Coffee heat rising

Cute little house

Still thinking about the adorable little house I saw in the downtown historic district. It’s a lot smaller than my house: more than the equivalent of two bedrooms smaller. On the other hand, my house is one or two bedrooms too large. Contemplating retirement, I’ve thought I need a smaller place, and two bedrooms would do. In addition, it has what appears to be an intact garage. Many homeowners in that area insulate and drywall the old garage, fill in the doorway with a regular door and a window, add a heat pump, and call it a “guest cottage.” This hugely jacks up the property value, because it adds about 300 or 350 square feet to the livable space. Put a bathroom and a kitchenette in there, and you can get $500 or $600 a month in rent, or have a nice place to put up visiting friends and relatives.

On the other hand, moving is a big expense: do I really want to blow off what I’ve put into this house (which is very pleasant, the neighborhood and pending train-track construction notwithstanding) to move to a smaller place?

What’s the worst that could happen?

I move to Willo and…
…the house and moving expenses are more than I can afford; the house is no cheaper to maintain. I’m forced to move to an apartment or Sun City.

I stay here and…
…the house is more than I can afford, I’m forced to move to an apartment or to Sun City. Property values stay static or drop, so I can’t get into a place where I want to live.

Kinda looks like a wash, doesn’t it? Is it wishful thinking, or are there really more advantages (and fewer disadvantages) to moving than to staying?

To move or not to move…and if so, where?

Yesterday’s confirmation of my suspicion that I won’t be able afford to stay in my home after I retire is disturbing. I will have to move someplace cheaper to operate. And if I need to carry a mortgage to do it, I’d better find a place sooner than later. No one will lend a house-sized chunk of money to an old lady trying to live on Social Security.

If I’m going to stay in the Phoenix area and not live in a three-story walk-up, there are only two choices: Sun City or a foreclosure in the city’s gentrified core. The city stands down off the property taxes in the historic district (the locals consider a house that’s 50 years old to be “historic,” a bit of a joke but hey…it’s Arizona). Right now three or four such shacks are on the market.

The historic area known as “Willo,” part of the larger Encanto district, is exceptionally well maintained and pretty: gentrified with a vengeance. My ex- and I lived there for 15 years. We moved after our son got big enough to play outdoors—surrounded with a blighted area boasting the highest per-capita drug use in the city, Encanto is infested with homeless mentally ill and dangerous criminals. We felt it was unsafe to let him play outside, particularly after one of the neighbors (yea verily: an elderly woman) was killed by an ax murderer. A woman living alone down there really needs a large dog. But (sigh) I suppose that can be arranged.

I saw two derelicts on Third Avenue as I drove down into the area this afternoon. One of them was so spaced, the poor guy, he was stumbling up the middle of the street. On the other hand, when I stopped to look at one of the vacant repo houses, I chatted with a yard crew. Their foreman said his company cleaned up and did handyman work for the bank that now owns the place. They were up on the roof the other day replacing parts in the air conditioner when two squad cars full of cops showed up and, pistols drawn, ordered them to explain themselves.

So that would mean the cops are showing up, something they rarely bothered with in the past. I remember the time The Walker, a mentally retarded gentleman who used to walk around and around the neighborhood, oblivious to the traffic on Third and Fifth avenues, from early in the morning when the settlement house tossed him out to evening when he could go back to bed. One hot day he passed out on my neighbor Chuck’s lawn. Chuck called 911 to get an ambulance for him, and the despatcher said—I kid you not!—”Don’t worry, he’ll sleep it off.”

They figured the old guy was a drunk, and they didn’t give a damn that drunks were passing out on people’s lawns. Chuck had to call the city, raise Hell, and put a block under it to get somebody to come take care of the man.

On the Night of the Screaming, it was an hour before the cops showed up. They almost arrested my husband, who appeared, coming home from a firm meeting, about the time a squad car surfaced. This was the time a rapist tried to come in the side door, having got himself all hot and bothered after he watched me, through a window, doing some calisthenics. I went to another door, threw it open, and started screaming “Fire!” LOL…didn’t know I even could scream that loud.

Anyway, the prospect of watching a house burn down brought the neighbors out, which scared our boy off. They watched him lam out of there on a bicycle.

That’s the neighborhood I’m planning to move back into. On the other hand, the mayor lives there now. That would explain the improved police presence. The city has long been anxious to gentrify that area, and these days people with lots of money have moved in. So…times may have changed in Encanto.

