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Articles tagged with: Home Inspection

Sep18

Why Your Furnace Needs an Annual Tune Up

Imagine this – you woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, only to realize that your home is freezing. The worst part is, you have to wait till the morning to contact a HVAC professional.

With autumn in full swing and the cold weather quickly approaching, now is the best time to have your furnace tuned up. HVAC companies never fail to remind us to schedule for a tune up, but what they fail to tell you is why it is needed.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of annual furnace tune up and why you shouldn’t wait until it gets cold. 

Reduce repairs

With proper maintenance, problems will be caught early on and make small repairs that could turn into a more serious, costly repairs. During tune up, an HVAC technician will inspect the furnace, change the filters, check the ignition, gas pressure and make sure that your system is running efficiently; thus, preventing breakdown.

Save money

If you notice that your energy bill is increasing, this could be an indication that your heating system is not running at peak efficiency. With annual tune ups, you’ll make sure that your furnace is as energy efficient as possible; thus, allowing you to save money in the long run. 

When your furnace is a finely tuned machine, it also eliminates the need for buying a new heating unit.

Prevent health risks

Furnace burns fuel to produce heat. A small problem can lead to gas leaking into your home, which can present a real hazard.

Carbon monoxide could be fatal if you inhale too much. An HVAC professional can inspect your furnace for signs of hazardous wear and ensure that you and your family are safe. 

Greater comfort

Annual tune ups will get your heating system operating at maximum efficiency. HVAC contractors will make sure that the airflow is strong and the air filter is clean. As a result, your furnace will be able to heat the house faster and provide a more consistent temperature throughout the house.

Sep09

What to Do if Your Home Isn’t Selling

You have a perfectly lovely home. You got rid of the clutter, cleaned the house and even hired a professional stager. You also have a competent agent by your side and you’re pretty sure that you took stunning photos of your home and included it in your online listing. But the problem is, your house is still on the market. 

You may be wondering what home sellers are doing in this situation. Here are 3 things you can do to finally get that “for sale” sign out of the yard. 

Fix what needs to be fixed

Some sellers think it’s a waste to spend money on a house that they’ll be moving out of. However, potential buyers aren’t interested in buying a house that requires a long list of repairs. 

Work with your real estate agent and some friends. Ask them to take a good look at your house and point out areas that could turn potential buyers off. This will help you improve the look of your home and appeal to your target market. 

Price appropriately

If your home has been sitting on the market for a few months with very limited showings or offers, you might want to look at the price. Most properties do not sell because they are overpriced.

A house priced at market value piques the interest of buyers; while overpriced properties chases them away. Dropping the price isn’t always a guarantee that the house will sell fast, but if you price it appropriately, there’s a good chance that it will. 

Take a break from the market

Most buyers research for months or even years. If your home has been on the market for months now, then they are going to notice. Some may even think that there is something wrong with the property, making it difficult to sell.

Take your listing off the market, even for a few months, and refresh your advertising. This time, price it appropriately, fix whatever needs to be fixed and re-enter the housing market with a bang. With any luck, you’ll find that a new set of prospective buyers are eyeing your home. 

Sep04

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall

Spring and summer is the busiest time of the year for the real estate market. But just because its fall doesn’t mean your Colorado home won’t sell.

The fall season can actually be a great time to sell your Colorado house. There will be fewer homes in the market this time of the year. Meaning, potential buyers will compete for fewer homes on the market and will want to seal the deal before the holiday season.

Looking to make a quick sale before the winter arrives? Here are 4 ways to prep your house for sale in the fall.

Keep the exterior clean

Whether they’re viewing the property online or driving up to see it, a home sale begins with the buyer’s first view of the house. Potential buyers will make judgments upon seeing your Colorado home, and you want to make sure it’s positive.

Leaves are dropping like crazy this time of the year. Try to rake or mow your lawn from time to time so it looks clean and tidy. Also, make sure that the walkways, yard and gutters are free of leaves and debris.

Add some outdoor lighting

As the hours of daylight begin to grow shorter, it is important that you provide potential buyers a safe path. Place some lights along your walkway so people can clearly see the path to your front door. Turn on the lights before a home showing.

Embrace the fall season

The fall season is a time for colorful decorations and foliage. A few tasteful accents can make your Colorado home feel warm and cozy, but be sure not to overdo it. Plant some annuals in the front yard. Place a fall wreath or cornucopia on the door.  For some buyers, little touches like these really go a long way.

Check the HVAC

You want potential buyers to feel warm and comfortable when they visit. Be sure to have the HVAC system checked before turning on the heat. Also, if you haven’t changed the furnace filter yet, now is the best time to do so.

