The House Whisperer

A free internet archive of Jack Milne's famous House Whisperer Show radio broadcasts.

It's The New Year; Get Off The Fence And Buy Real Estate
As we face the New Year, the real estate market couldn't be better. Interest rates for 30-year mortgages are in the low 3's and 15-year mortgages are below 3.0. The Fed is anticipating a 3.5% growth, indicating a steady hand on the tiller. I ask you to listen in to this show, especially if you are looking to buy or sell real estate in 2015. It is much better to be proactive than reactive. By the end of the year, I anticipate interest rates going up, based on the unemployment factors. This is your time.
The Email Box Revisited: Vol.5
Once again, I dive into the trove of emails and pick out a few to help answer questions that I feel will benefit everybody. Today's topics include selling in the winter market, fireplace cleaning, water actuated sump pump backup systems, and dated water heaters. A few other little surprises await your ears.
How To Make a House a Home and Vice-Versa
As you all know, when we go "house shopping" the properties we are looking at tend to be impersonal. As we walk through someone's home, colors tend to be neutral, family pictures and personal possessions are off the shelves, so that as you look through this house, you can imagine how to make this house your home. At the same time, after living in the property for 10 20 years, you now have to convert your home back into a house when you present it for sale. If you are looking for real estate or planning to sell your home, please listen in, as there are many good tips to help you through the process.
Should I Buy A House That Has Been Rehabbed?
This is a question that was emailed to me from Shiela from the Great Northeast of Philadelphia. She had asked initially if she should buy a house in the city that had been completely redone. If any of you are thinking of buying a house from a contractor, who typically bought the house under price and is trying to sell it at the highest price on the market, I ask that you listen in.
Which Home Fixes Work Best In Selling?
I took the title of this show from an article I read in one of the local Philadelphia papers. It is written by a well-known real estate reporter, and after reading through it, I came up with my own list of easy repairs that will help a seller be ready to show their house in any market. If you are looking to sell, I ask you to listen in. You may be surprised how easy some of these fixes are.
Email Box Revisted (Vol. 6)
Once again, I dig deep into the email box to respond to letters that I feel will benefit all of my listeners. The topics of today's show include: insulation and high energy bills, inspection organizations, mold, and the compliance statement that is required for Pennsylvania home inspectors to utilize. Listen in, especially if you are getting ready to buy real estate.
Vince Tecce, President Of Tri-State ASHI: What It Means To Be An ASHI Inspector
( Vince has been a professional home inspector since 1987. He became a full member of the American Society of Home Inspectors in 1996. Today we spend time with Vince discussing the following topics: Why choose a home inspector who is a member of ASHI? Are all members of ASHI also members of the Tri-State ASHI chapter? What are some of the concerns you see popping up in the future with houses and construction? What percentage of home buyers are having their purchases inspected, and what about sellers doing pre-listing inspections? For all of my listeners, there is literally an "alphabet soup" available out there for the general public to choose from when hiring a home inspector, however, keep in mind that all are not compliant with the Pennsylvania Home Inspection Law. I ask that you listen in to this candid interview and make sure when you hire a home inspector, that they are the best that they can be.
Glenn Davis From Benchmark Lending
Phone: 609-922-9826Email: Glenn has been in the mortgage profession since 1998. He is currently the Branch Manager at Benchmark Lending in Lambertville, NJ. I have had several opportunities to talk to Glenn about important items including pre-approval for your mortgage when you are buying a home, regardless if it's your first home or your last home, and refinancing, especially now with the interest rates being as low as they are. Glenn has the knowledge and the know-how to walk you through the multiple steps that it takes to get a mortgage, but at the same time find the right program that will suit your needs.
Pearls of Wisdom From The House Whisperer
On this segment, I talk about various topics that I feel will help all people who are ready to buy and sell real estate. Some of the points include: getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, extending the contingency period for the home inspection as the spring market is extremely busy, why to buy and not rent, current mortgage rates, and location, location, location. Several other topics are also included. Listen in, and get prepared for the busy real estate market.
How To Communicate When Buying Real Estate
Today, we take it for granted that everyone either texts or emails. Being a professional home inspector for over 30 years, I have found that picking up the phone and actually talking to your realtor, your mortgage company, or your home inspector saves time and energy for both parties. Too many times, transactions have been lost while waiting for a response from an email or text from the real estate professional. Listen to today's segment, especially if you are buying real estate, so the transaction will flow smoothly from beginning to end.
Jack Answers Listener Emails
This segment is dedicated to the faithful listeners of The House Whisperer Show. Over the past weeks, I have received numerous questions from my listeners that I wanted to address. From the beginning, The House Whisperer Show has been dedicated to my listeners. This show will cover questions regarding common elements in everyone's home, including the use of central humidifiers, heat pumps, filter maintenance, properly operating your air conditioning system, termites in cold weather periods, and opinions about buying a home during the questionable government shutdown. I ask that you listen in and respond back to if there are any questions that you would like to put before me.
Appraisals: Everything You Need to Know
with Jim McKissick of McKissick Appraisals Spend time with Jim McKissick, a professional appraiser. The spring market is directly in front of us. If you listen to today's show, I know that you will find some excellent points on how you can be prepared to either list your house or get your house appraised. You can reach Jim McKissick of McKissick Appraisals at 215-579-4055.
What Buyers Expect When Purchasing a Home
