Property inspection is such a routine procedure that we often take it for granted. But no self-respecting homeowner, investor, buyer or broker would deny its importance in all real estate transactions. Just how important is property inspection and what does it entail? Today’s guest gives us the details. John Cipres is a certified property inspector, licensed general contractor, and C-36 license holder. He is a leading expert in his field and his clients have included real estate brokers, investors, homeowners and commercial companies. In this episode, John explains the major components of property inspection and why each of these components is essential. Join in and learn what things you should notice and when you should run as fast as you can!
I am so excited to introduce you to our guest, John Cipres. John worked for over sixteen years as a Field Customer Service Technician for Sempra Energy Gas Company. He left in 1997 to pursue his dream of owning and operating a business of his own. John is a certified property inspector and a licensed General B contractor. He holds a C-36 plumbing license. He is a leading expert in his field.
His clients include real estate brokers, investors, property management companies, homeowners as well as commercial companies i.e., Amtrak, LA Sports Arena, JPL, US Tile, and CP Kelco to name a few. John is also a certified life and business coach. He enjoys traveling in his spare time together with his wife, Laura, mentoring at-risk youth, and coaching young entrepreneurs.
Welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for having me.
This is so much fun. This is the first time I’ve done something live. I’m excited about this.
We’re going to have some fun.
First of all, tell us what are the major components of the property inspection.
There are five major components on any property. There’s a roof, foundation, electrical, plumbing, and heat and air conditioning. Those are the five major safeties. Run for the money if it’s not adequate for the house.
Those are the things people need to make sure that they get inspected. That’s why they hire you.
The other stuff is cosmetic things. Those are the major components of a house.As a new home buyer, it’s very important to hire a home inspector because they would know what they’re looking at. Click To Tweet
Tell us what are the fire, health, safety, and water hazards that exist on a property.
Smoke detectors are important. Carbon monoxide is important and stuff like that. If their heater is malfunctioning, it would be spewing carbon monoxide if it has a crack or stuff like that.
This whole carbon monoxide thing with the detectors is a new thing in the industry. We started requiring this a few years ago. All of us have heard about carbon monoxide. Tell us why they started doing this where you have to have a detector and what it causes for people in their homes.
The reason why they started having it is that there have been deaths equated to gas and unburned fumes on the property. It picks up carbon monoxide, which is odorless and tasteless. It’s a killer. After all these years, they have figured, “Let’s make it the law.” It saves lives. That’s the reason that they have it and had passed a law. System-wide, they have one in each property. The way the law is written is there’s one per floor. In other words, if you have two floors, you need one per floor.
Before we started, you mentioned something about the deep dive. You walk into a house, notice certain things, and run as fast as you can. Could you tell us a little bit more about that with regard to carbon monoxide?
Usually, the seller is required to put it on. If they don’t want to do it, then make sure they put it in because it is a requirement by law to have it on the property before you close escrow. If they don’t want to do it, then somebody has to do it. A lot of times, the agents will put it up. That’s one important thing because it does save lives.
What would you consider a minor or a major repair when you’re doing inspections?
A major repair would be an outdated electrical panel. If it’s way outdated, they would need to have a new panel, which includes the wiring. There’s some old wiring out there if they’re not grounded outlets and stuff like that. It’s a major expense to rewire a house and put a panel on. That’s something that the buyer should be aware of if they’re going to buy a property. They need to budget that money.
How would they know?
They would call a home inspector like myself to come out and inspect all the major components of the property. We write up a report and get our reports out within 48 hours or sooner. Based on that report, since we’re a licensed contracting firm, if we’re asked, we will put a cost analysis on that report. That way, they know what it costs. They can do one of two things with that. They can ask them to repair it or they can get a credit for their escrow.
If I were walking into a home, how would I know if that’s something to keep my eyes on and think about?
If you go to the panel and you see that it’s old and it’s an original part of the house, it’s a red flag. Your inspector would catch that and then follow. There are some recalled panels out there. He would know if they’re recalled or not and then let you know, “This is way outdated. It should have been replaced many years ago. It’s new.” He would let them know right away. That would give peace of mind for him.
What is the average lifespan of water heaters and tankless water heaters? Talk a little bit about that because that’s a big issue.
