I hope you all had an AMAZING Labor Day weekend and last hurrah of summer! The big move is this coming Thursday for us, and it’s taking up pretty much all my time. That said, since I’m going to be out of commission for most of this week and probably some of next while we move and get settled, I wanted to line up some fun things for you guys while I’m out! Since this is my first experience with home ownership, I asked a few of my favorite bloggers (who are also homeowners) to share their experiences with you.
I know you guys are ITCHING to hear from me about our new house, and I promise you it’ll come. In the meantime, please take a read on what these wonderful ladies have to say – they’re all women whose blogs I thoroughly look forward to reading each day. (And I’m not just saying that. Seriously.) We’re starting out with Christine, who is a real estate agent, so she has a bit of a different view. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! I’m Christine from The So-Called Homemaker! I’m so excited to be a part of this series with Jess, because I think buying a home and being a homeowner are two very scary things, but with the right information you can be extremely successful! As a licensed real estate agent, I wanted to offer some insight on picking a home…or more specifically, NOT picking a home.
First of all, my most important piece of advice. Get every kind of home inspection that you can. If you think you’re being too careful, you’re not. I know it may not seem like fun to pay for all those inspections, but if they find something major, you will be so glad you did. The “big three” as I can them are a whole home inspection (required by most banks for a loan), a termite inspection, and a septic tank inspection (if applicable). Now, most sellers are willing to pay for a termite letter, which is a letter from a termite company stating that there is no current termite activity in the home. But if the seller is not willing to pay for it, have it done yourself.
Once you’ve gotten all the inspection reports back, it’s time to decide if you’re willing to deal with any problems that a house has. Of course, everybody has different things that they’re willing to work with, but here is my list of things that I advise my clients to not deal with.
Termites. Current termite activity is expensive to deal with, and can be dangerous. And oftentimes when a home has had termites before, it will have it again, since termites are drawn to certain kinds of houses.
Water damage. Water damage is a no-go for me for two reasons: it attracts termites, and it causes mold. I call myself the mold detector because I’m very sensitive to it so walking into a home with mold will cause my head and throat to ache almost immediately. Mold is extremely hard and expensive to get rid of, and can be extremely dangerous to your family.
Septic tank issues. Depending on the issue, a septic tank problem is not necessarily a deal breaker. Some things can be dome more cheaply than others. But when it comes to replacing the field lines or the whole system, I would steer clear.
Electrical issues. Again, this is not necessarily a deal breaker depending on the issue. If your normal home inspector finds electrical problems, it may be a good idea to bring in an electrical expert to determine how serious they are. Faulty wiring, a bad breaker box, and an improper connection to the lines at the street are obviously very dangerous and can also be very expensive to fix.
I hope these tips come in handy to some of you while you search for a home. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!