Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 12/11/2017

Getting a professional inspection is one of the most important parts of closing on a home. An inspection can save you endless time and money if it catches repairs that need to be made, and it can draw your attention to any problems that could be dangerous to you and your family.

Many buyers, especially those who are buying a home for the first time, aren’t sure what to expect during a home inspection. They might have questions that they’re afraid to ask the inspector, or they might feel like they should be asking questions but don’t know the right ones to ask.

In this article, we’ll give you the rundown on the home inspection process. We’ll explain how to get started, what to expect on inspection day, and what to do with your findings.

Contingency clauses

Before closing on a home, it’s important to make sure your offer involves a contingency clause, otherwise known as a “due diligence contingency.” This section of your contract gives you the right to perform a home inspection within a given number of days.

Sellers may inform you that they have recently had the home inspected and even offer to show you the results of the inspection. However, it is best practice to have your own inspection performed with a trusted professional.

After your offer is accepted, you should begin calling and getting quotes from inspectors immediately.

Before the inspection

Once you’ve considered your options of inspectors and chosen an inspector, it’s time to schedule your inspection. Both you and your real estate agent should attend the inspection.

You’ll both have the opportunity to ask questions. However, it’s a good idea to write down your minor questions and ask them before or after the inspection so that the professional you’ve hired is able to focus on their work to do the best possible job inspecting your future home.

During the inspection

The inspection itself is pretty straightforward. Your inspector will examine the exterior and interior of your home, including several vital components and then will provide you with a report of their findings.

They will inform you of repairs that need to be made now, parts of the home that should be monitored for future repairs, and anything that poses a safety concern to you and your family.

The parts of your home the inspector will review include:

  • Roof

  • Exterior Walls

  • Foundation

  • Garage

  • Land grading

  • Plumbing

  • Electrical

  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning

  • Appliances

There are some things your inspection won’t include. For example, mold, termite damage, and other issues that aren’t easily observable without causing damage might be missed by your inspector and will require a specialist.

After the inspection

Once the inspection is complete, you will have the chance to ask any remaining questions. You can review the findings of your inspection report and make decisions about how you want to handle any repairs that need to be made.

You may choose to ask the seller to make the repairs noted in your inspection report. If they refuse, you can withdraw from your contract at any time.


Ultimately, the choice will be yours what to do with the findings from the inspection. But having one can save you immeasurable money on impending repairs that you may not have been aware of.




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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 12/4/2017

A condo offers a great opportunity to enjoy a comfortable living space without the hassle of home exterior maintenance. As such, many property buyers are exploring condos in cities and towns nationwide.

However, buying a condo sometimes can be tricky, particularly for property buyers who are unfamiliar with the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help take the guesswork out of purchasing a condo.

Let's take a look at three questions that condo buyers need to consider before they purchase a property.

1. Am I ready for condo life?

Owning a condo and owning a home are two very different things, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

Like a homeowner, a condo owner has a property to call his or her own. But a condo community usually has a homeowners' association (HOA) in place that manages exterior maintenance and other tasks. This association also establishes rules and regulations that all condo owners must follow; otherwise, property owners may face fines.

Before you purchase a condo, it is paramount to prepare for condo life as much as possible. To do so, you may want to consult with friends or family members who have resided in condo communities over the years. These loved ones can share their condo living experiences with you to help you better understand what life will be like as a condo owner.

2. How much can I afford to pay for a condo?

Although you know that you'd like to purchase a condo, you still need to find out how much you can afford to pay for a property. Fortunately, banks and credit unions are available to help you determine how much you can spend on a condo.

Consult with several banks and credit unions to explore all of your home financing options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your expectations.

In addition, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start your condo search. If you enter the real estate market with a budget in hand, you can narrow your condo search and speed up the property buying process.

3. Do I need to employ a real estate agent?

Ultimately, a real estate agent is a must-have for any condo buyer, at any time. This housing market professional can teach you the ins and outs of real estate and ensure that you can make an informed condo purchase.

A real estate agent strives to provide you with an outstanding condo buying experience. To accomplish this goal, he or she will work with you, learn about your condo buying goals and help you plan accordingly.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest. He or she will offer condo buying recommendations and suggestions as you check out a variety of properties. This housing market professional is happy to respond to your condo buying queries as well.

Streamline the process of buying a condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move closer to acquiring an outstanding condo at an outstanding price.





Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 11/27/2017

When you’re ready to buy a house, it would be easy to just pick a house and sign the papers, right? Too bad it doesn’t work anything like that! Besides getting your finances in order, there are plenty of things that you should do ahead of time to get yourself ready to buy a home. Choosing a relator should be high on that list of priorities.  


Do Your Research


There’s plenty of ways for you to search for a home before you even start in order to decide what you might like before you even set out with a realtor. Once you start working with a realtor, they’ll be able to set up alerts for you to get via e-mail where you’ll be able to see new properties that have just been listed and price changes to previously listed properties. 


Let Your Realtor Do Their Job 


Realtors are experts in homes. It is in their job description! Your realtor will do the research on prices and property details. An important aspect of the housing search is finding the price of similar homes in the area. This is key to making your offer. Your real estate agent has all of the information that you need.


