Invest Realty Group's Blog
If you recently submitted an offer on a house and received a "Yes" from the seller, you likely will need to schedule a home inspection in the next few days or weeks. Ultimately, an inspection can make or break a house sale, so you'll want to plan for this evaluation accordingly.
Fortunately, there are several steps that a homebuyer can follow to plan for an inspection, and these are:
1. Find an Expert Home Inspector
All home inspectors are not created equal. And if you make a poor selection, you risk missing out on potential home problems that could prove to be costly and time-intensive down the line.
Before you schedule a home inspection, evaluate the home inspectors in your area. That way, you can find an expert home inspector who will go above and beyond the call of duty to assess a residence.
Reach out to a variety of home inspectors and ask for client referrals. Then, you can contact home inspectors' past clients to better understand whether a home inspector can match or exceed your expectations.
Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you find a qualified home inspector. In addition to helping you buy a home, this housing market professional can put you in touch with top-rated home inspectors in your city or town.
2. Make a Home Inspection Checklist
When it comes to preparing for a home inspection, it usually pays to be diligent. Thus, you'll want to put together a checklist beforehand to ensure that you know exactly which areas of a house that you want to examine.
A home inspection checklist may emphasize looking at a house's roof, heating and cooling system and much more. Also, it may be worthwhile to include questions to ask a home inspector in your checklist. This will ensure that you can receive comprehensive support from a home inspector throughout your house evaluation.
3. Consider the Best- and Worst-Case Home Inspection Scenarios
Although you'd like to believe that a home that you want to buy is in perfect or near-perfect condition, an inspection may reveal a wide range of problems. However, if you prepare for the best- and worst-case home inspection situations, you can increase the likelihood of staying calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful post-home inspection scenario.
If a home inspection reveals that there are no major issues with a house, you're likely good to go with your home purchase. Next, a home appraisal may need to be completed, and you'll be on your way to finalizing your transaction.
Conversely, if various problems are discovered during a home inspection, you may need to reconsider your home purchase. In this scenario, you may want to ask a seller to perform home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, you can always walk away from a home purchase as well.
If you need extra help preparing for a home inspection, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance that you need to conduct a successful home inspection.
If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future and are confused about many of the terms associated with mortgages, you’re not alone. Real estate is its own industry with its own set of processes, terms, and acronyms. If you’re new to the home buying process, there can be somewhat of a learning curve to understand what each of these terms means.
Since buying a home is such a huge investment and life decision, there’s a lot of pressure on home buyers to make sure they get everything right. This makes for a stressful situation for buyers who don’t feel like they understand the terminology of things like mortgages, appraisals, credit reports, and other factors that contribute to the home buying process.
To alleviate some of those concerns and to make the home buying process run more smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the most common, and most commonly confused, real estate words, terms, and acronyms. That way, when you’re talking things over with your real estate agent or your mortgage lender, you’ll be confident that you understand exactly what’s being considered.
Read on for our real estate terminology glossary.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) - This is one type of home loan. Mortgage rates with this type of loan fluctuate throughout the repayment term of the loan. The fluctuation is based on a market indicator.
Fixed rate mortgage (FRM) - Another type of home loan, a fixed rate mortgage has a rate which does not fluctuate, remaining constant for the life of the term, most commonly 15 or 30 years.
Appraisal - An appraisal is the determination of the value of a property. Appraisals are used when purchasing and selling a home, as well as when refinancing a home loan. Appraisers are required to be licensed or certified in each state and are usually paid for by the lender.
Appreciation - An increase in a property’s value, most commonly due to market inflation, or the general increase in home prices over time.
Depreciation - A decrease in a property’s value, due to either market deflation (uncommon) or the wear and tear on a home that comes with age.
Closing costs - The costs and fees that a buyer is responsible for when purchasing a home or taking out a mortgage. These include underwriting fees, inspections, appraisals, transfer taxes, and more. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount.
