Why Home Inspections are Important

When you’re buying or moving into a new house, you want to make sure the structure is stable
and that there are no potential hazards. That’s why it’s very important you get your home
inspected by a professional. By doing so, you will know if any fixes or changes need to be made
before you can fully move in. Moreover, you will be able to avoid purchasing a house with
serious structural problems. In the rest of this article, we will help you understand what home
inspections are and why they are so important.

What Does A Home Inspection Cover?

While inspectors differ in terms of experience and thoroughness, a good inspector should look at
critical aspects of a house and then write a report detailing their findings. During the inspection,
they should inspect the roof, basement, driveway, foundation, electrical, insulation, and
plumbing systems. An experienced inspector will look at the general condition of the house and
any signs of future problems. For example, a radon inspection is rarely covered by regular home
inspections but can be done at a request.

The inspection typically lasts two to three hours. During the process, you should be there to hear
a firsthand explanation of the inspector’s findings and, if required, to ask questions. Also, rather
than relying merely on the snapshot images in the report, any issues discovered by the inspector
will make more sense if you see them in person.

What Isn’t Covered B A Home Inspection?

While a home inspection is a thorough look at the house from top to bottom, there are certain
parts inspectors can’t look at. An inspector can only look at visual clues during a home
inspection. Because this isn’t a comprehensive examination, it’s crucial to understand that
inspectors are unable to check the insides of some parts of a house. For example, inspectors can’t
check the inside of a chimney, behind electrical panels, inside walls, or check for toxic mold or
asbestos. However, the fact that there are certain things that home inspection doesn’t cover
doesn’t mean it’s not a very important part of the home-buying process or that it shouldn’t be
done before moving into a new home in a new town.

Best Reasons To Have A Home Inspection

In the introduction, we already mentioned one or two reasons why it might be a good idea to
have your home inspected before you buy it or move into it. However, there are plenty more
reasons why home inspections are important. Some of them are:

To Uncover Potential Safety Issues

A home inspection gives you the chance to properly explore the home you’re considering buying.
If you’re investing in a house, it’s in your best interest to have it checked out before you make a
deal and settle on a price. However, remember that a good house inspector will identify some
flaws in any property, even if it’s a brand new building. Moreover, some of the faults discovered
may not be significant, while others may pose substantial safety risks. For example, improper
electrical wiring, inoperable windows, and plumbing inadequacies are just a few of the most
frequent concerns inspectors discover during a house inspection. These issues can easily be fixed
and are not a substantial threat to your investment.

To Reveal Possible Pest And Insect Problems

Insect and pest infestations can sometimes completely damage a property. While the risk of
having a pest or bug problem varies depending on where you live, it’s still a good idea to check if
you have a problem with one of these. Termites, along with carpenter ants and powder post
beetles, can seriously damage or even destroy the wood inside your home. That’s why it’s best
you identify them before it’s too late.

To Forecast Future Expenses

Because purchasing a house is a significant commitment that might drain a buyer’s financial
account, it’s crucial to know what to expect in terms of costs in the future. That’s why having a
house inspected before buying means you can predict future expenses. For example, if the
inspector reports that the roof isn’t in great shape, you might have a few years before it starts
leaking and needs fixing. By knowing what can be a potential problem in the future, you’ll know
when to set aside money and plan ahead for such problems.

It Can Help You Negotiate The Price And Delay The Process

Another reason why home inspections are important is that they can help you renegotiate the
price of the home you’re buying if it has any significant or structural flaws. While sellers usually
hate this, it’s an entirely valid move for a buyer. If severe issues are uncovered during the
inspection, those results can be used as a justification for a price reduction. As a buyer, you have
to consider all the costs of repairs you will have to make after you move in. Combining those
costs with the costs of purchasing a house and moving can add up to a lot.

Furthermore, when certain problems need to be fixed, that can affect your planned timeline. For
example, if you discovered some structural flaws and decided to buy the house, you’ll most likely
want to fix those problems before you move in. This means your move-in date will be pushed
further. However, if you hire reliable interstate movers to handle your relocation to a
different state, they will likely be flexible and understanding of the circumstances. They will
make sure you and your belongings are taken care of and carefully moved no matter what.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, home inspections are important for many reasons, and you shouldn’t skip them
during the home buying phase. However, most importantly of all, they are important because
they give you peace of mind. By foregoing a home inspection, you may be causing yourself
unneeded concern and stress. On the other hand, you will be able to calm your anxiety knowing
that you are acquiring a very sturdy and secure property if you have a home inspection
performed.

