Problems and repair

Which Improvements Pay Off at Resale?

Improvements. Which ones pay off at resale? I get asked that all the time. Once our clients become homeowners, they start thinking like sellers. Some improvements pay back at a high rate at resale. Some only pay back in your enjoyment of the place (and may help you sell faster.) Here's a list from Groom

By | 2018-06-03T19:29:35+00:00 June 13th, 2018|Categories: Buying trends, Problems and repair, thinking of selling?|Tags: |

Avoid a Flood for $30

About five years after I moved into my house, I was working from home. I spent the morning writing and had a lunch date with a former client. At about 11:30, I heard water running in my basement. Home inspectors will warn you. New home owners don’t listen, including me. I went down to investigate

How Old is That Roof?

When you look at a roof, can you see the difference between an old one and a new one? We can! Let us give you a couple of tips. Asphalt and fiberglass-asphalt shingle are the most common roofing materials you will see in this area. They are built with a dark underside covered with granules

By | 2018-04-24T14:23:26+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Categories: House Hunting, Problems and repair|Tags: |

Touch the Basement Wall, Powder Comes Down

If you see powdery mortar, don’t panic. We see brick or stone that needs pointing on almost any house hunting trip.  Repointing is normal maintenance for stone or brick foundations and chimneys. Over time, mortar deteriorates and becomes a powder. The powder falls out. It looks scary when you touch a foundation and see the

By | 2018-04-07T13:57:08+00:00 May 2nd, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|Tags: , , |

Changing things in a house. What costs too much?

When I wrote for, I got this question: How does a buyer figure out which problems common in “compromise” houses are fixable and which should signal the call “run away! How can buyers in a price bracket (say $50k wide) maximize their housing purchase – are there solutions to problems that are common in

By | 2018-03-08T11:06:40+00:00 April 4th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Problems and repair|

House Repairs. When to run away.

A problem is not infinite if the house could be torn down and rebuilt.  But who wants to do that? Some house problems are not finite; but “infinite” is not the right term. What would be an infinite problem?   There are some houses that never should have been built. They cannot be leveled and another

Maintaining Old Houses

In the process of choosing a house or condo to buy, house-hunters find themselves in a lot of old houses. Some are totally renovated. Some have been repaired along the way. For recent renovations, look at both the materials and quality of the installation. With a maintained house, look for the quality of the repairs,

Basic carpentry for the new homeowner

Attention Happy Homeowners! Time to learn some basic carpentry from Leah at See Jane Drill. Here’s the video: (link)   Table of contents: How to prevent spontaneous combustion. (Really, this is a thing. Not just something that happens to Spinal Tap drummers!) How to determine if something is plumb, level, and square. How

The home inspection

Did your buyer's agent tell you to waive home inspection in order to be more competitive? We don't recommend that, ever! We want to you know what to expect, in terms of care and maintenance on this high-priced investment you are making. With average sales well over $600,000 in most areas we work in, we

By | 2018-02-08T11:59:32+00:00 February 14th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Negotiating, Problems and repair|Tags: , , |

Why is it built this way?

I’m curious about houses. Wherever I go, I wonder why they are built the way they are. I can’t turn off my inner house-nerd, even when I go on vacation. You can call this post: “House nerd on vacation.” Roofs Almost as soon as I arrived in Key West, I noticed that all the roofs