624 NW 73rd St
Seattle, WA 98117
Homevibe Insights Report
This report is based on a pre-offer consultation with Kris Kent (InterNACHI) on 5/3/2016. The seller has since provided comments that may reflect work done on the house since the inspection or provide context to some of the results.
The house is structurally sound and in good condition inside and out: there are no major issues to report at this time. The roof is new, the house is well insulated, appliances are relatively new, and the plumbing and electrical systems are in excellent condition. There are a few maintenance and safety concerns around the house that require some attention, however. The following are the top five updates and fixes recommended for the new owner:
- Recaulk the noted areas in the kitchen and bathrooms and seal against moisture intrusion.
- Repair wood rot on the west window trim.
- Consider adjusting the toilet installations to secure them more firmly.
- Fire seal the garage service door to the main house.
- Add GFCI protection to the kitchen and garage outlets.
- The grout has been touched up in the main bathroom.
- The grout has been touched up in the kitchen.
The house has an asphalt shingle main roof that is brand new. A well maintained asphalt shingle roof should last between 20-25 years. There is also a 5-10 year old flat roof section utilizing a rubber membrane material on the north side of the house. A well maintained rubber roof should last between 15-25 years. Both roofs show light to no wear and are free of debris and moss.
That said, there are water stains on a section of the flat roof perimeter, evidence of water pooling as the eaves have sagged over time. Something to monitor during annual roof maintenance and adjust at the next roof replacement. Evidence of pooling water
The gutters are all clear and properly sloping towards the downspouts. There is some noticeable damage to the northeast side gutter, but it is not affecting its performance at this time. Damaged northeast gutter
The house is structurally sound. Given that all levels are completely finished, the framing and floor joists are not visible. However, the floors are level and the doors and windows are plumb. There is a poured concrete foundation that is in good condition. There are no visible foundation cracks and no evidence of significant settling.
A home of this vintage would have been built to the latest earthquake standards and does not need retrofitting. Retrofitting is recommended for older homes and involves bolting the house to its foundation and providing sheer/pony wall strength. The goal is to increase its structural integrity and minimize its risk of "slipping" off the foundation during a major earthquake. Learn more here.
As a reference point, the front of the house faces south. The grounds slope away from the house, which is good. Ideally, you want a grade of about 0.5 inches per foot to ensure that rain water easily flows away from the house and foundation. The downspouts are discharging rainwater away from the house via an underground leader system. The concern with rainwater gathering around the perimeter of the house is that it will seep into the ground around the foundation, leading to cracks (caused by the pressure from the waterlogged soil) and settlement issues as the soil erodes. Not an issue in this case.
The house has wood siding that essentially has no weathering and is in excellent condition. However, there are a few low siding sections that are in contact with soil on the east side of the house. This is a bigger issue for wood siding than it is for cement fiber, but still the siding should ideally be 6-8 inches off the ground to prevent moisture from splashing up to damage it. Soil in contact with siding
There is also some vegetation in contact with sections of the siding on the east. Particularly in a wet climate, vegetation that grows right against the house would prevent the siding from adequately drying out and speed up weathering over time. Vegetation in contact with siding
The windows are all vinyl and there are panel front doors that are all in excellent shape.
Exterior outlets are all ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protected. GFCI outlets are required for areas with potential exposure to water and moisture to reduce the risk of electric shocks and fires.
- The non-latching bedroom door has been adjusted and latches now.
- The carpet has been replaced.
- For the main entrance hall cracked floor tiles, there are a few spares available, though not enough to replace all of them.
- The grout has been touched up in the main bathroom.
- The grout has been touched up in the kitchen.
- The gap in the kitchen tile behind the range is because the old range was slightly longer. It's normally not very noticeable, but there are some spare tiles available to replace it.
- The laundry vent in the kitchen pantry still works and the cover has been restored.
The house has an attached garage that is in overall good condition. However, the service door to the main house is not appropriately fire sealed. An attached garage should be completely fire sealed so any fires that might erupt in it do not easily spread to the main house. Also related to fire safety, the garage outlets are not GFCI protected. Garage service door not fire sealed
The main garage door is operational with safety sensors and a functional safety reverse that retracts the door when it comes into contact with an obstacle while closing.
