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Home Inspectors Tell All

Home Inspectors Tell All

Home inspectors go where none of us particularly wants to go—into all the nooks and crannies around our homes, both inside and out. So you can bet that they’ve seen it all. You know—all that stuff that you don’t want to think about happening in those dark and creepy spaces.

Wait, actually we do want to know. (Is it masochism?) So we asked home inspectors who’ve been in the biz for a long time—and boy, did they deliver, with stories ranging from Stephen King–level horror to just downright weird. Check out some of the crazy things these home inspectors have witnessed. It’s all in a day’s work!

It’s a zoo in there

“Some of the nastiest stuff we find is animals—dead ones in attics or crawl spaces, which are always disgusting, and live ones, which are always scary,” says Reuben Saltzman, president of Structure Tech Home Inspections in Minneapolis. “In Minnesota, we usually find raccoons and squirrels, and inspectors in the Southern part of the country find a lot worse.”

There have been drowned frogs under water heaters, cooked mice in furnaces, frozen porcupines in crawl spaces, and dead fish on a roof. Was it a bird that somehow dumped it there, or something weirder, Saltzman wonders?

“We’ve also found wasp’s nests the size of basketballs inside of attics, and in the basement at the ceiling rim joist, and homeowners who didn’t know they had wasps,” Saltzman adds.

Bruce Barker, founder and president of Dream Home Consultants, in Cary, NC, has collected close to 6,000 photos documenting things like fried lizards and mice inside electrical panels, snakes in basements and crawl spaces, and even a black widow spider.

“We’ve found termite tubes hanging down from the ceiling. Termites need soil to travel and live, so they build tubes out of mud,” he explains. “It looked like there were stalactites hanging down.”

Then, of course, there’s the mass quantities of bird poop, which is nasty, toxic stuff.

“One of the craziest things that I’ve ever seen was a boat trailer being used as the foundation for a home,” Saltzman recalls.

“In the crawl space, I saw a tire half-embedded in concrete. I had to stare at it for a little while to figure out what I was looking at,” he says. “And I realized the whole addition was built on top of a trailer.”

Sometimes projects are half-finished, or half-baked, like a deck being held up by a single, wobbly post.

“This puts the ‘can’t’ in ‘cantilever,’” Saltzman quips about one memorable photo featuring a doomed deck.

Perilous plumbing solutions

Saltzman frequently discovers homeowners have tried to fix leaky plumbing with whatever materials they have on hand. Contrary to popular belief, duct tape does not, in fact, fix leaky pipes, shower wall tiles, or drains, he says.

This sparked some concern.

“People will use caulk, radiator hoses, hose clamps, vice grips—just the craziest stuff—to keep water from coming out of a place where it shouldn’t,” he says.

Perhaps the most alarming things home inspectors come across involve electrical systems and outlets in a home, Barker says.

“I’ve seen people not putting the wire connections in boxes, and just leaving them hanging out. If I had a dollar for every one of those, I wouldn’t have to crawl through crawl spaces anymore,” he says, noting that this is a major fire hazard.

Also in the “What were they thinking?!” department: Another home featured rows of Christmas lights strung directly over a pool (see image above). When the water fountain feature is activated, the swimmers beneath could get seriously injured from electrocution.

Ridiculous roofs

One homeowner strategically placed a basketball net with its glass backboard leaning against the roof, making it the ideal magnifying glass fire-starter on a blazing sunny day. Saltzman has also seen a roof so covered in moss and plant debris, it should have been mowed.

Barker has been amazed to see turbine vents in older houses that have lost their covers, unbeknown to the homeowners, or worse, have been covered with strange things—like an upside-down Halloween candy bucket.

Makeshift chimney repairs are often laughably ineffective, adds Barker, who has seen flammable asphalt material used to fix crumbling chimneys.

Weird and wacky windows

In older homes, it’s not uncommon to find wooden window frames that have seen better days, Saltzman notes. What’s odd are the homeowners who think up outlandish ways to fix them.

