Archive for October, 2013

Five Tips to Boost Your Home’s Appraisal

Posted on: October 16th, 2013 | No Comments

appraisalA home appraisal is certainly high on the list of awkward and potentially frustrating life events.  Some random stranger walks into your home, takes a peek around, and then tells YOU how much YOUR home is worth.  Whether the process is fair or not is certainly open for debate, but one thing is not:  the price the appraiser sets can make or break a real estate deal.  Appraisers are paid by lenders to make sure that they don’t approve loans for more than the properties are worth.  So, whether you are looking to refinance your mortgage, apply for a home equity loan, or sell your home, you need to turn that stranger into your new best friend by following these five tips.


1.     Appearance is everything

The sight of tacky lawn ornaments, dirty dishes, or a stack of books on the kitchen counter is not supposed to impact the appraisal, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Even the most objective appraiser may be influenced by external factors.  So, make sure to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, rake the leaves, wash your dishes, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, call the exterminator…you get the point.


2.     Keep (or make) a list of all upgrades

Take the time to put together a spreadsheet of the dates and costs of any upgrades, updates, additions, or other home improvement projects you have completed over the years.  Do you have any photos that can showcase the updated look?  What about receipts?  Don’t forget to point out structural or electrical improvements that may be hard to see with the naked eye.  Make sure to highlight features that separate your home from a comparable home.  Did you put in a pool or hot tub?  New roof or insulation?


3.     Location, Location, Location…

Ask the lender for an appraiser that lives in your area or has worked in the area before.  If that doesn’t work, do your best to convince the appraiser that you live in Pleasantville.  Mention the new restaurants in town, the dog park, the playground, the organic grocery store.  Is Tom Hanks your neighbor?  Find some selling points about the neighborhood or town that you live in and SELL.


4.    Spend Wisely

If you want to make a few upgrades to increase the price of the appraisal, make sure you spend your money on projects that are known to provide a solid return on investment.  Fresh paint, hardwood flooring and a new front door are all minor upgrades that usually add value to your home.  If you’re looking to upgrade larger spaces, kitchens and bathrooms generally provide the most bang for your buck.


5.     Do your own research

After finishing the inspection, the appraiser will find similar homes in your area (comparables) to help determine market value.  Check the web (zillow, trulia) and find at least 3 homes similar to yours that have favorable sales prices.  Don’t show any research to the appraiser that shows homes with prices (or circumstances) that are unfavorable to you.  Who knows, he/she may be so lazy that they simply use your research instead of doing their own.  Plus, you can use this research to challenge in the unfortunate case of a low appraisal.

Indoor Air Quality: How to Ensure Your Family is Breathing Easy

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 | No Comments

Indoor air quality is not always the first concern and is often a last consideration. This is harmful because aside from carbon monoxide detectors there are very few a_person_changing_an_in_home_air_filterways to monitor the air in your home. Poor indoor air quality is typically caused by a lack of circulation of air inside with air from the outside. There are many pollutants that can build up in indoor air and will be potentially harmful if they are not diluted by outdoor air. Proper ventilation and circulation is the key to introducing outdoor air into your home to dilute any pollutants that may be building up.


So, what are the biggest concerns about air quality and how should you fix them? Here are the top five contributing factors to air quality and how to manage them.

  1. Sources of combustion are one pollutant to watch out for. Gas, kerosene, wood, all of these give off pollutants as they deteriorate.
  2. Asbestos is also a dangerous pollutant that must be dealt with properly. Should your house contain any asbestos, seek professional help to dispose of it safely.
  3. Moisture can cause air pollution problems as well as mold and mildew. The spores released by fungus can cause health problems if the air is not filtered out properly.
  4. Most cleaning products recommend air circulation. The inhalation of harsh cleaning products can cause irritation in the eyes, airway and allergic reactions if not properly circulated out of the area.
  5. Humidification devices can put pollutants back into the air of your home. Make sure to use distilled water in these devices.

Ensuring that your home has proper ventilation and circulation is important to its air quality. The effects of poor air quality can range from irritation to severe respiratory problems. To prevent these, make sure your homes heating, cooling and ventilation systems are clean and in proper working order.


Have questions about your home air circulation? Contact your local Inspect-It 1st for a home inspection including your heating, cooling and ventilation systems.


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.