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10 questions to ask your home inspector

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Ten Important Questions to

Ask Your Home Inspector

 

1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do not buy that home without an inspection

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Image home inspections pngFor most of us, purchasing a home is the biggest investment we will ever make. The process of purchasing a home is both rewarding and often times stressful. Dealing with contract negotiations, insurance, movers ect… can be quite overwhelming. The last thing you need to worry about is an unforeseen problem withyour investment. This is why taking the time and investing in a professional home inspection is so important.

Every home has its secrets. A thorough home inspection will not only reveal these secrets, but provide you with a higher degree of confidence in the purchase. In addition to the home appraisal, we require for the loan approval, the home inspection will help justify the selling price of the home and, in fact, can become a factor in negotiations.

Unlike the property appraisal, which only provides a market value for the property, a home inspection provides a detailed analysis of the home’s condition. These inspections, when performed by professional home inspector, should include an analysis of the home’s major mechanical systems such as furnace and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical components, as well as an overall analysis of the roof.

A home inspection will alert the you to any safety concerns or potential problems with the property such as the potential for mold, lead-based paint and asbestos. In addition to these environmental concerns, a home inspection will identify any code violations that may be present. Code violations are quite common in older homes which were “grandfathered” in prior to changes in the local building code. It is important that you are aware of these deficiencies and possible hazards.

There are several avenues to finding a reputable home inspection company. Your real estate agent can be good resource, and of course I would be happy to help you locate one as well. Other good sources for home inspectors include local Builder Associations, trade unions, the Chamber of Commerce- even your local hardware store may have a contractor advertising section. Home inspections will range in price according to the size and value of the home. Typically the average price for a home inspection is around $300-$500. The emphasis should be on “professional” when looking for a home inspector. Though family members have good intentions, trusting a relative who “knows a lot about houses” is not a wise decision when dealing with your investment.

A home inspection is quite common in the real estate industry today. The majority of home purchase contracts will call out a home inspection as a contingency on the sale. However, you must request this contingency as it is not an automatic clause. When purchasing a home it is a wise decision to invest a few hundred extra dollars in a home inspection. This small investment will help provide peace of mind when investing so much into your new home.

Related Article: 10 Questions to ask your home inspector

Protecting your home with proper insurance

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homeowners-insurance1Once you find the home you want to purchase and have a purchase agreement in place you will want to begin researching your home insurance options.

One way to start this process by getting a price quote from the company that handles your auto insurance — you generally get a discount on your auto and home insurance if you have both policies with the same company. If you have an auto insurance agent, find out whether he or she works for one company or is an independent agent who works with several companies. An independent agent can give you price quotes from several insurers. You may also want to contact a few big insurers separately, such as State Farm, which doesn’t sell through independent agents.  Each of these companies will offer you a discount if you will switch your auto insurance over to them as well.

But before you start comparing quotes, you’ll need to decide how much coverage to get.  A home’s insurance coverage is based on the cost to rebuild the house, not the market value.  Homeowner’s insurance normally automatically provides coverage for your possessions based on a certain percentage of your home’s insurance value — 75% is typical. So if your home is insured for $200,000, you’ll also have up to $150,000 of coverage for your possessions. But homeowners insurance policies usually have lower limits for certain kinds of items — such as $2,000 or $3,000 for all of your jewelry, for example. If you have any particularly valuable possessions — such as jewelry, artwork or special collections — you may want to get extra coverage for those items.

One good way to lower premium costs is to choose a higher deductible.  A higher deductible will reduce your premium and discourage you from filing small claims that would change your insurance risk factor and cause your insurance costs to increase.

Before you settle on an insurance company, check out the insurer’s complaint record through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Consumer Information Source. Saving a few dollars in premiums can backfire if your insurer ends up hassling you about claims.

If you’re concerned about flooding, which is not covered by homeowners insurance, go to www.floodsmart.gov to see the home’s risk of flooding and get prices for flood coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. You can buy flood insurance through most homeowners insurance agents. Although you will be required to obtain flood insurance for your home loan if you live in a high-risk area, but it may be worth considering flood coverage even if it’s not required.

When you move into your new home, it’s the perfect time to conduct an inventory, which will streamline the claims process if you have to file a claim in the future. Take photos or a video of every room, keep receipts for valuable items, and keep a copy of the file somewhere away from home so it’s easy to access if needed.

Call me today at 866.435.6553 and I will be happy to answer your home buying questions and help you get approved for the purchase of your new home.

