What is a Home Inspection?

Congratulations!!  You found the perfect home!!  Is it?  Is there mold?  Could the HVAC be on its last legs?  What about the foundation?  Roof leaks?  

No home is perfect, not even new construction.  To make sure that your new home is NOT a money pit, you need a professional home inspection to verify that the major systems are in good working order.

Over the past couple of months, Kelly and I have had several questions from both buyers and sellers regarding the home inspection process. What is inspected?  If the inspector finds something, what next?  How to negotiate the repair request?  Do we ask the seller to fix it?  Who fixes it?

These are just some of the questions that we are asked and this article will highlight some of the ins and outs of the home inspection process.

What is a Home Inspection?

Home Inspection

Before we talk about how to handle a repair request, let’s first talk about the home inspection.  What is a home inspection?  A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home; e.g. plumbing, roof, HVAC, and is intended to give the client an understanding of their condition.

Once the home inspection has been completed, the inspector will provide a detailed report of his/her findings.  The report can be a few pages to many pages, depending on the number of items.  As a home buyer, you may be tempted to ask your agent to send the entire report to the home seller with a giant stamp on the front that says.

“Fix Everything!!”

Don’t!!!

My Buyer Wanted Everything Fixed!!!

While it may be tempting to request that everything on the repair report to be fixed, so that your new home can be as perfect as possible when you move in, that’s just not realistic.

We recently listed an older home in an established neighborhood east of Raleigh.  The home was reasonably maintained and updated.  The buyers’ agent provided us with a ten-page, single-spaced list of repair items that his client was requesting! Replace all of the electrical faceplates…yup.  Broken latch to the crawl space…that one was in there, also.  Burnt out lightbulb in the master bath vanity…That one was there too!!!  Many of the items were under $10.00 per item!

Pick Your Battles

Concentrate your request on the major, structural issues, rather than on the cosmetic issues.  Here some examples of items that you should request:

  • Leaking pipes in the basement, crawlspace or in the living area.
  • Damaged or broken roof shingles.
  • Major electrical defects that cause safety issues.
  • Significant plumbing problems that interfere with the use of the home.
  • Leaking water from the roof.
  • Water penetration in the crawl space or basement
  • Mold problems
  • Elevated Radon levels above EPA suggested levels.
  • Pest infestations
  • Septic issues
  • etc

The above items are a condensed list of possible issues worth asking a seller to address. There certainly could be others but these are without question reasonable repair requests that any buyer would have. Depending on the mortgage loan program; e.g. FHA, VA, etc. your mortgage lender may require that certain repairs be completed for your loan request to be approved.

Credit or Seller Repair

This is an important consideration when requesting repairs.  Depending on a number of factors; e.g. extent of repair, timing needed to make the repair, etc. you may request that the seller complete the repair prior to closing and/or you may request a credit from the seller for the repair.

Since the seller has no vested interest in the home once it is sold, they may not hire the most qualified contractor, or the contractor may not complete in the most workmanlike manner.  By requesting a credit, you have the ability to select your preferred contractor and to confirm that the work is completed satisfactorily.  Before asking for a cash credit, your agent should check with your lender to determine if a cash credit is allowed and the amount that is allowed.

How About a Home Warranty?

Offering a home warranty may be acceptable to both parties in a situation where a system; e.g. HVAC, appliances, etc. may require repair or replacement in the future.  Home warranties cover major defects for a year and provide a buyer with peace of mind. One caution, a home warranty will not cover a system that is broken prior to closing.

Closing Tips

I often tell my buyers and my sellers that negotiating repairs is the 2nd round of negotiation in the home selling process.  The first, obviously, is the negotiation of the initial offer.  The home inspection should be a give and take between the buyer and seller. It should have a reasonable conclusion where both parties are satisfied with the results.

If you are purchasing a home in a seller’s market, it is even more important to be reasonable in requesting repairs to the seller.  As a buyer, you could find yourself on the outside looking in if you anger the seller to the point, they want to have

Purchasing a New Home

nothing to do with you.  Our seller that received the ten-page, single-spaced repair request went ballistic!!  We did close, but the entire tone of the transaction changed from then on.

