Carol Rock's Blog
A home inspection is one of the final stages of the property buying journey. If an inspection goes according to plan, a buyer may be able to seamlessly close on his or her dream residence. On the other hand, if problems are discovered during a house inspection, these issues may slow down or stop a home sale.
For property buyers, it helps to plan ahead for a home inspection as much as possible. Thankfully, we're here to help you do just that.
Now, let's take a look at three things that every buyer needs to know about home inspections.
1. A home inspection typically is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer to purchase.
With a home inspection, a buyer can review a house with a property expert and identify any underlying problems. If a buyer finds problems during an inspection, this individual can rescind his or her offer to purchase, modify the offer or move forward with a home purchase.
It typically helps to hire a highly qualified and experienced home inspector. By having a skilled home inspector at your side, you can gain the insights you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
2. A buyer is not required to go to a home inspection, but it generally is a good idea to attend.
Usually, a buyer, his or her real estate agent and a home inspector will walk through a house together during an inspection. It also is important to note that a buyer is not required to go to an inspection, but in most cases, it is a good idea for a buyer to attend.
A buyer who attends a home inspection may be able to receive home insights that he or she won't necessarily find in a house inspection report. As such, this buyer can obtain the house insights that he or she needs to make an informed homebuying decision.
3. A home inspection may require several hours to complete.
There is no time limit for a house inspection, but an average home inspection takes several hours to complete. After the inspection is finished, a property inspector will prepare a report that details his or her findings and provide it to a buyer within a few days. Then, a buyer will need to review the report and determine how to proceed.
As a buyer gets ready to enter the housing market, and eventually, perform a home inspection, it helps to hire a friendly, knowledgeable real estate agent. This housing market professional can help a buyer find the right home, submit a competitive offer to purchase and conduct an in-depth home inspection. And after a buyer completes a successful home inspection, a real estate agent will help this individual navigate the final stages of the property buying journey.
Simplify the homebuying process – employ a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to locate and purchase your ideal residence.
Before you kick off a home search, it is important to differentiate an ordinary house from a dream residence. That way, you can set realistic goals for your home search and accelerate the process of acquiring a house that matches your expectations.
Ultimately, each homebuyer's definition of a dream home varies. But for homebuyers who want to streamline the search for a dream home, there are several home factors to consider, and these include:
1. The Age and Condition of a Home
Dedicate the necessary time and resources to learn about a home's age and condition – you'll be glad you did. With these home insights, you can determine whether a home will require substantial repairs in the immediate future.
To evaluate a house's age and condition, you should hire a home inspector. This professional will examine a residence both inside and out and search for any structural problems with the property. Then, the home inspector will provide a detailed report that outlines any home issues.
A home inspection offers a valuable learning opportunity, one that can help you determine if a house is right for you. And if a home inspection reveals your dream home is actually a dud, you can always rescind a home offer and reenter the housing market.
2. A Home's Price
Many people want to own large, extravagant mansions. Yet the costs of these properties can be prohibitive, which is why most homebuyers search for houses that fall within a specific price range.
As you prepare to search for your dream home, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will enable you to enter the housing market with a budget in hand and avoid the temptation to spend too much on a house.
Also, it is important to realize that no home is perfect. Although you may search far and wide for a dream house that has all the amenities and features that you want, you'll likely need to make trade-offs to find your ideal residence.
Creating a list of must-haves and wants for your dream home usually is a great idea. This list will enable you to narrow your home search, evaluate properties that fall within your price range and discover your dream home faster than ever before.
3. A Home's Location
Consider where you want to live before you launch a home search. By doing so, you can identify available houses in certain cities and towns and map out your home search accordingly.
Think about what's important to you in terms of home location. For example, if you want a home that's close to your office in the city, you may want to search for residences in or near the city itself. Or, if you want to live close to the beach, you can explore properties that are conveniently nestled along the beachfront.
Lastly, if you need help finding your dream home, you should hire a real estate agent. With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble making your homeownership dreams come true.
A home inspection enables a buyer to examine a residence and identify any underlying structural issues. Plus, the assessment allows a buyer to receive a report that details a home inspector's findings to help him or her determine how to proceed in the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, it helps to prepare as much as possible before you conduct a home inspection. If you allocate time and resources to get ready for a home inspection, you'll be better equipped than ever before to achieve the best-possible inspection results.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home inspection.
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
There is no shortage of home inspectors for hire in cities and towns nationwide. However, differentiating an average home inspector from an expert one can be difficult.
When it comes to getting ready for a home inspection, it pays to hire an expert to assess a residence both inside and out. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can learn about myriad home problems before you finalize a house purchase.
To find an expert home inspector, it helps to reach out to home inspectors in your area. Learn about each home inspector's expertise and ask for client referrals. After you perform an extensive evaluation of home inspectors, you can hire an expert home inspector to assess any residence, at any time.
