Category Archives: Buying A Home

Moving – An Unavoidable Part Of The Real Estate Process

Moving Van Root CanalThere are fewer things in life that are more stressful than moving.  For home buyers and sellers   moving is the “last play” of the real estate transaction – you either receive or surrender the keys to a home.   One of the most anxiety inspiring aspects of the moving process is not knowing how much it will cost until it is too late to change your mind! There are a number of different factors that will influence the cost of hiring a moving professional. Here are a few of the primary things that will factor into the cost of your move.

Time of year

The warmer months are the times of year when the majority of people choose to . For this reason, moving companies get booked up many months in advance. Trying to hire a mover at the last minute during a busy moving season can end up costing you a lot more than you would normally pay. Remember to book your moving company as far in advance as you can plan. Also, if you are able to move in the “off season” you may get a better rate

Size of your home

Most movers will be able to quote you a ballpark price for moving your home based on the numbers and types of rooms in your home. Movers are well trained in being able to estimate how much packing and moving is involved in a 400 square foot kitchen as opposed to a 200 square foot library. When you first contact your moving company, be prepared with as much information about the size of your home, number of rooms and type of rooms you are moving. Also, be prepared to explain the size and type of the place you are moving into. In general, the larger your home, the more expensive your move, but this is not always the case depending on the type of rooms and their contents

Distance you are moving

If you are moving across the country, this will be more expensive than moving across Web Buyers Atown. Part of that expense is in the gas and wear on the moving van. But this is also due in part to the labor and coordination involved in one crew packing your things in one state and another unpacking in another state. Sometimes, vans also are required to meet up with other vans mid trip and consolidate your belongings onto a different van that might be headed to your new locale. When you are quoted a price from your moving company, be prepared to ask a lot of questions about where your belongings are going, what route and all the details of the packing and unpacking of the van

 

Packing yourself vs. full service moving

The full service mover takes care of every aspect of the move. They will pack, load, move and unload your items. If you want to save money you can opt to pack everything yourself. However, you may end up being better off paying for the full service moving option. If a mover packs everything for you, then they also shoulder the responsibility for breakage due to poor packing and will absorb

Accessibility

When you call a moving company regarding your move be sure to tell them anything about the home you are moving from or moving into that might be difficult to access with a large moving van. If you live down a very long and narrow driveway, or up a step mountain road, then the moving van may not be able to get close enough to your home to load and unload directly adjacent to the house or building. IN this case, you may be subject to extra fees for carrying your belongings a farther distance to and from the van

Extra costs

Although every effort is made to gather the most accurate information regarding your move, be aware that many factors affect the cost of a move. You may incur other costs if there is a flight of stairs in your new home, if you purchase insurance, or if you use the moving company’s boxes rather than your own. Be aware when hiring movers that the price you are quoted isn’t always the final price you pay so talk to your movers about these extra charges and be prepared.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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5 Pros and 5 Cons of A Homeowners’ Association

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Homeowners' Association

Across the U.S., homeowners’ associations are on the ascent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 59 percent of newly constructed homes in 2014 were part of a homeowners’ association. That’s up from 46 percent in 2009.

So, what’s the draw of a homeowners’ association? By the same token, what are the drawbacks?

“A well-run and managed HOA can be a blessing, and a poorly managed HOA can be a curse,” says Bruce Ailion, a broker at RE/MAX Town and Country in Woodstock, Ga.

Here, real estate agents and homeowners weigh in on the blessings and the curses of homeowners’ associations (HOAs).

Pro No. 1: Your neighborhood will look good.

Generally, an HOA establishes rules to ensure the neighborhood looks sharp, says Brad Pauly, owner and broker at Pauly Presley Realty in Austin, Texas. These include strict guidelines about keeping lawns manicured, restrictions on parking boats and other large vehicles on the street, and limitations on exterior paint colors.

“This type of oversight eliminates issues with one or two properties weighing down all property values due to an unpleasant exterior,” says John Lyons, a broker with Baird & Warner in Chicago.

Pro No. 2: You’ll enjoy access to amenities.

