Home Buying Tips


When hiring a Home Inspector

Hiring a quality home inspector is one of the most important aspects of buying a new home. When the time comes to choose a professional home inspector,  you need a handy list of the right questions to ask before you hire anyone. In most cases, you can make your purchase contingent on the inspection and can cancel the contract, get your deposit back and walk away from the deal.

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Not all states have licensing requirements for home inspection companies, so they can vary in terms of cost and quality. Check out the American Society of Home Inspectors website (ashi.org) to find a member inspector in your area. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the important questions to ask before hiring one.

  1.    Are you bonded and insured?
  2.    Can you provide references?
  3.    Can I tag along on the inspection?
  4.    What does the inspection include?
  5.    Will you send me a sample inspection report?
  6.    Do you have any special expertise?
  7.    How much do you charge?

Do I need to check for lead?

If your home was built before 1978, there is a good chance it has lead-based paint. In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning. Fix any hazards that you may have. You can get your home checked in one or both of the following ways:

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A paint inspection tells you the lead content of every different type of painted surface in your home, but does not tell you if the paint is a hazard or how to deal with it. This is most appropriate when you are buying a home or signing a lease, before you renovate, and to help you determine how to maintain your home for lead safety.

A risk assessment tells you if there are any sources of serious lead exposure such as peeling paint and lead dust, and tells you what actions to take to address these hazards. This is most helpful if you want to know if lead is causing exposure to your family now.

Have qualified professionals do the work. There are standards in place for certifying lead-based paint professionals to ensure the work is done safely, reliably, and effectively. You can have a combined risk assessment and inspection.


What is a Public Adjuster?

If you have been affected by a large storm, you might already have been solicited by several roofing companies and maybe even public adjusters. Like any business, all public adjusters are not created equal. They have different experience levels, handle different types of claims and have various levels of experience with different insurance carriers.

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Check for black mold

Black mold – an often invisible, toxigenic substance – can grow inside homes, schools, and the workplace undetected for years and is fueled by damp conditions.  Exposure to mold increases the risk of health problems such as; asthma, allergies, and even depression. Allergic reactions to molds are not seasonal, and can happen throughout the year.

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Mold has a pungent, earthy, musty, and rather unpleasant smell. Even if you can’t see it, if you notice a weird smell when you enter a certain room, be sure to thoroughly check that room for hidden mold.

If you can’t find anything at first glance, you (or a mold inspector) may have to remove wallpaper, plastering, or tiles, as it could be hiding underneath. Untreated, this toxic sunstance can cause serious health issues.


How to find the best roofer

Many homeowners share the anxiety over choosing a roofer due to the fact that in the first place they don’t really understand how roofing systems work. They don’t know how shingles are installed, the purpose of different elements and in most cases, have never even climbed on a roof. Choosing a reputable, honest and skilled roofer needs to be done with knowledge and background preparation on your part.

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Roofing materials themselves represent a relatively small portion of the bill. The bulk of what you’ll spend pays for the skilled labor involved. And that makes choosing an experienced pr, a MUST. Unfortunately, roofing is an easy-entry business that requires little more than a pickup, a ladder and some basic tools to get started.

YOu can begin your search online or ask a friend or someone at your local lumberyard or home builder’s association. Then, gather at least two prospects, and make sure each has been in business at least five years — roofers who do shoddy work usually don’t last that long.

How to hire a Realtor

Before putting your home on the market or setting out to buy a new one, you should identify real estate agents in your community who can assist with the sale. More than two million people nationwide have licenses to sell real estate, and it’s their job to be an expert on the properties in your community.

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Buying real estate has become more and more complicated and the value of using an agent has become more and more a necessity. The hard part is not finding the property, it’s getting through the transaction without a major financial, emotional, or procedural error. There are 101+ things that can go wrong in a real estate transaction, and it is your agent’s job to foresee fix them. Your agent is the person who protects you through the whole transaction. Do some homework prior to hiring an agent. Learn the questions to ask to protect yourself and enrich your experience.

Confidence in truth…before you buy!