HELENA — It’s no secret that homes are selling fast in Montana and nobody has seen that first hand more than home inspectors Warren and Lynn Sears of Spur Home Inspection in Helena.
“I’d say over the last year our business increased 25%,” said Warren Sears. And with low interest rates, that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
“We talk to people as we're doing the inspection and they’ll say ‘oh this is the eighth time we’ve put in a bid, this better work. Don’t find anything bad.’ Or ‘find things bad so we can get the seller to fix it.’ But it’s more like, ‘we’ve got to do this'," said Lynn Sears. "Some of them have sold their home and moved out and don’t have a place to live, so it is more desperation I think we’ve found more of that this year than before.”
The home inspectors say hopeful home buyers shouldn't let that desperation push you into investing in the wrong home. The market might be very competitive right now, but as Warren and Lynn have learned that nothing substitutes for doing your research.
“To me, the biggest thing would be to take a little more time before you put in your first offer. Walkthrough the house, spend some time in the house. Even spend some time in the neighborhood just to see what kind of interaction the neighborhood has,” said Warren.
Also, don’t be afraid to shadow your home inspectors and ask questions.
Inspectors like Warren and Lynn are happy to help you make the right decision. In their case, a background as missionaries in Papua New Guinea has set them up to be able to translate the foreign language of homeownership and maintenance to terms anyone can understand.
"When Warren is instructing somebody and he’ll say some description or some word and I can see the fogginess in the buyer’s eyes I’ll say, 'Warren does that mean you mean?' He’ll explain it a different way and they’ll say, ‘oh, ok, I got that'," said Lynn.
If you have been searching for a home for a long time with no luck, Lynn and Warren have one piece of advice.
“Just be patient, the right one’s out there,” said Lynn.
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're OpenSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.