Is the Fall a Good Time to Sell?

The early spring through the summer are generally the busiest times of the year for home sales, but the fall can be a particularly advantageous time of year for sellers. Housing inventory drops off during the fall months, so sellers have less competition. That means you can expect higher offers, fewer contingencies, and less scrutiny from buyers. You maintain more power over your terms.

Fall buyers are serious buyers! Early in the year you can get lots of lookers who are just thinking about buying at some point, but by fall the buyers still looking are ready to get under contract and often have a deadline. Many fall buyers are anxious to get settled before the holiday season and, if they have children in school, they will want to get them in their new schools before too much of the school year passes.

Employers who pay to relocate employees also like to shop off-season to save on moving costs. If you live near a large hospital, university, technology center, or industrial area, your home may be attractive to relocation services.

Fall is also prime time for buyers who aren’t shopping school districts. Young professionals and empty nesters are two populations more likely to shop in the fall. If you are marketing to these populations, you might want to show off multi-use spaces for exercise rooms, a home office, or game room.

The fall is much more fun for showing a home than the dead of summer. Use the mild weather and a festive atmosphere to enhance your home’s showing potential. As the temperatures cool and we welcome crisp, clear fall days, it becomes easier to maintain your yard and add to your curb appeal. You can use fall colors and foliage in your home décor to create a cozy atmosphere. Don’t forget some pumpkin spice scented candles or warm oatmeal cookies to warm buyers up for a sweet deal.

If you’re thinking about selling but can’t decide between listing now and waiting until after the holidays, now is the time. Give me a call, and let’s tie the whole process up in a pretty red bow long before the new year.⁣

The Do’s and Don’ts for Investing in Real Estate

Are you thinking about investing in real estate in 2021? It may be the perfect year to purchase a rental property, a vacation home, or to flip houses. I would be happy to help you find the perfect investment property, and I’ve put together this list of tips to help you get the best return on your investment.

First, consider what type of investment property is best for you and your family.

If you are thinking about a rental property, such as a vacation condo or rental home, consider how much time will be needed for things like maintenance, managing a website or rental listings, and vetting potential tenants. For rental homes, make sure the areas you are searching are attractive to tenants in terms of proximity to nearby business centers and transportation hubs, and in good school districts for family tenants.

Is a family vacation property more to your liking? Make sure you read any and all rules pertaining to owners and guests, as well as rules on renting your property out when you are not using it, if that is something you plan to do. Also be sure that your vacation property is somewhere you foresee your family wanting to travel to often enough to make it worthwhile.

For new house flippers, you want to find out what return you can expect to get in your market area and talk to contractors and suppliers to get realistic estimates on renovations, both in terms of price and time to completion.

Here are some additional Do’s and Don’ts for investing in real estate:

Do aim for at least a 15% return on investment.

Do look for homes priced in the low end of the median price range.

Do look for 3-bedroom, 2-bath single family homes for rentals or flipping.

Do focus on one neighborhood or area.

Do purchase rental properties close to your home if you plan to manage them yourself.

Do use one real estate agent to help with all your buying and selling needs.

Don’t purchase a second property until the first is earning revenue.

Don’t buy properties that you wouldn’t want to manage, even if you plan to use a property manager.

Don’t buy a home that you cannot afford to carry for several months in case of a slow market.

Don’t buy a home or condo without having inspections performed.

Don’t buy without title insurance.

Don’t buy more properties than you are able to manage.

As I said, I can help you search for investment properties. Sometimes buyers make the mistake of searching on their own and contacting the sellers or listing agents directly. Working with several different people wastes your time and increases the chances that you will miss out on a deal. Also, working with one agent allows that agent to learn your tastes, needs, and parameters, so I can be out looking for the right property while you are busy doing other things.

Our Top First Time Home Buyer FAQ’s answered

Mortgage-Related

How do I know if it’s time to buy instead of rent?

If you know where you want to live, have a steady and secure income, and are ready for the responsibilities of homeownership, then it’s a great time to invest in property.

How much do I need to save up for a down payment?

A conventional loan down payment is usually 20% of the sales price, but other types of financing require as little as 3.5% to 15%. A mortgage lender can tell you what types of loans you qualify for.

How do I know if I qualify for a loan and how much I can afford?

