Joseph Alcott is a Home Inspector at Spartan Home Inspection, a veteran-owned and operated company that provides residential home and termite inspection services. In his role, he evaluates residential properties to ensure compliance with regulations and prevent malfunctioning systems, safety hazards, and infrastructure damages. Joseph is also the Weapons Safety Manager for the United States Air Force, where he manages the installation of weapons safety programs and advises command, staff, and operating officials on weapons safety requirements, standards, procedures, and risk assessments.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Joseph Alcott shares how he became a home inspector
- The importance of a property inspection
- How home inspectors work with buyers to assess property damage
- Utilizing inspection reports to negotiate home prices
- Do realtors have their clients’ best interests at heart?
- Spartan Home Inspection’s veteran programs and philanthropic work
- Joseph talks about his favorite realtors
In this episode…
When purchasing a property, many buyers don’t consider the level of maintenance a home requires. While many are savvy enough to detect surface-level damages, it takes an experienced home inspector to assess larger risks, such as gas leaks or wood rot. So should you invest in home inspection services, and how can you ensure you’re getting the most value for your dollar?
According to Joseph Alcott, 46% of home buyers have used inspection reports to negotiate a lower price for a property. Home inspectors perform a comprehensive evaluation of each property to mitigate safety hazards that would otherwise pose significant risks or require extensive maintenance in the future. By utilizing these services before making a purchase, you can save up to $14,000 on the home’s price and maintenance costs.
In today’s episode of The Same Day Podcast, Mat Zalk speaks with Joseph Alcott, Home Inspector at Spartan Home Inspection, about the importance of conducting home inspections when purchasing a property. Joseph explains how home inspectors work with buyers to assess property damage, how to utilize inspection reports to negotiate home prices, and Spartan Home Inspection’s veteran programs and philanthropic work.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Mat Zalk on LinkedIn
- Keyrenter Property Management
- Keyrenter Property Management Tulsa
- Keyrenter Property Management Oklahoma City
- Keyrenter Property Management Arkansas
- Keyrenter Property Management email address: [email protected]
- Joseph Alcott on LinkedIn
- Candice Alcott
- Spartan Home Inspection
- Josh Rainwater and The Rainwater Team
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
- CASHFLOW Classic
- “Paving the Way for Affordable Housing in Urban Communities” with Devin Howland on The Same Day Podcast
- Chris Lile at State Farm Insurance
Sponsor for this episode…
Chris Lile at State Farm Insurance.
This episode is also brought to you by Chris Lile at State Farm Insurance.
Chris Lile at State Farm helps you protect your most precious assets and investments, including home and auto.
To learn more about how you can save double digits on all your insurance needs, visit diallial.com or call Chris’ office at 918-878-7771
Keyrenter Property Management
This episode is brought to you by Keyrenter Property Management.
Keyrenter Property Management is a full-service property management company who helps their clients buy, renovate, and operate real estate assets.
They help clients build wealth while taking the headache out of property management.
That’s why, no matter what rental you have — single-family homes, condos, townhomes, or apartments — they can give you the management solutions you need.
To learn more about their services, go to https://keyrenterpmc.com/ or send them an email at [email protected].
Welcome to The Same Day Podcast where we discuss driving incremental business growth and other topics related to real estate, property management and entrepreneurship. Now to the show at hand.
