5 Home Inspection Tips For Open House Visits

Fortunately, prospective homebuyers do not have to be professional home inspectors to be able to identify certain problems in a home.

Regardless of whether you are the “handy” type or more of the “book” type, you will be able to spot certain problematic areas with a little bit of guidance. Thus, if you are going through the home purchasing process and you are viewing different homes, keep yours eyes open for some of the following.

NOTE: to better prepare you before heading to your next open house, go on the Internet to look up images regarding some of the problems noted below (e.g. water damaged ceiling, termite damage, flooded basement, mold, cracked foundation).

1) Discolored Walls and/or Ceilings

Discoloration on walls and/or ceilings is usually indicative of water damage or mold. Neither one is good for the home. If you see this, make a note of it.

Water damage could result from leaky pipes, broken pipes, improperly installed window flashing, or even a leaky roof. Each of these can be quite expensive to repair. Where there is excessive moisture, there is a chance that mold will grow. This is especially concerning since mold exposure is linked to certain health concerns. Mold can also cause structural damage to any property it inhabits.

2) Wood Damage

If there are hardwood floors in the house be sure to look for any signs of damage. More specifically, look for lines that resemble trails of some sort. This can be indicative of damage caused by termites or other wood-destroying insects.

In addition, if you can observe wooden beams in the basement, be sure to have a close look for any impairments. Damaged wooden beams can also be attributed to a wood-destroying insect.

3) Dampness in Basement

If the home you are viewing has a basement, look for any signs of excessive moisture while you are down there. Such dampness can mean that the basement floods or that there is water seepage during rainstorms. It can also lead to the growth of mold, which thrives in dark and moist environments.

4) Drafty Windows

While you are in the house, run your hands across some of the windows to feel for any air getting through. On a hot summer day this will be more difficult, not impossible to do, but try it anyway.

Windows can become a much bigger headache than most people think. Repairing windows can be rather expensive, depending on the type and quality you’re seeking. This does not necessarily mean you will have to repair the windows; there are some inexpensive remedies that work well. But, having this knowledge prior to making your purchase permits you to take it into consideration when deciding whether or not to place a bid.

5) Cracked Foundation

At some point before you leave the house, be sure to look around the exterior of the property for signs of damage to the outer structure or foundation. Sometimes there will literally be a large crack going across a section of the home’s foundation. Although this doesn’t always indicate a serious problem with the house, it is worth knowing about and looking into.


Top 5 Tips on Managing House and Home Office

What I do is not inherently appealing to most people – that’s why my clients pay me to do it! If you check the dictionary you’ll find Administration somewhere in there between Yawn and I’d Rather Watch ‘The Shire’.

Which makes writing a blog about it as difficult as trying to fit gravity into a Grand Unified Theory.

Holding down house and home office is a juggling act and I’m often asked how I manage to make my living from being organised and organising other people’s lives and businesses. Let me tell you – it isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally! I had the fortune of inheriting the scatter brain gene so I’ve had to work very hard at creating a system of checks and balances that allow me to function with a certain degree of efficiency.

Here are my Top 5 Tips to managing House and Home Office:

  1. Write Everything Down, be the Crazy Cat Lady of Lists!

Some people like to go old school, write reminders down on paper, white board, the backs of their hands etc. Some people live by their electronic calendars, making tasks, setting up meetings, syncing notes on their iPhone and so on. I say: DO THEM ALL! My fridge feels lonely without a shopping list or a list of house chores on it. My Outlook Calendar is ridonkulous – EVERYTHING I need to do is in there and it’s synced to my iPhone, it provides me with a list of things I need to do each day, bills to pay, tasks to complete, meetings, phone calls and even personal things like movie dates and birthdays. Don’t keep all the junk in your head, it will send you mad. Write it down, it’s one action step closer to completing what needs to get done.

  1. Look after the Pennies and the Pounds will look after themselves.

This doesn’t just apply to money, but also with life. Attention to detail, following up and taking care of the small things adds up to the bigger picture. Letting the small things pass can become a habit, and when an unforseen stressful situation occurs it can quickly overwhelm you because you weren’t ready for it. This is where good administration in a business is vital. Good administration is essential for the success and growth of any business. It is the framework around which a company is built, but often neglected by business owners, who are more focussed on sales and marketing, where their talents lie.

