What I'm Seeing Now

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Habitat For Humanity Home Inspection

For some time now I have done home inspections for one of the Habitat for Humanity organizations in Northern Virginia.

This County requires a private home inspection.  Somehow Habitat found me, and, the masochists that they are, they have continued to call me with each new house built.

Many would consider this to be a basic house.  Maybe, but worldwide the people moving into this house will probably live in the 95th percentile of comfortable living.

It is a nice place.

Located on a country road outside of Middleburg VA, it sits on about 1/3 acre. 

It has James Hardee siding, a 25 year roof and a nice front porch.

It is mostly put together, as you know, by volunteers.

 

 

 

 

There is some professional input.  The construction supervisor, Ben, has been doing this a long time.  He does a great job.

Here you can see the rear, a crawl space, a nice rear deck, a very efficient heat pump and a storage shed about 8x8'.

Notice that the hose is by itself and usable!  What a concept!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crawl space is dry, insulated, sealed and vent less (a new "green" building technique).

It houses the interior furnace mechanism for the heat pump, the private well water pressure tank and a sump pump.

The house sits on three large steel beams.  It is well constructed. 

 

 

 

 

This is what you see as you walk into the front door.  The house has a comfortable tile-floored kitchen with an eating space.

The cabinet immediately to the left of the sink can be removed and there is pre-wiring under the sink for a dishwasher.  It is a large kitchen, 10x12', and very suitable for a family.

 

 

 

 

The living room is opposite the kitchen and 16x16' in size.

The floor is real hardwood.

All the bedrooms and this living room have ceiling fans.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a center hall the length of the house.

At each end of the hall is a full bath.  Each has a tub and shower.

The bathroom floors are ceramic tile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are five bedrooms! 

Two are neutral in color.  One is lavender, one blue and one pink, which you see here.

Obviously the bedrooms were painted with children in mind.  Perhaps they picked the colors.

Perhaps they painted them themselves.

 

 

The utility/laundry room is simple but large and efficient.

It boasts an air exchanger, seen on the upper left.  That is bringing in fresh air from the attic space for circulation throughout the house. 

Each time the HVAC system turns on it is not merely reheating or cooling the same stale air in the house.  Quite a bit of the indoor air is exchanged.

That is healthier living.

This is a comfortable house much of the world would give an arm to live in.

Why do I post this?  To demonstrate what happens in our country.  This is what our great country does.

These projects are not give aways.  The people who will live here have contributed their time and effort to build this house.  Many people have volunteered their time to help put it together and otherwise make it happen.

A phrase I hear a lot is "giving back."  These people who volunteer themselves are not giving back.

They are giving.

These are people, like myself, who are contributing to the economic engine of this country.  They pay taxes, work hard, play by the rules, volunteer their time and try to live good lives.  What are they giving back?  Why should they think they need to give back?

WHO should give back?  I think people who don't do those things above should give back.  And burglars, and rapists, those who assault other people, identity thieves, scam artists, the millions of illegals, sexual predators and other vile criminals, those in insurance fraud, car jackers, and white collar criminals.  All of them.  Every one. 

These are people who take.  I think the takers should give back, and give back and give back. Every one.

And I hope organizations like Habitat for Humanity continue to give.  We all benefit one way or another.

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 20 commentsJay Markanich • December 03 2009 06:10AM

Comments

Hi Jay~  The problem is the takers never give back, they just take and take all that they can!  The takers have no concept of paying it forward and they think the world owes them, so they just take it!  This is a nice house and I think that habitat for humanity is wonderful.  I have participated myself and it really is rewarding on many levels!

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Very nice house!  I agree that the takers should give back.   Some of the HFH I've seen around here seem to be in pretty rough neighborhoods, that bothers me a lot.  It looks like the location chosen for the above house was well thought out.

Posted by Sara Homan, Realtor, Homes, Farms & 55+ (Coldwell Banker Ellison Realty 352-209-4044) almost 9 years ago

Vickie - unfortunately yes.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda that we could force something onto the takers...

Sara - I have seen that too, but this organization in this county picks very nice rural locations.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay I've done work with Habitat on the construction end and I have to say they are really great people. Here I found that about 50% or better of the takers are givers as well. I remember being part of a crew that built a house for this couple with 3 kids. The house is still in awesome shape and with a few nice extras. The people who got this house came back to help build two homes.

Sometimes someone comes along to renew your faith in humanity. Great post Jay, nicely layout. 

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) almost 9 years ago

Jay, awesome----love the crawl space.  I know you don't think of these things in your area but I was surprised how much the lack of seismic strapping jumped out at me:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Sue - I have been doing Habitat inspections for a long time.  Either they are masochists or I am, but I know I am easy to roll over!  My kids sure know that.

Charlie - when I go in a crawl space I always think of you...  This one was in great shape.  No strapping here for anything and we live right on top of the oldest and largest fault line in the country.  Not a terribly active one though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Hey Jay- among the things I like about the Habitat for Humanity is the volunteers get to learn new skills and make new friends. 

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I am not in on that end of it Eric, but I know that is true.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Whether you call it giving back or paying it forward....it is what decent people do....not for what they get back...not because they are "supposed to".,,,,because they can...everyone should.,,and too few do...great job Jay....no surprise there !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 9 years ago

Thanks S&D.  I do a lot of volunteer work.  Always have.  But not for what I can get out of it...  you are right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

~ "Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." ~ -Elizabeth Andrew

 

I think it's great that you do this Jay.

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) almost 9 years ago

That says a lot.  Thanks Vince.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

That is interesting. Never before have I, to my knowledge, inspected one. Would I know?

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Well, Steve, I get an email from the county director for HfH and they give me the address and tell me where the key is hidden.  I use their form for the inspection and leave it on the kitchen counter when I am done.  They must pick it up at some later time!

I have never met anyone from the office except Ben, the construction supervisor.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay you're neither a masochist nor a roll over. I think you're a good guy with a very kind heart, but don't worry ... I won't tell anyone. :)

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) almost 9 years ago

Sue - THEY are the masochists!  They keep calling me back, for years now ...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, an incredible house. HfH is a bright light today. It does not surprise me you give back through HfH!

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

Thanks Grannie!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

That's Nana or Grandma to you! You may have your pick. I answer to both.

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

I called my grandmother Nanie, so it is Nana for you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

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