Nov 28, 2022
John Leon Gonzalez is a Certified Professional Inspector® in Seattle, Washington that has been licensed as a realtor since 2007 both H.I. and WDIR (Pest). He is also certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors® (InterNACHI®) and today he comes to tell us everything about how to have a great inspection in Seattle, Washington.
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This is an automatic transcription (sorry for the typos in advance! 😅)
Laura Moreno:First Time Home Buyers Nation. I am Laura Moreno, and I am super excited to bring you our fantastic guest today. John Leon. Go. John Leon Go is a certified professional inspector in Seattle, Washington. He's also certified by the International Association of Inspectors InterNACHI, and today he comes to tell us everything about how, how to have a great inspection in Seattle when he's not working. He loves to be with his family and to trouble. John, are you ready to flow?
John Leon Gonzalez: Yes, I am. Laura, how are you? Good morning. Good afternoon. Over there in New York, .
Laura Moreno: So I've given a call community, just a little insight now.
Please share more about you personally and then expand upon your business.
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah. I, uh, I was born in California, just born there, 1956, and my parents, uh, moved up here 65 years ago. So before the end of 56 I was up here in, in, in, uh, in [00:01:00] Seattle. So I've pretty much been grown and raised over here in the Seattle area all over.
And, uh, it's, it's diversified. I love it, you know. Like one day I was a black, One day I was Italian. One day I was Chinese. So you had a, you had a Super bowl of all kinds of, all kinds of traditions and cultures and I love it.
Laura Moreno: So. Wow. And you tell me more about your professional life. You were telling me before, you were in insurance before and then you transition to home inspections.
Tell me more about what you've been working in your life and what do you like about being a home?
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah, I did. I did insurance for many years and, and I got tired of wearing a suit and a tie. Now I tell people I wear my zoo suit, which is my Tyvek with my hood when I get under a crawlspace. And, uh, I, I've been doing this going on 16 years now.
Uh, as a home inspector. I'm licensed as a home inspector, building inspector, uh, separate past inspector license cuz I also do VAs FHAs whenever they. What they call a W D I R report for W dos. Um, and uh, so I do a lot of it. I also do municipal inspections for the city of Seattle. Other municipalities are now doing that throughout the Puget Sound area here.
Uh, tequila eight years, Seattle eight years. Then we have, can we have, uh, Lakewood, Tacoma, uh, Renton, Bur. Uh, so we have all those, and I've been doing those for several years. Some of these just got on like three years ago with period. Lakewood. I was our first safety inspector out there. So I'm pretty busy and, and, and I love working, but I, I love to, uh, see when people are buying a house, they're buying a lot of, a lot of, uh, they have a lot of money invested in this.
So for me, giving. [00:03:00] Uh, everything that I can from, from the attic, the roof of the crawlspace, the appliances, you know, not so much the appliance, but the mechanical components like the electrical system, your HVAC system, your plumbing system. You wanna make sure those are working in. And, and, and a lot of times people usually don't go underneath their crawlspace, but I have to.
It is because of a lady that way. I got my license, I followed her, and I didn't really wanna get into a crawlspace, but because part of. Part of your business. So down there, you know, I see sometimes broken pipes, you know, uh, leaking pipes. I see, uh, 90% of the time I wanna see roads, you know, So that's not really a wdo.
Uh, but it can, uh, you wanna know if there's a lot of it down there. Either way, 90% of the time I might see that. So I'll let 'em know, Hey, you might wanna have some pest control remediation. So, uh, they don't get inside sometimes. You can't, uh, stop that [00:04:00] because there's Norwegian rats that go up through the ground up and, uh, then the world are hose like moles or whatever to get in there.
And sometimes it's a very nasty place. You know, you got sewage, you got open sewage, you got, uh, you have, uh, a lot of molds. It depends. Seattle's a very wet place, so it just depends. It could be a newer home, it could be an older home. So it just depends. Uh, where I'm at, you know, you can walk across the street and you might have three inches of, of water on the, on the ground.
