What You Need to Buy a House in 2019

You are about to embark on one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences that can ever come from spending money: buying a home. If you are buying a home in 2019, you should know that the entire process is not quick, but when all is said and done, there are few things more exhilarating than buying a house. This guide will help equip you with what you need to buy a house this year.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Before applying for a loan and certainly before ever making an offer on a house, you should know your credit score. Why is your credit score important? Well, it’s not only the difference between getting a low-interest rate on a home loan versus a high one, but it will also directly impact how much a bank or lender will actually loan you. There are several websites you can use to check your credit score, here are a few to consider: TransUnion, Equifax, Experian.

You can check your own score as much as once a day without affecting your credit, also known as a soft inquiry. Hard inquiries are when financial institutions check your credit score, typically when you’re applying for a loan or credit card. Hard inquiries lower your credit score a few points, so try to keep hard inquiries to a minimum.

2. Improve Your Credit Score

Maybe you just checked your credit score and realized it’s not as high as you had expected. Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do now that will help raise your credit score so you can capitalize on a great interest rate.

Though you can easily implement steps to help your credit score, fixing or raising a credit score doesn’t happen overnight. It’s imperative to start now so when you go to apply for a home loan your credit score will (hopefully) be where you want it. Here are three tips to help improve your credit score, and recommended by John Heath, Directing Attorney at Lexington Law:

  • Obtain and Closely Review Your Free Credit Report: In order to improve your credit score, you first need to know what information is on your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the option to obtain a free credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies once every twelve months. Your credit report contains information including your current and past residences, how you pay your bills, bankruptcies, foreclosures and more. Obtaining and understanding the information on your credit report will help you know what you may need to address in order to improve your credit score.

 

  • Use a Credit Report Repair Company to Dispute Errors: Your credit history is 35 percent of your FICO score, and according to a 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more than 40 million Americans have something that is incorrect on their credit report. While a late payment or derogatory mark from a creditor may seem harmless, it can have long-standing consequences, in some instances staying on your report for seven years. If you have errors on your credit report, consider working with a credit repair company, who can navigate the complexities of credit repair, contact the credit bureaus on your behalf and help remove any errors as quickly as possible.

 

  • Spread Credit Card Debt Across Multiple Cards: If any of your credit cards are close to the maximum utilization point, it will be a red flag to lenders, who see this as an indication that you could be having financial issues. If you have multiple cards, spreading the balance out between them could make sense. For example, instead of having one card that is 90 percent maxed out while two other cards have a zero balance, having a 30 percent balance on each card can help your credit score. Reducing overall debt is always the best option, but spreading out your balance can have a positive impact.

 

“Improving one’s credit score may take time, but it can be done. Bad credit is not  irrevocable,” said Heath. “Developing good habits and repairing your credit report will help increase your credit score so you’re able to secure a home loan or a great interest rate with confidence.”

3. Know What You Can Afford

The best way to determine how much house you can afford is to simply use an Affordability calculator. Though calculators such as these do not necessarily account for all of your monthly expenditures, they certainly are a great tool for understanding your larger financial situation.

After you figure out what you can comfortably afford, you can then start online window shopping for houses and really begin to narrow down what you want in a house versus what you can afford. Are you looking at specific neighborhoods? How many bedrooms do you want? Do you need a large yard, big deck, swimming pool, man cave, she shed, etc?

Understanding what you can afford in the area you want to buy will help keep you grounded and focused on what you actually want in a house versus what might be nice to have.

4. Save Up For a Down Payment

Unless you want to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), you really want to save up for a sizable down payment. PMI is an added insurance charged by mortgage lenders in order to protect themselves in case you default on your loan payments. The biggest problem with PMIs for homeowners is that they usually cost you hundreds of dollars each month. Money that is not going against the principal of your mortgage.

How much should you save for a house? Twenty percent down is typical with most mortgage lenders in order to avoid paying for PMI. However, there are other types of home loans, such as a VA loan if you have served in the military and qualify, that may allow you to put down less than twenty percent while avoiding PMIs altogether.

As an added benefit to having a sizable down payment, you may also receive a lower interest rate that will save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest over time. So start saving now!

5. Build Up Your Savings

Lenders like to see a healthy savings account and other investments or assets (i.e. 401k, CDs, after-tax investments) that you can tap into during hard times. What they really want to see is that you are not living paycheck to paycheck. A healthy savings account and other investments are a good idea in general as it will help you establish your future financial independence, but it is also a necessary item on your checklist of what you need to buy a house in 2019.