An HOA usually offers community amenities such as a pool, a fitness center, parks, children’s play areas and security gates, Pauly says.

Pro No. 3: Your maintenance costs will be shared.

HOA dues are earmarked for maintenance of shared spaces, according to Lyons. This includes community lawn care (but not for your own yard), community snow removal (but not for your own property) and upkeep of common areas like the pool or the fitness center.

Pro No. 4: You’ve got a built-in mediator.

Involved in a tiff with your neighbor over that big oak tree that’s losing limbs? You can settle some confrontations with your neighbors by taking your grievances to the HOA’s board or management company, Lyons says.

Pro No. 5: You can get to know your neighbors.

Gina Estrada, who lives in a gated HOA community in Clovis, Calif., says that if you’re elected to serve on the HOA board or are otherwise active in the association, you’ll become better acquainted with your neighbors. Heck, you might even make some new friends. “I believe we should know our surroundings, including the people in them,” Estrada says.

Con No. 1: You’ll fork over HOA dues.

When buying a home in a community with an HOA, you’ve got to add HOA dues to your budget. The dues vary, but typically run in the hundreds of dollars per month.

Con No. 2: Your hands will be (somewhat) tied.

If someone buys a home in an HOA community and wants to make changes to the property, such as the addition of an enclosed patio, it normally must be approved by the HOA’s board. “It’s possible that an HOA could prevent certain updates on a home,” Pauly says.

Con No. 3: You might be hampered by an HOA’s financial woes.

If an HOA is facing financial problems or is ensnared in a lawsuit, it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a home and could hurt sale prices of homes in the community, Pauly says.

Con No. 4: You’ll lose some of your freedom.

When you live in a community governed by a HOA, you’ll have to follow its rules, even if you think they’re ridiculous, Lyons says.

“You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowners’ association to change any rule you don’t agree with. But if you lose, you will have to live with it,” Lyons says.

Con No. 5: You might be the victim of a “rogue” board member.

Estrada says her HOA elected a “rogue” homeowner to the board who decided to flaunt the rules and do whatever he wanted. For instance, Estrada says, the rogue board member thought the community needed speed bumps to slow down speeding drivers, so he had them installed. That move caused a neighborhood uproar. The process to take out the speed bumps and remove the rogue homeowner from the board cost several thousand dollars, including legal fees, she says.

“When there is one rogue homeowner, it can really mess things up,” Estrada says.

Problems also arise when homeowners stop attending HOA meetings, Estrada says, and it’s left to a small group of people to make decisions.

“The board of directors of a homeowners’ association is made up of your neighbors. If you want to have a say in how things go, you have to serve on the board,” says Ailion.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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This articale by John Egan was originally posted in RISMedia’shousecall

John Egan is editor in chief at LawnStarter, which connects homeowners with lawn care professionals.

Fixer Upper Or Rehab – Which Should You Buy?

Fixer Upper

Fixer Upper

is a home that is structurally sound and only needs some cosmetic changes to bring it up in value. This can include paint, new carpeting or refinished floors. It also can include non-essentials like updated kitchen cabinets or lighting fixtures—essentially things you can do yourself, if you’re handy, that won’t require a lot of heavy lifting.

fixer upper

 

Rehab

is a project that is a lot more than that and can include everything from roof replacements to repairing water damage and replacing electrical components.

 

The Differences

Somewhere between the two is changing the structural layout of the home to be more open, which likely involves contractor work and permitting but won’t make the house leak or catch on fire if it doesn’t get done.

Perhaps the best way to understand it is this: if you can live in the home safely and comfortably while you’re doing work, chances are it’s a little fixer job, not a full scale rehab. If you will have to go to great strides to inhabit a property before it’s more than halfway finished, it’s leaning towards a rehab.

Risks And Rewards

All of this goes to say that when you buy a home with the anticipation of doing work on it, there are risks and rewards associated with each. While the term fixer upper is pretty widely applied to homes that need renovation before they will be up to snuff for most buyers, the difference between something that needs a couple touches and something that needs its foundation redone is huge. The closer you tread towards the rehab side of the equation, the more risk and potential for expense comes with it (remember that Tom Hanks movie the “The Money Pit”?) When you’re shopping for any home, you should hire a professional inspector to come through and examine your property, and they should be able to give you an idea of what types of things may be wrong with your investment before you buy.

