Don't Skimp on Your Home Inspection - Russel Ray is a Shining Example of a GREAT Home Inspector!

Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Realty

I have some buyers that just went into escrow about a week ago.  Hooray! We found the home, now on to mounds of paperwork, inspections, disclosures, appraisal and so on.  There is so much to do in escrow!

During the course of the inspection, it was noted that there was a crack on the stem wall of the foundation noticeable from the garage.  It is an older home with a raised foundation and it was one of those "borderline" cracks.  Not too big but big enough for the inspector to recommend it get looked at by a "contractor".  This was not an inspector that I had used before and said,  "Don't just pick one out of the paper" he said, "get someone you trust". 

Well, I sure know a lot of people but a contractor to check a crack?  It hardly seemed worth mentioning and I must admit, I was at a bit of a loss.  So were my buyers.  I asked my broker, some fellow agents, my husband, everyone I could think of that would know who to go to to check it out.  Some suggested a Geological Inspector but no one really had anyone to speak of.

Russel RayThen I remembered reading some of Russel Ray's blogs.  He had always written interesting and educational content so I shot him an email to see if he had anyone in Orange County he could recommend (He is in San Diego).

That guy advertises that he answers his phone 24 hours a day and he IS NOT kidding!  He called me back on Saturday night and left a message.  I called him bright and early on Sunday and of course he answered. He emailed me back too and told me all the things I should look at to see if it really needed further investigation.

He confirmed that the crack is a pretty standard one. Check out his blog here to read more:  Concrete Cracks.  Not only did Russel confirm what I had thought but he sent me lots of information to show my buyers.  He went way above and beyond the call of duty!

Getting a good home inspector is very important!  Do NOT skimp on this step! Recently, I listed two bank owned homes that sold for all cash.  I could NOT believe that neither buyer had an inspection! There are so many things that you just can't and know unless you're an expert.  Don't you want to know what you are buying?  I sure do.

Thanks Russel Ray!  You made my buyers feel so much better!

Cristal Drake - Fullerton Area Realtor - Re/Max North Orange County - 714-423-7525


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Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Russell is not in our area, but you offer sound advice. Every home buyer should have a home inspection. It's beyond important!

Nov 03, 2008 03:42 PM #1
Paula Swayne
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715 - Sacramento, CA
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga

I am always a little incredulous when someone does not have an inspection!  They have saved an unexpected issue more than once!

Nov 03, 2008 05:35 PM #2
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Cristal - I couldn't agree more!  I have an inspector that I absolutely ADORE!  If a buyer goes along on the inspection he takes the time to show them some great home maintenance tips, he always make suggestions for what "could" be done once the buyer is in the home to prolong life on systems and he ALWAYS answers his phone for follow-up questions.  Without him I would be lost at times!

Nov 04, 2008 12:04 AM #3
Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate
Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access - Philadelphia, PA

Cristal - Great post !  It is a superb reminder that as advocates for our clients we need to have a strong network of "go-to" people - inspectors, contractors, mortgage professionals... etc.  Even more important to have those niche specialty people in our network as well (structurual engineers, asbestos specialisit...etc).  The more value added services we can can add to our clients in the form of referrals and being able to get answers to questions, the better !

Nov 04, 2008 12:30 AM #4
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Lisa, Yes they should!  I am floored when people often look for the least expensive or just skip it all together.  This is one of the most important steps!

Paula, you are NOT kidding!  I would hate for my buyers to get into a house that was unknowingly unsafe!

Russel!  I love On The Border!  You know there isn't one in North Orange County (or maybe all of OC).  They have great table side Guac!  Anyway, thanks again, you really helped me out so much and hopefully I can return the favor some day!

Leesa, You are so lucky. In CA, everyone is sue happy so you have to be extra careful about recommending someone too much.  I basically give a list because you have to be careful if something comes up later and you hear the ol' "Cristal told us to use that guy".  It hasn't happened but I have heard horror stories!

Thanks Chris and Stephanie!   You are so right about having a strong "go to" network!  It certainly does take a village doesn't it?

Nov 04, 2008 01:10 AM #5
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX North Orange County - Fullerton, CA
#1 Selling Agent in Fullerton 2016 714-403-7901

Hey Cristal way to keep networking In The Rain. Did someone actually come look at the crack?

Nov 04, 2008 02:16 AM #6
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple

this is an excellent localism article, good job! Love the way you

Nov 04, 2008 02:54 AM #7
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Cristal, you are fortunate to have Russel over there with you.  I would love to have a clone of him in Birmingham AL!

Nov 04, 2008 04:14 AM #8
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

lol, at first I thought it read Rachel Ray! Great blog btw. Having a SOLID home inspector who doesn't kill a deal with fear mongoring loose words is certainly critical in a transaction. Too bad my inspector just retired! :( I hate looking for new help.

Nov 04, 2008 09:01 AM #9
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Tina, I did have someone peak at it!  Thanks!

Chris and Maria! Thanks for stopping by!

Ann, he is actually in San Diego but he still helped me!  The local guy that we got wanted someone else to look at it!

Greg, Doesn't everyone use Rachel Ray for their home inspections?  Bummer about your inspector! That is tough!

Nov 05, 2008 06:06 AM #10
Brenda Tressler
Crye-Leike Realtors - Clarksville, TN

Hello!Great post... I just love how AR just keeps giving. We are so lucky to have such a group of professionals to lean on. Thanks for sharing! Brenda :)

Nov 05, 2008 10:45 AM #11
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Yes indeed Brenda!  I love this group!

Nov 06, 2008 01:26 AM #12
Cameron Wilson
Labrum Real Estate - Murrieta, CA
The Short Guy - Murrieta,Temecula,Menifee Californ

Nothing better than someone giving a verifiable recommendation. Good for you Cristal.

Nov 07, 2008 11:31 AM #13
Sheila Moran
RE/MAX Access (Garden Ridge, San Antonio, New Braunfels) - New Braunfels, TX, RE/MAX Access, 210-32


It's so nice that people you know have your back, right?  What a great way to network, girl!

Nov 13, 2008 11:48 AM #14
Cristal Drake
Prudential California Realty - Fullerton, CA
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate

Cameron - He really is great!

Sheila - Yes!  He was so awesome!

Nov 13, 2008 12:55 PM #15
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