Connect with us

Business

What to Expect from a Home Inspection

Published

on

By Lisa Harrison Rivas

For most people, buying a house is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. People often spend months searching for their dream home, and when they finally find what appears to be it, they can’t wait to buy it. But we all know looks can be deceiving, so before the packing starts, it’s a good idea to get a home inspection.

Here’s what you can expect from a home inspection.

An inspection is usually done after a house is under contract, meaning a signed offer has been accepted. If you are working with a real estate agent, he or she can provide a list of licensed inspectors for you to choose from. The house will be inspected for structural defects and pests (crawling critters, not annoying family members).

All lenders require a Wood Destroying Insect Report on pre-existing homes before funds will be advanced for the sale. The report will state if the home has an infestation or damage from a previous infestation and if the house has been previously treated for termites.

Sheds are a haven for termites, so they also should be inspected. One client I was working with had an old shed on a property torn down at the buyer’s request. Sure enough, the shed was full of termites and the house was also infested. The shed was removed, and the seller paid for the termite treatment, which was not cheap.

Keep in mind the Wood Destroying Insect Report must be done within 30 days of closing, so it’s a good idea to have this inspection done last in case there’s a delay in closing.

After the structure of the house is examined, the inspector will issue a report on the roof, foundation, heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing and other visible defects. Common issues inspectors find include damage from moisture, aging roofs, heating/cooling defects, termite damage, and improperly installed insulation.

Cracked or shifting foundations also are common in South Texas. I had another client who had found what she thought was the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. The home looked flawless at the showing. An offer was made and accepted, and she was anxious to move forward with the deal. At last, she would be getting the home she had been waiting for. But then, the inspection report came back and it revealed that the beautiful house in the perfect neighborhood had a cracked foundation. This is a perfect example of looks being deceiving and the precise reason a good licensed inspector is crucial.

In older homes, especially in rural areas, the wiring can be a problem. It’s not uncommon for inspectors to find it to be outdated. In general, they will check to see if the house has sufficient electrical capacity needed to power today’s appliances safely.

Once the inspector finishes the report, you and your agent will receive a copy. Decisions will be made about which items need to be addressed before moving forward with the deal. The buyer’s agent will send repair requests to the seller’s agent, and both parties should sign off on which items will be repaired. If you are the seller, make sure you keep all your repair receipts. If you are the buyer, make sure you ask to see them during the final walk-through.

The long summers in South Texas means air conditioning systems are running most of the year, so potential buyers often request that sellers pay for routine maintenance on the heating and cooling system before closing on the house.

And while it might be tempting to save some cash and have your uncle with a tool belt look at the system, I’d recommend that, unless he’s licensed, you politely decline the offer and hire a licensed professional, in which the state requires. Inspectors say a lot of the problems they see are caused by unlicensed Mr. Fix-its.

The buyer, unless he or she is financing with a VA loan, usually pays for both the general structural inspection and the Wood Destroying Insect Report, but like anything else, this is negotiable. The cost varies depending on the size of the house, but expect to spend from $300 to $500 for the structural report. A Wood Destroying Insect Report will cost around $160. Depending on the inspector, these costs can be paid upfront or at closing.

So now you know what to expect from a home inspection.


Lisa Harrison Rivas is a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Don Johnson, Realtors. Contact Lisa at 210-380-9006 or lhrivas@realsa.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Business

More Shake Up at SAGE – Interim CEO Resigns

Published

on

By

In just two months time, one of the most revered nonprofits on the East Side has had a shake up.

First, longtime CEO Jackie Gorman departed in late September. Now, interim CEO Akeem Brown has also resigned. The San Antonio Business Journal reported Friday that Brown left the organization only after two months in his new position. According to his LinkedIn page, he’s been with SAGE for a little more than two years and previously served as its director of operations. Prior to joining SAGE, Brown worked with former Councilman Alan Warrick as a director of communication and policy. 

The recent turnover in executive staff at SAGE raises questions of who will lead the organization forward especially during a time when many investors are looking at the area for redevelopment.

