What to Know Before Your Home Inspection: Buyers

 

If you are here, you are probably jumping up in excitement because your offer just got accepted! Congrats! Now, you are now transitioning into a new phase in your home-buying journey. This is where the “contingencies” are taken care of. That is if you and your agent agreed to write those contingencies in the offer. I’d like to share with you what to expect when your home inspection takes place.

The first item you take care of after your offer is accepted is the home inspection. Your agent will order this as soon as possible. This is to ensure there is enough time if there need to be any remedies and if so to come to a formal agreement. You will pick which home inspectors to go with & plan to pay the cost which can range from $400-$600. If you are financing through a VA loan, you do not pay for the pest inspection part. On newer constructed homes, it is not too necessary to conduct a home inspection. Your concern at this moment would be to be aware of any issues that weren’t apparent when you viewed the home in prior showings. The inspector will take a look at the mechanical systems, termite, radon, water and septic systems, structural systems, and required repairs.

A magnifying glass hovering over the words Inspection, centering on a house with the word Home inside it

You might also be wondering, “What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection? That is a good question. An appraisal is ordered because it is required by the lender. A qualified appraiser determines the value of the home by researching comparisons and the condition of the home. They also need to make sure the home is meeting FHA minimum property standards. Finally, they need to evaluate if the home is compatible with the market, making it “marketable”. Not only do the appraisers determine the value based on the actual home, but they also take into consideration the amenities nearby like street access, for example. As mentioned before, a home inspection is ordered so that a qualified home inspector takes a thorough look at the home to evaluate the physical condition, identify any issues that require attention, and estimate the life of certain appliances.

It is your right to be well informed of your potential new purchase. This includes the findings in the home inspection. As long as it was written in your offer, you have the right to examine the home and arrange an agreement between you and the seller to repair/replace items that were determined to be a health or safety issue. This is to be done by a specified timeline per your contract.

estate agent close a contract

You and your agent will discuss what time & date works best for you that way you can be present. It is not required for you to be there because you will receive a copy of the inspection report regardless. However, you must attend that way you can ask the inspector any questions you may have while they are conducting the inspection. The sellers will most likely not be there, if they are you will also be notified.

According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, here is a full list of what the qualified inspector will take a look at:

  • Home’s heating system
  • Central air conditioning system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Electrical system
  • Roof
  • Attic and visible insulation
  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Foundation
  • Basement
  • Structural Components

Upon your request, they will test for pest and radon gas testing.

Family meeting real-estate agent for home purchase

Based on the findings, you and your agent will determine what is required to be done to meet the deadline and be on your way to close. Your agent will then make those requests. Keep in mind, that you would not ask for anything that is a “cosmetic issue”. Your experienced agent will advise you on what not to ask the sellers for a remedy. If there is any chipped paint, minor screen tear, tiny cracks in the driveway, etc. these are just a few examples of what wouldn’t make the sellers too happy.

Couple meeting consultant for financial contract

You will be able to come to a formal agreement on what should occur for you to move forward with the purchase. Remember, both parties have to do their due diligence to treat this negotiation seriously and take the sale to the closing table. Per the contract, you will be able to make a final inspection of the property. This is also referred to as the final walk-through, which usually takes place close to closing day. The real estate agent representing you & the buyers will verify that all the necessary repairs were completed, the property is still in good condition like when you first saw it, all fixtures are still there, and no alterations or removals that weren’t authorized have occurred. Essentially, just making sure the home looks like how everyone still imagined it. Exactly how it was when you decided to make an offer & now including the repairs that were needed.

I wanted to share some helpful insight into what goes on in the inspection contingency phase. Hopefully, you can walk away with some new information that can help guide you at your next home inspection. I would love to be the professional real estate agent walking you through this. Best of luck!

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First Time Home Buyers Tips!

In today’s housing market, it is completely normal to be anxious about taking a leap of faith and wanting to have home ownership. For a lot of you, it has always been frightening as it is your first time buying.

I want to share with you some tips to keep in mind and ease your nerves as you get started. It is so easy to fill your mind with situations that could go wrong. For instance, not having the sufficient funds, not being able to get pre-approved with a qualified lender, not feeling ready & being filled with nerves, etc.! Those are all normal feelings.

realtor blue logo

That is why we are the professionals and help you guide your journey to make it as smooth as possible. It’s important to have an idea of what could come along the way and mistakes you’d want to avoid as well.

GETTING STARTED

The most important step to get started is knowing your deadlines. Essentially, you want to clearly know WHEN you need to move out by, whether that is a lease ending soon or you need to sell your home as well. Or maybe you need to be moved in before school starts in the fall. Or, you came across a job opportunity and you need to move ASAP! These are all important factors that are rooted in your reasoning to buy a home. Once you establish that and put it on your calendar, you’ll feel much better along the way when you have those important dates already decided.

