Why Is a Home Inspection Important?

Whether you've purchased five homes or are about to buy your first, a home inspection is almost always recommended. You will actually find that it is one of the most common contract contingencies from home buyers is a home inspection. Continue reading to find out why a home inspection is so important and will benefit you in the purchase of your new home!

Home Inspections Reveal Safety Issues

Having a home inspection completed gives you the opportunity to have your potential home thoroughly investigated. A good and experienced home inspector will always find some issues with a home, even a newly built home. Some findings may not pose a huge threat, but some could potentially be serious and life-threatening issues, like mold or faulty wiring. 

Worn roofs, inoperable windows, and plumbing deficiencies are some common home inspection findings. The end goal of having an inspection performed isn’t to make sure every detail of the home is perfect to your liking, but to discover and take care of any safety issues. 

Home Inspections Can Identify Future Repairs

Buying a home can be a pretty significant investment, and a lot of buyers will be left with what feels like a depleted bank account. This means it’s important to know what lies ahead as far as expenses with your new home. 

Your home inspector could make you aware that the roof is coming close to the end of its life, so it would be a good idea for you as the buyer to keep that in the back of your mind, and possibly start setting some money aside to replace it in the future. This could also be the case for windows, appliances, air conditioning, and many other things. You will appreciate having the heads up instead of being surprised down the road! 

Home Inspections Allow for Negotiations

After a home inspection is completed, you as the buyer will have the opportunity to request repairs from the homeowner, and they will agree or disagree with taking care of the proposed repairs. Keep in mind though that the seller is not obligated to fix anything. 

Without a home inspection, you wouldn’t have the opportunity to request repairs from a seller. You can request the repairs be made, the purchase price be reduced, or give you a cash credit at closing to fix the problems yourself. This is where a home inspection can pay for itself several times over.

In the event that none of these options are available (for example, if the property is bank-owned or is being sold as-is), you can get quotes to fix the issues yourself and create a repair plan in order of importance and affordability.

Final Thoughts

In light of these reasons, it is very important to conduct a home inspection before purchasing a home. While it may cost you a little bit of time and money, in the long run, you'll be glad you did it. Remember no home inspector is perfect and could overlook issues during a home inspection, they will inspect the home in far greater detail than you and your real estate agent did during your initial visit. 

If you're not sure how the home buying and inspection processes work, one of our Realtors here at 316 Realty Group would be delighted to share their expertise and knowledge with you and provide some recommended home inspectors in the area. Reach out to us today!

First-Time Home Buyers & Rising Inflation

If you're like many first-time home buyers in the United States, you're probably worried about what inflation means for you. How do you know how this will affect the purchase of a new home? It doesn’t really help morale when you hear the latest statistics about inflation. In April 2022, inflation accelerated by 8.3% more than in April 2021, keeping inflation near 40-year highs! 

In today’s blog, we will go over what inflation means for you, so you can better understand this concept, and move on with finding your first home. Let’s get started!

Inflation, in Plain Terms

Let’s first go over what inflation is. Inflation is the process in which prices increase over time. In other words, your money right now is worth less than when you first possessed it.

As consumers, we don’t like to witness inflation, but if you look at the big picture, some inflation can be a good thing. A healthy economy should always have some inflation, as rising prices encourage people to buy goods, houses, services, and more, instead of waiting until later. This results in more work that is available for producers, which means they can continue to hire. 

Inflation can be good if occurring slowly, and not too quickly. For example, think about your favorite coffee shop, that latte you pay $3.50 for suddenly jumps to $6. That would be a shock, to say the least!

Housing Impact

Inflation impacts housing prices simply because the price of materials used for the construction of homes goes up. 

Home appreciation is impacted because homes go through price increases, due to many variables. Such variables include the home’s condition, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, location, and condition. 

Home Buying Impact

As a first-time home buyer, you’re curious about what impact inflation could have on you buying your first home. Due to the nature of inflation, the prices of homes will continue to climb for a while. Mortgage interest rates will rise, which means taking out a loan will become more expensive as a higher interest rate leads to higher monthly payments. 

What to Do in This Market?

You're wondering what you should be doing as a first-time home buyer in this housing market. First, it’s s a smart move to pay off any existing debts, in order to have a better DTI (debt-to-income ratio.) This is an important factor a lender will look over when deciding to approve you for a loan. Make sure to avoid opening any new credit card accounts or making any big new purchases, this could harm your credit greatly. 

Be Honest With Yourself

As a first-time home buyer, and especially in the current market, your budget won’t be able to fit everything you want in your home. Make a list of what your home absolutely must have and cannot do without. 

Talk to your real estate agent about these aspects and don’t forget about fees and any funds you need to be aware of and may need to bring to closing.

Closing Up

This market may be intimidating for first-time buyers, and it may feel like you could be locked out of the market. High rates are combined with high home prices, and affordability is being pushed farther away right before us. If you have the means financially, you may want to start the search now and make a move. Contact our team at 316 Realty Group so we can guide you through the process of buying your first home, we promise you don’t want to do this alone!

