Knob and Tube Wiring

If you’re looking to purchase a home that was built between the late 1880s and early 1930s, your home inspector may discover knob and tube was used as the electrical wiring. While some argue that the knob and tube is actually superior to current electrical wiring practices, the age of the system typically leads to some type of degredation, therefore necessitating that it be at least partially replaced and upgraded.

It’s becoming more and more common now that buyers are unable to get a home insurance policy on a home with knob and tube. What insurance companies were willing to insure just 2-3 years ago has changed. If your home inspection turns up knob and tube, the homeowner will most likely need to upgrade the system in order to sell the home. You won’t be able to get an insurance policy to satisfy your mortgage commitment otherwise. I’ve seen this issue pop up twice in the past week. The seller now has to upgrade the system before the closing in each case. If you’re a seller, you might want to consider having the wiring fixed even before you list your house for sale. You’ll head off potential issues.

If you’re not familiar with knob and tube, here are two good links that give helpful explanations of how the wiring works and why it needs to be upgraded. Ask The Home Inspector and Wikipedia.

House Styles

Often when I’m driving around looking at homes, I wonder “what’s that specific house style?” It’s easy to pick out the traditional colonial, tudor, raised ranch, etc., but what about a Federal vs. Georgian style colonial? Or a Queen Anne vs. Eastlake victorian? I sometimes have difficulties telling the differences with older homes.

Well, no more. has a great picture dictionary that not only provides images, but describes distinguishing features that you can use to tell what differentiates design styles within the same category of home. Check it out to see if you can learn more about your house style.

Celebrate West Hartford- June 2 & 3

Every year West Hartford has a weekend-long community celebration. This year’s event will take place next weekend on June 2 and 3. You can enjoy a multitude of vendors selling arts and crafts, games and rides for kids, a 5K race, and some great food. The celebration takes place in West Hartford Center along Main Street.

Celebrate West Hartford is held rain or shine. Make plans to stop by for a few hours to check out the sites and the progress of Blue Back Square. Here’s a link to the official website if you’d like more info.

What's All This Junk?

So you get to the final walk-through and the house isn’t in broom clean condition. This is actually more common than you would think. Sometimes sellers purposely leave belongings behind, sometimes it’s just a mistake. With my personal residence, we did the final walk-through and everything appeared to be removed. Two weeks later we were investigating the dark corners of the attic and found a sad dresser that had been collecting dust for many, many years. We bought the house from a relocation company and they didn’t want anything to do with it. The dresser remains in the dark corner today.

Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times real estate section that discusses what renters and sellers leave behind. Sometimes you can apparently luck out with a flat screen tv and a bottle of wine! Good luck!