Contact a mortgage lender to get pre-approval for a loan. The lender will ask you some basic questions about your income and debts and can tell you what amount you can be approved for, and how much your mortgage payments will be.

What does the lender need from me to give me a loan?

Usually, you are asked to provide your last two tax returns to show proof of income. You should also provide recent bank and credit card statements and proof of your current pay rate. You will also be asked for your social security number so they can run a credit check.

What’s the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified?

While often used interchangeably, these terms don’t mean the same thing. Pre-qualification is an estimate of what you may be approved for based only on the verbal information you provide. Pre-approval means the lender has verified your income and debt information and run a credit check.

How do I know which mortgage option is right for me?

Your mortgage lender is the best person to advise you on this question. Their products and qualifications change from time to time, so they would know best what products are available to meet your needs.

Searching for a Home

What should I do when I see a house online that I like?

Call your buyer’s agent: the agent you are working with to find your home. It’s best that you work with one real estate agent throughout your search because that person learns what you like and dislike and will invest a lot of time vetting properties for you. That person also represents your best interests only. When you call the agent advertising the home, you are dealing with the seller’s agent, so, while they can assist you, they are also trying to get the best price for the seller.

Can you show me a house if it’s not your listing?

Absolutely. As a buyer’s agent, I can show you any house listed in our MLS system, and I will contact FSBO sellers on your behalf. As mentioned above, working with me as your buyer’s agent ensures that your interests are protected.

How do we write an offer?

When you find the property you want to make an offer on, I will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to help you determine a fair offer amount. I will also guide you through the additional terms of the contract, such as the escrow amount, closing date, and any additional terms you want to be added to the offer. I will write the offer on a contract form and submit it to the seller’s agent.

What if I want to back out of a contract?

You always have the right to back out of the purchase, but you may lose your escrow deposit. If the contract is contingent on a property inspection, you usually have the right to cancel for any reason during the inspection period. Once the inspection period has passed, you cannot back out and keep your deposit unless the seller agrees, or an additional term has not been met.

What happens if there are other offers on the house I love?

If a seller receives multiple offers on their home, usually their agent will inform the buyer’s that multiple offers have been received and the buyers have another opportunity to alter their original offer to present their “highest and best” offer. Keep in mind that many factors may influence the seller in addition to the offer price, such as the down payment amount, closing date, and inspection terms.

What happens when my offer gets accepted?

Once both parties have agreed on all terms and signed the contract, your escrow deposit must be made and you should schedule the home inspection. Your lender will receive a copy of the contract and will begin processing your mortgage application.

We’re Under Contract!

What does “under contract” mean?

Under contract means that all parties have agreed on terms, have signed the contract, and the signed contract has been delivered to both buyer and seller. Payment of the escrow deposit is expected but is not a requirement to make a binding contract.

What is escrow?

The escrow money, escrow deposit, or good faith deposit is money that is offered with an offer, or as soon as an offer is accepted, to show the seller that you are serious about moving forward with the purchase of the home. Because you forfeit this deposit if you back out of the purchase for any reason not allowed for in the contract, the larger the escrow deposit, the more seriously your offer is taken.

Do I need an inspection?

We always recommend that you have a home inspection done. In the scheme of things, paying a few hundred dollars to have peace of mind that there are no hidden dangers or problems is well worth the money.

How much are inspections?

The cost of the home inspection depends on the size of the house and additional inspections requested, such as swimming pool, septic tank, termites, insurance four-point (HVAC, plumbing, roof, and electrical,) wind mitigation, and radon. An average home inspection, without additional inspections, is about $300.

What if my loan doesn’t get approved?

If you have gone through the pre-approval process and have been forthcoming with all the information requested by your lender, it’s unlikely you will be turned down, but it does happen. Make sure you do not change jobs, purchase big-ticket items on credit, take out a car or boat loan, or open any other new credit accounts while your mortgage is being processed. If your loan does fall through, talk with your lender about changing to a different loan type.

When can I start moving?

When you have the keys! When you are financing your purchase, it takes four to six weeks for your loan to be processed. Once the lender gives the all-clear, closing is scheduled. You will sign your loan documents and both parties will sign documents transferring ownership to you. Unless other arrangements have been agreed upon by both parties, the sellers should have completely vacated the home when they sign the closing papers. You can have your belongings ready to move, and a moving company scheduled before you go to closing. At closing, you will receive the documentation you need to provide utility companies with proof of your new residence.