What's New

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Hydrostatic Sewer Tests | Why You Need One | Mitchell Property Group

Friday, April 1st, 2016

The camera test didn’t show anything was wrong with these 50 year old drain lines. It’s a good thing we did a hydrostatic test. We dodged a $20,000 bullet! Yes, $20,000 is what we spent to fix all the drain lines in this house.
If you buy a house with a slab foundation from me I highly recommend that you have a hydrostatic test performed. I’m talking about the test where they insert a test ball at the cleanout, a toilet is removed and the line is filled with WATER. I’m not talking about pressurizing the line with air. I’m talking about filling it with water which is exactly what the line is designed to do. This is the same test the city of Amarillo performs before they will issue a passing inspection. Some people call this a hydrostatic and some people call it a static test. In Amarillo most people call it a hydrostatic test. It doesn’t matter what term is used what matters is how the test is performed.
About a year ago I started hearing a lot of crazy things being said about hydrostatic testing. One seller told me he had heard that this test would cause sewer lines to explode and buckle the floor. Another seller told me that it would cause a perfectly good line to split right down the middle. You would have thought that plumbers had started using dynamite to test these lines! So I thought I would weigh in and try to dispel some of the most common misconceptions.

1. Hydrostatic tests are only performed in Amarillo. FALSE. They are very common in bigger cities like Dallas and Houston. Many agents in bigger cities are now advising sellers to have them done ahead of time and provide the report to their buyers.

2. Camera tests are just as reliable as hydrostatic tests. FALSE. VERY FALSE! It is impossible to see cracks in some older lines. Often times a camera test shows no problems but when work is done there are cracks found in the drain lines. Also, cameras can’t make 90 degree turns around elbows and p-traps. So you end up only being able to look at some of the lines but not all of them. Finally, most of the time standing water and junk are in the line which makes it impossible to see anything at all. Camera tests are just not reliable. I know from experience!

3. Hydrostatic tests put too much pressure on lines. FALSE. Most hydrostatic tests require filling the lines with water up to approximately 1 foot above the line. For every foot of elevation the water puts .43 lbs of pressure on the line. So the typical test puts .43 psi on the line. In rare instances they fill the water up to 3 feet above grade. This test puts less than 2 lbs of pressure on the line. If they were to fill water up to 10 feet above the line it would still only jump the pressure up to 4.3 psi.

4. Drain lines are not made to withstand this much pressure. FALSE. The burst rate for cast iron is 200 pounds per square inch. The typical hydrostatic test puts .43 psi of pressure on a drain line. Not even close. Also, if this were true, the first time anyone had a sewer back up their drain lines would explode. A sewer back up that causes a toilet to over flow puts more pressure on a drain line than a hydrostatic test. Have you ever heard of a clogged sewer line suddenly exploding? Finally, consider this… Sewer systems are made to hold water when your lines back up. I repeat, they are made to hold water, not just drain water. So how will a test that involves filling the line with water cause any harm?

5. If a pipe has a pre-existing crack a hydrostatic test will cause it to crack more. FALSE. Cast iron pipe that is not packed in dirt has a burst rate of 60 psi. Way below the pressure exerted by a hydrostatic test. If the pipe is packed in dirt (like all sewer drain lines are) the burst rate is even higher. So there is no way that the test is causing more damage. It should also be noted that if a pipe has a pre-existing crack it is already bad. The test is just revealing what is already there.

Over the last 15 years hydrostatic sewer testing has saved my bacon more times than I can count. I know there are different opinions out there and that is fine. I respect everyone’s opinions even if I disagree. I encourage everyone to do their own research and form their own opinions. But form your opinion from facts that are based on physics. Don’t just believe what you hear. The bottom line for me is this… If there is a problem with a house I want you and your family to know about it up front so that I can fix it or you can buy another house. If you buy a slab house from me get a hydrostatic test!

Wade Mitchell
Mitchell Property Group

Mitchell Property Group

Mitchell Property Group

Real Estate Investor VS Realtor | Mitchell Property Group

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Real Estate Investors are an interesting lot. Most of them are fiercely independent and extremely stubborn. They have Maverick personalities and are not big on rules. They always think outside the box. Most of the good ones I know have a knack for being able to quickly analyze a deal and pull the trigger.

