Questions You Should Ask When Buying New Construction

There’s nothing like moving into a home that is truly new, with no smells, smudges or dust left behind by a previous owner. Even better is when you get to make your own custom selections. But buying from a builder is a different ball game and it’s important you know how to play. Consider these […]

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Signs of Damage in a House

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It’s so easy to get distracted by the cute barn doors, the recessed lighting, and the ship-lap walls – that we miss the water damage on the roof! Luckily, the inspection period is written in the contract to give buyers a chance to hire an inspector to assess the property. However, it’s important to know the signs that something may be wrong before getting too invested in a home. Here are some signs that there may be big problems with a house.

Signs of roof damage:

  • Cupped, curled or warped shingles
  • Lots of shingle granules in the gutters
  • Cracked or broken tiles
  • Missing sections
  • Mismatched roof sections
  • Ceiling stains
  • Sagging roof deck

Signs of foundation damage:

  • Visible cracks in exterior or interior
  • Door jams/doors not shutting
  • Gaps on top of doors when closed
  • Windows not square
  • Wall corners not square
  • Cracks in driveway or sidewalks
  • Drainage not pointing away from the house
  • Large trees with roots close to foundation

Signs of water/mold damage:

  • Water stains on ceilings and walls
  • Cracks around windows
  • Bowed roof
  • Visible mold
  • Musty smell
  • Missing caulking or tile in baths
  • No bathroom vents
  • Wood rot around doors and trim
  • Peeling paint

Signs of electrical damage:

  • Exposed wires
  • Warm outlets
  • Damaged or rusted electric panel

Signs of plumbing damage:

  • Water stains in sinks, toilets, bath
  • Low water pressure
  • Screeching when turning on/off
  • Slow drains
  • Bad odors from sinks

A good real estate agent will be able to help you catch these things. Ready to start looking for homes? Contact one of our awesome agents today and get started!

Avoid Emotional Decision Making When Falling in Love with a Home

Avoid Emotional Decision Making When Falling in Love With a Home

Every home buyer hopes to find the perfect house. The one that, as soon as you walk through the front door, you know it is the one for you.

It happens, and when it does, I am really happy for my buyers. I always want my buyers to fall in love with the perfect house and live happily ever after.

Just like in relationships, however, emotions often come into play during the home buying journey…Emotions that may result in some not-so-loving feelings.

While I’m not a therapist, I can help you talk through your emotions about the homes we visit and help you identify if you are making decisions with your heart and not your head.

There are six basic emotions; let’s look at how they can affect your decision-making skills.

Fear: We have all learned that fear triggers a “fight or flight” response. In terms of making decisions, fear may cause you to “flee” from making any decision at all, which could make your home buying experience exhausting. If you are afraid you will run out of time, or that if you pass on a house you won’t find another one, you may “fight” by making a rash decision too quickly.

Sadness: Feeling sad can cause you to lower your expectations and settle for less than you truly want. You may decide you don’t need certain features that you previously wanted. Or you may settle for one of the first homes you see instead of persevering with the search.

Disgust: Disgust can cause you to eliminate choices that otherwise might have been in the running. You might find the perfect floor plan, style, or location, but if the home has a bad odor, a filthy floor, or some other off-putting defect, you might not be able to stomach it, even if it is a completely reversible problem.

Surprise: Surprise is an emotion that is fleeting– it happens quickly and then subsides. Surprises can be pleasant, like if you go to see a home you were not expecting to like and find it is much nicer than you expected. But if you are touring the home and a rat runs out of the pantry, you get a negative surprise. While surprise doesn’t last, the memory does, and it can influence how you feel about the event.

Happiness: We all want to feel happy when buying a home but be careful that your excitement doesn’t cause you to make bad decisions. When you are happy or excited, you tend to underestimate risks, assuming everything will work out. People also tend to spend more money than they planned when super excited.

Anger: Anger can also cause you to take bigger risks. Research shows angry people are more likely to make impulsive decisions. Anger can sometimes be helpful. If handled properly, anger can help you to identify your needs and outline action steps to get the information you need to act responsibly.

So, first let’s find a home to take a look at!  Go to our Home Search page and use our tools to find some options to choose from.

7 Things You Can Do to Qualify for a Mortgage

7 Things You Can Do to Qualify For a Mortgage

If you are thinking about buying a home this year and aren’t sure if you will qualify for a mortgage, there are several actions you can take to improve your chances of being approved for the amount you wish to borrow.

Lenders look at more than just your credit rating. They want to know that you have a steady income and are responsible with your money. Before you start home shopping, take some time to make sure you are fiscally stable.

  1. Stay at your present job. The bank will want to see, at minimum, your last two tax returns. If you want to buy a home this year, it’s not the time to start over in a new industry. If you are just getting started in the professional world, you may need to work a while longer in order to show a history of steady income.
  2. Put off buying a new car. Be careful about buying big-ticket items like a new car or boat or on credit until after you have closed on your home.
  3. Pay down credit debt. If you are carrying a balance on credit cards, work hard to pay those down or off. Try not to use credit cards if you can’t pay the balance off monthly.
  4. Pay your bills on time. Incurring late payments will reflect poorly on your credit report, so keep track of deadlines or set up automatic payments before they are due.
  5. Save up cash for a down payment. You have a better chance of being approved for a lower amount, so try to save up for a down payment to reduce the loan amount.
  6. Say no to cosigning for others. Now is not the time to cosign on any loans with family members or friends.
  7. Throw those credit card offers away. Each time you apply for credit, the provider will pull your credit history, which affects your score.

Not sure which lender to talk to?  Contact one of our agents to give recommendations on who to work with.  You can also try checking out a list here.

The Importance of Pre-Approval

A lot of people looking for real estate to buy do not know the importance of getting pre-approved for a loan BEFORE they begin looking for a property.  Here are a few things to consider: You could lose out on a home you love.  Especially when it is a seller’s market–like it is currently–you could lose a […]

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