Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to prepare for a home inspection

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

So you’ve decided to sell your home and, before you know it, it goes under contract. Before the deal can close, though, you’ve got to pass a home inspection.

A home inspection contingency is present in most real estate contracts to allow the buyer to back out should any major issues become apparent. It’s at this stage that many deals fall through. So, with so much at stake, it just makes sense to thoroughly prepare your property in advance. Making these preparations will save you a lot of negotiation and repair work down the road. 

Preparing your property before it’s inspected will save you a lot of negotiation and repair work down the road.

The following areas are where unpleasant surprises often arise and, ultimately, either kill the sale or cost the seller a lot of money:

  1. The roof. Repairs to the roof can be very expensive. If you think your home may need a new roof, consider taking care of it before listing your property on the market. With all the hail damage we get in our area, these repairs might be covered by your insurance.
  2. The heating and cooling system. Regardless of the season, a home inspector will want to make sure the heating and cooling systems are in good shape. I highly advise hiring a professional prior to your inspection to uncover any issues beforehand.
  3. Electrical issues. Making sure your electrical systems are up-to-code before the inspection is critical because electrical violations are both common and easy to spot. Also, faulty wiring is a fire hazard. The sooner you address these issues, the safer your home will be.
  4. The plumbing. Plumbing problems can cause your deal to go down the drain. So, never put these issues off.
  5. Water damage. Even if you don’t have an active leak, stains on ceilings are often signs of previous problems. Though this past issue may have been as harmless as an overflowing toilet, buyers will suspect the worst if they see signs of water damage. Always fix any current leaks in your home and cover signs of previous ones.

So, if you plan on selling your home, you may want to consider having a pre-inspection performed. This can help uncover any of the issues we’ve discussed today.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tips to Get You Ahead of the Game in 2018

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

If you’re thinking about buying a house in 2018, the time to start working on it is now. Actually, December through January is the perfect time to get the ball rolling so you can hit the ground running next year. Here are a couple quick tips to keep in mind to get ahead of your game and the competition.

1. Check your credit score. Having good credit is like gold when applying for a mortgage. Typically, you’ll get the best rates if your credit score is around 740 or higher. But if you don’t have perfect credit, it’s okay. Just start working on it now. The first thing you’ll want to do is check your credit report to see if there are any errors on there that are easily fixable; a lot of times there are. Pay your bills on time, and make sure that you don’t carry a balance that’s above 30% of your available credit.

2. Don’t open any new lines of credit. Don’t buy a car or anything really expensive for Christmas. As you’re doing your holiday shopping, I know it’s tempting to save the 20% on the new card department stores push at you, but it can actually hurt your chances of getting a loan, so don’t overspend during the holiday season.

3. Ask for money for Christmas instead of traditional gifts. When you buy a house, you’re going to need money for closing costs, unexpected repairs, upgrades you’ll want to do, and anything other projects you decide to undergo. That in mind, it’s a good idea to ask for cash instead of gifts for the holidays.

Make sure that you don’t carry a balance that’s above 30% of your available credit.

4. Find a good mortgage lender even before you start shopping online, because you don’t want to fall in love with a house you can’t afford. A good lender will be able to tell you how much home you actually qualify for and how much you want to qualify for. You may qualify for a $300,000 house, but you might not want the payment associated with it. A good lender can give you a guideline of what price range to look at. Now’s a good time to take a look at closing costs, rates, and how long it takes for a lender to close on a loan.

5. Start interviewing real estate agents. I can put you in touch with a great Realtor who will be able to talk about the kinds of features—benefits, bedrooms, bathrooms, locations, floor plans, and more—you want to be in the house that will be your home.

If you’re ready to grab a cup of coffee and talk about the home buying process and what you’ll need in order to be prepared in 2018, give me a call or shoot me an email. Have a great day and a great 2018.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why You Should Get a Home Inspection & How I Can Help

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

If you are buying a home, you need to have it inspected by a professional home inspector.

Today, I’ll show you how you can get a free home inspection (including a radon test and sewer scope). First, I want to explain why it’s so important to get one in the first place. Brody Lotz, the co-owner of American Professional Home Inspection, is here to help.

So, why is an inspection so important?

The main thing is that when you buy a home, especially as a first-time buyer, you are making one of the biggest investments of your life. You want peace of mind. You don’t want to walk into a bad situation or money pit. Inspectors like Brody look at things to protect your investment.

What major components are covered in a home inspection?

The most important things inspectors look for are structural issues. “We check the roof for leaks and look at plumbing, electrical, and, of course, the foundation,” says Brody. “We really pay attention to big-ticket safety items. We also look at your appliances like the water heater and the furnace, which could be a big deal down the road.” Your inspector is there to make sure you are protected.

What is radon and why do you need to test for it?

Radon is present everywhere in the air, but it tends to accumulate in basements. Radon is a radioactive gas that dissipates in the air, but radon levels can rise in your home. If the house does have high levels of radon, it can be mitigated.

Now, in my opinion, it’s also very important to check the sewer line. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories out there where someone buys a house, the sewer line collapses, and the basement is flooded with sewage. Not all homes need a sewer line inspection, though. According to Brody, he determines that on a case by case basis.

It all depends on what kind of drain pipes there are, how old the home is, and if there are a lot of trees in the front yard. Those are all major concerns. If Brody can determine what the pipes are made out of, that can help determine whether or not the property needs a sewer line inspection.

Home inspections protect your investment.

If the sewer line collapses after you buy the house, that’s automatically a $10,000 to $15,000 fix. You can protect yourself from that by paying a much smaller amount for a home inspection.

Now, I have a home inspection certificate valued at $600. If you are the first buyer to contact me, I will pay for your inspection, as well as your radon and sewer line tests.

I want to go above and beyond that, so here’s my next offer: If you buy a house with me before the end of 2017, I will pay for your home inspection to make sure you are protected when making such a big investment.

If you are interested or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can also reach out to Brody at 719-648-4098 or with any home inspection questions you might have. We would be happy to help you!