First Time Home Buyers, Tip #2, Finding A Home.

This series, Finding A Home, is about looking at open houses, how to make an offer, concessions and appraisals. Tips from real estate brokers and mortgage lenders.

1)  What to look for at an open house

2)  How to make an offer on a house

3)  Buyer and seller concessions

4)  The role of a home inspector

5)  Home appraisal vs home inspection

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The Role Of A Home Inspector

Before you close on a home, a home inspector will conduct a review of the property to ensure safety, let you know what needs to be repaired or what will need to be replaced in the near future, and more.

A home inspector is hired by the buyer, and examines the house thoroughly for non-functioning systems, damages and repairs that may be needed. A thorough inspection covers various items, and typically takes a few hours depending on the size of your home.

What do home inspectors look for? Here are the most common things a home inspector will check during the home inspection process:

• Foundation and structure
• General construction overall
• Plumbing
• Electrical
• Heating and cooling
• Roof
• Windows and doors
• Kitchen and bathroom
• Appliances — Be sure to turn on utilities in a vacant home.
• Interior walls and ceiling
• Air conditioning
• Basement
• Ventilation and drainage
• Gutters and leaders
• Garages and carports
• Patios and decks
• Walks and driveways
• Lawn sprinklers
• Pools and spas
• Termites and wood destroying organisms

During the home inspection process, keep in mind that every house is going to have issues. Once you know about repairs and potential problems, it is then up to you to decide what is a deal breaker.

It’s important to have a home inspector for a few reasons:
• Knowledge — Know what you’re buying.
• Peace of mind — Know you’re making a sound buying decision.
• Fewer surprises — Limits the number of problems you may find after moving in. If an issue is uncovered, there is still time to negotiate with seller to have them pay for repairs.
• Education — Learn the basics of your new home, such as main systems.

Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
Associate Broker-Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty
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Oxford Office   248-969-8065
Lapeer Office   810-338-0628
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What is a Home Inspection?

What is a Home Inspection in Michigan? This is a part of our “What Is” series that discusses home inspections … Did you know, supposedly, the first known home inspection company, Home Equity Loss Protection Services, was originally founded by Christopher P. Nolan and Loyola Professor, Mark Goodfriend. Mr. Nolan was initially inspired by Coldwell Banker Realtor, Carole Kellby, a top producer from Wheaton, IL.

A home inspection is a examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, an appraiser determines the value of a property.

Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
Associate Broker for Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty
Oxford Office  248-969-8065
Lapeer Office  810-338-0628

Four Things to Check When You Buy in Oxford Michigan in The Fall

The latest issue of Housing Trends has this story, 4 Things to Check When You Buy a House in Fall, from Craig Donofrio talking about what to look for in the fall to avoid potential …

Buying a house in the offseason can be a great idea, as homes are a bit cheaper, sellers may be more inclined to sell and there’s less competition from droves of buyers.

That’s not the only advantage for those looking to buy a house in the fall: if you know what to look for, you can actually use the fall season as a litmus test to help you spot potential problems and pluses on your prospective home.

1. Leaves, Leaves Everywhere

Shopping for a home during the autumn is an easy way to see how impressive your home will look for years to come. Those turning leaves can make a day at home that much more relaxing.

Of course, leaves can also bring a number of issues.

If the property is full of trees, expect the yard to need heavy cleanup. Leaf cleanup can be difficult and time-consuming labor, so decide whether or not you want to pay for it or do it yourself.

This should be done more than once a season, as too many leaves will clog gutters and drainage systems.

If the yard has been cleaned, look for piles of leaves by the edge of the property to get an idea of what cleanup is really like when you buy a house.

donald horne, realtor2. Fireplaces

Nothing’s cozier than a night next to a crackling fire when the cold creeps in.

To ensure the cold isn’t creeping down the chimney, check the fireplace. Open and close the damper, checking for drafts each time. A little draft is fine, but a large draft means you may need a new damper.

Also check for any strange smells, like decaying leaves.

While a home inspector will check the general appearance and functionality of the fireplace—like if the damper opens—he will not check inside the chimney.

Ask the seller for evidence of the last time the chimney has been cleaned: if it has been for more than a year, it will need a professional cleaning job.

3. Insulation and Heating

Fall is windy. That’s good, because it will be easier to check for bad insulation.

When touring the home, pass your hand over windows, electrical outlets, doors and baseboards to check for leaks. Make note of any rattling windows, which can indicate a loose seal.

Notice if any room feels colder than others. If so, this can indicate bad insulation or a problem with the heating system in that section. A freezing room during the cold months will likely mean a sweltering one during the hot months.

Ask if you can turn the heater on and off: when doing so, listen—does it sound like a monster banging around in the basement? That’s something that can wake you (or the kids) up at night.

If there are any weird smells, the duct systems may need cleaning—or the furnace may need a second look.

4. Watching the Rain

Take a walk around the property when it’s raining and check for spouts of water shooting out where they shouldn’t be.

This means a gutter problem, which could lead to flooding if water pools on the ground. Make note of where the water is gushing and check the basement’s interior for signs of leaks.

Check the yard’s drainage system. If the home is on slanted ground or a hill base, water should rush by it—not into it. Take note of any ground gutter system and the potential for them to be clogged by leaves during the autumn season.

The more potential for flooding there is, the cleaner you need to keep your yard during the rainy months.

The Telltale Signs for Next Summer

Don’t forget problems that creep up in winter will likely happen again in the summer.

By checking for leaks, drafts and other issues now, you’ll be saving yourself potential repair costs—and high utility bills—in the hottest months of the year, too.

Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
Associate Broker for Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty   810-338-0628

donald horne, realtor