Aug18

Why You Should Have a Mold Inspection Before Buying a House

No one wants to buy a house with a mold problem. The last thing you want to discover after signing on the dotted line is that you’ll need mold remediation or removal. Unfortunately, molds are not always visible and are not easy to detect. Those pesky little spores could be hiding in the house you’re buying. Because of that, it is vitally important to get a mold inspection done.

Here are 4 reasons why a mold inspection is crucial before buying a house. 

Health risks

Even if there are no signs of mold, it is still a good idea to have a mold inspection. Mind you, mold can be toxic and hazardous to your health. While some people may only have symptoms when they are active in large numbers, others may experience allergy symptoms, asthma attacks or other health problems, even with minimal exposure.

If a member of your family is suffering from asthma or allergy, then getting a mold inspection should be on top of your list. This will give you a peace of mind that you’re moving your family into a healthy and safe environment. 

Mold remediation is costly

Mold removal can be very costly. This is because surfaces that have been contaminated with mold needs to be thoroughly cleaned. Aside from that, professionals have to address the moisture issues to prevent the problem from coming back.

If mold does exist, it can strengthen your negotiation potential and give the seller a chance to rectify the situation. You can ask the seller to fix the problem, reduce the asking price, or you can choose to walk away from the deal. 

With mold often comes water damage 

Mold will grow in places with lots of moisture. Therefore, the presence of mold means there is excess moisture in that particular area. 

Mold is often an indicator of a bigger problem. When mold grow and spread in certain parts of the house, that could be an indication of a leak, water damage, or humidity issue that wasn’t properly addressed. 

Some sellers do not disclose mold issues

Since legal requirements for disclosing mold problems are not universally mandatory, we urge you to have the house inspected for mold before buying. Sellers and real estate agents know that the presence of mold can end the transaction, which is why many of them try to hide mold issues in their home.

Aug05

4 Ways to Supercharge Your Home’s Online Listing

While real esate agents are still key in the home buying process, recent survey revealed that 92% of home buyers start their search online. Considering our current situation, searching for homes online is not only more convenient; it’s also a lot safer. With so many homes on the market, how do you make sure that your listing stands out

Here are 4 ways to supercharge your home’s online listing. Use these tips to get your property noticed and sell it faster.

Upload good quality photos

In the age of the internet, listings with photos perform better than those without. Potential buyers use your listing photos to gauge whether or not they like your Colorado home. These photos will attract potential buyers; thus, making your listing more competitive. The key is to capture good quality photos that showcase your home’s best feature. 

When selling your Colorado home, you want to make sure it looks its best. As such, we highly recommend that you stage the rooms before taking photos. 

Tidy up the room and make sure that everything is in order. Focus on the strengths of the property and skip rooms that detract from the overall impression you are trying to give.

Be descriptive

When selling a Colorado property, you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.  

Tell people about all the great features of your home. Tell them about the lovely outdoor space, the newly renovated kitchen or the brick patio for BBQs. Make sure you’re actually providing value in your descriptions.

Sell them the dream neighborhood

Location is one of the most important things buyers consider when buying a house. Future owners can change certain features they don’t want in your home, but they can’t change the location and the neighborhood it is in.

If your home is located in a good neighborhood, make sure that you mention it in your listing. 

Are there restaurants, boutiques, hospitals and schools nearby? Are there outdoor amenities like a community pool, bike paths or hiking trails near your home? Can you walk to public transportation? Let potential buyers know about it. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re also selling a neighborhood.

Include your contact details

You created an online listing to reach potential buyers and to sell your property fast. But your listing will be of no use if buyers can’t get a hold of you.

When creating an online listing, make sure that you include your contact details, your email address, as well as your availability. Make it easy for potential buyers to contact you.

Jul22

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want to spruce up your home, now is the best time to work on some home improvement projects.  The good news is that you don’t have to have thousands and thousands of dollars to make your home more appealing and boost your home’s value.

These smart upgrades will help boost the value of your home without putting a hole in your pocket. Spending just a few hundred dollars can pay off big when it’s time to sell.

Boost curb appeal

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, keep in mind that how your house appears on the outside is just as important as it is on the inside. You never get a second chance to make a good impression, so don’t forget to pay attention to your home’s exterior.

Paint the front door, add some plants to the porch and power wash the exterior of your home. These are just some of the easiest ways to make your home attractive and welcoming to potential buyers.

Step up your storage

Finding space to accommodate all your things can be difficult, especially if you have a small house. It is a good idea to find extra storage space in every room in your home.

Maximize your space by taking advantage of vertical space. Increase the storage in your home by adding shelves or installing cabinets. The space below the stairs is also a great place to store shoes, books, and other items.