Realtors are also a very interesting group. Most of them are very “by the book”. They like to follow the rules and have a difficult time thinking outside the box. Not all of them but many are this way. The good ones have the ability to put their ego aside and get a deal to the closing table.

Every day I get to work with Realtors and Investors. It can be very interesting at times to say the least! Most of them are top-notch. Emmy has a classic Realtor personality and I have a classic Investor personality. I help her to think outside of the box and she keeps me out of jail!

The cool thing about our company is that we are able to offer our clients both options.  I can make an all cash offer to buy the house as is. Emmy can show them what she could list the house for and they can compare options.  Either way we are happy to help.  Sometimes people are on the fence and have a hard time deciding which way to go.  In that case we always recommend listing the house first to see if it will sell.  If it doesn’t sell they can always take my cash offer at any time and we will waive the Realtor fees.  This lets our clients try to sell their house for as much money as possible while knowing that at any time they can sell the house to me if they need to.  Pretty cool huh?

If you have a house that you need to sell or list or maybe a combination of the both call us.  I guarantee you we can help!  Call us today at 806-359-7653 or visit us Sell My Amarillo House.

Mitchell Group-7


Give your Realtor a break! | We Buy Amarillo Houses 806-359-7653

Monday, October 19th, 2015

I just got a call from an angry seller. He said he had listed his house with a Realtor who was doing a terrible job. They had received a contract on their house. The contract stated that it was an as is sale but during the inspection period the new buyer discovered that the roof had hail damage. This meant that the house was not insurable. According to the contract the buyer could now either renegotiate or back out. The seller believed all of this was his Realtor’s fault! He believed that she should have convinced the buyers to go ahead and buy the house because it was an as is sale. He said he would rather just sell it to me and not tell his Realtor. This really upset me. You see, I’m married to a Realtor and I know how hard the good ones work. I asked for the address and pulled it up on the MLS. As it turned out this particular agent was doing a wonderful job marketing his property. And she had given him great advice on how to price it. I informed him that I would never go behind his agents back and buy his house. Besides being unethical, it is illegal. I also told him to just file an insurance claim and fix the dang roof!
I see this type of thing all the time. Many times Realtors get blamed for things that are out of their control. If a house is overpriced or in terrible condition the best Realtor in the world can’t sell it. In my opinion this is what a good Realtor will do. They will advise you on the proper list price. They will advise you on any repairs that need to be made before you put the house on the market. They will market the house aggressively. They will advise you when you should lower your price. They help you through the negotiation process and most importantly they help get the deal closed. But they are not miracle workers so give them a break!
I have to admit that I have seen some agents who do a very bad job and that is a completely different story. If you have a bad agent you have some real problems. Once your listing agreement expires call me. Until the listing agreement expires they will be owed a commission if the house sells.
If you have a house that you need to sell call me! We will happily cooperate with your agent if the house is listed. We work with Realtors every day so it is not a problem. You can visit us online at Sell My House or call us at 806-359-7653.

Mitchell Property Group | Do You Need Help With Real Estate?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Wade and Emmy Mitchell, Mitchell Property Group

How can we help you? Do you have a Real Estate problem that you need help with? Maybe you don’t need to sell but you have a different kind of problem? Here are some common questions that we get:
1. Who is a good real estate attorney?
2. Do I need to probate this will or is there another way that is cheaper?
3. How to I write a contract to sell my house to my friend?
4. Should I sell my house or rent it out?
5. Should I make improvements or sell my house as is?
6. How do I sell my house on my own?
7. Should I sell my house to an investor or list with a Realtor?
We don’t mind helping you with any question that you may have. We have been in business for a long time and we have seen all sorts of unusual situations. If we don’t know that answer we probably know of someone who does! Give us a call at 806-359-7653 or visit us online at Mitchell Property Group


Flooded Houses, Tall Weeds | We Buy Flooded Houses!

Monday, June 1st, 2015

I drove by a sign the other day that read ‘pray for rain.’  It was in a yard that had about 6 inches of standing water.  Rain in the Texas Panhandle is always a good thing.  But this much rain can reek havoc on older houses.

