What I'm Seeing Now

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Sounds

I take phone calls all the time from clients who say, "We turned on the furnace for the first time this winter, and it doesn't sound right."

This is advice that I give to almost all of my clients:

BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY CHANGES, LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE FOR A YEAR.  EXPERIENCE IT ALL FOUR SEASONS.  LISTEN TO HOW IT SOUNDS.  PAY ATTENTION TO HOW IT FEELS.  UNDERTAKE EACH SEASON'S MAINTENANCE.  REPLACE THE FILTER REGULARLY, CLEAN THE DISPOSAL, TRIM THE HEDGES, VACUUM THE FRIDGE COILS, TURN A KNOB, WINTERIZE THE HOSE BIBS, OR WHATEVER!  LEARN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A HOMEOWNER.

That way, when you turn on the furnace, or shower, or built-in microwave, or step on a floor tile, plug in an appliance, or whatever, you have an understanding of what it was like the last time you did it.  If it doesn't feel or sound right, it might not be!

Then you can consult a professional, or learn how to fix it yourself.  Become an informed consumer!

Become the QUEEN of your castle!

You'll know if it's right or wrong!

It might take you a while!  If you are a slow learner as I am, it might take you quite a while!

But you will get it!

You will learn.

You will become a conscientious homeowner.

And you will be able to take care of things as they happen.

My kids sometimes call me with car questions.  I know very little about cars.  All I really know is from what I have experienced. 

Often when they call I have the answer and can give advice.  And the same phrase comes back over the phone, "How do you always know what to do?"  Well, primarily because I am old.  But usually because I have experienced it!

And although you have not lived in your house a long time, or you may have lived there for decades, get to know it!  Listen up!

My recommendation: Take in the sounds of home ownership and become a maintenance expert!  And maintain what you got!  In the long run, proper maintenance of a house comes to about 1% of the value of the house PER YEAR!  Not performing that maintenance results in "deferred maintenance."  And it is more expensive to have deferred it than to have taken care of it from the start...  Listen up!!

 

 

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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 45 commentsJay Markanich • November 02 2010 08:58AM

Comments

Oh my, you said it all in this post.  I had a client who had a home warranty and they never did preventative maintenance because the home warranty would take care of things when they became an issue.  I could not believe it!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) almost 10 years ago

Some of those require that they call the company first to do an inspection before some aspects of the warranty are covered Kathryn.  Often times they don't!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

So important when buying a car or home. Safety first.

My neighbor yesterday started his car to a funny noise, it was a squirrel that was under his hood and trying to get out lol

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Jay - Good advice for homeowners that also applies to your automobile.  When we familiarize ourselves with the "normal" sounds, we will be aware when things may be "out of whack."

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) almost 10 years ago

Pay attention to the sounds Don!

John - things get out of whack by themselves!  We only need pay attention.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Good Morning Jay, very good advice to home owners, thanks for posting it!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) almost 10 years ago

Welkommen Dan!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Good advice, Jay.  Especially if you've just bought the home, it's hard to know what the "normal" sound of things are in the home.  The furnace in the new house may not sound the same as your old one.

Posted by Roger Johnson, Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate (Hickory Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

Good advice. Pay attention. And then react. Do something.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) almost 10 years ago

Okay, since you are old, refresh me on this. That patchwork black thingee, on this blog, allows someone to scan it to find you or some such silliness? I am behind the 8 ball on that. And, if so, where does it come from, obviously you did not draw it.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

This is sound advice for any home owner. All homes need routine maintenance done to the home.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) almost 10 years ago

Exactly Roger, and hearing it for a year you come to realize what it now sounds like!

Glenn - doing something is the key, isn't it?

Steve - that came from Michael Thornton's featured post today.  I was fooling around.  That is my cell phone number!  And I am like you, I have no idea how to scan it!

Thanks Harry!  And when it isn't done, those investors call it "deferred maintenance!"

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay...my neighbors A/C outdoor fan unit gave up the ghost recently. In its final death throe, it made noises I have never heard. I knew something was wrong. A few hours later, I get a call from the tenants living there stating their A/C went out. I confirm based on what I heard.....Your reminder to know "noises" is a good one...thank you Jay for your post...best

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 10 years ago

Thank you Richie.  I am glad you found it helpful.

 

Does giving up the ghost look anything like this one?

I caught him Trick or Treating the other night with my IR camera.  He was headless.  I thought I saw him later, riding a horse, and carrying a pumpkin in his hand.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

I like to have home inspectors walk a buyer through after the inspection and explain how to care for the home, epecially first-time home buyers who might not know that mainenance is required.

