Crazy Sh*t In Real Estate with Leigh Brown

Crazy Sh*t in Real Estate!—a podcast that will shatter the HGTV-induced veneer of real estate, and celebrate the challenges of working in this wild, wacky business.
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Crazy Sh*t In Real Estate with Leigh Brown




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Mar 10, 2017

In this episode, Leigh interviews Joe Battisto, an NYS licensed property inspector from Syracuse who works for Haven Environmental. Joe founded Haven Environmental in 2015, and they’re trying to raise the bar for home inspection. Listen to Joe’s advice as an expert in the field and hear how he rescued a couple from buying a problematic house that was a far cry from what was shown in photos.

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Joe Battisto
Haven Environmental

Up here in Central New York I did one last week I had to post on the company Facebook page.   The homeowner started using cardboard boxes as HVAC duct work after his metal ducts starting rotting away.  Then he used old bed rails as structural support posts to hold up the floor from falling into the basement.   He was asking low 6 figures for the hot mess.  The prospective buyers were making an offer based on the online photos from the real estate advertisement without ever actually seeing the property in person.  Bad idea, at least they called a home inspector to put eyes on it before sealing the deal!

If you check our site, you will see we are trying to raise the bar for home inspection by adding capabilities most one man operators don't have:

  • We are a licensed firm in NYS to provide mold assessments.
  • We have a highly experienced Certified Industrial Hygienist on staff.
  • Our principal IAQ inspector Is certified by the IICRC, NORMI, OSHA, and NACHI.
  • We are certified for thermal imaging analysis.
  • We are licensed in NYS to provide buyer/bank property inspection for real estate transactions on properties up to 4 units.
  • We are FAA commercial certified to fly camera drones for high resolution roof inspections.
  • We are experienced and formally trained to provide contractor estimates for mold and water damage restoration.
  • We are trained and experienced in providing property insurance underwriting inspections.
  • We can provide asbestos, radon, and lead testing.
  • In addition to general liability and an attestation of worker’s compensation exemption filed with NYS, we carry professional liability and errors and omissions insurance on all our projects.
  • We oversee an extensive network of reliable mold and water damage sub - contractors across upstate NY.
  • We use 2 of the most highly respected microbial laboratory firms in the country for our lab work.

Realtors tell me 50% of the homes they list have mold issues, so we try to guide buyers, sellers, and agents all the way through that mess and keep the closing on track.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:21 – Introduction for today’s episode
  • 00:49 – Leigh introduces Joe Battisto
  • 00:58 – Joe is from Syracuse, NY
    • 01:06 – Joe is from Haven Environmental and they provide buyers’ inspection services for real estate transactions
  • 01:21 – In real estate, the inspection process is sometimes the most uncomfortable part of the transaction
  • 01:55 – The moral of the story is never ever buy a property that you haven’t physically walked through yourself
  • 02:07 – A few weeks ago, Joe received a call from a couple who wanted to buy a house
    • 02:15 – It is a 2-storey house and Joe was asked to do the inspection
    • 02:33 – When Joe was inspecting the property, things began to cramp up
    • 02:44 – Joe describes the structure of the house
    • 03:06 – Joe went to the basement and saw that the metal brackets that held up the first floor were cracking and slipping
    • 03:15 – Old bed rails was used as structural support posts to hold up the floor from falling into the basement
    • 04:06 – The homeowner repurposed cardboard boxes as HVAC duct work after his metal ducts started rotting away
    • 04:48 – On Joe’s way out of the basement, he saw another major problem with plumbing
    • 05:30 – Joe sent the report to the buyer and he learned that the couple haven’t even been in the house
    • 06:02 – The couple only saw the listing online and were buying it from Europe
    • 06:40 – Joe became the buying agent
    • 07:10 – The listing agent put up photos of the house which looked really good
    • 07:26 – Joe had a serious talk with the buyer and the buyer thought that they wouldn’t need to put much money into the house
  • 08:02 – The couple found Joe online
  • 09:30 – When having a talk with your home inspector, match your needs to your home inspector’s qualifications and be comfortable with what he is going to do
  • 09:55 – Ask for a copy of the report done by your home inspector to get an idea of how he does the inspection
  • 10:52 – Joe sees himself more as a partner than a vendor
  • 11:00 – Regarding how realtors should select their home inspector partner, Joe advises…
    • 11:17 – Realtors control 80% of the home inspector’s work
    • 11:32 – “Realtors should be qualifying those home inspectors as well”
  • 11:52 – The past week, Haven Environmental was approved by the New York State to provide continuing education instruction for realtors in their area of Syracuse, NY
  • 12:20 – Find Joe on their website which links to their Facebook
  • 13:01 – Tweet Leigh Brown for your very own crazy story in real estate

3 Key Points

  1. In real estate, the inspection process may be the most uncomfortable part of the transaction, but is also necessary. .
  2. Never buy a property that you haven’t physically walked through yourself.
  3. Try to match your needs to your home inspector’s qualifications, so you can be aligned and comfortable with how they choose to do their job.


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