Inspecting Older Properties…

Michael Thornton, who is a well-respected home inspector from Nashville TN, wrote an awesome post regarding inspections of older homes!  It was SO good that I felt it needed to be sent out to my readers!

There are many resales in Wake Forest NC and I actually have run into some of the very problems that Michael points out in his piece.  He makes some very valid points regarding building codes – what is code today may dramatically change in just a year or so – read on…..

Via Michael Thornton – Nashville, TN area Home Inspector (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.):

Inspecting Older Properties ~ Decks… 

So you or your buyer are looking to purchase an older property. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that it was built to some sort of acceptable trade standards by competent tradesmen. Does the property conform to today’s building standards? Probably not. Building standards continually change and are subject to the interpretation of local building authorities.

A home inspector is a generalist, and should stay abreast of the building standards of the municipalities in which they practice their craft. Yesterday, I wrote an article about inspecting the steps on older properties. Today, I will address decks.

Today’s standards require a secure guardrail for any raised platform that is 30″ or more above grade. The current standard also requires that baluster or spindle spacing to be placed on 4″ centers for child safety.  So does this mean that this guardrail is unsafe? That depends. Do the clients have small children or animals that can be injured or will just adults be occupying the property.

Many home inspectors, in an effort to protect client’s interests, often let their opinions guide their words – not the facts. During property transactions, some States require safety issues, such as these, to be brought up to current standards. Some do not. Your home inspector needs to be aware of this and report factually and unbiasedly.  

While the guardrails on this deck do not meet today’s standards, they are secure and functioning as designed. This is the key phrase, “Functioning as Designed”. It is the inspector’s job to accurately report the findings and address the issues with the client in a calm professional manner during the inspection walk-through. These also need to be professionally addressed in the final written report.

© 2009 michael thornton | complete home inspections, inc. | brentwood, tn | 615.661.0297 |
Helping YOU help others live THEIR American Dream…


Happy New Year To and From Wake Forest NC!

    Wishing you every happiness and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being such a valued friend, customer and client!  I look forward to continuing our relationship in the coming year.  


   wake forest nc house chick

Leesa Finley, Realtor®


Circa Properties

919-649-6128 – direct and txt msg

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SmartBuy Program for Historic Homes for Sale!

I recently posted an article regarding Homes for Sale in Wake Forest NC and the surround area for Home Buyers wanting to use the SmartBuy Program through Freddie Mac

Here is a brief overview of the program:

  • 2 year HomeProtect Warranty
  • Up to 3.5% of Closing Costs PAID
  • HomeProtect Appliance Discount (Up to 30% savings on appliances)

What was NOT mentioned in the original post were the UNBELIEVABLE historic properties for sale in Louisburg NC!  Here are a few details:

  • Historic District
    • circa 1901
    • 6000 sq ft
    • 5 bedroom / 4 bath
    • .83 acre
    • $149,900
  • Historic District
    • circa 1897
    • 4323 sq ft
    • 4 bedroom / 4 bath
    • 1.88 acre
    • $209,900

These historic gems are amazing!  For more information regarding these homes or any historic home in the Wake Forest NC area please give me a call at 919.649.6128 or simply send me an email – I would be delighted to help!

Buying a Home with SmartBuy offered by FreddieMac! What’s So Special?

Wake Forest NC Homes For SaleHomeSteps is offering the “SmartBuy” program for Home Buyers and the time to take advantage is runniing out!

The SmartBuy Program offers:

  • 2 Year HomeProtect Warranty – click link for coverage
  • Up to 3.5% of Closing Costs Paid
  • HomeProtect Applicance Discount (up to 30% savings on appliances)

This Home Buying Program is still available!  Offers must be received prior to January 31, 2010 and the escrow must close by March 26, 2010. 

There are some incredible homes for sale in Wake Forest NC and the surrounding area!

  • Crenshaw subdivision

    • 2360 sq ft
    • 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath
    • 2 car garage
    • .56 acre
    • $249,900
  • Faringdon

    • 3400 sq ft
    • 4 bedroom / 4.5 bath
    • 2 car garage
    • 1 acre
    • $274,900
  • The Preserve at Smith Creek

    • 2647 sq ft
    • 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath
    • 2 car garage
    • 1 acre
    • $314,900
  • Green Acres

    • 2200 sq ft
    • 4 bedroom / 3 bath
    • 2 car garage
    • .93 acre
    • $169,900

The above homes all qualify for the SmartBuy program and are FANTASTIC homes!  If you would like more information regarding any of the homes please give me a call at 919.649.6128 or simply send me an email – I would be delighted to help!

Wake Forest NC Focus Groups – Can You Define Small Town Charm?

Wake Forest NC House ChickStarting in January 2010 the Town of Wake Forest NC will be forming small focus groups to discuss what exactly is meant by “small town charm” and “small town character”.  You hear so many residents and visitors refer to our town with those phrases that in an effort to truly learn what those terms mean the focus group idea was born. 