There are benefits that come with buying a home that needs a lot of work however, and if you’re ready for the labor involved you can quickly grow an investment. Getting a home that requires repair opens you up to a less competitive, less expensive market with unique funding options (including mortgages that estimate and fund repairs as part of the principal). It can also mean rates, stolen copper, and unexpected outcomes. Rehabbing a property that you buy for, say, $60,000 in a neighborhood where homes regularly sell for $120,000 or $140,000 is a great deal, so long as you can get everything repaired for under $30,000 or $40,000. Not only will the home jump up in value by a great margin as it gets up to speed with surrounding homes, but it will appreciate regularly in value over time with the market and inflation, adding to your profit if you choose to hold onto it (either to live in or as a rental property).

When it comes to choosing a project house, should you go with something light or go the full rehab route? First, consider your expectations. Once you know what your resources and level of commitment look like, you can start looking for the property that best fits your investment strategy

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy a fixer upper or rehab property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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.Know the Difference: Fixer Uppers vs. Rehab HomesPosted on Nov 16 2015 – 3:14pm by Housecall by Nicholas Brown.  The text has been modified

5 New Home Mistakes to Absolutely Avoid

new homeA home is a major investment and it’s one that stands to appreciate if you continue to invest your money wisely. Avoiding these five critical mistakes will help you turn your home into your greatest asset instead of your greatest expense.

1) Don’t sell too soon.

Generally speaking, it takes at least three to five years to gain home equity. That said, it’s best to avoid reinvesting on professional movers for at least as long.  Moving is expensive, time-consuming and stressful. If you tend to move a lot or want the freedom to come and go to see the world, you might consider moving into an apartment or condo before you think about buying a single-family new home.

2) Don’t forego the inspection.

Having a home inspection is a crucial step in the new home buying process. The job of an inspector is to identify any potential problems with the home — problems that, left undiscovered, may leave you with hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.

A home inspection may reveal major issues with:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Eroding foundation
  • Improper insulation
  • Faulty chimney
  • Water damage
  • Pest infestations

3) Don’t go too big.

Always think in the long term when buying a home. Are you starting a family? Are you buying for more than one family? Is this house just for you, as an individual or a couple? If you buy a house that’s too big, you could be stuck with far more maintenance than you wish to perform like when the water heater goes out, or the AC needs fixing. So make sure you don’t put thousands into a home that doesn’t suit your needs.

4) Don’t overspend on new home landscaping.

As you’re settling into your new home, you’ll probably consider a lot of renovations. Look before you leap. Unless your home requires immediate renovations, try to spend new homethe first year making smaller changes and building up your budget — especially when it comes to landscaping. Maybe reseed the grass if it’s in poor condition, but don’t add on a new porch or deck. It’s best to wait at least two years before budgeting for big exterior improvements; this way, you’re better prepared financially should a surprise maintenance issue drain you in the interim.

5) Don’t forget the warranty.

If your home doesn’t come equipped with reliable appliances, you’ll have to purchase them. Consider the warranty on any appliance you consider. Whether you should get an extended warranty depends on how worried you are about the brand of the appliance and the price you pay for it. Cheap appliances are more likely to break down before the warranty is up; high-end appliances are more likely to outlast even the extended warranty.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a new home or any property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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The text in this posr was originally posted on  RISMedia’s housecall  Nov 5 2015.  The photos have been changed.  

new home

“Know Before You Owe” – New Rules Now In Effect Could Impact Closing Costs And Date

know before you know“Know Before You Owe”. That is true now more than ever. if you’re a home buyer, changes to the closing process are now in effect

New regulations go into effect on Saturday, October 3rd, providing new loan disclosure forms that are designed to help you better understand the terms of your home mortgage before you close on your new home. That means if you applied for a loan on or after that date, you will receive the easier-to-understand forms.