6. Have a Healthy Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Another key component banks and other lenders consider when issuing loans, and at what interest rate, is your debt-to-income ratio. The debt-to-income ratio is a lender’s way of comparing your monthly housing expenses and other debts with how much you earn.

So what is a healthy debt-to-income ratio when applying for a home loan? The short answer is the lower the better, but definitely, no more than 43% or you may not even qualify for a loan at all. There are two DTIs to consider as well.

The Front-End DTI: This DTI typically includes housing-related expenses such as mortgage payments and insurance. You want to shoot for a front-end DTI of 28%.

The Back-End DTI: This DTI includes all other debts you may have, such as credit cards or car loans. You want a back-end DTI of 36% or less. A simple way to improve this DTI is to pay down your debts to creditors.

How do you calculate your DTI ratio? You can use this equation for both front-end and back-end DTIs:

DTI = total debt / gross income

7. Budget for Extra Costs

There are a lot of little costs that go into buying a house that are overlooked by new home buyers all the time. Though there are some things, such as sales tax and home insurance, that can be wrapped into a home loan and monthly mortgage, there are several little things that cannot be included into the home-buying package and need to be paid for out of pocket.

Though these items can range in price depending on the area, size and cost of the house your buying, here is a list of extra costs you should consider (not all inclusive):

  • Home Appraisal Fee
  • Home Inspection Fee
  • Geological study
  • Closing costs*
  • Property taxes**
  • Home insurance**
  • Utility hookup/start fees
  • HOA fees
  • Home remodeling/updating
  • Existing propane gas

*Closing costs can sometimes be wrapped into the home loan, depending on the agreement with your lender.

**Property taxes and home insurance can be paid separately or your lender could include it into your monthly mortgage payment.

8. Don’t Close Old Credit Card Accounts Or Apply for New Ones

Closing a credit card account will not raise your credit score. In fact, in some cases, it may actually lower it. Instead, try to pay down the balance as much as you can, while continuing to make your monthly payments on time. If you have an old credit card you never use anymore, just ignore it, or at least don’t close it until after you have purchased your new home.

Opening new credit cards before buying a home is also not a good idea. You don’t want creditors checking your credit or opening new cards under your name, as you may lose some points on your credit score.

The absolute worst thing you can do is max out one of your credit cards, even if the limit on the card is low. If you do, your credit score may plummet. Try tackling your credit cards with the highest interest rate first, then as one gets paid off, focus on the next card until you’re free and clear.

9. A Solid Employment History

If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, lenders like consistency, including your employment history. Lenders like to see a borrower with the same employer for about two years.

What if you have a job with an irregular or inconsistent pay schedule? People with jobs such as contract positions, who are self-employed, or have irregular work schedules can still qualify for a home loan. A mortgage known as a ‘Bank Statement’ mortgage is becoming rapidly popular with lenders as more self-employed or what has been referred to as the ‘gig economy’ has taken off.

10. Know the Difference Between a Fixed Rate and an Adjustable Rate Mortgage

The difference between these two types of mortgage rates really lies within their names. A fixed rate loan is exactly that, an interest rate that will never change the moment it’s locked in. You will pay the same amount the very first month you pay your home loan and will continue to pay that same exact amount over the course of thirty years (or however long the loan term is).

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is typically a mortgage that starts out as a lower rate than fixed interest rates but then is adjusted each year typically resulting in a rate higher than a fixed rate. A 5-1 ARM is a popular mortgage offered by lenders, which is a hybrid between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. Your mortgage would start out at a lower fixed rate for the first five years, then after that time period has elapsed, the rate would then be adjusted on an annual basis for the remainder of the loan term.

11. Follow Interest Rates

It is important to know what interests rates are doing. The big question is are they on the rise or are they falling?

When the economy is good the Federal Reserve typically raises the interest rate in an effort to slow down economic growth in order to control inflation and rising costs. When the economy is in the dumps the Fed does the exact opposite. They lower the interest rate in order to entice more people to make larger purchases that require loans (i.e. land, cars, and houses) to help stimulate the economy.

As new soon-to-be homeowners, it’s a good idea to know how the overall economy is doing, and more importantly, how it’s impacting the interest rates you’ll soon be applying for. In 2018, after years of bottom of the barrel interest rates, the Fed raised interest rates three times and is projecting to raise it three more times in 2019.