This show pertains to all buyers, not just the nervous first-time buyer, but also to those who have been through the process a few times before. Believe it or not, they all want the same thing as to certain conditions and parameters that they need, not only from their realtors, but from all sellers of real estate. I ask that you listen in, especially with the spring market in front of us.
Communication: The Key to Successful Real Estate
Today, millennials make up 79% of the first time home buyer segment. This generation was raised with smart phones, texting, email, facebook, twitter, linkedIn, and probably a few more that I may not know about. All of these "social media outlets" are missing something that is critical, and that is your "voice". Real estate today happens so quickly that if you don't communicate directly with your realtor, your mortgage lender, or your home inspector, opportunities may be missed. This show covers the importance of person to person communication, from the mortgage lender to the professionals you hire after the agreement of sale is signed.
Where Do You Want To Live?
Besides choosing a house, the second most important decision that you can make is what neighborhood you want to live in. Work, transportation, social services, schools, churches, etc, all play a role as to where you might want to set down your roots. Listen to this segment before you make those final decisions.
Email Box Revisited Vol 3
For the third time in the series I revisit the email box. It gives my listeners an opportunity to ask questions with me about revelent topics that I feel affect everybody. The show's topics touch on aging water heaters during a real estate transaction, issues with icicles; why they are formed and how to correct it, home inspections conducted during winter weather where snow may cover the roof, walk-throughs where the initial inspections have been conducted, where the house was both vacant as well as winterized, tankless water heaters vs. standard water heaters, and why vermiculite should not be disturbed.
It is time to read the newspapers and review the staff writers positions and opinions
Although I may be old school, I like to sit down every night and read the newspaper. I typically find that the internet news or broadcast news on TV tends to be slandered and weak. First, I talk about various topics in regards to humidifiers. The second article touches on insulation and the return on investment for those homes that are well insulated vs. those that are not; especially when your house is being prepared for sale. The third article discusses natural gas prices which have risen for the winter of 2013 and gives my listeners an idea of future costs.
Differences in Home Inspection Laws Between PA and NJ
Even though we share a common river between us, the home inspection laws are completely different between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Home inspectors in New Jersey must be licensed, whereas those of us in Pennsylvania are "compliant". Next week, I will be discussing the Philadelphia Home Inspection Law. Only this county requires a license; no others throughout the state. If you are looking to purchase a home in either of these two states, I ask that you listen in, so that you can hire a qualified home inspector, regardless of where you purchase.
What are the Differences Between Inspecting an Inland House vs. a House at the Beach?
I reached back into the email box and grabbed this letter from Gwen, who is looking to purchase a home along one of the many shore points that are available on the New Jersey coast. The homes at the shore are actually way ahead structurally than the homes being built inland, because of weather conditions. Life expectancies are shorter for major components within the home at the beach because of salt air, sun, and wind. If you are thinking about buying a home at the beach, listen in and I may be able to help you with some good advice before you make that major purchase.
Pre-Listing Inspections: Are They Worth It?
As a professional home inspector, I find that more and more I am conducting pre-listing inspections for my clientele. As you are all aware, more than 95% of homes in the Delaware Valley are being inspected by your purchaser if you are planning on selling your home. I think it is well worth it to know the condition of your home before you put it up for sale, so that you are keenly aware of its current condition. This will allow you to determine if certain components of the home should be repaired, replaced, or credits offered to the buyer before you list the property. If you are planning on selling your home within the next six months, I know this show will be well worth listening to, so you can plan your future accordingly.
What's In The News For Spring 2015?
As you all know, I am an avid newspaper reader. It's one of the few news sources anymore where news writers are paid to create an accurate picture of what's going on around us. Today I chose to cover topics that apply to all of us, including propane safety, don't get nailed by a contractor, our great city of Philadelphia and how it's grown, reviewing rental costs in the city of Philadelphia, and the problem with Millennials buying real estate. Listen in, as we can all learn something from the latest news events.
The Hidden Costs of Home Ownership
After you go through all the trials and tribulations of buying a home and you have moved in, all of a sudden, small items that are required like blinds, homeowner's association fees, lawn care, as well as electrical updates, start to add up. Today's show covers many items that may cost some initial dollars up front, but in the long term, will save you money throughout the time in your home.
Cost vs. Benefits: What Should I Do First? (Part 2)
When putting last week's show together, there were so many other options that I wanted to share with the listener, that I created Part 2. This segment again covers some of the things you really wouldn't expect that give you a good return on your investment. Today's topics include: generators, bilco doors vs. foundation windows, kitchens and bathrooms (you would be surprised at your rate of return!) and roofing. These are all things that we can live with on a daily basis, but again, I urge you to listen in, because your hard earned dollars can go a long way if you plan accordingly.
Email Box Revisited: Volume 9
Once again, I delve deep down into the email box and pull out letters from my listeners about topics that I feel are relevant to everybody. Today's topics include the importance of getting an appraisal, as well as a pre-listing home inspection, before you put your house on the market, the clearing of trees and branches over your roof line (should it be done now or after the leaves fall?), installing a drybed for water treatment equipment, replacing your roof during the winter months, and finally, orphaned water heaters (what that means and how it can be relevant to not only your health, but the health of your home as well). Listen in, as the topics are great, and everyone can take an opportunity to learn a few more things about their house.

© Jack Milne