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Posted by Julie Shanks on 12/22/2019

After you complete a condo inspection, you'll need to make a major decision: Should you move forward with your condo purchase or rescind your offer?

Ultimately, there are several important questions to assess before you finalize your decision on a condo, including:

1. What was discovered during the property inspection?

Study the results of a condo inspection closely. By doing so, you'll be able to learn about a condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly.

A property inspector will evaluate a condo both inside and out. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased feedback, enabling you to make an informed decision about how to proceed with a condo.

Take into account major and minor condo problems that a property inspector discovers. And if this inspector finds minor flaws associated with a condo, you may want to stay the course and move forward with your initial proposal.

On the other hand, if a property inspector finds significant problems with a condo, i.e. issues that may prove to be costly and time-consuming, you may want to consider rescinding your offer. Or, in this case, you can always ask the condo owner to complete property repairs before you finalize a condo purchase.

2. How much will it cost to perform assorted condo repairs?

The costs associated with condo repairs will vary. However, if you allocate the time and resources to learn about condo problems and the costs associated to fix these issues, you may be able to avoid expensive, time-intensive mistakes.

For example, consider what might happen if a property inspector discovers a defective kitchen light switch in a condo. Although this light switch is a problem, the time and costs needed to repair or replace the faulty light switch likely are minimal. As such, a condo buyer may choose to ignore this problem, or a condo owner may be willing to complete the fix quickly.

Conversely, consider what could happen if a property inspector finds that a condo's furnace is defective. It may cost thousands of dollars to fix or replace a faulty furnace. As a result, a condo buyer may ask the property seller to repair or replace the defective furnace. And if the condo owner fails to do so, a buyer may choose to walk away from the condo purchase altogether.

3. Can I enjoy this condo both now and in the future?

It is essential to consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of a condo purchase. That way, a condo buyer can determine whether a property can serve him or her well for years to come.

A property inspection offers valuable information that a buyer can use to assess the pros and cons of purchasing a condo. Furthermore, a condo buyer who works with an experienced real estate agent can get the support needed to make the best decision possible.

Consider the aforementioned questions as you evaluate your options following a condo inspection, and you should have no trouble deciding whether a particular condo is right for you.




Tags: buyer tips   Buying a home   condo  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julie Shanks on 12/15/2019

As a homebuyer, you may want to consider the seller's perspective before you submit an offer to purchase your dream house. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" to your homebuying proposal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the seller's perspective.

1. Review the Prices of Comparable Homes

Once you find your dream home, you may want to take a look at the prices of comparable residences in the same city or town. This housing market data can help you narrow the price range for houses in a particular area.

With insights into the prices of houses that are similar to your dream home, you can put together a data-driven offer to purchase. Perhaps best of all, you can avoid the risk of submitting a "lowball" homebuying proposal that misses the mark with a home seller.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The current state of the housing market may have far-flung effects on how much you should offer to pay for a residence.

For instance, in a buyer's market, there is an abundance of available houses and a shortage of buyers. This often means buyers can browse dozens of outstanding houses and won't necessarily face steep competition to acquire the right residence at the right price.

On the other hand, a seller's market favors sellers. It generally features an abundance of buyers and a shortage of top-notch residences. Therefore, if you're searching for a home in a seller's market, you may need to submit a competitive offer to purchase to secure your dream house.

Review the housing market closely so you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. If you find houses are selling quickly at or above sellers' initial asking prices, you likely are operating in a seller's market. Or, if you find houses linger on the real estate market for many weeks or months and sell at or below sellers' initial asking prices, you may be working in a buyer's market.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who can provide you with housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, he or she can help you evaluate the seller's perspective so you can submit a competitive offer to purchase the home of your choice.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides throughout the property buying journey, either. A real estate agent can help you hone your home search and find your ideal residence in no time at all. Furthermore, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to address them.

Want to purchase your dream house at a price that matches your budget? Consider the seller's perspective – you'll be glad you did. If you review the seller's perspective, you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move closer to acquiring your ideal house at a budget-friendly price.




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Posted by Julie Shanks on 12/8/2019

Photo by Andy Dean Photography via Shutterstock

The phrase “the joys of homeownership” is a staple in most households. But sometimes, you think you hear a snicker behind the smile. Now that you’re finally ready to become an owner, you might be wondering if that term is truthful or sarcastic. The answer is “Both.”

How can it be both?

No doubt about it, buying a home and making it yours is a fantastic achievement. Taking on part of the American dream builds your confidence, creates community stability and sets your household’s future on a positive trajectory. However, a home can also become an albatross. That could be what happens when you blindly purchase a home without an upfront and thorough inspection. Even a home that a relative or friend sells to you needs a professional home inspector to give you a baseline of what maintenance and repairs it may need.

How do you stay "joyful?"

