Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 2/16/2020

Shopping for a home is an exciting time for any hopeful homeowner. After weeks of scouring listings looking for the perfect home in the ideal location for you and your family, it can seem like youíve found the needle in the haystack.

When itís time to go visit that home, itís easy to put on rose-colored lenses and overlook issues that should, at the very least, be taken into consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not you should make a bid on the home and how much you should offer.

Todayís post is all about preparing you for that first viewing. Weíll give you tips on what to look out for and how to factor these things into your equation when it comes to making an offer.

Check the listing for omissions

Even if a home looks perfect on paper (or on its website listing), itís still quite likely that there are things youíll want to know about before considering an offer. A home listing should attempt to address several questions you might have. But ultimately, itís main goal is to attract interest in the home.

So, what type of things should be in the listing that the seller might leave out?

  • Poor street conditions, heavy traffic, and blind driveways are all things that will factor into your decision but most likely wonít be mentioned in a listing

  • Odors of any kind can be off-putting and difficult to remove. Some homeowners may not even know that their home has an offensive odor if theyíve become used to it.

  • Room omissions. If the home is listed as having two bathrooms but there are only photos of one, this could be a sign that there are problems with the second bathroom that the seller doesnít want you to see quite yet.

Top dollar home repairs

A professional home inspection will be able to give you an idea of the kind of money youíll need to spend on renovations in the coming years. But why wait? When touring a home, ask questions about the last time important renovations and repairs were made.

Roofs, septic systems, and electrical work are just a few of the things that are expensive to repair or replace. If the previous homeowner has a small family or lives alone and you plan on moving in with a houseful of kids, you might find that your impact on the septic and electrical systems of the home are too much for the house to handle. Youíll want to take this into account before considering a bid on the home.

Utility costs

The cost of heating a home in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer can be hefty if the home isnít properly sealed and weatherproofed. Ask the current homeowner what they spend per month on utilities to get an idea of what you might be spending.

Then, take a look at the windows and doors. Cracks, malfunctioning locks, and worn weatherstripping are all signs that the home will need some work to be energy-efficient.

Donít ignore the little things

Small fixes may not seem like a big deal when viewing a home. They can even deceive you into thinking that youíre getting a good deal by buying a fixer-upper for a price thatís lower than the market average.

However, itís important to keep in mind that small fixes around the house are a sign that bigger problems are also being neglected. Donít be too quick to assume the house will be a good deal before getting it professionally inspected.




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Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 2/9/2020

There is always an undeniable appeal to move into a brand new home. After all, there shouldnít be any problems with a new construction home, right? While shiny new appliances and brand new flooring can be appealing, there are many advantages to buying an older home.


The Price


It may seem obvious, but older homes are less expensive than newer homes. You might be able to get a bit more for your money if you decide to buy an older home. 


Construction Quality


Older homes tend to have a bit better quality in their construction. Some aspects of older construction homes cannot even be reproduced with all of the technology that we have in the present day. Itís often true that ďthey donít build homes like they used to.Ē Certain building materials of the past are actually more sturdy than the materials that are used in the present day. Older homes have stood the test of time for a reason! 


The Location Is An Established Neighborhood


If youíre not looking to move into an up and coming neighborhood, you could be better off buying an older construction home. Youíll know that a neighborhood has already been established and that people have enjoyed living in the area for years before you got there when you find an older home to purchase. In finding a neighborhood, youíll look at the important factors like the school district, the walkability of the area and the crime rate. Older homes tend to be in more stable areas. Keep that in mind. 


Older Homes Have More Personality


Sure, you could move into a street with new construction and be happy there. Yet, if you move into an older home, you will find a lot of advantages. The landscaping may be more well-established, allowing you to find your favorite features on the outside of the home right when you move in. In a new home, it could take years to establish the same type of curb appeal that youíll get from moving into an older home.    

 

Thereís More Space In An Older Home


An older home may afford you much more yard space and overall square footage. As the world gets more and more developed, space runs short. Older homes were constructed at times when space was at a maximum. These homes were built on larger lots, giving homeowners the advantage of more space. 


While you may think that buying a new construction home is the way to go, older homes offer many different things that newer construction homes just canít bring to the table. Broaden your search and look for older homes, you could be very surprised!   






Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 2/2/2020

Image by Brasil Creativo from Shutterstock

If this is your first time owning a home, your mind is likely consumed with plans to replace the carpet or upgrade the appliances. You want to get the best deals and save money where you can. One area not to skimp, though, is in your homeowner's insurance. The last thing you want is to install the perfect spa bath only to have the sewer back up, and you find out your policy doesn't cover sewerage.

How can that be, you ask? Surprisingly, homeownerís insurance does not cover everything. In fact, there are lots of things you may believe it covers that are nowhere to be found in the policy. While some of these things might be small annoyances, others can devastate your carefully laid plans for the perfect house.

Here are some big-ticket items that your insurance may not cover:

  • Floods: Water overflowing your property or home comes from many sources: heavy rain, tropical storms, groundwater rising, seepage, sewer backup, or water pressure from saturated soil (called hydrostatic pressure). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) generally does not cover leakage, seepage, sewer backup, or hydrostatic pressure unless a federally defined flood caused it.

  • Sewer back: While not covered by NFIP, you may request an added endorsement to cover aging sewer systems and backed-up storm drains. Otherwise, youíre on your own for the cleanup and damages this causes in your home.

