Archive for November, 2015

6 Steps For Winterizing Your Home

Posted on: November 24th, 2015 | No Comments

Winterizing your home in the autumn.Winterizing your home is one of the most important things you can do as a homeowner.  Harsh winter weather conditions can lead to a variety of damages to your home that can add up to thousands of dollars in repairs. Lucky for you, winterizing your home is relatively inexpensive and can be completed in an afternoon. Let’s take a look at 6 crucial steps of winterizing your home.

 

  • Roof. Your roof takes a beating over time, especially when the seasons change. Assuming you aren’t afraid of heights, head up to your roof and clear it of debris. While you’re up there, check for damaged shingles. Water can leak through damaged or missing shingles and freeze, which can cause significant damage to your roof.
  • Gutters. Autumn has taken its toll on the trees in your neighborhood, and now your gutters are full of leaves, twigs, and other miscellaneous pieces of debris. Clear the gutters to prevent excess build up through the winter. Installing gutter screens can keep your gutters clear in the future.
  • Windows. You would be surprised to know how much heat leaks through your windows during the winter. Plus, all of that lost heat adds up to a lot of wasted money. Foam weather stripping makes a substantial difference in winterizing your home, especially for homes with wood frame windows that may have warped over time. For additional sealing, plastic window wrapping adds an extra barrier to the outside elements.
  • Doors. Just like your windows, a lot of heat escapes through your doors. Use the same foam weather stripping on your doors that lead outside and retain that valuable heat.
  • Pipes. Most homeowner’s biggest winter fear is a bursting water pipe. A bursting water pipe can lead to a wide range of costly problems. One of the best steps you can take in winterizing your home is to insulate your pipes with fiberglass pipe wrap to help prevent freezing.
  • Outdoor Faucets. You won’t need to be watering your lawn when there’s snow on the ground. Unhook the hoses, clear out the water, coil them up, and store them away for the winter. Locate the water shutoff valves for the outdoor water faucets and turn them off. Next, turn on the outdoor water faucets to drain the remaining water. Lastly, cover the faucets with an insulated faucet cover to prevent freezing.

Winterizing your home now can save you the headache of thousands of repair dollars in the future. Are you trying to buy or sell a home this winter? A home inspection is the most important step you can take to ensure that you are comfortable with the home you wish to purchase. At Inspect-It 1st, we believe in providing thorough, honest home inspections, so you understand everything about the property before you commit to the purchase. Get in touch with Inspect-It 1st today!

9 Best Tips for a First-Time Homebuyer

Posted on: November 10th, 2015 | No Comments

First-time homebuyers looking at a house.As a first-time homebuyer, you are about to enter a new, exciting chapter in your life. Going through the process of purchasing your first home can seem like an impossible challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a list of the 9 best tips for a first-time homebuyer.

 

  • Check your credit. When is the last time you checked your credit? Many people forget that credit plays a major role in your interest rates and ultimately your monthly mortgage payment. Take the necessary steps such as paying down your credit card debt to make a positive change in your credit. Regardless of your credit situation, there is likely a mortgage program for a first-time homebuyer like you.
  • Get pre-approved. Before you begin your home search, going through the pre-approval process can be educational for a first-time homebuyer because it gives you an idea of what price range you can potentially afford. Keep in mind that what your bank qualifies you for may not be what you feel comfortable spending.
  • Organize. The minute you decide you want to become a first-time homebuyer is the time to get organized. Start looking at everything from your income to bills. Analyze everything including how much you are spending on those daily lattes. How much money are you making? Where is your money going? Create a spreadsheet to track of your expenses. Next, make a list of all everything you need in a house. Keep in mind that needs and wants aren’t always going to coincide. Take the list with you to every showing and check off items to see which houses actually fit your needs.
  • Figure out your down payment. Most traditional loans require a 20 percent deposit, which may be pretty steep for the typical first-time homebuyer. This means a $40,000 deposit is needed for a $200,000 home. If 20 percent is not possible for you, there may be other options, such as a FHA loan with as little as 3.5 percent down. Discuss your options and concerns with your Realtor or lender!
  • Learn about the neighborhood. During your home search, do your research on the neighborhood. Look into the local school districts, even if you don’t have kids. Also check out the local crime rate and the area’s accessibility to highways.
  • Think about the future. When buying your first home, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the “here and now” mentality. However, we encourage you to think about your 5-year and 10-year plan. While it’s difficult to have everything planned out, having an idea of what you want for the future can help you keep things in perspective.
  • Create a budget in advance. Calculate your monthly expenses ahead of time to help budget for how much house you can reasonably afford. Keep all of those additional household expenses in mind things such as garbage service, utilities, phone, groceries, and homeowners association fees.
  • Research current grants. Ask your Realtor or search the internet for grants that are available for first-time home buyers. There might be some worthwhile grant options available to you based on your location or profession. A little research could save you thousands.
  • Understand the contract. Your mortgage contract is one of the most important contracts you will ever sign. As a first-time homebuyer, there may be terms and phrases that you don’t understand. Never sign something if you’re uncomfortable. Ask a parent or friend who has gone through the process to tag along and answer questions. Or, if needed, hire a real estate lawyer to help you understand the terms to which you are agreeing.

Before you dive into your search, some simple organization and prep work can make the first-time homebuyer process much more manageable and enjoyable. It’s also important that you make your purchase agreement contingent upon a home inspection. A qualified home inspector can answer any questions or concerns about your property so that you understand everything you need to know about the home. Get in touch with Inspect-It 1st® today for an honest property assessment.

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.

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