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Basements and Big Tickets

A Basement – Not a Swimming Pool

Twenty-five years ago an inspector said to me, “Michael, basements are swimming pools you wantto keep water out of.”

When making a home purchase we make value judgments based on information to arrive at price. As part of the purchase process, a licensed home inspector should inspect the home. The condition of “big ticket” items may result in continued price negotiation – or walking away from the purchase.

In upcoming E-Note’s I’ll address some common myths about home inspections, but for now let’s note some of the items that can result in costly repairs. These can range from $1,000 – $25,000+. The goal is to either stay away from big ticket repairs or negotiate based on newfound information. Some of the items to pay close attention to:

1. Basement/Foundation

2. Roof

3. Exterior: tuck-pointing, paint condition, siding condition

4. Chimney

5. Furnace

6. Electric

7. Air conditioning.

If we are aware the roof, furnace or A.C. is 20 + years old – because of information available and which can be confirmed – we will account for that in the market analysis. Either way it is most important to get the opinion of an independent 3rd party – the licensed home inspector.

Below is an informative article on basement foundations. It may be more than you want to know. (Now you’ll know how I felt in Biology class.) As a homeowner or potential homeowner, you may want to pick bits and pieces for your enlightenment.


A successful home purchase involves objective information to arrive at value and objective information to determine the condition of the “big ticket” items and whether or not negotiations should continue.

Be sure to look for my upcoming E-Note on the myths about home inspections. It may be of help to you or someone you know.

Thanks for reading,
Michael D. Holloway

Homebuyer Associates
Michael D. Holloway / Seamus Holloway

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Homebuyer Associates
1835 N. Riverwalk Way
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Phone: 414-254-4129