Kristen Dailey's Blog
A home inspection is a service that’s usually paid for by the buyer in a real estate transaction, and you have the option to forgo this when you’re purchasing a house. In almost every situation, however, real estate agents recommend getting a home inspection. Here’s why an inspection is so important.
What is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is essentially an audit of a home’s structure and vital systems, and the audit is performed by a home inspector. Home inspectors are independent parties, which allows them to provide objective assessments, and they specialize in this particular service. Home inspectors have a broad knowledge about foundations, structural integrity, HVAC systems, plumbing systems and much more.
A basic home inspection generally includes an assessment of the house’s structure and essential systems. Some inspections will also check for mold, pests, lead paint and other potential issues.
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
The cost of a home inspection is usually based on the size of a home and what exactly an inspector is looking for. An inspection that checks for mold and pests will typically cost more than only a basic inspection that looks at structural integrity and essential systems. Even among basic inspections, there are sometimes varying levels that cover different systems at different costs.
Despite the variance in price, however, home inspections tend to be quite affordable. Most inspections cost a few hundred dollars for a fairly common single-family house.
What Do You Do With Results from a Home Inspection?
After a home inspection is complete, the inspector will furnish a report that details their findings. Few homes are absolutely perfect, and there are normally at least a few issues noted on an inspection report. Depending on what the real estate market is like and what’s noted on a report, there are a few ways you might use this information.
First, the report at least tells you what issues the house has so that you can make sure you want to purchase the property. Second, you can also use the report to prioritize projects once you own the building. Finally, sometimes items in a report can be used to negotiate the sale price lower.
Anyone can buy a home – all it takes is hard work and diligence to evaluate your home financing options. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline the process of finding the financing that you'll need to pay for a residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine how you will afford a house.
1. Take a Look at Your Current Financial Situation
Put together a monthly budget that outlines your current spending patterns. This will enable you to review how much you earn, what you're paying for housing and other pertinent financial information.
After an in-depth review of your current financial situation, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine how much you can pay for a house. Then, you can create a homebuying budget to help you move closer to acquiring your dream residence.
2. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
In all likelihood, a lender will receive your credit score to determine whether you are a viable candidate for a mortgage. If you request a copy of your credit report today, you can learn about your credit score and take steps to improve it before you apply for a mortgage.
The three major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) provide one free copy of a credit report annually. If you submit a request for your credit report, you can gain unprecedented credit insights in no time at all.
Furthermore, if you find errors on a credit report, don't hesitate to contact the reporting bureau. This will enable you to fix any credit report mistakes prior to applying for a mortgage.
3. Reach Out to Local Lenders
Banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you and discuss a variety of mortgage options. These lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide and can teach you everything you need to know about home financing.
Ultimately, lenders can explain the home financing process and ensure you can avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. And if you ever have mortgage concerns or questions, lenders are available to respond to them at any time.
If you need extra help prior to kicking off a home search, you may want to contact a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house and can help you plan accordingly.
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. This housing market professional then can ensure you won't have to break your budget to afford a terrific residence.
If you want to buy a home but have limited finances at your disposal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. Or, if you are searching for a mortgage but don't know where to begin, a real estate agent can put you in touch with top lenders.
Work with a real estate agent, and you can improve your chances of acquiring a first-rate house at an affordable price.
Let's face it – homebuyers often face intense pressure. In many instances, dozens of homebuyers may compete for the same residence. And if you don't act quickly, you risk missing out on your dream house to a rival homebuyer.
Believe it or not, it sometimes can be beneficial to take a wait and see approach to buying a house. Some of the key reasons for homebuyers to consider deploying a wait and see approach include:
1. You can determine exactly what you want in your dream house.
Differentiating between must-haves and wants can be tough, particularly for homebuyers who are shopping for residences for the first time. Fortunately, if you take a slow, gradual approach to homebuying, you can view a variety of residences and narrow your search accordingly.
Oftentimes, homebuyers can benefit from attending open houses and getting a firsthand look at myriad residences. Each open house provides an opportunity to analyze a home, review its pros and cons and determine whether a residence is right for you. As such, homebuyers can attend many open houses to better understand what they want from a dream residence.
2. You can get your finances in order.
Although you know you want to buy a house, getting your finances in order may prove to be hassle. Luckily, homebuyers who implement a wait and see approach can find a mortgage that matches their finances perfectly.
Ideally, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions and explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal. During each meeting with a mortgage lender, a homebuyer can receive expert insights into many mortgage options.