When working with sellers we often explain to them that a test to determine if a repair request is reasonable is whether or not another buyer coming along would have the same inspection concerns. If the answer is YES then the owner should fix what the buyer is requesting.

Sellers will often ask should I get a pre-listing home inspection? If you have an older home and know you have some defects needing attention, it might be worth the money! Anytime you can prevent a home inspection from causing your sale to go down the tubes is a good thing.

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

SOURCES

https://www.thebalance.com/repair-requests-on-home-buying-and-selling-1798680

https://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/home-repair-requests-home-buyers/

https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/home-inspection-repair-requests/

https://www.maxrealestateexposure.com/negotiate-issues-home-inspection/

Real Estate Market Update – January 2019

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Real Estate Market Update – December 2018

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Sellers

Happy New Year!  With the New Year, it is time to dust off the old year and make plans for the coming year.  Maybe you want to exercise more, read more or spend more time with friends and family?

If selling a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here are some quick tips:  

Resolutions for Home Sellers

Thinking about selling your home this year or in the future?  Regardless of the season or market conditions, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression.  Make your home memorable to potential buyers.  Before listing your home, commit to these quick Home Seller New Year’s Resolutions to help ensure the quickest sale for the highest price.

Home Seller Resolution #1:  Plan Ahead

Do you truly want to sell your home? This is not the time to “see what happens” or “I’ll list it to see if it sells.” This wastes your time and the time of potential buyers and agents.  The 2019 housing market here in the Triangle is likely to become harder for home sellers.  Buyer demand has slowed and there is lots of competition, especially from new home communities.

Once you commit to selling your home, go all the way.  Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression and most home buyers decide whether or not to schedule a showing in the first 10 seconds while viewing pictures online!

Selling your home is a BIG deal and it takes lots of planning.  You need a team of experts including; real estate agent, contractors to assist with possible home repairs, movers, etc.  This is especially true if you are planning to buy a home at the same time.

Resolution:  Plan Ahead!  Contact a real estate professional early on to discuss your options and to commit to selling your home!

Planning Ahead is Key

Home Seller Resolution #2:  Repair & Replace

Stained carpet in the bonus room?  Leaky faucet in the kid’s bathroom?  Wallpaper in the living room?

Today’s buyers are, for the most part, looking for move-in ready homes. They do not want to dedicate all of their free time and funds to work on the house they live in.  All of those deferred maintenance projects should be addressed.  They will come up on the buyers home inspection.

Also, if your house is still living in the 1980s, it might be time for an upgrade.  There are many simple fixes; e.g. updated paint, lighting, and fixtures that will make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

Resolution:  Repair any deferred maintenance items and bring you home into 2019.

Home Buyers Want Move In Ready

Home Seller Resolution #3:  Cut the Clutter

Boxes piled high in the garage?  Can’t see the floor in the bonus room?  Afraid to open the hall closet door?

A cluttered house can suggest a lack of space, which can impact offers.  Potential buyers want to envision their furniture in your home.  Depending on lifestyle and length of time in the home, cleaning out the clutter can be a BIG project.

Take it step by step, room by room!  Be honest about what you need, want and what you can live without.  The bonus?  You won’t have to pack, move and clutter your new home with stuff you don’t want.

Lastly, when it’s time to list your home, stage it to show in the best possible light.  Your real estate agent may offer home staging as part of their suite of services to take your home to the next level.

Resolution:  Get rid of unwanted items in closets, the garage, and other rooms.

Home Staging is Key

Wrapping Up

Whether you are thinking about buying a home, selling a home or both in 2019, now is the time to commit to your resolutions.  By starting now, 2019 may be the year that you find your self in a new home!

If buying or selling a home is a goal for you next year, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Whatever your plans are for 2019, we hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

 

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

A new year brings much excitement and anticipation, but could 2019 be the year for a new home?  Here are some quick New Year’s Resolutions to help you buy a home in 2019.

