5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR HOME INSPECTOR
1. What is the condition of the roof?
Before purchasing a home, it is smart to ask the inspector about the condition and age of the roof. The seller of the home may know the roof’s age, but it is still important to understand the life expectancy of the roof. The life span of a roof can range from 15-30 years, depending on the type of shingle used. Often the life useful life of a roof is shorter than the expected number of years. This is due to weather, accidents, etc. harming the shingles. The inspector will be able to estimate the actual remaining life expectancy.
Shingles can be a costly hassle to have replaced. The life expectancy of the current shingles is a good thing to know, so you can plan for the replacement in the future. It is also very important to know if any of the shingles have been compromised. Even a small leak in the roof, that is not caught, can cause major damage to the roof decking. Replacing a roof’s framing, decking & shingles is very expensive—much more expensive than having a roof inspection to find and fix the little vulnerabilities.
2. How much insulation is present in the attic?
The ability of a type of insulation to reduce heat flow is referred to as its’ R-Value. Each type of insulation has a different R-Value. Depending on the location of the home and the area of the home being insulated, an optimal R-Value is assigned. Your inspector will see the type and amount of insulation already present, then use information like that in these charts to recommend a plan of action. KY falls in Zone 4:
A real estate appraisal is the process through which an appraiser determines the current fair market value of the subject property. The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) sets forth the procedures and ethical standards to be followed by appraisers. “The appraiser investigates the characteristics of the subject property that might impact the property’s value. The appraiser also investigates the nature of the market for that property, competitive properties, and the buyers and sellers who constitute the market for that property type. The principles of supply and demand, substitution, balance and externalities help explain shifts in value.” (appraisalinstitute.org)
I am buying a home. When do I order an appraisal? Once most or all of the contract contingencies (like the inspection period) are dropped, the lender will order an appraisal of the property. This will be at the cost of the buyer and is around the $250-450 range in KY. The lending institution will pick the appraiser and verify that there is no conflict of interest between parties before completing the appraisal. A conflict of interest could be any connection that may sway the final valuation of the property. For example, if your uncle is the appraiser, they would be more likely to under or over value the property to fit your wants than a stranger would.
Why is my lender making me get an appraisal? Unless paying a significant amount of cash down, there is usually always an appraisal required by the buyer’s lender. You may wonder why the appraisal is so important to the lender. The lending institutions want to make sure they are not paying out an amount higher than the current market value of the home. Their goal is to make that loan money back with interest. If the mortgage amount is higher than the property value, the chances of the buyer defaulting are greater....
Why would I work with a Buyer's Agent?
Buying a home is likely the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime (except for the people lining up for a spot aboard Space X), so you should treat it that way. You need someone who experiences the industry daily to represent your interests in such a large transaction. Regardless of how many times you have bought and sold a home, the real estate market is changing every day. Time and time again there will be hiccups. When these hiccups arise, you will want someone in your corner and only your corner. Time, money & stress can all be saved by using a Realtor when you buy a home!
Often, we have buyers call in asking to schedule a showing with the listing agent of a home. It is typically not in your best interest to use the listing agent, as a buyer, to get the home under contract. Contractually, that listing agent is working in the best interest of their client—the seller—not you. Imagine you’re getting a divorce; would you use your spouse’s divorce attorney? There can be a conflict of interest when one agent is obligated to get the “best deal” for BOTH sides of the transaction.
Getting a home under contract & having your Realtor to negotiate the offer efficiently on your behalf is only the beginning of the home buying process. To ensure you are making a solid investment with your money & getting a safe home in return, there are a lot of steps that should happen between going under contract and signing the closing documents. Inspections are a huge factor in determining if a house is a good purchase or not. Being able to understand the inspection report, pick...
There are all kinds of loan programs out there when you are searching for your perfect house. But did you know that there is a loan that is specific for veterans? That’s right. The VA loan has been around since 1944 and it could be exactly what you are looking for if you qualify and meet the eligibility requirements. So let’s talk a little bit about this particular loan.
What is it?
This is a loan that was created in 1944 by the US Government to help our service members buy a home without the help of a down payment or a great credit score. The loans are issued by private lenders.