Why are small hikes in interest rates so important to you? To put it into perspective, even a one percent increase in your interest rate on a home loan is the difference of paying or saving tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments on your home loan over time.

12. Know How Much Time it Takes to Buy a House

The home buying process from start to finish is time-consuming and very relative to individual circumstances and the housing market in your area. However, there are some general universal constants that you can expect, such as a cash offer on a house is usually much quicker than a traditional loan, and if there is a perfect house in a good neighborhood and at a great price, you better expect competition and added time for a seller to review offers.

Depending on the housing market in your area and possibly which season you’re buying in, it can take you a couple of weeks to find a home or more than a year. But after you find your home you can typically expect the entire process from making an offer on a house to walking in its front door, to be as little as a few weeks to a couple of months on average.

13. Find a Knowledgeable Real Estate Agent

There are several ways to find a knowledgeable real estate agent. Many people rely on recommendations from friends and family, while others look to online reviews. While both of these scenarios work really well and can land you a great real estate agent, the reason these agents rise above the others as the best of the best or the crème de la crème is because of their intentions.

A good real estate agent isn’t trying to get you into a house as quickly as possible so they can earn a commission. Instead, you want an agent that will act as your guide through the home buying process, while having your best interests in mind. A good agent will be able to tell you straight if they think a house is a good fit for you, or if you should keep looking. They should also be expert negotiators so that you get the best deal possible.

14. Find a Mortgage Lender

There are a few things to keep in mind when researching a mortgage lender. The first thing that comes to most people’s’ minds is what mortgage rate can they get. You may have to shop around to find the best rate because lower the rate the more money you save.

Secondly, how does that mortgage lender rate compared to other lenders? By looking at positive and negative online reviews you can usually establish a theme pretty quickly of the strengths and weaknesses of the lender, and what you can possibly expect for a level of service down the road.

Ask the lender what their average length of time is to close on a house after the offer has been accepted?  A good lender versus a bad one can be the difference of moving into your new home two to four weeks earlier. You want to find out how streamlined their processes are.

15. Get Pre-approved

When being approved by a mortgage lender, you should be aware that there is a small but relevant difference between the typical fast preapproval for a home loan versus an underwritten pre-approval.

The fast pre-approval usually encompasses a credit report and a loan officer review and can be done in less than a couple of hours. This basic pre-approval allows you to quickly know how much you can afford and then make an offer on a house that may have just come on the market.

The underwritten pre-approval usually takes about twenty-four hours and includes a credit report, loan officer review, underwriter review, and a compliance/fraud review. Though this process takes longer, your offer on a house is actually stronger. Eventually, if you’re planning on buying a house, you will have to go through the underwritten pre-approval process anyway, so it’s better to jump on it from the start.

16. Research Neighborhoods or Areas You Want to Live

There are many variables to think about when researching your future residents. The key to beginning your research is to determine those variables most important to you. Are you looking for a good school district, a large house, convenience to commuter options, or a specific neighborhood that is extremely friendly and ranks high on Walk Score?

Your real estate agent will most likely tell you to figure out your list of the things you absolutely want in a house versus the extra features that you would like to have, but wouldn’t deter you from a house if it wasn’t there.

Your list will help your agent narrow down the number of houses they’ll show you, saving you time by only showing you houses you’d actually be interested in.

17. Shop For Your Home and Make an Offer

Now that you know where you want to live and you’re pre-approved, the fun begins. You get to look at houses! Once you find the house you know would be a great fit for you and your family, you’ll want to make an offer.

There are numerous variables to consider and hopefully, your knowledgeable real estate agent will help you through this process. Understanding the market conditions, how houses have been selling in the neighborhood and at what price (above or below asking), and knowing if there are other competing offers will help you assess and determine how you’d like to make an offer.

Negotiating an offer on a house can be emotionally taxing, so do your research and rely on your agent’s advice so you come to the table prepared.

18. Get a Home Inspection

Congratulations are in order! The sellers have accepted your offer. Now you want to get the home inspected to make sure there are no underlying issues that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road, such as a bad roof or foundation. Usually, a home inspection is a contingency built into the initial offer, and your real estate agent will help you set this up. Though you can waive this contingency if you’re trying to make a competitive offer in a hot market. Just be aware that if you do waive a home inspection contingency, you may be taking on considerable risk.

