Category Archives: Home Buying

“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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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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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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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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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

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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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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”

 

 

 

 

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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 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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What Questions To Ask When Selecting A Home Inspector. Part Two Of Home Inspections

Questions To Ask When Getting Bids From A Home Inspector

home inspectorBecause a home inspector is regulated state by state only in regards to being licensed and/or insured, you’ll want to ask questions before you hire one. Buying a home is a big investment, and you’re well within your rights to make sure you are buying a disaster waiting to happen. Here are eight questions you should be ready to ask:

  1. Do you do repairs as well as inspections? Don’t be lured in by someone who offers to repair the things he or she inspects. While this may sound like a great idea on the surface, it’s actually a conflict of interests. An unscrupulous inspector might try to push an unnecessary upgrade disguised as a needed repair. Always make the home inspector and the repairman are two different people.
  2. Are you bonded and insured? Anybody who has employees should have insurance for those employees, even if they are the only employee. If the inspector falls through a weak spot while inspecting the attic, they might sue you, the current homeowners, or try to put a lien on the property. Either way, things can wind up affecting everybody involved in the transaction. A home inspector should also have Errors & Omissions insurance in case there’s something significant that gets missed during the inspection.
  3. Do you have references? It is important to check out all references to find out if the home inspector arrived on time, did a thorough inspection, provided the report in a timely manner, etc. However, remember that they probably won’t give you references with unsatisfied customers. You will probably only get the people who gave the best reviews. Still, it will give you a chance to see the results of their work.
  4. Can I be there for the inspection? Too many people are content to let the home  inspector do the job while they go do something else. Being there for the inspection is important. It lets you see for yourself what the inspector is seeing and lets you ask questions and get answers on the spot.
  5. What’s included in the inspection? While the extent of the inspection varies by region (in Florida, for example, they generally test the irrigation systems), some basics should be included. These include:
    • Exterior features (outside walls, soffits, decks, roof, chimney, drainage)
    • Interior items (windows, doors, plumbing, electrical outlets, switches)
    • Heating and cooling systems
    • Checking the attic and crawlspace to make sure they have adequate ventilation and insulation
  6. Can I see a sample inspection report? Seeing a sample inspection report will tell you what sort of communication you can expect. It should be easy to understand. Ideally, it should also include color photographs and diagrams, and the inspector should be willing to explain anything that you may not understand.
  7. Do you have special expertise for my home? All houses are different. Every type of construction has its own trouble spots. Older homes have aging issues and might use construction materials or techniques that aren’t considered safe anymore. New construction uses newer materials and techniques that your inspector should be familiar with if they’ve kept up on their training. A house with a pool will have its own considerations. Make sure your inspector knows about the home’s particulars.
  8. How much do you charge? By making this the last question you ask, you can avoid being swayed early on by a low price. It may be tempting to choose the $150 inspector over the $300 inspector, but be warned, the lower the price, the less thorough of an inspection you can expect.

home inspector

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

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

 

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What Qualities To Look For When Selecting A Home Inspector. Part One Of Home Inspections

home inspectorA home inspector will come out to the house you’re buying and inspect it. They will provide a report detailing whether or not things such as air conditioning, doors, windows, foundations, and other components are in good order. A home inspection is not something to trust a friend or relative with. It is also not something to trust to the selling agent who has a vested interest in convincing you to buy the house. By hiring a home inspector, you are sure to get a professional and unbiased appraisal of the condition of the house.

If problems are detected by the home inspector, you should discuss with the seller or seller’s agent about whose responsibility recommended repairs are and whether or not they should affect the price. Remember that if the problems are too extensive or more than you want to deal with, most real estate contracts have a clause that will let you out of the deal if the inspection is not satisfactory.

What Qualitis to Look For in a Home Inspector

When hiring a home inspector, you want to make sure you don’t have someone who is just going to take a quick look around and write down things they’ve noticed. Anybody can do that. Here is what to look for when hiring a home inspector:

    • Report – This is the first and most important question you should ask. When and how will you receive the report? What type of report is used and how long is it? Are pictures and/or diagrams included? Be wary of reports that have a long turnaround time (more than a week) or are too short (ten pages or less).
    • Reviews – Look for reviews and recommendations from people who have used this home inspector before. Use multiple sources including various websites and talking to people who have used them before. If a home inspector has one or two negative reviews, look to see how the problem was resolved and decide if it was handled to your satisfaction. Any more than that and you should look elsewhere.
    • Certifications – A home inspector must be certified to work in the state in which the inspection is being done. Also ask about membership in such organizations as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
    • Experience – Most associations require a minimum of 250 inspections before they’ll consider membership, but most pros recommend hiring someone with at least 1,000 inspections and three to five years’ experience.
    • Licensing – Not every state requires that a home inspector be licensed. Any of the home inspectors’ associations should be able to tell you if yours does. If so, write down the entire license number, including any letters before or after. Those letters should help you know if you are dealing with a fully-licensed home inspector, an intern, or an apprentice.
    • Insurance – Your home inspector should carry Errors & Omissions insurance and/or liability insurance. Not all states require this, so check to see if it’s required and if the home inspector has the correct type and amount.
    • Training – In states where no licensing is required, some folks who do home inspections learned while working as a carpenter, an electrician, or some other relevant trade. No matter how involved these trades are, none of them translates to skill as a home inspector. Look for a home inspector who has had formal training.
    • Continued Training – Home inspectors continuously update their training to stay on top of new developments, training, and knowledge. While there is a minimum amount required to renew a license, look for home inspectors who go above and beyond the bare minimum requirement.
    • Length of the Inspection – A good inspection should last about 2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the home. A short inspection time indicates that little more than a glance will be given to each area. A good inspector should ask you to be there for the inspection (though this is not necessary). If they try to dissuade you from being there, find another inspector.
    • Other Qualifications – It is not uncommon for a home inspector offer radon testing as well as home inspection. They may also check for termites and asbestos. Be aware of what other services they may offer and make sure they are properly certified or trained per your state’s requirements.home inspector
  • Miscellaneous – If you are working with a multi-inspector team, be sure that the person who comes out to your house has the same credentials as you were told over the phone. Also, make sure the inspector will be available for follow-up questions. Also, some inspectors teach classes in their field. It’s a good sign if the inspector you are looking at also teaches classes.
  • Price – This is actually the last thing you should ask about. Home inspection is one of those things where you get what you pay for. Good inspectors command higher prices. A typical home inspection can cost from $200 to $500.