Calendar date

FINANCING

Next, is of course financing. It is so easy to say, “Well, just go get pre-approved!” In most cases, it can take more than just that. If you’re a cash buyer, you’re ahead of the game!  You have to allow some time in anticipation for anything that could come up. Let’s say you this is your first time buying and you know you have been saving up, which is great! But, then you go to a qualified lender and they find that you actually need to work on your credit. This would be a huge set back if you were actually planning on moving in the next two months or so. This is why it is important to take a look at your timeline. Make sure to know what your credit looks like. Talk with a trusted lender on how to achieve those goals on a more personal level. A helpful suggestion would be to make to sure pay your credit cards in full by the due date. The reporting date on your credit cards may differ but this is usually middle of the month and/or end of the month. This means that creditors will take a look at your balance and credit usage and report that to credit bureaus. This is where a lender will pull your credit from. You want to be smart about this.

Growing plant step

SAVINGS

It’s great to have your accounts loaded but please keep in mind that you’d need to have everything sourced. For instance, if you had a large deposit in your account that the lender is going to look at. The first question will be, “Where is this coming from?” You’ll have to be prepared to back up that deposit. No need to worry if it is your salary and/or a bonus from work. If you earn income with crypto or coin base make sure to talk to a loan officer to double check if that can be sourced. If you’re receiving funds from a parent to help you secure a home purchase, this would be a “gift” and you’d want to mention it to your lender.

It’s a good idea to have an emergency fund and actively setting money aside to go towards that periodically. When you’re looking to buy a home, please keep a savings account that is indented to go towards the house. This would cover your down payment which can vary (3%, 5%, 10% or 20% of purchase price, depending on your loan), earnest money (usually 1% of purchase price, you’ll need this when you make an offer), inspection costs ($500-$600, after offer has been accepted and there is an inspection contingency), closing costs (2% or 3% of purchase price). If you’re making an offer stand out on a competitive home with multiple offers and you are saying you’d cover appraisal gaps if appraisal were to come down lower, have that money handy! Of course, you don’t need all of this money at once. You can have the earnest money, inspection costs, and some of the closings costs STARTED but you wouldn’t have to pay the closing costs until you close.

successful young business woman

GREAT NEWS, YOU GOT PRE-APPROVED!

Your trusted lender will take a look at your  income, credit score, how much you can put down and reviewed your assets as well as your tax returns. They will approve you up to a certain amount. It might be your lucky day and you got pre-approved for a lot more than you thought! Congrats. Stop for a minute and take into consideration what payments would be comfortable for you. Just because you got pre-approved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to use all of that! 🙂 Please take into consideration the utility bills, if there are HOA dues, etc. All of that adds up! You do not want go house broke!

If you are switching jobs or you quit your job AFTER you received your pre-approval, let your lender know! They pre-approved you with the job income & position and all of that has to match when they finish underwriting and open the mortgage loan for you.

couple searching a new big house, paper house with key

TIME TO GO HOME SHOPPING!

Right now, we are in a seller’s market so your top 5 picks are probably already being bid on from left to right. It’s nice to have your standards in place. For instance, you need a nice flat backyard for your children to play in, or you for sure need an office because you work from home, or you need to be close to commute to and from work. This is  what helps narrow down your home search. However, it’s a good habit to keep an open-mind when taking a look at home options. I always believe in the concept that when you walk into a home, you just know if it is the one! In some cases, you have to take about three laps and look at the potential. Outweigh the pros and cons. Especially in this market. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should settle for just any home available. That is not what I am saying, of course we want to get you in the best home possible! I know everyone is different and that is totally okay! Just go after that home you fell in love with and can comfortably pay. After all, you want to choose wisely as this will be a long-term investment, hopefully!

Happy couple in their new home concept

These are just some tips to help you get an idea of what it would take to get started. I would love to chat with you to see what your situation looks like. Feel free to contact me, whether that is a phone call, text, email, or FB message, I’ll respond!

Best of luck!

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Welcome, Buyers!

Welcome to the Buyer’s Guide to Securing your NextHome!

Purchasing a home is an important investment that takes careful planning and decision-making. Leave all the hard work to us, the real estate professionals, especially in this crazy market! We’ll help you get started and walk you to the finish line. That is why having a Realtor by your side to walk you through that can make the experience smoother and possibly gain you one more friend!

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Buyer’s Questionnaire

Good Ol’ Iowa! Nice to see you’re looking to stay here & are inquiring about securing a purchase here!

Please fill out this short questionnaire where you share some info that will be helpful for me get you started. It is completely free, it just helps us both out so I can reach out to you & get you set up on notifications so you get emailed as soon as something hits the market & that matches your criteria! Thanks so much in advance!

 

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New Listings This Week!

Here are some new listings that just hit the market in the nearby area! Feel free to take a look at this link that will take you directly to a user-friendly report that you can view on desktop or your mobile device. If you’d like to get more information about these properties, feel free to contact me! Disclaimer: these are not my listings.

Click here!

 

Valeria Ramos

319.594.9717

valramos4@gmail.com

Licensed to sell Real Estate in Iowa

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