Because of the area’s exceptional charm (it’s actually the only charming district in the entire Valley—otherwise, all the housing is ticky-tacky sprawl, except for the huge and hugely expensive 1950s ranch houses of North Central), prices ran up very fast and stayed up, long before the Bubble. In 1968, three months after we moved into our very beautiful Santa Barbara-style house, a Realtor came to my door and offered $100,000 for it. We had just paid $33,000. Twenty years later, after I Ieft the marriage, I considered moving back into the area, but by then prices were utterly out of the question.

No more. The bust has brought prices for some very sweet little places back down under $400,000. If I can get three and a quarter for mine, I probably can afford as much as $370,000.

Right now an exceptionally pretty small house, shown above, is on the market for $365,000; probably the price can be negotiated down. It’s pretty tiny—1,488 square feet, compared to the 1,860 in my present hovel—but it has three (minuscule) bedrooms, an office, and, a valuable rarity in that neighborhood, an actual garage with a garage door! And a pool, freshly replastered. The roof looks new. The house has a new HVAC system…very big, indeed. The kitchen has been remodeled; the distressed owners left a restaurant-style gas stove and a big, brand-new refrigerator. Strangely, they built an outdoor fireplace on the far side of the pool, in a space too small for outdoor furniture; but it’s atmospheric, I suppose.

Three hundred sixty-five grand is cheap for that area. That’s $245 a square foot. Just down the road, on the street where our babysitters used to live, someone is trying to get $850,000 for this little manse: at 2,520 square feet, that comes to $337.30 a square foot. Now I will say, it’s a lot more elegant inside and out; it has a huge, fancified kitchen, the most stylish of all possible swimming pools, and a large, swell bathroom with a whirlpool tub. And no place to park your car. One extracts 2,520 feet from those places by converting the garage into a “guest house” (read “impossible to air-condition studio”).

Another place around the corner from where we used to live is on the market for $525,000. The seller boasts that the taxes are $1,780, significantly less than I’m paying on a house worth something around $300,000. Cute little fellow, isn’t it? It has a nice big kitchen, an office with handsome built-ins, big bright rooms, and the original tiling in the bathrooms, very attractive. At $228.25 a square foot, you get 2,300 allegedly livable square feet, again because the garage has been converted and you have no place to park your car. Understand, there’s no neighborhood in Phoenix where you can safely leave your car outside, and this particular high-crime area is not a place where you would want to leave your car sitting en plein air all night long. One of our neighbors popped out of her home one morning, jumped in her car to go to work, started to back out the driveway, and, turning around to watch where she was steering, found a derelict sleeping in the back seat. When she got her husband to evict the uninvited tenant, the man was indignant to have been awakened at such a ridiculously early hour.

The house I saw where I stopped to talk with the workmen was on the market for $270,000, having failed to sell at auction a week or so ago. The reason for that, I expect, is that it backs onto the commercial strip facing McDowell, a busy and loud main drag, so that the view from the backyard is the backside of some aged, run-down commercial buildings and their gigantic garbage bins. Needless to say, few people are willing to buy a fixer-upper of a repo for anything like what the bank wants to get for that thing. At any rate, while we were chatting I noticed a pile of broken car window glass in the street. The crew’s super said the car had been broken into while they were off at lunch. So: a garage is a nonnegotiable, as far as I’m concerned.

All these nervous-making issues notwithstanding, the area has many things to recommend it:

  • An amazing esprit de corps exists among the neighbors. People live there because they love the old houses and they love living in the central part of the city. They’re vital, young, and generally quite friendly. When we lived there, we knew and socialized with neighbors for three blocks around; in my present house, I haven’t exchanged more than 200 words with any of the neighbors except for La Maya and a lady down the street who has a dog about Cassie’s size.
  • The neighbors keep the houses up. Every yard is perfectly groomed. No one looks out her window to see anything like Dave’s Used Car Lot, Marina, and Weed Arboretum.
  • It is a lot closer to the Great Desert University than where I’m living. I could get to work in ten minutes flat.
  • The city has fostered a midtown cultural and arts district. The neighborhood is within walking distance of the main city library and two vibrant museums.
  • The train will go right up Central Avenue, four blocks from the coveted house. It will carry riders downtown and let them off within walking distance of the theater district, making it possible to enjoy plays and music without having to pay $10 or $15 to park your car for a couple of hours. There’s a baseball stadium downtown, too, for those who enjoy athletic events and can afford to watch them.
  • My friend VickyC lives in the general area.
  • Once the bust is over, property values can go nowhere but up.
  • Taxes are kept low (although nothing can stop the city and county from rescinding the special tax district).
  • It’s within walking distance of Phoenix College, where in my dotage I undoubtedly can pick up some classes to teach, to the tune of a couple thousand bucks a semester. This would be an easy way to pick up some pin money. Since the college has a writing program, I’m sure I can get hired to teach something less torturous than freshman comp.