2. Develop a Game Plan
If you want to achieve the optimal results during a home inspection, it helps to enter the inspection with a plan in hand. That way, you can evaluate all aspects of a residence and improve your chances of identifying both minor and major home issues.
Ensure your home inspection plan includes assessments of a house's interior and exterior, as well as a residence's attic, basement and roof. Also, you should test a home's heating and cooling system during an inspection.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A home inspection may prove to be difficult if you fail to plan accordingly. Luckily, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to maximize the value of a home inspection.
Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. Once a seller accepts your offer on a home, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home inspectors in your area. Then, you, your real estate agent and your home inspector can work together to perform a successful home evaluation.
A real estate agent will provide plenty of assistance after a home inspection too. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed with a house after an inspection, a real estate agent can offer recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
Want to take the guesswork out of a home inspection? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare for an upcoming home inspection.
Most homeowners would love to be able to pay off their mortgage early. However, few see it as a possibility when they take into account their earnings and other bills.
There are, however, a few ways to pay down your mortgage earlier than planned. But first, let’s talk about when it makes sense to try and pay off your mortgage.
When to consider paying off your mortgage early
If you recently got a promotion, have someone move in with you who contributes to paying the bills, or recently got a secondary form of income, you might want to consider making extra payments on your mortgage.
However, having extra money doesn’t always mean you should spend it immediately on your home loan.
First, consider if you have a large enough emergency savings fund. It might be tempting to try and throw any extra money at your mortgage as soon as possible, but there are other financial commitments you should plan for as well.
If you have kids who will be applying to college soon, remember that student aid takes into account their parents’ finances. If your children plan on applying to institutions with high tuition, then your equity will be counted against you.
Refinancing to pay your mortgage early
Refinancing your home loan is one option if you’re considering increasing the payments on your mortgage. If you can refinance a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan with a lower interest rate, you’ll save money in two ways--your lower interest rate and the fact that you’ll be accruing interest for less time.
There is a downside to refinancing. Once you refinance, you’re locked into your new payment amount. So, if your higher income isn’t dependable, it might not make sense to commit to a higher monthly payment that you aren’t sure you’re going to be able to keep paying.
There’s also the matter of refinancing costs. Just like the costs associated with signing on your mortgage, you’ll have to pay closing costs on refinancing. You’ll need to weigh the cost of refinancing against the amount you’ll save on interest over the term of your mortgage to see if it truly makes sense to go through the refinancing process.
Paying more on your current loan
Even if you aren’t sure that refinancing is the best option, there are other ways you can make payments on your mortgage to pay it off years sooner than your term length.
One of the common methods is to simply make thirteen payments each year instead of twelve. To do this, homeowners often use their tax returns or savings to make the thirteenth payment. Over a thirty year mortgage, this could save you over full two years of added interest.
A second option is to make two bi-weekly payments rather than one monthly payment. By making biweekly payments you have the ability to make 26 payments in a year. If you were to just make two payments per month then you would make 24 total payments. Over time, those two extra payments per year add up.
"Motivation" could be defined as a positive energy that is applied to the achievement of a desired goal.
You may be wondering whether you, as a home seller, need to be motivated. The short answer is: "Yes! Your attitude and energy level can potentially make a huge difference in the sale of your home!"
In rare instances, the right buyer may show up at just the right time, without much effort on your part. However, when it comes to getting the best price for your house and selling it within the shortest period of time, you don't want to leave things to chance! The stakes are too high and the window of opportunity is too brief to depend on luck. Although there are several variables that are beyond your control -- such as market conditions, location, and time of year -- there are plenty of things you can do to increase the probability of a fast sale.
Choose a proactive real estate agent: The encouraging news is that there are many full-time real estate agents who are personable, focused, and results oriented. They know their business and they recognize the value of positive client relationships. However, all real estate agents are not created equal. Unless you're hiring a real estate agent based on a rock-solid recommendation from a trusted friend or relative, it's always best to interview at least two agents before making your final decision.
The real estate agent you ultimately work with will have a direct impact on many aspects of your home-selling experience, so it pays to choose carefully. Although a good rapport does go a long way toward a successful working relationship with an agent, it's vital to find one who's experienced, knowledgeable, and successful. Success is important because if they don't have a proven record of selling houses in your area -- especially ones in your price range -- then how can you be sure they'll market your home effectively?
Always put your best foot forward: One crucial thing house sellers do have control over is making a good impression. You rarely get a second chance to make a great first impression, so it's well worth your while to prioritize things like curb appeal, cleanliness, and home staging.
If there's anything about the appearance or functionality of your home that concerns you, you can be sure prospective buyers are also going to notice it. An experienced real estate agent will have a good sense of effective home staging, what might put off buyers, and how you can cost-effectively remedy problems.
Half the battle usually involves thoroughly cleaning your house, applying a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint where needed, and getting rid of clutter in and around all surfaces, including floors, countertops, walls, and storage areas. Although every situation is different, when it comes to furniture arrangement and room décor, "less is (usually) more!"