Resolution #1:  Boost Your Savings

Instead of just thinking about saving, why not start the new year off right with a resolution to jump-start your savings and start putting away more for your down payment on your first home?

If you’re worried that the traditional 20% down payment may be too difficult to save in a year, there may be additional mortgage options that don’t require that amount.

Resolution:  Ditch the daily Starbucks run and boost your savings!

Resolution #2:  Check Your Credit

Have you checked your credit report? If not, you should do that right away. Many credit reports contain errors and you will need time to have those mistakes removed.

Your credit score is a very important variable that lenders consider when deciding on your mortgage loan. To make sure you get the best possible rates, it is never too early to start improving your credit!

Resolution:  Check your credit score!

Resolution #3:  Pay Down Your Debt

Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor for lenders. To help you achieve a favorable rate, focus on paying down your existing debt as much as possible. This new year commit to paying more toward credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, and other debt streams. With fewer dollars owed, you will be in a better position to afford a mortgage once you buy a home!

Resolution:  Brown bag your lunch and put the savings toward your debt.

Resolution #4:  Start Building Your Home Purchase Team

Buying a home on your own is no easy task, which is why most home buyers opt to utilize the talents of many professionals along the way. The new year is the perfect time to start thinking about building the home buying dream team that can help you find your home and pay for it too!

Your team should include an experienced real estate agent that can guide you through the process and a licensed loan officer that can assist you with all of the intricacies of the mortgage process.  Your real estate agent can also assist you with home inspectors, general contractors and a real estate attorney that can assist with repair negotiations and with your home closing.

Resolution:  Commit to finding an experienced real estate agent and lender that can guide you to finding your new home!

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to buy a home in 2019, now is the time to commit to your home purchase!  With a few simple resolutions, you could be living in your dream home this year!

We hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Fall at the Pond

Fall is coming to a close & winter is just around the corner. We have had such a great fall season helping our clients and enjoying time with family and friends. We are looking forward to a great holiday season and 2019!

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Why You Should Consider Buying a Home During the Holidays

Christmas is right around the corner.  Time to prepare those Christmas gift lists! To quote one of the lines from one of my favorite TV Christmas specials, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer:

A scooter for Jimmy
A dolly for Sue
The kind that will even say, “How do you do?”
When Christmas Day is here
The most wonderful day of the year.

Is it time to put a house on the holiday Christmas gift list?

Why You Should Consider Buying this Holiday Season

Turkeys and tinsel, dreidels and pumpkin pie. Yes, friends, the holidays are here again, and it’s the perfect time for … house hunting? OK, we know you’re busy enough planning family feasts and much-needed vacations while dealing with blustery weather, but hear us out. While it might seem counterintuitive to put a big-ticket item like a home on your holiday shopping list, it really does make sense.

Don’t believe us? Check out these surprisingly smart reasons to let everyone else hit the mall to buy half-off sweaters while you make the purchase of a lifetime: a new house to ring in the New Year.

Reason #1:  Less Competition

There’s typically less competition during the offseason, which means buyers can get more bang for their buck. About 40 percent of homes on average are sold in May, June, July, and August, according to The Housing Wire. The four months with the lightest sales are November through February, which means less competition as well.

Research from Zillow shows that those who buy a home during the peak selling point usually pay an average premium of $1,500, but those who purchase homes in, say, December paid $3,100 less than average.

Reason #2: Sellers are serious (or worn out)

Whether a house has been on the market for months or the “for sale” sign has recently appeared in the yard, sellers tend to be serious during the offseason. They are usually ready to make a deal, which means that buyers have more room for negotiation and throwing out a lower offer.

Most sellers have a compelling reason for putting their house on the market during the holidays. (Let’s face it: It’s no holiday party for them to have strangers wandering through their house.) They might be facing a relocation and want to get their kids settled before the new term. Or they might just be feeling some stress if they listed their home in the fall and it’s still languishing post–Turkey Day, making them just a little more desperate and anxious to deal

Dreaming of a New Home?

