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Home Inspection Tips From John and Penny Dumke

Home Inspection Tips From John and Penny Dumke

If you’re selling your house, it is important to make sure it looks as good beneath the surface as it does on the exterior. Here are six things you need to know to pass your home inspection from real estate agents John and Penny Dumke.

If you’re selling your house, it is important to make sure it looks as good beneath the surface as it does on the exterior. In most cases, if you know what to look for, a simple self-guided pre-inspection will go a long way in helping you understand what needs repair and attention so that a buyer won’t discover flaws in the structural foundation of your home. According to industry experts, there are at least 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. Here are six things you need to know to pass your home inspection from real estate agents John and Penny Dumke.

Defective or Worn Out Plumbing

According to John Dumke, most homes in Southern California were built using galvanized plumbing for incoming water lines.

“Waste lines have usually been cast iron under the home and clay to the street,” John said. Clay main lines can crack and roots can invade.

John says that, therefore, most homes in Southern California have had their galvanized lines replaced, as these lines eventually clog up or degrade at junctions. Limited hot water flow and pressure are hints that these lines are at the end of their life. Fixing these conditions is not a requirement, however; it all depends on if the plumbing is serviceable and in working order.

“We will be able to give you an idea if correcting these conditions makes sense,” John said.

Inadequate or Hazardous Electrical Wiring

“There are five types of electrical issues I encounter,” John said. “Old fuse type panels found in Bungalows and Spanish homes built in the early 1900s should be replaced, otherwise home insurance can be difficult to obtain. A second condition is an original 50 amp panel. Today’s electrical needs are greater than in the 1950s and many homes have been expanded.”

According to John, there are also some panels that have been recalled due to fire hazard, such as “Federal” and “Zinsco” brands. There can also be smaller issues like ungrounded non-GFCI outlets in kitchens and bathrooms and exposed Romex wiring in the garage, which is not up to current residential building codes.

“We can help you save time and money on these issues by letting you know which to fix or leaven and when to get an estimate,” John said.

Heating and Cooling Systems

“The range of heating systems in Southern California is broad, from floor furnaces to gravity heaters and central heat and air,” John said. “Fortunately, our weather is so accommodating that dated, original heating is not a deal breaker unless there are dangerous conditions.

While newer central heat and air conditioning is certainly icing on the cake, John suggests checking with him and Penny before spending thousands on a new system, as the need for updated heating or air conditioning is dependent on the style and type of home.

Roofing problems

“Most roofs in Southern California are on a 25-35 year replacement cycle,” John said. “Buyers do not expect a new roof, but one that is actively leaking is not acceptable either.”

If your roof has five or more years left in the cycle and there are no leaks, investing in a new roof is not needed. However, if a roof is clearly towards the end of its useful life, it is best to expect this concern by obtaining at least one estimate from a reputable roofer.

“Then, we can show you that negotiating with the buyer instead of replacing the roof yourself will save you thousands,” John said.

Dry Rot and Termites

Although a termite clearance is not a requirement of sale in California, most homeowners offer this clearance to the buyer. According to John, there are several facts about a termite report that home sellers don’t know.

For starters, termite clearance includes any dry rot or structurally unsound wood. Tenting a home is not a requirement of having a termite clearance. Also, termite work doesn’t require wood to be repainted. Wood replacement can also be done by a lower cost provider and then re-inspected by the termite company.

John says that for the aforementioned reasons, it can be smart to get a termite inspection report done prior to negotiating with a buyer.

“We can help you determine if getting an inspection ahead of schedule will save you money,” John said.

Masonry Work and Fireplaces

According to John, fireplaces can be a source of concern if there are potential safety issues, and there are companies that specialize in fireplace repair.

“They focus on questions like, ‘Is there a spark arrestor in place? Is there a fireplace damper stop clamp in place. Is there any significant heat damage in the fireplace box? How is the flashing where the roof meets the chimney? Is there a build-up of creosote that might create a fire hazard?’” Most of these items, according to John, can be visually verified, and if a cleaning is needed, ask for an inspection at the time of cleaning to get a good, clean bill of health.

More Information:

To learn more about costly home inspection pitfalls to avoid, call 1-855-216-1962 and ask for ID number 1003. For a free list of all Long Beach homes for sale, including ones you can’t find on the internet, call Penny Dumke at 562-572-2298 or call John on his direct line at 562-572-2296.


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