In, in the house that I'm at might not have any, you know, so there's always moisture if you load there, cause water comes up, moisture comes up. So that's why you have the vapor barrier. And sometimes that's, that's missing. So, uh, either way, I love what I do because I, I, I, I not only bring out the problems, but accentuate the positive.
Cause people are usually looking at their, Because they, uh, they like it, you know, So I try not to be a, a deal killer, but sometimes [00:05:00] people will back up and they either, you know, gonna get, uh, some kind of a, uh, reduction and, and, and the price of the house, uh, or, or maybe these things are gonna be rectified, you know, or they back up altogether.
And usually that's not the case. They, they're looking at the house because they like, and every house you can, you can. Cure those problems, you know, rectifying them and making them, repairing them or whatever has to be done. So what I like about what I don't care about rain is being out there getting. Uh, right now I'm making my own fence, and that's not fun.
But what, when the rain comes, that's where you can find out if you got any problems, especially in the roof, in, in the attic. You know, you can't always tell from the outside. You know, you could tell if a roof is coming apart, your granules are falling off. You've got fiberglass are looking and some of 'em are missing.
You know, it's about time to get that replaced. Sometimes I see that from the, from the attic, you see a wet spot and that's the best time to see, uh, [00:06:00] moisture problems, or you'll see a. Uh, spot, uh, moisture has been there before, man. Maybe it's already been resolved, I don't know. But the best time looking, uh, looking inside an attic is when it's raining, cuz you can actually see, uh, you can see, uh, the problems there.
Laura Moreno: So not every house. So if you, if your home inspection that day is raining, it's not like, Oh no, it's raining. Why? It's like, Oh no. Yes. Now I'm going to able to find out everything in. .
John Leon Gonzalez: Exactly. The only, the only problem is you gotta be careful cuz some of these newer houses, they're, they're 20 feet up, you know, 17 feet up and, and you gotta be very careful.
Uh, I'm crazy. I still get up on these roofs, you know, and, and it, and if they're too slippery, which you don't wanna really climb on, you know, I have a, I have a camera pole that goes up 24 feet and I'm able to look down my Samsung, Samsung watch and take the photos from there, and the rest, you know, have an idea how old the house is.
When's the last time that roof was done? If it's getting to the end of its life expectancy, that'll be on the [00:07:00] report, you know? But, um, yeah. And then the other things are the mechanical items, like the hvac, you know, I, I I take out, off that cover on, on your furnace, whether it's a gas furnace, uh, electro furnace.
Uh, gas furnaces are more, uh, are more, uh, of a situation where you have to do a service maintenance every two years and usually, I'll see a tag on there by a professional that's either on there or it's not, or it's past the two years and it's time to get that, uh, service maintenance again cuz of, uh, safety habits, you know, uh, gas leaks or whatever.
And I'm also looking for that cause I got my gas analyzer and all that. Uh, looking at the, the heat exchangers and making sure that, uh, it's running improperly, you know. So, uh, I turn on all these systems and then we come down to the plumbing. Again, you know, we're looking at the hot water tank and hot water tanks.
The warranties are [00:08:00] usually five years. Ge I see. Does 15 years, you know, anything after that, you might think about having that replaced because, uh, uh, some of 'em can go out the last minute and, uh, uh, usually I look at the warranty on them. Usually they're from 5, 6, 7, up to 12 years. Reams and the other ones, and GE again has a 15 year one, but they get way past that.
It might be trying to change 'em, and I've seen some of that last 40 years, but that's not, you know, that's not the rule of thumb. You call 'em out if, if they're expired already. As far as the warranties, uh, you don't want. So
Laura Moreno: John, um, talking about Seattle specifically, which type of homes do you see there?
And as a first time home buyer in Seattle, When they go to a home, what they really need to pay attention to, because obviously the weather and everywhere in the country's very different. The types of homes are very different. Like what a buyer from first time home buyer from Seattle should pay special attention to in a [00:09:00] house or in
John Leon Gonzalez: their apartment.
