Beware the surprises, hidden in flipped homes. Dismantled HVAC systems and electrical boxes, wood hardener over rotten wood, fresh paint over stained and moisture damaged sheet rock! Are you ready for the surprises of home ownership? Get your home inspected by a qualified professional home inspector.
YES it is the BEST time in our lives to buy a home. And YES you can buy MORE square footage for your dollar. And YES you should buy a home now if you can afford one.
But, DONT buy a foreclosure pre-owned house if you think it is like every other home on the market! A foreclosure has been lived in and in most cases, not maintained. Home maintenance is always an issue in the final few months of the foreclosure process. Which means that YOU will have to start everything up again. Plumbing (water heater & lines), electric, gas, HVAC (heating and air conditioning), roof etc. When you are buying a foreclosed / pre-owned house, most of the parties involved will NOT prepare you for the expenses that will hit you. Will they tell you about the mortgage? Yes. Will you be told about the insurance? Yes. What about the association fees? Yes, probably. Property taxes? Of course. But what about the $700 for a new water heater 8-months after you buy the home? Are you ready? Or how about the termite letter/bond that is due 1 year after you move in? Will you remember? Do you have the cash to replace $5000 furnace AND put gas in the car?
My best advice is to buy NOW but plan for those unforeseen expenses. Everything is expensive when you buy a home; most expenses around the home are $500 or more. Plan for the inevitable folks.
If you have to put up your existing primary residence. You better be ready. If you have been in that house for over 5 years, its not the same old market! Get a really good realtor, get your home inspected FIRST and get things repaired, replaced or upgraded. Yea I know, that’s a lot of money. But if you have to sell right now, you better have the “diamond” of the block. There are so many other homes out there that are vacant, but they have already been upgraded or were custom from the start. It should be no surprise that you wait and wait and wait but no one buys your house. You drop your price, and no one comes. You change your Realtor and still no interest. Why? Because the inventory is so great and the buyers are more knowledgeable. The market has changed. Short sales and auctions are here to stay. Another problem, the owner/bank that holds the property. They move slow, they take multiple offers, and then sucker or push up bids. Is there anyone watching all this? My opinion…stay where you are unless you can AFFORD to move…just my .02.
I take so many photos of each house that I wonder why I didn’t get into photography in school? Not that my pictures are any works of art or even very good, but I have had Clients ask for the cover photo before. Do you have photos of your home? I suggest you go around with your digital camera and photograph your valuables. Take some of your interior and exterior. If you have a disaster, your insurance company will appreciate your diligence AND they may get you a payment faster. After you take the photos, save them to a SD card or a flash drive and keep it in a safe/secure/fireproof place.
If you have ever found yourself in the middle of a homeownership crisis, a fire, a burglary or a gas leak you will appreciate the new SAFE@Home inspection from Alltech Inspection in Georgia. It takes about 1 hour for our experienced inspectors to complete but it could save your life. We perform an inspection of the following safety items and give you a written report of our findings.
Security – Window & Door Fasteners and Locks, Security System Contacts.
Appliances – Appliance safety and CPSC recalls.
Fire – Leak Detection for All Gas Appliances, Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguisher.
Electric – Panel Check, GFCI & AFCI Check.
The complete cost is minimal, around $150 but the peace of mind is priceless!
Find out more or schedule one for your home at http://www.alltechinspections.com/safe.html
Did you get your air conditioner serviced before summer? If you have a system that runs all day long AND all night long, you may need to get it serviced. These systems should be cleaned & serviced “at least” annually. What happens when you don’t? They don’t work efficiently. They cost you MORE money to cool your home because they use more energy. Did you know that the number 1 energy hog in your home is the AC & Furnace? Get it serviced annually. Next up is the attic space in your home. As the hot air in the attic cools down in the evening, it finds ways into your living space. Small openings and cracks in the ceiling and walls allow it to migrate. Why? Because as hot air cools, it becomes heavy and drops. As the warm penetrates your living space, the rooms heat up and the AC kicks back on. Adding insulation to the attic is not just for the winter months, it can save you thousands in the summer too. Find and seal up the cracks and crevices in the walls and ceiling of your home, its simple to do with a bit of caulk or insulation. But, be careful if you are sealing around a light. Those electric wires can really get your attention! Dont touch them.
That’s all for now.