What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know about Home Inspections

A professional home inspection pei can provide a great education about the home’s systems. Whether it is your roof that needs a thorough survey, or the plumbing system of your new (or existing) home – this proves to be an integral part of any homeowner’s responsibility. It is only after a detailed scrutiny of the home would you know if and where you would be using your home insurance canberra for the repair purposes.

Home inspection can also be a crucial tool in negotiating the most equitable price on the home, according to HouseMaster, one of the first and largest home inspection franchisors in North America.

“Our experience and research shows that approximately 40% of resale homes have at least one defect that can cost a home buyer a minimum of $500 to repair,” said Kathleen Kuhn, President of HouseMaster.”A home inspection by a professional and qualified home inspector is an excellent tool to encourage home sellers to make repairs or make further price adjustments as a result of conditions noted in the inspection report.”

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), in 2009, a record 47% of homes sold were purchased by first-time buyers. Tax credit incentives from the federal government of up to $8,000 and historically low mortgage rates continue to attract first-time buyers to the market. A professional home inspection not only educates buyers on the condition of the home but can minimize costly surprises down the road. HouseMaster provides the following tips to ensure that first-time buyers make an educated decision when purchasing a home and get the best price possible.

1. Inspect the Inspector. Only hire a home inspector with an excellent reputation and credentials. Ask how long the company has been in business, ask about specific formal training and ongoing education the inspector has and verify the inspector carries professional liability insurance also known as “Errors & Omissions” (E&O). If the company doesn’t carry this insurance, it could indicate a poor track record or lack of experience. (See Bella Casa’s referral list of Home Inspectors)

2. Ask for a sample of a report. The credentials of the inspection company and the quality of the final inspection report will be important. A poorly prepared report without pictures or clear, concise details addressing all the various systems and accessible elements of the home is less likely to be taken seriously by a home seller.

3. Inspect ancillary systems. It’s hard for first-time home buyers to know what they need, so be sure to ask what additional services the company offers. If the home you are considering has a septic system for example, a professional home inspection company may offer septic system inspections or can coordinate that service for you. Generally, the company will offer you a multiple services discount as well as the added convenience of only having to attend one inspection appointment. Other common services offered by home inspectors are termite inspections, mold screening, water testing and radon testing.

4. Go along on the inspection. Ask the inspection company if they encourage buyers to tag along on the inspection. If the inspector discourages you from going along and asking questions, find another inspector. A home inspection is not simply a laundry list of what is wrong with the home. In addition to documenting issues and needed repairs that may exist, that might require hiring professionals like a commercial roofing contractor in Denver, a professional home inspector will also show the new buyer how to operate the various systems in the home and provide tips on improving energy efficiency and maintaining the home in general. And being present during the inspection will make the final written report that much more meaningful.

Article Source: RISMedia.com

A Guide to Water Wells in Oregon

The Oregon Water Resources Department has issued a new handbook for water well owners, updated in March 2010. Learn about groundwater, water wells, well construction, protection of groundwater, well operation and maintenance, and well abandonment in Oregon.  This information is valuable for people selling or buying property where wells are located or needed to meet water-supply needs.

For more valuable resources about carbon monoxide, energy efficiency, and homeownership, visit the Bella Casa Resources page.

For optimal online viewing, click “Fullscreen” below and then use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to view the next pages. You may also Download or Print the handbook.

[scribd id=30529494 key=key-2knzeglj8ky6v87ahdym mode=book]

Home Staging Tips

The spring home buying and selling season is underway! A quicker home sale can be reached by keeping in mind the needs of the home’s most likely buyer and creating a fresh inspiring look just for them. If you’ve recently made big upgrades like renovating your kitchen, getting Glass Shower Direct to install a new shower in your bathroom, or creating an open floor plan for the downstairs, then your house will likely be in a good condition and won’t need much staging. However, there are always small additions you can make to really draw the buyer in. It’s important to keep in mind your primary buying demographic. The three largest categories of buyers likely to buy your home are young singles, families, or empty nesters.

Targeting Singles

Emphasize sleeping spaces and the living room. Singles will spend a lot of time in the living room and the bedroom, which are their sanctuaries from the outside world. As a result, there is no need to set the dining room table with place settings. Focus on a simple TV stand with clean lines, fairy lights to set the ambiance and plain curtains, bedding and rugs. Young singles are less likely to have lots of furniture, so help them to envision what it could look like by using modern furniture similar to this live edge epoxy resin table.

Targeting Young Families

Young families tend to revolve around children. Items that help this demographic envision themselves living in the space include age-appropriate bedding, linens and towels, a bright rug near play areas, and strategically placed toy chests with open tops. Since kids often play or watch TV on the floor, eliminate the coffee table to create a living room that appears larger and more inviting. Garage storage space is important to families with young children. Organize children’s toys and sports equipment to showcase the garage’s storage capacity without compromising functionality. The kitchen is also important as family meals will be prepared there, whilst a dining room should show off its ability to hold family dinners, so get the best silver cutlery out ready for when the grandparents come round!

Targeting Empty Nesters

Empty nesters tend to seek an upgrade in quality features. Upgrading bath accessories like towel bars and toilet paper holders or decorative hanging lights to a better quality and newer style will make an impact. If the budget allows, you can also upgrade their sofa (click here) to a more comfortable one, so as to maximize their relaxation. Lighting is also a key feature for this group so try to maximize natural light in the living spaces. If lighting is less than ideal, add lamps or a ceiling fan with light fixtures. It’s important to open heavy blinds or window coverings when showing the home.

