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Moving can be time consuming… well “life” consuming. The last thing you need to be worried about is remembering what to check/repair in your new home. Here’s a great list of reminders to help you down the road:
- Make it a point to turn on all of your major appliances and let them run for a complete cycle, especially if your home is newly built to look for leaks.
- Be sure to read your warranty — don’t wait until an emergency to start familiarizing yourself with your legal rights and responsibilities.
45 Days Later
- Change the filter on your HVAC system, and vacuum out the air intake vents. Capturing dirt and dust with the right filter can go a long way toward reducing dust.
Six Months Later
- During summer months, keep an eye out for invasive animals like squirrels, birds and wasps. These pests look for loose soffits and buckled siding as a way to get into your home.
- Twice a year in the summer and fall, inspect the exterior of your house to make sure rainwater is draining properly.
- Landscaping should be negatively graded away from the house.
- Each winter, check to make sure that your pipes are properly insulated against freezing.
- Inspect your roof or have a professional roofer conduct an inspection. Look for missing shingles, gaps in the flashing around chimneys and other hazards. Indoors, check your ceiling for water spots.
Every Two Years
- Have a professional HVAC contractor inspect your furnace, air conditioner and hot water heater.
- Inspect exterior paint and touch up as needed.
Interesting article… Does it pay to have a more experienced agent?
In 2011, 10% of realtors spent time negotiating low-ball offers on listed homes — offers usually submitted by the buyer
for 25% or more below the list price (according to a National Association of REALTORS® survey of its members). In 2012- that number has dropped drastically. According to a survey this March of 4,500 agents and brokers, not one realtor has experienced a negotiation with low-ball offers.
We are experiencing that low ball offers no longer are a way to go. In fact, single family residences sold in Bend in the last three months sold at 99% of asking price. And we are experiencing multiple offers on properties that are priced to market. The issue is that inventory is low and buyers are buying.
For home buyers who still think they have a chance of hitting it lucky with a low-ball offer, they’re finding in many markets that their offers are more often being rejected or countered closer to the original asking price. So get ready, as the trend to a sellers market is returning.
If you can’t stay put, don’t buy
If you can’t commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner.
Check your credit report, with a fine tooth comb
Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. Before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any discrepancies you discover.
Purchase within your budget
The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you’ll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.
If you can’t put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan
There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price.
A good school district does make a difference
When it comes time to sell, you’ll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values. So even if you don’t have your own children, this is a factor to greatly consider.
Get professional help
Even though the internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. The team of Rinehart, Dempsey & Phelps have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the entire house hunting/bidding/purchasing process.
Choose carefully between points and rate
When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points — a portion of the interest that you pay at closing — in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time — say three to five years or more — it’s usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.
Get pre-approved before you start looking
Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can’t afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.
Do your homework before bidding
Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that’s about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.
A home inspection is a must
Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But t
hat’s just the bank’s way of determining whether the house is worth the price you’ve agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.