Elisa Spence Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Photo by Michal Jarmoluk via Pixabay

Most buyers understand the importance of getting a home inspection before purchasing a property. But did you know that some sellers are also opting to invest in a pre-inspection? These savvy homeowners realize that a pre-inspection can be a very helpful tool when it comes time to market their houses. If you're thinking about putting your property on the market, you might want to consider following their lead. The following are four ways that a pre-home inspection could benefit you during the sale of your house.

To Avoid Surprises

Imagine this scenario: You thought that your house was as good as sold, but then the buyer's home inspection reveals a major defect. The problem is worrisome enough that your buyer decides to back out of their sales contract. Now, you're having to put your house back on the market. If you had opted for a pre-inspection, chances are high that your inspector would have discovered the defect and you could have addressed it before listing your property.

Could Help with Your Sales Budget

Getting a pre-inspection report can also help you determine the best way to spend your money while readying your house for the market. For example, you may be thinking of paying to professionally stage your home. But if a pre-inspection turns up several defects that could impede the sale of your house, it would make more sense to channel your money towards necessary repairs.

To Save Money on Repairs

Buyers often add a clause in their sales contract that requires any issues discovered during their home inspection -- even minor ones -- to be repaired by a professional contractor. This can often be unnecessarily expensive. A running toilet, for instance, discovered during a pre-inspection can usually be fixed easily, cheaply and satisfactorily to code by a handyman or even by the homeowner. But a buyer may require the seller to use a plumbing contractor to fix the very same problem if it is written up in their home inspector's report.

Help You Determine Your Sales Price

A pre-inspection report can also provide you and your agent with important information that can help you to accurately price your property. If, for example, your house has some minor issues, such as an aging roof, that you don't want to fix, you can decide to price your home accordingly.

Cons

While there are many positive reasons for having a pre-inspection performed on your home, there are some cons, too, including:

  • A pre-inspection typically costs several hundred dollars
  • You may be obligated to disclose any defects discovered during the pre-inspection to potential buyers

If you're thinking about selling or buying a home, contact me. I would love to talk to you about my services and how I can help you better navigate the home buying or selling process.


If you’re buying your first home, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to know. Being informed will allow you to avoid some of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make. These errors and their remedies can be found below. Don't join the crowd and make an error, know before you buy. 


They Don’t Have Enough Funds


Every homebuyer plans for mortgage payments. Not every buyer plans for all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Just because you can afford mortgage payments doesn't necessarily mean that you can afford the house. 


There’s so much financially that goes into owning a home. You’ll need to plan for things like home maintenance, insurance, taxes, closing costs, and more. All of this will need to be saved ahead of time in order to buy and maintain a house. Things like property tax and insurance can go up yearly, and these costs can be very unexpected. 


Not Securing A Loan


If you don’t secure a loan first and find the home of your dreams, you could be in for trouble. If you haven’t been pre-approved for a mortgage, finding a home and putting an offer in is a bit riskier. Many buyers don’t realize that they can’t qualify for the amount of loan that they think they can. Getting pre-qualified allows buyers to understand just how much house they can afford. 


Avoiding Real Estate Agents


If buyers go it alone, they are taking a risk. The seller pays the real estate agent fees in a home transaction. You really have nothing to lose getting a professional to help you. From there, your agent can recommend all sorts of professionals to assist you in your home search including lawyers, mortgage companies, home inspectors, and others. It’s essential for a smooth home transaction to work with people who are experienced and know what they’re doing.    



Depleting Your Savings


When you buy your first home, you’re going to need a reserve of cash beyond what you have saved for a downpayment. This cash includes an emergency fund, money for repairs, furniture, new appliances, and other unexpected expenses. If you use all of your savings on a downpayment, you’ll be in a dangerous financial situation. Just make sure you have saved enough extra for a rainy day fund.


Opening New Accounts


Before your loan is closed, you should be frozen- financially frozen that is! Don’t open any new accounts. It can be tempting to head out and buy a new car that will look good in your new driveway or to fill your house with all sorts of brand new furniture, but you should wait. Once you get the keys to your new home, you’re in the clear to spend again and open new accounts. You don’t want to overextend your budget of course. Just be sensible!      



Looking to add your home to the real estate market sooner rather than later? Ultimately, you'll want to look beyond the potential price of your residence as you get your house ready for the real estate market.

For home sellers, price is one of several factors to consider before they list their houses. In fact, some of the top home selling factors to evaluate beyond price include:

1. A Home's Location

A home's location may dictate how quickly you're able to sell your residence. And if you understand the benefits associated with your house's location, you should have no trouble promoting your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.

For example, a home that is located near a big city may prove to be an ideal choice for those who work in the city. On the other hand, a house that is located near top schools could prove to be an ideal option for families.

2. A Home's Condition

Although you've tried to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years, you may still be uncertain about how your residence will stack up against other houses in a competitive real estate market.

Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you take an in-depth look at your house's condition and map out your home selling journey.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence. The appraisal may take several hours to complete, as a property inspector will investigate your house's interior and exterior.

