Sumathi Narayanan Realty's Blog
A home inspection often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. If an inspection shows that there are no underlying problems with a house, you should have no trouble moving forward with a home purchase. On the other hand, if an inspection reveals a variety of structural problems with a house, you may need to reconsider your purchase decision.
Ultimately, a homebuyer who knows what to expect during a home inspection can plan accordingly. This buyer also may be better equipped than others to accept the results of an inspection and make an informed choice about whether to move forward with a home purchase.
What does it take to achieve the best-possible results during a home inspection? To find out, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can prep for a house inspection.
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
There is no shortage of home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. However, employing an expert home inspector will require you to conduct an in-depth search.
When it comes to finding an expert home inspector, it pays to search far and wide. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of identifying major and minor house issues during an inspection.
2. Assess Every Area of a House
Oftentimes, a home inspection takes several hours to complete, and for good reason. In order to fully evaluate a residence, you'll want to be diligent. That way, you can minimize the risk of missing potential problems as you perform a home assessment.
As you walk through your house with an inspector, don't hesitate to ask questions too. In fact, a home inspector may be able to provide insights into home problems and repairs that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help you find your dream house, as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, this housing market professional likely will walk through a house with you during an inspection to ensure you can get the support you need to make an informed homebuying decision.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to consult with you before and after a home inspection. Prior to an inspection, a real estate agent will help you put together a plan to assess a house. Meanwhile, after an inspection, a real estate agent can discuss the inspection results with you and help you determine the best course of action.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. This housing market professional can help you streamline your search for your dream house, submit a competitive offer on a residence and ensure you can purchase a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
A home inspection may seem daunting at first. Luckily, if you plan ahead for a home inspection, you can use the assessment to gain the insights that you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
Whether you plan on selling your house in the next few years, or if you just want to make some much needed updates to your home, renovations can be a great way to increase the value of your property.
However, not all updates will pay for themselves. Some upgrades that we want for personal reasons, such as building an addition for more space, could come back to haunt you if it isn’t to the taste of potential homebuyers in the future.
So, in this article, we’re going to talk about five simple updates to your home that have the best chance of increasing its selling price. That way, when you do finally decide to move on from your home, you can sell for the price you know your home is worth.
Improve your lighting
You don’t have to be a carpenter to increase the value of your home. When a potential buyer enters your home for the first time, two of the first things they’ll notice are the lighting and the spaciousness of the room.
Since lighting is an essential part of creating spaciousness, increasing the former will also increase the latter.
So, what are some ways you can increase lighting?
Add recessed lights to the ceilings of your home. It will open up space in the ceiling and allow for a greater number of lights overall.
Add lighting under the cabinets in your kitchen
Use large mirrors for decoration to increase lighting and create the illusion of spaciousness in smaller rooms
Painting for the modern homeowner
Home decor trends come and go. Not long ago, wallpaper was the go-to choice. However, the surest way to increase the value of your home is to use bright and neutral colors since, statistically, these appeal to the largest number of people.
Fresh paint and good lighting work together to make your home seem more polished and modern. And, for just a few hundred dollars, you can paint your whole home.
Remember, however, that it is easy to scuff up the walls in your home. So, it’s a good idea to paint closer to the date you think you’ll be trying to sell.
Low maintenance landscaping
While there are people who enjoy mowing the lawn on Saturday morning, those people tend to be few and far between. One thing potential buyers will consider when viewing your home is how difficult it will be to take care of the yard.
Adding an irrigation system, removing unnecessary obstacles, and planting hardy bushes and plants will woo potential buyers.
Upgrade the most outdated room in your home
If your home is in need of serious upgrades, it’s best to start with the room that needs it the most, especially if that room is a bathroom or kitchen. Replacing an old vanity or putting new tile down can be simple ways to spruce up a bathroom that’s looking dated.
Fix the little things
If you have a couple of years before you plan to sell, that gives you time to fix the small issues that you’ve noticed and will continue to notice. Maintaining your home now will give you less to worry about when the time comes to sell, and you don’t want to be dealing with leaking faucets when that day arrives.
Everyone defines the term "quality of life" differently, but if you asked 100 people, you'd probably hear a lot of similar answers.
According to a Gallup study entitled "The State of American Well-Being," the basis for a good quality of life includes having a sense of purpose, feeling good about what you do every day, having supportive relationships, being motivated to achieve your goals, being able to effectively manage your finances, having the energy and health to pursue your interests, and sharing a sense of community pride. Feeling safe and liking where you live were also key ingredients in the formula for a high quality of life .
The Gallup/Sharecare report focuses on several aspects of community life, such as the role local governments play in offering amenities and resources to citizens. The study concluded that "communities that invest in active living, including bike paths, parks, walkability and public transit, have residents with better health and well-being outcomes."