The other possibility is to move to Sun City.

The biggest advantage of Sun City is price: it is extremely cheap to live out there. SDXB’s taxes are half of what I pay, and when he moved his homeowner’s and car insurance dropped to a third of what he was paying here. It also is very quiet and relatively safe—the crime rate is low, and since the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio knows that elderly right-wingers (which describes most of the populace) will keep him in office, he provides prompt and effective police coverage. The houses are built for old folks: many are intelligently designed, and they have lots of storage. Most have double garages. There are two big hospitals and several life-care communities, amenities one needs to think about as one ages.

For $300,000, for example, you can buy this place. Truth to tell, it’s a better house than anything in the price range in Encanto. It’s bigger, it’s newer, it’s in a safer area, it has an updated kitchen and interior, and it backs onto a golf course. Similar houses can be had for lots less: most of the sellers are either old folks who have been carted off to a nursing home or out-of-state heirs, both sets that fall into the “distressed” category. Houses are not selling in Sun City, with the result that every second shack is on the market. For $290,000, I could buy a place on a fake lake, with its own private dock.

And lo and behold, here’s a house with a pool, right on the golf course, with a kitchen best described as vast: it appears to be SDXB’s model, which is a nice house. It’s on the market for $259,900. I expect I could stand to live in this place.

So…why would I even consider spending $65,000 or $100,000 more to live in a smaller house in the noisy, crime-ridden heart of a big city?

Why, indeed?

Well, for starters, because it is Sun City.

  • It’s a ghetto for the elderly. I’m a big-city girl. If I’m going to live in a small town, I will move to a real small town, not a “planned community” that plans out the sound of children playing.
  • My politics lean to the left. Most elders in this part of the country lean to the right. Chances of finding sympatico friends are almost nil.
  • Sun City is full of couples. It’s difficult enough to make new friends when you’re old. But when you’re a single old person in a culture where people don’t care to have a fifth wheel along, it’s almost impossible.
  • Watching old movies does not strike me as a cultural event.
  • I can’t think of anything more depressing than watching the few friends I would manage to find grow more and more decrepit. While I enjoy friends my age, I also crave the acquaintance of younger people.
  • It’s way, way too far away from the university. If I can, I intend to keep my job another two to seven years. I wouldn’t want to make that commute every day for two weeks, much less for seven years!
  • My son hates it and has said he will not drive out there to see me.
  • The ‘burbs have moved west and surrounded the Sun Cities. As a result, the entire area is crowded, hectic, and crazy-making.
  • The Sun Cities themselves are’burbs: vast tracts of almost identical houses turned out of a limited number of cookie-cutter molds. They are ugly, dreary, and monotonous.
  • When you use the term “quiet” about Sun City, you mean the silence of the mausoleum.

So, while I’d love to turn a $40,000 profit on the sale of my house, I don’t think I’d like the trade-off. A smaller house in the central city would be less work for me to take care of and, with the taxes controlled and fewer square feet to air-condition, would cost less to operate. While I wouldn’t come away with the extra money I need to pad my retirement savings, expenses at least might be manageable.

It’s worth looking into.

Foreclosure update from the deep Southwest: News is mixed

In June, more than 40% of the 7,840 home sales in the Phoenix area were purchases of foreclosures, says Arizona State University’s Morrison School of Management. Median price of the foreclosed properties was $169,890, compared to a median price of $218,000.

A year ago, the median price on foreclosures was $225,900; for traditionally marketed houses it was $265,000. Interestingly, foreclosed homes on average are significantly smaller than traditionally marketed houses: 1,665 square feet for foreclosures, vs. 1,865 for the others.

Signs of Activity

These drops in value are stimulating interest among investors and people who want to buy homes to live in them, especially in the downscale part of the market. According to the researchers, buyers expect that prices will rise over the next few years. Although the slump in home values is not good for many homeowners’ pocketbooks-especially in the outlying suburbs hardest hit by the decline-if the government’s efforts to rescue defaulting homeowners take hold, we may see the market start to turn around as demand for now relatively low-priced properties increases.