There are several types of home inspections, but in general, a typical home inspection involves a certified inspector that will go in, around, under, and top of your house looking for anything that could be of concern. Though they will go into crawl spaces and attics as part of their inspection, they will not open walls to see if the plumbing or electrical is good. However, they look for signs that could possibly point to those issues.

Then they will put their findings into a nice little booklet for you with pictures that basically becomes a miniature instruction manual for your house. If there are fixes that need to be addressed, they will certainly let you know.

19. Have the Home Appraised

Home appraisals are an important part of the process because oftentimes house prices can quickly skyrocket when the housing market is hot, and banks do not like to loan out more money than what a home is worth. A home appraiser will not only tell you what the home is actually worth for the area and for the current housing market, but this appraisal will also directly affect the size of loan the bank will give you.

If the home appraisal comes back and states that the house is worth $300,000, but you made an offer of $310,000, the bank will most likely only lend you $300k. You will then either be stuck with paying the additional $10k out of pocket, or you may try to renegotiate the price with the sellers to see if they would be willing to come down. Or you may lose the house altogether.

Also, the mortgage lender will usually set up the home appraisal so you can take this time to focus on other home-buying tasks that need to be finished up.

20. Close the Sale and Sign The Papers

Congratulations, you’re a homeowner! Your real estate agent should help you map out the last details, such as when and where you should sign all the papers to take ownership of the house and, of course, the handing over of the keys. Welcome to your new home.


Article re-posted with permission by the author, Jeff AnttilaRedfin

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Why a Home Insurance Inspection is Necessary?

Why a Home Insurance Inspection

Homeowners insurance safeguards your home and possessions against damage, theft, fire, wind and liability. A home inspection provides both you and your insurance provider with an idea of the home’s health. Your insurance provider uses the inspection report as a tool in assessing risk, a vital part of developing your insurance policy. You can also use the report as a tool in prioritizing any necessary home repairs, if any issues are found.

A Home Insurance Inspection is Different from Regular Home Inspections

A regular home inspection is done with reference to the marketability of the home. A home insurance inspection is a limited inspection that only covers the specific points insurance carriers are concerned with. It does not provide any information on its condition for selling or buying, nor does it guarantee insurability.

Replacement Cost

Your insurer is liable to pay for the losses caused by hurricanes, theft or fire as specified in the policy. In case the home is totally destroyed, the insurer has to pay for rebuilding the house. This cost can be remarkably different from the market value of the home. The report helps the insurance carrier to assess any existing risks for damage within the house, and thus mitigate their potential outlay.

4 Systems that are Covered in the Insurance Inspection

While insurance companies do not provide specific instructions on what to look for in this type of home inspection, there are 4 key areas that experience has shown they care about:

  1. The roof
  2. The electrical system
  3. Plumbing and heating systems
  4. Ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

What the Home Inspector will look at in an Insurance Home Inspection

The home inspector will take note of the age and type of system in each of the four areas listed above. They will inspect essential parts and overall condition of the system. They will also take a look at whether or not the system has been updated to meet more current standards.

Proper Maintenance is the Key to Pass Home Insurance Inspection

This inspection can give you an idea of possible areas you need to update and/or repair in order to rectify any disqualifying areas. If insurance is denied, or severely limited, or overly expensive, you can request from the insurance carrier’s underwriter any actions that you might be able to take to improve or obtain a suitable insurance policy.

We offer a variety of home inspections. For further information on how we can help you, please call us at (561) 818-5593 or fill out our online form.

Resources:
“Home Buyers Insurance Checklist.” 2016. Accessed August 5, 2016. http://www.iii.org/article/home-buyers-insurance-checklist.
Insurance. “System-Page-Title.” Accessed August 5, 2016. http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb025.html.Accessed August 5, 2016. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/cis_ofis_03homegd_74854_7.pdf.
Accessed August 5, 2016. http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/doi/consumer/homeowners-guide.pdf.
Hungelmann, Jack. “Why Do I Need A Home Insurance Inspection?” 2016. Accessed August 5, 2016. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/why-do-i-need-home-insurance-inspection.aspx

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Examining the Exterior of Your Home Involves 4 Key Areas

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You should know what a home inspection involves when it comes to the exterior of your house. It may not cover everything that you think it does.

First, know that an exterior home inspection is a visual inspection only.  If something is not visible and easily accessible from the ground level, the inspector will not include it in his report.

Second, an exterior home inspection focuses on the house primarily. It may not include all the structures on the property. You will want to discuss any outbuildings, pools, and other structures you may want to include with your home inspector. He may help you decide whether or not those structures are relevant to the purpose for the inspection.