The exterior, remember I said it rains a lot here in and I love it, and, and, and a lot of times, uh, they're building too fast or, or something, you know? And there's a. That, Uh, and I've seen that developments where 20, 30 houses were built the same time, but some of 'em are missing the flashing. And I learned from a lot of my, my, my, my professional people that do a lot of, uh, homes and their specialists in either roofing.
uh, electrical or whatever. So I learned a little bit of that over the years. Um, building material. Well, I went to school for this about, you know, 40 years ago, the U Dub, Structural Engineering. You know, I didn't graduate. I was a professional student for six or seven years, but, uh, I love what I did, you know, architectural structure for drafting.
Uh, what I see with the new, with the new, uh, materials that come. Uh, the last 45 years maybe, uh, you [00:10:00] have what they call stranded wood, which is wood. Uh, that's not totally whole wood like you find in the older homes. This new wood is, is stranded wood hardy board, uh, osb, uh, that kind of wood. Uh, if you get, if it gets wet, it's a big problem because then that over time starts breaking up.
And this is mostly 90% of all the houses that. Uh, are, are done with this, uh, new, uh, uh, what they call a, uh, what is that? Wood? Anyway, I do this all day long. I forgot what the name is. Uh, Engineering wood. Uh, but that's a problem where it's wet. And, and in Texas, maybe Florida, the south where it doesn't rain as much as here, that might not be a problem.
But here in Seattle you gotta be very careful. So you're looking for openings, uh, missing. Barriers, you know, missing, flashing, uh, all those things could be a big problem if the sign is hitting the ground. It [00:11:00] acts like a sponge when the water comes down. And in time I've been at houses, uh, where you can put, literally put your hand right through the outside of the band, Jos in the back of the yard, and it goes all the way through the crawlspace.
You know, here we have a lot of crawlspace where the house is built up and it sits on a foundation, uh, but you got a crawlspace below. And, and, and that sometimes if it's, if it the drainage is, is not proper or whatever, it could be a problem, especially for newer homes. Is
Laura Moreno: it because it's, um, it's raining a lot and this is why they have like those crawl spaces, like just to avoid the humidity.
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah. But that's where all your mechanical stuff is underneath the structure, you know, and I've been in San Antonio recently and all over there, the majority of houses. In Northwest, I told you anyway. They sit on rock, it's all slab, which is nice. You don't have a crawlspace, sahu, um, you don't have a crawlspace.
But, but here where it ranged, it just depends on where you're at. [00:12:00] I've seen houses that are a hundred years old and the house that I show was my uncles on my website. Uh, that house is built in 1905. When I did, that was my first inspection by the way. Boy, it was just beautiful. Still had not been too wiring, which.
there wasn't a problem with that, you know, But I too, sometimes it's, it's a problem if, if you don't have, uh, grounded, uh, circuits, especially in, in, in their kitchen bathroom areas, you want those GFCs there, new construction, you want it pretty much all over the place. Um, but the, the, the problems that I see with, with, uh, the rain is, is exactly what what I mentioned is if the clash is not right and you gotta open cracks, The rains that, the rain that the water's gonna get through and you're gonna have moisture problems.
Laura Moreno: Um, Got it. So what happens? Uh, tell me more about, um, your association. Interna, chy, I think. Is it interna or internationally? It's
John Leon Gonzalez: chy. I've been with Chy, I think, God, [00:13:00] I wanna say maybe 10, 12 years past. But I've also was with the other ones. Ash, she is a, a big one out there. Uh, and there was. One that's, um, um, Aii, uh, the, the problem there is Inchi, why go all over the place, but Inchy, they do everything.
I got specified as commercial, but I was doing commercial, small commercial stuff before, uh, I found out about Nazi having a, a commercial. Side of it. And, and I love it. So I did my schooling there and, and I gotta get more, uh, profound in my, my commercial stuff. The bigger buildings that I do, sometimes there are strip malls, you know, with big circuits, you know, and I bring some of my, my, uh, electrician buddy friends or whatever, so I know what I'm talking about.
Uh, and I learn as, as I go through the years, you know, I don't know any inspector that says he knows at all. Uh, but, uh, I can tell you this, I learn all. [00:14:00] New things, which is a blessing.
