Debra Parker's Blog
Setting up and completing a home inspection may seem like a long, arduous process. However, an inspection is a must-have for any homebuyer, at any time.
With a comprehensive home inspection, you can identify any potential problems with a house. And if you don't like what you find in an inspection report, you can always ask a home seller to complete improvements or reduce his or her asking price. Or, if you prefer, you can walk away from a home sale altogether.
Ultimately, there are several steps that you'll want to follow to conduct a home inspection, and these are:
1. Find an Expert Home Inspector
When it comes to a home purchase, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, if you hire an expert home inspector, you can avoid the risk of missing possible issues during a home inspection.
Not all home inspectors are created equal, so you'll want to evaluate all of the options at your disposal.
To kick off your search for a home inspector, browse the web. This will enable you to find dozens of home inspectors in your area and assess online client reviews.
Also, don't hesitate to ask a home inspector for client referrals. If you obtain client referrals, you can better understand whether a home inspector can match or exceed your expectations.
2. Attend Your Home Inspection
Although homebuyers are not required to attend a home inspection, it generally is a good idea to walk with a home inspector as he or she examines your residence. By doing so, you may be able to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report.
A home inspector may notice home problems that range from minor to severe. The inspector's job is to identify a problem and include it in a home inspection report.
If you attend a home inspection, an inspector may be able to provide you information about potential home problems, along with an estimate about how much assorted home repairs may cost. That way, you are better equipped than ever before to determine whether potential home problems could deter you from buying a house.
3. Evaluate the Home Inspection Report
A home inspection report can play a key role in the homebuying process. If you evaluate this report closely, you can learn about a home's strengths and weaknesses and decide whether to proceed with a home purchase.
If you have questions regarding a home inspection report, you can always follow-up with the inspector that provided the assessment. This will allow you to obtain the insights that you need to make an informed homebuying decision.
Lastly, it certainly helps to collaborate with a real estate agent before, during and after a home inspection. A real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying process and ensure that you can get the best possible results.
Follow the aforementioned steps, and you should have no trouble conducting a home inspection.
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Real estate investing is a powerful way to build wealth, as investors can take advantage of rent payments, appreciation, tax deductions and leverage. Additionally, there are lots of properties to invest in. If you’re starting to explore real estate as an investment opportunity, here are five types of properties and why you might invest in each.
Single-Family Houses: Starter Investments
Many individuals first get into real estate investing with single-family homes. There are many of these for sale, and they tend to cost less than the other property types mentioned here. Whether you want to flip properties or rent them out, a single-family home lets you get into real estate at an affordable price and you can learn a lot from owning just one house.
Small Multi-Family Houses: Greater Cash Flow
Small multi-family houses are a natural step after owning a single-family home, for multi-family properties offer better cash flow while still remaining manageable. Many landlords who invest in small multi-family buildings that have two to five units manage these properties themselves (although you can always outsource to a property management company as well).
Apartment Complexes: Significant Income Potential
If you have the necessary financial resources, apartment complexes offer even greater income potential than small multi-family homes. The more units a complex has, the more people pay rent and the greater the potential revenue. Of course, this increased potential comes with additional challenges. Expect to maintain amenities and answer regular service calls if you get a sizeable apartment complex.
Vacation Homes: Dual-Purpose Income Properties
With the advent of peer-to-peer online platforms, vacation homes have become an increasingly popular type of investment property. These include lake houses, ski houses and ranches, as well as apartments and townhomes in cities that have regular short-term visitors. In short, anywhere there’s a campground or hotel, a vacation home might be viable.
Vacation homes are unique in that they focus on short-term rentals rather than long-term leases. While this means the place must be cleaned between each reservation, it also gives you the flexibility to block off times when friends or family want to use the place.
Commercial Properties: Sizeable Investment Potential
An alternative to residential properties, you can also invest in commercial properties. You may have to be an accredited investor (earn $250,000 annually or have a $1 million net worth) to get into commercial real estate. If you’re able to, though, these properties offer diversity and significant long-term potential.
