Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Selling a home with a Well or Septic

by Above Grade Home Inspections

 

Listing and selling homes in a challenging market is hard enough, don't leave key inspection items open to interpretation. There are many "unknown" factors when dealing with wells and septic systems. The following items should eliminate many questions and pitfalls that occur during a home inspection.

 

#1 Certify the distance between the well and septic components - By far the most important item on this list! I can't count the number of times I have arrived on an inspection to find out the distance between the well and septic leaching field is less than 100 feet apart. This is an immediate disqualifier for several mortgage types. Above Grade Home Inspections uses high frequency technology and video equipment to locate and mark out all the system components. We can provide the homeowner and the prospective buyer with a distance certification and map. We also flag all the system components for easy location.

#2 Shock, aka, chlorinate the well - It is very important to periodically shock the well, especially after the recent winter and heavy rains. Large volumes of surface and ground water are entering our wells. In some cases carrying harmful bacteria that can be easily treated. One failed potability test typically results in 15 extra phone calls. Many times the prospective buyer wants a full water treatment system installed for a simple failed water test! In most cases, a simple well shocking and proper testing procedures results in a positive outcome with unnecessary aggravation.

#3 Pump the septic tank - Is there an inspection that goes by when the buyer doesn't ask the age old question..."when was the last septic pumping?" You guessed it NO. Why not have the answer before they ask? If the system hasn't been pumped and cleaned in over 3 years, chances are the buyer is going to ask the seller for it to be done. A recently pumped system will make the prospective buyer feel more confident.

#4 Locate and flag the well location - Ever try to find a 6" well cap in 2 feet of snow? Under leaves? Hidden in landscape? In can tell you first hand it’s not an easy task. In a perfect world the well head is sticking out of the ground and easily visible. In some cases older well heads and pressure tanks are located in well pits underneath the ground. These areas need to be uncovered and accessible for inspection. Don't wait for inspection day to inform the buyer you don't know where the well is located. Locate the well, mark it with a stake and flag, and leave a map on the table. Any information about the pump and well equipment should also be supplied.

#5 Perform a water test - Supplying a prospective buyer with a passing water test is a smart decision. After proper shocking procedures have been completed a water test should be performed. The average cost is $25 at a local water lab. This will allow the seller to deal with any water contamination issues ahead of time. It is always easier to deal with issues upfront then to involve attorneys, buyer’s agents, family members, etc.

#6 Conduct a full septic evaluation - In most cases homeowners don't evaluate septic systems until there is an issue. Big Mistake! If any type of septic issue arises on an inspection it’s almost always a kiss of death. Over the years the costs of septic repairs has been over- inflated by the internet and TV advertising. A simple fix can turn into a $10,000 credit by the prospective buyer. A recent septic evaluation and a clean bill of health will speak volumes.

#7 Maintain water treatment equipment- Got a water softener? Fill it with salt. Have a whole house filter on the water main? Change it. Does the home have a chlorine system to deal with sulfur? Fill in with chemicals. You get the picture! I fail to understand why the new buyer has to smell the foul smell of sulfur water throughout the house when there is a system. Or hard water deposits on the plumbing supply equipment when there is a softener. Simple maintenance is easy and inexpensive. Simply changing filters and wiping down the systems will give the treatment equipment the look of a properly maintained system.

#8 Locate and flag septic system components - Buyers want to know where the septic system components are located. This is an issue that doesn't go away. More specifically the location of the tank, the distribution boxes, and the leaching fields. Many deals have fallen through because the buyer thought they could add a pool or a garage only to find out the septic fields were located in the same exact area. A simple map won’t do. Mark out and flag the components for easy identification by the buyer, inspector, and appraiser.

#9 Create an information folder - Collect as much information about your systems as possible and create a folder for the inspection day. Items to include: Brochures on installed equipment, chemical and treatment specifications, recent upgrades or maintenance logs etc. Buyers will be very leery if the seller can’t provide maintenance information. Providing information will make the inspector’s job much easier and give the buyer a greater sense of confidence.

Painting the Rooms in Your Home

by Stephanie Andre, RISMEDIA


Looking to spruce up your home, but don’t know where to start? From molding to choice of color, there’s a lot to consider before dipping your brush in the paint. Does a room really look smaller with a darker color on the walls? Should your ceilings be white? Do you want to add an accent wall?

 

Getting Started

• Size up your room. How you use color depends on where you use color. Each room has its own unique elements and function. First think about the structure of the room. Consider its shape and size. A lighter color can make a small room feel more spacious, while a darker color can help an immense room seem cozier.

