Our Real Estate Blog
As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.
23 Beech Street, Franklin, NH 03235
Owning a home is one of the biggest financial undertakings that you’ll ever have. There are some benefits to owning a home. Many of these benefits come each April when we file our taxes. There are a few very commonly overlooked tax breaks that homeowners have the chance to claim as deductions that you might not be taking advantage of.
There’s many different tax breaks that are available on a state-by-state basis based on green improvements that have been made to a home. Rates vary, but can save you a significant amount on your taxes. Aside from the money that you’re already saving on utility bills, the solar panels that you have installed, the low-flow toilet you put in, or the new efficient windows that you replaced can really save you some significant money. Check with your tax preparer for specific details on the savings that you can have from your state and even city or town based on these home improvements.
Mortgage Interest Tax Savings
This tax break is one of the biggest motivators for people to take the leap into homeownership. Since you have the ability to write off a significant amount of mortgage debt, in some cases 1 million dollars, it makes renting look less and less attractive. To take advantage of this deduction, however, you’ll need to itemize your deductions. This is not something many taxpayers actually do. If you want to take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and the property tax deduction, you’ll need to start itemizing each and every tax deduction that you have.
For many people, itemizing the deductions won’t even add up. This is why many people avoid it altogether. For people in this situation, it may make more sense to take the standard deduction. If you are eligible to itemize, however, as a homeowner, you definitely should take advantage of these benefits.
Interest On Home Improvement Loans
If you have recently taken out a loan to do some major work around your home, the interest on this loan could be tax deductible. While many loans that may be greater than 100% of the property value aren’t eligible for tax deductions, up to $100,000 of your debt on a home improvement loan can be tax deductible.
Private Mortgage Insurance
You may be eligible to deduct your PMI premiums from your taxes. The amount of deduction that you can claim is dependent on your AGI (adjusted Gross Income) and may be less if that number is above $100,000.
If you’re a homeowner and feel that you haven’t been taking advantage of all of the tax breaks that are available to you, it’s important that you get more information on how to get these benefits.
A home inspection enables a buyer to examine a residence and identify any underlying structural issues. Plus, the assessment allows a buyer to receive a report that details a home inspector's findings to help him or her determine how to proceed in the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, it helps to prepare as much as possible before you conduct a home inspection. If you allocate time and resources to get ready for a home inspection, you'll be better equipped than ever before to achieve the best-possible inspection results.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a home inspection.
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
There is no shortage of home inspectors for hire in cities and towns nationwide. However, differentiating an average home inspector from an expert one can be difficult.
When it comes to getting ready for a home inspection, it pays to hire an expert to assess a residence both inside and out. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can learn about myriad home problems before you finalize a house purchase.
To find an expert home inspector, it helps to reach out to home inspectors in your area. Learn about each home inspector's expertise and ask for client referrals. After you perform an extensive evaluation of home inspectors, you can hire an expert home inspector to assess any residence, at any time.
2. Develop a Game Plan
If you want to achieve the optimal results during a home inspection, it helps to enter the inspection with a plan in hand. That way, you can evaluate all aspects of a residence and improve your chances of identifying both minor and major home issues.
Ensure your home inspection plan includes assessments of a house's interior and exterior, as well as a residence's attic, basement and roof. Also, you should test a home's heating and cooling system during an inspection.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A home inspection may prove to be difficult if you fail to plan accordingly. Luckily, if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to maximize the value of a home inspection.
Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. Once a seller accepts your offer on a home, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home inspectors in your area. Then, you, your real estate agent and your home inspector can work together to perform a successful home evaluation.
A real estate agent will provide plenty of assistance after a home inspection too. And if you are uncertain about how to proceed with a house after an inspection, a real estate agent can offer recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
Want to take the guesswork out of a home inspection? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare for an upcoming home inspection.