Laura Moreno: Uh, so, um, I know, I know, sorry to interrupt you, but I know like international is very powerful for first time home buyers and they offer some kind of like warranties because.
Uh, the last thing you want is a, first I'm home buyer is to buy something. And then soon after something happens and, and you know, the roof is broken and someone didn't catch something, and then you end up with a, with house. That is not completely what you thought it was going to be. So, uh, can you tell us more about what they offer and what are the things that you can offer because you belong to that association that other people
John Leon Gonzalez: can't?
Yeah, I, I was using that, but there wasn't a big response for that for me, myself. Uh, but I love . Uh, what I do use is, is, uh, and they work I think in association with another one. I, when I do a home inspection where somebody's buying or they're selling, cuz I do both half and half. Um, there's a hundred day warranty and I, some inspectors think [00:15:00] that's, that's not real stuff, but for me it works.
Uh, I have the, the service warranty on there. It covers 'em for a hundred days. Like insurance. I mainly do it, uh, so I don't get, uh, abused by the buyer or the seller later on. John, you didn't tell me there was a leak or you can't see everything. This warranty actually covers a roof leak, so. Hm. They're gonna go out there and, and without any deductible or whatever, they're gonna fix that re they're gonna repair that part of the roof.
They're not gonna replace the whole roof. But still an awesome program. Not only that covers all your appliances, it covers all your, uh, components, plumbing, hvac, electrical, or whatever. So, and it is, it is been used a few times and people are happy with it. So I like to say I have happy costume. Uh, because, and then you're gonna get a call from, from, from the, [00:16:00] from the warranty company because they're, they might wanna upsell more or whatever, and it's up to the buyer at that point.
But I'm covering you for a hundred days. and, and, and that makes me feel good. And it gives peace of mind to the, uh, buyer or the seller. So,
Laura Moreno: because of course you only have like a couple of hours, two, three hours to see a house. Like obviously it is a very, it's a very tough job. The job of the home inspector.
You need to analyze a whole body, a whole home in like two, three hours. , you know, and give your a report. And I don't think it's enough time, uh, to, to analyze everything. So you are always a little bit of at risk,
John Leon Gonzalez: right? That's right. That's right. And, and, and I've been up against those things, you know, where, uh, you know that you got so much time, you know, you gotta get out there in two hours.
You try to do the best you can. And, and some things I just put on a report, I couldn't observe it, you know, I furniture or, or some big shelf loaded with items is still blocking the electric. Right. I have to let 'em know on the report I wasn't [00:17:00] able to inspect the, the panel. The problematic ones that I'm looking at usually are, are ZinCo, Federal Pacific.
They're older. Uh, they're older, uh, panels and, and they have, uh, they have uh, tendency to go back. Circuits, find work. They might have aluminum wiring. It was a problem when I did insurance. Insurance, didn't want to really touch that. So you have to go to a high risk place cause the probability. Possibly having a fire or something not working is, is a serious matter.
So, um, but uh, yeah, so I love my business. I love to do it. So I'm also now a, uh, an FHA 2 0 3 K certified consultant for Washington. What is, So that's when, uh, a person's getting a loan and, and, and they need to, instead of having two separate loans, you buy the house and then you want to get another. Uh, for, uh, renovating the house, uh, [00:18:00] the 2 0 3 consultant is there to do it all.
The Aha. A hud, it's a FHA HUD program. It's there to, uh, uh, it's there to, uh, make it all in one in one loan, so a lower payment. So you gotta qualify for this. The house has to be, several things have to be. For you to be, but
Laura Moreno: you are a, you're a home inspector. But were you saying, if I'm an FHA buyer and I'm looking to buy something that needs some work, uh, but it's an FHA loan, then I will get in touch with you and you will tell me what to do.
