Which Home Inspection Problems Might Be Deal Breakers?

You’ve been to so many open houses that you’re starting to feel like a real estate expert. But it paid off! You finally found your dream home and made an offer.

But the time for making big decisions isn’t over. One question you probably have is: Do I really need to pay to get a home inspection?

While a home inspection is not always an absolute requirement, you should get one to rule out any major issues. Not all problems are deal breakers — you’ll likely just overlook that unpainted deck or loose doorknob.

Of course, some more severe issues may crop up during the home inspection:

  • Electricity and wiring troubles can be dangerous if the electrical system is outdated. But they’re merely an inconvenience in some cases. For example, some older systems can’t accommodate the power demands of modern appliances.
  • Foundational issues are hugely problematic and can run up quite a tab. Plus a home’s age doesn’t always factor into whether or not it has a faulty foundation. If the owner refuses to fix cracks (especially horizontal ones), it may be best to walk away.
  • Problems with doors can indicate greater issues, like overexposure to water. Structural complications can also lead to defective doors.
  • Exterior caulking that has deteriorated can lead to water damage, mold and greater long-term defects in your home.

So what can you do to protect yourself from a house with these issues?
The short answer is “inspection contingency.” Make sure you have one in your contract when you make your offer — before the inspection takes place. You could make the sale contingent upon negotiating repairs or price with the seller if the inspection reveals major issues. It also gives you the ability to walk away if a deal can’t be negotiated.

Each situation will be different, and it will depend on the home, the seller and your preferences.

Have questions about financing your home purchase? Get in touch today.

How Has the Home Appraisal Process Changed?

If you’re looking to buy a home this season — or thinking about refinancing — you may be wondering how things have changed to in recent months.

Many routine activities, including parts of the home financing process, look a little different now due to social distancing and other safety guidelines.

Getting a home appraisal is one such step that you may be curious about. Whether you’re moving up, downsizing or refinancing, we have answers to your home appraisal questions and more:

Q: What is a home appraisal?

A: Typically, it’s a process in which a licensed professional assesses the home and learns as much as they can. Then, they compare it to nearby homes that have recently sold. The appraiser’s job is to gauge the home’s value based on the property and data from the community.

Q: How are home appraisals being conducted right now?

A: Many appraisers are doing desktop and drive-by appraisals. The former means that they’re doing research based on local data, comparable sales and other recent appraisals. The latter involves the appraiser literally driving by the home to look at its exterior and the surrounding neighborhood. In both cases, they might also ask for videos and photos of the home’s interior if they’re unable to visit in person.

Q: When should I get a home appraisal?

A: The process of verifying a home’s value begins after you sign a contract to purchase or refinance it. The home appraisal is generally scheduled for you. It would normally happen within the first few days after all parties agree to the terms of the home’s purchase, but it may be postponed in some cases due to social distancing guidelines.

Q: How much does a home appraisal cost?

A: The cost depends on various factors, including the property size and the type of home. Most often, an appraisal is a few hundred dollars, which is typically wrapped up into closing costs.

Please reach out to our team if you have questions about any part of the homebuying and home appraisal process.

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Is It Time to Look for a New Home?

A lot has changed since the beginning of the year. Big events went virtual, social interactions have been limited and many of us have spent much more time in the house than we ever could have imagined.

These changes might even have you eyeing a new home purchase — either for financial reasons or to better suit the new normal.

Are you questioning whether your current home still meets your needs? Here are just a few reasons you might consider a new place:

  • You need more (or less) space. If you have college-age kids or elderly parents staying with you, you may have felt cramped at home in recent weeks. Or have you noticed that entire rooms go unused for months? It may be time to upgrade or downsize if your needs have changed.
  • Your work-from-home arrangement will continue. Are you going to work remotely for the foreseeable future? The kitchen table may cut it for now, but eventually you’ll probably need a dedicated home office — something to consider if you’re house hunting.
  • You’re spending more time outdoors. Maybe you find yourself craving the sunshine a little more than usual lately. If so, you might want to look at properties with a bigger yard, a patio, a pool or other outdoor amenities.
  • You want more convenience. Want to minimize the effort of running your household? Investing in a smart home might be a wise move. Hands-free faucets, smart thermostats and locks controlled with an app are just a few of the conveniences you might find.

If any of these apply to you, get in touch so you can get preapproved and start your next home search.

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Home Projects With the Highest Returns

If you’re spending time and money to renovate your house, choosing which home projects are worth it should be a top priority. You want to recoup some of your costs, don’t you?

Many upgrades could improve a property’s aesthetics or make it a better fit for your family. But not all projects will increase your home’s value — and those choices might affect how much your home sells for later on.

If you’re looking for remodeling projects that will get you a return on your investment, you may want to focus on these:

  • Stone Veneer Exterior: This is the highest-ROI project you can take on. The average homeowner recoups nearly 96% of the total cost. Plus, it does wonders for your curb appeal.
  • Wooden Deck: Want a great way to get more use out of your yard? This is the perfect place to start. A wood deck could add over $10,000 to your resale value.
  • Metal Roofing: Replacing your shingled roof with metal may net you about 61% of your project cost back and add more than $24,000 to your home’s resale value. As a bonus, it could help lower your energy bill.
  • New Garage Door: Upgrade your standard old garage door for a nicer model, like a wood or paneled one. In return, you might get a whopping 94.5% of your costs back — and improve your curb appeal to boot.
  • Major Kitchen Remodel: Any amount of kitchen remodeling is good for your home’s value. But a major overhaul can add more than $40,000 to your future sales price.

Need help covering the costs of your next home improvement project? Get in touch with us to learn about refinancing, home equity loans and other options.

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