Tips from Mike Holmes
A nice interview of Mike Holmes in the AZ Republic recently. He pointed out a few tips for home buyers.
The first tip is don't fall in love with the cosmetics of the ome. Mike Holmes is all about the "bones" of the home. Cosmetics, like paint and landscaping, are much easier to fix than structural or drainage issues.
Holmes stresses lining up your Realtor and Home Inspector before you go house hunting, not after you see something from the curb or from the Internet that you think you like. He recommends asking questions of your prospective Realtor such as how long they have been in the business, how many houses have you sold, what areas do you work in. Ask for references and call them and asking whether they were good, were they courteous, and whether they took advantage of you in any way. Of inspectors, he suggests asking about years of years of experience and what construction experience they had before becoming an inspector. You may want to hire an inspector with more experience in one area of construction over another if you suspect that a home may have a particular kind of issue or risk. Here in Arizona, one problem we have is expansive soil, so an inspector experienced in structural issues might be appropriate for areas known with expansive soil issues. For a link to maps indicating where expansive soil deposits are in the Phoenix area, please visit my FAQ page.
The article concludes with Mike Holmes' opinion that mold is the biggest problem facing the home construction industry today. However, there are other issues such as the previously discussed expansive soils, freeway projects, envirnomental hazards, and other issues that could affect your purchasing decision. Again, my FAQ page has a wealth of links to websites that discuss these issues.