Earlier this year, the San Antonio Express-News reported on Gorman and SAGE’s efforts to bring change to the East Side, which often gets stereotyped for having high crime statistics. It reported that during Gorman’s tenure, investors are seeing the area differently now to refurbishing homes and building retail shops.

In spite of SAGE’s efforts, it has drawn some criticism as well. A 2016 News 4 Trouble Shooters story questioned why SAGE and other organizations were slow to invest more grant money on the East Side. In 2014, a portion of the East Side was designated one of the nation’s first “promise zones,” which made it eligible for millions in federal grants.

To read the story on Gorman from BlackVideoNews, go here.

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Business

Re-Inventing the Other Side of the Tracks

Published

on

By

Just South of the Alamodome, near the Denver Heights neighborhood, there’s a buzz going on – an old pallet manufacturing site – now holds ongoing events that feature art and community engagement.

If you take a look at the social media pages of Essex Modern City, it seems like a hip new company is using the space at Essex and Cherry streets  on the East Side to hold pop-up events that showcase beautiful murals and tasty food trucks. However its developers – Sacramento-based Harris Bay – is trying to create excitement about Essex Modern City, an 8-acre, mixed-use development that will feature office space, apartments, restaurants and retail.

But the project has yet to break ground. According to the San Antonio Business Journal, the developer is working on trying to designate the area as a quiet zone from the noisy trains in the area. In the article, the developer said its hopeful construction will begin in the first quarter of 2019.

According to CREO, the architecture firm for the project, Essex Modern City is expected to be a one-of-kind project for the Alamo City, which “returns the focus to the people, both those who live there and visit, by making it a walkable community with vehicular access limited to emergency and service access. The large central plaza and extensive green space throughout provides a venue for events and exhibits for residents and visitors.”

Though instead of construction, there’s still something to see at this location. On the second Saturday of each month, visitors can mix and mingle with local and national street artists, musicians and vendors who showcase their talent, and passion.

 

Advertisements
Continue Reading

Business

Massage Parlors Could Get Stricter Rules

Published

on

By

Following complaints of drugs and prostitution at local massage parlors, Councilman Cruz Shaw worked with the San Antonio Police Department to update and amend the existing ordinance to make stricter penalties.

“I’m glad this item is moving forward to the next phase for approval,” said Councilman Shaw. “Through a community-driven process, the city is creating policy that will target bad actors and eliminate activities that often contribute to human trafficking. This proposal is simply making it easier for law enforcement to do their job.”

Since 2017, a total of 28 investigations have been completed resulting in 48 citations, 19 arrests and the closure of two establishments by SAPD’s Vice Unit, in coordination with the City Attorney’s Office, Development Services, Health Department and the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation. The overwhelming majority of violations can be attributed to approximately 15 establishments within the city.

Earlier in March, three massage businesses were shut down in Leon Valley for violations with prostitution. Typically, investigations are comprised of an internet search on prominent review sites to determine if the establishment in question has a history of illegal activities followed by an undercover operation that includes an attempt to obtain prostitution services.

The owner is responsible for criminal activity even if the owner had no knowledge of the illegal activity. Individuals arrested for illegal activity are reported to the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation which may choose to revoke the individual’s massage license. The City may file a lawsuit against a business in an effort to force the business to close once a minimum of six cases related to sexual, drug-related or violent crimes occur at the property.o

To update and amend the existing ordinance, the following amendments have been identified:

  • Require businesses cited for the following violations within a 12 month period to obtain city permit ($75 fee):
    • Charge of any violation of the Penal Code
    • Three or more minimum housing violations
    • Failure to post TDLR license for business, owner and/or masseur
  • Increase penalty for operating without a permit from $200 to $500
  • Add criminal violations as basis for revocation
  • Revocation of certificate of occupancy following multiple violations
  • Prohibit businesses from having sleeping quarters and metal doors
Businesses cited for violations will have its permit revoked which will also result in the loss of its certificate of occupancy for the property. The city will begin the process to engage stakeholders in reviewing changes to the ordinance. The amendments will then be submitted to full City Council for consideration. A draft of the proposed ordinance can be viewed here.
Advertisements
Continue Reading

Hot Topics