• Take into account any architectural details, such as molding, trim, columns, and brackets. What's attractive and what's not? Varied intensities and hues can complement architecture, furnishings, and art. Remember, paint can accentuate a room's features or hide them.

• Your choice of color also depends largely on function. Will the main purpose of the room be eating, sleeping, working, entertaining, or something else entirely? A warm hue in the living room gives a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for guests than a cooler color.

Selecting Interior Paint

• Before choosing your paint, think about where your room fits into the scheme of things. Where is it situated in relation to other rooms? Is it a high- or low-traffic area? Flat paint, for instance, is best suited for ceilings, walls, surface imperfections, and anywhere else that a muted low-reflecting surface is desired. Because it takes more effort to remove stains from this type of paint, a flat finish is best suited for the low-traffic areas of your home.

• Use low-luster, satin, and eggshell paint on areas where a sheen is desired. These paints are easier to clean than flat paint and hold up better under repeated washings. They withstand the wear and tear of high-traffic areas-hallways, woodwork, kitchens, baths, children's rooms, and playrooms-more easily than other finishes.

• Semigloss and high-gloss paint and enamel are best suited for banisters, railings, shelves, kitchen cabinets, furniture, doorjambs, windowsills, and any other surface you wish to accentuate. But be careful-the higher the gloss, the more it emphasizes any surface imperfections.

Choosing a Palette

• Having trouble deciding on your paint palette? Choose a design direction. If you've already chosen an interior décor or if you're working with a room that's already furnished, focus on a favorite fabric color, piece of art or furniture, or other object. If you still can't settle on a color you like, we offer free computerized paint matching and custom color mixing.

• Have color confidence-don't be afraid to paint bold and bright. If your room is unfurnished, a vibrant color can fill it until you can.

• Consider yourself above all. Paint color should reflect your mood and personality. What are your favorite colors? If you're having trouble selecting a color, try looking in your closet. The colors you enjoy wearing are the ones that make you feel good. You are the one who has to live with the color so live with the shades you love.

Making Your Purchase

• Water versus oil. When selecting an interior finish, try choosing a water-based enamel instead of an oil-based gloss paint. Water-based gloss enamels have less odor than conventional oil-based paints. They are much easier to clean up after, and they wear better over time.

• Don't purchase low-quality paint. High-quality paint performs better for a longer period of time. It's less prone to yellow as it ages, goes on smoother, and won't leave brush marks. It is also easier to wash and dirt resistant.

• Purchase test quarts to review your color and finish selections at home. Paint a piece of scrap material such as cardboard, or even a portion of your wall, to study the effects of various light conditions.

Builders Expect Home Sizes to Keep Shrinking

by Steve Brown, Dallas Morning News

Homebuilders are thinking smaller. They’ve cut the average size of new houses and expect it to shrink more over the next few years. “Most builders will build smaller and lower-priced homes in 2011,” said Rose Quint, a researcher with the National Association of Home Builders. “Our experts expect the average home size in 2015 to be around 2,150 square feet.”

That’s down from the 2,377-square-foot average size of single-family homes completed across the country in 2010. And it’s way below the more than 2,500-square-foot average size at the top of the market in 2007.

Nationwide, home sizes are still almost 50% ahead of where they were in the 1970s.

Almost 60% of builders surveyed said they are planning to cut the size of the houses they build during the next few years.

Housing researchers say the downsizing is due to the dour economy and changing consumer tastes.

“Part of it may be temporary (because of the recession), but there are factors behind the decline that are longer-term and will stay with us,” Quint said. Costs savings and demographics are also shrinking houses, she said. “There is an overwhelming desire in the population to keep energy costs down,” Quint said. “Twenty percent of our population will be over 65 in a few decades. They don’t want a big home.”

The recession and drop in home values have also tempered home buyers’ desires. “People don’t have a lot of equity in their homes to roll into a bigger home. Those times are over,” Quint said. “People have come to realize, ‘Let’s buy what we need, not what we don’t need.’”

To get the heft of houses down, builders are ditching living rooms and dining rooms in favor of multipurpose areas. More than 80% of builders say they expect to do away with formal living rooms, and the number of houses with three or more bathrooms and four or more bedrooms is dwindling.

But buyers say they won’t compromise when it comes to storage space. And green features are still growing in popularity with both builders and consumers. More than 80% of potential buyers list energy-efficient heating, air-conditioning and appliances as “must-haves” in their new home.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

Photo of Laurel Sweeney Real Estate
Laurel Sweeney
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nutshell Realty
1209 State Route 213, PO Box 452
High Falls NY 12440
Office: 845-687-2200
Toll Free 877-468-5783
Fax: 845-687-4162

© 2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®.  Equal Housing Opportunity.