Archive Monthly Archives: January 2013

Can an Austin Builder Restrict a Buyer to Using Certain Inspectors?

Austin Home Inspection

One of my buyers wrote an offer on a new home the other day. Not a completed “spec” home, but a “to be built”. While we can write an offer for a resale home in 15-30 minutes, signed, sealed and delivered (which sometimes isn’t fast enough in this Austin market), a new to be built home is a long, arduous sit-down in the builder’s onsite rep. We were there for over three hours. And this already knowing exactly what the buyer wanted except for just a few exterior items and colors. It just takes that long to write everything up, print it and go through it all.

Anyway, at some point going through the massive stack of builder contract paperwork with my buyer, a nasty little addendum emerged, the likes of which I’ve never personally seen. “Whoa, what’s this?”, I say.

It’s a document that imposes requirements on the private third party inspector that the buyer may hire to inspect a home. It requires that the inspector sign a document called a “Access Agreement for Home Inspection”. The access agreement requires that the inspector have:

Proof of General liability Insurance of at least $1,000,000
Proof of Auto Liability Insurance of at least $100,000
Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance equal to the “statutory minimum”.
Proof of Employer’s Liability Insurance of at least $1,000,000

So I dialed up my new home inspector while we sat there and asked about this. He said it’s total BS. A ploy by builders to limit inspections. He doesn’t meet the requirements, nor do most Texas Real Estate Inspectors (TREC requires $100K liability, so most carry the minimum), much less the Code Inspectors you want to be using on a new build.

Does this mean my buyer can’t use my over-credentialed, highly competent and trustworthy inspector? The builder was happy to offer a list of inspectors they have who do meet the requirements. No thanks. I want my buyer to have my inspector, not yours. So now what?

Read more …

Posted by Steve
3 years ago

Trends in Appliance Colors – Is Stainless Out?

stainless steel appliances


Our dishwasher needs replacing. It is old and worn out and as I am choosing appliances, it seems stainless steel is still the color of choice. What is the next big color in appliances? … I wonder?

I Googled this and came up with a few answers, but nothing that seems to dominate the stainless steel.

It seems people like the sleek, industrial look of the stainless steel “like you are in a commercial kitchen”. One of the best articles I read on the subject was “After Stainless What Now” by Ellen Byron of the Wall Street Journal.

What do the manufacturers say about a demand for new colors: 

Whirlpool is rolling out a “new” color which it calls “Ice white”. Wow, that is creative! “White is the new stainless” Whirlpool says.

Meanwhile, General Electric has unveiled a new color in their microwaves, refrigerators and dishwashers in muted gray tones called “slate”. They believe this will appeal to “cost conscious” consumers because it will still blend with the stainless steel colors.

Miele is about to introduce some high glossy tones in the near future. They are keeping quiet about what it is going to be, but watch carefully, maybe we will see something more exciting coming from them.

Even while there are several colors and tones said to be on the horizon, many manufacturers say that 80% of their sales are still stainless steel.

So as I review all this information, I still decide to order that new KitchenAid stainless steel dishwasher.

Posted by Sylvia
3 years ago