You can create a stunning outdoor kitchen using basic components and pulling things together over time. Entertaining outdoors has become so popular that supplies and materials for cooking are easy to come by in a variety of price points. Follow the steps below to make the most of the process.
Foolproof Steps to Creating an Outdoor Kitchen you'll Love
Determine what you need. A kitchen showroom can be overwhelming -- but you may not need everything you see. If you love the look of the striking pizza ovens, but no one in the family eats pizza, you may get little use from this purchase, and miss out on the space you've used later. What do you like to cook, what do you like to serve and what components matter most to you? These should go to the top of your list.
Where will people sit?: The best part of an outdoor kitchen is the entertaining you can do in the space. You should think about how many people you like to host at a time, where they'll sit and what you envision for the space. An outdoor kitchen that is designed for the family and a guest or two may need to seat six people, but if you entertian large groups, then you'll need to allot more space to seating -- 12 to 16 people is an ideal start.
Where will you keep the food? Do you want to prep inside and cook outside? Or do you prefer having everything together? If you need the food on hand, a fridge should be included in your plans. If you want to keep the food inside, consider adding a wine or beer fridge instead; it will take up less room and get regular use.
What will you cook? A grill is a great starting point, since you can cook a variety of foods. Determine if you want to buy a freestanding piece or have something built in -- this will likely be the largest and most expensive component. Once this is in place, decide what else you need; other cook surfaces, a sink or specialty surface could be next on your list.
Begin with your largest pieces, like your grill and table, then add items as you need too. Your pillows, textiles and accessories can be chosen last, then added and used as needed to create a space that is uniquely yours.
Your outdoor kitchen can be a work in progress; you don't have to complete it all at once. Adding something new each season or year allows you to spread out the cost of your new kitchen and add components as you need them.
If you’re buying your first home, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to know. Being informed will allow you to avoid some of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make. These errors and their remedies can be found below. Don't join the crowd and make an error, know before you buy.
They Don’t Have Enough Funds
Every homebuyer plans for mortgage payments. Not every buyer plans for all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Just because you can afford mortgage payments doesn't necessarily mean that you can afford the house.
There’s so much financially that goes into owning a home. You’ll need to plan for things like home maintenance, insurance, taxes, closing costs, and more. All of this will need to be saved ahead of time in order to buy and maintain a house. Things like property tax and insurance can go up yearly, and these costs can be very unexpected.
Not Securing A Loan
If you don’t secure a loan first and find the home of your dreams, you could be in for trouble. If you haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage, finding a home and putting an offer in is a bit riskier. Many buyers don’t realize that they can’t qualify for the amount of loan that they think they can. Getting pre-qualified allows buyers to understand just how much house they can afford.
Avoiding Real Estate Agents
If buyers go it alone, they are taking a risk. The seller pays the real estate agent fees in a home transaction. You really have nothing to lose getting a professional to help you. From there, your agent can recommend all sorts of professionals to assist you in your home search including lawyers, mortgage companies, home inspectors, and others. It’s essential for a smooth home transaction to work with people who are experienced and know what they’re doing.
Depleting Your Savings
When you buy your first home, you’re going to need a reserve of cash beyond what you have saved for a downpayment. This cash includes an emergency fund, money for repairs, furniture, new appliances, and other unexpected expenses. If you use all of your savings on a downpayment, you’ll be in a dangerous financial situation. Just make sure you have saved enough extra for a rainy day fund.
Opening New Accounts
Before your loan is closed, you should be frozen- financially frozen that is! Don’t open any new accounts. It can be tempting to head out and buy a new car that will look good in your new driveway or to fill your house with all sorts of brand new furniture, but you should wait. Once you get the keys to your new home, you’re in the clear to spend again and open new accounts. You don’t want to overextend your budget of course. Just be sensible!