Third, prepare your home for the inspection. As the inspection only covers what is easily visible and accessible, you should prepare the property as best you can to make the inspector’s job easier. Move obstructions such as, outdoor furniture, lawn and garden equipment, tools, or outdoor decorations. If you have vegetation growing near the exterior of the home, it may limit what the inspector can see (that may or may not be an issue). Move any cars out of the way, as much as possible.

An Exterior Home Inspection Looks at 4 Key Areas

The home inspector will only take a look at areas that are easily accessible and visible. Their report will point out areas that may be deficient in some way. The report is not a guarantee nor does it predict the future. There are 4 key areas that the exterior home inspector will focus on:

  • Exterior walls, doors, and windows. Specifically exterior wall cladding/siding, flashing, and trim. The inspector is not required to look at window and door screening, shutters, awnings, or other seasonal or similarly protective accessories or devices.
  • Exterior structures. This includes attached decks, porches, balconies, stoops, steps, and their associated railings. It may also include garages and carports. It does not necessarily include any other outbuildings, recreational buildings, swimming pools, fences or other items (such as sea walls, break-walls, boat lifts or docks).
  • Roof elements that are easily visible. The home inspector is not required to scale a ladder and so the only items he will focus on near the roof are items easily visible from the ground level: eaves, soffits, and/or fascias.
  • Surrounding walkways, driveways, and patios. The exterior home inspection typically covers any walkways, driveways, or patios that lead to the home itself.

 If any deficiencies are found upon a visual inspection of the home’s exterior, the inspector will provide you with reasons why they deemed that item deficient or near the end of its service life. They may provide you with recommendations for correction and/or monitoring.

If you have any questions on what type of home inspection service you need, please contact us.

Resources:

STATE OF FLORIDA HOME INSPECTION STANDARDS OF PRACTICE. PDF. http://www.pelicaninspections.com/fl_standard_of_practice.pdf

 

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Home Inspection Checklist on What to Inspect and What Not

^D6169CD320BDA954D6FA721623C8FAF3293386EE3DC9C33A5B^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrBuying a home is one of the most exciting, important, and expensive investments to make. A critical process that requires careful consideration. The house you decide to buy will have to meet your needs in terms of desired location, aesthetics and layout, and cost.

That doesn’t even cover the “health” of the building. Checking on the building’s structure and systems requires professional help. Often this pre-purchase inspection will give the prospective buyer information on how certain elements of the property stand up, what might need repair now, and what might need repair in the near future. This information allows the buyer to make an informed decision in the purchase and arms them for negotiations with the seller.

The International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) has set a standard inspection checklist that outlines what should be covered by licensed home inspectors in a pre-purchase home inspection.

Structural Elements. Foundation check or any evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure and window alignment.

Grounds. Possible leaks that may occur from the septic tank and drainage, as well as, the condition of driveways, fences, and sidewalks.

Roof. Condition of the roof covering; any repairs/patches to flat roofs; clear vents; damage to chimneys; and properly working gutters.

Exterior surfaces. Correct clearance between ground and sliding material; condition of exterior paint or siding; and properly working lights and electrical outlets.

Attic. Proper insulation and ventilation, with no sign of leaking or water damage.

Interior Plumbing. Covers damaged or leaking pipes, water temperature installation, toilet, bathtubs, and showers.

Electrical System. Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans.

Appliances. Functioning stove, dishwashers, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other household appliances.

Heating and cooling systems. Ensures working furnace, air conditioning, water heater, chimney, and and fireplace.

Basement. Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage.

Garage. Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets.

There are areas, however, that are not covered by a standard inspection, which should also be considered like pest control, swimming pools, asbestos, radon gas, lead paint, and toxic mold.

Guard your investment. Hire professionally trained and qualified home inspectors from The South Florida Home Inspection Associates.

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Find and Destroy Mold BEFORE it Destroys Your Home!

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Mold is one of the most common forms of fungi and can be destructive for various surfaces. Mold testing will help you determine if you have mold at your home. The presence of mold in your home can cause serious health problems for some people. The damage to surfaces can also be significant.

Mold Signs.

The first sign indicating the presence of mold is the smell. Even if you do not see it, there is probably mold hidden somewhere. Mold testing will help you localize it.