What You Need to Know About the New Closing Disclosures

To summarize, these new rules combine mortgage loan disclosures from both the Truth-In-Lending Act (which informs consumers about loan terms) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (which deals with closings) into one simplified set of disclosure forms for home buyers who are getting a mortgage.

The official title to these regulations is a mouthful — Truth-In-Lending Act / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule— so the regulations are just referred to as TRID. (The enforcement agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also calls it Know Before You Owe“.

“Know Before You Owe” is designed to help borrowers clearly understand the costs and terms of their home mortgages. Here are the changes that you can expect from these new regulations, from the number of forms you’ll need to fill out to the time requirements that can alter your closing date.

You’ll Have Two Forms Instead of Four

If you’re getting a mortgage, you’ll receive two forms under “Know Before You Owe.” The first, a loan estimate, based on your financial information. You’ll receive the loan estimate 3 business days after applying for your mortgage. The second, a closing disclosure, which outlines all of the costs you will need to pay. You’ll receive that form 3 business days before closing.

These two new forms are more user-friendly, and are replacing four separate forms that home buyers received before — two Truth-In-Lending statements, the loan estimate, and a list of itemized fees.

With these new regulations, you will have time to review the terms of your mortgage well before closing, so you can understand exactly what fees there will be. You can read the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s full guide to the loan estimate and closing disclosure forms here.

There is a 3-Day Review Period Before Closing

Under the new “Know Before You Owe” rules, mortgage lenders must send you easier-to-understand information about your loan — the Closing Disclosure form — 3 business days before closing on your home, giving you time to review the terms of your mortgage.

However, some changes to the mortgage terms — like changes to your interest rate or the loan product itself — will mean that you will need another 3-business-day review period, possibly delaying your closing date. If you would like an overview of the details, the CFPB highlights the instances where the 3-day review period would be affected.

We Can Answer Your Questions About “Know Before You Owe”

If you are buying a home and have questions about these new regulations, and what it might mean for closing on your home in the future, contact us today and we will be happy to answer your questions in detail.  Over the years we have encountered numerous regulation changes that demand a need to “Know Before You Owe”

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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The 7 Best House Hunting Strategies

House hunting strategies really come into play now that Spring is almost here! The warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and longer days are perfect for viewing homes in person, and it’s no wonder that the spring season is a popular time for home buyers to start looking at homes and neighborhoods.

But before you start driving around and visiting open houses, you should follow these important house hunting tips.

house hunting strategies1. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Getting preapproved for a home loan is one of the best tools you have when searching for a home, especially when you have competition.

If you are preapproved, the home seller takes your offer seriously and may end up accepting your offer over another interested home buyer who is not preapproved.  Of all the house hunting strategies this is the miost important

2. Get to Know the Neighborhood

If you have a specific home in mind, it’s best to visit the area more than once, at different times of the day and week.

3. Have a List of Your Wants and Needs

Have a detailed house hunting checklist outlining your wants and needs, and make sure that your list covers the type of home (e.g. house or condo), the location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and home features that you are looking for.

One mistake that home buyers make during their home search, however, is having a wish list that is too strict. You don’t want to get stuck searching for the perfect home that may not exist.

house hunting strategies4. Don’t Be Afraid to Examine Everything

If you have narrowed your home search and are viewing homes in person, it’s time to examine everything: doorknobs, cabinets, windows, faucets, light switches. Now is the time to find out if there is anything that needs repair, not after closing.

5. Consider the Weather

Relocating from another state or country? When buying a home in a new area, considering weather conditions and seasonal temperature changes is important.

For example, you may value a home that has a covered garage if you move to an area where snow is more common, or you may want to choose a home with a shaded backyard.

6. Order the Home Inspection

It’s crucial to have a trained professional examine the home you are interested in buying, even a home that has just been built. This is the best way to identify any major repairs that need to be made.  This is where the “rubber meets the road” in your house hunting strategies.  It alerts you to existing and potential problems that could impact negatively on this property as a realistic choice.

house hunting strategies7. Put My Experience To Work For You

If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed while house hunting and competing with other home buyers, I will be there to guide you through the process and keep you focused on the next steps.