Neutral wall upgrades

Painting the walls is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to freshen up your home. A couple coats of paint can go a long way towards making your home more modern and clean. Choose a neutral wall color so as to make sure that your home appeals to a wide range of buyers.

Give your kitchen a facelift

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to update. When potential buyers first view a home for sale, they make a beeline for this room. So, make your kitchen really cook. Also, make sure that it’s clean and reasonably updated.

Although investing in new appliances and installing new cabinetry may sound like a great idea, this usually comes with a hefty price tag. If you are on a limited budget, we suggest that swap outdated hardware and repaint old cabinets. This is a great way to freshen up your kitchen without spending a lot of money.

Jul07

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof 

Replacing the roof is one of the most costly upgrades a homeowner can make. Installing a new roof can set you back anywhere between $10,000 and $18,000. Expect to pay more for high-end materials. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you want to keep it in the best possible shape for as long as possible. 

Luckily, getting your roof to last is easy. With proper care and maintenance, you can make sure that your roof stays in great shape for decades. 

Here are 4 maintenance tips to make your roof last for the longest possible time. 

Regular inspection 

Roof problems will arise over time, and that’s normal. But you shouldn’t have to wait for that. Regular inspection is essential in keeping your roof in top shape. It should be inspected by a professional at least once a year. This will help you catch problems early on and take care of them before they become major problems. 

Also, make it a habit to inspect your roof and ceiling after any extreme weather like rainstorm, snow or hail. 

Clean gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to leaky roof and water damage. As such, it is important to clean out the gutters twice a year, particularly in spring and fall.

Get up on your roof and get rid of all the leaves and other debris sitting on the gutters. It may not be an interesting task, but it can go a long way in extending the life of your roof and protecting your home from water damage. If you can’t perform this task, you can hire a professional to clean your gutters for you. 

Fix damage as soon as possible

If you’ve discovered a roofing issue, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible. Any problems with your roof can quickly turn into major issues, especially if not addressed immediately. Don’t put leaks or other problems off until it’s too late. Once it starts, it will only get worse. Over time, it can have major adverse effects on your home.  

Prevent ice dams

Ice dams are thick bands of ice around the edges of your roof. Ice dams are problematic because they cause water to leak from the roof into the ceilings and walls. It can also cause your roof to collapse if ice and snow build up to a dangerous weight. 

Ice dams form when roof areas become warm enough to melt snow. The best ways to prevent ice dams is through proper insulation and ventilation of the attic. 

Jun17

What to Expect When Buying a House During the Coronvirus Pandemic

The coronavirus is affecting nearly every aspect of our life. School, workplace, and other gathering places are closed. Summer activities and trips were cancelled. Most people are now working from home. 

The process of buying a house has changed drastically over the last few months. If you’re considering buying a house despite the pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions about the home buying process. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate the new real estate normal. 

Showings go virtual 

Gone are the days when you just hop in your realtor’s car and drive from showing to showing. Today, many companies have canceled open houses and tours to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The buying experience has gone completely virtual. The good news is that, you don’t have to rely on the photos on the online listings. You can live chat with a real estate agent and ask for videos and virtual tours. 

Mortgage interest rates are historically low 

While most people are hesitant to buy a house right now due to health and economic concerns. There are certainly some advantages of buying a house during the pandemic. For one, the mortgage rates are historically low. That means, you can expect a lower monthly housing payments too. 

Higher credit score requirements 

Lenders are less willing to take a risk. As part of the many changes made to reduce their risk in light of the economic downturn, lenders raised their credit score requirements. 

Wells Fargo, for instance, increased the minimum credit score for new applicants for its home equity loans to 720. 

The process may take longer than usual

As mentioned above, lenders are stricter now more than ever. If you apply for a mortgage, you are likely to face more scrutiny. In addition, there has been an influx of refinancing applications due to the low interest rates. 

If you are hoping to move into your new home by a certain date, it is best to start the process as early as possible. You could end up waiting around if you don’t get a jump start. 

Jun09

Are You Ready to Buy a House? Ask Yourself These Questions

Buying a home is a big decision that should be given a lot of thought. A lot of people are thinking about buying a house, but even those people who can afford it and have a good credit score are still hesitant to take the leap.

If you wish to buy a Colorado home but aren’t quite sure if it’s the right move right now, these questions will help you reach the right decision.

Can you afford it?

Aside from your ability to cover mortgage payments on a monthly basis, there are still a lot of expenses you have to consider when contemplating whether or not you can afford to buy a Denver home. Mortgage payments and other fees will most likely take 20-30% of your monthly income. Are you comfortable spending that much of your income to buy a home?

Is your income dependable?