Is that what it,
John Leon Gonzalez: what it is that usually you wanna find a lender though? That, that's, uh, that's, uh, FHA 2 0 3 K, uh, I think they have to be certified too, or work the programs. Then they call out people like me, uh, as a consultant to go out there and they get the loan. Then I have to go out there several times to do, do estimates maybe, and [00:19:00] to follow up on the work progress, you know, maybe two, three times, you know, Uh, and then the contractor gets his money, uh, a third or whatever the process is, you know, so they can go on to refinish, renovate the project.
So it's got it. But I just got that certification just like a few months ago from another nice source out there. And there were, she was in New York, but she's in Florida now, and I can't think of the name right now. I got so many things happening.
Laura Moreno: But anyway, . Um, a quick, quick question on that, like, um, if you, if you could help us even farther, so for example, what is your biggest piece of the advice you can give to a person trying to buy their first home in Seattle?
John Leon Gonzalez: The biggest advice is just, uh, make sure you, you've got, uh, you got the house that you really want and, uh, whether it's a fixer upper, you're gonna know you're gonna have to do these [00:20:00] items. You don't have to be fixed. But I can tell you right now, there's some people that waive those inspectors. I never recommend that.
Hmm. Um, because, you know, I can come up with, from. It's barely any time that I don't see any problems, whether it's a small problem either way, I'm gonna put it on a sum, you know, Uh, what I find is things that have to be fixed, you know, uh, things that are missing. New houses. Sometimes I'll do those. The builders are working so fast that they finish the house, but you got your, your, you got vents missing in the bathroom and you don't want that stuff to go, especially on your new building material.
Into the attic area, cuz that starts, uh, being a big mess from mold to staining and it's just not going anywhere. It should be going outside. Uh,
Laura Moreno: so you recommended done some inspections both, uh, in new builds and also in like resale both of them. Yeah.
John Leon Gonzalez: Yep. And, and I got one coming up here, uh, which [00:21:00] the first day warranties, you know, uh, uh, homes here have, usually the new homes, they have a.
A one, uh, one year warranty that you can reinspect and follow up to make sure it's still working. You know, cuz sometimes you'll have, uh, you'll have the seating, the, the, the, the drywall screws are coming off, you know, I forgot the term. I've been doing this for so long, I forget the term. And, uh, you, you go in the attic and, and it was never inspected the first time and you, maybe it was, but you'll see missing vents there, you know, that needed to be done.
Properly, you know, it could be a lot of different things. So, uh, I do those also what they call one year warranties on, on, on a new construction, cuz you got on, on construction here. I think there's a, there's a, it used to be seven years, but I think you got a 10 year warranty on the structure itself in Washington state.
Laura Moreno: That's good. That's good. How, what have you seen are the craziest, um, inspections ever? [00:22:00] Like, without any, any, uh, nastiest stuff? .
John Leon Gonzalez: Oh, the craziest inspections, I, I could tell you right now are the ones where, uh, I turn around and, and a crawlspace and I, and I, Whoa, what the heck is that? And there's a, what used to be a cat, it's a skeleton, you know, It's, it's a, it's.
It's a, it's akel skeleton of a, it was a female cat cause the color's pink or whatever. So I, I asked the neighbors out there, Hey, is anybody missing a cat? Yeah. The owner or the neighbor across the street was missing a cat two years ago. And I said, Well, if the crawl space is open, sometimes they're working down there and the cat will sneak in and they'll stay there.
So, but I've seen all kinds of stuff, you know, I've seen, I've seen houses where. Where the, the, the, the garage is shifting downward. It's, it, it's, it's, uh, it's go, it's, what do you call that word? It's . It's, it is going down, sinking. Oh, no. And [00:23:00] I'll, and I'll get that, and it's separating from the house while I get under there and, and, and, and everything is broken up.
So it's a, it's a serious problem. And there's a hill in back of it. Hills are usually not good if you have, And so it was part of that. But what I found out from the city of Des Moines is there was an, actually, an underground creek that was running there. So at that time, at that point, it's, it's, uh, you can't build on it.
You have to wow, have certain things, big time, uh, engineering done to that if you're gonna build a house. So it gets condemn.
Laura Moreno: And John, what have you seen are the biggest, uh, items that you need to fix in a house? So if someone tells us, you know, this is what we need to fix, like, what are the red. The alert items that you need to fix?