“One of my favorite photos of all time was taken 15 years ago: Somebody had taken spray foam to fill in all the rotted wood, and then cut the spray foam to match the profile of the wood, which they painted to match,” he recalls.

Deal-breaking disasters

Other head-scratching discoveries Saltzman’s team has made include a mysterious pile of leaves in the attic, scissors embedded in an electrical panel, a downspout aimed squarely at an electrical outlet, a roof fascia repaired with a hockey puck, and a bunch of unopened bags of insulation in an attic. (Pro tip: A home will always be warmer when insulation is actually laid out and not trapped in plastic.)

It’s not just horrifying for the home inspectors—all this weird stuff could kill a deal. Once potential buyers see things like mushrooms growing out of a floor drain, a crawl space filled with animal excrement and spider webs, or frost in the attic, they’ll wonder what else hasn’t been maintained, Saltzman says. And often, they’ll be spooked enough to walk away.

“We’ve got about 20 inspectors on my team,” he says, “and between all of us, every day someone decides they’re not buying a house based on what we found.”

Source: Realtor.com

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Thinking About Selling Your Home? Declutter First!

Thinking About Selling Your Home? Declutter First!

If you are trying to sell your home, there’s no doubt one of the things you’ve heard most frequently is the importance of decluttering. Not only will decluttering help you sell your home faster, there is a good chance you’ll be able to sell for a higher price, as well!

To get started, use these easy to follow decluttering tips and tricks!

the bedroom

The Bedroom

In the bedroom, use simple bedding that matches your wall color. Remove any personal items or clutter in the room. Appeal to both sexes by choosing a neutral paint color for the master bedroom. Using a gender neutral paint color allows you to immediately cast a wider net for your buyers, speeding up the sale.

declutter-kitchen

The Kitchen

In the kitchen, you can paint your outdated cabinets, rather than replacing them. Or try installing new hardware—this simple switch can have a big impact. Remove any appliances or knick knacks cluttering the countertop, and your kitchen will immediately look more spacious.

declutter-living-room

The Living Room

In the living room or other common areas, do a sweep to remove any clutter. Open the shades or the blinds, allowing natural light to make your room appear more airy and spacious. If your room is small, consider painting the room in a light color, and strategically hang mirrors across from the windows.

declutter-bathrooms

The Bathrooms

In bathrooms, consider packing up any drugs or medicines that aren’t regularly used. Find a new home for any stray jewelry or extra toiletry items. Remove any stains from the grout, and make sure all plumbing is in good working order.

declutter-closet

The Closet

Potential home buyers will be checking out your closets, an often overlooked area. Make sure your closets are not too full, or you run the risk of buyers thinking they won’t have enough storage space—a huge red flag in their home search. Make sure everything is organized and tidy.

declutter-garage

The Garage

The garage is another area important to potential buyers. Clear any clutter and make sure everything is put away in its place. Try hanging larger items on the wall, opening up the floor space. Remove any bins or items to be donated, making your space appear larger.

declutter-personal-items

The Personal Items

While you’re at it, go ahead and start packing up any personal items, such as family photos, memorabilia, or toys you don’t need in order to create a more neutral and decluttered space. This one is a no-brainer—it not only declutters your home but also gives you a great head start on your own packing.

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New Faces to Meet

New Faces to Meet

Owner / Broker Jennifer Stutesman Yarsulik welcomes new agents to the real estate team. ” We are so excited to be adding professionals to our real estate industry which allows Stutesman’s Action Realty to cover more territory – Kobie Langford will be specializing in Jasper,Barton, Newton, and Dade Counties & Bailey Lyons will be specializing Bourbon, Crawford and Linn County Kansas plus Vernon County Missouri. 

