Buying Tips

Buying A House?  Get An Inspection!

After you have spent thousands in down payment & closing costs it’s easy to want to save a few bucks by foregoing an inspection. A good Realtor will advise you to never to this. The several hundred you spend on an inspection can save you a lot of heartache and money.


Burn Baby Burn

This picture is of floor joists on a house I was purchasing in Denison,TX. The home was actually built with burned lumber. It was an estate sale so no disclosure was legally required. The out-of-state heirs probably had no idea. It was dark when I made the offer. I just had this nagging feeling that I needed to look  under the house so I stuck my camera through the access panel and this is what I saw.  When your Realtor or nagging feeling advises you to get an inspection, it will pay to listen!


Give Me Power

Here is another personal experience.  I purchased an investment property (AKA House For Rent) and didn’t notice that the service panel was full of 30 amp breakers.  They were supposed to be 20 amp so I can only assume that they didn’t have any 20 amp breakers on the truck the day they did the electrical. The house for sale was owned by an old couple for many years so I doubt they were responsible.  The home could have easily burned down if there had been an electrical short. Be wise, get an inspection.

Of course on older homes you have to worry about knob and tube wiring.  Just because you see a new electrical panel with Romax type wire in it doesn’t mean the wiring has been replaced.  I have seen nice new Romax in the electric panel and it all tied into knob and tube in the attic.

Have you ever opened a panel and seen bright colorful breakers?  They will be all kinds of different colors other than black.  These breakers are a potential hazard for not tripping.  Should you not buy a house with these?  Of course not but you should not only have a home inspection, you should have it inspected by a licensed electrician to determine if there is a potential problem.


Builder Inspections

Vent unconnected NEW BUILD - Photo Kissee Home Inspections - www.VanAlstyneHomes.comMany people buy a new a new home assuming there isn’t any need for a home inspection.  Even new homes have issues that need to be addressed.  While most are minor, some are not and will make you wonder how well the rest of the home was built and tested before your closing date.

My first new home didn’t have screens, soffit vents and had different shades of carpet. The builder was pressuring me to close and said only the model has screens, vents were not required and the carpet was a dye lot variance.  At least all the ductwork was hooked up, unlike in this new construction. Picture courtesy of Kissee Home Inspections.  Call them at 469-438.8509 before you close on your new home!


County Inspection Surprise

Van Alstyne is in Grayson County.  Before you move to any of the cities in Grayson County you should learn a little about what to expect.   Many people moving here are used to life in the suburbs. They take for granted things like police, fire, sewer, internet, animal control, garbage pick-up and other common city services.  Oh you will probably have those outside of the city limits here but they may be a little different from what you are used to!

Part of the pleasure of living in a more rural environment is you don’t have the same type of restrictions and rules. When I decided to build  a deck, I called the county for a permit. They asked me if I was installing a septic tank. Huh?  I am building a deck!   Then they said,”if you’re not installing a septic tank we don’t care what you build”.   A lot has changed in 15 years so I would advise checking before building.  This is a great article about living in the country in Grayson County that may help you understand what I mean.

Hidden Sprinkler Heads

Downspout Covering Sprinkler Head - Photo Kissee Home Inspections Ah yes, there is nothing like not having to drag hoses all over your yard.  It’s so much better buying a home with an automatic sprinkler system.  You should also know it’s very important not to have any water puddle close to your homes foundation. Home inspectors will always tell you should have a splash block to direct the rain gutter water away.

This builder of a new home decided to combine the two ideas!  Photo courtesy of Kissee Home Inspections



Four Bedroom House For Sale With Ahem…Pond

Did you find a great house in the country with a pond right outside the back door?  Wow, visions of fishing on your own property or the kids in the old swimming hole dance in your head.  Before you get all giddy you need to consider a few things. Frequently ponds will be dug for the fill to build up a house pad.  If the builder didn’t compact it correctly or get the proper engineering done you may have a few foundation surprises in the future.

Ponds can go dry, have algae blooms and attract all kinds of wildlife like raccoons, coyotes and skunks.  You haven’t lived until Fido gets crossed up with a Grayson County skunk and wants to sleep in your bed! Before buying a home in the country inquire if that pond was formed in the ice age or more recently.  Oh yeah, don’t pet the nice little black and white kitty.


Artery Blockage

DIrty Vent - Why Inspect? - Photo Kissee Home Inspection - www.VanAlstyneHomes.comIf this home owner had done a home inspection he would have noticed that his ductwork had a case of artery blockage.  I wonder how  it could possibly get this bad.  My guess is that they must have been running a very long time without any lint filter.  Photo courtesy Kissee Home Inspections  469.438.8509




Snakey Trane

Snake in HVAC - Home Inspection Surprise - www.VanAlstyneHomes.comIt takes a lot to stop a Trane…technician.  Just a little surprise my air conditioning guy got when he was going to do the bi-annual maintenance.  I can do most of my own home maintenance but sometimes it just makes sense to farm that chore out!


Get Started Today ——– Call Keith Laursen 469.233.1234

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