Moving Tips for a Less Stressful Move

If you’ve ever moved, you know how it goes. The initial stages are full of excitement as you gather all of your belongings into boxes, and you feel ready and motivated for the work ahead! Once the more tedious work starts, you realize all of it will take a lot longer than you imagined. 

Once the moving day finally arrives, the long and drawn-out day of heavy lifting and sore muscles comes to an end, and you are left with a new home full of boxes! Life doesn’t stop either. You still have family, kids, pets, jobs, and whatever else is on your daily schedule.

It’s an undeniable fact, that with moving comes stress, and we want to share some tips with you to hopefully make the process less stressful!

Carve Out Time

Time is one of the most significant factors of moving stress. More specifically, there isn't enough of it! You can’t avoid it altogether, but you can definitely make it a lot easier on yourself if you make sure to allot yourself enough time to get everything done. 

Try and estimate how many days it could take you to pack up your home, and be sure to give yourself ample time to select and schedule a moving truck, set up utilities for the new home, and do a clean-up in your current home before leaving for good. 

Starting early is a smart way to go because it can be easy to procrastinate and find yourself scrambling to pack with just a few days left!

Prioritize Organization

In order to not feel overwhelmed,  try and pack up one room at a time. When sorting and labeling boxes, do it in a way that makes them easier to locate and unpack. Keep any important documents you may need in the near future in a safe and secure place, staying organized from the beginning will be a huge factor.

When labeling boxes, write clearly and even consider writing on the box the room they need to be placed in. The goal is to not have a truck full of identical boxes, which is sure to cause confusion and waste your time!

Pack an Overnight Bag

Once everything has been packed up and ready to move to your new home, it can be daunting to find what you need right away on that first day/night.

In order to avoid feeling rushed to unpack every last box on the first day, save yourself the stress and pack a bag with whatever you need to function normally for the first night or two. This could be outfits, toiletries, phone chargers, or even snacks. This will ensure you can unpack your belongings comfortably and not frantically!

Get Moving!

Above all else, when it comes to moving, you need a game plan if you want to minimize stress. Start early, one room at a time, clearly labeling each box! Keep some essentials in an overnight bag so you don’t find yourself frantically searching for those things on your first day. Also, contact utility companies to change or cancel services, and update billing addresses. 

Preparation and organization result in less stress and more time to celebrate!

Housing Market 2022: Should You Wait?

Low inventory, fierce competition, and major price increases have impacted homebuyers since 2020, but quickly rising mortgage rates are making it even more difficult to find an affordable house. Due to the higher rates, many buyers can no longer afford homes in certain price ranges. The issue is that even basic single homes now cost the same as more upscale homes did a few years ago, so purchasers are forced to choose between waiting for additional inventory to come online or moving to a more inexpensive neighborhood. Many others are hoping for a price drop, but that may not happen anytime soon.

But if you're a prospective homeowner waiting for the market to plummet, you may be wasting your time by doing so. 

It’s A Decision Personal to You

An investment in real estate is an extremely personal decision regardless of the market. After all, a home is the most expensive purchase most people will make in their lifetime, so being financially prepared is crucial. It would greatly benefit you as well to speak with a lender and even use a mortgage calculator to find out how much your monthly mortgage payments will be based on your down payment and interest rate.

Trying to time the market or predict what will happen next year is not the greatest way to buy a home. Instead, buy based on your budget and requirements. If you find a home you like in a desirable location that also meets your budget, it may be right for you. However, if you make too many concessions to obtain a home, you may wind up with buyer's remorse and feel burdened. 

Buying in a Hot Housing Market

A hard fact is that you can’t return a house if you realize you overpaid for it or you don’t like it! In this market, buyers tend to make hasty decisions which can inevitably lead to buyer’s remorse. 

Begin with a budget in mind and commit to sticking with it! Despite a minor increase in the number of homes for sale, purchasers are still faced with high prices and mortgage rates at the 6% level. 

Again, you must consider your financial situation when buying a home. Is it financially feasible for you? Experts generally agree that for many people, purchasing and owning a home is a better financial decision than renting. It is never a bad investment if you can afford it. 

Selling in a Hot Housing Market

The first step toward a successful sale is to find a real estate agent who has a vast knowledge of the area and who you know you can trust. The right agent will work closely with you to price your home competitively while addressing questions and offers from prospective buyers.

A hot market will be full of homes being sold “as-is,” and a lot of them will sell as such, but it is still a wise move to make smart and methodical decisions regarding updates and renovations. Some inexpensive moves could be fresh paint, clean staging, and organizing. 

So, to Wait or Not to Wait?

There are thousands of examples out there that point to people who thought the market would come down one day, but it never did, causing them to lose years of equity. In other words, if you're waiting for home prices to significantly decline, you could be waiting for a very long time. 

If you’re ready, our team at 316 Realty Group is more than prepared to assist you in the process of buying or selling, and we can form a game plan just for you. Contact us today and let’s get started!