Mat Zalk 0:20
Mat Zalk I’m the host of The Same Day Podcast where I connect with top business leaders and real estate experts. Cast guests include Devin Howland, talking about economic development Fayetteville, Arkansas, Yoni Schmidt was on recently talking about he’s a member of the Keyrenter family talking about property owners most frequently asked questions. And Kevin Evans was also on recently of liberty air services and he was talking about HVAC systems, how they work and why they are so complicated and give us all sorts of issues. Today’s episode is brought to you by Chris Lile State Farm. Chris Lile State Farm office helps you protect the most precious assets are your most precious assets and investments. Whether it’s your home and auto investment rental properties or valuables, call Chris Lile state farm for a quick and painless phone phone call to potentially save you double digits on all of your insurance needs. That’s diallile.com diallile.com, or call his office at 918-878-7771 Today’s episode is also brought to you by Keyrenter Property Management at Keyrenter Property Management We’re a full service property management company helping our clients buy renovate and operate real estate assets we help our clients build wealth while taking the headache out of property management. Joseph you know better than most that it’s hard to line up contractors to get make readies done in a reasonable amount of time after a tenant leaves a property. Contractors are busy their projects seem to drag on forever. And all this leads to loss rental income and key renter we help you line up dedicated our dedicated vendors so that property turns can happen super quickly and we get more money back into the pockets of our owners, including you Yours truly, I guess yours truly refers to me so that’s really weird, but your you your money. That’s why no matter what rentals you have single family homes, condos, townhomes apartments, we have the management solutions, you need go to keyrenterpmc.com, or [email protected] Today’s guest is Joseph Alcott, he’s a 21 year Air Force veteran having served five tours overseas. That’s impressive. Very impressive. And we thank you for your service. Of course. That’s a very, very funny episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm if you haven’t seen it, where David refuses to say I thank you for your service, and everybody else doesn’t, it leads to a total mess really, really funny. So thank you for your service. Joseph now specializes in residential and commercial property inspections. He also personally invests in commercial and residential properties. And he knows what to look for in your business, your commercial or your personal properties. And he’s there to work with you to help meet your goals. He’s also a family man with his beautiful wife, Candace 12 years, and three wonderful daughters ages nine, five and six months and that certainly keeps him on his toes. I will start by saying we met each other actually I met your wife first. Candice was a referral from Chris Lile. And when she you were on duty, you were on a tour in deployed in Afghanistan. When I met Candace and you guys were struggling with tenants not paying their rent. And it was it was a mess. Candace came into our office, she said, I use your nine year old and your five year old on her hips. And she was just distraught. And I was like, Candace, I got this, just pass this over to us, I will handle the rest. And I you know, much like, much like I did with Chris’s properties back in the day I you know, talk to the tenants, that Alcott family is not running a charity. This is a business and you got to pay your rent. So we worked with, we worked with Candice at first. And then you were you were involved. You came home shortly thereafter. And we got everything shored up and then got your property’s leased. So that was really, really fun. So I guess you’ve had this through Google. You and I have been friends for a while see at the auctions and and now you’re doing home inspection. So let’s start like why why home inspections? How’d you get involved in that in that business?
Joseph Alcott 4:11
Alright, so first off, yeah, I, I was buying houses, not knowing what I was looking at. And he was important to me to know, okay, we want to make it successful. So how are we going to do this? How are we going to find the houses I don’t know about? I live in one. But what do I really know about? So it was one of those things where I decided, You know what, I need to know what I’m looking at. Right? And I decided that hey, you know what, let me just be home inspector. I mean, I need something to do when I’m not busy with the because I’m an extra air force. The somebody on the side. So I started doing that. And it it actually turned out to be something I really enjoy and actually turned out to be really good. So I decided to just kind of follow that passion and do it on a full timescale I mean, I don’t see why I should not know what I’m looking at it, I should be able to help others make the same decisions, I was not really informed. So I really enjoy the process of helping others make that decision if it’s investment properties, or if it’s a personal home, just having that informed decision going into it.
