Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/4/2015

A home is a very big purchase in your life and one of the most important things you can do before you buy your new home. It can be difficult to find a qualified home inspector. You will want to make sure to do your homework before paying for a home inspection. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track and finding the right home inspector. Ask for opinions. Ask your friends and your real estate agent who they recommend who have had an inspection recently. You can also ask the inspector for references. Word of mouth is always a great way to find a reliable professional. Check with your lender Some lenders or loan types require a certain type of inspection. You will want to make sure your inspector qualifies and you obtain the necessary type of inspection. Ask what the inspection covers No two home inspections are the same so you will want to be sure to know what you are paying for. Ask questions like:

  • What systems are covered in the home inspection?
  • Are there some services that require an extra fee?
  • Ask for an example or outline of the inspection report.
  • Ask for a resume or background questions
  • Where was the inspector trained?
  • Does he or she attend continuing education classes?
  • Does the inspector belong to a professional organization? If so, what are the requirements for membership? Entry should require more than just an application fee.
  • Does the inspector carry Errors & Omissions insurance? This type of malpractice insurance may come in handy if the inspector overlooks a major problem.
  • At the inspection A home inspection is not only a time to find the potential pitfalls it can also be a time to learn about your new home. Make sure to attend the inspection yourself. Witnessing problems first-hand will give you a better grasp of the home.   .





    Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/21/2014

    Before you sign the papers to purchase your home, you will want to get one important thing done: a home inspection. This essential task will not only give you insight into the potential problems a home has, it was also give you the ability to renegotiate based on what is found. Knowing what to expect is the first step. A home inspection should include the condition of the roof, attic, walls, ceilings floors, windows and doors, the heating and cooling system, plumbing and electrical systems, the foundation and basement. All these areas of inspection as done only if accessible. For example: if the roof is covered with snow, an inspector will look at what they can, but the snow may obstruct the view. The cost of an inspection can vary depending on your location. Getting a variety of prices from different licensed inspectors can help you find the best deal in the area. While the cost may make you want to skip out on an inspection (with all the money you are spending to by the house, one more cost can feel enormous), not getting one can really hurt your wallet later on. Major structural issues, leaks, and toxins can cost big bucks to fix. A multi page detailed report will be created based on the inspection, including recommendations. This should be reviewed carefully to estimate the amount of work that will be involved in maintaining and/or fixing the house. While that roof the report mentioned isn't leaking today, if the inspector mentioned that it may need to be replaced soon, figure it will. Then of course, there are more immediate areas that may need attention, that you will have to plan on addressing right away. Finally, if there are major issues with the house, you can negotiate this into your offer. All offers should be made contingent on the inspection, so that once the inspection is done, the offer can change. So if that roof is already starting to leak, you can bring down the offer price to be able to put money towards a new roof right away. No matter if you are buying a year old home, or one from 1950, a home inspection is a must when making an offer. Skipping the inspection will only increase the risk of damage to your finances down the road. Better safe than sorry!




    Categories: Buying a Home  


    Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/23/2014

    Sometimes reading the description of a home for sale can be like trying to interpret a foreign language. Some of the information is pretty straightforward but often agents use acronyms or other abbreviations to describe a home and that can leave a potential buyer confused. Here are a few of some more common acronyms or abbreviations that you may see: A/C: Air conditioned                             ATT: Attached                                                                                                                                 BSMT: Basement                                                                                                                     C/Air: Central Air                                                                                                                     C/Vac: Central Vac                                                                                                                   CRNR: Corner                                                                                                                                       EIK: eat-in kitchen                                                                                                                             FROG: family room over the garage—extra space!                                                               HWF or HW: hardwood floors                                                                                                           LA: Living Area                                                                                                                                   MBR: Master Bedroom                                                                                                                     REF: Refrigerator                                                                                                                             SF or s/f: square feet or foot                                                                                                         SS: stainless steel (as in any kitchen appliance)                                                                       Vu: view(s)                                                                                                                                 WBFP: wood-burning fireplace                                                                                                 W/D: washer/dryer                                                                                                                     WIC: walk-in closet Can you think of any more acronyms?





    Posted by Kathy Foran on 11/16/2014

    When buying a home the last thing you do before you sign on the dotted line is go to the house and do a final walkthrough. This is different than the home inspection and done just prior to the final closing of the sale. The purpose of this walkthrough is to make sure the house will be delivered as agreed in your contract. You want to make sure the seller is leaving the house in working order and no problems with the house have occurred since the last time you where there. Here’s a quick checklist that will help you make the most of your final walkthrough: -Bring your purchase contract with you and verify that all items agreed to in the contract have been taken care of -Make sure the home and the exterior are free of personal belongings -The home and exterior should also be free of trash -Test all the appliances - Confirm all the light fixtures are working - Turn on ceiling fans as well as exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry area. -Check to make sure that the garage door remotes are in working order - Go through the house and turn on every faucet and flush all the toilets - Run the garbage disposal and trash compactor - Open and close all the windows and doors to make sure they are opening and latching properly - Look for any damage on the ceilings, floors, and walls such as new scratches, cracks, or other issues - Finally, account for all keys to the property This is an important step to take and could save you lot of headaches. This allows you to be able to resolve any problems before you close on the house.





    Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/24/2014

    A house needs to be sold three times when it is on the market. First it needs to be sold to other agents so they will want to show and sell the home. Second it needs to be sold to buyers and lastly to the appraiser. Even if the buyer is willing to pay a certain price for a home they usually need a mortgage. That means it is actually the bank who is buying the home. The bank wants to protect their investment so they do an appraisal. When the appraisal comes back low or as an under-appraisal deals can fall apart. If you are a seller or a buyer you need to know how to protect yourself from short appraisals? Here are some suggestions from Bankrate.com for buyers and sellers. If you're a buyer: -- Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county. -- Request that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute's senior residential appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations. -- Meet the appraiser when he or she inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that might skew the comps. "Many appraisers are just pulling up data out of MLS (Multiple Listing Service) or off the deed at the courthouse and not checking it out," Sellers says. "Most good appraisers will appreciate the information." And yes, you can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition only applies to your lender. If you're a seller: --·Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute website. -- Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home. -- Give a copy of your pre-listing appraisal to the buyer's appraiser. The more professional appraisers will understand that you're just trying to add more data and another perspective. -- Question a low appraisal. There's always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.