The advice to wait a year is a good one. Buyers often say to me, "As soon as this closes, I'm going to . . . remodel the kitchen . . . tear out the wall in the living room . . . paint the exterior . . ." I come back in a year and nothing's been done, LOL.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for this great post.  We need to become informed consumers in all aspects of our lives.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) almost 10 years ago

Jay--Thanks for the great tips.  New owners need to remember what they were told at the closing about "maintaining the property" and often overlook things that could have been corrected early on.

Posted by Kathy Stankard, Years of Experience, Years of Results (Coldwell Banker, Franklin,MA/508-369-5131) almost 10 years ago

Elizabeth - that is something that I do during the inspection.  I do very few inspections without the buyer(s) present.

Sharon - information is great power!

Kathy - you are welcome!  I give my buyers a huge seasonal chores list too...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay...the person in the picture needs to stay "a head" of himself. In business, if you want to succeed, you have to stay "a head" of everyone else.....Losing you head only complicates things.....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 10 years ago

Amen on the deferred maintenance!  I am replacing windows this month that I should have replaced 6 years ago.

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 10 years ago

Amen on the deferred maintenance!  I am replacing windows this month that I should have replaced 6 years ago.

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 10 years ago

Good one Richie!  I'm not sure how Mosby would feel about that...

You do know about my ghost friend Mosby?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Hey Allen.  Well, you won't make your money back, at least for about 20 years, probably when you want to replace them for new ones again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Solid advice - that sounds a lot like troubleshooting for computers.  The big question is always 'what changed'.  If you're new to the house, it's tough to know if anything changed, even without any projects going on.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 10 years ago

Interesting perspective, but it certainly makes a tremendous amount of good sense to me!

Posted by Vickie Nagy, Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen (Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Great stuff!  

Posted by Yuriy V., Charlotte NC Real Estate, Property Management, Short Sales, Rental (Carolinas Metro Realty & Property Management) almost 10 years ago

You're so right about paying attention to sounds.  A house is almost like a person - sometimes it seems to breathe!  And some noises need to be heeded - like the family of possums that used to live in my attic. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

For sure Reuben.  Live there a while!  Get used to the sounds!

Vickie - I am glad for that.  It should!

Yuriy - glad you like it!  Hope it helps you!

Pat - that was probably a sound you were not used to!  Wow!  I tell people all the time to cover their chimney flues or something you don't want might get in there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

My client today she heard mice scurrying in her walls. It's a sound she doesn't like. My sagely advice, get a cat.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Corn snakes work great too Jim!  And they make no sound...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Really good advice Jay.  I usually hear a problem long before I see the effects of it.  Like bearings in a furnace fan.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) almost 10 years ago

Exactly what gave me the idea for the post this morning Jack!

You following me around...?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Aahh the art of listening...it's as important with people as it is with your home!

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) almost 10 years ago

It's kind of like a car. Instead of just turning up the radio to drown out the noises, you have to listen and figure out what's going on. Thanks for the post, Jay.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 10 years ago

Barb - a system is a system is a system.

Eric - in the olden days, that's how the mechanic used to diagnose my mother's car when she brought it in.  No computers, no devices - just his ear.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

mosby and I have not met...

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 10 years ago

Jay, this is interesting advice. I haven't heard it before relative to living in a house. Love your take on cars - me too! I can only speak from experience and have had quite a few of them with various vehicles :)

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 10 years ago

  I was home alone with our 2 cats not long after we moved into the house we built....sitting quietly in the Great room....and the icemaker dropped  ice into the inside tray....all 10 feet flew off the ground !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 10 years ago

I have had many posts with a ghost I have named Mosby, Richie.  Here is a recent one:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1910980/mosby-brings-a-friend

Sharon - experience with my cars about sums it up for me!

S&D - a new sound, huh?  Now you know when THAT doesn't sound right!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Excellent post -- congratulations on the Feature, sorry I'm so late coming to the party.

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 10 years ago

Always glad to have you at the party Tish, later or early!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

There goes Jay again, showing his Ghost Picture.  How much noise did it make as it ran by the window?

Posted by Erin Kavanagh, Loudoun County Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

Erin, as you know from our inspections that Mosby follows me everywhere and makes NO SOUND AT ALL!

Great new picture by the way!  You still be losing weight?

I finally got broshures in your office!  How long you been in there, a year now?  Time, man, time... it's hard to get everything done you gotsta do.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jay Very good advice. It seems every house has its own unique sounds.

Posted by Surprise Arizona Realtor Jim Braun Sun City Grand Active Adult Communities, Surprise AZ real estate Phoenix West Valley (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Jim Braun Sun City Grand Az ) almost 10 years ago

It does Jim, and getting used to them makes it easier to maintain!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 10 years ago

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