Maureen Roberts' Blog
66 Wyman Road, Billerica, MA 01821
One of the final hurdles to buying a house is making sure your future home is structurally sound. To the untrained eye, the property you've made an offer on may appear to be "close enough to perfect."
However, your excitement over that gourmet kitchen, finished basement, and manicured lawn may be causing you to view your future home with rose-colored glasses!
Fortunately, you can (and should) hire an experienced, licensed professional to thoroughly inspect the property and point out flaws and potential problems that might need to be addressed by the seller -- either in the form of price concessions or repairs. If the seller is unwilling to be flexible in those areas, then you may have the option of withdrawing your offer. Hopefully, it won't come down to that -- especially if you love the house -- but that situation could arise and derail your plans for buying a particular property.
Many real estate purchases do involve a few bumps and detours along the way, but they frequently can be resolved by your real estate agent and/or attorney.
The starting point for identifying structural issues with a house is to have the property inspected by a reputable home inspector. Here are a few of the key areas they'll evaluate and include in their report:
- Foundation and basement: Cracks, leaks, and signs of instability can often be identified through a visual inspection of the underlying structure of a home. Some issues are relatively minor, while others can be quite costly.
- Roof and attic: Although most new roofs typically last for 20 to 30 years, time has a way of slipping by when you least expect it! Depending on weather conditions, climate, and falling tree branches, roofs of any age can be subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Since roofs play such a vital role in protecting your home and family from the many forces of nature, it's crucial that your roof be intact, in sound condition, and fully functional. An inspection of the home's attic and/or crawlspace will also reveal actual or potential problems with leaks, mold, roof damage, or infestations.
- HVAC, electrical, and plumbing: There are a lot of systems that provide homeowners with comfort, convenience, and the ability to meet day-to-day needs. Whether you're talking about major kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, or climate control systems, there are dozens of things an inspector needs to check and keep you apprised of.
- Exterior checkpoints: Property inspectors will also assess the condition of the outside of the house, as well as drainage efficiency and any visible structural damage or signs of deterioration.
When it comes to home inspections, your real estate agent can not only provide you with professional referrals, but they can also accompany you on the actual property inspection. That will help make sure important questions, issues, and recommendations don't slip through the cracks!
You know all about curb appeal, and you’ve spent time in your garden and front porch area sprucing it up, trimming it out, and adding colorful plants. The door now sports a bright new “pop” of color that all the home and garden shows demand. But something still isn’t right. Your entryway is entirely dysfunctional, so once they step into the house, all your hard work seems for naught.
The problem is that your front door is the door the family uses. The kids come home after school and march right in the front door. The entry becomes the collector of backpacks, rainboots, jackets. Your partner comes in from a workout at the gym and down plops the sports bag full of sweaty workout clothes and sports shoes.
You dream of that pristine rear-entry mudroom that you see in full glossy pins, but the only way to get that is to find a new house. Meanwhile, the current one can’t even be shown to buyers because they’ll trip over a random baseball bat or soccer cleat coming in the door.
Never fear. Your home isn’t the only one where the front entry is an obstacle course. Try these organizational tips to help out.
Use the coat closet
Since most homes have a coat closet, this is a logical place to start. Clear out all storage from the closet so that it is useful for coats and outerwear. Then place a basket along one side of the closet floor for casual boots and shoes. On the other side or along the back, put a shelf for sports equipment. Instead of using the hanger bar, line the sides and back with sturdy hooks so that your kids can hang jackets, backpacks, and larger sports equipment. Add a hook to the inside of the door, higher up, for longer coats, and one lower down for handbags.
Add a bench
When there isn’t enough room in the closet, add a storage bench or long, narrow ottoman that opens to the entryway. The deeper the storage area, the better. Place backpacks on one side and shoes or boots on the other in a waterproof bin inside the bench.
If you have several children, use several smaller square ottomans, one for each. That way, each child has a place for boots, backpack, jackets, and other miscellaneous detritus that comes in the door with them.
If none of these work out for you, it’s probably time for a chat with your professional realtor staging ideas or quick pick-up bins for when they show your home.
Finding a deal on a new home sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you shop for your dream residence so you can discover a house that matches your budget perfectly.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can pay the lowest-possible price for your dream residence.
1. Be Aggressive During Your Home Search
Much in the same way that the early bird catches the worm, a homebuyer who tracks the real estate market closely is better equipped than others to discover a deal. If a buyer monitors the housing market in his or her preferred cities and towns, this individual may be able to pounce at the opportunity to acquire a quality house at an affordable price.
Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of homebuying criteria. This list will help you narrow your home search and eliminate houses that fall outside your price range.
You also may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. With a mortgage in hand, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a home and may be able to navigate the homebuying journey more quickly than other buyers.
2. Evaluate a Home's Strengths and Weaknesses
Once you discover your dream house, you likely won't want to wait long to submit a competitive offer to purchase. Because the longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that a rival homebuyer could make a move to acquire this residence.
If you find a home that you may want to purchase, analyze its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to determine whether the residence is right for you. And if you believe this house is the ideal choice, you can weigh the residence's strengths and weaknesses as you craft an offer to purchase.
Furthermore, there is no need to submit a "lowball" offer to purchase your ideal residence. If you review a home's condition, the current state of the housing market and other real estate factors, you should no trouble submitting a "fair" offer to purchase.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is committed to helping a homebuyer discover a terrific home that corresponds to his or her budget. As such, a real estate agent will collaborate with a buyer and ensure this individual's homeownership dream can come true.
Typically, a real estate agent and a homebuyer will work together to develop a property buying strategy. When this plan is in place, a real estate agent and a buyer will explore the housing market and find a great home at a price that suits the buyer.
A real estate agent is ready to provide comprehensive guidance for homebuyers too. And if a buyer ever has questions during the property buying cycle, a real estate agent is ready to respond to these queries at any time.
Want to pay a low price for your dream house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can seamlessly navigate the real estate market and find a top-notch and budget-friendly house.