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 firstname.lastname@example.org
1st African American USAA Chairman to Retire
Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles has announced the next USAA’s membership meeting in August will be the last as chairman.
Since 2004 General Lyles has been on USAA’s board of directors. He told members that he deeply appreciates their trust and thanked them “for your loyalty through the years” in a recent letter that was part of the annual membership report.
Born April 20, 1946 General Lyles is a former United States Air Force general, Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. After retirement from the Air Force in 2003, he became a company director for General Dynamics, DPL Inc., KBR Incorporated, Precision Castparts Corp., MTC Technologies, Battelle Memorial Institute and USAA. Lyles is also a Trustee of Analytic Services and a Managing Partner of Four Seasons Ventures, LLC.
In 2017, Lyles earned $461,034 from his role as board chairman, up from $449,910 in 2016. In 2018, Lyles earned $458,499 in salary for the role, records show.
Botswana’s First Skyscraper and Tallest Building
Located in the capital city of Gaborone, Itowers is an establishment comprised of three buildings in total, with the tallest South Tower rising 28 levels above the ground – making it Botswana’s tallest building, an iconic landmark in the city. Located in the center of the city’s vibrant new Central Business District just 20 minutes away from the airport, this complex of condominiums, apartments, office and retail space is perfectly suited for businessmen, diplomats and tourists seeking comfortable temporary accommodations.
It’s also in close proximity to all major government offices, shopping malls, and tourist attractions including the Square Mart Shopping Centre (just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away), and the Three Dikgosi Monument (also just 1.2 km or 3/4 mile away).
Itowers has 54 outstanding apartments comprising of: 36 Standard rooms, 6 Premium rooms 12 Premium Plus rooms, with balconies opening to city views. They have 2 paraplegic friendly rooms and 12 family rooms.
In addition, Itowers features an on-site stylish and contemporary restaurant called Table50Two, located on the 28th floor of the south tower. The beautiful outdoor setting is set in a loft-life lounge ambience with lounge sofas and breathtaking views of the city. The unique and world class menu is complemented by a comprehensive choice of wine and beverages. It is the highest dining venue in all of Botswana.
When built, the project not only made an impact on the city of Gaborone, but also to the livelihoods of everyone involved in this multi-million dollar project. A total of 4.8 million man hours, 3.5 million bricks, 28 400m3 of cement and millions more hopes and dreams went into designing, erecting and completing the landmark towers.
Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth in 1966. Since then, it has been a representative republic, with a consistent record of uninterrupted democratic elections and the best perceived corruption ranking in Africa since at least 1998. It is currently Africa’s oldest continuous democracy.
Beyonce Reportedly Made $300 Million From Her Uber Investment
Uber went public last week and their shares have been plummeting ever since. Despite this, singer Beyonce has still managed to score a $300 million profit from her investment. Many are wondering how this is possible since Uber’s shares plunged during the first week, closing as low as 17% below its IPO price!
Well, according to The New York Times, Beyonce received $6 million in restricted stock units (RSUs) from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick to perform at a private company event in Las Vegas in 2015.
Here’s a little bit of information about restricted stock units (RSU). It’s compensation issued by an employer to an employee in the form of company stock that are assigned a fair market value when they vest. Upon vesting, the stock units are considered income, and a portion of the shares is withheld to pay income taxes. The employee receives the remaining shares and can sell them at his or her discretion.
So, Beyonce, although not a regular employee of Uber, was in fact “an employee” temporarily when she performed at the company’s private event. While the exact value of the shares at the time is not known, it can be assumed that the value was around $20 to $25 per share.
But when Uber’s IPO initially debuted, it started trading at $42 per share. So, if she sold her shares immediately despite the IPO plummeting, she could have easily made $300 million or more from her shares.
Another win for the Beehive!