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah. Well, it, it could be anything. I mean, like, again, it could be, uh, from an appliance not working, uh, end of expectancy on the, on, on, on the water tank, but the bigger items could be, the whole roof [00:24:00] is, it's at the end of his life right now. It needs to be, it needs to be, uh, re-roofed, uh, structural problems.
Sometimes I'll see that, you know, Where you have, uh, water damage and, and it's tearing up the siding or whatever. So everything could be, there could be different things. Sometimes I have a combination of all these things happening on a fixer op, you know, And, and the people know that they're buying, cuz I do in specials for investors too.
And, uh, they know what they, they have an idea how much money they have to spend on this, uh, but they wanna know how much it's gonna cost, how much they need to put out, if they're gonna. So, but it could be a number of items. It could be something as simple as an appliance going out, you know, not working the gas, you know, stoves, the gas furnaces, you know, uh, fireplaces, uh uh, it could be a whole, selling is the word I was thinking about a minute ago, but sometimes I see settle.[00:25:00]
Severe and the ground's breaking up, you know, uh, that needs, uh, that needs to be called a foundation specialist. And I have names for all those, uh, people that I use, that I, that I, that I send out to tell the buyer to get three, these three quotes, you know, three uh, quotes. So they don't just sell on one name that I give them.
Uh, and I do that if, if some of those things are needed so they, they can get the, the best possible price.
Laura Moreno: So that's really great. That's like going above and beyond because usually would, you would just like, um, say you need, you need an structural engineer and go and figure to the buyer, but on, on top of that, you're like, No, let me, I have some people, let me get in touch with them and give you some quotes.
That's actually really, really nice.
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah. And structural engineers, architects, you know, I use 'em both. Foundation specialists, they knew their stuff, you know, con. A lot of 'em know their stuff, so it doesn't have to be necessarily a structural engineer, but I'll use them also. And there's [00:26:00] been some people that I've done some houses with that I've been with another geologist thought there wasn't, this was on Merc Island, thought that there was not a, a crawlspace in the house.
I said, There must be cuz I see the heater ducts right there. Or the, the heater, uh, the registers right there for the heat, so it's gotta. Uh, crawl space zone. Uh, but this house had a bigger problem. It was right at the end of a green on top of Mercer Island, uh, which is a nice little community. Uh, and it was actually the, if I remember right, it was separating the, it was by like an inch horizontally, and that's a big problem.
So, uh, because of the ravine, I think what. Was the big deck that was outside with big, in this case, they're not just columns or poses or kons, you know, big that go in the ground, maybe, I don't know, 20, 30 feet. So, um, [00:27:00] those that needed to be rectified and, well, the geologists didn't think there was a crawlspace, but I found there was, and, and I could see the problem a lot was not only the, the house was at a, at, at a little bit of a hill, but behind it, the ravine was all.
And it was pretty scary. And I thought, Wow. But it was there for 55 years. I think it's still there. The man that bought it, you know, realized there was gonna be $40,000 of work having to be done there. So, but what, what I saw in the crawlspace was big roots of trees that were cracking a lot of the foundation areas.
So I put that on the report just so he gets a, a good idea of what's happening with the s. So, yeah, you hear about structures falling off or cliffs or whatever and, and you know, I love to have a house on a, a cliff, but not in Seattle, you know, unless it's concrete or, or slab. I wouldn't mind that. But, uh, you wanna be careful where your house is [00:28:00] and, and, uh, but with engineering, the, the nice things about engineering is all that can be rectified too.
So, yeah. So it just depends on where you.
Where are you?
Laura Moreno: Yeah, no, sorry about that. Um, that's okay. So the last question they had was, as a first I home bi as, um, first I home buyer. What have you seen are the top mistakes that they make and how can they fix them?
John Leon Gonzalez: Hello,
Let's, [00:29:00] All right,
Laura Moreno: don't you, us sofa, help me nopa. Don't me.
