Pay More Attention to the Bones

With our overcast skies and the dampness in the air, I resigned myself to the fact we were going to get some kind of precipitation, and it likely being snow. Fortunately it didn’t start until the afternoon, and even though we did get a blanketing, it was nearly the amount they’d predicted. That storm must’ve been more north and east of us. Late this afternoon the snow turned into a light sleet, so everyone had better be careful in the morning. My snow shoveling is going to be a beast if those walks have a coating of sleet on top of the snow. If this coming week’s prediction of above freezing temps, the snow should be all melted off in most areas. Let’s hope.

It was a slow day in real estate which offered me time to get some calls made to past and present clients. One of the calls I made was to a dear friend of mine whom I call on occasion to keep her informed on the happenings on my side of the fence, and since she’s a prolific reader of our local and area news, I usually get informed of something I’d missed. I had to laugh while she was going on about how the weather reporter on KIMT was going on and on about the storm heading our way, and making it sound like it was a once in a lifetime event. Yes, some of those newscasters do get carried away with their reporting.

One of my pending-sale files is still in limbo with the waiting for an answer from a bank’s underwriting department regarding a roof and basement inspection. It seems of late, these appraisers are getting far too particular about the condition of older homes. The one that made all those inspection requirements which were laughable even by the inspectors standards, is quite young and if my memory serves me, has always lived in a modern home and likely being waited on hand and foot which offered her no concept of the real world.

The unfortunate thing about making such demands, is that most sellers will simply say “Forget it.”, and walk away. I’ve known that particular home well, and even by my particular standards, that’s all it needs is a good touching-up with paint and decorating because all the rest of its components are in very good shape. She called for a roof inspection because she noticed one shingle slightly curled. Really? She called for a basement inspection because the mortar lines in the block were discolored due to efflorescence. Really? Moments after the licensed contractor got a good look at its basement walls, he said, “What kind of an appraiser is making such idiotic judgement calls because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the integrity of this basement?” I shook my head while offering my up own opinion on the subject.

What really gets me, is the inability of those so-called licensed appraisers to see past the flimsy covering-up of real structural issues I’ve been finding with these lipsticked pigs.  Just this year I showed a home that had some tell-tale signs of a cover-up when noticing an entire basement wall facing the street had been framed and drywalled, and when trying to get a peek behind it, whomever recently installed it, made sure it wasn’t visible, but what really sent up the red flags, was noticing how damp the basement was in spite of it not having rained in weeks. When I looked up and noticed droplets of water on the basement light bulbs, that’s when I said to the buyers, “There’s something wrong down here, and if you’re even the slightest bit interested, you’re gonna have to have someone see what’s behind that wall. I could only imagine what would be found behind it. I just about fell off my chair when seeing what it later sold for, and after I looked them up, I found they were young first-time buyers who put the minimum amount down. Now that’s a good recipe for a future foreclosure.

Over these long years, I’ve seen some really bad basement walls that were concealed by those naughty sellers, and not too long afterwards when the new owners started having water issues in their finished basements, the soggy drywalling had to be ripped out and the truth of the concealments revealed. This is why I’m not a fan of finished basements unless I personally knew what a given home’s exterior walls looked like before they were encapsulated by framing and drywall. To this day, I tell buyers who’re planning on finishing off rooms in their new homes by saying, “Make sure you go thru a normal year of precipitation before you even think about spending thousands of dollars, and later find it would all have to be ripped out due to seepage.” Don’t you think better safe than sorry is the best way to look at basement build-outs?

We’ve been getting some good activity on my new listing at 809 – 6th Pl. SE which is making me hopeful we’ll have it sold soon. There was a second showing on it yesterday, and when visiting with the selling agent, he said the buyers will be talking about it this weekend. That home is one of the best built I’ve seen in some months, but only if today’s buyers would pay more attention to the “bones” of homes instead of all the glitz.

I could not believe how crazy some people were driving in the Downtown today, and to think there was already snow on the streets. Every time I see someone texting while driving, I cringe because there’s no doubt in my mind there’s an accident waiting to happen. I really wish our law enforcement would start going after all the people who have to have their cell phones glued to their hands at all time. Just remember, cell phone addiction is in the top three of all addictions, and if you don’t believe me, do a little research.

Unless I have calls in the morning to show or list a home, my day is pretty much free, and I think I’ll be either shoveling, working on my personal project, or cracking walnuts. I’m starting to get the hang of cracking them again, so it shouldn’t be such a big deal.

Tonight’s One-liner is: A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgement based upon it.

Related Property:
809 6th PL SE
Joe Chodur

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