Here in the Micromarket

In my neighborhood, which as you know is not the greatest but is centrally located, values are holding fairly high despite several foreclosures. Around the corner, there’s a house that was purchased and cherried out magnificently by a speculator during the Late, Great Bubble. The place was very handsome, with new everything, an emerald-green lawn, and an elegant fountain in front. The investor asked something over $400,000 when he sold at the height of the boom.

I don’t know whether the house was in foreclosure when it went back on the market, but it certainly looks like a foreclosure: the lawn is dead, the fountain was ripped out, its raw concrete pad left among the weeds, and the whole atmosphere suggests abandonment.

That house just sold for $340,000, a good price for a place in this aging neighborhood, a block away from a huge, noisy, dirty construction project just getting under way, which will rip out an entire row of homes along the main drag, bring endless chaos, and drag on for at least four years. It’s $108,000 more than I paid for my house, also cherried out and a reasonably safe distance from the pending railroad project.

Houses that are not in foreclosure are, predictably, doing even better: a recent sale on my street brought $395,000. Remember: this is a neighborhood adjoining two menacing slums, where you don’t put your kids in the public school unless they know how to use a knife or a club and you don’t care whether they ever learn to read.

And as for the Investment House…

Down at the M’hijito’s, a place a few doors away just sold for $35,000 more than we paid for our investment scheme. The houses there are all essentially identical, his being one of the area’s first true cookie-cutter neighborhoods.

Location, Location, Location

Evidently how a house’s value fares has to do with where the house stands, especially given the flap over gas prices. Even in less than upscale central-city areas, prices are holding fairly well, relative to what is happening in other parts of the Valley.

If you’re buying, stick to centrally located middle-class or gang-free working-class neighborhoods. Those areas will again boom when the real estate market recovers, especially if gas stays high and cities are forced to build decent public transport systems.

Real Estate: Is now the time to buy?

Yesterday I came very, very close to making an offer on a house in the tonier part of our neighborhood. The seller, an aged widow who has moved out of state, is offering a vintage 1957 three-bedroom ranch house in an area of $600,000 houses for just$400,000. My agent friend discovered from the seller’s agent that she would entertain not only a low-ball offer but also a contingency offer!

So, we concocted a scheme whereby I would offer $350,000 for that house and then try to get enough from my house that I would walk with $325,000, leaving me with a very small mortgage and enough room to borrow an extra $30,000 for fix-up.

For a brief, shimmering moment, it almost looked doable. Then sanity crept in: “Hey,” said I, “maybe we should run the comps in that subdivision before we present this offer to the guy.”

Oh. Yeah! Maybe so.

In recent memory only three comparable nearby houses have sold. One, a similar model but smack on Seventh Avenue, a hectic main drag, was purchased for $600,000 but just sold, in a short sale, for (hang on to your hats, dear readers) $261,000. Another went on the market FOUR HUNDRED DAYS AGO at $600,000. The seller lowered the price steadily in small increments, but only very recently did the house go under contract-after the price dropped to $450,000. No idea what the contract price actually is, since it has yet to be published.

Under those circumstances, $400,000-or even $350,000 or some compromise between those two prices-doesn’t seem like such a bargain for a fixer-upper, nice neighborhood or not. Add to that the fact that the most basic fix-up would run around $30,000 but still would fall far short of the $60,000 to $100,000 the house needs to bring it up to par with its neighbors.

Meanwhile, here in the low-rent district price drops have been nothing like that. Au contraire.

La Viajera, who bought my last house from me and then defaulted, actually ended up with the bank accepting a short sale of $261,000. She bought the house from me, four years ago, for $211,000, then refinanced to take money out of it as the make-believe value ballooned. That is a growth in value—as in “a house is worth what someone will pay for it”—of more than 5.5% a year. During a period when real estate values across the nation are dropping!

The average actual sale price in my tract is $271,000. My house is slightly above average in quality, with a pool, a new roof, four new skylights, lush xeriscapic landscaping, a watering system, an extra-large lot, new double-paned windows, a deck and a covered patio, renovated kitchen and bathrooms, new flooring throughout, and a custom paint job. The most realistic estimated sale price is about $300,000. I paid $235,000 for it: that’s an increase of a little under 6.5% a year.

