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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Montgomery County, MD requires Radon testing for Real Estate Transfer Sales

via Montgomery County Government Website.


New Radon Testing Law

As of October 1, 2016, County law requires that “a single-family home located in the County must be tested for radon before completing a sale of the home.”  This requirement is contained in Chapter 40 of the County Code, as amended by County Bill 31-15.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A FEW TIPS FOR EFFICIENT HOME INSPECTIONS as noted to MA CArRES employees

Arrive early (if vacant arrive 30 mins or more early to inspect exterior, roof, grounds. If not an empty property knock on the door and let the seller know you are early and will be walking around doing the exterior if that is okay), bring extra shoes or boot covers when you enter the house.  If raining or snow I did exterior last usually they all leave me by then,  I give them the summary to inside and tell them I only have exterior left and will not be coming back in, they all pack up then and leave.
                - I like to be early enough to make sure I have the report ready, business cards out, know the fee we are charging, have my tools waiting.

Introduce yourself with a card in hand collect a card from the realtor.

Explain what you are going to do and how long you could possibly be, allow the buyers to follow and ask questions but... " I don't mind and I encourage questions please realize this will increase the time we are here", explain what noninvasive and non-technically exhaustive are
                - Let them know you have a certain order you do things so if they could save specific questions about areas until we get there it would be less confusing.

Let them know that taking a lot of pictures does not mean there are many things wrong, that you are doing it for reference in some cases

Let them know that we take credit cards, cash and checks and the fee and that they can pay at the end of the inspection
                - Most times the client will elect to pay then to get that out of the way but we don't want to sound too aggressive

Have a prepared statement you can use all the time
                - I usually say.  "This is a home inspection according to the SOP of the license we carry; it is noninvasive and non-technically exhaustive.  There is no such thing as pass or fail as everything can be fixed for a price.  I am only to report structural, safety and health items, cosmetic items usually do not go on my report but maybe pointed out to you and discussed how to repair.  I cannot offer any opinion, or whether you should negotiate prices, that is up to you and your realtor.  When I have completed the inspection I will go over items I found and at that time we can take can check or charge for the fee of _____."

Have a planned route of attack on the home and do it the same way at every home this is the only way to get proficient and add speed to you inspection

Never discuss problems in front of sellers or their realtor, you can excuse yourself politely.  Make the clients aware of this that the law does not allow you to discuss the report or findings with anyone other than the customer without their permission if they ok with it, record that and proceed.
                - On many occasions at the end, everyone has gathered around, and I say.  Thank you to the sellers for letting us in their home; unfortunately, Law does not allow me to discuss the report in front of you so we may step outside or into another room.



MOST IMPORTANT NEVER DO THE INSPECTION WITH THE iPad IN YOUR HAND.  If you carry it around you are not adequately inspecting.  Sit it down or put in the small of your back waistline, do your inspection of the room then pick it up and take pic and notes.

Average times for experienced inspectors
Exterior, grounds and roof            30-45 mins
Bedrooms                                           5-10 mins
Bathrooms                                          5-10 mins (whirlpool tubs take longer)
Heating                                                15-20 mins
Kitchen and appliances                  45-60 mins
Living room Dining room               5-10 mins each.

For every 1000 sqft of house plan on 1 hour and 15 mins worth of time and round up to the nearest half hour.  When you are new, plan on 2 hours per 1,000 square feet.  Things like borrower and realtor questions can delay job as well.


Observations;

What I have seen with good inspectors

They carry the iPad like a checklist, never setting it down this will add at least an 1 hour possibly 2 to your time. ( I wear a bird hunting vest large pockets for tools and iPad)
They try to repair small things, just mark it broken and move on, no matter how easy it is to fix this can had a lot of time and throw you off you order
They duplicate photos, photo in the summary section that is also in room area.
The comments under the picture are hard to understand.  Someone needs to be able to know exactly where you were and what is the problem by just reading it.


Start with these small tips, and you will develop your style and become more efficient with every inspection.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Retesting Ordered For Thousands of ‘Lead-Free’ Md. Homes July 29, 2016 9:18 PM By Meghan McCorkell

Lead inspections that were "Lead Free" are being retested.  Landlords may want to rethink getting Lead Free with the expensive XRF testing and choose dust wipes, the liability is too great.  It's nearly impossible to test every area even if the inspector followed the laws and SOP of testing procedures your home may still put tenants at risk.  CBS news out of Baltimore reports.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Baltimore County Rental Inspections

MA CArRES fee for the county rental inspection is $65.00, we can also complete Lead Dust wipe testing. Download your Baltimore County Forms Here

Thursday, November 12, 2015

HUD Seeks Smoking Ban in Public Housing by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Smoking could soon be banned in the nation's public housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a rule Thursday to require the more than 3,100 public housing agencies across the country to make their properties smoke-free. "We have a responsibility to protect public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, especially the elderly and children who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases," HUD Secretary Julian Castro said in a statement. more

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Confined Spaces by AMA as published in THE MONITOR

On May 4, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published 20140205-5062 CS Picturea final rule and new standard for construction work in confined spaces. 29 CFR 1926.1200 Subpart AA (Confined Spaces in Construction) is now aligned with those protections found in the General Industry standard. All construction employers, whose workers may be exposed to confined space hazards, are affected by the rule. Additionally, all employers must have a written confined space program if workers will enter permit spaces. The rule goes into effect August 5, 2015.