Q & A with Valerie

What is the scariest home situation you’ve seen?

My home inspector was examining a duplex home that had been improved by the owner,
without relevant permits. The two halves shared an attic, with no fire barrier. There were
electrical panels in the bathroom of one unit that had been enlarged. There were uncapped live
wires at several of the non-working fixtures, but one of them was routed around and over the

What is one situation that makes you happy?

I had an older couple living on Social Security who were residents of a mobile home community.
They owned their unit, but were paying rent to the park that was fully half of their income.
They were concerned that their rent would continue to increase, putting them into dire
financial straits. I found them a home in a neighboring town that was recently renovated, and
cost 1/3 less with a mortgage, than they were paying at the mobile home park.

What is something that confuses sellers?

There have been several sellers who believed that they had extra time after closing to move out
their belongings. This is not true. Once the closing takes place, the home ownership transfers
and the previous owner may not enter the premises, unless a specific arrangement has been
made with the new owner.

What is the funniest thing that happened when viewing a home?

I was touring a home with a family who had young children. It was an older home with a
working fireplace. As we entered, I discovered a squirrel had become trapped between the
fireplace and the screen. So as not to alarm anyone, I left the front door open and walked
between the children and the fireplace, and fortunately, they didn’t see it. When we went back
to the living room, the squirrel was gone.

What is something that confuses buyers?

Some buyers would like to just stay the night in their new home prior to the closing, or store a
few items in the house until they own it. This is not a good idea because someone could be
injured or something could happen, such as a fire or theft, which could present insurance
issues, or ill will between the parties, leading to cancellation of the sale. My advice – stay in a
motel until the closing.