Contingency - Home purchases have contracts to protect the interest of the buyer, seller, and lender. Contingencies are provisions designed to protect the buyer or lender should something occur in the time leading up to closing on (or purchasing) the home. One common contingency is the buyer’s right to have a final inspection of the home before closing to ensure no new issues with the home have occurred.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) - Buyers who cannot afford a down payment of %20 typically are required to take out a private mortgage insurance policy. This policy protects the lender should the borrower default (fail to repay or meet the conditions of their loan).
If you want to maximize your home sale profits, it generally is a good idea to conduct a property appraisal before you list your residence. That way, you can receive a property valuation from an expert home appraiser. And with this property valuation in hand, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your residence.
A home appraisal may prove to be a stressful experience, particularly for a seller who is unsure about the value of his or her house. Lucky for you, we're here to provide insights into the home appraisal process and ensure that you can prepare for this evaluation.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you approach a house appraisal with confidence.
1. Understand How a Home Appraisal Works
Although you've allocated significant time and resources to upgrade your house, it is important to remember that the condition of your residence is one of several factors that a home appraiser considers. In fact, an appraiser will evaluate the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses in your area and other factors to provide an accurate property valuation.
Oftentimes, it helps to work with a real estate agent if you plan to sell your home. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive immediate responses to any of your home appraisal concerns and questions.
2. Establish Realistic Expectations for Your Home
Let's face it – what you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your residence's current value. If you set realistic expectations for your residence prior to an appraisal, you may be better equipped than ever before to accept the evaluation results.
It may be beneficial to look at the prices of houses in your area prior to an appraisal. This information can help you understand whether the housing market currently favors buyers or sellers – a factor that may influence the valuation of your house from an appraisal.
3. Explore Ways to Boost Your Home's Value
There are always options to bolster a house's exterior and interior. Therefore, following an appraisal, you should plan to complete home repairs that could help enhance your house's value.
As you search for ways to upgrade your residence, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent too. This housing market professional can offer recommendations and tips to help you improve your residence, even if you're working on a tight budget.
Of course, a real estate agent provides extensive assistance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will promote your residence to prospective buyers and host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine the best course of action.
Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of a successful house appraisal that leads to a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Do you have a dog or a cat that you absolutely love? Well, you are not alone. More people than you would imagine actually identify their pets as their best friends. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think of Twinkles as your best friend, you still want her to be safe at your home. Here are a couple of simple ideas that you can carry out to make your home safer and less injurious for your pets.
- Make sure your indoor plants are safe for pets. Plants like aloe vera, ivies and amaryllis are quite toxic for dogs. Lilies have also been shown to cause liver failure in kittens. If you are considering getting a newly potted plant, you might want to ask your vet if it’s safe for your pets before you decide to bring it home.
- Keep all chemicals behind closed doors. It’s not uncommon to find all kinds of chemicals in the house – antifreeze, rodenticides, cleaning products, fertilizers, etc. Remember that pets are by nature rather curious creatures, so make sure all your chemicals are safely stored away behind a closed cupboard, far away from the reach of your pets.
- Keep your trash cans tightly covered. And if it’s possible, keep them outside your home, and if that’s not possible, in a locked cabinet. The trash is usually full of discarded food, small pieces of trash and other waste products that you might not consider dangerous but may be very harmful to your pets.
- Keep your toilet lids down. Small animals have been known to drown in the toilet or poisoned by drinking chemically contaminated water from there.
- Keep your windows properly shut. This is very important, especially if you live in a high rise. If you have to open your windows, you should install a sturdy and robust window screen. Don’t count on the window bars alone; cats can fit through them and dogs can easily open them.
- Don’t leave food or drinks out in the open. Always try to keep food and other edibles out of the reach of your pets. What you may consider a gourmet dish may turn out to be toxic for Tiger. Grapes and raisins can lead to kidney failure in dogs. Caffeine and chocolate are also lethal too. Milk and dairy products can cause indigestion in animals too. For a more comprehensive list of dangerous foods for pets, see the ASPCA website.
When you’re shopping for a new home, make sure to tell your real estate about your pet needs, they can help you find the most pet-friendly properties.