Archive for September, 2013

Buying a Home? Five Reasons You Really Need a Realtor

Posted on: September 24th, 2013 | No Comments

realtorYou might be tempted to buy a home on your own.  Don’t – it’s a bad idea.  Would you represent yourself in a legal battle?  Would you try and fix the brakes on your car?  The risks far outweigh the potential reward.  While most homes do have a listing agent that will help the buyer through the home buying process, their priority is to the seller.  You need to hire your own agent to protect your interests.  Plus, the idea that you will save significant money by doing the work yourself is false.  In fact, hiring an agent is….


Free… It’s the seller that pays the commission to both agents, not the buyer.


Resources – The agent does not have to spend hours and hours searching random real estate websites or driving around trying to find “for sale” signs.  Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which essentially is a shared inventory of homes.  They can match your needs or desires to the homes in the MLS or to homes of listing agents in their network.  The best way to get the best deal on a house is to know about it before it hits the market.


Negotiation – You finally found your dream home after months of touring open houses and scouring the internet.  Don’t celebrate.  That’s just the beginning.  Now, you need to figure out how much the home is worth, whether you are dealing with a hot or cold market and what repairs you would like the seller to make.  Or….you can let the agent determine all of that and negotiate on your behalf.  They have experience making offers backed up by market research.  Their experience will help ensure that you don’t lose a deal and start back at the very beginning of the process.


Contracts – Real estate contracts can be very verbose and confusing, not to mention legally binding.  It is important that the contract includes the proper contingencies to allow you to walk away from the contract if there is an issue during the inspection or transaction.


Network – You will need a lot of help from professionals to make it to the finish line: lenders, inspectors, surveyors. Most agents have a network of the best in each profession and can refer you to them when the time comes.


Finally, buying a home is an emotional experience.  You may overlook the shotty plumbing in the bathroom if you can imagine giving your future child a bubble bath in that new tub.  You may want the home that has an additional bedroom, even if you can’t afford it.  An agent is trained to stay objective, keep you on budget and mitigate emotions.

Five Home Improvement Projects for the Fall

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 | No Comments


Fall has the perfect temperatures for checking off a few to-do lists on your home repair checklist. Start with these to improve your home.


Roof Repair

Replacing or repairing a roof on a hot summer day is bad for the guy doing the job and the guy paying for the job. Sunburn, heat stroke and dehydration are all in play and the elements will likely lead to a longer job. The longer the job, the more money it costs. On the flip side, you want to get the work done before the remnants of winter storms, be it rain or snow, wind up inside your home . Winter winds and precipitation (think ice) can prevent a roofer from stopping a large leak that can cause serious damage to your home.


Duct Cleaning

This seemingly small project can provide some big savings in energy costs. The build-up of debris prevents air from freely flowing throughout your ventilation system, forcing the system to work longer and harder to heat (or cool) your home. Plus, the service will significantly improve the air quality in your home. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that homes with dirty ducts can lead to indoor air quality that is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Gross. Finally, ask the technician to clean your dryer vent to improve the efficiency and lifespan of the unit and help prevent a dryer fire.


Install a New Front Door

Lots of home improvement experts will tell you to replace your windows to improve energy efficiency. While that is true, replacing your front door will also help cut costs, plus you will likely get most of your money back when it’s time to sell your home. In fact, a new steel entry door will return the most money (86%) of any home improvement project, according to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. Simply light a candle and hold it up to the door to see if there is a draft entering your home.


Clean the Gutters

Moisture wreaks havoc on a home. Clogged gutters in the fall and winter will lead to water and ice build-up that may eventually turn to mold and damage to your foundation. Carefully climb up on the roof and discard all of the leaves, sticks and debris that have collected in the gutters. Seal any cracks or leaks by caulking with gutter sealant. If you want to save yourself the time and energy of cleaning, install gutter covers to keep the debris away.


Interior Painting

The humid weather of the summer often prevents paint from properly drying and painting in the winter often leaves your family susceptible to paint fumes. Warm fall days are perfect: you can open the windows to get rid of the fumes and help the drying process.


Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.