Good Morning

I have had plenty of morning coffee and ready to face the world. A quick note. I have recently taken on a part time employee. This is a big leap of faith for me as I realize nothing ever changes or grows without change. It’s still a little daunting. This means I’m committed to providing work for someone else in the world! Will they meet my expectations? Will they call me if they’re in a jam, maybe wedged between 2 walls and can’t reach their cell phone? Will they simply just do the things I ask of them so I can fulfill my clients expectation? All things to think about. Are you a small business owner? What do you think? Let me know.

A few days ago, my new guy and I were walking through a home. We had a punch list from a FHA inspector of items needing to be repaired and certified. The FHA has a verified 203k directory list of certified contractors, that at this time, I am not part of. (What?!) It was a foreclosure, I’m sure, by the stickers plastered all over the front door glass. What a pain for the new homeowner when they have to remove them. Windex® and a single edge razor will be their best friend. But the thing I was most interested in was the shear amount of work that had to be done to the inside and outside of the home. Rotted soffits, leaking gutters and roof. The kitchen, OY, don’t get me started! Bathrooms needed cleaned out and repaired, the outside needed to be be totally repainted. The house was built maybe in the late 1960’s early 1970’s adding to it’s list of things, lead paint. The EPA’s renovation, repair and paint law (RRP) requires renovators to adhere to a fairly strict guideline of how to test, remove and dispose of lead based paint. (I am certified to do this) (Yes!). The cost involved though, can add hundreds, sometimes, thousands of dollars to the project cost. Did this new homeowner think about that?

The other strange thing about this list was  what it didn’t have on it. Namely, everything I told you about. The list contained a short cryptic description of a leak under the sink, paint a rusted baseboard heater, replacement of a well pump bladder tank to fix a bit of exterior trim. Wow! This was a governmental body, the organizations we trust to look out for us, giving their list of items to fix before closing. If the new homeowner is savvy and a trades person or really, really handy, this may not be a problem. But what if it’s a young couple, with a new baby and limited resources who think they are getting this inspection and believing it to be fairly complete? Thinking with just a little sweat equity they’re going to have their dream home in the country? Misleading at best, criminal at worst.

If you find yourself a dream foreclosure to buy, fix up and sell or live in. Get someone you trust, in the business, to asses the full extent of your dream. This could be a friend, a General Contractor (me), certified Home Inspector or specific trades people you’ve worked with in the past. They will be able to truthfully explain what is needed and ask you what your commitment to the project really is. The you can wake up and have a few cups of coffee. Have a Great Day!

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