Bulging floors, cracked walls, and doors that won’t close are all signs of foundation distress. Sixty percent of all homes built on expansive soils suffer from foundation distress. The problem occurs when only part of the foundation heaves or settles, causing cracks and other damage.
This differential movement is largely caused by differences in soil moisture. Loss or gain of soil moisture can cause serious shrinkage or swelling. See what causes foundations and slabs to sink.
If the frame of a house does not begin to distort until after three or more years of satisfactory performance, it is doubtful that the distortion is caused by full-depth foundation settlement, which is always evidenced by matching cracks. Cracks occur at each side of a portion of the foundation wall that is undergoing downward movement caused by soil bearing failure.
Settlement cracks are nearly always vertical, and they should not be confused with cracks that occur when a wall is subjected to lateral movement from soil pressure.

Exterior Warning Signs:
Wall Rotation
Separation around garage door, windows and/or walls
Cracked bricks
Broken and/or cracked foundation
Displaced Moldings
Interior Warning Signs

Misaligned Doors and Windows
Cracked sheetrock
Cracks in Floor
backfill problems cracking

Installing Motion Sensor Lights For Your Security

There are quite a few methods you can work on increasing your home's security as a first time homeowner. One of the simplest ways however includes a very easy solution that will help keep would-be burglars away from it. You can always hire a professional electrician to get it done, but there is really no need as long as you've had at least minimal experience with electrical work. You should consider one thing however before you proceed, you should keep a few things in mind, such as the fact that this will mean you can install the lights in locations where you already have lights.Secuity  Light how to install

Fred Sweezer Sr
Certified Home Inspector
Certified HUD 203K Consultant S0712
FHA Compliance Inspector T477

How hard is the 203k renovation loan program for Realtors

Here are the comments I have heard over the last few months:

1. The 203K program is hard to get done.

2. The 203K program is easy as pie.

3. Loans take forever with a 203K and we keep missing deadlines.

4. Loans can close in 30 days with the 203K.

5. I love the 203K.

6. I hate the 203K.

What do you make of that? Experience is very important to avoid the confusion. How easy or hard is the 203K?

Recently renovated kitchen

That depends on the team you end up with:

1. Your buyer gets prequalified from and experienced 203K mortgage broker.

2. Your buyer signs a purchase agreement.

3. The FHA inspector or 203K consultant is called and does an inspection.

4. Buyer calls and experienced 203K contractor.

5. Contractor helps your buyer figure out what everything costs.

6. Contractor sends the estimate and all the related forms to lender.

7. Lender processes mortgage.

8. Appraiser blows up the deal

9. Loan closes.

Okay, item number 8 was meant to make this light hearted. The property does have to appraise out though – just like any other sale.

Loans can close in 30 days using the 203K if the lender and the contractor are experienced. When looking for a experienced loan officer, ask them how many 203K loans they have done. No experience is likely to mean more headaches.

When looking for a good 203K contractor ask these questions.

1) How many 203K projects have you done?

2) What is your process for dealing with the paperwork?

3) How long does it take to get the paperwork done?

My first exposure to the 203K program has an interesting story. I was called in at the last minute because a contractor whom the buyer had a relationship with bailed on the project at the last minute because he wasn’t able to wait 45 days for the last half of his payment. The loan blew up – but the lesson was important.

Use experienced people.

The 203k program works!

Fred Sweezer Sr

Certified Home Inspector
Certified HUD 203K Consultant S0712
FHA Compliance Inspector T477

Foundation Cripple Wall

A short wall that rests on the foundation and supports the floor and exterior walls of a structure. Should your home be equipped with such walls it’s a very good idea to have them seismically braced especially if you live in one of California’s high earthquake zones. During a lateral type seismic event an unbraced cripple wall can have a hinge effect and the back and forth shaking can result of structural collapse.

Bracing a foundation cripple wall is not rocket science, but is basic engineering and we normally recommend any planned structural modifications should be first looked at and approved by a state licensed structural engineer.

Cripple Wall Bracing using the 203K Renovation Loan Program


A cripple wall receives all the earthquake force of the building.

Fred Sweezer Sr
Certified Home Inspector
Certified 203K HUD Consultant S0712
FHA Compliance Inspector T477