The water heater is located in the garage and should technically have a barrier to prevent an accidental collision with a parking car. However, there is a laundry area right in front of it that is currently serving this function. Makeshift safety barrier
The house does not have a crawl space.
The house does not have an attic.
The interior of the house is in good condition. The ceilings are plaster and in good condition. There are no significant cracks in the ceilings or walls and also no evidence of water damage.
The windows are all double-pane vinyl to provide excellent insulation. However, two of the south side windows have failed seals that should eventually be repaired or replaced. Failed seal in master bedroom window
The tested windows and most of the doors all open and close easily. The south bedroom door, however, does not latch and should be adjusted. Similarly, the living room french doors need some adjustment to close properly. Living room french doors need adjustment
The fireplace is in good condition.
The stairs are even and there are adequate handrails with appropriate returns to the wall. This is a safety precaution to prevent clothing from getting caught on the handrails and to prevent a falling person’s hand from slipping off.
The flooring is carpet, hardwood and ceramic tile that is mostly in good shape. However, there is some wear and some tears on the carpeted steps as well as multiple cracks in the tile at the main entrance. Example of worn carpet
The bathrooms are in fair condition. Most of the tilework, joints and seams are appropriately sealed against moisture intrusion and should be maintained to keep water out of the walls and floors. However, the main bathroom tile counter grout is crumbling and needs to be redone and sealed. Crumbling counter top grout
The kitchen is in overall good condition. We estimate the appliances are about 5 years old. The kitchen counter is missing grout in a few sections, notably in the gap between the counter and the stove. These should be caulked and sealed against moisture. Gap between the counter and stove should be sealed
There is a decommissioned laundry vent in the kitchen closet that is missing a cover and has an exposed lightbulb installed. The setup is makeshift and should be cleaned up by a professional. Finally, the kitchen outlets are not GFCI protected. Open old laundry vent hole
The house has a 200-amp Kraus Heinz panel that is in good condition. The panel is free of double-tapped grounds and conductors. Prevalent in older houses, double-tapped neutrals make it difficult/dangerous to troubleshoot future electrical issues and also pose a fire hazard.
There are no Arc-fault circuit-interrupter (AFCI) breakers in the panel, however. AFCI breakers are a relatively inexpensive safety feature that can prevent electrical shorts and ground faults cause arcs, which produce sudden, high temperatures that can catch wood, insulation and other combustible materials in the vicinity of the wires on fire. Arcs generally occur due to worn or damaged electrical cords and wiring. AFCIs prevent fires by sensing when an electrical arc is about to occur and instantly disconnecting the damaged circuit before the arc builds enough heat to catch fire.
The wiring is all modern non-metallic sheathed and wire splices are well secured in closed junction boxes. Accordingly, all the tested outlets are grounded.
Also verified the bonds to the water and gas lines. The purpose of these bonds is to ensure that the metal pipes are at the same zero voltage to ground as the service grounded conductor. A secondary purpose is to ensure that there is a path back to the service for electrical current flow if the metal pipes somehow become energized.
HVAC and Water Heater
The house has electric wall heaters instead of a dedicated furnace. They are in good working condition at time of inspection. We recommend an annual cleaning to keep them clear of dust and lint buildup.
The water heater is a 3 year old General Electric model. It is secured with earthquake straps but does not have an appropriate drip tube installed for the pressure release valve. Earthquake straps are required to keep the tank from tipping over in an emergency. And the drip tube is required to prevent scalding accidents when the pressure release valve emits boiling water to prevent overheating. It is supposed to be within 6 inches of the ground or ran outside. No drip tube on water heater
The water/feed lines are all copper and in excellent condition. There is no pressure drop when tested by simultaneously running multiple fixtures. And overall water pressure is within the recommended 40-80 psi range. The water main shutoff is located in the garage.
The drain lines are PVC and the toilet drains are ABS; all in good working order. We recommend a sewer scope to verify that the side sewer line is clear all the way to the city main sewer.
- House faces south.
