The Home Inspection

Buying a house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to be sure your potential new home has a proper home inspection before you sign the papers. Getting a qualified home inspector can be an important first step.

A home inspector is a qualified professional who visually inspects the structure and components of a home and looks for any immediate or potential problems. They provide a written report to you with a description of problem areas and may also include recommendations for further evaluation.

You can go over the report with your real estate agent to decide how the results may affect the purchase of your potential home.

What They Inspect

Home inspection requirements vary greatly from state to state, but the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a Standards of Practice page that outlines minimum and uniform standards that you should expect from an inspection. They include the following:

  • Structural elements. Construction of visible foundation; evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure; and window alignment.
  • Grounds. Leaks from septic tank; proper drainage; and condition of driveways, fences, and sidewalks.
  • Roof. Condition of shingles; any repairs/patches to flat roofs; clear vents; damage to chimneys; and properly working gutters.
  • Exterior surfaces. Correct clearance between ground and siding material; condition of exterior paint or siding; and properly working lights and electrical outlets.
  • Attic. Sufficient insulation; proper ventilation; and any sign of leaking or water damage.
  • Interior plumbing. No damaged or leaking pipes; proper hot water temperature; and functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
  • Electrical system. Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans.
  • Appliances. Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances.
  • Heating and cooling systems. Condition of furnace, air conditioning (temperature permitting), water heater, chimney, and fireplace.
  • Basement. Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage.
  • Garage. Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets.

What They Don’t Inspect

Again, while there is variation of what home inspectors look for, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problems or concerns in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation by a certified specialist:

  • Pest control
  • Swimming pools
  • Asbestos
  • Radon gas
  • Lead paint
  • Toxic mold

Finding a Home Inspector

Be sure you are comfortable with your choice of home inspector. They are extremely important and can help you detect and avoid major pitfalls in the home buying process.

Making a major purchase such as a house requires a dedicated team. Besides your real estate professional and lender, a home inspector is critical to helping make sure you are covered. Be sure to educate yourself about the process and find a home inspector you can trust.

Please call one of our sales professionals today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors

(210) 479-1222

Advertisements

Selling Your Home Fast

Hello Everyone,

In a declining real estate market where supply outstrips demand, a person can generally sell a house faster by lowering the price. But there are other ways to enhance a home’s attractiveness besides lowering the asking price. If you’re looking to sell your home in a cooling real estate market, read on for some tips on how to generate interest and get the best price possible.

Differentiate From the Neighbors
In order to attract attention and to make your home more memorable, consider custom designs or additions, such as landscaping, high-grade windows or a new roof. This can help improve the home’s aesthetics, while potentially adding value to the home. Any improvements should be practical and use colors and designs that will appeal to the widest audience. In addition, they should complement the home and its other amenities, such as building a deck or patio adjacent to an outdoor swimming pool.

However, while it can pay to spice up your home, don’t over-improve it. According to a 2013 article in Realtor Magazine, some renovations, such as adding a bathroom or putting new shingles on a roof, might not always pay. The data suggests that the nationwide average amount recouped for a bathroom remodel is about 58%. For a new roof, it’s even less. If you’re going to invest in home improvements, do your research and be sure to put your money into the things that are likely to get you the best return. In addition, if you have added any custom features that you think buyers will be interested in, make sure they are included in the home’s listing information. More than ever, in a down market you should take every small edge you can get.Clean the Clutter
It is imperative to remove all clutter from the home before showing it to potential buyers because buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space. This might include removing some furniture to make rooms look bigger, and putting away family photographs and personal items. You may even want to hire a stager to help you make better use of the space. Staging costs can range from a couple hundred dollars for a basic consultation to several thousand dollars, particularly if you rent modern, neutral furniture for showing your home. Many people feel that stagers can make a home more salable, so hiring one deserves some consideration.

Sweeten the Deal
Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot. For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or offer to pay closing costs entirely will in some cases receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes. In a down market, buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feel they’re getting one.

Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which can cost $300 to $400 for a one-year policy and will cover appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, that fail. Depending on the policy, other appliances and house gadgets may be covered as well. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that he or she will be covered against such problems, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.

