so-so. Being glass-half-full kind of people, A-Pro is optimistic that we’ll be experiencing an increase in the number of homebuyers entering the market (particularly Millennials and families relocating due to more flexible work-at-home scenarios) in areas across the country.
Our hope is that a deceleration in housing prices, improvements in supply, the trend toward more simplified transactions, still-favorable interest rates despite anticipated increases, and other headwinds will fuel a busy year for all of us. Some pundits predict that the highly competitive, unprecedented bidding wars on properties will ease, meaning there should be more homebuyers who will take the time to smartly get a home inspection as part of the process rather than skip this step to gain an advantage with the seller.
Still, questions about the economy, the health of the stock market, supply and demand imbalances, the possibility of homebuyers being priced out of the market, and the arc the pandemic will take remain unanswered. As with anything in life, we’ll just have to see how it all plays out.
While nothing about the real estate market in the next 12 months can be chiseled in stone, there is one guarantee you can always take to the bank: The team at A-Pro Home Inspection will be here to serve your buying and selling clients with the same level of skill and professionalism that has been our hallmark for 28 years.
Plus, we’ll be here to provide valuable information (like what you’ll find in our Winter 2022 edition of From the Rafters) to help you further explain to your clients the ins and outs of getting a home inspection and why it’s critical before buying or selling.
Hope you enjoy the newsletter. And a millions thanks for recommending A-Pro to your clients.
Wishing you all the best in 2022!
Greg Mangiaracina President and Founder
A-Pro Home Inspection
Seven Big Benefits of Having a Home Inspection Report
For a homebuyer or seller who has never had a home inspection, there are often questions about what the home inspection report will include, what it means, and what it can be used for.
What if it says the home failed the inspection? Is the report worth the money? How long will I have to wait to receive it? Will the report be filled with technical jargon I won’t understand? I already have experience as a building contractor—will the report hold more weight than my own opinion when I’m negotiating a fair price on the property? As a seller, can I pass the pre-listing report on to the homebuyer? Will it be filled with only negative comments or will it also note good things about the home I’ve worked so hard to maintain? Will it include an appraisal of the home’s market value?
It is not uncommon for real estate agents to be confronted by clients who have misunderstandings about the report. Here are a few answers you can impart to ease their concerns:
- Home inspectors do not pass or fail a house, nor does the report include a recommendation of whether or not the potential purchaser should put a bid on it. It is not the job of the home inspection report to assess an A to F grade or include an appraisal of the home’s market value. After accompanying the inspector through the house (a highly recommended practice) and assessing comments in the report, a homeowner can make his or her own judgment as to whether the listing is worth pursuing, but as an unbiased third-party, the inspector’s task is only to report conditions that are observed on the day the home is inspected. Systems covered include HVAC; electrical; plumbing; attic, visible insulation, and ventilation; roof; doors and windows; walls, ceilings and floors; fireplaces; basement; foundation; exterior; and structural components.
- The report will include a description of the house, defects that pose a safety concern, systems and components nearing the end of their useful life, areas that demand immediate repairs or replacement, and general-type repairs that are not urgent but should be considered. The report will also note if a component or system was unable to be inspected.
- Along with clearly written and understandable descriptions, the home inspection report will include recommended actions to alleviate problems, from remedying a loose toilet to installing required missing front-step handrails.
- The report will further document component/system issues with color photos taken by the home inspector, providing visual evidence to accompany the description of the problem. This also provides a baseline for homeowners to monitor the progression of such defects as wall and sealing cracks, which can be checked periodically and compared to what’s in the report.
- A-Pro home inspectors perform a free Foundation Level Survey (a $150 value) as part of a traditional whole-house inspection. This service accurately documents floor elevation in every room of the home, providing a baseline that can prove invaluable. When rechecked, homeowners can refer to the levels recorded in the home inspection report to determine if the home is settling and at what rate.
- At A-Pro, a home inspection report isn’t simply a pile of hole-punched papers stuffed in a binder. Customers receive an attractive, bound edition that is both a detailed portrait of the home from foundation to roof and a nice keepsake worthy of a spot on any bookshelf. For sellers who receive a Certified Pre-Owned Home Inspection, the report can be passed on to the homebuyer as an added bonus. Clients also receive a digital version.
- While thoroughly detailing a home’s defects, A-Pro Home Inspection reports are structured to highlight the positive parts of a home as well, providing customers with a more fully rounded picture of the property.
- Clients may be confident in their skills at assessing the condition of a home, but their opinion won’t hold the negotiating power of having an unbiased professional document problems in a home inspection report. In this way the report becomes a powerful tool for sellers to promote the home to potential buyers (or make repairs before putting it on the market). For buyers, the report enables them to either request repairs by the seller before purchase or negotiate a more acceptable selling price.
