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The Fearless Home Inspection

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Many Sellers fear the home inspection once they accept an Offer to Purchase and wait with baited breath for the report. There are several steps Sellers can take to reduce their stress.

1. Disclose , disclose, disclose. Anything that gets disclosed on the Real Estate Condition Report won’t be held against the Seller because the Buyer is made aware of the possible defect or issue.

2. Practice home maintenance. Don’t put off repairs for a later date. Replace light bulbs, check all outlets to make sure they are in good working order and grounded, unclog drains, fix leaky faucets, and  install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check electrical boxes and wiring for mice damage.

3. Check all windows. Make sure they all open and stay open. Repair any cracked panes or sashes.

4. Although an inspector isn’t there to check on your cleaning skills, a nice clean house shows it is well cared for and not  subject to neglect.

5. Have your own pre-inspection. While most Buyers should order and pay for there own inspection, a pre- inspection allows Sellers to fix any issues that may affect the sale or to disclose them in the Real Estate Condition Report. A pre-inspection by the Sellers is especially beneficial in a Buyers market when the inventory exceeds the number of Buyers.

Although a well maintained home doesn’t guarantee any surprises during the home inspection, it can eliminate larger problems and reduce Seller stress.  During the down market, I always had my Sellers order a pre- inspection. As a Seller, I followed my own advice and discovered that our chimney needed to be repaired by a professional. The pre- inspection actually eliminated the Buyers inspector from finding any defects.

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Is a Smart Toilet Worth the $$$$

Would you spend the money to transform your “throne” into a spa or in other words, is a “Smart Toilet” worth the $$$$ in your new bathroom?

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The movement to be clean and green has taken over the world. We consume “green health drinks”, recycle, eat organically grown food, and build Focus on Energy Green Homes with smart technology that utilize less energy. But is a “Smart Toilet” seriously worth the extra money?

First of all, there are many different levels of smart toilets. You can pick and chose the features on which to spend your hard earned money.Some models only cost a few hundred dollars while others may put you back several thousand dollars. Several manufactures such as Kohler with their Numi Toilet, America Standard with the Spalet and DXV , and Toto have similar features.  Both companies as well as other manufacturers include the following in their high end toilets:

  • wave or sensor flush
  • the option of a battery powered or electric wired system
  • flush technology ( sensors to determine how much water and power needed to flush)
  • Automatic seats- great for those that forget to put it down
  • Automatic slowly rising and closing lids
  • LED lighted bowls and base lights
  • self cleaning
  • massaging bidets
  • cleaning and with adjustable water and pressure temperatures
  • self- cleaning
  • foot warmers and heated seats
  • remote controls
  • Bluetooth and MP3 capabilities- so you can listen to tunes while you go

If these features aren’t enough, the  Numi  by Kohler also comes with a touch screen allowing you to customize the settings for up to 6 people and a magnetic docking station to store and recharge the remote. Each user can control everything from their music, choice of water temperature and pressure, to front or rear washing, dryer temperature, and brightness of the light. But, what happens if the power goes out, the batteries die, or you have a guest? Not to worry, the manufacturers have made auxiliary controls that allow the user to control the basic functions without a remote. Also, the battery operated models come with an alarm alerting the user to change the batteries.

You ask, besides changing the ritual of using the bathroom into a luxurious spa – like experience, what is the advantage to these high end expensive toilets. Each of these toilets use considerably less water than the old manual flush toilets. Compared with the older toilets which can use 3, 5, or 7 gallons of water with each new flush the eco friendly designs use .8 gallons for liquid waste and 1.6 for solid waste. These eco- friendly toilets may save you up to $100 per year of water. Not to mention the savings of cleaning solutions, toilet paper, and your precious time spent cleaning. The question is though;how much does your spa toilet cost you in either batteries or electrical power?

No longer do we need to call, “Calgon to take me away,” we can truly sit on our “throne” for a spa experience.