- Cracked concrete fence on west side.
- Vegetation on the east side should be trimmed away from the siding.
- Soil in contact with the siding on the east side.
- Damaged gutters on the northeast side.
- Wood rot in trim on the west side.
- Garage service door to the house not fire sealed.
- Makeshift safety barrier for water heater in garage.
- No drip tube on water heater.
- Downstairs south bedroom door does not latch.
- Living room french doors need adjustment to close properly.
- Example of cracked tile at entrance.
- Failed living room window seal on the south side.
- Old laundry vent needs to be professionally decommissioned.
- Seal the gap between kitchen counter and stove.
- Kitchen outlets not GFCI protected.
- Missing grout on kitchen counter.
- Failed seal in master bedroom south window.
- Worn carpet on stairs.
- Chip in the main bathroom sink; rust and leak potential.
- Loose toilet installation.
- Crumbling grout on master bathroom counter top.
- Evidence of water pooling on north flat roof over the kitchen.
Sewer Scope Results
Jason Perez from Pipe Pixs performed a sewer inspection of this property for Homevibe on 5/3/2016.
The house has a 107ft side sewer line that is in good condition.
The line is in good condition, with a couple of pipe separations with minor root intrusions as well as minor offsets in the clay sections. There is no significant debris accumulation or blockage in the line at this time and water is making its way to the city connection. We recommend an annual cleaning and a consultation with a sewer contractor to establish a maintenance regime for the roots emerging in the line.
The line is shared with the west neighbor (700 NW 73rd St). Also note that the video is cued to begin at the city connection and end at the access point. The first part of the video covers the same area, but much more slowly.
Distance to City Connection
107 ft to city street (NW 73rd St)
Main floor toilet
Type of Pipes
ABS (21ft) to PVC (50ft) to Clay (36ft)
- On the right at 49ft
- On the right at 51ft
- On the right at 62ft
- On the left at 69ft
The line is in good condition, based on the following rating scale:
- Excellent - No defects present
- Good - Only low risk defects present
- Fair - Pipe contains medium severity defects
- Poor - Pipe contains high severity defects
- Failure - Pipe is no longer functioning and is not structurally intact
The line is in good condition, with a couple of pipe separations with minor root intrusions as well as minor offsets in the clay sections. There is no significant debris accumulation or blockage in the line at this time and water is making its way to the city connection.
The first 71ft of the line comprises modern ABS and PVC pipes that are in excellent condition. All the defects are in the last 36ft clay section. There are two pipe separations with some root intrusion and several minor offsets.
The smaller of the two separations occurs at 77ft. Sewer lines installed before the mid-1980s utilized short sections of vitreous clay tile (VCT) pipe. These joints tend to leak over time, attracting roots to the moisture. Root infiltration at vulnerable spots typically begins with tiny hair roots that can eventually lead to cracks and separations as they grow larger. In this case there is a root ball present near the top of the pipe that may have caused the defect. There is some minor debris accumulation on it but it is too small to be creating a significant obstacle to water/waste flow.
The more significant separation occurs at 79ft. This section is 4ft deep, below the sidewalk in front of 700 NW 73rd St. It is large enough so there is water pooling in the area between the separated pipe sections. Separations can worsen over time and lead to offsets and root intrusions if leaking water continually erodes the soil supporting the pipes.
There are several minor offsets in the clay section that are not creating a significant impediment or accumulating debris at this time. Offsets occur when connected pipe sections do not line up perfectly, creating a step-like obstacle to water flow. Offsets can worsen over time and lead to blockage if leaking water continually erodes the soil supporting the pipes.
Consult a sewer contractor about the best way to control the root infiltration situation in the pipe. Jetting, chemicals and roto rooting are all examples of methods that could be used.
Flush the line every 2-3 months by filling and releasing water from the bathroom tub and sinks. This will generate a strong enough flow to move any stagnant water and accumulated debris before they create blockages.
All sewer lines should have cleanings performed on them on an annual schedule. This service is provided by a sewer cleaning agency and is performed to monitor conditions (such as the separations and offsets) and forestall potential future blockages within the side sewer line.
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