Amy Uliss' Blog
It is always a beautiful and joyous feeling when you make an offer for a home, and the seller accepts it. However, you shouldn’t be in haste to pay the seller yet. Don’t be tempted to cut corners either by neglecting professional home inspection services all in a bid to reduce cost. Skipping home inspection should never be made because it will save you lots of headaches later on.
1. More Bargaining Power
A professional home inspection should reveal faults, or perhaps potential issues with the house. Knowledge gives you more bargaining power to ask for repairs or better yet, a reduction in the house price as compensation. But without such a professional inspection, you negotiate blindly, and when the deal is sealed, you find yourself paying additional money on things you know nothing of in the future.
2. For Safety
Here is another valid reason why you shouldn’t skip a home inspection no matter the reason. Getting an inspection on your home provides you with peace of mind. The home inspector will check the house for carbon monoxide, mold, and radon. If any of these toxic or harmful substances are present, that is enough reason to pull out of the deal.
Most insurance companies require certificates like wind mitigation and four-point inspection before you can finally be insured. If home insurance is one of the things you plan to do, make sure a professional home inspection is done in other to get those necessary certificates.
4. Protecting the House
The core functions of a professional home inspector aren't only to discover faults, as many assume. They can also offer tips on how to keep the house safe. Having a report definitely will save you a lot of money in return.
5. Future Cost Forecast
Another excellent reason to not skip home inspection is the insights to the future. A good home inspector can determine how long the plumbing will last, and also, the duration of the heaters or coolers before they stop functioning. With this insight, you can plan and negotiate properly with your seller.
6. Illegal Additions or Installation
In every region, there are building codes and regulations to which homeowners must abide. Otherwise, it will have a drastically negative impact on insurance, taxes, usability and overall value of the house. Through home inspections, rooms, garages or basements completed illegally will be exposed.
The advantages of not skipping home inspection are tremendous. To save yourself from future headaches, spend on a professional home inspection today. There are lots of licensed home inspectors in your locality, hire one before closing that new house deal.
It can be difficult to find the extra savings to put towards your first home as a renter. With rent and utility prices rising, most people’s paychecks are leaving them with less and less savings at the end of the month.
Buying your first home, however, can be a great long-term financial decision. It will help you build equity, and, eventually, you’ll be able to use that equity toward another home or toward retiring.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about some of the ways to save for a down payment while renting an apartment.
How much to save
In order to make the most of your first home purchase, you’ll want to save up as much of a down payment as possible. This will help you receive the lowest interest rate and reduce the amount you’ll pay toward interest.
If you can manage to save 20% of the loan, you’ll also be able to waive private mortgage insurance (PMI), that would otherwise set you back around $100 per month or more.
Smart ways to save while renting
If you’re ready to get serious about saving for your first down payment, let’s talk about the best way to approach your savings plan.
Pay off small debts
If you’ve had that lingering credit card debt that you’ve never quite paid off, now is the time. Take a look at your current debts. Pay off the smaller balances first and focus on debt with the highest interest rate.
This will enable you to start making larger deposits toward your down payment savings sooner and can help you avoid needlessly paying interest on small loans and credit card debt.
Open a dedicated account or CD
The best way to make sure you contribute to your down payment savings plan is to open a savings account or take out a CD (certificate of deposit).
A savings account with a high-interest return is a good option for people who are worried that they may need to access their funds before they’re ready to buy a home.
If you’re comfortable with not being able to access your funds until a set date, then a CD could help you save more money.
Since CDs are a one-time payment, many people choose to combine both CDs and high-interest savings accounts to achieve their savings goals.
Regardless of which option you choose, be sure to shop around for the highest interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher rates than traditional banks and are also easy to sign up for.
Direct deposit a portion of your pay
Opening a bank account or CD won’t do you any good if you don’t commit to contributing to it. If you are paid via direct deposit, visit your HR office and ask them to reassign a portion of your weekly pay to your new account.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to better prepare for your down payment. Don’t wait! The sooner you start saving, the sooner you’ll be able to purchase your first home.
Preparing your house to sell can mean different things in different markets. You want your home to be competitively priced and attractive to the buyer, so you put some extra effort into staging and end up with no takers. What happened?
Despite what you see in decorator magazines and on television, sometimes less is more, way more when it comes to staging your home.
Here are some areas to watch out for when following staging “advice.”
- Over the years, real estate agents have shared the notion that freshly baked cookies or bread evoke a warm and welcoming atmosphere. But unless you're offering the treats to share, leave the baking to the shop down the street. The idea has run its course and appears to be just what it is—a sales tactic that might backfire on you.
- In the same vein, don't light scented candles all over the place. What seems delightful to you may be overpowering to your potential buyer. They may be wondering just what you're trying to cover up. Instead, open the windows and air it out. Or use an odor-removing spray with a "fresh" or "linen" scent.
- Don’t cover the windows. Don’t buy new blinds, new drapes, new valances, or sheers. Just don’t! Your windows should be as lightly-dressed as possible. Remove or pull up shades to let the dazzling sunlight stream through the clean glass. Chances are, your buyer has different taste from you, so spending money on new window coverings would be a lose-lose!
