home buying advice

Who Should Pay for a Home Inspection?

So you’ve found your dream home and you’re ready to sign the paperwork, but not before getting a home inspection. After all, getting an inspection from a qualified professional is absolutely essential when you want to make sure there are no unwelcome issues with the foundation, electric, plumbing, or other systems in your new home.

But one question remains: Who should pay for the home inspection?

Don’t get caught with surprises, protect yourself with a home inspection.

This is one of the most common questions when it comes to working out the fine details of any home negotiation and below, we have the answers you’ve been searching for to seal the deal on your new home.

In Most Cases, Buyers Pay for the Inspection

While the nationwide average cost of a home inspection is approximately $450, inspections can cost upwards of $1,000 in areas of New York and sometimes less than the average in less populated areas. But no matter the exact cost, a home inspection is a pricey necessity that leaves buyers wondering if they should be stuck with the bill.

However, it is the buyers who traditionally pay for the inspection.

After all, it’s in their best interest to ensure that there are no issues with the home. Or, if the inspection does reveal issues, it gives buyers the ability to negotiate the price on the home due to the cost of any necessary repairs. As such, a home inspection can actually end up saving you money should you find major issues and prevent you from getting stuck with the bill for these repairs.

Sellers Do Pay for Some Inspections

Just like it’s most common for the buyers to pay for the home inspection, it’s also common for sellers to pay for other inspections.

For example, most sellers will pay for termite inspections and sometimes even well, water, or septic inspections if necessary. This alleviates some costs from buyers and gives further reassurance that the home is in proper condition for the next owners.

Everything is Negotiable

If you’re looking for a definitive answer to this question, you’ll probably find the answer “everything is negotiable” on most resources you find. And in fact, everything is negotiable.

In some cases, the sellers will pay for a home inspection. But if you’re looking for ultimate peace of mind in one of the most significant transactions of your life, it’s best to hire your own professional for the inspection.

If You’re Ready to Purchase a Home, United Real Estate Can Help

Whether you’ve found your dream home and need assistance scheduling the inspection or are ready to begin the hunt for your next home, United Real Estate can help.

Our position as a national leader in the real estate industry gives us both the experience and expertise to handle your unique needs. Contact us to find your dream home, today!

The Skinny on Home Warranties

Your furnace goes out. Now what? It’s a costly repair that can really take a toll on your pocketbook.

Do home warranties protect your new investment?

Do home warranties protect your new investment?

There are many people that rely on home warranties to repair their appliances. Home warranties are service contracts that are designed to cover appliances and other items that can break within the home. However, the age old question is – are home warranties worth it?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between a home warranty and home insurance. A home warranty typically covers repair and replacement costs for appliances – with a service fee. Home insurance covers appliances, but normally won’t cover them unless damage occurs to the house – for example, a fire, flood or theft.

The Pros – For sellers, home warranties that are included on a home they are selling can be a big bonus. According to a recent survey by a large home warranty provider, homes that come with a warranty sell 11 days quicker and make an average of $2,300 more that those that do not. Buyers can have the reassurance that their appliances are covered and possibly save up to thousands of dollars.

The Cons – Many consumer reports argue that home warranties aren’t worth the cost – $400 to $600 a year. One complaint is that many claims are denied because it is determined to be a pre-existing condition. Claims are also denied because the appliance hasn’t been maintained properly. Other problems included no coverage on more expensive items like leaky roofs or basement moisture and extra charges for things like plumbing and heating.

If you’re ready to purchase a home warranty, here are some tips to consider:

  • Check out multiple providers. Just like with any purchase, review your options. Also, make sure the company has the proper licensing and other requirements to provide a home warranty.
  • Review the contract carefully. As mentioned, there are many reasons a claim can be denied. There are also many appliances that could possibly not be covered under your plan. Read the contract carefully, including the fine print.
  • Create a budget. Add in the payment to your monthly budget. Include a possible service charge – which could range from $50 to $100.
  • Talk to your real estate agent. Keep your agent in the loop about your search for a home warranty. They may have a good relationship with a company and know who to watch out for.

United Real Estate is here to help you make the best decisions for you and your family.  If you are ready to get started on the home buying process, or if you have questions about buying, contact our support team.

 

Sources:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/09/why-you-should-avoid-home-warranties/index.htm

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20140511-story.html

Four Things to Avoid When House Hunting

  • What neighborhood works best for you?

    What neighborhood works best for you?

    View post

House hunting can be exciting but there’s also plenty to consider when you’re conducting your search. When looking for a house, most people have a good understanding of what features they want.  But what about the things you need to avoid?