  1. DON’T wear too many hats at the same time – not a hot look for Spring 2012

We don’t know it before we have kids, but you can’t work from home with a toddler. You can try, I certainly did, but you end up split between two worlds and not present in both. If you can, get daycare when you’re bub is ready and organise your work time around their schedule. Clients are people, many with children of their own, they will understand. And I know how hard it is when the office is at home, you can be tempted to log on and check your emails with the baby at home, or do a load of washing (and watch Ellen) when you should be working. But try to keep them separate, take your work time seriously, soon enough the kids will be home and all hell breaks loose!

  1. Read. Read. Read.

Whether it be fictional, biographical, spiritual – or 50 Shades of Grey, you gotta carve out time for yourself somewhere in your day. A book is perfect because it’s portable and something you can put down and go back to without much fuss. A book also helps transport you to another world away from your own reality. Sometimes just knowing I’ve got my fantasy sagas to open at the end of a stressful day stops me from pulling a Forest Gump and spending the next 3 years running across the country and growing a serious ZZ top beard.

  1. Plan to Plan Nothing

Literally. Make sure that at least 1 day a month tell your friends no, don’t work, don’t check your emails, put your phone on silent, don’t even plan a picnic with the family. Just go to bed the night before with nothing planned the next day, see where it takes you!

The 5 Essential Sciatica Home Treatment Tips

Sciatica is a common form of lower back pain. It can be a ‘real pain in the butt’ for you and those around you. It can limit your activities so that you miss out and so do your family and friends. Sciatica can be helped and help is here…

There are 5 essential sciatica home treatment tips. Follow these and your sciatica will ease and disappear quickly. Tip 1in the first 48 hours use ice. Ice will reduce the inflammation around the nerve and can stop sciatica before it starts. So put ice on the area for 10 minutes, rest for 10 minutes and then repeat the process two more times. Ice is only effective for the first 48 hours, so don’t delay using it. It can be a life [pain] saver in those initial stages.

Tip 2Stretch your Piriformis muscle. The Piriformis muscle has the sciatic nerve either running through it or next to it. If the muscle tightens then sciatica is common. Stretching the muscle can ease your sciatica quickly.

Tip 3Balance your Pelvis. The pelvis is like a foundation to a house. If the foundations are in balance, the rest of the house won’t creak. The same for back pain. If the pelvis is balance tension eases off other areas quickly. You can check if your pelvis is okay by lying down. Place a hand under each side of the pelvis at belt height.

If you notice there s more pressure on one side compared to the other then your pelvis is not balanced. Tip 4 – Keep moving. You do not need to move fast but you need to move. If you rest and do not move at all, muscles will tighten quicker. This is why you may pain is worse in the morning after a nights sleep. Once you move your pain can ease considerably.

Tip 5 – If pain persists… seek help. This doesn’t necessarily mean consulting a practitioner. But if you have had a fall or injury, you should. Seek help from those who are experts in treating sciatica. Gain their knowledge and expertise to learn simple ways you can eliminate your sciatica with.

Sciatica home treatment is easy if you know what to target, how to target the areas and how to effectively eliminate your pain. Sciatica is a common condition, but you have the tools to make it disappear quickly. All you need to do is follow some simple tips for sciatica home treatment.

Best Home Inspection Tips

What are the best home inspection tips? Should you hire a home inspector?  If you are new to buying a home or even if you have purchased homes in the past, it’s always easy to overlook a problem. Even professional home flippers make mistakes and find unknown problems after closing. But if you take the time to do a pre-inspection before you make an offer, you can save yourself lots of time and money.

Before you look at a house, you should arrive earlier than the Realtor and drive the neighborhood. Look carefully at the conditions of the homes in the neighborhood. Take a street photo as well as a picture of the exterior of the house you are looking at. If you look at a lot of houses, a digital photo will help you keep clear in your mind what the good and poor aspects of this house are.

Remember to bring a flashlight with you. Often empty homes do not have utilities and some areas of the house do not have adequate lighting to inspect fully.

Here’s my list of the best home inspection tips:

  1. Inspect the roof carefully for worn or curly shingles. A worn roof can cause lots of problems inside that you might not see if water has infiltrated the structure and mold has built up.
  2. Look at the foundation walls carefully for cracks or signs of poor drainage. Foundation problems can be either a big red flag or an opportunity to get a really low price from the seller.
  3. Look for stains on the ceilings – this could be another sign of roof problems
  4. Check the windows for proper operation and signs of rot. Does it look as if they are allowing lots of air infiltration. If they are double pane windows, is there moisture between the two layers of glass?
  5. If there is a crawl space or basement look for telltale signs of termites. A pocket knife can help you check how solid the wood is.

Once you have made an offer on a house it is a good idea to hire an home inspector. I’ve used home inspectors to learn the skills needed to be able to do a pretty thorough inspection.