I want you to be able to find the best home in the best location, and I am here to help. So if you are searching for a home this spring, talk with me about what you are looking for in a home and we can find it together.

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket We have used these “best house hunting strategies” many times over

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Can You Purchase A home With Student Loans?

student loansAs more millennials are preparing to buy a home, one issue is making it difficult for many — student loans.

The Project on Student Debt calculated that just about 7 in 10 college graduates in the Class of 2014 had student loan debt, and on average each student had about $29,000 in loans.

With mortgages often amounting to well over a hundred thousand dollars, many first-time home buyers may be asking whether they can even qualify for financing with their student debt.

So, is it possible to buy a home even with thousands of dollars in student loans? It depends.

What’s Your Debt-to-Income Ratio?

It all comes down to your debt-to-income ratio, or what percentage of your gross monthly income goes toward your total monthly mortgage payments.

Lenders recommend a debt-to-income ratio no greater than 36%, with no more than 28% of your monthly income going toward paying off your mortgage. As an example, someone who earns $50,000 in a year and has $1,500 in monthly debt payments would be right at the 36% recommendation.

student loansSo even if you are saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans, it is possible to obtain financing for a home if your debt-to-income ratio is right around that recommended ratio.

You Also Need to Consider Credit History

When home buyers apply for a mortgage, lenders look at whether they pay their bills on time and their employment history, for instance. If you have good credit history, that may further help you qualify for a mortgage.

You can always talk to a reputable lender about whether you can qualify for a mortgage with your student loan debt. Talk with us and we can help you get started with the mortgage pre-qualification process.

We Can Talk About Your Home Buying Plans

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the area, we can also recommend a reputable local mortgage lender so you can discuss the right mortgage for you, including interest rates and down payments. We even offer a free mortgage calculator on our website that can help you calculate monthly mortgage payments.

Contact us today and we can get started!

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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Top 3 Reasons to Get Mortgage Pre-Approval Before House Hunting

Before you start your home search, you want to know how much you can afford, right?

There are two ways to do this: with a mortgage pre-qualification and a mortgage pre-approval. As a home buyer, the pre-approval is more valuable to you during your home search.

How Mortgage Pre-Approval Helps You as a Home Buyer

One of the main differences between mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval is how the lender gives you the mortgage amount.

mortgage pre-approvalFor pre-qualification, you give the mortgage lender your general financial history (including debts and income), and the lender gives you a mortgage estimate. For pre-approval, the lender digs deep into your credit report and gives you the exact loan amount.

If you’re choosing between getting pre-qualified for a home mortgage and getting pre-approved, choose to get pre-approved. Here are the top three reasons why:

3. You Learn Exactly What You Can Afford

There’s no estimates in a pre-approval. The lender has looked into your credit history and you’ve given the required documentation to go through with the pre-approval process.

A mortgage pre-approval is not a commitment to the loan, but it paves the way to transition into applying for a specific property — your dream home in your price range.

2.  You Can Narrow Your Home Search

mortgage pre-approvalSearching through online listings can be a tedious process, especially if there are hundreds of homes for sale in the area. How do you narrow down your home search?

When you’re pre-approved, you’ll know exactly what you can afford, and tailor your home search around the mortgage amount. Now you can easily search through the listings with confidence and renewed energy.

1. The Home Seller Takes Your Offer Seriously

Home sellers like to see that you’re pre-approved — it tells them that you’re serious about buying their home.

So when you’re competing with other home buyers to make the best offer on your dream home, being pre-approved will give you the competitive edge over buyers who are not. Then you can focus on moving into your new home!

We’re Your Real Estate Experts

If you want more information about the mortgage pre-approval process or about finding the perfect home that fits your lifestyle, contact us today and we can get started. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about the mortgage pre-approval process.

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

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The post Top 3 Reasons to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage appeared first on Dakno Blog.