The groups will consist of no more than 20 participants and there are no “wrong answers”!  The Town of Wake Forest NC cares about what its residents think and want to do their very best to preserve the qualities that make Life in Wake Forest NC so meaningful, special and charming. 

These small focus groups will be held:

  • Date: January 13 and 14
  • Time: 10am, 3pm and 7pm
  • Where: Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N. White Street

If you would like more information regarding the focus groups and how to get registered to participate please call (919) 554-6100. 

Each meeting will also include a drawing for a free gift card!  So, come on!  What are you waiting for?  Here is your chance to have your voice heard and help maintain the culture of Wake Forest NC that we have all come to love!  

Guess What I Saw Today in Wake Forest NC? ROCK HOUNDS!

Hwy 98 Wake Forest NC Garnet HillSo, I was out and about today running some errands and found myself on Highway 98.  The little stretch that runs between Wake Forest NC and Durham NC with gorgeous view of Falls Lake along the way.

Low and behold I look to the right and there they were clinging to the rock face just mining away!


Who? The entire family out.  I had to turn around and go back.  The state has now posted NUMEROUS No Parking signs along the road now but, being the rebel that I am, pseudo-parked much to the dismay of the Mack truck that was behind me evidenced by his airbrakes!  SORRY! 

Anyhow, over 2 lanes of 60+ m.p.h traffic I was able to get a few shots and scream out a few questions…….

The family was finding HUGE garnets and plenty of them!  It was cold today but hey, if you are hanging on a rock face of a garnet vein over a busy highway do you really care what the temperature is?  Here is the family……NEXT time I will get out and go over – no could do today – family coming to visit…..

Garnet Hill Wake Forest NCGarnet Hill Wake Forest NC

Following is a post that I wrote way back in March 2008 all about Garnet Hill!  I think it is time to pull that post back out and polish it up – total pun intended!

What’s even cooler is that I received an email as a result of that post in September 2009 – so, if you ever think that your posts don’t have shelf life – THINK AGAIN!  Here is the email as well!






susan thompson
garnet hill
thanks for the site.
we went and had such a good time.
do you know how to correctly clean the slabs and the loose garnets?
thanks, susan

And here is the ORIGINAL POST…………….ENJOY!

Attention all Rock Hounds!!! Garnet Hill – Right Here in Wake Forest!

OK – Ya gotta admit – I give you some pretty good ideas for things to do in Wake Forest – well, hold on to your hats – here comes one of the most unusual and unique things to do in My Back Yard……

Just down the road off Hwy 98 there is an exposed vein of garnets.  FREE for the taking!  There are literally  billions of carats of this gorgeous purple/red semi-precious gem waiting to be found!  All you need is a hammer and chisel and you are good to go!  If you go after a heavy rain many of them can easily be worked out and most times they are virtually “free” due to the erosion caused by the rains.

To get to the site from US1 Raleigh (Capital Blvd.), drive north towards Wake Forestand exit right at the Highway 98 interchange, make a left at the bottom of the ramp (McDonald’s in the corner), and go exactly 1.9 miles, the cutface will be to your right.

To know WHERE to dig I suggest you read this highly informative piece written by H. Kent Craig.  He give tips on mining, which areas you can and CAN NOT go, what to look for and what to expect. 

Now, how’s THAT for an afternoon of adventure?

Always something happening in My Back Yard….


First Light Wake Forest NC – Schedule of Events – December 31, 2009

For those of you that missed the initial post, Wake Forest NC Rings in the New Year – First Light!!!, there is something simply spectacular about to happen in Wake Forest NC!  Check out the post and read up on First Light Wake Forest NC.

First Light Wake Forest NC

Here you can find the schedule of events as they are currently posted:

7:00 pm Event Start/Inflatables/Climbing Wall/Horseback Rides Begin

7:15 pm District Public Safety Pipe and Drums Perform – Main Stage

7:45 pm District Public Safety Pipe and Drums End

8:00 pm Sleeping Booty 1st Set – Main Stage

8:50 pm Sleeping Booty 1st Set Ends/Inflatables/Climbing Wall/Horseback Rides Close for 20 minutes

8:55 pm Children’s Countdown Spectacular Begins – Main Stage

9:00 pm Children’s Fireworks Display

9:15 pm Opening Ceremony

9:45 pm Sleeping Booty 2nd Set

10:45 pm Sleeping Booty 2nd Set Ends

10:45 pm DJ – Main Stage

11:15 pm Sleeping Booty 3rd Set

11:45 pm Inflatables/Climbing Wall Close

11:55 pm Final Countdown Spectacular Begins

12:00 pm New Year’s Fireworks Shoot

12:30 pm Clean-up Begins