Mat Zalk 5:24
Right. So what makes a property inspection so important,
Joseph Alcott 5:29
in general. So there is going to be a lot of things that are not seen by the naked eye or you know, your first glance of a home a home inspectors main job is to find those areas get a crawlspace get in the attic to find the feet you’re not going to see because you’re not in those areas. Speak to the earlier I was in the crawlspace earlier today, I found a massive wood rot situation because of something that kind of led me to you know, from what I saw on the upside ello it’s caused me to found that it was just that it’s it’s pretty bad, costly. deficiency that I found so it’s
Mat Zalk 6:09
because it was was a window in a bathroom, which is always a terrible idea. Unless it’s I guess in the bath like is it window in the bathroom is a great idea window in a bath around is a terrible, terrible idea. So you looked at this and you went Hmm, I’ve seen that before. This never leads to any good things. I wonder if there’s wood rot underneath here. And lo and behold, you went to the crawlspace, which is not where I go when I buy a house, by the way. So thank you for doing Oh, hard work in the dirty work. It’s like that Mike Rowe show. Dirty Jobs. Thank you for going down there. And and you saw Yep, absolutely. As I suspected there’s wood rot all the way down here because of the window. The water that’s penetrating that little seal right there has been leaking for the last 40 years or however old houses.
Joseph Alcott 6:50
Absolutely yours. Yeah, I mean, to get to that point at the very bottom where it was because there’s a high window. Yeah, water constantly dripping in there. For some years, you will have water dripping in there all the time. But after so many years establish a massive amount of work.
Mat Zalk 7:06
Yeah. So what else? Are you seeing that a buyer? What does a buyer generally notice? Like? What are they when you walk into a house and you’re inspecting with a person like what are they noticing? And then what do you notice that they’re not noticing?
Joseph Alcott 7:18
So typically, your home buyer is a very smart individual. And they are going to find a lot of defects that you’re gonna call out as a home inspector. They’re looking at, you know, cracks up doors and windows are looking at holes and looking at things. But there’s a lot of other things that I’m looking for as well, I’m looking for gas leak. So every time we have a gas appliance, looking up testing it with a gas meter, every time I go underneath the crawlspace, I’m testing gas down there, because there’s could be gas leaks, I found one day water heater, you don’t know that by the gasoline is small. However, that builds up over time cost has safety hazard for the renter or the homeowner. And it’s just little tiny things like that, that are not being seen by the homeowner. And that’s what I want to make sure that I’m focusing on is make sure they get that, like good luck.
Mat Zalk 8:10
I mean, I generally find that when a buyer goes into an attic, they poke their head out, head up into the you know, they climb up does little stairs, they pump their head up, it’s kind of a scary place up there. It’s like it’s dark, and it’s not really you know, if there’s mice in the house are probably living up there, their bird up there, I don’t really want to go up there. Just put a flashlight around and go okay, things seem to be in order up there. But you know, that’s not always the case. What do you what are you finding in attics
Joseph Alcott 8:34
these days? So a lot of times I’m doing is you have a lot of people that are very handy. And they’re doing a lot of electrical work themselves even a handy reset or ceiling fan. So they do it. And sometimes they have their buddy whose seats much more done so he doesn’t find a lot of junction boxes that are opened with exposed wire. So what does that’s creating as a safety hazard? So you’ve got insulation in there, you crawl around you accidentally right beside that junction box, you could potentially electrocute yourself also it’s a fire hazard you could start that off. So it’s no bueno so that’s a lot out there. Ventilation, your plumbing free ventilation your water heater, you’re looking at disconnected out vents and there’s a lot of times you will have things that are being disconnected and not knowing that for years so you have your your furnace this co2 up into the attic space and sometimes can recirculate back down into that’s dangerous space, so it’s dangerous. Yeah, absolutely.