John Leon Gonzalez: I'm here. Hi,
Laura Moreno: I, Oh, I, What's going on? Yes. Okay. I can hear you now. Can you hear me? Yes. Oh, it was frozen for a second. I don't know what happened now. I was trying to talk and then it was frozen, but we good because we had a, I can edit this out, so don't worry. . So I would say John, um, what have you seen are the top mistakes that first time home buyers make and how can they fix them?
John Leon Gonzalez: Uh, when, when I see a house, sometimes I see a house that's been maybe done different times at different intervals. Like a 50 year old house maybe had three or four different owners, and I'll see an addition here of a bedroom, a garage van converted into a, [00:30:00] uh, a living area. , but the permits are not there.
So at that point then I, I, I put on a report, if it looks really bad, I'll put on a report, Hey, this should be looked at by a further, uh, specialized professional, like an electrician. If, if there's no, uh, extra circuit there, uh, if they're using that, it is a bedroom or whatever. Uh, it just depends. So, uh, and then I see people doing, Different additions throughout the house and they're sitting on, on, on blocks, you know, and it looks like a porch.
It's a bedroom, but it's sitting on concrete pyramid posts or, or, or pyramid blocks that are usually for decks. That's too much weight for a, for a bigger structure. So I know they didn't get a permit there. Uh, but I call all these problems out as I see [00:31:00] 'em, uh, cuz you wanna make. You're buying a house in its best, in its best quality possible because, and if it's not, I'm still gonna report on it and do the best I can to, to make sure that it's, it's known person's gonna buy this house knowing that those, those, uh, things are, are happening and they're gonna be able to fix 'em later on or at the time or before.
Uh, but, uh, there are things that I'm looking for that are problematic areas of.
Laura Moreno: Does it happen a lot with, uh, no permits? Like people doing works without the
John Leon Gonzalez: permits? No, It, it does, it doesn't, and sometimes it's so professional that, you know, there's probably professionals that did it, you know, but I, I see 'em from time to day.
I'm not, not looking for permits, you know, but if it looks nasty, it's homegrown. Like it's, its, it's somebody that, uh, I've seen good quality handyman do good jobs, uh, and they'll do it with permits or without permits, and I see the bad stuff. , [00:32:00] literally the homeowner that didn't have, shouldn't have been there doing any kind of modification or remodeling.
So it just depends. Oh,
Laura Moreno: quick question for you. So, um, how was your first time home buying experience? I mean, when you bought your first home, did you have a home inspector? Were you nervous? I mean, how was that process for you? Yes, .
John Leon Gonzalez: Yeah, I could tell you right now, I bought the house that I'm at, right. I took care of mom.
It was a duplex. I made it to one house after she passed, but, uh, the inspector probably paid, I understand he's still around, but, uh, this is 26, 27 years ago. He probably spent no more than 30 minutes here. And I didn't realize, cause I was busy working my insurance company. There was a lot of problems with this house.
And, uh, I didn't know at one time I had a septic tank. Uh, and. It's still there, but it was never decommissioned, but I fixed that. Um, [00:33:00] the other thing is, uh, the flashing, what I told you about, uh, the flashing, I didn't pay attention. And all these coop, all this caulking on the window, it's an older, this is an older home, structurally a sound, but it had single paint windows and water was actually going through, uh, of a pipe that actually existed at one time.
And it did a lot of, So my brother being a contractor, I had, I had him do the, uh, front wall, the south wall, redo it, and brand, it's brand new. But that was the inspector's problem. That first inspector that took a look at my house. And, and that's why I like to say that I do my job good. I'm not flying by this house just to make the real estate agent happy.
The loan processor or, or the buyer, you know, will regret it later on and I'll regret it. Uh, John, you told me this was okay. You know, so I do my due diligence when it comes to the inspection. So, uh, [00:34:00] yeah, uh, this, this inspector that did my house, I don't know who he is and I don't care to know because he didn't do the right job.
And I'm not trying to be pompous. I just like to do my job as well as I know it.
Laura Moreno: Wow. No, that's, that makes a lot of sense and it's such a shame. I mean, maybe because of that you became a home inspector maybe cuz of that you're like, Exactly. I need to fix.
