Monday, August 31, 2020

Plumbing is another common item that needs to be maintained

Plumbing is another common item that needs to be maintained.  The most common areas of concern which are checked during a home inspection are the angle stop valves which control the flow of water from the wall to the faucets.  They often corrode and become a potential leaking point or do not work to turn off the water in a more urgent situation. 

The other big one is definitely the drains.  In older homes the cast iron sewer lines are generally a concern but there are also many items that can create issues before anything reaches the main sewer line.  The small leak under the kitchen sink can damage cabinets, walls and more.  Most of these valve and drain issues under the sinks like loose drains, improper sloping, or leaks can be corrected as well for around $100 per sink.  This is also roughly the cost to have a problematic sink drain snaked.

Water heaters are another plumbing related issue that commonly shows up on the home inspection report.  This can be things like proper strapping and blocking or flexible water and gas lines allowing for movement during a seismic type event.  In California area most water heaters are gas powered and recommendations tied to the flue and venting are commonly exposed as on a water heater inspection.  The strapping can be a relatively easy low cost fix if there is good access to the unit.  When the unit is set back in a closet or similar cubby it may need to be un-installed to add the proper strapping. This make this repair a similar amount of labor as installing a new heater so it can range between $400 and $500.

Make sure to follow our us to stay up to date with the platform as well as continuing to learn more about home repairs that are often needed to close real estate transactions. If you need a quote, just visit! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

The most common items flagged in a home inspection report and the costs to repair, Volume 1


So what are the most common items that inspectors flag in their reports AND more importantly what do those repairs cost?  This is a question that comes up on just about every home purchase but it's not a question that is easy to answer, at least not until now.


In short its electrical, plumbing and a handful of common roofing issues.  Most of the items we see you can put into a few buckets, DIY that maybe should have been done by a professional, deferred maintenance or problems created by not fixing something when it first became an issue and lastly a lot of safety items that may have been fine at the time of construction but recommend changes get suggested for safety improvements.

Let's break it down a little more however. Electrical is often junction boxes that are mis-wired, loose, have broken covers, or are not properly working. All of which are relatively simple fixes and generally competed for around $50-75 or less for each one. 

Another common item in the electrical section of a report is tied to the GFCIs in a home.  If the home is older it may not have GFCI is places within 6 feet water.  In even older homes they may not have the ground wire at all this the older outlets you see with 2 prongs versus the more modern 3 prong receptacles.  The cost to just install a GFCI switch can be completed for less than $75 however running all new electrical can run anywhere between $8000 and $15000 depending on the size of the property.

We also see a lot of situations where the homeowner has used an extension cord where running a new line would be more appropriate.  These is often found in garages or on the exterior for one reason or another.  The fix really depends on the complexity and whether or not a new line can be run from an existing receptacle or if new line needs to be run from the main electrical panel.  These variables can make the cost of this as low as $250 and its commonly between $250 and $350.

Lastly, I recommend checking all the lights in your home and replacing any burnt out bulbs prior to listing but certainly before the inspection, even the hard to reach ones on that vaulted ceiling.  If we don't know that it works, it will likely be called out on the report and can be one less thing to deal with during the transaction.

Make sure to follow our us to stay up to date with the platform as well as continuing to learn more about home repairs that are often needed to close real estate transactions. If you need a quote, just visit!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

How the Idea for TheQwikFix was born

Like so many other startups TheQwikFix was born while I was trying to deal with my own problems selling real estate that we had rehabbed.  For over 15 years I have been rehabbing homes, starting with an out of date 1980s condo which I lived in at the time to more recently having built a system to routinely find great deals, acquire them and systematically rehab and sell them for a profit.  This is purely a side hustle business that I have worked hard to create systems for so that it does not take a significant amount of my time from day to day while I focus on my corporate career with with a cyber security software startup.  

One of the issues we would deal with was finishing one property and moving the crews to the next project which was also keeping them busy.  After the previous property went under contract the home inspector would always find something that the buyers would want fixed from the report. Generally we would agree since we had a network of contractors but wait, they were already busy on the next house.  We were now struggling to find guys to do a handful of generally small quick fixes.  We also didn't have a good system to document this repairs to show the buyer.  

For us that was a challenge because eventually one of our contractors who had missed something would go back and correct for no cost to us but that left me with no proof the repairs were completed by a licensed contractor and that I had paid them which is generally what the buyers want to see.  After one transaction that was particularly difficult I asked my agent if dealing with Repair Requests was a common issue?  I asked if there was a company that could make that problem go away for real estate agents would he use them?  The answer was "I have 4 or 5 deals I would give you today if you built that!" 