Having allergy symptoms might also be a sign of mold hidden in your home – there could be mold spores in the air. Moreover, every time you breathe, they cause an allergic reaction such as a runny nose, sneezing and sore eyes. These symptoms indicate that you should have a mold test performed in your home as soon as possible.

Why you Should Undertake Mold Testing.

It will help you to determine if you have a mold problem, and if so, how hazardous that mold is. You can purchase a do it yourself mold test, but it is much better to use the services of a qualified mold inspector. Only an expert can professionally collect and analyze of the samples from within your home.

Since this test provides you with a snapshot of the amount of mold particles within a period, samples have to be taken from different locations within the home. There are three types of mold tests: air, bulk, and surface mold testing. Combining all three of them will offer the best results.

Mold Inspection before Having your Home Tested.

A mold inspection needs to be done before any testing. If the inspection shows that there is mold in your home, recommendations on removal procedures may be obtained. If testing shows that the mold infestation is of the toxic variety, then professional help is recommended for the mold removal.

South Florida Home Inspection Associates offers professional mold testing and inspection services. If you have mold in your home, we will help you find it. We will help you to confirm that you live in a healthy home.

Sources:

https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=Tbc0LIe3dzcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Mold+Inspection&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiG1LKI7dHMAhVGG5QKHXYVC-oQ6AEIIzAA#v=onepage&q=Mold%20Inspection&f=false

https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=9784qLnSeaAC&pg=PA158&dq=Mold+Testing&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiF3JCW7dHMAhWIJ5QKHaoEC0sQ6AEIIzAA#v=onepage&q=Mold%20Testing&f=false

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A Home Inspection for My Brand New House?

Do I Need a Home Inspection for My Brand New House?

A Home Inspection for My Brand New House?

YES! You need a home inspection for your new house. Even new constructions still have defects. Moreover, this may lead to many problems in the future, and the repair bill is often costly. Construction flaws might appear during the building of the house, even if the best builders work for you.

After the general inspection, some other inspections may be necessary. These are usually inspections of the foundation, roof, plumbing, electrical installation, and others as required.

The home inspector usually starts their inspection on the roof. Then, every major house system should be checked – the plumbing, septic, electrical, heating installations, and so on.

Why have a Home Inspection?

Only the report of a home inspector can guarantee the quality of construction. If possible, you should get an inspection on a new build before the sheetrock goes up. Thus, you will be able to demand that the builder fix any issues that would otherwise be covered up. A final home inspection is essential before closing on the property.

What Will a Home Inspector Do for You?

Understanding the difference between the various kinds of inspectors and inspections is essential. The city or county building inspectors will only check for code violations, the quality of the work is of no interest to them. Licensed home inspectors have a checklist that cover slightly different areas. For more information what home inspectors do during this kind of inspection, please read this article.

Never allow builders to fool you into thinking that an inspection is not necessary. A detailed inspection significantly reduces the risk of buying a new home with problems. Repairing them in the future may be problematic, not to mention costly. Take precautions early and hire a house inspector to ensure that everything in your new home is stable and safe.

South Florida Home Inspection Associates will provide you with professional home inspection services. Our expert house inspectors are members of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). We have a special home inspection specifically designed for new home builds, contact us for more information.

Source: https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=vIMCBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&dq=Do+I+Have+to+Get+My+Brand+New+House+Inspected?&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqiLTQ7NHMAhXEQpQKHSuBDDwQ6AEIIDAB#v=onepage&q=Do%20I%20Have%20to%20Get%20My%20Brand%20New%20House%20Inspected%3F&f=false

 

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Why Flipped Homes Need Home Inspection?

The purpose of a home inspection is to give you an expert opinion about the structural and functional components of the house based upon a visual examination. Flipped houses need a home inspection because they are bought and sold quickly to make huge profits. Most investors purchase shabby houses, make quick and cheap repairs and conceal serious defects under attractive cover-ups. A home inspection points out the existing and potential issues with the home to help you proceed carefully.7694487

Your home inspector examines the following things to detect underlying issues-

Structure of the House

Your home inspector will look for structural defects with the home such as uneven floors, cracking in the exterior brick or substandard finish work inside the home and inform you about the same.

Interior

You might fall for shiny and fascinating interiors- newly installed light fixtures, new carpets, switches and windows-but your home inspector will notice the drawbacks. A seemingly new and perfect kitchen with new/repainted cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops might not be that perfect! Cabinet doors / drawers might be getting blocked by other cabinets. Appliances might not have an outlet to plug them in to. Bathrooms that have been redone might have vanity cabinets that are too small for the space.