- Leave the music and television off. Since you don't know your buyer's taste in music any more than you know their taste in candles, allow the home's everyday sounds to become music to the buyers' ears.
- Don’t decorate every surface. It’s easy to do when using magazines or home décor shows as your guide, but savvy buyers want to see the nitty-gritty surfaces. They want to know what they’re buying, and not worry about what you’re covering up with all that stuff.
- During holidays or events, don’t overdo the celebratory decorations. These become distractions and may turn off your buyers.
- If you've painted a room a deep shade of red or purple, consider painting it light and bright before your open house. Regardless of how popular they are in theory, homes with darker shades don't sell as quickly as lighter hues.• Don't leave family portraits and very personal items hanging on walls or filling display spaces. You want the buyers to imagine themselves there, not to see you.
When staging your home for sale, opt for less, not more. Less furniture, fewer window coverings, and limited décor give your home its best chance. For more ideas on home staging, talk to your local real estate agent.
Looking to sell your home? If so, it often pays to learn about the real estate market.
A knowledgeable home seller understands how to operate in any housing market conditions. As such, this individual can plan a successful home selling journey from day one until the final closing date.
Ultimately, there are many best practices for selling a house, and these include:
1. Clean Your House Both Inside and Out
A homebuyer's first impression of your house likely will impact his or her decision to submit an offer on it. Thus, if your home has a pristine exterior and interior, you can increase the likelihood of generating plenty of interest in your residence.
To boost your house's curb appeal, you should mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and perform myriad home exterior maintenance. Also, if there is chipped or cracked siding or other home exterior issues, you should complete assorted home exterior repairs as soon as possible.
When it comes to your home's interior, you should allocate significant time and resources to clean and declutter. Mop the floors, wipe down countertops and clean each room of your house. In addition, remove excess items from your home to show off the full size of your living space.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
What your home is worth today is unlikely to match what you initially paid for your house. Fortunately, a home appraisal can provide you with a good idea of the current value of your house based on its age, condition and other factors.
During a home appraisal, a property appraiser will evaluate your residence. Then, the appraiser will provide a property valuation.
With a property valuation in hand, you'll be able to establish a competitive price for your residence. And as a result, you can boost your chances of a quick home sale.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home may seem like a long, arduous process. However, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can take the guesswork out of selling a residence.
A real estate agent will learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. Therefore, if you need to sell your house quickly, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you prefer to take a wait-and-see approach to the housing market, a real estate agent can help you do just that.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is a home selling expert who can provide recommendations and suggestions. If you have questions about how to upgrade your house's exterior, a real estate agent can put you in touch with local landscapers and contractors. Comparatively, if you're unsure about how to price your house, a real estate agent can provide you with housing market data to help you make an informed decision.
When it comes to selling a house, working with a real estate agent is ideal. Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey.
Getting a professional inspection is one of the most important parts of closing on a home. An inspection can save you endless time and money if it catches repairs that need to be made, and it can draw your attention to any problems that could be dangerous to you and your family.
Many buyers, especially those who are buying a home for the first time, aren’t sure what to expect during a home inspection. They might have questions that they’re afraid to ask the inspector, or they might feel like they should be asking questions but don’t know the right ones to ask.
In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on the home inspection process. We’ll explain how to get started, what to expect on inspection day, and what to do with your findings.
Before closing on a home, it’s important to make sure your offer involves a contingency clause, otherwise known as a “due diligence contingency.” This section of your contract gives you the right to perform a home inspection within a given number of days.
Sellers may inform you that they have recently had the home inspected and even offer to show you the results of the inspection. However, it is best practice to have your own inspection performed with a trusted professional.
After your offer is accepted, you should begin calling and getting quotes from inspectors immediately.
Before the inspection
Once you’ve considered your options of inspectors and chosen an inspector, it’s time to schedule your inspection. Both you and your real estate agent should attend the inspection.
You’ll both have the opportunity to ask questions. However, it’s a good idea to write down your minor questions and ask them before or after the inspection so that the professional you’ve hired is able to focus on their work to do the best possible job inspecting your future home.
During the inspection
The inspection itself is pretty straightforward. Your inspector will examine the exterior and interior of your home, including several vital components and then will provide you with a report of their findings.
They will inform you of repairs that need to be made now, parts of the home that should be monitored for future repairs, and anything that poses a safety concern to you and your family.
The parts of your home the inspector will review include:
Heating, ventilation, air conditioning
There are some things your inspection won’t include. For example, mold, termite damage, and other issues that aren’t easily observable without causing damage might be missed by your inspector and will require a specialist.
After the inspection
Once the inspection is complete, you will have the chance to ask any remaining questions. You can review the findings of your inspection report and make decisions about how you want to handle any repairs that need to be made.
You may choose to ask the seller to make the repairs noted in your inspection report. If they refuse, you can withdraw from your contract at any time.
Ultimately, the choice will be yours what to do with the findings from the inspection. But having one can save you immeasurable money on impending repairs that you may not have been aware of.