It appears to be a matter of location, location, location. Some parts of the city have been very hard-hit by the real estate recession, particularly the brand-new instant “communities” recently tossed up on the far outlying fringes. Closer-in areas are also suffering: at our city councilman’s regular breakfast meeting with constituents today, we learned that 800 houses have been abandoned in our (overall pretty downscale) district alone. But in this immediate neighborhood, to my knowledge we’ve had two actual evictions and repossessions (one of which is presently undergoing a major renovation) and three short sales. That’s a lot for a small area, but it’s far from every second or third house, and in this immediate development, the losers apparently haven’t much affected property values.

Think of that. It pays to be in a centrally located lower-middle-class neighborhood.

The refinance is here

Yesterday M’hijito and I signed the papers on the refinance for the Investment House. It drops our payments about $200 a month, not quite as much as we’d hoped, but better than a hit on the head.

It’s a 30/15 loan: the payments are calculated on a 30-year basis, but the balance is due in 15 years. We don’t expect to own the house that long-the initial plan was to hold it for five years; we’re now thinking we may keep it 10 years, to give the real estate market time to fully recover. But it’s unlikely he will keep it much longer than that.

If the house is actually worth $250,000 today (I’ll believe that when I see it) and it accrues in value at 5%, a reasonable figure, in 10 years its value will be $407,200. We will owe $176,000 at that time, giving us equity of $231,223. Sounds great, till you figure in the $105,808 we will have paid in interest.

However, let’s suppose he realizes he wants to stay in that centrally located neighborhood for more than ten years, and suppose he wants to get out from under the mortgage:

According to Quicken, if he makes the regular payments on the new mortgage, in 15 years we will owe $147,860.

If he continued to pay at the old rate, putting the extra $200 toward principal, in 15 years he would owe $92,695.

If he paid $300/month toward principal, in 15 years the balance would be $65,112.

And an extra $500 a month would reduce the balance to $9,948 over 15 years and would completely pay off the mortgage in 15 years and 6 months.

Financially, one would no doubt be better off putting extra money into the stock market, unless one wanted to own a piece of property free and clear. Fifteen years is a long haul, and during that time compounding interest will probably grow a mutual fund more than the value of the house itself will grow, especially since it will probably take five years or more for the real estate market to fully rebound. By then he’ll still be twenty years shy of retirement and he will be earning a lot more money, and so there really would be no need for him to own property free and clear. Investing the difference between the old and the new loan would be smarter than paying off the house.

M’hijito has talked about renting instead of selling. I think we could rent the house even now for the mortgage payment, especially if we desert-landscaped the yard. Within three to five years, the amount of the mortgage will be well within the going rate for house rentals. It might make sense, if the house is to be used as a rental, to pay down the mortgage so that a future renter will, in effect, pay off the loan completely before we’re ready to sell the place.

Home Inspections: Hire your own craftsmen

Over at Finance Gets Personal, a post about the usually startling costs of homeownership-especially during the first year or two after move-in-is causing some rueful conversation. It reminded me of a strategy I learned by dint of hard experience: in assessing a house you’re about to buy, never rely solely on the judgment of a professional home inspector. Hire craftsman whom you trust to inspect the house, too, and make the purchase contingent on passing all inspections.

A home inspector has a built-in conflict of interest. Much home inspection work comes from referrals by real estate agents. So, it’s not in an inspector’s interest to queer a sale by telling you bluntly how much is wrong with a house and what it will cost to fix it. As a result, a defect may be pointed out to you, but it’s likely to be soft-pedaled or couched in language you don’t fully understand.

This first entered my consciousness when I sold my last house. Of course, I was present when the home inspector went through the place. But while he was there, the termite inspector showed up. Having certified the house termite-free, the bug guy happened to look up at the patio roof overhang. There, behind a poorly installed gutter, he spotted dry rot (which I knew about but wished not to discuss). Enthusiastically he pointed this out and, to demonstrate why it needed to be replaced, punched a screwdriver into it, as through a block of Styrofoam.

The home inspector was standing about 15 feet away. He saw and heard this display.

Silently, I cursed the termite guy-now, I figured, I would have to pay to replace the fascia. If there ever was any question about it, the question was just answered.

Exit termite dude. Home inspector completed his rounds and went out the front door, where he attempted to close the defective latch on the security door, which (I also knew) didn’t work. I suppressed another silent curse: add expensive security door fix to the expensive wood trim fix and repainting.

Couple of days went by and lo! Along comes the home inspector’s report: nary a mention of the dry rot, nary a mention of the nonfunctional security door.

