HELENA — It’s no secret that homes are selling fast in Montana.
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.
With low interest rates, that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. A fact, that especially here in Helena, can be intimidating.
“We talk to people as were 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. Walk through 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 home ownership 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.