Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chimney Repairs

Masonry repairs to the chimney are very common in most older homes. Cracked chimney caps are probably the most typical. A mortar wash as shown here will crack allowing water to get into the chimney itself. Cycles of freezing and thawing can ultimately cause damage to both the brick and the fireclay liner.

As with most maintenance items, the longer this goes unrepaired, the more expensive repairs become. In severe cases of neglect a chimney may have to be taken down and rebuilt. It is always less expensive to keep up on maintenance then let repairs go until damage reaches a critical level.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FHA and Fannie: Pushing Foreclosure Sales

I just read today that FHA is lifting their ban on property flipping by investors for one year. Currently investors cannot buy and sell property within 90 days. FHA apparently wants to get mounting foreclosures off the books by opening up the market to investors who can fix up a property and resell it to a first time home buyer.

While many abuses have taken place with regards to property flipping, I feel that this is a good move. Many of the foreclosures that I have inspected are in need of significant work. The average first time home buyer client who bids on these properties just doesn't have the skills to deal with a property which has fallen into disrepair due to foreclosure.

If you allow investors to fix up the properties and make a profit doing so, the first time buyer can then buy a property which does not need major fix up work. Some argue that these are desparate measures which open the market up to the same abuses that got us into this mess.

In 2009 there were roughly 2.8 million foreclosure filings many of which are still on the market depressing home prices. Regardless an ASHI Certified Inspector should be retained to inform the buyer as to the condition of the property. If we can only get the utilities turned on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Foreclosures Ugh!

I think I can speak for many when I say that foreclosures have many of us pulling out our hair, assuming we have any hair left to pull out. Houses simply are not meant to be vacant for extended periods without the utilities or anyone to maintain the home.

Yet many first time buyers are attracted to the bank owned foreclosed homes because they are priced under market. The first hurdle is getting the utilities back on. I've had inspection after inspection cancel because of difficulties getting the utilities restored. Vandalized plumbing, stolen appliances, mold and deterioration of major systems abound. Many buyers don't know that these homes often need major investment.

Vacant houses don't do anyone any good and getting these properties fixed up and sold remains a huge problem for our nation. As always it is buyer beware. Get a good home inspection.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inspection World

We'll now it is official. I've been sworn in as ASHI President for 2010. I'm excited and looking forward for great things from ASHI. The theme for this year is ASHI from Good to Great. Five new Directors have come onto the ASHI Board and I'm looking forward to working with them.

Inspection World was a great success with over 900 total attendees. IW is a great place to network, meet new friends and get great education. Success is a team effort and I would like to thank all who worked so hard to create such a successful event.

We have a lot of work to do this year and as always are focus is on providing member value. I truly believe that the best is yet to come.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


My name is David Tamny and I'm ASHI's (American Society of Home Inspectors) President-Elect. I'll be installed as President at the annual Inspection World Conference in January. I've been a home inspector since 1992 and own my own company Professional Property Inspection Consultants, a one man shop. I've inspected somewhere around 7,000 homes over the years and have quit counting. Every time I think I've seen it all something comes along to challenge me.

I'll be blogging about a variety of topics ranging from inspection related issues, the economy, related topics and whatever comes to mind. I hope to attract some followers and stimulate some thought and discussion. So stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

About Home Inspection

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