Finally, it’s important to note that some buyers are motivated by the option to close in a short amount of time. If it is possible for you to close on the home within 30 to 60 days, this may set your deal apart and get you a contract.

Improve Curb Appeal
Sellers often overlook the importance of their home’s curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is a home’s external appearance and the way it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. Try to make certain that the exterior has a fresh coat of paint, and that the bushes and lawn are well manicured. In real estate, appearances mean a lot. What better way to set your home apart than to make it attractive at first glance?

Get Your Home in “Move In” Condition
Aesthetics are important, but it’s also important that doors, appliances and electrical and plumbing fixtures be in compliance with current building codes and in working order. Again, the idea is to have the home in move in condition and to give potential buyers the impression that they will be able to move right in and start enjoying their new home, rather than spending time and money fixing it up.

Pricing It Right
Regardless of how well you renovate and stage your home, it is still important to price the home appropriately. Consult a local real estate agent, read the newspapers and go to online real estate sites to see what comparable homes are going for in your area.

It’s not always imperative to be the lowest priced home on the block, particularly when aesthetic and other significant improvements have been made. However, it is important that the listing price is not out of line with other comparable homes in the market. Try to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and then determine what a fair price might be. Have friends, neighbors and real estate professionals tour the home and weigh in as well.

The Bottom Line
Selling a home in a down market requires a little extra work. Do everything you can to get the home in excellent shape and be prepared to make some small concessions at closing. These tips, coupled with an attractive price, will increase the odds of getting your home sold.

Please give us a call to speak to one of our Real Estate professionals today!

Sincerely,
Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors
(210) 479-1222

Why Waiting Until Spring Could Cost You Tens of Thousands of Dollars Extra When Selling Your Home!

Hello Everyone,

Why Waiting Until Spring Could Cost You Tens of Thousands of Dollars Extra When Selling Your Home!

At the risk of sounding cliché, the old adage “The early bird catches the worm” definitely applies to selling your home. Those who get started early tend to sell for more money in a shorter time.

There are three basic reasons.

Reason #1 – Buyers doing research in the winter months are generally more serious about buying soon. As the weather gets nicer, it tends to pull a lot of daydreamers into the process. On sunny days people like to drive around and “window shop.” It’s a pleasant way to pass the time, but unfortunately a lot of these folks don’t have serious intensions or can’t afford to buy anytime soon.

Reason #2 – Sellers who get started early tend to generate a higher sale price because they have more time to get their home in tip top shape for showings.

As most good agents will point out in their listing presentations, the typical home has anywhere from 5-15 items, ranging from minor issues to major improvements that need to be addressed before putting a home on the market.

So get focused on knocking these things out, because the last thing you want is to be working on your home while the best buyers are buying and being taken out of the market.

We’ve all heard, “Timing is everything.” Well, in selling a home that’s often true. The best buyers, the ones who will offer you highest sale price, tend to be drawn out of the market early.

So prepping your home for sale sooner than later, is a good idea.

Reason #3 – Getting started early allows you to research, educate yourself on market conditions, and find out who’s doing a great job of listing and selling houses in your area.

You’ll gain understanding of the market and narrow your list of potential agents, enabling you to mentally and emotionally prepare. Selling your home can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions and choosing a quality agent, someone who will be your trusted advocate, goes a long way towards smoothing out all the potential bumps in the road.

So to recap, getting started early will help you in many ways. You have time to knock out all the prep work. You give yourself time to do your research. And most important, it positions you to have the best possible chance to sell your home quickly and for the most money.

As always, if there is anything at all I can do to help you, please feel free to call me at 1-555-555-5555. The conversation is always free and you’re under no obligation of any kind. My entire objective in our conversation is always to help you in any way that I can.

Please give us a call today to speak to one of our agents!