Who is eligible?
Not just veterans. This also extends to active duty service members, select military spouses, National Guard members and reservists. The Department of Veterans Affairs must ultimately approve eligibility.
You may be eligible if you meet at least one of the following
-You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime.
-You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime.
-You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves.
-You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.
Advantages over a traditional mortgage
There are a few things that make the VA loan stand out over a traditional mortgage. First, no down payment for a VA loan and up to 20% down payment for a traditional loan. Also, you are not required to have PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) with...
If you are thinking of buying a home soon, there are plenty of things that you will have on your plate. Who will be your agent that represents you? What part of town do you want to live in? Will you need to sell your home at the same time? It’s a lot to take on. Another thing, unless you are paying cash, will be the mortgage process. This may be all new to you. There are some tips that can help you during this process and I will share them here.
Find out what your credit score is. You may still qualify for a loan even if you do not think that your credit is good enough. There are several websites that can show you what your credit score is, or you can have a lender do it for you. Which leads me to my next point: choose the right lender.
Everyone knows somebody. Sometimes, people choose to work with their friends who are lenders, and it does not always work out. Our agents work with the best local lenders that can get you the best deals that are available to you. You will definitely need a lender that you can trust. After all, this is a pretty big life decision, right?
The lender will need to pre-approve you. This will be a letter that states an estimate of what you will be able to borrow. A pre-approval letter is a necessity in today’s market where there are so many multiple-offers out there. Think of it from the seller’s side. If you have two offers on your home, and one of the potential buyers has a pre-approval letter and one does not, whose offer are you more comfortable taking? The one that shows the buyer has funds to spend? Or the one where you...
We know that the housing market is usually busier in the summer. But why? Why is the summer a good time for people to buy a home? According to keepingcurrentmatters.com, there are four main reasons for this.
1) Prices will continue to rise
-Home values continue to appreciate. In fact, they have appreciated by 7% over the last 12 months, according to CoreLogic. That report also predicts that the price of homes will increase by 5.2% over the next year.
2) Mortgage interest rates continue to increase
-Interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased by 0.5% to around 4.5% in 2018, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all project that the rates will increase by nearly a full 1% by this time next year.
3) Either way, you are paying a mortgage
-Are you paying rent right now? Isn't that money that could be going towards YOUR mortgage and not your landlord's mortgage? You are already paying it, but you are deciding whose mortgage you are currently paying.
4) It's time to move on with your life
-Prices of homes and mortgage rates are projected to increase. If you are thinking about moving, there is a reason. Are you going to wait and let those rates continue to increase? Or do you know that now is the time to make the move for yourself and/or your family? Buy sooner and not later. Save yourself some money.
Still want to wait?
Why use a Buyer’s Agent when purchasing
Louisville, KY Real Estate?
Why is it that some people only consider using a Realtor when they are trying to sell their home? For some potential homebuyers it doesn’t even cross their mind to turn to a real estate buyer's agent when purchasing a home. I wonder why? Louisville Real estate agents, who work for homebuyers, or a Buyer’s Agent, can bring a tremendous amount of benefits and knowledge to the table for their home buyers. On such an enormous, life altering purchase, why wouldn’t you want someone helping you make the very best decision you can make? Buyer’s agents are the same as any other Louisville real estate agent, they just specialize in helping home buyers search the Louisville MLS, schedule, view, and negotiate a Louisville home purchase with ONLY the home buyer’s interests in mind.
Since buyer’s agents view many homes every week, they are well versed on the current Louisville market. They can tell you which homes will fit your needs and wants both personally and financially. They can also give you information on Neighborhoods in Louisville, so you can make an informed and confident decision. If you asked, I am sure they would even tell you where their favorite placed to eat, shop and have fun are; they work to help you and your family make the best possible choice.
They work with buyers exclusively, and for this reason they have tremendous experience with mortgage lenders, home inspectors, surveyors, appraisers, contractors, termite inspectors, closing attorneys, etc. They can recommend other hard-working professionals in the Louisville area based...