An absolute “must” for home stagers regardless of which demographic being targeted is color. Most sellers are instructed to use neutral colors when repainting. However, adding the right punch of color to accent walls can create depth, enhance kitchen cabinets, or bring a boring bathroom to life.

Homeowners can find color in simple accessories, like throw pillows, coffee table books, and decorative canisters. Neutral colors in flooring materials, upholstery pieces and window dressing work well because they enhance brighter accents.

Article Source: RISMEDIA

Lease Purchase Alternative

Tax Deferred Options For Lease Purchases

Leasing property to a potential buyer serves a variety of purposes. The structure is most frequently used when a potential buyer, for whatever reason, does not have the funds available to purchase the property immediately. The advantage to the buyer is having additional time to obtain the purchase funds (or financing) while still having use of the property. For the owner, rental income is generated while a buyer and purchase price are locked in, provided the buyer can secure the needed funds or financing within a given period of time.

Often the owner has utilized the property for business or investment and may desire to defer the gain through a 1031 exchange once the property is “transferred” to the buyer. Lease arrangements in an exchange transaction have the potential to raise questions about the timing of the actual transfer of the property, especially if the owner is using a lease to delay the actual closing in order to extend the exchange deadlines for identification and purchase of replacement property. Accordingly, the owner may need to make sure the lease agreement with the lessee/buyer is a true lease and not a disguised transfer of the property. Once the contract is sighed by both parties, the owner can use resources such as lease accounting software to monitor the payments, terms of tenancy, occupancy limit, etc. Such software could be beneficial for both lessees and lessors to manage a record of the finances involved.

The agreement should be prepared properly to preserve the ability to exchange and defer the gain once the property is actually sold. For example, owners should check local law to make sure rental payments do not create equitable ownership of the property. The owner/lessor should retain some of the burdens of ownership, such as paying the taxes and insurance, even if the money comes from the buyer/lessee. If any of the money is applied toward a purchase option, the amount should be reasonable. Payment of a non-refundable option may be construed as a sale if the option payment is so large that a reasonable person would be expected to exercise the option. To prevent yourself from going into these tricky situations, it would be better to hire a commercial dispute lawyer from Chand Snider or any other firm. A lawyer could help you in preparing contracts for the lease and can make sure that all the clauses have been written clearly.

If the legal and equitable title along with some of the burdens of ownership remains with the owner, then the exchange has not started, even though the buyer/lessee is in possession and enjoying the benefits of the property. The owner can likely take possession of the lease payments without the risk of being in actual or constructive receipt of “exchange funds.” If any portion of the lease payments is applicable to the purchase price, the owner may wish to include those funds in the exchange proceeds. The funds should be forwarded to the closing agent prior to the actual procedure of conveyancing online or offline. After closing, those funds should become exchange funds. If the owner retains the funds, they will be taxable boot. Note that having lease payments applied to the purchase price may cause the transaction to be construed as a transfer rather than a true lease, especially if the amount applied is substantial.

Sellers thinking of leasing their property or selling to an existing lessee should consult their tax advisor to determine the best structure for their particular situation.

Article Source: First American Exchange Company
Jim Ogan
(503) 740-3453
jogan@firstam.com

La Casa Verde: A Celebration of Green Building

Saturday, April 24th
9am-6pm
845 NE 5th Street in the Historic Granary District
Cellar Ridge Custom Homes, The Market McMinnville, and McMinnville Water & Light are presenting the first annual La Casa Verde; a celebration of green building. In addition they will unveil the first annual Green Achievement Awards, which are intended to encourage green and sustainable practices by honoring those businesses, organizations and individuals on the forefront of this movement. Visit www.lcverde.com to view the agenda.
  • Building Trade Show
  • Green Achievement Awards
  • Harvest Dinner Celebration
  • Natural Step Seminar by Susan Sokol Blosser
  • Free Parking and giveaways
  • Free birdhouse making session

Brought to you by Cellar Ridge Custom Homes, The Market McMinnville, and McMinnville Water & Light

Hot Air Balloon Season Opens

Visa Balloons announces that Hot Air Balloon season has opened with flights every day except Tuesdays, until October. If you have a date in mind, reserve early and start the “Anticipation Phase.” There is room for you and 49 of your closest friends. Contact Vista Balloons at 503-625-7385.

Home Improvement Tax Credits

  • Tax Credits for Replacing Heating and Cooling Systems

    Upgrading to an energy-efficient heating and cooling system can save hundreds on your utility bills and earn you a tax credit worth as much as $1,500. Read

  • Tax Credits for Replacing Your Roof

    Replacing your roof with a qualifying energy-efficient metal or asphalt roof can cut your cooling bill and earn you a $1,500 tax credit. Read

  • Tax Credits for Adding or Replacing Insulation

    A federal tax credit makes adding insulation an even cheaper way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and cut your heating and cooling bills. Read

  • Tax Credits for Replacing Windows, Doors, and Skylights

    If money seems to be escaping through drafty windows, doors, and skylights, this federal tax credit might make energy-efficient replacements more affordable. Read

  • Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

    Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

    Downtown McMinnville Events April 17

    Secrets of the Past (Third Street Unveiled)

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    11:00 am-12:30 pm

    Admission: $5.00

    Local historians will share stories of nostalgic downtown McMinnville’s early days and will hand out a self-guided walking tour. A slideshow will be presented and many photos will be on display. Come join us at Third Street Pizza Company, 433 NE Third Street, McMinnville. No-host bar. Food available for purchase. View or download the flyer for this event.

    Also this Saturday is Downtown McMinnville’s Third Saturday Art & Wine from 4-8pm. Visit a large group of participating businesses and enjoy live music, wine, cheese, art, and hopefully a gorgeous Yamhill County afternoon!