Miguel Liberato's Blog
A home inspection is a vital part of every real estate transaction. Its importance is usually solidified in a purchase contract in the form of a contingency clause.
Whenever you buy or sell a home, the transaction is typically contingent upon a few things being fulfilled. Inspections help protect the buyer from purchasing a home that they believed didn’t have any major issues.
For buyers, an inspection can save you thousands in the long run. For sellers, getting a preemptive inspection done (on your own dime) can be useful since it will help you avoid any surprises that could arise when a potential buyer has your home inspected.
Hiring a home inspector
Regardless of whether you’re the buyer or the seller in this instance, hiring a home inspector isn’t something you should take lightly. You’ll want to confer with your agent before you pick an inspector.
It’s also a good idea to check out some online reviews and visit the inspector’s website for pricing. Typically, inspectors charge between $200 and $400 for an inspection, so feel free to shop around.
Inspectors are certified, so make sure whoever you choose has the proper licensure. You can search for inspectors in your area with this search function.
Ultimately, you’ll want to choose an inspector that can give you the most unbiased assessment of the home, so that you can be assured that you know what you’re getting into when you buy or sell a home.
Preparing for an inspection
Many buyers aren’t sure what to expect on inspection day. However, the process is relatively simple.
You’ll want to make sure the inspector can easily access workspaces (like around the furnace, circuit breakers, etc.). This will make the inspector’s job easier and allow them to focus on the service they’re providing you.
If possible, it’s also a good idea to provide them with records of important home maintenance and repairs. Inspectors know what red flags to look for with the home, both physically and on paper.
Finally, make sure pets, kids, and any other distractions are away from home or with someone who can attend to them.
After the inspection is complete, the inspector will hand you a report and be able to answer any questions you have about their findings. They will give recommendations about the timeline for repairs that need to be made soon or even years into the future.
With this report in hand, you can determine if there are repairs you want to negotiate with the seller if you’re buying a home. As a seller, this report will tip you off to issues that potential buyers will likely have and give you a chance to address them in advance.
If you’re on the hunt for a home, you’re undoubtedly excited. You might be eager to ask a lot of questions and get all the information that you can. You’re also probably eager to share quite a bit of information about yourself and your home purchase. While this is a great approach, this isn’t the case for everyone you’re involved with in your real estate transaction. When you’re dealing with the seller’s agent, more information isn’t always better. You don’t need to share as much information with them as you may think you do. Your agent as a buyer is your advocate. They do know a lot of information about you, and they should. Your buyer’s agent knows everything from your budget to your needs and wants. The seller’s agent doesn’t need to know any of this! This is why you hire a buyer’s agent in the first place. Here’s what you shouldn’t divulge to a seller’s agent and why:
Your Opinion Of The House
You’ll want to be as neutral as possible when it comes to how much you like or dislike a house. While it’s perfectly fine to let the agent know that you feel at home in the space and are interested in putting in an offer, you don't need to get into too many details.
On the flip side, if you have a few things that you don’t like about a house, you should keep those to yourself. You don’t want to decide to put an offer in on the home, only to be seen as a less than serious buyer. In hot markets, you should always give yourself the upper hand.
You should never let a seller’s agent know how much you’re looking to spend on a home. If sellers know how high or how low you’re willing to go on a home purchase, both the buyer and the seller should get a fair price for the home. Your goal as a buyer is to have your offer accepted at the best possible price.
Let Your Agent Do His Job
While it can be hard in the midst of excitement, you should really let your agent do most of the talking when it comes to a home purchase. Your agent can help you through everything from negotiations to working with your lender to navigating you through open houses. Your agent may even be able to attend quite a few open houses right along with you. This way, you’ll have someone else to do the talking for you. Just remember the tips above in case you’re flying solo through some home tours. While it’s great to be eager on your home search, it’s never to your benefit to be overzealous.
Purchasing a home in a buyer's market may seem like a fast, simple process. However, it is important to realize that homebuyers constantly compete for the best residences in cities and towns nationwide. And if you're not careful, you risk missing out on an opportunity to acquire your dream house.
What does it take to secure a home in a buyer's market? Here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.
1. Study the Housing Market Closely
A buyer's market features a large assortment of top-notch residences and a shortage of property buyers. As such, this market heavily favors homebuyers, and property buyers who examine the real estate market closely may be able to boost their chances of purchasing a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
For homebuyers, it is essential to establish criteria for your dream residence. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can narrow your search for the ideal residence and accelerate the homebuying process.
Don't forget to check out homes in-person, either. If you set up a home showing or attend an open house, you'll be able to envision what it's like to own a home and determine whether a residence is right for you.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
What good is shopping for a house if you cannot afford to pay for it? Fortunately, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage to understand exactly how much you can spend on a new house.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will be able to offer insights into a variety of mortgage options, respond to your mortgage concerns and questions and help you select a mortgage that suits you perfectly.