John Leon Gonzalez: Yep. Yep, yep. Well, a little bit of construction that I have, but a lot of the schooling that I had and then didn't doing insurance, I was working kind of home writing, uh, what do you call that?
Um, uh, doing my own underwriting in a house before they were going to the, to the company because I wanted to make sure the roof, I was gonna get a claim. The loss ratios go against you, and I was pretty good at that. When I sold my book of business, uh, of course the last house when I was selling my book of business burnt down.
It was a rental. And, and I look for this when I do a home inspection. The house, uh, that burnt down was a rental. And, and, [00:35:00] and the dryer bank got full of glint, if you know, Oh. Then boy Scouts used to start a five and it got, they were out of the house and the whole, the whole house burned down because the,
Laura Moreno: because of the dryer.
John Leon Gonzalez: the lin. The lin, the vent was, It was kink or something, but the link collected in there was total loss. So I make sure I look at that. Also, when I'm looking at your dryers, that the, the, uh, that the vents are nice and open, you know, that you don't have any kinks where you can clog up and you have that disaster happen.
You know, I mean, that measures here. With those little things, little hiders,
Laura Moreno: The lin, I mean, is so small. I mean, it doesn't do, it's going to do any damage. You know, when they tell you, take it off the every time, take it off the dryer and I never do it. I'm going to start doing
John Leon Gonzalez: it now. Yeah. Don't know.
Estimate, estimate of people. They don't, They don't know about it but you, I'll let you know right now, you don't want that stuff clogging your, uh, Your, uh, uh, fence [00:36:00] because that's a fire hazard to be happy.
Laura Moreno: Wow. You always learn something new. I tell you. Well, John, you share with us amazing information today.
What can we do for
John Leon Gonzalez: you? Well, if, if you ever need a pre inspection or an inspection, let me know. I'm available. You know, every day is a different day and, and, and my inspections are from one day to the. Right now is a little slow the last couple of weeks, which is nice cuz I'm building a fence outta. At my house and it's taken me this time.
I did a fence 20 years ago, a picket fence, and I had to tear it down cuz I got Siberian Husky. Now that, to jump over that this time I'm making it more of a tres so it doesn't go too . So ,
Laura Moreno: is it, is it a little bit slower because of the market? Is there less people buying homes today? Yeah. Seattle.
John Leon Gonzalez: The market.
But you know what, Yeah, it's because of the market in general. That's all over the states. But, uh, I'm always optimistic and it's gonna get better and it will, cuz I've been through this, you know, 20 years ago the rates were high [00:37:00] as far as home buying, it was 15, 18%. You know, I remember that. Of course, that's, that's, uh, the same thing we're having right now.
So, but I'm optimistic that things are gonna get better, so I have no problem. I keep busy with all the other inspections or the safety inspections of the all inspections. They're constant for me. So, and, and again, the va, uh, W D I R inspections that I need to do from time to time.
Laura Moreno: That's really cool. Well, how can we, how can we get in touch with you, with you, John?
John Leon Gonzalez: number? Email, Well, going directly, I, I, if you're out of, if you're out of the state and coming in, I got a toll free number two. That's 8 6 6 24 7 365. Anyway, that's, that's the toll free number. My other number, uh, my cell phone option number is (206) 999-1234. You also see it on my website, uh, and you can text me there also.
Um, my [00:38:00] website is www dot home and inspectors, uh, and then my email. How Hi, at home inspect Ws. I also speak Spanish, so have my client tell, has a lot of it's Spanish speaking, so
Laura Moreno: I
John Leon Gonzalez: like that , somebody that can speak Spanish and relate these problematic. I also accentuate positive in a house, so it's again, uh, people are looking at that house because they.
And usually it's very little that a house, they walk away because it's in terrible shape or whatever. They know they're gonna have to do modifications or whatever. But yeah, I love my business and, and it's great. So. Well,
Laura Moreno: thank you so, so, so much for coming to the first time home by podcast. We really appreciate it.
John Leon Gonzalez: You got it. Thank you very much and you have a great weekend.