Hang Out With Your Realtor During The House Hunt


When we say that you’ll have a close relationship with your realtor during the home search process, we mean it. Coordinate with your realtor to go to open houses. Your agent will either accompany you to the open house or make appointments for private showings of properties. Even if you have to bring your child and a carseat, your agent will be more than happy to accommodate you! 


Mention Properties You See When You’re Out And About


The realtor has your criteria of what you’re looking for in a home. However, if you’re out and see a home for sale that intrigues you, write down the address and contact your agent about it. They can either arrange a private showing of the property or advise you otherwise. Many times, a property may be out of your price range or have strange circumstances. However, occasionally, agents and computer software miss things! It’s always good to be on the lookout and seek more information.      


Don’t Hesitate To Really Look Around A Property


Although you may feel that you’re being a bit invasive by opening drawers, closets and doors in a home, it’s very important to! You need to see how you can make the best use of the storage space within the home for yourself. You’ll also want to make sure there’s no significant damage or hidden features that you’re missing out on.


Most importantly, remember that your realtor will be your ally throughout the house hunting process.  You want to make the best use of the great resource that your realtor is!  




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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 11/20/2017

Have you found the home of your dreams but are overwhelmed by the price tag? This is a no-win situation that challenges even the most patient, resourceful homebuyer, and perhaps for good reason. Finding the perfect home may take days, weeks, months or years. And if you discover a residence that meets all of your needs but falls outside your budget, you're likely to be tempted to overspend to acquire this residence. However, you'll want to take a step back and think carefully about your decision, and those who weigh the short- and long-term ramifications of their decision ultimately will be able to make the right choice. Furthermore, you should consider the following factors as you try to resist the urge to overspend on a house: 1. Your monthly mortgage payments Although you may be able to handle a higher monthly mortgage payment in the short-term, you'll want to think about your long-term plans before you finalize your purchase. For example, do you plan to raise children? Or do you anticipate a career change over the next few years? You'll want to consider any plans that could impact your budget and determine whether you're ready to handle your monthly mortgage payments both now and in the future. 2. The quality of the home Although your dream home likely is of the highest quality, you'll want to ensure this residence won't require any immediate improvements. The quality of the home will dictate whether this residence will require substantial short- and long-term maintenance and repairs. And if you find there are many home improvement projects that may need to be completed soon, you may be better off considering other homes on the real estate market. 3. Your wants and needs Ideally, you'll want to find a home that fulfills all of your wants and needs instantly. But in today's highly competitive real estate market, only a fraction of houses may come close to meeting all of your demands. Differentiating between your wants and needs, however, is critical, as this will allow you to distinguish what you need to enjoy your home versus what you'd like your home to include in a dream scenario. For instance, your home needs electricity, running water and other everyday essentials. On the other hand, you may want a home with a pool, a spacious back yard and other distinct features, but you should not rule out homes due to the fact that they lack some of these non-essential amenities. Take a close look at your priorities and your budget, and you'll be able to make the right compromises to find a home that won't require you to break your budget altogether. Remember, your home is what you make it, and overspending to acquire a house may leave you satisfied in the short-term but struggling to pay your bills over an extended period of time. Make the right compromises as you explore the real estate market and set realistic expectations for the houses you check out. By doing so, you can improve your chances of finding a high-quality residence that meets your personal and budgetary needs.




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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 11/13/2017

Not every neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly, especially if you live on a busy highway or have no access to sidewalks. However, if you're fortunate enough to live in a walkable area (or have a chance to move to one), why not take advantage of it?

Walking in your neighborhood is a free way to stay healthier, happier, and more relaxed. As long as you don't have any health conditions that would stand in the way of taking regular walks, a daily constitutional can provide you and your family with an array of benefits.

Healthy Lifestyle: Staying physically and mentally healthy is not the result of one or two positive habits, but rather a variety of lifestyle decisions you make throughout the day. Walking on a regular basis can help you achieve weight loss goals, maintain muscle tone, and increase your energy level. A moderate exercise program can also help relieve stress, enhance your mood, and slow down the aging process.

Family Bonding: Walking in the neighborhood or at a nearby public park can be a great way for your family to spend quality time together. It's also an opportunity to take a refreshing break from television watching, social media use, the Internet, and video games. Going for family walks is a simple activity, but the benefits can be far reaching.

Neighborhood Connections: The very act of walking around in your neighborhood, every day, makes you feel more connected to your environment. It also gives you a chance to chat with neighbors, meet new ones, and observe any changes that may affect the character of the neighborhood.

Critique Your Property: When you walk past your house and yard, you can often see features and flaws that may have escaped your notice when you last drove by in your car. Looking at your property from different angles and directions can help give you landscaping ideas and point out ways you can improve the outward appearance of your home. You can also pick up landscaping and property ideas by seeing what your neighbors are doing. Curb appeal is especially important if you're planning to sell your property.

Bargain Hunting: If you happen to be taking a walk in the neighborhood when yard sales are underway, it's easy to stop and scope out the treasures being offered. One caveat: If you do find something you want to buy, especially if it's a large piece of furniture, you may have to return later with your vehicle to pick it up.

Find a New Neighborhood: If you're in the market for a new home, the walkability of neighborhoods is an important feature worth keeping in mind.

Save Gas: Sometimes it's nice to take a break from driving and walk over to your neighborhood grocery store, pharmacy, or post office. On those occasions when you only need to pick up a few small items, hoofing it over to your local retailer is an alternative worth considering!







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