 

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Meet Diane Earll: Director of Operations, Broker/Assoc. MO-GRI, CRS, SRS

Meet Diane Earll:

Director of Operations, Broker/Assoc. MO-GRI, CRS, SRS

Meet-diane

Diane has taken on a new role in the agency, but is still doing what she loves – helping clients with their real estate needs!

Diane’s career in real estate began 22 years ago, when along with her husband Eddie Earll, began building and remodeling homes in the and have always taken great pride in their accomplishments.

Diane grew up in rural Vernon County and graduated from El Dorado Springs School. She learned from an early age the value of hard work and determination and continues to display these principles in her career.

As a member of the National Association of Realtors and Missouri Realtors, Diane has had the opportunity to serve as Secretary, Vice President, and President for the Five County Board of Realtors. She also received her GRI (Graduated Realtor Institute) in 2008, CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) in 2015, Brokers license in 2015, and SRS (Seller Residential Specialist) in 2016.

In her current role, Diane handles everything from handling the office’s administrative duties, to ensuring contract and document compliance. Diane also works closely with the agency’s outside marketing firm, assisting with property and agency promotions. She also is a pro at keeping the team organized, keeping the database current, gathering together paperwork from the seller and the buyer, working with the title company to make sure all parties show up to closing, and making sure profits get wired in.

Her organization and people skills show in her personal life as well. Diane loves the outdoors and keeping connected with friends and family. Diane also enjoys hobbies such as cooking for her family and having huge family gatherings, working outdoors in the yard, and going on road trips.

Diane and her family have a special love for their animals… All of which were wayward souls taken in by the Earlls’. Each one of them has a story and now  have a forever home with unconditional love.

She and her husband, Eddie, have one daughter Nikki and son-in-law Jonathon. They are also blessed with a granddaughter, Iridessa, which they enjoy every given opportunity.

Diane takes great pride in customer satisfaction and looks forward to each opportunity when assisting clients with any of their real estate needs.

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Signs That Now is the Time to Sell Your Home

Signs That Now is the Time to Sell Your Home

TimeToSellYourHome There are many reasons why it may be time to sell your home. You may need more space to make room for a growing family or you need to downsize after your kids leave the nest. Whatever your motivations, you want to make sure that you’re timing it right. If you sell when home prices are plummeting, you may end up losing on the deal. If you sell when home prices are highest, there may not be a lot of buyers looking to move. So how do you know when it’s a good time to sell? A qualified Stutesman’s agent can help you determine if the market puts you in a good place or not. But for your own personal situation, here are the signs telling you that now is the time to sell your home. You’ve Outgrown Your Home Whether you are expecting another child, caring for an aging parent, or have taken in your adult children, when you’ve outgrown your home, it may be time to sell your home. Consider the permanency of the change. Will the kids be there for a long time? How long will you be able to care for your aging parent? Buying a bigger home is one of the main reasons why homeowners choose to sell. You Need to Make a Change Change is inevitable. Maybe you’re tired of shoveling snow (what a brutal winter we’ve had!) and you want to live in a warmer climate. Maybe you have to move so you can go after your dream job or you want to be closer to family. When change entails moving, then a home sale becomes necessary. Home Prices are on the Rise This is one of the riskiest reasons to sell your home. Sure you may get more than you ever dreamed for your home when prices are on the rise, but that also means that you will pay more for another home. Perhaps your agent can help you find a steal in a new location where prices are more level. Then you will have made a huge profit and a smart move. You Need to Downsize Many homeowners are selling in order to downsize. The baby boomer generation is moving into their golden years. The kids are all out of the house and you just don’t need all that space anymore. Selling now could add a nice healthy sum to your nest egg as well. As long as you are smart about how much of that profit to spend on a new place, downsizing could be just the right move for you financially. You Can No Longer Afford Your Home Sadly, there are homeowners who just can no longer afford their home. Whether it is due to divorce, illness, a death, a skyrocketing mortgage payment, or the loss of a job, change in your financial circumstances is a big red flashing sign that now is the time to sell your home. Waiting any longer could have catastrophic financial consequences. In any situation you find yourself in, an experienced agent is the key to helping you achieve your goals. Learn more about how to determine if now is the time to sell your home by speaking with agent now.
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The Sweet Listings Event is Happening in TWO DAYS

The Sweet Listings Event is Happening in TWO DAYS

THE SWEET LISTINGS EVENT STARTS SATURDAY IN NEVADA, MO! 