While factors such as the quality of school districts and low crime rates are often foremost in the minds of house hunters, there's also a lot to be said for communities that offer public recreational facilities, educational programs, cultural events, and services that promote health, safety, and a clean environment.
Advantages that can help make one community more desirable and family friendly than another can range from free outdoor concerts and public tennis courts to the availability of farmers' markets and clean, updated playgrounds. Other features which can positively impact the quality of life in a community include well-maintained roads and bridges, the availability of dog parks, community parades, and programs to encourage the proper disposal of drugs, electronics, household chemicals, and recyclable products.
At the neighborhood level, quality of life is often measured by factors like noise, the condition of nearby properties, the overall safety and security of the area, and the amount of street traffic. Clean air, mature trees, and friendly neighbors can also contribute to a wholesome living environment that can be enjoyed for generations.
While there are many advantages to designing your own home or buying new construction, one might need to make short-term sacrifices when it comes to things like noise, neighborhood aesthetics, and other temporary inconveniences. Your real estate agent or home builder can probably fill you in on things like construction timetables and project completion dates.
If you're in the market for a new home, it's always a good idea to clarify in your own mind what you and your family needs to feel comfortable, happy, and secure. Creating a priority list of needs, desires, and preferences not only helps you stay focused in your real estate search, but also increases the probability that you'll be satisfied with your new home on a long-term basis.
When your pocketbook determines you can’t afford a new, energy-efficient home, you can still satisfy your preferences by upgrading an older house. Try these options for improving energy efficiency in your home.
Apply for the FHA’s Energy-Efficient Mortgage program. With an EEM, you can finance an already energy-efficient home or use funds for certified home improvements that promote responsible energy use. Contact your lender to see if your state participates in this federal program.
Ask your utility provider for an energy audit. Most utilities offer this as a free service to customers. They’ll check for leakage around doors and windows, outlets and vent pipes and make suggestions for improvement, repair or replacement.
Have your home inspector check your attic spaces. You'll gain knowledge about how deep your insulation should be to keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and air conditioning, ductwork, and airflow. If your ducts need cleaning, employ a service to handle that. Not only will you have improved circulation, but you'll also reduce allergens, and lower your energy costs.
Trade out traditional toilets for low-flow models. Add aerators and flow restrictors to faucets and showerheads to reduce water consumption.
Install solar-operated power vents to your attic to expel heat in the summer. Consider a solar-powered water heater too. And, if your roof can handle it, install solar panels to boost your electrical power. Many states offer rebates for solar panel installation, so check to see what’s available in your area.
Install a programmable thermostat to help you conserve energy when you are away from home.
If you have a larger improvement budget, consider big-ticket items such as a geothermal heat pump, a residential wind turbine, or a fuel cell. You’ll find that on-going tax credits for these items can save you money over the years. If your municipal codes allow it, add a roof garden or mini-ecosystem to cover your existing roof. These systems retain moisture and insulate your home from heat or cold.
Your property specialist can help you determine which homes lend themselves to these upgrades. They'll introduce you to mortgage lenders that specialize in energy-efficient loan products.
One of the biggest benefits to buying a home is that of the tax savings for you. You own a home now, so there’s no more monthly rental payments going out the window. All of your mortgage payments are going towards your financial future. There’s many different types of tax breaks that you can get from owning your home. Many home improvement projects that allow you an extra tax break are hiding right in the fine print! Tax breaks are known as “incentives.” These incentives are essentially what help people to get important things in their homes done without having a order placed on them. There are some hidden things that you may not have known could be used as tax write-offs.
From putting solar panels on your home to replacing appliances, there are certain tax breaks that you can get for making your home more energy efficient. There are lifetime caps on these deductions, but on a certain year, you’ll be able to save some extra money on your taxes. Some of the deductions that you might be able to claim include:
- Air-source heat pumps
- Biomass stoves
- Central AC units
- Water heaters
- Certain energy-generation systems which include an array of things like water heaters, solar panels, fuel cell systems, wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps.
You can deduct somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% of the cost of these improvements to your home. It doesn’t hurt to check on the updated standards that are introduced each year by the government. Your accountant can help you to understand your own deductions a bit more in-depth.
Modifying Your Home For Medical Needs
If you need to modify your home in order to accommodate medical needs, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. The modifications must not increase the value of your home and be medically necessary. If the doctor tells you to lose weight and you put in a home gym, you can’t deduct that. If you need a ramp put in your home for wheelchair accessibility, then that can be deducted. The cost of the modifications generally has to exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, or 7.5% if you’re over the age of 65.
What’s Not Deductible
If you have done some major remodeling around your home, it’s sad to say that these improvements probably aren’t tax deductible. On the positive side, you will get a bigger return on your home when you do decide to sell it. This could help you to reduce any capital gains tax that you may have to pay on the sale of the home.
Remember that when you make improvements to your home, you’re doing it first for your own needs. Any tax write-offs that you may get are merely a bonus.