Key Questions for Homebuyers: What to Ask After a Home Inspection

After a home seller accepts your offer on a home, the next step usually involves a home inspection.

At this point, you’ll hire a home inspector who will walk through the home you’d like to buy and offer expert insights into the residence’s strengths and weaknesses. Then, you’ll be able to assess potential issues with a home and determine whether to move forward with a home purchase.

A home inspection can be stressful, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you take the guesswork out of home inspections.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after a home inspection is completed, including:

1. What did the home inspection reveal?

A home inspection offers unparalleled insights into a residence. It enables you to look beyond a house’s surface and find out whether major repairs will be required both now and in the future.

Hiring an experienced home inspector is paramount for homebuyers. With an experienced home inspector at your disposal, you’ll be better equipped than others to identify “hidden” problems within a house.

Also, don’t forget to review a home inspection report closely. With this information at your disposal, you’ll be able to understand whether a residence meets your expectations.

Be sure to consider the long-term value of a property as well. Remember, a home that you plan to purchase should be able to serve you well for years to come. But if you encounter myriad home issues during a property inspection, you may want to consider rescinding your offer on a residence and restarting your search for the ideal house.

2. Are there major home issues?

As a homebuyer, it is important to be able to identify the differences between major and minor home issues.

For example, if there are tiny cracks and chips in the paint on a kitchen’s walls, these issues are minor. In fact, you may be able to repair such issues quickly and effortlessly.

On the other hand, an old, inefficient furnace can cause major headaches. Without a properly functioning furnace, you may struggle to heat your home in winter. Meanwhile, it may cost several thousand dollars to replace this furnace.

If you encounter problems with a residence during a home inspection, consider the costs associated with these issues. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine how much you may need to spend to correct such problems and can proceed with a home purchase accordingly.

3. What should I do next?

An informed homebuyer will be equipped with the knowledge and insights needed to make a great decision.

Consider the problems that were discovered during a home inspection. If you can fix home issues without having to commit substantial time and resources to complete various home maintenance projects, you may want to consider moving forward with a home purchase.

If you encounter major home issues, you can always ask a home seller to perform home repairs. Or, you may want to remove your offer on a home altogether.

Working with a real estate agent is ideal, especially for homebuyers who want help with home seller negotiations. With assistance from a real estate agent, you should have no trouble determining how to proceed after a home inspection.

Questions to Ask Before You Search for a Home

Purchasing a residence can be quick and simple, particularly for those who know the ins and outs of the housing market.

At first, navigating the real estate market may seem impossible. Fortunately, homebuyers who consider the right questions before they browse residences can streamline the process of acquiring a house.

There are many key questions for homebuyers to consider prior to entering the housing market, including:

1. Where Do I Want to Live?

When it comes to the real estate market, it is all about location. Thus, you’ll want to consider where you want to live and plan accordingly.

For example, if you enjoy the city life, you may want to purchase a house in a major metropolitan area. Or, if you prefer quiet country living, you might pursue houses in small towns.

Consider your current and future living situations as well. If you want to work in a particular city or town, you may want to purchase a nearby home. Or, if you plan to have children in the future, you may want to consider properties near schools.

2. How Much Can I Afford?

Unfortunately, bad credit may hinder your chances of securing your ideal residence. But if you know your credit score, you can work to improve it prior to searching for a house.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). Request a free copy of your credit report, and you can learn your credit score and find out how it may affect your ability to buy a home.

Also, getting pre-approved for a mortgage may make it easy for you to secure a house that matches your budget. With a mortgage in hand, you’ll be able to browse homes within a set price range and find one that you can enjoy for years to come.

3. How Do I Get Started?

Let’s face it – the real estate market can be complex, but there are many ways to simplify the process of obtaining the perfect residence.

First, create a list of must-haves for your residence. This list will help you narrow your search and determine exactly what you’d like to find in a dream home.

Don’t forget to work with an experienced real estate agent, either. This real estate professional can offer support in many areas and ensure that you can explore a wide range of houses at your convenience.

Your real estate agent will help you set up home showings, submit offers on houses and handle negotiations with home sellers. Plus, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, your real estate agent will be ready to respond to your queries immediately.

Employing a real estate agent enables you to get your home search started on the right foot. With a real estate agent at your disposal, you can learn about all aspects of the homebuying process. And as a result, you can streamline the homebuying process and find your dream home quickly and effortlessly.

4 Under-the-Radar Factors to Consider When You Buy a Home

As a homebuyer, you want to prepare as much as possible when you start looking at houses. By doing so, you’ll be able to fully evaluate a residence based on your personal wants and needs and ensure you can find your dream house quickly and easily.