We will be showcasing 6 sweet homes and giving away FREE GAS! 

GAS CARD CONTEST RULES: Tour the homes, pic your favorite, take a selfie INSIDE the home and post it with #sweetlistings on our Facebook page in the comments section under the home’s post. Make sure to tell us what you LOVE about the home! We will announce the winner Sunday Feb 10th at 5 pm! Gas card can be picked up anytime next week at Stutesman’s Action Realty Nevada office!

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Top 12 Things To Do To Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2019

Top 12 Things To Do To Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2019

Valentine’s Day (week!) is here and we want to give you some unique ideas to celebrate this fun holiday! No matter if you’re in a relationship, single or just want to hang with your BFF, we have the perfect ideas for FUN in the Nevada and Ft. Scott areas!

NEVADA MO

Nevada Show Choir Classic Feb 16 at NHS – ALL DAY

If you appreciate music, you will LOVE this performance of over 20 regional show choirs performing at this annual show. These talented kids put on a show like no other and you are sure to leave with a smile on your face. Make sure to check out this schedule if you are looking to see a particular performance!

NRMC – Send a Valentine to a Patient Feb 14th

This. Warms. Our. Hearts. You can send an online Valentine to a Patient at Nevada Regional Medical Center. Want to kick it up a notch? Why not get a group of your favorite peeps together and MAKE Valentine’s and deliver them personally?!

DeLaney Vineyard & Winery – Celebrating Love With Live Music Feb 15th – 7 – 10 pm.

Stop by this amazing winery and listen to live music by Rick Newman, Paula Newman, Jason Richison and Annie Pruitt! Drink some locally made wine with your loved one (s). We recommend the Grape Frost (if they have it!) SO good!

Valentine’s Dance – Elks Club – Members Only Feb 15th – 7 – 10 pm.

Come out and enjoy the night. DJ Lee Dogg will be playing your all time favorite hits. This is always a town favorite!

The Fox Playhouse – Males Order Brides Thursday, Friday & Saturday February 14th-16th @ 7:30 pm and Sunday matinee on February 17th @2:00 pm

Here comes the bride! Actually, we should say brides — four of them supposedly, to marry a quartet of love-starved citizens. The husbands-to-be include two bachelors, lumberjack (and hero) Forrest Green and saloon owner Lucky Betts, and two widowers, grizzled prospector Grubby Shurtz and respectable banker C.D. Nichols. If only their brides were real!

Jesus Trejo Live at Cottey College Feb 14th at 8 pm.

Based out of Los Angeles, Jesus has appeared on Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party” and season two of “Stand-Up and Deliver” on NuvoTV, and was a recurring cast member on the TBS sitcom “Sullivan & Son.” In July of 2015, he was chosen to participate in the prestigious “Just for laughs” Festival in Montreal as part of “Jeff Ross’s Roast Master’s Invitational.” In the summer of 2016, he was selected to be a New Face at the “Just for laughs” Festival. Jesus will be performing in Raney Dining Hall. Adult tickets are $5, kids are $4, and Cottey students are free.

Jim’s Roadhouse – Craig Cook and The Marauders Feb 15th at 9 pm.

The Marauders are a Red Dirt Country band from Kansas, playing original country songs that make you want to tap along with the beat. Fueled by a tight rhythm section and highlighted with guitar and fiddle, your sure to have a great time with these boys!