The house I was moving into, as it developed, was the House from Hell, primped to stylish prettiness by a pair of do-it-yourselfers affectionately known as Satan and Proserpine. The home inspector did highlight the out-of-code fireplace mantel and the pet door punched through the fire door that was supposed to protect the dwelling from the hazard-laden garage, wherein a gas water heater sat directly next to the gas tank of any car parked inside. He estimated the roof had another three or four years. He noted the water heater was old but said it could last several more years.

And what went around came around.

I got away with the security door and the dry rot. Satan and Proserpine got away with…

  • a DIY watering system that was out of code and didn’t water the lawn adequately;
  • DIY wiring in the garage that was a) out of code and b) unsafe;
  • a water heater that started to leak a month or two after I moved in;
  • a refrigerator that seeped water out the water dispenser in the door-and whose annoyingly obvious evidence of prior leaking disqualified it from repair by the buyer’s insurance plan;
  • a dishwasher that ran, all right, but didn’t clean anything;
  • out-of-code plumbing in the bathroom;
  • a block wall heaved and cracked by the neighbor’s tree;
  • a rusted-out swamp cooler that doesn’t work;
  • a crumbling roof that had to be replaced within a year of move-in;
  • a pool cleaner whose weird thumping noise resonated throughout the house whenever the pool pump was running;
  • a garage door opener that fell off its fittings onto my car…

I could go on at length.

Fortunately, I had budgeted a substantial amount for upgrades. That notwithstanding, I didn’t have in mind converting my decorating budget to an emergency fund.

Also serendipitously, a couple of weeks after I moved in, the pool was vandalized, destroying the plaster and all the equipment. My homeowner’s insurance ponied up the thousands and thousands of dollars required to deconstruct the pool, rebuild it, and replace all the equipment. That took care of the Pool Cleaner from Hell, anyway.

All of which added up to an expensive lesson: Never trust a home inspector whose business depends on making nice to real estate agents!

When M’hijito and I bought the Investment House, we decided to hire the craftsmen who had worked on the House from Hell to perform as our own inspectors. We made appointments with the roofer, the electrician, the HVAC technician, and the plumber to come and look the shack over.

Even though I offered to pay each man the price of a service call, two of them charged nothing. One charged fifteen bucks. The HVAC company gave us a year’s service contract for the cost of the inspection.

The Investment House was a fixer-upper and we knew it. But this time we had no surprises: we knew what needed to be fixed and exactly what it would cost to fix it.

  • The HVAC guy estimated the age of the air-conditioning/heating unit, made an educated guess at how long it would last, and gave us an estimate for how much it will cost to replace it.
  • The roofer gave us an estimate for reroofing on the spot (much less than he’d charged to reroof The House from Hell, BTW).
  • The electrician explained about the 1951 wiring and what would be entailed in updating it.
  • The plumber determined what parts of the black-iron system had been replaced with copper, discovered the house needed a pressure regulator, and gave us a fair price for installing it.

We didn’t keep it a secret from either the Realtor or the home inspector that we were hiring our own tradesmen to look the place over. As it develops, in Arizona a buyer can make the purchase of a house contingent on inspection by as many people as desired. No objection to the presence of these troops arose. In fact, I suspect knowing that experienced craftsmen would be examining the house may have caused the home inspector to issue a more thorough and accurate report than he might have produced otherwise.

An advantage of involving our own guys in the inspection was that the electrician and the plumber read the inspector’s report and explained some of the technical language. That was enlightening.

After this, every time I buy a house-whether it’s new or a resale, whether it’s my own dwelling or an investment-a team of craftsmen who are in my hire will do the inspections.

categories: real estate

4 Comments from iWeb site


Excellent, excellent advice.

A month after moving into my home my finger poked a hole in the metal washbasin in one of my bathrooms.The air handler quit a month after that, a leak in a bathroom… you get the idea.

Friday, April 11, 200807:07 AM

Four Pillars

Very interesting post.I never thought of that conflict of interest.

By the way – you can make a purchase conditional on whatever you want – it’s not a legal thing.


Friday, April 11, 200807:11 AM


Great post, and great advice! More people would do well to pony up more money up front for experienced tradesmen rather than end up paying out the a$$ in repairs later on…

Friday, April 11, 200811:26 AM

Finance Girl

Thanks for mentioning my post.

This is very interesting, and I think your idea about hiring other tradesmen who aren’t home inspectors is great.