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

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

Tips To Help You Stage A Home

Most realtors recognize that staging a home can encourage buyers to put in an offer more quickly and even offer a higher price than they would on an unstaged home. Sellers can use these tricks to stage their homes without hiring a professional.


If you don’t have the time or money to stage your entire home, focus on the rooms that are the most important first. What are the most important rooms? The living room, followed by the master bedroom and kitchen. Other bedrooms, offices, basements, and family rooms are less important.

Remove About Half Your Furniture

Removing furniture is one way to make your home seem bigger and more appealing to buyers. Of course, some furniture can stay, such as the living room sofa and potentially a table. But if your furniture is past its heyday, you’ll want to remove it (you’ll learn what to do with it just below) and rent furniture, which you can use while showing your home.

Store Items Offsite

Clutter removal is one of the most important aspects of staging your home, but some people make the mistake of moving their mementos and knickknacks to closets or the basement. However, those are areas that potential buyers will be sure to check out. It’s smarter to rent a storage unit or cube to store those things while showing your home. Without clutter, your home will seem roomier, and buyers will be able to envision themselves and their belongings their, not just yours.

Float Furniture

A classic staging trick is known as floating furniture. Pull your furniture a few inches away from the walls and anchor it with an area rug. Remember that this rug should be large enough that all of your furniture can comfortably fit on it. Floating furniture makes the room look big while creating a cozy space for living.

Brighten It Up

Any room looks more appealing when bright. Open all your blinds and curtains and turn on every light in the home, even those in bathrooms and closets. Consider cleaning or replacing lampshades and dusting lightbulbs and fixtures to produce the most light as well.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget about your home’s curb appeal either when it comes time to sell.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.org

Tips To Help You Boost The Value Of Your Home

Whether a house is recently purchased or has been lived in for a while, the fastest way to increase its value is with a plan. Upgrades made intentionally rather than on impulse are more effective overall. Start slowly, making a list and prioritizing. Do research or talk to realtors after the plan is formulated so that the return on these improvements can be discovered. Some improvements add more to a home’s value than others.

Redo the Kitchen

Buyers of all sorts have focused on the kitchen for a long time and it still holds sway over the most recent wave of new homeowners. A new suite of appliances, a new countertop, and fresh flooring, all result in a new look that is coordinated and invigorated from its past incarnation. A fresh coat of paint on cabinets or walls, with updated hardware, also breathes new life into a kitchen.

Enliven Floor Plans

Millennials wanted an updated kitchen first and foremost; an open floor plan that featured flexible living space was only second on their list of desired features. One means of adding usable square footage is by finishing a basement. Attic conversions are also an option. It is important to remember that a basement can cost between $10,000 and about $27,000 to convert, depending on its size, while an average attic conversion cost almost twice that.

Lower Energy Costs

Saving money currently and making more when selling the house down the line is always desirable, and this is achieved by lowering the home’s energy costs. Younger buyers look for R-Values on insulation and for windows that have low-E coatings, both of which are effective efficiency measures. Water heating is also important, as it accounts for 15% of a typical home’s energy costs.

Clean Things Up

While many means of boosting a home’s value involve redoing rooms and repurposing spaces, a simple step that can be overlooked is simply making things look fresh and new through a thorough cleaning. Wash the house, its windows, its walks and driveway, and its fence if there is one. Add fresh paint where necessary. Especially if a home is going on the market, making it look clean is a relatively easy means of increasing curb appeal.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net