FT. SCOTT KANSAS

Valentine’s Day Getaway Package – Lyons Twin Mansions and Nate’s Place Feb 14th – 16th

Lyons Twin Mansions is the perfect place to cozy up with the one you love. Join them for an extra special Valentine’s Day this year. From relaxing couples massages and warm crackling fires to a lovely dinner for two, romance fills the Mansions for the holiday. They will pull out all the stops to make this a Valentine’s Day to remember, including a truly romantic dinner featuring a special, inspired menu. Whatever your taste, you’ll find a lovely weekend just right for the two of you waiting for you at Lyons Twin Mansions in beautiful Ft. Scott, KS. Package includes: – Two Night Getaway in one of their Suites – Dinner for Two ($100 value) – Just LOOK at their amazing Valentine’s Day Menu! – $90 Refreshed Spa Credit (must book in advance)

Chili and Cinnamon Roll Lunch – Country Place Living Feb 15th – 11 am – 1 pm.

Warm up and give back! This Chili and Cinnamon Roll Lunch Fundraiser benefits the Alzheimer’s Association. Meal includes: Chili, cinnamon rolls and crackers. Dine-in or pick-up. Recommended donation: $5

Elton Dan & GDD – Liberty Theatre Feb 16th – 8:30 – 11 pm.

If the weather is going to be bad, you might as well be inside DANCING IT OUT and having FUN! More info HERE!

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Jenifer’s Guarantee

Jennifer's Guarantee

When you call 417-667-8400 and reach out to Stutesman’s Action Realty agents, you will hear a friendly warm voice – a real estate professional eager to assist and happy to answer questions. As the Broker & Owner –  I am asked questions about my office and the agents that place their license with Stutesman’s.

It’s common for folks to say things such as “your atmosphere is so different here – not only are you friendly, and helpful plus  everyone in your office works as a team.”

The difference is simple not only do we care about people we truly believe that our job is making an impact on lives we touch. Whether that be helping you find a home, selling your property or showing you the many avenues available in getting a loan. Finding a lender that will work for you and treat you with respect regardless of your credit. Life hits us all in different ways & we are not perfect and it shows in credit scores that make it difficult. My agents put a plan in place to assist you in organizing your finances & taking care of blemishes that have slowed you down.

As the broker I am 100% confident and 100% sure that my agents are not only friendly, Professional  they are knowledgeable and  well educated to know the ins and outs of the contracts, from the process to the inspections.  Again  100% certain they are best at negotiating your transaction. Each and every agent in my office reach out to one another if they have questions or concerns.

Integrity is our core treating each other and our partners fairly and it’s simply about SERVICE. We are here to serve our clients and going the distance to do just that is what we do! You have my GUARANTEE !

Jennifer Stutesman Yarsulik
Broker / Owner of Stuteman’s Action Realty serving customers & clients for 26 years.

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How are we doing?

How are we doing?

"Good Morning! I want to tell you about a wonderful asset you have on your team.. Scott Theis! You see when i contacted him I  was at my wits end, had rented for years a terrible apt with a landlord from you know where! I had heard horror stories about buying a house so I never wanted to be in that situation but here I was. From the second I heard his upbeat, encouraging voice my my fears subsided. Scott was more than a realtor he was part of the family who cared about what I needed not just interested in selling a house! Due to my back injury Scott toured the houses for me, he took the time to know what I needed. He didn't just work on my house 9-5, he also worked evenings and weekends until we had the perfect home. Even the paperwork was a snap ( not a stubborn computer and my inept computer skills could slow him down!) Scott knew I desperate needed out of my situation and he created a miracle for me in record speed! His compassion, professionalism, dedication and genuine honesty is a breath of fresh air. If you are interested in buying a house and getting the right one Scott is your guy! Thank you for having such a wonderful representative to stand for your company, Scott is the best!"

-Chris Messer

As the owner and Broker of Stutesman's Action Realty - I understand that hard work & persistence is necessary and a duty of an agent assisting their clients. Thank you - Scott Theis for going the distance to assist & protect your clients best interest.

how are we doing