To dodge some major house hunting pitfalls, take a look at our quick tips below.

Looking outside of your price-range. Find out how much you can borrow from your home lender and stick to it.  While it can be tempting to stretch your budget for a home that appears to be just right, people often forget about hidden costs like taxes, insurance, utilities and fees that will be tacked onto the purchase price or the monthly payment. To avoid temptation, scratch any homes off your list that are clearly out of your price-range.

Buying the first home you see.  There’s a lot to consider when buying a home and without a strong basis of comparison, you could be making the wrong decision. Make sure you’ve done your research and have a good idea of what average prices are in the area you’re looking in and see how each home stacks up. You’ll also need to investigate the neighborhood to make sure it’s on par with your family’s needs. Once you’ve had a chance to look at some options, you’ll feel great knowing that you’ve made an informed decision.

Homes that need major renovations. Unless you have the cash flow and ability to renovate, these homes are best left untouched, especially for first time home buyers. Think about how much time you’re willing to wait while your house is being renovated – are you prepared to wait even longer? Renovation projects tend to go over-time and over-budget, so unless you’re looking to stay put for several years, this home might not be worth the headache.

Not getting inspections. Make sure you arrange an independent inspection to assess the overall state of the home, even if your lender doesn’t require it. Since sellers may not disclose all issues, an inspection is a great chance to discover any potential roadblocks and decide if they will make or break your buying decision.  Knowing the true state of the home can also provide some great bargaining power.

Whether you’re searching for your first home or your thirtieth, our expert team is here to help make your home-buying process as smooth as possible. Contact them for more information today.

Sources:

http://www.trulia.com/pro/buyers/house-hunting-pitfalls-to-help-buyers-avoid/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/03/06/the-7-top-home-buying-mistakes-you-should-avoid/

5 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home

  • Are you ready to buy a house?

    Are you ready to buy a house?

    View post

For some, home ownership seems to be a natural part of life. After all, many individuals don’t want to rent forever and when the market is right, there are a lot of individuals that jump at the opportunity to make a purchase.

But, how are you supposed to know when it’s the right time to make a purchase versus when it feels right to make a purchase?

Luckily, there are 5 questions you can consider and, depending on the answers, use to guide your decision as to whether home ownership is the right decision for you.

  1. Do my finances support my decision to purchase a home?

No matter how badly you want to be a homeowner, you simply can’t decide to make such a significant purchase if your finances aren’t in order. Of course, feeling financially secure will be different for different people, but you should have enough money for a 10% down payment as well as for mortgage insurance depending upon the amount of your down payment.

If you haven’t saved for a down payment, it’s unlikely that you’re ready to purchase a home. But if you have, you can answer “yes” to this question and continue considering the following questions.

  1. Will I be in this area for awhile?

In the past, staying put for just three to five years was enough to purchase a home. But nowadays, you should want to stay put for at least seven years to consider home ownership.

Primarily, this is because there are a lot of associated costs with purchasing a home including closing on the sale and moving, among others. And, when it comes time to sell your home, you’ll lose even more money.

So, if you aren’t willing to settle down or can’t count on settling down depending on your job and unique situation, it’s probably best not to buy.

  1. What are the standard costs of ownership?

What will you be spending, and how does this break down on a month-by-month basis? The simplest way to determine the standard costs is to calculate your home price minus your down payment into a mortgage calculator.

You can even plug in costs like property taxes and homeowners insurance to get a more accurate picture.

  1. What hidden expenses are there in homeownership?

While most homeowners understand the standard costs they can expect, few understand that there are many hidden expenses as well.

Hidden expenses include everything from homeowner association fees, routine maintenance costs, and significant expenses like a new roof or a new paint job. You can’t plan for all of these costs, so having a comfortable savings account is necessary to ensure that should something arise, you can handle it.

  1. What’s going on in the market in my area?

Even if you’ve answered “yes” or “I’m prepared” to all of the questions above, there’s one more you have to consider: what’s actually happening in the market where you live?

Home prices in some cities are skyrocketing at the moment whereas others are remaining more stable. Meanwhile, those who are renting may experience an increase in their income but in all likelihood, their rent is increasing as well.

Consider the market in your area and by doing so, you can better determine whether or not a home is the right investment at this time.

If You’re Ready to Purchase a Home, United Real Estate Can Help

If you’ve read through this article and are convinced that now is the right time for you to buy a home, the team at United Real Estate can help.

As a national leader in the real estate industry, we have the experience and expertise to assist with all of your needs. Contact us to purchase your dream home, today!