  • Mold: While posing significant home damage and health risks, mold can hide behind cabinets, in walls, under the floor, and in the insulation. With thousands of varieties, mold policies only cover infestations from specific species. These policies often have low upper limits, too, so the cost to remove it and repair the damage may fall to you.

  • Sinkholes, earthquakes, and shifting ground: Most policies exclude earth movement without specific riders. Your house may be located in an area that is prone to earthquake, mudslide, or sinkhole damage, so ask your insurance agent to provide the appropriate additions to your policy.

  • Termites: These wood and fiber-eating pests can destroy walls, floors, support beams, and other untreated wood in your home. Nationally termite damage repair is a multi-billion dollar business. Rarely do homeownerís insurance policies cover termites. Your home inspection should reveal the presence of termites, so negotiate with the seller for termite remediation before completing your purchase.

Other items your policy may not cover are bites from pets, especially exotic animals or certain dog breeds, and accidents from high-risk toys such as trampolines and pools. You might be surprised to realize that most policies also exclude acts of war and nuclear power plant accidents.

Before you close on your home, discuss all your insurance needs with your insurance agent. If you need guidance, your real estate professional can offer advice.





Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 1/26/2020

If you recently listed your home, you may expect many offers to purchase to come your way in the near future. However, the house selling journey can be difficult to navigate, and there are many signs that indicate offers to purchase your home may be unlikely to arrive any time soon. These signs include:

1. Homebuyers are not scheduling showings.

Homebuyers often set up showings to view residences. And if buyers like what they see during a showing, these individuals may request a second showing or submit an offer to purchase a house.

Comparatively, a seller who receives no home showing requests for many days, weeks or months after listing a residence may be in trouble. This seller may need to perform home upgrades to help his or her residence stand out from the competition. Or, the seller may need to lower his or her house's initial asking price.

2. Homebuyers are not attending open houses.

An open house event is designed to provide buyers with an enjoyable experience. The event allows buyers to walk through a residence at their own pace. And if a buyer likes a house, he or she may request a one-on-one showing or submit an offer to purchase.

On the other hand, if no buyers attend an open house, a seller may need to modify his or her property selling strategy. This individual should consider the buyer's perspective closely and think about why buyers may choose to avoid his or her residence. Then, the seller can tweak his or her house selling strategy accordingly.

3. Comparable houses in your area continue to sell.

If a seller finds his or her residence lingers on the real estate market while similar houses sell quickly, there may be one or many problems with this individual's house. Although a seller may wonder why his or her house fails to stir up interest from buyers, a real estate agent can offer expert support. In fact, a seller can work with a real estate agent to determine the best course of action to promote his or her house to the right buyers.

Typically, a real estate agent meets with a house seller and helps this individual craft a property selling strategy. A real estate agent and home seller work hand-in-hand to figure out how to list a house, showcase it to buyers and maximize the residence's value. And when a real estate agent and home seller put a home selling plan into action, the results can be significant.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides once a seller receives an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a home seller may be uncertain about what to do. But a real estate agent will help a home seller review all possible options and make an informed decision.

Simplify the house selling cycle Ė hire a real estate agent, and you can get the help you need to generate interest in your home as soon as it becomes available.





Posted by Sherri Schneider, CBR, SRES, CIPS on 1/19/2020

Ready to purchase your dream home? Before you finalize a home purchase, it may be worthwhile to schedule a home appraisal.

With a home appraisal, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. The home appraiser then will offer a property valuation.

In some instances, a home offer may be appraisal-contingent. And if the home appraisal valuation falls below the amount of a buyer's offer, the buyer may request a renegotiated price.

A home appraisal may prove to be an important part of the homebuying process. As such, it is paramount for homebuyers to understand what an appraisal is all about and determine whether to conduct an appraisal.

To better understand home appraisals, let's take a look at three home appraisal facts that every homebuyer needs to consider.

1. An appraiser's valuation is his or her opinion of what a residence is worth.

Typically, a home appraiser will use a broad assortment of housing market data as part of a home assessment. The appraiser also will look closely at a residence as part of the home evaluation process.

Although a home appraisal is based on housing market data and a home assessment, it is essential to note that a home valuation is an appraiser's opinion. Therefore, two home appraisers may examine the same housing market data and the same house and come up with two different home valuations.

2. The homes in a neighborhood may affect the valuation of a residence.

Believe it or not, a home's value may be impacted by those around it. Thus, if you intend to buy a home, it often pays to evaluate the neighborhood to better understand whether a house's value will decline, stay the same or increase over time.

Furthermore, what you spend to improve a house is unlikely to raise a house's value proportionately. And if you spend $20,000 on home improvements, there are no guarantees that these home improvements will add $20,000 to a home's valuation.

3. A home appraisal and a home inspection are two very different things.

A home inspection often is considered a must-have during the homebuying process, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

During a home inspection, a property expert will ensure there are no structural issues with a home and identify any problem areas. Then, a homebuyer can move forward with a home purchase, rescind a home offer or submit a counter proposal based on a home inspection report.

On the other hand, a home appraisal enables a property expert to evaluate the house in its current state. A home appraiser will compare and contrast a home in relation to others in the area and offer a valuation.

If you need help determining whether to conduct a home appraisal, a real estate agent is happy to assist you. With a real estate agent at your side, you can determine whether to set up a home appraisal prior to finalizing a home purchase.




Tags: Buying a home   appraisal  
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