  • Insist on a home inspection. As mentioned earlier, even if someone you know sells you the home, paying for an inspector to report on what’s up with the home’s major systems means you can plan for your future. If the inspection says the roof needs replacing in five years, you can factor that into your budget and not be surprised or upset when, in five years, you need a new roof.
  • Ask for a warranty. As part of the negotiations, have your agent request a home warranty for at least a year. You may even opt for renewal after that year. Get a warranty that covers problems with major systems such as the electrical panel and wiring, plumbing, water heater, HVAC and sprinkler systems. The cost to the seller is typically low, and helps maintain peace of mind when things start to get a little worn.
  • Stay on top of maintenance. If you’re handy, this is your moment to shine. Get a list of the most common maintenance issues in a home and schedule it into your free time. These include monitoring for water leaks, changing air conditioning and furnace filters and clearing out the gutters and downspouts before the winter weather wreaks havoc. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, then ask your agent to recommend someone to keep an eye on things for you so that they don’t turn into major problems.

Is homeownership a reason for joy? Of course. But don’t let unexpected expenses and maintenance issues dim your happiness. Ask your agent about home inspections, warranties and repair contractor referrals.




Tags: buying   Maintenance   Inspection  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julie Shanks on 12/1/2019

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Each room in a house requires its own tone and brightness.

In the bathroom, you’ll want bright vanity lights to see what you’re doing in the mirror. In the kitchen, you’ll want plenty of natural light to work by in the morning, and lights bright enough to see at night. The home office is a matter of personal preference--some people like bright lighting to keep them awake and alert, whereas others like to work in a calming environment that is more dimly lit.

In addition to adding character to your home, lightning is also a matter of conserving energy. Homes that are using energy efficient lighting can save $75 a year on their utility bill by replacing old incandescent bulbs. Furthermore, energy efficient bulbs have a longer life span, so you’ll have to change fewer of them over the years.

In today’s article, we’re going to talk about energy efficient lighting for your home and which options will best suit your needs.

Traditional incandescent bulbs

Many people have gotten used to the tone and warmth of traditional incandescent bulbs. However, with these bulbs 90% of their energy is given off as heat. In terms of lighting your home, that is 90% wasted energy.

Furthermore, due to upgrades in technology, incandescent bulbs are no longer manufactured and difficult to find.

Energy-efficient options

There are three main choices available for energy efficient bulbs. Halogen incandescent bulbs can be purchased in a range of shapes, colors, and sizes for your home. Although they meet energy ratings, the other two options are much more cost-efficient.

CFL or “compact fluorescent lamps,” are about 70% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and they also come in a range of sizes and colors. However, if you’ve ever noticed some lights that take time to brighten or “warm up” you were probably looking at a CFL bulb. For this reason, they aren’t the best choice for extremely dark areas, such as a basement, where you need a lot of light immediately to find your way around.

The third option is LED lights or “light emitting diodes.” The most energy efficient of the three, LEDs are brighter and longer lasting than the other options.

While they were once the most expensive bulbs on the market, reserved for small electronics displays, LEDs have become much cheaper in recent years. They are available in various sizes, colors, and are able to be dimmed. They’ll also use the least amount of electricity over a twenty-year timespan in your home, up to ten dollars less than CFLs.

Choosing the right bulb

Now that you know about the three types of energy efficient bulbs, you’ll be able to consider their benefits and drawbacks for each room in your home. LEDs will last longer, they reach their maximum brightness immediately, and they’re able to be dimmed, making them an excellent option for most rooms in your home. However, they are more expensive on average than CFL or halogen bulbs.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julie Shanks on 11/24/2019

Generally, the length of the homebuying journey depends on the individual. In some instances, a buyer will purchase the first house that he or she views in-person. Or, in other cases, it may take a buyer several weeks or months to find a house that matches his or her expectations.

There is no need to rush the homebuying journey. But if you know what to expect when you pursue your dream house, you may be able to seamlessly navigate the property buying cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the homebuying journey.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you know where you want to live and what you want to find in your ideal residence, you can tailor your house search accordingly. And as a result, you may be better equipped than other property buyers to discover a great house at an affordable price.

As you put together homebuying criteria, it is important to consider your long-term plans as well. For instance, if you enjoy city life and want to spend as much time as possible in the city, a house in the city may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to raise your family in a small town, you may want to hone your search to houses in small towns.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A home purchase likely will require you to obtain a mortgage. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available nationwide, and these financial institutions can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Meet with several banks and credit unions so you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage and enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're on the lookout for your dream home, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns – and much more.

Typically, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you find and buy your dream home. He or she initially will learn about your homebuying goals and develop a custom homebuying strategy for you. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you informed about open house events. And if you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will help you craft an aggressive offer to purchase this house.

Let's not forget about a real estate agent's homebuying expertise, either. If you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can respond to them. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed home purchase.

Simplify the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble finding and acquiring your dream house.




Categories: Uncategorized  




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