- In most cases, A-Pro Home Inspection reports are delivered within 24 hours of the home inspection—your clients’ guarantee that they’ll promptly have the information they need in hand to make an informed decision about the home.
It’s not uncommon for individuals to skim the report and put it off to the side. After all, it is very comprehensive. Encourage your clients to get the most out of their investment by taking the time to read the entire report—a modest request when you consider the cost of purchasing a home and the valuable knowledge they can gain, including age and types of systems, maintenance advice, and more.
Real Estate Question Corner
As the pandemic continues into 2022, what precautions are A-Pro home inspectors taking when performing seller and homebuyer 500-point inspections?
From the beginning of the outbreak, A-Pro has been acutely aware of the importance of following necessary safety protocols when inspecting homes. All of our certified inspectors adhere to InterNACHI® Covid-19 Safety Guidelines regarding hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing, disinfecting surfaces, and other precautions designed to protect our inspectors and those attending the inspection, while leaving the house safe for its inhabitants afterward. Throughout the pandemic, A-Pro has been proud to serve as an essential business by playing a critical role in the home-buying and selling process. To this end, our business owners in markets across the U.S. constantly monitor what’s happening in their local communities to make sure they are on top of changing regulations so we can continue to provide the safest, most detailed home inspections in the industry.
For more details, be sure to have your clients ask your local A-Pro professional about what they can expect during their home inspections.
Take Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes
If you live in colder parts of the U.S., you’re well aware of the dangers of pipes freezing and cracking. Even worse, frozen pipes can burst, causing thousands of dollars in water damage—an even costlier threat when the home is unoccupied. When you receive no flow or just a trickle of water from a faucet during a cold snap (or can see icy residue on a pipe), there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a frozen supply line. Here are a few words of wisdom from the pros at A-Pro about how to prevent your selling clients from experiencing this most unfortunate winter occurrence:
- Insulate your pipes, particularly in garages, crawlspaces, cabinets, attics, and other unheated spaces that are more prone to experience low temperatures. Options for insulating residential pipes include self-sealing foam, spray foam, and fiberglass. In cold climates, home inspectors may point out the absence of pipe insulation in recommended areas during a complete inspection. As an alternative, some people wrap pipes in a self-monitoring flexible heating cable, or heat tape, to keep water flowing. This self-regulating cable emits heat according to changes in ambient temperatures. Please follow all manufacturer guidelines and warnings when installing heat tape to prevent overheating and possible fire.
- Seal up windows and doors to eliminate drafts and keep your house at a comfortable, consistent temperature throughout the winter.
- Prior to the big freeze, drain sprinkler systems, outdoor hose bibs, swimming pools, etc. to prevent freezing of supply lines.
- Let water drip continuously from faucets when it gets really cold outside.
- Open cabinetry (e.g., under bathroom and kitchen sinks) from time to time to allow treated air to warm the pipes.
- Don’t let the home’s temperature dip too low while you’re out of the house or on vacation.
A plumbing inspection is part of an A-Pro 500-point foundation-to-roof home inspection. Does A-Pro perform home inspections in the dead of winter? You bet. Just have your clients give us a call.
STONE COLD WINTER FACTS
Just for fun, here are a few fun tidbits you can impart to potential buyers at your next open house.
- While we’re on the subject of frozen pipes, we thought it would be interesting to look at some of the world’s most impressive pipes, much too large to fit in any residential home. The top honor for the longest completed oil pipeline belongs to the 2,485-mile-long Druzhba Pipeline, which stretches from Almetyevsk in central Russia to Schwedt in northern Germany (about the distance between Los Angeles and Charleston, South Carolina). When finished, the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline will take over the top spot, measuring over 3,000 miles in length. But neither of these hold a candle to the West-East natural gas pipeline, which will have 5,400 miles of pipe when completed (about the distance from Salt Lake City to Moscow). Running through 66 cities in 10 Chinese provinces, it has the capacity to hold 17 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
- The TRNC Pipeline—the world’s longest, largest, and deepest undersea water pipeline (66.5 miles)—supplies fresh water from mainland Turkey to North Cyprus. Deemed an incredible feat of engineering, the pipeline, completed in 2015 and repaired in 2020, transports 19.8 billion gallons of water to North Cyprus annually.
- On the warmer side, the Bonzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore is a popular destination for thrill-seeking surfers who navigate waves which range from nine feet to as high as 20 feet high. Numerous surfing casualties and injuries at The Pipeline have earned it the title of the World’s Deadliest Wave.