Common Issues Found In A Home Inspection. Part Four Of Home Inspections

Home InspectionsCommon Issues Found During a Home Inspection

While every house is unique, they can share some common issues. Experienced home inspectors have encountered most, if not all, of these during their careers:

Drainage back towards the house – If the ground slopes back towards the house, any water will pool up at the foundation, causing mold and structural issues.
Stucco – Properly applied, stucco should last a lifetime. However, improperly applied or cracked stucco can let water in.
Roofing – A roof that has not been maintained or that has had improper repairs done can leak. Even if you can’t see it in the ceiling, the rafters and trusses could be rotting or molding.
Style vs. material – Inconsistency with the architectural style of the home and the materials used can indicate substandard workmanship and may also be below code. An addition that doesn’t fit the look of the rest of the house should be inspected very carefully.
Condition of the electrical system – It isn’t uncommon for older homes to have fewer electrical outlets than newer homes. This is because of the prevalence of electronics in our lives today. As a result, older homes may have extension cords running from room to room or may have additional outlets installed, whether properly or not. Improperly installed outlets are not only a fire hazard, but unless the whole electrical system has been upgraded to handle the increased load, you can look forward to problems at the breaker box. Also, exposed wire is prone to damage and constitutes a hazard both for fire and electrocution. Any electrical repairs should be handled by a licensed electrician.
HVAC installations – Some people believe that buying a large heating or air conditioning unit means they’ll be able to easily heat or cool their home. The fact is that an HVAC unit that is too large can be as draining on your bank account as one that is too small. An inspector will let you know if the HVAC is the proper size for the house. Improper installations, poor maintenance, and old components are also spots that can wind up costing you a lot of money.
Insulation/Ventilation – Inadequate insulation for your region and poor ventilation can drive up energy costs. It can also severely affect how comfortable you will be in the house.
Exterior cracks – Cracks and leaks at windows and other exterior areas of the house can allow water into your walls. This will promote the growth of mold inside your walls.
Minor structural damage – Especially in an older house, minor structural damage can go undetected for years. One of the most common things to find is a broken truss. While a single broken truss is not a cause for immediate concern, it will have to be replaced at the earliest possible convenience.
Poor maintenance – This is something to look for even in houses not described as “fixer-uppers.” Any house can become damaged simply through occupancy. “It’s not the years, it’s the miles,” goes an old saying. A 100-year-old house that has been meticulously maintained will be in better shape than a 10-year-old house that has been neglected.
Environmental hazards – Mold, asbestos, and other hazards could be found during an inspection. If so, ask your inspector about a complete environmental evaluation for your home.

Historical Issues in Homes

Some issues are more common than others depending on when your house was built. If you house has any of these and they haven’t been a problem yet, it could just be a matter of time:

1900-1950: The old knob and tube wiring has fuses and fuse boxes. While certainly classic-looking, they are not considered capable of handling modern electrical loads.
1930-1950: Homes built during this period might have included insulation with asbestos. This could be considered toxic to your family, so you need to have the insulation tested and removed if needed.
1942-1958: During World War 2, iron was going to the war effort. This made civilian construction developers have to use other materials. Orangeberg sewer piping, made out of papier mache, was the solution. If your house was built during this time, have a sewer pipe camera sent down to inspect it. If it hasn’t failed yet, it’s probably going to soon.
Pre-1978: Before 1978, many homes’ walls were covered in lead-based paints. If you buy a home that was built before this year and not updated, you should have the paint tested and corrected if needed. It could be toxic to your family otherwise.
1984-1990: During these years, defective ABS was made by five manufacturers. It was made of recycled plastic and would crack at the joints.
1990-2000: Consolidated Industries (now bankrupt) produced a line of NOx rod furnaces with faulty heat exchangers. Not only could these release carbon monoxide into your house, but they are a fire hazard. Though the units were recalled, not all were sent back.
If you’re not sure when your house was built, numerous real estate websites sometimes have that information. Also, a simple title check through your local city hall can give you all such public information.
home inspections

 
 
 
 
Also see “What Qualities To Look For When Selecting A Home Inspector”

Also See “What Questions To Ask When Selecting A Home Inspector”

Als0 See “What’s Included In A Home Inspection”

 
 
 
 

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The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

home inspections

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

home inspections

 

The text in this post was copied from a post by Home Advisor

 

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What’s Included In The Average Home Inspection? Part Three Of Home Inspections

home inspectionA home inspection is an unbiased look at a house or other construction to let a potential buyer know what the general health is of the property in question. Their primary interest is the structural integrity of the house and its major components such as HVAC systems, outlets, doors, and windows. Some may be qualified to inspect for mold, radon, and other harmful problems. Making sure you know about any potential safety issues will be the inspector’s main concern.

