What You Should Expect When Getting Your Home Inspected

Typically, mortgage lenders require a home inspection to protect their investments, but even cash buyers are best served by scheduling an inspection. While an inspection won’t detail every problem with a home, it will outline any major issues that could affect the buyer’s ability to use the property. This guide will help you prepare for this part in the home buying process.

You Should Take the Time to Attend the Inspection

The time it will take to inspect the home will vary, depending on the size and condition of the home, but you should expect the process to take a minimum of two to four hours. While you’re not required to be there for the home inspection, it’s in your best interest to join the inspector. Being present will help you see specific areas that are mentioned in the final report and allow you to ask questions about the inspector’s concerns.

What Does the Home Inspection Involve?

A home inspection will only look at major components that affect the home’s livability. This includes determining the condition of the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems. The inspector will also look at the condition of the roof, walls, ceilings, and floors, particularly watching for signs of water, mold, and pest damages. The windows, doors, foundation, and basement will also be evaluated as a routine part of the inspection. Overall, the inspector will look for structural defects that could require significant repairs.

Be Prepared to Pay For a Home Inspection

While a seller may hire a home inspector and pay for the inspection ahead of listing the home for sale, buyers usually pay for the inspection as a part of the closing expenses. If you are buying a home, you should be aware that the average home inspection runs between $277 and $388. Obviously, inspections of smaller homes and those in better condition will cost less, while larger or older homes will cost more to inspect.

A home inspection is a necessary part of the home buying process that can help ensure you’re buying a property that’s in good condition. As this overview suggests, the inspection will help you identify problems with the home that may not be apparent to the current owner. In this way, the home inspection ensures you know exactly what your investment is worth.


This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.org

3 Ways Smart Homes Impact Real Estate

According to one survey, 47% of people between 18 and 34 own smart home products. But just because millennials are the most likely to incorporate smart devices into their homes doesn’t mean that other generations don’t use them. For example, baby boomers love using voice commands to activate AI assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Even seniors can benefit from smart homes that enable them to live independently for longer. But the real impact smart homes have may be on real estate.

Smart Homes Sell For More

Smart home devices increase the value of a home, up to 5% more than “dumb” houses in the same neighborhood, which means sellers stand to make a more significant profit if they spend a bit of time making a home smarter. But why is this a trend? Potential buyers are attracted to the convenience, safety, and future savings that smart homes provide, even if it’s a greater investment in the present.

Smart Homes Sell More Quickly

While no one can predict precisely how long it will take a home to sell, some factors can shorten sale time. Aside from location, condition, and price, features play an essential role in how long a house is on the market. Smart devices certainly count as alluring features that will help a home sell faster.

Smart Homes Attract Tomorrow’s Buyers

Even if homeowners have no plans to sell in the near future, they’ll do well to remember that more millennials will be entering the housing market in the future. And almost half of that demographic already uses smart home devices. Homes that do not include those devices won’t be as attractive to those futures buyers.

Smart home technology may still be developing, but there are already several options for homeowners and sellers to consider. Consider the following.

  • Smart thermostats can be controlled from a variety of mobile devices and can be programmed to turn on the heat only when people will be home, promising comfort and cost savings.
  • Smart home security options include cameras, locks, sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors, all of which can alert homeowners when necessary.
  • Smart lighting is ambient and convenient and can even save homeowners money.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.org

Buying a Dog’s House: How Pets Influence Real Estate Purchases

People love their pets. One study by the National Association of Realtors found that 99% of pet owners view their pets as part of the family. Most of them take their pets into consideration when choosing a place to live and more than half renovated their homes for their pets. Animals simply have a huge impact on the choices that consumers make in the real estate market.

Demand for Pet-Friendly Housing is High

Pets are extremely popular in the modern world, so much so that more households have pets than children. That means that many people who are looking for homes are trying to find places that can accommodate their animals. Houses and apartments that offer pet-friendly amenities, such as big yards or fences, are particularly appealing. Homes that are close to veterinary clinics, parks, or other pet-friendly attractions can use those amenities as a selling point.

Investors also love pet-friendly housing. Apartments that accept pets tend to be more profitable than those that ban animals. Sellers can also raise the value of a property by renovating it to be more appealing to pet owners. Those amenities can also make it much easier to find someone to buy or rent a property. Many landlords are reluctant to accept pets, so those who do accommodate animals face relatively little competition in many markets.

Popular Improvements

Pet owners and investors alike can benefit from renovation projects. Fencing projects are among the most popular, but far from the only option. Pets tend to be messy, so they benefit from replacing carpets with laminate flooring to simplify maintenance. Smaller changes, such as installing bathroom fixtures that are appropriate for cleaning animals, can also make a big difference.

The Bottom Line for Investors

Modern homes need to meet the needs of both their human inhabitants and a variety of pets. They should be safe and comfortable for as many different species as possible. Investors and builders who make a point of accommodating pet owners are likely to do better than those who ignore the needs of cats, dogs, and other species. Just a little bit of extra effort can lead to higher profits for investors and a lifetime of joy for pet owners.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net

Four Vital Skills for Every Real Estate Investor

Real estate investing is not for the faint of heart. While it does offer the opportunity for a good return on investment, it also offers some risk. On the other hand, skilled investors can control that risk. There are a few things that every real estate investor should learn to make sure they can come out on top.

Knowledge and Research Skills

Knowledge is power, and power offers the potential to turn a profit. Real estate investors need to understand a huge variety of fields in order to excel. They need to know about investment strategies, their markets of choice, and how to assess a potential investment. The best investors never stop learning. They also understand how to conduct research, which ensures that they can study up on new markets as they appear.

Negotiation and Social Skills

Social skills are also vital for investors. They need to know how to strike a good deal to buy and sell their properties. It is also vital to practice networking. After all, the best way to hear about a new opportunity is to stay in touch with other professionals.

Emotional Control

Even the smartest, most experienced people make mistakes when they get flustered or frustrated. That often happens with inexperienced investors who experience a downturn or fail to close a deal. The best investors learn to control their emotions so they can take those setbacks without making any more mistakes. That can be the difference between solving a problem and turning it into a catastrophe.

Learning from Mistakes

No investor has a perfect record. Mistakes are simply a part of life. Every real estate investor will make a bad deal and lose some money from time to time. Even the best people in the field make the occasional mistake.

The ability to learn from those mistakes separates those top investors from the rest of the pack. They take the time to go over their records and figure out where they went wrong. They might have acted with insufficient information, or they may have hesitated too much instead of acting. Once they discover their error, they make an effort to avoid repeating it in the future. That can be hard to do, but it really is one of the most important skills for any real estate investor.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.org