How to Benefit from a Home Inspection

Buyers are often tempted to cut corners on things like home inspections to save money for fun items like furniture or a big-screen television. Don’t! A home inspection is one of the best investments you can make when purchasing a new home or other real estate.

Learn how to use a home inspection to your advantage with these pointers.

Plan and Prepare

Think of a home inspection as a fact-finding mission. Having a complete home inspection performed is one step toward finding out everything there is to know about the property.

Go beyond the basics by having water, soil, electrical, HVAC, pest and other systems thoroughly tested in addition to the regular home inspection. Hidden home defects often become apparent, including poorly performed repairs, forgotten faults, structural damage or other potential pitfalls, that could transform your dream home into a nightmare.

Avoid higher insurance premiums or more stringent mortgage terms by understanding the full history of the property.

Save Money

Almost every property has a few defects – even new homes – and buyers are often surprised how seemingly insignificant items can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the price of a home. Having an independent inspection performed often saves more money than it costs, since the sellers are forced to fix the problem or negotiate the price based upon the new information. Remember, once a defect is known the sellers are legally bound to disclose it to all prospective buyers.

Negotiate

Motivated sellers may not have the time or interest to fix all the problems on a property.

If you have more time than money, a home inspection provides a strong rationale to lower the purchase price or work out other alternatives while the home is being repaired or renovated.

Sellers: How to Make the Most of Your Homes Period Details

One of the major selling points of vintage homes is the attention to detail and fine craftsmanship only found in older houses. Learn how to make the most of the period details in your house to reap higher sales prices with these effective strategies:

Shine the Spotlight: Prepare your home in anticipation of taking plenty of photos. Pay attention to details and any unique features. If you have lived in your home for a while, ask friends or family to stop by and take a fresh look; it’s easy to forget how desirable your home is when you see it every day.

Provide Details: Was your house built with old yellow pine? Chances are it is virtually indestructible to most pests. What about the hardwood floors or gingerbread trim on the outside of the house? Any chance they are handmade? Cabinets, painted tiles and a variety of other common building materials have made a comeback in popularity. Take time to explain the history and benefits associated with each unique item of your home to prospective buyers. Not only does it set your home apart from the rest, but knowing the history helps buyers make that all-important emotional connection.

Appraise Items: If possible, hire an appraiser or perform a search for similar items to help demonstrate the inherent value of the items. For example, an old cast-iron tub in good condition can go for thousands; handmade lighting fixtures may range from a few hundred to thousands and many types of wood are not available at any price because of restrictions on harvesting and imports.