Scott Myers, Realtors

11830 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, Tx  78230

210-479-1222

8 Smart Projects to Increase the Vaule of Your Home

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share these great tips to consider when thinking about selling your home,

If you’re smart and dedicated, homeownership can be a lifelong, extremely valuable investment. And while repairs, updates and renovations can help to improve this investment, how do you know which ones will yield the biggest return? Remodeling Magazine recently released its annual Cost vs. Value Report, a useful resource that examines 36 of the most popular remodel projects across 102 U.S. markets, and compares how each stack up in terms of retained value. Based on this data, here are eight of the most valuable, yet practical home improvement projects you should consider investing in this year.

(Credit: Iriana Shiyan/Bigstock.com)

1. Replace Your Front Door

Your front door is probably the most utilized and therefore, weathered part of your home. For a quick and relatively inexpensive improvement project, consider swapping out your wood door for a steel one, which will provide you with a 101.8% return on investment. At an average cost of $1,230, a steel door is sturdier and will last longer than a wood one, will require much fewer repairs, and can be customized according to your color and finish preferences. If steel is not your thing, you may also consider a fiberglass door, which while almost double the price, will provide you with many of the same benefits, and a 72% return on investment.

(Credit: Michael Shake/Bigstock.com)

2. Incorporate Stone Veneer Into Your Home’s Façade

Natural stone veneer siding is a beautiful way to enhance the look and feel of your home. With this alternative to traditional masonry work, you’ll get the same authentic beauty and color variation that you would with the more expensive marble or slate. At an average cost of $7,150, you’ll see a 92.2% return on investment by adding stone veneer siding to your home’s facade. While you’ll probably need to hire a pro, an added bonus with stone veneer is that it’s quick and relatively easy to install.

(Credit: flashygal/Bigstock.com)

3. Install a New Garage Door

With an average cost of $1,595, you’ll see an 88.4% return on investment with a new garage door. Depending on your style, you can choose from a wide range of materials that include steel, fiberglass, glass and wood. No matter your choice, a new garage door is the perfect and affordable way to immediately improve the curb appeal of your home.

(Credit: Enka Parmur/Bigstock.com)

4. Install New Siding

Vinyl siding is one of the most practical updates you can make to your home. A relatively new innovation on the home-building front, vinyl siding installation averages $12,013 and sees an 80.7% return on investment. Not only can it withstand extreme hot or cold weather, it is virtually resistant to rot and decay. Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors, does not fade, and if insulated, can be extremely energy efficient.

(Credit: rodho/Bigstock.com)

5. Build a Wooden Deck

Whether you are looking to enhance the front of your house with a wraparound style or your backyard with a freestanding variety, a new deck is well worth the investment. On average, decks cost $10,048 and provide an 80.5% return on investment, depending on style, and wood species. Remember that whatever material you choose for your deck, in order to preserve its color and longevity, you’ll want to make sure you actively apply a finish for extended protection.

6. Do a Kitchen Facelift

If you were to make any one improvement to your house, it should be to your kitchen. And while this may sound like a big and expensive endeavor, there are plenty of ways you can make meaningful updates without too much pain and suffering. At an average cost of $19,226 with a 79.3% return on investment, a kitchen “facelift” that includes one or two new appliances, refaced cabinetry, and new countertops, will make a world of a difference, without completely breaking the bank.

(Credit: Wollwerth Imagery/Bigstock.com)

7. Replace Your Windows

Whether it’s for function or aesthetic reasons, after years of use, your windows will need to be replaced. With an average cost of $11,341 and a 78.8% return on investment, you should consider upgrading to wood window frames. In addition to their visual appeal, including the ability to customize color and design, wood windows provide great insulation and are energy efficient. The one drawback to wood window frames is that they do require ongoing maintenance. At an average of $11,198 with a 72.9% return on investment, you could alternately consider vinyl window frames.

(Credit: dbvirago/Bigstock.com)

Renew Your Roof

If you inspect your roof regularly, you will have a good sense of when it needs to be replaced. And although it may seem like a hefty expense with an average price of $19,528, you will see a 71.6% return on investment if you add a new roof to your list of projects this year. While there are a number of materials you can choose from for your new roof including wood, clay and metal, the best and most affordable bet is asphalt shingles.

Thank you for reading these great tips and remember to give us a call to speak to one f our agents today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors

(210) 479-1222