 

What is a USDA Rural Development Loan

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USDA stands for United States Department of Agriculture. The USDA Rural Developmendt (RD Loan)  loans provide low cost insured home  loans with no down payment requirement. A USDA mortgage might be right for you if you are interested in buying a home outside of the city with little or no out of pocket expense

What Type of Loans does USDA offer?

USDA Guaranteed Rural Development  Mortgage USDA Guaranteed Loans are the most common type of USDA mortgage and allow for higher income limits and 100% financing for home purchases.  USDA Guaranteed Loan applicants may have an combined household  income of up to 115% of the median household income for the local area.  Regional  income limits for this program can be viewed here.  All USDA Rural Development  Loans are  year loans and come with a fixed interest rate.  We can help you with this type of loan. USDA Direct Rural Development Loans are less common than USDA Guaranteed Loans and are only available for low and very low income households  as defined by the USDA. Very low income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI); low income is between 50 and 80 % of AMI; moderate income is 80 to 100 percent of AMI. These loans are made directly from the USDA without the involvement of a mortgage lender.

Here are a few benefits of a USDA mortgage.

  • USDA  Rural Development Loans require NO down payment
  • Closing costs can be rolled into the loan, if the home being purchased appraises for more than the purchase price or they can be paid for by the seller.
  • There is NO maximum loan amount.
  • You do NOT need assets or money in the bank  to qualify.
  • Qualifying for a USDA Rural Development  loan with lower credit scores is possible.  (Current min required credit score is 620)
  • USDA Rural Development Mortgages are secure 30-year fixed terms at low market interest rates.
  • USDA Rural Development  Loans are for ANY new & existing single family residence located in a USDA eligible area.
  • Property being purchased can be a regular sale, short sale, foreclosure home, etc.

Home Purchase Loan Tips

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boyIf you are thinking about purchasing a new home, don’t wait until you find the perfect home to get prequalified! Make sure your credit is healthy and find out how much you can qualify for before you find the home of your dreams. This helps insure that you not only choose a home in the right price range, but help avoid falling in love with a home that you can’t afford!

Another great reason to get quaified as early in the process as possible is to insure the fastest closing possible. If there are multiple offers going in on a home, you may be at a disadvantage if you are not able to secure financing quickly. Don’t wait until the last minute!

We have home purchase specialists standing by that can give you FREE home purchase finance advice. Feel free to request a FREE Rate Quote or to Contact Us directly.

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How Recent Market Changes Can Affect You

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As the Real Estate and financial markets continue to move up and down, mortgage rates can also be affected. Since mortgage rates are more closely tied to the bond markets, an up or down move in the stock market may not have the result in mortgage rates that one might expects. In fact, many times the resulting mortgage rate changes are counter-intuitive.

More importantly, rates change daily and they can change quickly. Some mortgage professionals have recently noted that their rate quotes have only had shelf lives of three to four hours before market changes have deemed them inaccurate.

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How does a consumer navigate fast changing markets in order to refinance their existing loan or purchase a home with the most favorable terms possible?

  1. Plan – Define your needs ahead of time, do not wait until the last minute. This is especially true of home purchases.
  2. Consult – Talk to your mortgage professional on a regular basis so they can interpret recent market events to you and communicate how those events can affect you.
  3. Execute – When you have defined your needs and have determined that now is the best time to move forward, don’t shop yourself out of a good loan! What does this mean? It is easy to get caught up in shopping for the best rate, but it is not uncommon for home owners to miss locking their loan at a great rate because they are in search of better rates that do not exist or that they do not qualify for. It is important to shop to insure you are getting the best rate possible, but set limits to the number of companies you are going to consider doing business with and be careful of having your credit report needlessly and more times than is necessary!

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Is an FHA Loan Right For Me?

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With the resurgence of FHA home loans, many home owners are wondering if they can benefit from an FHA loan. The truth is that you may or may not benefit by converting your existing loan into an FHA loan when you refinance.

Some of the factors that can determine if an FHA loan is right for you:

  • Loan To Value
  • Home Value
  • Size of Existing Loan
  • Credit Score
  • Amount of Cash You Want to Take Out

With the many changes that have occurred with FHA loans, it is possible that even if you didn’t qualify six months ago, there may be a loan program that is right for you.

One of our mortgage professionals can help you determine if an FHA loan is right for you quickly with no costs.

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Welcome to Our Blog!

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Our mortgage professionals can give you FREE loan advice to help you understand the mortgage process.

Wondering which loan is right for you? Not a problem! We can help determine which loan will fit your needs for your home purchase, refinance or debt consolidation needs.

If you have any questions, please contact us or call us!

Thanks!

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