Flooding is the biggest problem.  Amarillo does not have the best water drainage.  In fact there are many neighborhoods that flood every time it rains this much.  This can cause problems like damaged foundations, black mold, and rotten base plates just to name a few.  Another problem is out of control weeds.  This is especially true on vacant properties.

If you have a house that has water damage that you would like to sell call us!  We buy Amarillo houses ‘as-is’ and we close fast.  Call us today at 806-359-7653 or visit us online at We Buy Flooded Houses.

We buy Amarillo houses!

We buy Amarillo houses!

We’ve Been Buying Houses For 15 Years! Thank You Amarillo!

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

15 Years ago we started buying and selling houses in Amarillo.  The first few houses we bought were such a struggle.  It was hard to find houses to buy.  It was even harder to find the financing to get them bought.  And since we did most of the work ourselves, the remodel process was brutal.  At that time I was working 60 hours per week in a job that I hated.  Emmy was pregnant with Carson.  I would get off of work at 8:00 at night and we would go work until midnight or later.  It would take us months to finish each house.  To be honest, we had no clue what we were doing.  We made so many mistakes.  In 2003 Emmy got her Real Estate License.  For the next three years she ran the business while I worked.  It was very discouraging at times because it seemed like we were not making much progress.  What made it even more difficult was that we had two toddlers.  Finally in May of 2006 I was able to quit my job and start doing Real Estate full time.  We soon found out that being in business for yourself is not as glamorous as people think.  There have been many challenges and setbacks that we have faced in the last 9 years.  I never will forget when the financing crises of 2008 hit.  At that time we had 15 houses on the market.  It is only by the grace of God that we were able to survive!

In the last 15 years we have bought and sold hundreds of houses.  We have met some amazing people along the way.  Every year I stop what I am doing and write a ‘Happy Anniversary’ blog.  We will never stop being thankful!  If you have a house that you need to sell call us at 806-359-7653 or visit us online at We Buy Amarillo Houses.

Wade and Emmy Mitchell Mitchell Property Group Amarillo TX

Wade and Emmy Mitchell
Mitchell Property Group
Amarillo TX

Are Vacant Houses Safe? | We Buy Amarillo Houses

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

It was Thanksgiving night in a nice neighborhood in Southwest Amarillo. We were about halfway through an extensive remodel when someone kicked in the back door and vandalized our house. They knocked out most of the windows including a large picture window in the front of the house. They knocked holes in the sheetrock. The bathroom plumbing was all exposed because we had gutted the bathroom. They shoved old rags and debris down the toilet drain lines. Then they went outside and turned on the water meeter and flooded the house. Luckily our foreman drove by the next morning and turned off the water. Otherwise it would have gone unnoticed until Monday. The damage totaled over $10,000.

The crazy thing is that this has happened to us many times over the years. It can happen in good and bad neighborhoods. Sometimes the damage can be much worse. Thank goodness our insurance policy covers vacant houses. Unfortunately most homeowner policies do not. The only thing worse than vandals is squatters. We have had many people squat in our houses over the years!

If you have a house that is vacant you should call and make sure your insurance policy covers vandalism. The best thing to do is sell it, rent it, list it, or move into it. Bad things happen when houses sit vacant too long.

If you have a house that you need to sell call us at 806-359-7653 or visit us online at We Buy Amarillanother broken windowo Houses

Think Only Stupid People Sell to Investors? Think Again! | We Buy Amarillo Houses