Electrical System

According to Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections, “I don’t find many electrical problems on flipped houses.  Even the worst home flippers usually know better than to mess with the electrical; they don’t want their houses to burn down.”Electricals in a flipped home are usually fine.

Heating System

The flipped home might have an outdated and unsafe heating system at the end of its life expectancy.  Reuben Saltzman says, “I’ve found furnaces and boilers creating high levels of carbon monoxide that the heating contractors said were fine.”

Air Conditioning

Investors usually put up a new AC if they are selling a flipped home in summer while in winter they just leave the old, defective AC as such.

Plumbing System

Your home inspector will inform you about serious issues with the drains such as leaks and clogged drains at the kitchen sink, and probably at other locations.

Roof

Shingles on the roof might be in a pathetic state. Flippers usually don’t replace the roof covering as it is expensive but doesn’t fetch more value for the home.

South Florida Home Inspection Association is a reputed name in the field of home inspection services. We provide all kinds of services related to inspections, maintenance and appraisals. Please feel free to call us on 561-818-5593 or visit us at http://www.sfloridahomeinspection.com/contact-us-2/

 

 

Posted by South Florida Home Inspections  |  Comments Off on Why Flipped Homes Need Home Inspection?  |  in General, Home Inspection
Real Estate Appraisal

Why a Real Estate Appraisal Is Important When You Are Not Using Financing

Real Estate Appraisal A real estate appraisal is a very important part of the process of purchasing a home. When you are not financing your home through a bank or mortgage lender and directly buying it from the seller, a home appraisal can act as an eye-opener and deciding factor.

A real estate appraiser has no emotional attachment to the property. He looks at the home from an objective, third party point of view and then prepares his report about the present market value of the home. Given the fact that you get the appraisal done by a certified, state-licensed appraiser, you can trust the legitimacy of the appraisal. When you get to know the genuine value of the home, you need not overpay for it. Thus, a real estate appraisal helps you make a sensible purchase.

A real estate appraisal gives you window to negotiate on the price quoted by the seller. If an appraisal indicates that the quoted price is higher than the actual value, you can ask the seller to come down in their price.

A home appraisal takes into account several relevant things you might skip in the excitement of purchasing a home, such as amenities, age of the home, style of the home, cost of replacements, safety arrangements, and anything else that can change the value of the home. An appraiser takes notice of all these things and mentions them in the final evaluation. If there are any problems, you can ask the seller to make necessary changes before going ahead with the purchase.

The value of a home is influenced by several factors such as location, amenities, recent sale of comparable properties, growth scene and trends in the neighbourhood, and market conditions. A home appraisal considers these factors and informs you about the area at the same. This way, you get to know the present value of the home and the chances of value appreciation in the future.

Purchasing a home is a dream for many people and probably the biggest investment their lifetime. It is meant to provide happiness, comfort, and a peace of mind. A genuine home appraisal helps you make a wise purchase by informing you about the actual worth of the property. The satisfaction that comes from having made the right decision is invaluable. On the other hand, a thoughtless purchase made by overpaying is sure to give you sleepless nights.

 

Contact South Florida Home Inspections Association for reliable real estate inspections and appraisals by our professionally trained and qualified home inspectors and appraisers. Please feel free to call us on 561-818-5593 or read more at sfloridahomeinspection.com/contact-us-2/

 

Resources-

http://bit.ly/1Q0GEoN

http://bit.ly/1PQkozh

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/12/home-appraisals.asp

http://bit.ly/1MTfWtR

Posted by South Florida Home Inspections  |  Comments Off on Why a Real Estate Appraisal Is Important When You Are Not Using Financing  |  in Realtor Tips
Rodent & Pest Home Inspections

Rodent & Pest Home Inspections in South Florida

Rodent & Pest Home Inspections Rodents can intrude into the comfort of your home whenever they get a chance. They spread diseases, invade your home, render your food unfit for consumption, and in some cases they can even cause fires. The best way out is to contact a reliable home inspection service in South Florida to eliminate these unpleasant creatures as soon as you notice them in your home.

Why Rodent and Pest Inspection is Important

  1. It Protects You from Diseases

Rodents spread several diseases both directly and indirectly such as:

  • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
  • Hemorrhagic fever with renal; syndrome
  • Lassa fever
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic chorio-meningitis
  • Plague
  • Babesiosis
  • Colorado tick fever
  • Human granulocytic anaplasmosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Murine typhus

A reputable rodent and pest inspection service frees your home from rodents and protects you, your family, and your pets from these life-threatening diseases.