Topic #3: Tax Advantages

Yes, I said it! Taxes. Right after the holiday season comes Tax Season! In case you weren’t aware, buying before January 1 can help you save in April and beyond. Homeownership can bring numerous tax perks, from deducting mortgage interest to property taxes.

Also, many closing fees are tax-deductible if you itemize—although you should always double-check with your accountant about any tax questions.

Reason #4: You might become the center of attention

• During the warmer months, real estate agents, mortgage lenders, title companies and other professionals tend to be swamped, which means that clients might not always get the attention they need or want.
• Once the summertime sales are made, buyers may receive more attention from the experts and experience fewer delays and service issues.

Home for the Holidays

Reason #5: You can catch some great sales

Need new furniture or other items for your new home? Plenty of seasonal clearance sales will be available to help you apply a personal touch – but be careful not to spend yourself into unrecoverable debt.

Obviously, you should never rush into a major purchase just to save a couple of dollars; and please remember to make any large purchases AFTER you close on your home.

Give Yourself a Little Gift this Holiday

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Real Estate Market Update – October 2018

 

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

You may not think that the holiday season is a good time to sell your home, but think again!  This holiday season there are lots of holiday home buyers looking for great homes across the Triangle, NC area.  Follow these quick simple tips for merry home sale!

Yes, its that time of the year again!  It is the holiday season!  Time to deck the halls, trim the tree, find your ugly Christmas sweater & toast in the New Year! But is it time to sell your house?

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.

First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips.

Holiday Tip #1: Deck the Halls, but Don’t Go Overboard

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers.  Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

Deck the Halls but Be Classy!

Holiday Tip #2: Give Holiday House Hunters a Place to Escape from the Cold

When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings; playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats.

Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold

 

Holiday Tip #3: Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

 

When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice, and leaves.

Holiday Tip #4: Hire a reliable real estate agent

Hire someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s.

Also, marketing your home takes extra importance during the winter season when the gardens are less than colorful and the leaves are off the trees.  Premium photography and video tours of your home are a critical part of the marketing program for your home.

When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

You’ll get less foot traffic during the holiday’s thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

Use Premium Photography & Videos to Capture Holiday Homebuyers

Holiday Tip #5: Relax – the New Year is right around the corner!

The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.

Enjoy Your Holiday

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Real Estate Market Update – Q3 2018

How is the real estate market?  That is a question that we get a lot and there is no easy answer.  If you are a home seller, it is great.  If you are a home buyer, not so great.  Here is the Q3 2018 residential real estate update for the Cary, Apex & Morrisville, NC real estate market.

Home in Cary, NC

How is the Real Estate Market?

As a real estate agent, the most common question that I get is, “how is the market?”  The short answer is, “that depends….” There is no one real estate market.  Even in a small defined area like Cary, Apex & Morrisville, NC there are lots of differences across various sub-markets.

In this post, we are looking at two markets.  The first is the Re-Sale market for homes priced under $400,000. The second market is the New Construction market.

Recap

The market still is heavily tilted toward home sellers, as low inventory and buyer demand remain two of the themes of this market.

Resale Market $400,000 and Below: Demand for resale listings in the price points below $400k continues to outstrip supply.  Inventory stands at one month.  Across Wake County, inventory is set at two months while a neutral market is 6 months of inventory.   75% of all re-sale listings sold within 1-30 days, while 22% sold above the final list price and 10% had competing offers.

New Construction: The inventory of new construction accounted for 56% of the homes for sale at the end of Quarter 3. The average list price of new construction is $493,800.  As more new homes continue to come online, this will put more pressure on the resale market, especially in the $400k-$600k market.  Those priced above 400k must be updated and priced competitively to compete with the new construction homes.

Total Inventory:  Total inventory up 14%, new home inventory up 31% and re-sale inventory down 3%.

Prices:   Average overall sales price up 4%.  Average resale sales price up 3%.  The average overall sales price, resale sales price and median detached sales price per square foot were the highest on record.

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.