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Buyer Beware/Tests/Inspections/Inspectors

DO YOU HAVE AN ACCEPTED OFFER ON A HOUSE ? 

There are several websites you should check out to find out about your home and neighbors that many agents won’t discuss with you. I suggest to review every website and have all necessary inspections done on your home.

To find information on your home on items that were PERMITTED for if remodels have taken place, or crime statistics visit:

Multnomah/Clackamas Counties
Washington County

After you have checked permit information, see if there is any sex offenders in the neighborhood. For buyer’s who have children, this is an important factor you don’t want to “not be told about”! ORS 181.592 authorizes the Oregon State Police to make information about registered sex offenders available to the public- make sure there isn’t one in your area or next door! Also a great idea to check crime in the area. 

State of

Check the crime in an area with

NEW CONSTRUCTION? 

Make sure you review the builder’s history to insure they don’t have any complaints or pending lawsuits and that they are still licensed!

NEVER WAIVE A HOME INSPECTION! Although you have to spend money, this is a large investment for you, is $400-$1,000 now better than a 100k issue in the future? Anything you find out is leverage you have against the seller, once discovered these items have to be disclosed to the next buyer so the seller is generally more willing to work them out with you! Even if your purchasing new construction, get a home inspection! Things happen during construction, pipes filled with cement, debris in the crawlspace, mold from improper drying of sheet rock, just because it’s new doesn’t mean there can’t be anything wrong!

HOME INSPECTORS:

Home Team Inspections: Mike Huppi (503) 314-9557
Eagle Eye Inspections: Ken Giblin Office (503)649-1814
Inspectek West: Larry Hay (503) 307-9180

Home Warranties:

It’s a good idea to get a home warranty on any home/condo/mobile home or investment property you purchase whether it’s new construction or built in 1910.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently occurring breakdowns of home systems and appliances. Your home is most likely one of your biggest investments. Unexpected repair or replacement cost can easily strain your budget and most people don’t ever budget for repairs on their home.
There is several home warranty companies.

I highly recommend for the customer service, quality and coverage:

(Make sure to get the Flex Plan Combo to insure the most coverage)

 (Make sure to get the Comprehensive Plus Plan for the most coverage)

 INSPECTIONS AND OR TESTS TO HAVE PERFORMED BEFORE PURCHASING:

SEWER When purchasing a home in Portland or surrounding areas, just because the listing says CITY SEWER, I have had several instances where it’s not! Call the city of Portland 503-823-4026 and verify the home is connected to city Sewer and if not know that the city will be forcing everyone eventually to hook up to city sewer, it’s coming! Otherwise you can find yourself possibly paying 17k+ to have a sewer line put in in the near future!

RADON Radon is found in basements generally in Portland, generally closer to water. It’s a gas found in the earths crust that can cause serious health issues, if you have a basement, a radon test is advisable.

LEAD BASED PAINT If the house was built before 1978 it may contain Lead Based Paint, if the inspector notes signs of chipping paint, make sure to have this tested. Generally tests run about $150 or less for 12 samples.

WELL TESTS If you have a well or alternative water source other than public water make sure to have this pumped and tested by a professionally, especially to see if there is shared water rights, the well is operating properly and the water is not contaminated.

SEPTIC TANKS AND OR CESSPOOL’S Ask the seller to have these pumped and checked into for cracks and contamination. Replacing one could cost you thousands, and sometimes if the system fails, the city will force you to hook up to city sewer which can bare an expensive of 12k or higher!

FURNACE Ask the seller to have the furnace serviced and the HEAT EXCHANGER reported on. Commonly furnaces don’t have the recommended maintenance performed they should by homeowners. Filters need to be changed to work properly and over time heat exchangers can develop cracks that leak carbon monoxide and can be deadly, especially in older furnaces. A new furnace can cost 1k or more depending on the efficiency, don’t be stuck with the bill!

Other tips: Make sure to read your preliminary title report and review the CCR’s on the property. These are Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions on the property. Some Home owners associations don’t allow RV’s to be parked out front or a boat…this could be a big factor to you that can cost additional money for storage!

FLOOD PLAIN ZONES These aren’t discussed enough in the real estate world and often times are a major expensive surprise. I have seen flood insurance cost $50-100 a month in ADDITION to your mortgage payment. As of 2007 Flood Certifications are required before a lender will close on your loan which is an added expense and time to the seller they might not be prepared for. The costs is approximately under $200 a two week or less turn time but this could be a costly factor in holding up your loan or even change your mind about the home! Your insurance agent or any title officer can tell you very quickly if your home is in a flood zone.

CLUE REPORT Usually you can get your insurance agent to give you these for free. A clue report is a report on your home that shows history of home insurance claims, from water damage to fire damage it’s good to know what has happened, just in case a seller forgets or doesn’t disclose and problems arise in the future from this like mold!

EASEMENTS: Make sure you review the title report for easements on the property as well. Some easements are in benefit of your property and some burden your property. They could be anything from a joint drive way to an easement for your fence or garage that is on someone’s property. Easements go with the title of the property and are something to definitely know about.

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Jennifer Venable
John L Scott Real Estate
Portland Home Experts
1800 NW 167th Place Suite 100
Beaverton, OR 97006
Phone: 503-889-6472
Email: jenniferv@johnlscott.com
Licensed Oregon Realtor
"Selling Portland - Day By Day"