However, there are many under-the-radar factors that homebuyers must consider when they check out a house, including:

1. Homeowners Association

If you’re evaluating condos, you should learn about the homeowners association (HOA) that manages the property. This will allow you to review HOA fees, how the HOA operates and other factors that may influence your decision to buy a home.

Typically, it is simple to discover all you need to know about an HOA.

To do so, you can work with a real estate agent who should be able to provide information about an HOA. Also, you can always contact an HOA directly and receive all the information you need without delay.

2. TV, Cable and Internet Service Providers

Do you work from home and require a high-speed internet connection to complete your day-to-day tasks? Or, do you want to ensure you can get your favorite TV channels at all times?

Regardless of your individual needs, you’ll want to check out the TV, cable and internet service providers available in cities and towns where you’d like to live. This will enable you to find out if these local providers can meet your needs consistently.

In addition, you should consider cell phone connectivity in an area, as this will allow you to determine if your cell service provider ensures you can enjoy clear calls in a particular city or town.

3. Attractions and Landmarks

Do you enjoy spending a day at the park, checking out historic landmarks or going to concerts? No matter which activities you enjoy, it is essential to learn about the entertainment options near a home you may purchase.

For instance, if a concert venue is close to a residence, it may affect nearby traffic patterns as concert-goers travel to and from this destination.

Conversely, if you want a house that allows you to separate from the everyday hustle and bustle of the city, you may want to evaluate residences that are located many miles away from popular attractions and landmarks.

4. Walking Paths

If you like to stay active, you’ll surely want to find a house that features a wide range of safe walking paths that you can use every day.

Whether it’s going for a morning jog or simply enjoying a jaunt with your dog, you may be able to improve your chances of remaining active and healthy if you purchase a home with multiple walking paths nearby.

Of course, a real estate agent can help you explore a vast array of homes in cities and towns nationwide. This professional will learn about your home preferences and allow you to streamline your search for the perfect house as well.

Consider the aforementioned factors as you prepare to search for houses, and ultimately, you’ll be better equipped to make a more informed home purchase.

Know This Before You Buy a Short Sale

In this market, short sales can sometimes be a good deal for a buyer but they also come with some potential pitfalls. A short sale is when a seller needs to sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage. In order to get a bargain and not a headache you will need to do your homework. Here are some tips for protecting yourself before buying a short sale.

1. Use experts

It is important that before you buy a short sale you assemble a team of experts. During the initial phase you will need help identifying which homes are being offered as short sales. The nature of short sales are different, you will also need help determining a purchase price and what to include in your offer.

A real estate attorney who is knowledgeable in short sales is also key. Navigating the process of a short sale can be tricky so you will need an experienced short sale attorney to help deal with the potential of multiple liens, mechanic’s and condominium liens, or homeowners association liens. Often homes that are in short sale have these issues and without help will be harder to purchase.

2. Prepare emotionally

If you want a good deal on a short sale you will probably have to be in it for the long haul. It is important to stay patient, and remain unemotional during what can sometimes be a lengthy and emotionally difficult process. You may even want to consider a title search upfront. This could weed out properties with multiple liens if you are under a time crunch.

3. Know the market

In order to successfully purchase a short sale you need to know the marketplace. When a lender agrees to a short sale, they are agreeing to losing money on the loan they made to purchase the home. A short sale can be a good deal but it usually not a steal. The lender also knows the fair market value of the home and wants to minimize their losses. If your offer is too low, you chance it being rejected. During the process we will determine a price range that works with your budget and is hopefully one that the lender will accept.

4. Know the Process

The short sale process is different than that of a standard sale. The agreement to sell the home for less than is owed is actually made between the seller and the lender, not the seller and the buyer. The seller must first gain approval from the lender before the sale can be finalized.

First, you would make an offer on a home and the sellers must consent to your offer to purchase. Then the sellers must submit the offer to their lender. The seller also sends along documentation to the bank as to why they need to sell the home for less than is owed. The seller should also have an attorney to help them with this process.

Lenders typically do not move quickly on this process. It can often take weeks or months to get an answer. This is why is often best to put a competitive offer first. If several lien holders are involved; each can make a counteroffer or just reject your offer.

5. Firm up your financing

Lenders don’t just look at the amount you are willing to pay for the home; they will also weigh your ability to close the transaction. If have a strong offer lenders will look more closely at your offer. You will want to make sure you are pre-approved for a mortgage for any consideration. Other factors that could influence the decision in a positive way are: having a large down payment, ability to close at any time, and flexibility. They will often not consider your offer if you have a contingency.