Common Home Buying Myths: Busted!

Whether you've never bought a home before or are a seasoned homeowner, don't allow these common home purchasing fallacies to keep you from finding the perfect property for you. 

To set your mind at ease, we'll help you sort through some of the most popular home buying myths. 

Myth #1: Looking for a Home is the First Step

At some point or another, we’ve all been guilty of window-shopping for houses online. Some of us may even be guilty of driving to a neighborhood to see a home in person! You’re just looking, you just want to get a feel. But, stop! You are guaranteed to run the risk of setting your heart on the house and only to have it broken.

You could be viewing a home that is in a higher price range than what you are qualified for. Browsing and dreaming can be fun, but when it comes to buying, you need to ensure your credit is in tip-top shape and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go too far. You need to be aware of what your budget is! 

Myth #2: You Only Pay the Down Payment Up-Front

Only in a dream world! For instance, the seller may determine that you are responsible for closing costs, which can range from 3% to 6% of the purchase price. 

Don't forget the fees, taxes, and other expenses for inspections, and insurance, among other factors.

Myth #3: Home Inspections Aren’t Necessary

Sellers would love for you to neglect this critical step! It implies you'll get the house just as it is, with all of its flaws. And sometimes the flaws aren't immediately apparent.

You may be tempted to skip out on getting an inspection because the market is hot and you’re scared that a buyer who chooses to waive a home inspection could purchase the house before you. Trust us, it is not worth it in the long run! Inspections will save you time and especially money!

Myth #4: You Don’t Need a Real Estate Agent

The internet causes many homeowners to feel empowered these days when it comes to home-buying. You may ask yourself, why do I even need to hire a real estate professional? 

Real estate agents are indispensable in the home-buying process. You will greatly benefit from their knowledge when it comes to the search, negotiating, assistance with legalities, and much more. You will never regret having a real estate agent you trust on your team.

Myth #5: You Must Put 20% Down 

Affordability is usually a significant concern for prospective homebuyers, and this includes determining how much money to save for a down payment on a house. While a 20% down payment may provide certain advantages, such as avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) or lowering your monthly mortgage payment, it is not the sole option.

Other down payment amounts, such as 5%, 10%, or 15%, may provide you more choice in determining what property price to strive for and might be a less intimidating amount of money to have saved before closing on your home.

So, Now What?

There are an endless number of myths and misconceptions when it comes to the world of home-buying. Most important of all, make it a priority to find yourself a realtor who you can trust and would like to work with! 

Our real estate professionals with 316 Realty Group encompass the highest degree of integrity, knowledge, and experience, and our goal is to achieve your real estate goals! Contact us today so we can guide you through the home-buying process!

Checklist: Moving Into Your New Home

You’ve woken up from the first night at your new home. You step into your kitchen and gleefully soak in the view of your beautiful backyard from the kitchen sink window. You turn around to approach the coffee pot. You are looking forward to this first cup of coffee so much, only to realize you haven’t even unpacked your coffee maker! Then you also realize there is no hot water to wash your dishes or take that well-deserved shower!

You must ensure that when moving into a new home, the necessities are taken care of promptly! It takes planning and discipline, but if you put it all off then those first few days in your new home will be a nightmare! 

We’re going to run through 3 key points that are crucial for your comfort and safety. Let’s jump right in!

Do a Walkthrough

If you are able, walk through your new home while it's empty before moving in. This can be helpful because it allows you to envision and plan your belongings in the space and how they will fit. Make you bring a tape measure too, so you have an even more accurate idea of where your furniture will go.

When you are walking through, be sure to check on any agreed-upon repairs, appliances, or belongings that were supposed to be left or removed, and the working order of outlets and lights. If you come across any problems, you should raise them as soon as possible to the appropriate party. 

Transfer Utilities

When you move out of your home, you’ll have the gas, electric, and water shut off to prevent any mishaps or accidents while the home is vacant. But before you close escrow, be sure to transfer all of these utilities to your new home so there is ample time for them to be up and running. 

If utilities aren’t already set to be turned on, it could very well take companies a few weeks to come out. Make sure to call utility companies before moving day so you know you will have all utilities up and running before you move into your new home. Here’s some perspective: think about how miserable it would be in the heat moving in and out without the air conditioning running!

Change Over Locks

You never know for sure if the keys you are handed over to you by the seller are the only set of keys they own. If you want the utmost security and peace of mind, make it a priority on day one to install new locks on each exterior door. 

Home security can mean different things to different people, but some other further steps you could take besides changing the locks are installing motion detectors or cameras, a smart doorbell, or a full home security system.

The Bottom Line

Make a checklist for yourself when moving to avoid excess stress and potential chaos! These were just 3 essential actions to take, but of course, there are many more, such as updating your mailing address, setting up garbage pickup, setting up autopay for new mortgage payments and the list can go on. 

The new checklist can make you feel like you’ll never relax and be able to enjoy your new space, but in no time all of your duties will be checked off! Now it's time to make your new house feel like home!