Monthly Archives: September 2014

How to Handle Home Inspection Snags

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brown houseYou found it!  The perfect house in the perfect neighborhood for the perfect price. Your paperwork is in order, your lender contacted. You’re ready for closing…until your home inspector gives you a list of problems with your house that’s as thick as a Harry Potter book.

What do you do? Give up? That is an option if your offer to buy is contingent upon a home inspection. If so, you have every right to pull out of the deal, especially if you are concerned about the scope of work the property needs. You also have a few other options:

  • Ask the seller to fix the problems. Make sure they not only fix the problems, but that they have a licensed repairman fix the issue.  Ask for paperwork so you can prove the problems were fixed when you resell the home.
  • Negotiate a lower price. You can go back to the sellers and negotiate the price down so you can fix the problems. If you take this option, make sure you actually fix the issue—especially safety hazards and foundation issues that could worsen over time.
  • Ignore the report. This is an option, but not a recommended one—especially if you have any intention of selling the house.  If you don’t have the issues fixed now, you’ll have to pay for the repairs.

Remember, you are not alone. Ask your realtor for advice. They’ve seen this before, and can make recommendations and submit the proper paperwork to help you walk away and find another dream house or make your dream home a perfectly repaired reality.

Selling your home? Ditch the shag.

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Want to sell your home fast? Modernize your flooring for a quick sale.
Want to sell your home fast? Modernize your flooring for a quick sale.

If you want to sell your home, and sell it quicker, ditch the shag carpets and put down more modern floors. New flooring is also a solid investment, as buyers and appraisers base their decisions and numbers on the condition and style of flooring. If you are looking to resell your home tomorrow or in a few years, here are some tips to consider when purchasing new flooring:

  1. Carpet- Nylon. Polyester. Berber. The choices are endless.  The colors are endless. However, when you are putting carpet in a home for sale, stick to neutral color carpeting and avoid the longer carpet fiber options. Carpet is ideal for bedrooms, and many appreciate the soft feel.
  2. Tile-Tile is easy to clean, and comes in a variety of colors. Avoid the stronger colors and patterns, and stick to very neutral tile colors. If you have existing tile floors that are in good shape but have a few cracks, replace only the cracked tiles and give the floors a deep clean.
  3. Hardwood-Solid wood, engineered hardwood, laminate. If you want to attract a high end buyer, hardwood floors are your best bet. In addition, all three kinds of wood flooring are easy to clean (no matter how many showings you have), durable and come in a variety of finishes that allow you to bring out as much of the wood grain as you want.  If you have a large area (think a common area), hardwood can give your home the ‘wow’ factor that attracts buyers. Avoid putting hardwood flooring in bathrooms, where moisture can warp the wood over time. If you have original solid wood floors, consider sanding and refinishing the floor for a beautiful and budget-friendly look.

Remember, when getting your home ready for sale, or when making choices about a home you intend to sell, don’t just look up, look down. If you have questions, ask your realtor. Realtors can make recommendations that guarantee a larger bottom line and faster sale.

Where do you start your home search?

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3591You’ve watched the realty shows on television, right?  You know where to start with your home search.  Unfortunately, home searching is not that easy…but it’s not that hard, either.  Here’s a step-by-step guide that will guide you down the road to home ownership:

  • The lender. Don’t know where to find one? Contact a real estate agent for a referral. To set realistic parameters for your house search, you need to know how much you can afford and the amount a lender will give you—and if they will borrow you money. You don’t want to waste time looking at homes that you can’t afford.  Pick up the phone and contact a mortgage broker or your bank or credit union. Ask them what documents they need during the approval process, and the length of the approval process. Once they have documents like your W-2’s and tax returns, your mortgage lender will factor your income and credit rating into deciding if, and how much, they will give you. If the lender approves your loan, they will give you the maximum amount you are approved for, and the amount of your monthly payment.  Once you have the numbers, choose the monthly payment that will realistically work for you—you don’t have to borrow the maximum amount. Remember to add in property taxes, homeowner’s association fees and mortgage insurance, if applicable.
  • A property search checklist. Where do you want to live?  How many bedrooms do you want or need in your property? Do you want a large back yard? A condo with zero maintenance? Now is the time to write down your wants. Once you’ve written everything down, pick out the must haves and wants—and be prepared to make changes. It’s not unusual for a buyer’s list of must haves to change as they look at properties.
  • The realtor. Once you have the budget for your property search, now you can ask your friends for recommendations for a realtor. Your realtor will want to know your budget, ideal location and areas you will look in and what you are looking for (your must haves).  Be realistic.  You may not get every must have in your property. As you search, prioritize what must haves you need or want the most. Give your realtor feedback that they can use to zero in on the property that will work for you.

From there, your realtor will guide you to your final goal: HOME OWNERSHIP! Enjoy your new home, and your community. You own it!