Property Inspections

Power Outages and the Location of your Home

By | Buyers, RE Investing, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

Have you ever noticed that if there is a major power Street with Powerlines outages, some neighborhoods seem to be without power longer than others? And sometimes a neighborhood   close to an urban area might be longer out of power than other areas. I noticed in our area, parts of Fulton and the Russian River area tend to be out of power longer than the direct surrounding area.

Coming from the Netherlands where all power lines are in the ground moving to an area with power lines above ground was something to get used to. They are part of a street view,  sometimes blocking a view or going over part of a property, affecting the desirability of a property. Power lines above ground are more vulnerable to outages during storm or Powerlines blocking a viewwhen a trees falls on a power line or a pole holding the power line is hit by a car. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., have concluded that the average U.S. electrical utility customer experiences 214 minutes of power outage each year. The research also indicates that the U.S. ranks towards the bottom among developed nations in terms of reliability of electricity service. The last Superbowl had a 30 minute power outage.

Super-Bowl-2013With that said, to a certain extent one can predict whether a neighborhood will have shorter or longer power outages in case of a major power outage. The PG&E website gives some good guidelines: “First hazardous situations, such as downed wires. After that the focus is the largest number of customers and on repairs that will restore service to critical facilities such as hospitals, water pumping stations and police and fire departments.

Should you desire to do so, you can make this part of your due diligence before you decide to move to a certain neighborhood or area. If you know upfront that the neighborhood you decide to move to is always the last one the power is restored, invest in a good generator or an other alternative power source.


Location Wanted: Rural, Views, Surrounded by Nature – the Boonies!

By | Buyers, Disclosures, Sellers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

Looking for that perfect home in Sonoma County? Depending on what you are looking for, changes are it is not connected to a sewer system but has it’s own waste water system, called a septic system. About 25% of all properties have their own septic system. Without going into details as to upcoming and ongoing changes in the requirements for septic systems -see this link- it is important to know whether the property you are buying or selling has a working septic system. It is one of the inspections to do when purchasing a property with a septic system.

Over the years I have had several situations where either sellers would refuse to do a septic system before putting their home on the market, or buyers not seeing the need to do a septic inspection. Let’s just say that the buyer who initially wanted to waive that inspection was really glad afterwards. The system had some problems which would have cause failure in the future. On a recent transaction, the seller had to put in a sew septic tank since the septic inspection brought to light that the wall in the tank had a hole in it. Luckily the seller was a contractor who had the resources to do this quickly.

Before moving to Santa Rosa, I had never lived on a property with a septic system. My grandparent had a farm in Netherlands, they had a septic system but quite frankly I never knew much about that. The house we live in right now is depending on a septic system for waste water. It’s not scary, it part of living in a more rural part of Sonoma County and I think it a great way to recycle 😉 Sidenote: click here if you like to learn more about septic systems.

Currently I am working to put a property on the market in Franz Valley, a small home on 9 acres. It’s on a beautiful location, there are 2 ponds on the property and yes, the house is on a septic system. We are doing a septic inspection before putting the home on the market, a local company, BDK septic services, will first pump the tank and then inspect the system.

Bottom line, for buyers and sellers: do the proper inspections before buying or selling property, you will be glad you did;)