A homebuyer may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage as well. If a homebuyer embarks on a search for the right mortgage today, this individual can move closer to entering the housing market with a budget in hand and simplifying his or her home search.
3. You can find the perfect real estate agent.
Ultimately, the real estate agent that you select may dictate the success of your quest to find your dream residence. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to hire a hardworking and experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble streamlining your home search. On the other hand, if you rush to hire the first real estate agent that you meet, you risk making the wrong choice.
When it comes to finding the perfect real estate agent, it pays to be patient. By spending some time learning about various real estate agents in your area, you can select a top-notch housing market professional to guide you along the homebuying journey.
Lastly, don't forget to select a real estate agent who is available to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions, at any time. With this housing market professional at your side, you can boost your chances of discovering your ideal residence.
There is no need to rush to find your dream home. Instead, take a wait and see approach to buying a house, and you may reap the benefits of your decision for years to come.
Buying a home can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. However, deciding if you should rent or buy your next home can be a very difficult decision. But once you understand the benefits of owning a home, you can have confidence as you move through the home-buying process.
You Can Save Tons
Buying a home is usually a good investment. That’s because home values continue to rise, while rent prices are also reaching higher levels. So whether you plan on living in a home full-time or you decide to make it a rental property, buying a home can be a smart financial decision. This is even more true if you keep the home for a long period of time. If you look at the data, home prices have skyrocketed dramatically. Back in the 1940s, the average price of a home was around $30,000, according to The U.S. Census Bureau. In the year 2000, that jumped to nearly $120,000. While there aren’t many people who still have a house from the 1940s, this example shows you how home value can increase over a period of time. That being said, buying a home and keeping it around can do wonders for your wallet.
There Are Tax Breaks
While it depends on your individual situation, mortgage interest and certain closing costs are typically tax-deductible. Furthermore, these tax breaks are higher early on in homeownership given the high-interest payments. In addition, mortgage insurance and property taxes might also be tax-deductible. This provides a huge benefit to homeownership, but things get even better: once you decide to sell your home, you can make up to $250,000 in profit and all of that is tax-free. Tax breaks add comfort for homeowners and provide key incentives that be very worthwhile.
It Can Improve Your Credit Score
Another key benefit that comes with homeownership is that you can improve your credit score. This is especially true for those who don’t have a long credit history or many installment accounts. Paying your mortgage shows that you’re a responsible borrower and that you can be trusted. Also, credit bureaus will reward you more for mortgage payments compared to payments for credit cards, student loans, etc. Additionally, very few landlords will report rental payments, so you’re not doing any favors for your credit score by paying rent every month.
Homeownership can be a scary thought, but understanding the benefits involved can help you make the right choice for your needs.
An open house enables a buyer to check out a residence in-person and determine if this home matches or exceeds his or her expectations. However, a buyer who fails to plan ahead for an open house may struggle to make the most of this opportunity.
Ultimately, there are several things you need to consider before you attend an open house, such as:
1. Your Home Must-Haves
Make a list of must-have home features – you will be glad you did. With this list in hand, you can check out a house in-person and determine if it has the features you require.
You also may want to put together a list of preferred cities and towns prior to launching a house search. This list will allow you to hone your home search – and your search for open house events – to a small group of cities and towns.
2. Your Homebuying Budget
As a homebuyer, it is crucial to optimize your time and resources as you search for your dream residence. If you enter the housing market with a budget at your disposal, you can avoid the risk of attending an open house for a residence you may be unable to afford.
To establish a homebuying budget, you should review your current finances. You may want to meet with banks and credit unions as well. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you will know exactly how much you can spend on a residence when you start your house search.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
There is no guarantee that attending one open house will help you find your dream residence. But if you maintain flexibility, you can attend a variety of open house events and boost the likelihood of discovering a residence that falls in line with your expectations.
Furthermore, you should be ready to act quickly if you attend an open house and want to buy a residence following the event. In this scenario, you should be prepared to work diligently to put together a competitive offer to purchase the home.
As you get set to attend an open house, you may want to employ a real estate agent, too. A real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events in cities and towns where you want to reside. Plus, a real estate agent can attend an open house with you and provide plenty of homebuying tips and insights.
Let's not forget about the support a real estate agent provides once you find a house you want to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Consider the aforementioned factors closely before you attend an open house. By doing so, you can prepare for an open house and use the opportunity to determine if a residence is right for you.