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

I hear this a lot. “Only an idiot would sell to an investor!” Or “Why would anyone leave all that money on the table?”
I was eating lunch with my wife on a Friday at Abuelos. It is her favorite place to eat and it’s close to our office so we try to go as much as possible. My phone rang and I immediately hit silence. I noticed it was a Realtor I have worked with over the years. After lunch I called her back. This is the scoop she gave me. Her house was in a nice part of town. She had lived there for 15 years. It was not in terrible condition but it was not updated. She had found a great deal on a new home that required her to act fast. She wanted me to come give her an offer.
When I met with her to look at the house it was just as she had described. It was dated. It needed paint, flooring, and updating in the kitchen in bathrooms. It also had an older sewer line. I asked her why she didn’t just list it herself. She said “Oh honey, on a house like this it never works out like you think!” Now keep in mind that this is a very seasoned successful agent. Why would SHE sell to an investor. Because she is smart!
First of all she needed to sell fast. If she listed the house she knew it would take a few months to get closed under the best of circumstances. She also knew that homeowners would hire an inspector who would pick her house apart. It happens all the time. She knew from experience that by the time she paid a Realtor commission to the selling agent, made lender required repairs, and paid closing cost that she would end up right back at the same price that I was offering her. Besides I offered to pay ALL closing costs. In other words, she would NET the same either way but my offer was faster and much easier. Smart sellers and agents focus on the NET price, not the contract price.
The following Friday I met her at the title company and we closed. She walked out with a check and I took my wife to Jason’s Deli. It’s right next door to the title company.
There are many times when someone has a house that doesn’t need work and they have plenty of time to sell it. In those cases they should use a good Realtor. I recommend giving my wife a call. She is a great agent! But when the house needs work and time is of the essence do what the smart Realtors do… Call me!
Call 806-359-7653 or visit me online at We Buy Amarillo HousesWe Buy Amarillo Houses.

Merry Christmas From Mitchell Property Group!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. The housing market slows down so it allows me to take time off to spend with my family which is my favorite thing to do! Throughout the year we get a lot of calls from people who need to sell their house. We see a lot of families facing some very hard times during the holidays. Every year we choose a few families who we can help. We believe it is very important to always give to those who are in need. As much as we like to buy houses we like playing Santa Clause even better. This year we were able to help three families. One family received a car load of groceries and clothes for their four kids. Another family received a new gas stove, clothes, and groceries. The last family received clothes, groceries, and a Wal-Mart gift card. Each family had a different situations but every one of them needed help.
At this point you may think that I am bragging but I am not. I am just very thankful that the Lord has blessed our business enough this year so that we could help these families. I want to challenge you to give back this Christmas. If you can’t give money then give of your time. If you have never done this type of thing you will be in for a treat. I promise that you will end up being the one who receives the biggest blessing.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Mitchell Property Group. Remember that Jesus is the true reason for Christmas. Without Him we would all be lost.

If you have a house that you need to sell give us a call at 806-359-7653 or visit us at We Buy Amarillo Houses

We Buy Amarillo Houses | We Want to Help 806-359-7653

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

I have seen just about everything in my 14 years of buying houses. I’ve seen a lot of things that are just heartbreaking. I’ve seen the effects of divorce, drugs, bankruptcy, job loss, vandalism, and fires. But yesterday I went and met with a family who had lost their teenage son. They wanted to sell their home because the house has too many painful memories. As I walked through their son’s room I noticed many things that reminded me of my own teenage son. A set of weights in the corner, sports trophies, camping gear, football posters, and a camouflage covered bible. This was your typical all-American boy. As I walked through the house I prayed that the Lord would give me special wisdom to help this family. I proposed that they move in to one of my rentals and allow me to help them make some of the repairs that would be needed so that they could sell their house for retail on the open market. But they just wanted out. So I made them an offer and told them to think about it and pray about it. In the end they decided to sell me the house. I am going sell them one of my remodeled houses at a discounted price. Since they want to move as soon as possible I will let them rent my house until they can get their loan approved. It feels so good to be able to help amazing people like this family.
I am writing about this to let you know that if you have a problem that involves Real Estate I’d like to help. Even if I can’t buy your house I would still like to help. Many times we advise people to do something besides sell their house. I have helped people with insurance claims, repairs, and title problems. I am pretty creative when it comes to Real Estate. If you are facing a desperate situation call me. I am not going to try to steal your house. Maybe I can think of an option that you haven’t thought of. There is never any obligation on your part and all calls are confidential. Call me at 806-359-7653 or visit my website at We Amarillo Houses.

Better Business Bureau LogoAmarillo Chamber of Commerce LogoTwitter LogoGoogle Plus LogoFacebook LogoYouTube Logo