Mat Zalk 9:39
And then I guess if event stack is disconnected then then it’s just like throwing your it’s off gassing the plumbing, you know, whatever. whatever’s coming out of the plumbing lines up into the attic also, which could create smells over time and whatever else needs to theoretically go out of the house instead of into the house. All right, anything in panels you can ever see like funky stuff happening. electrical panels,
Joseph Alcott 10:01
electric panels. Yes. So there’s some times you’ll see recalled panels. So there’s a lot of panels out there. Cisco is my favorite to find out their panel. They’re everywhere. And you find those all the time. Yeah, not quite saved. The biggest thing of finding a lot lately is your air conditioner has a maximum breaker on it. So they recommend with manufacturer, you have a 38 Max amp breaker panel, what I’m finding is I’ll see a 40 5060 amp breaker in there, which is not going to do anything for your great yeah, it’s not gonna trip. And that’s an expensive item that you don’t want to have to replace just because your breaker didn’t break. So that’s one of the big ones I find. Double tapping all the time is you know, you have wires going into one breaker multiple wires going in the breaker. Again, just I just I just
Mat Zalk 11:02
cannot fathom being like a a tinkerer and start playing around with the breaker panel in your house. It’s like we had a breaker go out the other day, I kept having to reset it. And ultimately we realized the breaker is bad. We need to do something about this and watching the electrician go in there and actually, like change that breaker out I was thinking man, there’s 200 amps coming into this thing. If you touch the wrong thing, you are fried I mean dead immediately. And I you know I see stuff all the time going through houses looking at you know, see doubletap breakers or and others to hang up. Why would somebody that does not know electricity come in here and start messing around with this panel. It’s the central artery of electricity in their house. Like, that scares the hell out of me. I would never I would never want to do that. Just you know, makes me shaken in this job. And
Joseph Alcott 11:47
so yeah, this job has definitely given me a respect for a lot of things, a lot of people in professions that they do. Yeah. I just hats off to those guys. Yeah. So
Mat Zalk 11:59
a lot of people use a home inspection as a negotiation tool, right? I mean, there’s a ton of stuff. There’s a ton of stuff that you find in the inspection report, obviously, as you’re saying that that a homebuyer was not privy to prior, what do people do when they get an inspection report to negotiate the sale price
Joseph Alcott 12:19
of the property? So a lot of times they will use my report to use what’s called trr.
Mat Zalk 12:26
Two, which is what treatments or mediations are apparently Yep,
Joseph Alcott 12:29
yes. And they will either use that to have the seller fix his items, or be even negotiate the price of the home itself, it looks at at a national level 46% of buyers have actually been able to use inspection reports to negotiate a new price for their home. So I mean, that’s outstanding. Or on the flip side, you look at repairs being done. On average, those also are given out are saving that potential homebuyer $14,000. On average, that’s on the national level. Yeah,
Mat Zalk 13:02
we have had problems in the past. In other markets, I can’t say in Tulsa, but in other markets, we’ve had problems where agents that are representing the buyer use a specific home inspector because they know that that home inspector does you know, kind of a, you know, a half assed job, basically, they don’t look at everything, like I went to when the other day where an agent was the inspector was there working with an agent in Arkansas, and there was a shingle missing off the front, right like the whatever the like slope right off the front of the garage. And he had noticed that I don’t think that’s big, it’s not a big deal. It’s not life altering. It’s not dangerous. And it certainly won’t cost a lot of money to fix. But I was like you didn’t walk up to the house and immediately notice that thing. And so some of the agents are saying to the, whether they’re saying it explicitly, implicitly, they’re using people that just they know or not not paying super close attention to the details of the house, they use people that they know, raise huge flags so that they don’t have a harder time during the transaction. What’s you know, it’s obviously as an agent that’s representing a buyer, you want a transaction to go through otherwise, you’re doing a whole bunch of work for a commission that falls apart, basically. But what do you say to those people that aren’t that aren’t doing a really thorough job? Or people that would say to you, you’re you’re doing or you’re doing too good of a job inspecting
Joseph Alcott 14:15
the property. Oh, gosh, so I would rather have a loss of a realtor then have my character come to judgment character? come into question. Yeah, exactly right. I don’t want a realtor that is going to want that kind of work because they’re not gonna last long in the industry. They are gonna need repetition that precedes them, and they won’t last long. They might for a little while, but I just can’t do that. The home inspector is definitely not someone who’s supposed to be looking out for the realtor per se. They are there for the homeowner there that’s the client. The realtors are gatekeeper but that real client is the number one priority. And you she needs to think of them as, you know, if this was my family, what I wouldn’t know these problems, who I would know these defects, this is gonna be a safety issue from my bike. So you always have to keep that in the back of your mind. And you always wanna make sure that you’re honest, your characters on questions.
