New Home Buyer Guide

What to Expect when you get a Home Inspection

When purchasing a home, it is a good idea to have the home checked out by a professional home inspector.  I recommend making your offer subject to a satisfactory home inspection. These are some of the questions the home inspector should answer for you.

  • Action Steps First Time Home BuyersIs the home structurally safe?  Is it soundly built?
  • What condition is the home’s exterior?
  • What condition is the roof in?
  • Is the ventilation and insulation adequate?
  • Are the heating and AC systems working properly?
  • Are the windows and doors in good working order?
  • Are the plumbing fixtures working properly?
  • Where is the main water shut-off valve?
  • Is the electrical panel properly labeled?
  • Is there any evidence of water leaks in the basement or crawlspace?
  • Are the gutters and downspouts working as intended to control water?
  • Are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed and working properly?
  • Does the home have a security system?
  • Is there evidence of pests (ants, termites, rodents)?
  • Is there mold, radon, or asbestos present?

Once the home inspection is completed,  the inspector usually emails you a report with photos that you can use to negotiate any deficient items with the sellers. If inspector referrals are needed, just ask.  I know several good ones!

 

Fall may be the best time of year to get a good deal!

4 Reasons to Buy a Home Now

The fall may be notorious for a slowdown in the housing market. But for home buyers that shouldn’t mean they should go to an early hibernation. For home shoppers, the fall likely will be the best time to buy.

Read more: Study: Real Estate Cheapest in Fall, Winter

Realtor.com® recently highlighted several reasons why the best time for your clients to buy is right now:

1. Lower home prices.

October can offer the best month for home deals, according to research by RealtyTrac of more than 32 million home sales over the last 15 years. In October, home buyers paid 2.6 percent below the estimated market value at the time for their homes, the study shows. In other words, on a $300,000 home, they could save $7,800 by purchasing it in October.

2. Less competition.

The home buyer rush from the summer days is over. Home shoppers this summer who were rushing to find a home before school started have already found one. Fall home buyers will have less competition. “Many folks will drop out of the market until after the new year,” says Bill Golden of RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside.

3. More leverage.

Home sellers in the fall may be more pressed to sell. They are “generally people who need to sell, which can make for better negotiations for the buyer,” Golden says. The longer a home lingers, the more negotiating power the buyer likely will have. Plus, some sellers may want to get settled in their new home before the holidays and have more incentive to make a deal sooner rather than later.

4. Year-end tax credits.

Home buyers who close on a home by the end of the fiscal year may find a nice tax deduction awaiting them on April 15. They may be able to deduct closing costs, property tax, and mortgage interest to offset their taxable earnings.

Source: “7 Reasons Fall Might Just Be the Best Time to Buy a Home,” realtor.com® (Sept. 30, 2016)

New Home owners or Investors First Steps

6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving Into a New House

Skip potential trouble by doing these 6 things.

COURTNEY CRAIG is an Atlanta-based writer and editor.  Follow Courtney on Google+. Image: Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy United.  

When I bought my first house, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time homeowners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

Change the locks

You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

Investors could benefit from reading this article as well.  You never know how many people have a key and could possibly get into a home you are working on and swipe tools or new appliances.  The section for checking for plumbing leaks could also save a lot of money and problem solving later. Whether you are fixing up the home to resell or are going to rent the home after repairs or updating, the new buyers or tenants will want to feel comfortable that there are no leaks or pests in the home.

Read more

Be Prepared! Making an offer on Multi-Family real estate

Before you get started with a multifamily purchase, it is a good idea to do your homework…. You don’t want surprises. Research the location of the purchase to find out how much rent you will receive? Find out how hot the rental market is in the area you are considering. Will there be multiple buyers competing for the property? If so, think about your tolerance and strategize with your realtor. Ask your realtor for a market analysis of the property. This will help you determine the most you should pay. Always have an inspection of the property to be aware of any deficiencies. Read more