Buying a property involves a long-term commitment. You may be able to afford a Colorado home on your current income, but are you confident that you’ll still be able to afford it in a few years time?

You might want to put off buying a home unless you have a strong sense of certainty about your financial future or are established in your line of work.

Do you plan to stay put?

Most first-time homebuyers do not consider whether or not they’ll be staying permanently when they buy the house. But buying a Denver home wouldn’t make sense unless you are planning to stay there for at least 7 years. Most of the time, it takes this long to recover from all the costs of buying a home.

If you’re not planning on spending the rest of your life in the same house, then you should consider the resale value of the house.

Will you be able to maintain the house?

When you buy a house, the responsibility of maintaining the house comes with it. The hardwood floors you fell in love with are going to need basic maintenance. That floor to ceiling windows need to be washed on a regular basis. The backyard needs to be mowed and the list goes on.

If you are a busy person, it might be extremely difficult to look after those things. So, before you decide if it’s the right house for you, you also have to consider the maintenance.

Jun03

Do You Know Where Your Home’s Shutoff Valve Is?

Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. 

Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.

Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.

Possible locations

I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located inside.

 In the crawlspace or basement

If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home. 

Outside the house

In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line.  It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.

Near the pressure tank

If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage. 

Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it. 

May05

4 Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

The home inspection is a great opportunity for homebuyers to find out if there is something wrong with the house before committing to buy.  This is your chance to review any issues and learn as much as you can about the property, including the kind of problems it may cause down the road. 

Here are 4 questions that can help you decode the result of the home inspection. With these questions, you can clarify a lot of confusion on the actual condition of the property and  figure out what you can do to navigate the home buying process. 

Are there potential issues with the foundation? 

The foundation is one of the most important things you should look out for. Some of the worse problems you can face are in the foundation – floors that sag, windows that stick, cracks in exterior walls etc. These problems will cost you a lot of money. That said, you want to make sure that the foundation is solid and not cracked in any way. 

Can you point out potential problems to me?

Take part of the home inspection and have him point out things that require repair, maintenance and further inspection. This is important as it will help you identify what he is referring in the inspection report. It can be quite frustrating to go through the report and have no clue whatsoever about the things written there.

What should I repair first? 

No house is perfect. Home inspectors even find problems in newly-built homes. The question is, which one should you tackle first and which one can be fixed later. 

Simple problems like a leaking faucet is not something you should ignore as it could lead to a bigger, more costly problem to address later on. Make sure that you take note of the problems that should be taken care of once you move into the house. 

Who should I call to fix that?

This is an important question to ask since it addresses 2 things. First, your home inspector can give you referrals to roofers, electricians or plumbers, making it easier for you to book an appointment with them. Second, some inspectors will just give you a list of things you need so you can do the repair yourself. If you’re not comfortable handling repairs on your own, you can always hire a handyman to do these small fixes.

Final thoughts

Home inspectors will not tell you whether or not you should buy the house. It’s your future home, so it’s your decision to make. Take a good look at the inspection report to see if the problems they pointed out are deal breakers for you. Make sure you’re comfortable with your end of the bargain before signing any documents. 

Mar18

5 Things You Should Know Before You Go House-Hunting

5 Things you Should Know Before You GoHouse hunting is one of the most exciting parts of buying a house. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers. Perhaps you have spent years saving up for your downpayment and building up your financial profile. 

Unfortunately, the homebuying process can be a long and arduous process. It can be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t stay focused and organized.

In this blog post, we listed down some tips to make the house hunting process easier and more effective. Use these tips to help you find your dream home.

Mar10

Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Think Again

Home InspectionSince home inspection isn’t mandatory in some parts of the country, some buyers skip it in an attempt to save money and streamline the buying process. But it makes no sense to put a huge sum of money on what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life without even knowing what you’re getting into. 

Thinking of skipping the home inspection? Think again. 

Feb18

How Important Curb Appeal is When Selling Your Home

curb appealIn the real estate business, curb appeal is a reflection of how the owner takes care of his/her home. A clean exterior, well-maintained shrubbery, and a neatly manicured lawn are ideal, especially if you’re selling your home.

The idea behind curb appeal is to make your Colorado home look attractive to anyone viewing it from the curb or street. Some sellers, however, are so busy staging the interiors of their Colorado house that they sometimes forget to make the exterior presentable. This is a big mistake.

Feb11

Why It’s Important to Test Your Home for Radon

Why Its Important to Test Your Home for RadonRadon is a toxic gas that can be found in any house, old or new. It can enter your Colorado home through leaks in your foundation or porous building materials. Unfortunately, radon cannot be seen or smelled. Because of this, most homeowners aren’t even aware of the presence of radon in their home. 

Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. This is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested.

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