Mat Zalk 15:20
I mean, I also say to that agent, and I’d spoke to her I said, you know, this is ridiculous, you’re representing the interest of the client, not your own interest in commission, like I just insane that you would hire somebody that consistently under under represents the deficiencies of the house so that you can make a transaction go through and ultimately, that person is no longer representing the client that was buying the real estate in that market. But, you know, it’s I was just shocked and it was consistent that, you know, the reports were coming back without significant issues to the roof to the interior of the property. Now, I will say, you know, the, you know, the inspection is not meant to highlight all of the cosmetic deficiencies that are in the house, all these nail holes and holes in the wall from somebody having punched it or something, you might be buying real estate at a discount because it’s an it’s in, frankly, shape that makes it you know, requires a discount. But the realtor also tell the owner, there are, there are cosmetic deficiencies that will need to be remediated before we can rent a house just because they’re the inspection report only had 510 1520 things doesn’t mean that there aren’t 20 Other things that we’re gonna have to do as the property management company to make this property rent ready. We cannot rent a house with holes in the walls, even if the you know, the vent stack from the from the water heater has been repaired. So there’s no co2 potential co2 leakage coming into the house. That’s what we found. It’s just like, it’s unbelievable, some of the ways some people operate. You’re a veteran owned business, I love that. You also hire veterans, you’re doing your best to hire veterans, on your inspection team. Tell us a little bit about your programs for veterans and some of the charity work that you’re working on.
Joseph Alcott 17:03
Absolutely. So I always give a 10% discount to veterans active or not first responders. They’re the lifeblood of our community. I mean, they really are and so I want to get back to a community that gives given me so much and ultimately my I’m gonna give a certain percentage of my proceeds to different foundations, whether it be more foundation, honor, police and fire organizations, because I really want to give back That’s my ultimate goal because I believe a givers game as I kind of been used lately. What can I give versus what can I get? So that’s ultimately why I want to be in Yeah,
Mat Zalk 17:52
I love that Brooke Chandler there’s a realtor around town that does a ton of work she’s Chandler Home Teams over at exp. She’s done a ton of inspections and I know she’s used you in the past and has had the best things to say about you. You’re an active client of ours you’ve also worked with our team quite a bit to to do home inspections and I appreciate everything that you’re doing. There’s also a bunch of other big realtors in town that are doing some some impressive work particularly in the current market where you know market environment where rates are up and and they’re doing a good job representing their their buyers and sellers in whatever capacity they can I mean sellers are now having to give greater concessions prices are coming down a little bit but buyers are finding themselves in a in an advantageous position. When they have not for the past couple of years who are some some of the big realtors in town that
Joseph Alcott 18:43
that you’d love to do work with. Oh, gosh, there’s so many really great realtors that suddenly come to mind right now. The morning Kyle team did outstanding last year the $80 million in sales last year, which sounds incredible. Josh rainwater team they’re doing house tanning work. There’s so many to stop trying to think right at the moment but those two right now that are top of mind that are just really killing it out there and he’d love to work with
Mat Zalk 19:12
those both Coldwell Banker agents or teams they are they really are Yeah, they’re doing good business in town for sure. What are you reading? What are you listening to what what inspires you every day? Tell our tell our listeners some some fun stuff that they whether personal or professional that you’re that you’re gaining strength from.