We did a little more investigation and could not find any company in California that may have solved this problem so we immediately saw an opportunity.  As we continued our search we found companies that were using national databases to create quotes for repairs but none of the work could actually be completed by them.  We found a few construction companies that you could email the list to in a few states but nothing like the technology we have already built and for sure nothing like we are envisioning for the future. 

Our belief is that we can streamline and bring transparency to this process with our technology. This includes way more than just a quote for each item on the Repair Request too.  There are also challenges to be solved with licensed contractors.  The systems we are building not only provide accurate actionable quotes and work orders for our clients and contractors but systems for scheduling, proof of services and much more.  The fact that we can also take our payment from escrow out of the proceeds of the sale are also a nice bonus for everyone involved in the transaction.  This truly aligns everyones incentives to get the deal done which includes handling the Repair Request with quality systems.  Of course if you are the buyer we can schedule to complete the work generally right after you take ownership and receive payment with a variety of options. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Introducing "Me" the Founder of TheQwikFix


Let me start TheQwikFix blog by introducing myself and providing some background which I believe is really important to our complete story and how TheQwikFix came into existence.  My name is Jeremy Henley and I grew up on a small farm basically in the middle of nowhere on the Eastern side of Washington State.  My parents raised me to work hard and gave me the confidence to believe that anything was possible.  I grew up working on the farm at a young age, playing sports and riding bikes with my neighborhood buddies.  In the summertime it was like a scene from the movie Sandlot both at the pool and on the baseball field. When it was starting to get dark that meant it was time to head home for dinner.  We didn't have a lot but I had no idea that I was missing anything.  Although I would not want to live there now, I would not trade growing up there for anything.  

After graduating with a degree in Marketing from Washington State University I moved to San Francisco which was nearing the at height of the dot com boom and eventual bust.  I took a job selling industrial uniforms basically door to door and cold calling for hours every single week to get new business.  It was hard but I was successful and relentless with my efforts to advance.  I was always aware that something special was happening in the Silicon Valley and kept a close eye on the news of who and what was happening, like someday I would make a transition and be apart of the tech industry there one day.  

After proving I was able to sell and lead I was promoted a few times to different management roles and continued to excel. A few years later I was ready to move to something more interesting and began selling medical equipment in the operating room.  These were long days of standing in the OR showing doctors how best to use the tools we offered. It was a very exciting and stressful role but I found myself learning more about medicine day in and day out than expanding my business skills so I decided to take a risk and left behind a multi-billion dollar company with great benefits and stock ownership plans where I was climbing the corporate ladder so to speak and began working for a small software company that was an early player in the identity theft protection space.  This was 2009, before anyone really knew or understood what a data breach was, like the ones that hit HomeDepot, Neiman Marcus and the US Government.  

This was my first experience working for a small company, other than my farming days of course.  I loved that I was able to have an impact from day one.  I loved that I was involved in the decisions that drove the company forward and really loved closing deals that powered this organization especially when I saw it actually creating work for new employees and new vendors to support us.  Plus we were taking on the big companies and still winning just like every startup dreams of doing.  I was largely responsible for blazing the trails and closing many of the largest accounts for this company and in the industry.  

During this time we relocated to sunny San Diego which will be home base for the rest of my time, you just cannot beat the weather, the people and the laid back lifestyle.  From here we built out the identity theft company and this ultimately played out very well for the original investors who exited when a private equity firm stepped in and took control.

After that experience I was recruited to work for two different larger competitors but I only wanted to work for another startup in the tech space.  An old friend that knew I was on the lookout for my next thing presented a great offer and I landed at cyber security company where we as a company were blazing trails again to find the right product/market fit for the excellent ideas the founders had developed.  

This was also a very interesting time as we continued to iterate on the original plans to find the right place for what we offered.  I was again able to grab the attention of some the largest potential clients in the world for this company which helped put it on the map.  In fact I spend most of my days still making this happen and then spending my downtime, evenings and weekends on my side hustles, yep two of them. which I believe one of them has something that will change the way residential real estate is transacted with regards to necessary repairs tied to closing the deal. 

My next post will speak more about TheQwikFix, how we discovered the opportunity and the problems we are planning to fix for the world of real estate specifically around home inspections and the repairs that are identified by these reports.

Should I do a Pre-Listing Inspection before listing my house for sale?

Today we tackle a slightly more controversial topic, the pre-listing home inspection. Let me start with why some would say that you should n...