Friday, July 30, 2010

Pre-Settlement Walk-Through

Final Walk-Through Tips

There will come a time during your home buying process when you'll need to do a final walk-through of the home before closing.
Around a week before you close, take the time to visit your "new" home again. When you're there, check to be sure that the terms of your contract have been met, and that the condition of the property has not changed significantly since talks began.
As your reference guide, be sure to bring your purchase contract with you for this walk-through. This will help you look for little details, without having to remember each item.
What are things you should be on the lookout for?
1. Major appliances: Be sure that any items that were to remain in the home are still there, and that they are in good working order.
2. Major systems: Do the air conditioning, heat, and plumbing still function?
3. Walls and floors: Has any damage occurred to the floors or walls during the sellers move? Were rugs, artwork, or carpets covering water damage that was not disclosed?
4. Repairs: As part of your purchase contract, the seller may have been required to make specific repairs. Be sure that these have been completed, or that the seller has a written timeline for when the repairs will be done.
5. Screens and Storm Windows: If it is the season for these items to be in storage, be sure they have been left behind and that they are in good shape.
6. Remotes: Garage doors, alarms, sound systems, and the like all use remotes, some of which can be very expensive. If any of these components were part of your agreement, be sure they have been kept with the house.
7. Cleanliness: The home should have been cleaned and all debris removed. You don't want to spend the first week living in your new home cleaning up other people's junk.
8. Landscaping: It may seem ridiculous, but yes, some sellers may try to run off with your shrubs and plants. Refer back to your contract to see what should have stayed. If plants were taken, let your agent handle the situation.
9. Fixtures: Light fixtures, curtains, and other items that were agreed upon should still be in the home. If they are not, let your agent address the conflict.
10. Exterior: Has there been any damage to the home since your inspection or first visit? If there have been storm with high winds or hail, be sure to visually inspect the exterior of the house for damage. Once you have signed on that dotted line, the house is yours. Hail damage and all.
Closing time can be very hectic. Be sure to make time for your final walk-through. It's a smart way to bring to completion a long, but joyous, process.

© Copyright 2010 Realty Times.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Does Moving Up Make Sense?

Does Moving Up Make Sense?

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.

1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.

2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.

3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.

4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.

5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.

6. Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.