Pre-approval for a mortgage is vital for homebuyers, particularly in a buyer's market. If you have a mortgage in hand when you explore available homes, you may even be able to avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to navigating a buyer's market, a real estate agent can deliver outstanding support.
A real estate agent can teach you about the intricacies of buying a home and help you streamline the homebuying process. He or she also will be available to respond to your homebuying questions, ensuring you can make informed decisions as the homebuying journey moves forward.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you alleviate stress as you search for your dream home. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf. By doing so, a real estate agent enables you to focus on what's important – purchasing a first-rate house at a price that matches your budget.
Buying a home can be challenging, even in a buyer's market. But with the aforementioned tips, you can simplify the homebuying process and move closer to securing a house that meets or exceeds your expectations.
For better or for worse, the kitchen is the most fragrant area of the house. It’s where we cook and store our food, but it’s also where we throw away our garbage.
In this winter months, people do most of their cooking indoors, which can lead to an increase in grease splatter. In the summer, the high temperatures in the kitchen can cause garbage to smell and fruit to become overripe more quickly.
Regardless of the time of year, we can all use some help when it comes to reducing kitchen odors. In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to do just that.
Read on for tips on eliminating odors in your kitchen.
The odors in your kitchen, both the good and the bad, come in the form of tiny particles floating in the air. So, it follows that one of the ways to remove lingering odors would be to remove them from the air in your kitchen.
One way to do this is with the use of an air purifier. These appliances come in a number of different sizes and can vary in price from under $100 to several hundreds of dollars. Depending on the size and layout of your home, you’ll want to search for a purifier that can safely handle the number of square feet that you’ll need to purify.
One benefit of using an air purifier is that it can also help you remove dust and other allergies from the air while removing unpleasant odors. However, keep in mind that most air purifiers run 24/7, so expect a few extra dollars added to your electric bill each month.
One of the most common causes of kitchen odors are the surfaces of your counters, oven, and appliances. There are a few ways to handle this problem, but the best solution is to take preemptive measures.
When cooking items with grease, oil or butter, use a splatter screen. This will help you keep most of the grease inside the pan and off your surfaces where they will later emit a smell.
It’s important to frequently wipe down surfaces in your kitchen and clean them with a degreaser. If you don’t have kitchen tile or some other form of easy to clean surface around your cooking surfaces, consider installing one.
Dishes and garbage
We get it, after working all day, cooking dinner, and finally sitting down to relax no one wants to clean dishes. However, leaving dishes in the sink is one of the leading causes of kitchen odors. This is also true for people who don’t run their dishwasher frequently.
Speaking of dishwashers, be sure to check the drain at the bottom for debris, which can cause your dishwasher to smell badly.
When it comes to garbage, it’s often better to have a small garbage can that you empty more frequently than a larger one that will start to smell. Try to find a smaller can that has a cover, and consider scented bags to help mask any odors that do find their way out of the garbage can.
Now more than ever it’s important to take personal steps to decrease your carbon footprint on the earth. As world leaders make plans to decrease carbon emissions worldwide, the threat of climate change can seem distant and far away. However, we are already seeing the beginning of the devastating effects it will have on the earth and humanity alike.
Why go solar?
Aside from the vitally important environmental aspect we mentioned above, rooftop solar is becoming increasingly beneficial to homeowners. Not only are many homeowners seeing their electricity bills cut in half, but leasing programs make installing panels a zero-liability issue for homeowners worried about damage to the panels or to their roof.
Solar technology is constantly improving. In the very near future, consumers will be able to move entirely off the grid when it comes to producing electricity for their home.
Tesla’s Elon Musk recently announced a fully integrated solar rooftop that he claims will be as affordable if not cheaper than a regular roof. The bonus? The power that Tesla’s roofs produce will be able to be stored in an integrated battery.
Homeowners are often worried about the way their homes will look with solar panels on them, which is a valid concern. Fortunately, new technology has made solar more visually appealing than ever. Soon, homeowners will have the option of choosing between different styles of solar roofs that look like regular shingles.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the solar panels at your home at all, there are currently companies that allow homeowners to utilize off-site solar panels for their home. This is ideal if your home isn’t in a position to receive much sunlight, or if you just don’t want to have to deal with the panels being on your property at all.
When considering solar, you also have the future to consider. Not just of the planet, but of your wallet. Solar is an investment. If you plan on paying off your solar panels within 10 years, you could end up with years of free electricity, which adds up.
Similarly, many solar programs offer a guarantee that your rates won’t go up or they will rise slower than standard utility companies. So, even if you can’t afford to buy your solar system outright, you can still invest in the long term.
Helping the economy
Fossil fuel defenders often claim the loss of jobs associated with the increase of the renewable energy industries. At the same time, jobs to manufacture, sell, install, and repair solar and wind power are skyrocketing.
Regardless of which option you choose, reducing your carbon footprint is doing your small part to help the environment for your children and grandchildren. And, it can save you a lot of money in the long run too.