Joseph Alcott 19:31
Okay, so I’m actually part of a group called the men’s brotherhood. It’s a group that coach JC runs DSD or different responders. And it is a spiritual based men’s group that’s just uplifting. It’s really one of the groups that just love being a part of it. I can’t say enough good things about it. It kind of folks Five your finances your fitness your your focus your spiritual and your business. And you know, I love that camaraderie we have with each other. Reading I’ve actually slacked off on quite a bit lately. I used to read things like Rich Dad, Poor Dad was one of my favorite ones kind of getting my mindset changed on how to invest and why should have create that wealth for your family down the road. So, gosh,
Mat Zalk 20:30
I’m also I’m also the father of three girls. So I know that you got to create a lot of wealth if you want to be able to provide for those. Those little angels when they become adults, they are now telling me about Robert Kiyosaki is a board game called cashflow. Have
Joseph Alcott 20:47
you heard of that? I have played it. That was one of the first things I actually have a friend who’s a agent, Leslie Smith and her husband, John Smith, they introduced us to that game. And it really shifts your mind. It really does. I mean, it doesn’t seem like it’s like, okay, this board game, what how’s this gonna help me but honestly, it is an amazing game.
Mat Zalk 21:10
The idea I guess is that you start off in the middle and you’re in like the you’re in, the web to make bills, you know, make money, spend money, make money, spend money. And if you can get a couple of cash flowing properties, you know this, you buy this property, or you save enough money, you buy this property and this property cash flows $200 a month, you buy a couple more you can ultimately, you can get ultimately out of the rat race and into the passive income, the larger passive income sphere on the board game. That’s how it was kind of described to me is that is that accurate? Is that what you recall from?
Joseph Alcott 21:41
Yeah, absolutely. Right, you start out just like everyone else, that 95 Fu to a clique. And once you find a property or two, you make decisions that help you get to the point where you’re not focusing on really the the day to day bills, but really just almost a plant or pig type of work that you can do. And so yes, absolutely.
Mat Zalk 22:07
I love it, I love it. Anything else that you want to impart on our listeners about home inspections, the value, what to look out for when you’re hiring a home inspector or anything like that?
Joseph Alcott 22:18
Well, I guess the first thing you say is never ever skimp on a home inspection. It might be four or five $600 wherever it might be. But it could save you 1000s later on. When it comes to the home inspectors just make sure that they are a licensed short one. I mean, our company is for the realtor, we actually our insurance will cover the realtor as well. So that’s something to look out for. If no realtor is looking to find a good home inspector, check out their insurance. So probably a tidbit of knowledge there today.
Mat Zalk 22:55
super interesting. So your insurance actually will cover the realtor in the event that they are sued for what would be deemed by the buyer to be some sort of negligence on the on the inspection side?
Joseph Alcott 23:05
Yes. So there because we are human, every one of us will miss something our online work, it just happens. Now, if it’s a big mistake, the buyer could come back later on when they found out that there’s a huge discrepancy that you missed because we are all human and sue you and potentially the realtor because they recommended you the interest that we carry covers that Realtors well. God, I’ve never had to experience that and knock on wood never will but you know, mistakes can happen. And you know, you just want to make sure that you are protecting that homebuyer no matter what even if it’s a loss of that commission, if that’s loss of whatever you want to make sure they’re protected. So the interest is covering that realtor as well and
Mat Zalk 23:56
good. That’s a great tidbit and good to know. Joseph Alcott’s, a 21 year Air Force veteran having served five tours overseas. He now specializes in residential and commercial property inspections. He’s also an investor himself so he knows exactly what to look for. And how to think about deals and underwriting deals, etc. Because he doesn’t himself. Finally, He’s a family man. He’s got three beautiful daughters and a beautiful wife at 12 years. And that keeps him on his toes. I want to mention that because it’s always that’s always a personal favorite of mine. So three daughters. Joseph, thank you for being on the show. We really appreciate you.
Joseph Alcott 24:32
I love it every minute of it. I’m really excited about it.
Mat Zalk 24:35
Thanks. Thank you.
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