Ten Takes on Atlanta Real Estate

Ever-changing pattern language of American architecture

1. Spring buying season was hot hot hot And what a wild ride it was; unpredictable, intense, frustrating, exhilarating….that’s why I’m writing March’s newsletter in June. 

2. Neighborhood truck parade To paraphrase J.B. Jackson:  New houses built for the professional middle class are divided into rooms for specialized functions-media rooms, exercise rooms, bedroom suites. A steady caravan of trucks and vans from outside these enclaves provide services. Space traditionally used for repair and maintenance; garages, unfinished basements, sheds, are shrinking or disappearing altogether. The broader middle/working class, whose homes typically combine working space with living space, have not profited from this trend.  They’re stuck, financially and culturally, at home. 



Specialized rooms are a feature of the Professional Middle Class Home

3. Revise the Atlanta Real Estate Contract It penalizes honest seller disclosure (pre-listing inspections) and turns inspectors into deal killers.

4. Buyer’s agents abuse inspection reports   Inspectors observe and report major or immediate defects. Conscientious inspectors list minor defects and recommend improvements. Using second tier information to extort money from sellers is unethical.

Inspector laments the crawl vent halfway up a wall. Backfilled soils above the masonry foundation create a permanently wet crawl space

5. Home inspectors are not professional  Some inspection reports focus on minor defects and omit major ones. Inspections should present information fairly and accurately. Report language should clearly state what is wrong and what to do about it. 

Thousands spent to fix a mold problem that wasn’t

6. Mold is misunderstood  Unlike asbestos, lead and radon the science surrounding mold is not settled.  Mold-related health issues are real: approximately 3% of the population is sensitive to mold. Savvy companies know it’s easy to make a sale when family health is concerned, hence the phrase “Mold Is Gold”. The real issue, controlling mold, lies not in testing and remediation but how to prevent recurrence. Mold control should be based on building science, not ignorance and fear.

Rube Goldberg style duct layouts in renovated homes are common

7. We need a transportation fix Building more freeway lanes merely shifts congestion down the road.  On a recent bike ride I counted 6 condo buildings. Where are we going to put all the cars? I’m one of many forced to schedule around traffic. It’s past time for creative solutions.

8. Stick with local pros  A previous newsletter discussed why it’s hard to find good contractors.  Search for individuals and companies with established reputations. Page 1 Google does not necessarily guarantee quality

9. Dime a Dozen Defects New homes are more durable, healthy and efficient because of changes in building codes, methods and materials. Common defects yet to be addressed include drainage, exterior wood damage, substandard renovations, poor ventilation, and deferred maintenance like clogged dryer vents and fouled shower drains.

10. Inspectors Lament   High-risk, low-reward home inspections are more challenging when the market focuses on appearance and features rather than function and safety. Many within the industry are ignorant of how buildings work, the majority of outsiders haven’t a clue. That’s why I take time to explain the what, where and why details.          




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