June 25, 2016 |
A Montgomery County-based home inspector defrauded at least 138 property buyers by promising inspections he never performed, prosecutors said Thursday. Joseph T. Michalski, 46, of Souderton, is facing charges of felony theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and other offenses for allegedly ripping off customers of his business, Sherlock Homes Inspection Services. The company sold home-inspection services such as water, termite and radon testing, the Montgomery County District Attorney's office said.
November 8, 2015 |
Home buyers these days are picky, preferring properties that are in move-in condition, with no major flaws that will require expensive repairs in the foreseeable future. Most also are looking for some sort of guarantee - insurance, if you will - that appliances and mechanical systems, if they break down, can be returned to working order without digging deeply into pockets emptied of the cash needed to buy the house. One option is a home warranty, typically bought by the seller to cover the first year after the house is purchased.
October 9, 2015 |
AFTER DOLORES Deissler died at 87, her family turned to the Edward Hugh McBride Funeral Home in Kensington, which made sure that her viewing July 16 was "absolutely perfect," her son Joe said. Relatives came from near and far to celebrate the life of the mother of seven. "We didn't have any issues. We all were totally happy with the work Patty did," said Joe Deissler, referring to Patricia Vallone McBride, the funeral home's director. But as far as the state is concerned, McBride's "work" never should have been done.
June 29, 2015 |
Recently here in the Real Estate section, I've been looking at issues that listing agents say can make selling a house more difficult. Some are easily corrected, such as removing clutter, washing windows, or sprucing up the front gardens with mulch. Others require time and expense, including rewiring, sanding, and refinishing floors, and replacing a roof or a furnace. Today's buyers want properties in move-in condition and hang on every word of a home inspector's report, even if it's something as weird as - as a Cherry Hill seller told me - "the house has dated wallpaper.
June 15, 2015 |
Hello there Jason was ushering at his Germantown church, as he did Sunday after Sunday. But on this particular Sunday in summer 2005, in walked a man with a gorgeous Philadelphia-style beard and a bit of swag. "I kept staring at him the entire time, trying to get his attention, and he would just not give me anything back," Jason said. Two weeks later, Jason was in a telephone chat room for singles and phone-met a very interesting man named Anthony. They got along so well Jason invited him to his place near the Temple campus.
May 24, 2015 |
A few weeks back, I replied to a reader's question about "ghost shadows" on his ceiling. It isn't as spooky as it sounds. The reader was asking about paint he could use to hide the lines, which reappeared after he had painted the ceiling three years ago. Of course, I responded to his request for a paint recommendation by suggesting a shellac-based product that I have used to cover water stains from leaks that have been repaired and to keep...
February 1, 2015 |
The home-improvement industry has fared much better than the broader housing market, according to a report Thursday from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. In fact, industry experts are predicting that 2015 could see record spending on home improvements. After years of declining revenue, the industry is reinventing itself, said Kermit Baker, director of the joint center's Remodeling Futures Program. The industry "is finding new ways to address emerging growth markets and rebuild its workforce for an evolving customer base," he said.
April 21, 2014 |
You know confusion looms large when Google offers more than three dozen pages on a search of this topic: Appraisal vs. home inspection . An appraisal determines how much a home is worth, which in turn will determine how much someone can borrow to purchase it. If a buyer needs a mortgage, an appraisal is inevitable. "It's an appraiser's job to offer an unbiased opinion" on monetary value, said Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University near Richmond, Va. A home inspector issues an unbiased evaluation of condition.
February 16, 2014 |
Although many buyers these days avoid properties that require major renovation, that doesn't mean they're shunning first-year projects designed primarily to make the houses they do purchase their own. Even during the real-estate boom, when buyers often had some money left over after down-payment and closing costs, wisdom dictated that you didn't embark right away on anything too extensive. That wisdom still prevails. If you've owned a house before, you have a sense of how to proceed.
August 19, 2013 |
Susan Graves of Century 21 Alliance in West Chester responded to a recent column about fixer-uppers with a video of one of her listings in Modena, a tiny borough (535 people) in Chester County. I don't usually write about properties under $20 million, but I was curious to see what constitutes a $45,000 listing these days in horse country, as Graves focused much of the video's first three minutes on location. The house is actually a twin, built in 1910, and the owner did most of the interior demolition work and installed new windows.