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Ready to choose a home inspector before you finalize a house purchase? Ultimately, there are many key questions you'll want to ask your home inspector to ensure he or she has what it takes to assess a house, including:
1. What are your qualifications?
Choosing a home inspector who understands the ins and outs of reviewing a property is paramount. Thus, you'll want to evaluate a candidate's credentials closely to guarantee he or she knows how to inspect all aspects of a residence.
Find out about a home inspector's skills and background. By doing so, you can understand how this professional has approached home inspections in the past.
Also, retrieve copies of a home inspector's past house evaluations and find out if he or she is a member of national or state home inspector associations. Evaluating a home inspector's past reports will provide you with an example of what to expect from this professional during your home assessment. Meanwhile, a home inspector who is a member of a national or state home inspector association likely possesses training and certifications that may help him or her stand out from other home inspectors in your area.
2. Can you provide references?
Were past clients satisfied or dissatisfied with a home inspector? Ask a home inspector to provide references, and you'll be able to learn about past clients' experiences in no time at all.
Don't forget to check out client reviews on Yelp, Angie's List and other professional review websites too. This will enable you to better understand if a particular home inspector is the right professional to assess your residence.
3. Do you possess errors and omissions insurance?
In some instances, a home inspector may make mistakes during a house assessment that he or she probably should have noticed. If a home inspector possesses errors and omissions insurance, however, you may be protected in this scenario.
Errors and omissions insurance offers professional liability coverage for home inspectors. This means a home inspector who holds errors and omissions insurance will be able to cover the costs associated with an error that you feel he or she should have caught during a house inspection.
Be on the lookout for a home inspector who will require you to sign a waiver limiting his or her liability as well. If a home inspector requires a waiver, you may be held responsible for any home problems that this professional misses during a house assessment.
Searching for a home inspector can be tricky, especially if you're trying to navigate a complex homebuying process. But if you spend some time reviewing a broad array of home inspectors, you should have no trouble finding a home inspector who can meet or exceed your expectations.
Don't forget to rely on your real estate agent for support as you search for a qualified home inspector. Your real estate agent may be able to recommend home inspectors in your area and help take the guesswork out of discovering the ideal home inspector so you can finalize your house purchase.
Is it better to rent or buy? There is no simple answer to the question, yet it’s something we all ask ourselves at some point in our adult lives.
When you ask yourself this question, you’re not just determining whether it’s more affordable to buy or rent. Rather, you’re answering questions about what your life will look like in the coming years--in terms of both lifestyle and location.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the issue of buying vs renting. We’ll talk about ways you can educate yourself to make the most informed decision possible. After all, whether you’re buying a home or signing a lease, this is a decision that will affect a large amount of your time and dictate at least the next year of your life.
Before you start thinking about mortgages and leases, it’s a good idea to get an idea of the market. Specifically, you’ll want to look at the cost of living for the area you plan on moving to. It may seem like common sense that the cost of apartments and houses will rise and fall at the same rate, but evidence points to the contrary.
Elements that are out of your control could be things like:
Property tax amounts
Inflation and cost of living changes (gas, utilities, etc.)
Stock market variations, which affect your investments
Real estate market changes
Income changes (job change or loss)
As you can see already, these outside influences have the potential to make a huge impact on whether it makes more sense to rent or buy.
Let’s say you decided to rent a home and put the money you would have used for a down payment into an investment fund. You have a good year and earn 5% on your investments. At the same time, the price of homes as gone down significantly in the area you hope to move.
As you can see, in this scenario it would probably make sense to pay rent for a year before buying a home.
Out-of-pocket expenses and equity
One of the biggest advantages of owning a home is that by definition, if you are making sufficient and timely mortgage payments, you are earning equity. Equity can be used later to make a down payment on a larger home, or for selling to use toward retirement funds later in life.
On the other hand, renting is an out-of-pocket cost that comes at a loss. Once you pay rent, there is no getting it back to use later on.
It may seem like buying is the obvious solution, then. However, there are also many out-of-pocket costs for owning a home. Property taxes, insurance, and interest paid to your lender are all things that you can’t recuperate.
Finding out whether it’s cheaper to buy or rent will come down to balancing those factors, and weighing them against the odds of the real estate market.
When you find a home you love, you most likely will want to take the steps you can to buy it. When a home is already under contract, there’s actually a little-known strategy that can be used to help you have a chance at getting the property.
When you make a backup offer, you’re doing all of the same things you’d do under normal circumstances. The only difference between a normal offer and a backup offer is that you’re not guaranteed to get the home. The first deal needs to fall through in order for you to have a shot.
Advantages To Backup Offers
The backup offer is a bit of a stretch, but it still does give you a little bit of a chance to get a home. When a backup offer is in place, the home won’t just go back on the market if something falls through. This is especially smart when it comes to lower inventory markets. When a home is re-listed, you’ll need to compete against other buyers. If a bidding war is initiated, the home’s price will keep going up. The backup offer being in place helps the seller to feel secure in the sale of their home one way or another. If for any reason the first buyer falls through, you’ll be able to swoop in and get the home yourself.
Timing Is Everything
Keep in mind that there’s a certain period of time before a deal needs to be closed on for a home. The original buyer will need to close the deal on the home in an average of 50 days. Knowing the time frame that you’ll need to wait around for a decision is helpful for you in your own search for a home.
You can also have your agent check in with the listing agent for the property on a frequent basis. This lets the agent ad seller know that you have a keen interest in the property in case there are any difficulties coming from the other side of the deal.
If The First Deal Doesn’t Go Through
If the first deal on a home does fall through, you’re not the new owner of the home just yet. There’s always a possibility that the first buyers found some very difficult problems with the home during the inspection. These could be big issues like an issue with the roof or the foundation of the home. Be sure to include a home inspection contingency with your contract so that you can have your own inspection conducted. This way, you’ll know if there are any problems with the home and that you will be able to deal with them.
A backup offer can be a great tool to use in tight markets to help you get a home that you love. It’s always a good idea to proceed with caution in any home deal to make a sound financial decision.