Keep in mind that home inspectors are not regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As such, be wary of the price that’s too good to be true. They may be the one who’s cutting the most corners. You might save a couple of hundred dollars today but wind up paying thousands of dollars for unexpected repairs tomorrow

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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 inspector

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

home inspector

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

The First Time Buyer Said, “No HOA”. Their Reason Was Valid

No HOA

“No HOA” is a fairly common buyer request, most especially by tradesman and business owners with trucks.  Their equipment can be parked at home without violating HOA regulations.  Recently, I drove by the home at the right and it jogged my memory about a situation I encountered several years ago.

I was showing homes to a first time buyer couple. They had told me they preferred homes where there was no HOA that required monthly fees

  • Since they were moving from a small apartment they wanted that money to help furnish their first home
  • He was a tradesman and brought his company panel truck home each night

I drove up to a little Cape Cod with dormers, picket fence with roses, fireplace and an American flag. The Woodbridge Home No HOAinterior was quaint with lots of cute nooks and crannies plus a built-in corner hutch in the dining room.  I knew they had fallen in love with it – they were holding hands as they took the tour

 

I suggested we  tour the neighborhood to “get a feel” for it. Of course, they commented on the  “cosmetic and physically challenged” homes a few blocks away.
No HOA

After all

  • the lack of an HOA set up the conditions for derelict houses in the subdivision
  • one of the neat houses within eyesight of the home they were interested in could go “rogue”

There are many reasons people may prefer  a home without an HOA.  However, these were first time buyers with no experience.  They were looking to me for direction in light of the fact they had what they perceived as strict unchangeable requirements

No HOA I suggested they consider a garage town home in a small community with limited amenities meaning lower HOA fees. This Woodbridge town home was within their price parameter including the HOA fee and the truck spends the night in the garage eliminating any HOA rule violation.  Of Course, I am anticipating a growing family and my next challenge with this couple

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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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=hous

 

Top 5 Baby Boomers Housing Market Trends to Watch

baby boomersRegardless of where you live, experts are expecting that Baby Boomers will have a major impact on the local housing market.

That’s because this sizeable portion of the population is comprised of 76.4 million individuals. And many of them are expected to make major moves over the next several years as they continue to retire.

To that effect, we wanted to share with you the top 5 Baby Boomer real estate trends to watch for in the coming months and years.

The Top 5 Real Estate Trends for Baby Boomers

Although many Baby Boomers plan to move to the Sunbelt when they retire, others may be motivated by different factors.

For instance, some may be motivated by staying closer to families. Others may be looking for the least expensive place to live. Still others may be more interested in moving to a place with a high quality of life for seniors.

Thus, regardless of where you live, it’s important to consider the following Baby Boomer trends:

Baby Boomers want to pay off their mortgage.

Many Baby Boomers own their own home. They’ve been paying a mortgage for decades. Thus, one of their primary goals is going to be to finally pay off the mortgage and own their home outright. In fact, for many, paying off the mortgage is a crucial consideration before they’re willing to retire.

They want more convenience.

This may look like a smaller home with less maintenance and less work, but it may not. Baby Boomers also care about living in homes that have modern appliances, energy-efficient doors and other features that will make their life easy. As such, many are also opting for one-story homes because of their bad knees, bad hips, etc.

Baby Boomers want a walkable neighborhood.

They’ve already spent a lot of time in their car, what with commuting to work, taking their kids to and from hobbies, etc. So now they’re trying to get back to simpler times, where they lived just a couple of blocks from the grocery store or the local restaurant. They want to be able to access the amenities they want and need without having to always get in the car.

They want to remain on their own.

In fact, according to a Merrill Lynch survey, only 10 percent of Baby Boomers say they want to move into any kind of retirement or age-restricted community. Instead, they want to stay in their own homes, in their own neighborhood nad have their own friends.

Baby Boomers want to stay close to their loved ones.

This is also a high priority for residents. They not only want to be close to their children, but also their grandchildren as well. Proximity to loved ones is certainly key with this segment of the population.

We’re Your #1 Source for National Real Estate Trends

We hope you’ve learned something new after reading today’s real estate blog. The Baby Boomers will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the real estate market as they prepare for where they want to live their Golden Years.

Please check back here soon to learn about more trends that may impact your local housing market

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

Karen Biz Card

Karen Kruschka’s Web Site

baby boomers

baby boomers