Exterior

An inspector should look at such things as driveways, sidewalks, steps, windows and doors. The condition of the siding and surface trim as well as the drainage will also be inspected. Attached porches, decks, and balconies should be included in any exterior inspection.

Structural Integrity

The house’s framing and foundation should be inspected for soundness. A badly shifted foundation can lead to a house that is ready to collapse with the next earthquake or big wind storm.

Roofing

An inspector will look at the roof for signs of wear due to age, the condition of the flashing and shingles or tiles, how well it drains, and any issues with the skylights, gutters, downspouts, and chimneys. An inspector won’t be able to tell you how long your roof will last, only whether or not it has problems that need to be addressed.

Electrical Systems

The condition of the readily-available electrical components will be inspected. “Readily-available” means the parts that can be easily accessed. Service entrance wires, outlets, switches, service panels, breakers, fuses, and disconnects will be inspected for continuity, proper voltage, and other functional components. If a problem is discovered, further inspection and repair would need to be done by a qualified electrician. For example, if a wall-socket is found to be warm or humming, an inspector would make a report of it, but determining why the socket is warm or humming and repairing it would be left to an electrician.

Plumbing Systems

An examination of the water systems of a house includes the water supply, water heaters, drainage, equipment, and any fuel storage systems. Drainage and sump pumps will also be inspected. Low water pressure, rust, corrosion, leaks, and banging pipes can be signs of big troubles coming up.

HVAC

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems will be checked to be sure they are of the correct size and capacity for the house. Chimneys and flues will be inspected for condition and any potential trouble spots noted.

Interior

The interior should be inspected for signs of leaks or insect damage. It should also be checked for construction defects and rot. The inspector should also look at:

Floors, walls, and ceilings
Stairways, banisters, balustrades, and steps
Cabinets and counters
Garage doors and any associated systems (automatic openers, etc.)
Fireplaces

An inspector should make sure that fireplaces have been properly installed. They will inspect the vent and flue for proper function and for anything that could represent a safety issue.

Ventilation and Insulation

The inspector will inspect any visible insulation, such as that found in the attic or crawlspace. They will make sure that it is of the proper rating and is correctly installed and secured.

After all of the above have been thoroughly inspected — a process that should take about 4 hours depending on the size of the home — the inspector should prepare a clear, concise report on the conditions of those elements. A good report should exceed ten pages in length for thoroughness and include photographs and diagrams. They may even include suggested repairs and a rough estimate of what the repair should cost. The report should be written in clear language, and if you have any questions the inspector should be ready to answer them for you.

What A Home Inspection Won’t Include

Remember that a home inspector is examining the home for potential safety concerns. They are not inspecting to make sure it’s up to code. This means they won’t:

Note that a window is too small for a room.
Open up walls so that ducts & wires will be inspected.
Show proof against future problems in the home.
Also, a home inspector is not an appraiser. They won’t tell you what the home should be worth with or without the needed repairs or whether or not you should buy the house.
home inspection

 

 

Also see “What Qualities To Look For When Selecting A Home Inspector”

Also See “What Questions To Ask When Selecting A Home Inspector”

 

 

 

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Kruschkas are long-term Prince William County residents with more than 30 years experience as real estate professionals serving Woodbridge, Manassas, Dumfries, Manassas Park, Bristow, Brentsville, Gainesville and Haymarket

Our Experience Isn’t Expensive – It’s PRICELESS

If you plan to buy or sell a home or property contact Karen and Art by Email or call us at 703-499-9279. Put our record of customer service, real estate experience and state-of-the-art technology to work for you

home inspection

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

home inspection

The text in this post was copied from a post by Home Advisor

 

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