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All that shines silver is not aluminum wire! (Long Island) - 03/31/08 09:23 PM
I performed an inspection today for a nice couple that is moving back to Long Island from South Carolina. The wife made the arrangements, and I met the husband and the daughter today at the inspection. The husband is a licensed electrician, and he wanted to see the service panel with me when I opened it up. We saw newer wiring, as well as older cloth covered wiring which is original to the house. The cloth covered wiring has frayed, and needs to be cleaned up as the frayed cloth can possibly catch fire if something in the panel overheats. My (4 comments)
Do your old neighbors know what you do for a living? (Long Island) - 03/31/08 07:49 AM
I recently went back to the old neighborhood and met old neighbors and friends. I heard some of their kids are real estate agents, and one was an attorney in Manhattan who does some real estate transactions. We were all pretty close when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I hear of deaths in some of these families I grew up with, so I have to attend a funeral once in a while. That is tough to hear, and it is difficult keeping tabs on these friends. I am finding that renewing old friendships can be beneficial to me, and to these old friends. (3 comments)
Do you have nice finger nails? - 03/30/08 10:04 PM
Be the first in your real estate office with the new, handy-dandy Meticulous emery boards for the nails you know your clients expect. Why settle for the ho-hum nail files from other inspectors (actually, I am the ONLY inspector with emery boards - in case you haven't noticed). I have gotten great responses from the ladies in the offices. Its different, somewhat quirky, but it works! - Ray (4 comments)
Networking events are great for drumming up business. (Long Island) - 03/29/08 09:16 PM
I have been going to events sponsored by such groups as the Womens Council of Realtors, LIBOR, the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, etc. It has really helped me broaden my circle of influence. Meeting professionals related to my industry in a non-professional atmosphere where you can have a drink, some food, and talk about all things, including NON BUSINESS related issues, is very refreshing. Plus, I seem to make at least 1 or 2 good contacts per function. This does cost money, but I usually make it back by getting business through these contacts. I tend to thank the people who (3 comments)
Another job done without thought of possible neagtive consequences (Long Island) - 03/28/08 04:52 PM
I came across another NEW hot water heater that has improperly installed exhaust piping. As you can see from the picture, the exhaust piping goes on an angle downward when it should go upwards towards the point of exit - the base of the chimney. I know why this was done. Time and money. The technician doesn't want to take the time to do it right, or the company dispatcher doesn't want the technician to spend too much time at one location. The other possible reason is the technician did take the time to explain to the homeowner that the installation cannot (3 comments)
Thank a veteran today! I did! - 03/27/08 08:57 PM
I inspected a nice little house in Lindenhurst today, near the water. The seller was very polite, and as I checked out the house, I had noticed he was a Viet Nam veteran. I stopped him, and thanked him for fighting for my freedom and liberty. He was surprised, but I told him I do it often. I make it a point to thank ANY veteran I meet who served and fought for our country, and I think it is important to thank a veretan when you meet them. - Ray (2 comments)
Coffee is costing me too much money! - 03/26/08 08:19 PM
I cannot believe the price of coffee these days! I have only had one cup of coffee per day instead of two or three cups. That, with the price of gas, it hurts my business. I do not spend much when I am out on the road, but a cup of coffee in the afternoon is a nice treat. Try, but it isn't easy to only have one cup of coffee per day, so make it a good one! - Ray (6 comments)
There are certain advantages to working on a day when most won't. - 03/23/08 05:11 PM
I performed an inspection today - Easter Sunday - and the buyer, the agent and the seller all were thrilled to get it done so they can move forward. The chocolate and other goodies are an added bonus, although I don't need the calories. The agent in this case is one that recommends me regularly, and I am thankful. She was just as thankful as now the contracts can go out. Two agents also showed up with buyers, and the both sets of buyers saw my magnetic signs on my truck (Don't be Ridiculous, call Meticulous!) and wanted business cards - (3 comments)
Empire State Building photograph - 03/21/08 10:00 PM
In case anyone hasn't seen a semi close-up picture of the Empire State Building, here it is. I was in this area of Manhattan today, doing an inspection of a 6 story condominium. The view from the roof is cool, huh? -Ray (4 comments)
Tell your seller to be truthful when questions are asked. - 03/20/08 03:36 PM
I was involved in an uncomfortable situation today. I asked the seller questions about the cesspool and was told it is serviced regularly and no problems existed. I always run the kitchen sink for a half hour while I check other fixtures to see if a drop in pressure exists, and if the cesspool is full or clogged it will usually back up within a half hour, or you may see water seeping up from the ground. The woman complained about wasting water, and I do not like to waste water either, but this is an important test. I had to come upstairs (5 comments)
Taped up exhaust piping may leak carbon monoxide! (Long Island) - 03/17/08 07:32 PM