When a home appraisal is finished, a property inspector will provide you with a detailed report that describes his or her findings. Then, you can use the home insights contained within this report to prioritize myriad home improvements.

With a home appraisal, you can gain deep insights into your house's condition. That way, you can better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses prior to adding your home to the housing market.

3. The Current State of the Housing Market

The current state of the housing market may impact your ability to sell your house, and for good reason.

For instance, if you're operating in a seller's market, there may be an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. This means there will be high demand for the best residences, and you may attract plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Let's not forget about a buyer's market, either. In a buyer's market, there are many home sellers and few homebuyers. Therefore, a home seller may need to allocate significant time and resources to stir up interest in his or her property.

For those who are unsure about how to navigate a seller's or buyer's market, hiring a real estate agent usually is an excellent idea. A real estate agent can teach you about the current state of the housing market so that you can get the best results possible during the home selling journey.

Look beyond price before you list your residence, and by doing so, you can boost your chances of a fast home sale.


There are many benefits to installing a security system in your home. It gives you a sense security and safety for you and your family. You’ll be able to be away from your home for both short and long periods with a peace of mind. The one choice you’ll need to make is the type of security system that you want to be installed in your home. Some alarms are manned by commandoes while others have much more simplistic designs.   


While some systems are installed by a professional, others are easier to install and can be done with a DIY approach. Remember that you can always start small and install a more complicated system as time goes on. You don’t even need to know how to use a drill or have any kind of technical expertise for most DIY install security systems. Below, you’ll find the basic steps that you should know before you install a home security system.


Basic Components In Your Home Security Package


  • The main panel complete with keypad
  • Sensors
  • Motion detectors


These are the basic things that will come with every home security system no matter how simple or fancy you get in your alarm system selection. The number of sensors that you need will depend on the number of doors and windows that are in your home. It also is based on your own personal preference. Remember that these sensors will be activated every time a door or window is opened when they are installed in your home. 

 

Install The Security Panel


Security panels are often wireless and should be placed near a power source to plug the panel in. These should also have a backup battery of some sorts. You can either place a nail on the wall or put an adhesive on the back of the panel. It’s really that simple to put the panel up!


Install The Sensors In Your Home


Security systems will come with door and window sensors and possibly along with some motion detectors. They will be placed with a moveable adhesive for your convenience. Every security system will come along with instructions for the optimum locations to place these sensors in. 


Test Your System


Once you have completed the above steps, you’ll need to test your system to ensure that it has been properly activated and that everything is working properly. The specific system that you’re installing should also come along with some instructions for testing purposes. 


While DIY home security systems seem fairly simple, they aren’t for everyone. Some homeowners prefer more complex systems to suit their needs. If a professional installation is for you, you should avoid self-install security systems altogether.    


 


Photo by Pushok via Pixabay

Do you buy plants for your home – just to find them shriveled up and browning just a few short days later? You may be purchasing plants that require too much care – or that are known for being tricky to keep alive.

Whether you’ve been cursed with a black thumb, have a busy schedule (that barely allows time to care for yourself, let alone plants) or are simply new to house plants, the following varieties may serve you best.

5 Plants that are Tough to Kill

Jade Plant: This emerald beauty looks stunning in just about any planter and is ideal for a desktop or tabletop. It is also nearly impossible to kill with neglect. The jade plant grows so well that simply poking a cutting of it into the soil will result in a new plant.

Air Plants: They don’t need dirt to survive – and need only occasional mists of water. If your plants die because you are too busy to care for them (or you simply forget about them) consider trying some air plants instead. These small beauties are particularly fun to work with, too. Tiny, artisanal pods, planters and baskets designed specifically for air plants can be found from a variety of vendors and make unique home accents.

Barrel Cactus: Most succulents are tough to kill, but this variety is particularly hardy. Round with large spikes, a barrel cactus stores water so it does not need to be cared for often at all. It also has natural defenses against pets and other plant predators, those spikes make it difficult and uncomfortable to pick up, but don’t cause lasting damage. Shallow roots make this one easy to transplant as it grows and ensure it can thrive even if left unpotted for days.

Aloe: This fast-growing, low care beauty has some medicinal properties, too. Just snap off a stem to treat sunburn or other mild burns. While aloe is incredibly easy to grow and care for, it is toxic to pets, so try this one as an office plant if you have pets at home. Short of setting it on fire, you can’t kill this one.

Spider Plant: This is a houseplant staple, and it is easy to see why. Spider plants are powerful air purifiers, very difficult to kill and even produce their own offspring. You can forget to water this one for days at a time (weeks in cooler weather) and it will not only survive, but grow and thrive. Spider plants are inexpensive and available pretty much anywhere plants are sold, so this is a solid choice if you are new to houseplants or have a few victims to show for your plant growing efforts.

Choosing one of these varieties can make it easier for you to enjoy the benefits of having houseplants, without the guilt that comes from throwing away another shriveled, dried up victim.




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