  1. It Restores the Beauty and Hygiene of Your Home

A home infested by nauseating creatures such as rodents loses its beauty, hygiene and quality. Everywhere you notice bits of chewed up things, urine, droppings, and a repulsive odour. It can become uncomfortable to live in a home full of this type of thing. A rodent and pest inspection done at the very onset of invasion into your home can remove these offensive animals and critters from your home and bring it back in its original quality state.

  1. It Ensures Your Food is Not Contaminated

When you have rodents in your home, it’s important to realize that your food may not be fit for consumption. Rodents will pollute your food to some extent and that is simply unacceptable. A genuine home inspection service in South Florida ensures the complete elimination of rodents from your home so that your food is no more contaminated.

  1. It Protects Against Fires Caused by Rodents

Rodents can also cause fires by chewing away the insulation on electric wires and exposing the wiring to wood or other flammable materials. This is a serious threat to your home, family, and pets. A rodent home inspection safeguards you against any prospective fires caused by rodents by setting your home free from them.

The Best Time for a Rodent/Pest Inspection is either the colder months when they are largely dormant or at the onset of warmer months when they start resuming their activity and reproduction.

South Florida Home Inspection Association is a leading provider of all kinds of home inspection services. To avail any of our services, please call us on 561-818-5593 or contact us at sfloridahomeinspection.com

 

Resources-

http://www.nachi.org/rodent-inspection.htm

http://bit.ly/1STQZ5R

http://bit.ly/1MRqvwt

Posted by South Florida Home Inspections  |  Comments Off on Rodent & Pest Home Inspections in South Florida  |  in Home Inspection

Safeguard Your Home from Fires with Regular Home Safety Inspections

Fifty-eight people died in fires since the beginning of 2015. By taking precautionary steps and doing regular home safety inspections, you can help prevent this number from increasing.

By conducting regular home safety inspections for fire hazards and by maintaining smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in peak condition, you may save your life and the lives of your loved ones. Also, teach your children and older adults living with you about what to do if a fire starts. These two age brackets are the most vulnerable when fire rages.

Maintenance of Smoke Alarms:

Smoke alarms are great life savers during fire. Make sure to have working smoke alarms in your home.

Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths take place in homes without working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.

If you maintain smoke alarms in good working order, they will alert you to the fire with 16222462enough time to get everyone out of the house and possibly with enough time to extinguish the fire before it causes too much damage.

Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers:

If you know how to use a fire extinguisher, it is an excellent fire-fighting tool. You can keep up with maintenance by:

  • Making sure that working parts such as the can, hoses, and nozzles are not damaged or rusted.
  • Keeping it free from any dust, oil, or grease.

Also, make sure before any fire occurs that you understand the directions and how to use the extinguisher. You might want to purchase an additional extinguisher of the same make and model and do a test run.

Proactive Education for Children:

Even if you have taken enough measures to make your home child-proof and safe, teach your children fire safety at home:

  • Educate them about the hazards associated with matches, lighters, and gas stoves.
  • Make a fire escape plan and that your children fully understand.
  • Teach them how to escape their bedrooms in case fire blocks the door, and have them practice it.

Proactive Education for Older Adults:

Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration project that those 60 and above are nearly 3 times more likely to die in a fire than those in the general population. Here are some tips for them:

  • Choose a room on the ground floor to sleep in. This will allow for an easier escape.
  • Ensure that smoke alarms and fire alarms are working.
  • Conduct regular fire drills.
  • Depending on their state of mind, don’t let them have candles, and other fire hazards in the room.

Protect yourself from home fires with these simple proactive steps. If you’re in the market to sell your house, or purchase a new one, or would simply like a basic overall inspection done on the major systems and structural integrity of your home to know which areas need repair or will need watching, please contact South Florida Home Inspection Assoc or call 561-818-5593 for more information.

Also see: http://www.sfloridahomeinspection.com/got-a-fireplace-in-your-home-use-it-safely/

 

 

 

 

Posted by South Florida Home Inspections  |  Comments Off on Safeguard Your Home from Fires with Regular Home Safety Inspections  |  in Safety in Home
  • S. Florida Home Inspection Assoc.
    P.O. Box 32592, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33420
    Phone: 561-818-5593 Fax: (772) 325-0204 E-mail: sfloridahome@gmail.com