The The owner of this house didn't know he had a large section of exhaust piping missing, which was hidden behind the aluminum tape. This owner hasn't had the system cleaned in three years. If this system was maintaned properly, the heating technician would have probably told the owner the exhaust system is in need of replacement. The roof mounted chimney was in worse condition, and is part of the reason the exhaust piping is in such poor shape. I am surprised we don't have more deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning. - Ray (0 comments)
...and we all had cookies! - 03/16/08 06:05 PM
I went to inspect a house today that was like walking into Mayberry on the Andy Griffith show. It was almost surreal - like I walked into a practicing cast of a tv show. There was a full cast of characters, neighbors, goodies, Uncle Ted, the whole bit. I discussed the findings with all parties present, and although there were some electrical and plumbing issues, there were no deal breaking problems. The woman who was selling had family that traced back to the early 1800's in Babylon, Long Island. The house was magnificent, and everyone was agreeable. To see a house as old as this (1 comments)
Have you seen this stuff? This is asbestos. (Long Island) - 03/14/08 07:39 PM
This is the stuff that some people freak out about when I show them on a home inspection. The seller wrapped most of it in aluminum foil because it is friable (can easily fall apart and make dust). This should not stop a buyer from buying the house, however. if it is removed, it should be done by the proper contractor. When it is removed, they follow certain protocalls, and have to sample the air to make sure no dust is present or is left behind. If possible I like to hear that the agent has already briefed buyers on things like (3 comments)
Synthetic stucco (EIFS) rots out houses, and quickly! (Long Island) - 03/12/08 07:24 AM
I performed another inspection with EIFS- Exterior Insulating and Finishing System, also known as synthetic stucco or Dryvvit. This material looks cool, but I have NOT ONCE seen it installed properly. It is not supposed to be brought down to the walkways or the soil, it shouldn't have cracks, and anywhere where rainwater can enter - like behind the meter (see picture), is a problem area. This material should also have a drainage plane, where water that enters can exit, but if it is brought all the way down to the soil or walkway, how can it exit? If you are an agent, and (3 comments)
Many electrical service panels have water infiltration problems. (Long Island) - 03/10/08 05:52 AM
I would say about 30 % of the service panels I inspect have signs that water has gotten inside and rusted the circuit breakers, or the panel itself. This does not happen with service panels that have no mast (underground service so no utility poles in the street are needed), but even these panels get rusty because dopey plumbers run water pipes over the service panel which drips onto the panel. Usually, the repair to stop the water is caulking where the service entrance wire enters the top of the meter pan, or at the weatherhead, or at the point where the conduit enters the siding. I had (2 comments)
I will not reduce my fee, will you take a cut in pay? (Long Island) - 03/08/08 06:10 AM
I have gotten 3 calls in the past week asking 'how much for a home inspection?' I charge almost $200 less than several competitors who are franchise inspection companies - they charge between $500 and $600 depending on the size of the house. When I get call from one of these price shoppers, I always ask if they are price shopping. I then tell them why the cut rate inspectors exist: 1- many don't have a national and local association and are therefore not intereted in continuing education, 2- they are under-insured, 3- they are part timers (do you want a guy who just finished his (9 comments)
We all have our own meaning of 'well maintained' (Long Island) - 03/03/08 08:04 AM
Well maintained is a selling point for the selling side for ovious reasons. As a realtor, you want to bring up the good points and leave out he bad points. I am not into the cosmetic aspect when I inspect a home. Chipped paint, 70's era wallpaper, and orange shag carpeting are never entered into my report. I hear other inspectors commonly speak of these things that, to me, are too obvious to mention at a home inspection, and have no bearing in an inspection. The look of disappointment on a couples face when I tell them the heating system, water heater (2 comments)
Another improper heating system installation in a newly built house. (Long Island) - 03/02/08 10:18 AM
The house is a 'new construction' in Brookhaven, on the south shore of Long Island. Not only is the new boiler leaking, the copper oil lines from the oil tank to the boiler are embedded in concrete. For many years it was standard practice to embed the copper lines in the concrete so you couldn't step on the lines or otherwise pierce the lines, but they have found the copper can react with the lime in the concrete, causing a leak. This is a rare occurance, but it can and has happened. The builder was there with me, and he didn't want to (0 comments)
I had to give my Cadbury Cream Eggs away to a little boy! (Long Island) - 03/01/08 09:06 AM
I was buying batteries for my camera before a home inspection in Freeport yesterday. They always seem to put the candy and junk food next to the cash registers in these drug stores, and then I spotted the Cadbury Cream Eggs. I love these damn things, and I tried to resist, but the line was long, and the rabbit on the package kept calling out my name. I bought a four pack along with the batteries. At the inspection, the buyer was having a difficult time with her 4 year old boy. The screams blew the wax out of my ears to such a (5 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.