Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Flip Houses

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Excerpt: Once again, the ever intrepid Brad Brinke of Pro Craft Inspection Services brings us another cautionary tale of horror and woe from inspecting a “flipped house” that a homeowner client wanted to buy and hired him to inspect in Virginia Beach! A flip house is a house that someone (usually an investor) bought with the intent of selling and making a profit.  The usual method is to buy a house that is in poor condition and then make repairs and sell it in good condition.   However, that’s where the problems start.  If an investor wants to maximize his profit when he…

It’s Better to be Better

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Excerpt: “The word “better” has fallen out of fashion in America. It makes people uncomfortable. Ranking some things as better or worse is divisive and controversial. Saying that certain values are better can become a slippery slope to thinking groups of people are better, particularly one’s own. I am sympathetic to these arguments. But that doesn’t mean “better” and “worse” should be eliminated from national discourse. I believe that learning is better than ignorance. Right answers are better than wrong ones. Thoughtful engagement is better than unquestioning belief, and genuine understanding is better than blind regurgitation. I believe reality exists independent of our perception…

A Letter to a College Classmate: Thoughts on Insurance Repairs

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Excerpt: Tim, I’m sorry I don’t work in your State, I would be more than happy to help you out with your recent “kitchen flood”.   Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions about the process you are going through from the perspective of a Professional Remodeling Contractor that has been involved in his share of insurance restorations over the years (Four Hurricanes to date, not to mention all the other things that “happen” to homes) Water Heater in Attic Failed – all materials that could not be dried were removed I’d like to start this discussion with a…

The Most Popular Kitchen Picture of the Month!

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Excerpt: We have a lot of fun on our Jim Hicks Home Improvement Facebook Page !   Our fans never hold back with their opinions on what they like, what they would do differently or which kitchen or bath they prefer.  We love hearing about it! This picture was the most popular we posted in the month of February. After a fair amount of research, we believe it was done by Greenview Homes in  Lincolnshire, Illinois. Can you guess why it was the favorite?  We think it’s because of the amazing unique perspective it was shot at!  It showcases this newly remodeled kitchen so…

Have You Ever Felt Frustrated Comparing Two Estimates?

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Excerpt: It’s difficult comparing estimates. I had to do it remotely once for my Grandmother in California for just a roofing project once and it drove me crazy, it was like comparing Apples & Oranges! I thought it’d be a piece of cake, after all I do this for a living, right? My experience was, knowing more about what I was talking about only made evaluating each contractor and their proposal even more confusing. I had a real eye opener: “this is what my clients are going through??” So, I feel your pain. As a contractor, the only time that I really have to…