The conventional water heaters on the property are usually 40 or 50 gallons. Their normal lifespan is between 8 to 12 years depending on how hard the water is in the area and if they flush it out once a year. That’s on conventional tank water heaters. It’s important to keep track of that. If a water heater is located upstairs in the hallway and they don’t catch it in time, then you have a big water damage issue when they go. We let them know by the rating plate how old the water heater is. If it’s at the end of its lifespan, we would let them know. We have run into water heaters that are 18 to 20 years old in the middle of the house. It’s a big urgency to get that replaced.
As a new buyer, is there any way for me to detect that walking into a house?
You would have to know what you’re looking at. That’s why it’s important to hire a property home inspector because they know what they’re looking at. They will say and write on the report the age of the water heater if it’s new and the risk factor if it’s low, medium, or high for leakage. They will put it on the report.Team up with a contractor, property inspector, or somebody that you can go with and look at properties together. They can guide you and tell you if something’s a good deal. Click To Tweet
Is a seller responsible for that?
It’s all negotiated. It’s a real estate question. If the buyer says, “I would like the water heater replaced to help close a deal,” then it’s up to the seller to do that. The seller could say, “I’ll give you credit for that.” You can do it yourself.
We’re going to talk a little bit more about deep dives in the EXTRA portion of the show. Before that, why don’t you let my audience know how they can reach you?
They can reach me by going to our website. It’s www.AndreasFaultPro.com.
What stuff do you cover in the newsletter? What would they be getting from that?
There’s a lot of safety stuff. I’m known as the property inspector that saves lives. It would have a lot to do with safety on their property. A lot of homeowners are first-time homebuyers. They don’t know anything about a house. They can get educated along the way from the newsletter. Once a month, we will have some new information on there. They can look at it. It would be very beneficial.
That’s so valuable. I’m spending so much time maintaining. I can’t keep up with what’s going on. We don’t know where to look. If you’re sharing that information, that is valuable. I love that you said that you’re the home inspector that saves lives. Are you ready for our three rapid-fire questions? The first one is this. Give us one super tip on getting started in real estate investing.
From my perspective, one super tip is to team up with a contractor, a property inspector, or somebody that you can team up with and look at properties together. It would be a good tip because it’s like having that education on the house that they would normally have as an investor. That would be a good tip to include somebody, hire somebody, or team up with somebody who has some experience on properties. That way, they can guide them and say, “Is this a good deal? How much money are you going to spend on repairs?” We know that it’s all about the bottom line.
That way, when you start walking in a house, you’ve already got that education. You can start eyeballing things and noticing things that you wouldn’t normally notice. Give us one strategy for being successful in real estate investing.
One strategy that I see is getting up early in the morning and making the best of your day 3 or 4 hours before people get up. Do your homework and don’t let the every day phone calls bother you when you can get so much done before your start time. Everybody starts usually at 7:00 or 8:00. I get up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. I get stuff done when people are sleeping. When investing, that can be tied to doing your homework on the multiple listings or going out there. It’s first-come, first-served on properties. Whoever finds the deal first can put the offer in first. The early bird catches the worm.
It’s so funny because I don’t even get out of bed until 8:00 but I do that on the back end. Often, I’m working from 12:00 to 2:00. I still get my 6, 7, or 8 hours of sleep but I’m working in those quiet hours in the evening. It’s finding some time when you’re not going to be disturbed so you can focus. What is one daily practice that you would say contributes to your personal success?
Get up after you get hit. When you fall, get up. Keep on going after your dream and don’t let any negative talk or negative situation take you down. I always say, “Out of every negative situation, if you can find one good thing in that, that’s the golden nugget.”
We’re going to talk on EXTRA more about safety tips that John has to offer us. He has some stories for us. I love that he calls himself the home inspector that saves lives. We’re going to talk more about that in EXTRA but for now, we’re going to sign off. Thank you so much for joining us for this portion of the show. If you are subscribed to EXTRA, please stay tuned.
If you’re not but would like to be, go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenEXTRA.com. You can get signed up there. If you’re leaving us now, thank you so much for joining John and me for this portion of the show. I look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, remember that goals without action are dreams. Get out there, take action, and create the life your heart deeply desires. I’ll see you next time.
To listen to the EXTRA portion of this show go to RealEstateInvestingForWomenExtra.com
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