Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/23/2022


Hiring a home inspector is an expected step in the buying process. Itís important for first-time homebuyers to understand what is in a standard inspection, as well as know the options available for more specific concerns. A lender might require special inspections, for example, but these extra options are always worth considering when purchasing a new home. You donít want any unpleasant surprises.

Here are some specialized types of inspections new homebuyers should know:

Foundation

A standard home inspection always includes the basic structural elements of the home, including the floor. They donít go below that, however. A foundation inspector will look carefully at your new homeís foundation. Some things they might look for are existing cracks or nearby tree roots that could cause shifting problems in the future. If a foundation inspector finds something serious, they might bring in a structural engineer to discuss options for addressing the problems. All together this process is worth paying for, since problems with the foundation can be expensive and potentially damaging to the house in the future.

Mold

Most mold you can recognize on your own. There are many DIY options for eradicating it, as well as professionals you can hire to help. However, there may be mold existing in the home's structure that you canít see or smell. This is where a mold inspector comes in: they can inspect the drywall, insulation materials, crawlspaces or other deeper hiding places for mold to grow. They use a moisture meter to detect dampness and seek the mold from there. If youíre buying an older house or a house in a humid climate, itís a good idea to have a mold inspection in order to prevent structural damage and potential health risks.

Wood-Destroying Organisms

A wood-destroying organisms inspection, or WDO inspection, will identify termites. While termites are the main concern, other wood-eating critters like carpenter ants and wood-boring beetles might also be a risk to your home. A WDO inspector will check for potential risks, like gaps that could allow pests inside and any existing damage from past infestations. They will also be able to track down any current termite activity so you can deal with it immediately. This type of inspection is an example of one commonly required by specific lenders or in specific locations. Luckily, theyíre relatively inexpensive and can save you potentially thousands of dollars by helping prevent and address damage from wood-destroying organisms.

Radon

Radon testing is different from the type of inspections listed above. Radon is odorless, colorless and difficult to detect compared to other dangerous gases. However, long-term exposure has serious health risks, which makes it extremely important to test for. You can purchase DIY testing kits to measure the radon level in your home, but getting results can take time. Experts usually recommend testing over a period of at least 90 days in order to get an accurate reading. This is obviously not convenient when youíre on the verge of purchasing a brand new home, so hiring a professional radon tester can get you a quicker answer. Usually radon inspectors can give you a report in a manner of days compared to months. Itís also a good idea to ask the previous owners if they last had a radon inspection and look at any prior reports.

When looking for home inspectors make sure to vet your candidates carefully to find the most qualified professional help. If youíre working with a real estate agent, they can recommend specific inspectors or companies to hire. These inspections add to your upfront cost buying a home but can help you avoid unpleasant surprises and health risks in the future.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/16/2022

Finding and purchasing a home sometimes can be difficult, particularly for an individual who encounters assorted challenges throughout the property buying journey. Lucky for you, there are several shortcuts that a homebuyer can use to streamline the property buying process. These shortcuts include:

1. Narrow Your Home Search

If you know you want to buy a home, you should consider where you want to reside and what features you want in your ideal residence. That way, you can avoid the danger of committing time and resources to analyze houses that fail to meet your expectations.

Oftentimes, it helps to craft a list of preferred cities and towns. This list will help you hone your home search to specific areas and ensure you can accelerate the homebuying journey.

Think about what you want to find in your dream house and create a list of home must-haves and wants too. With this list in hand, you can further accelerate your search for your ideal home.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Some homebuyers apply for a mortgage after they find their dream residence, but doing so may prove to be problematic. Because if a buyer submits an offer to purchase a home without a mortgage at his or her disposal, this individual likely will need to move quickly to get home financing. Or, if a buyer provides a homebuying proposal but cannot secure a mortgage, this individual risks missing out on the opportunity to acquire his or her dream house.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can meet with banks and credit unions and explore a wide range of mortgage options. Then, once you select a mortgage, you can kick off your home search and know exactly how much you can spend to purchase your ideal residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who will guide you along the property buying journey. He or she can help you identify potential homebuying hurdles and overcome these issues before they escalate. Best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can acquire a great home at a budget-friendly price.

In addition, a real estate agent will work with you throughout the property buying journey. He or she first will learn about your homebuying goals and help you craft an effective property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you put your homebuying plan into action and ensure you can discover a house that matches your expectations. And once you discover your ideal home, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

As you prepare to kick off the homebuying journey, you should try to plan ahead as much as possible. By taking advantage of the aforementioned shortcuts, you can prepare for the homebuying journey and speed up the process of finding and purchasing your dream residence.




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/9/2022

Moving is expensive no matter how far you have to travel to your new home. If youíre moving across state lines or further, the expense can become overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money on your move no matter the distance. Here are some budget-friendly moving ideas:

Have a Yard Sale

The less you have to move, the less the move will cost. There are many ways to downsize before a move, including donating to charity and throwing away things that have lost their use. However, holding a yard or garage sale will help you downsize and gain some extra pocket money at the same time. Just advertise your sale clearly and in advance. Use a combination of bright, legible signage in your neighborhood and social media posts to bring the maximum amount of customers.

You may also want to double check the rules about hosting a residential sale, just in case.

Choose a Cheaper Moving Date

Just like with plane tickets, the specific date can affect the cost of your move. Some moving dates or seasons are more expensive than others based on specific factors. Avoid peak times like long weekends and holidays. In some areas, it can cost less to move in the winter when there is less demand for rentals. Conversely, some companies may also charge more during the winter because of problematic weather. If you have the flexibility, try to choose a moving date on a weekday in the middle of the month. For the best chances at a good price, aim for some time in October through April.

Hire Movers, Not Drivers

You donít have to hire a full-service moving company for your cross-country move. In fact, plenty of moving companies offer labor-only services allowing you to drive your belongings yourself. This way you can save yourself the strenuous task of moving and packing all of your furniture and other heavy belongings while saving money at the same time. Let the professionals handle the stairs and tight corners while you drive the moving vehicle to your new home. This strategy can save thousands of dollars on a long-distance move.

A cross-country move is an exciting and important event in your life. Consider these ideas to enjoy it to the fullest while saving your budget at the same time.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/2/2022

Image by ?? ? from Pixabay

One of the great benefits of having a home of your own is being able to host friends and family. If itís your first time living in a house thatís big enough for more than just you, youíll want to make sure you plan out the best way to keep people comfortable before they actually arrive. There are comfort items you can wait to stock up on closer to when folks are actually staying with you, but there are other aspects of hosting that youíll want to determine in advance. 

Sleeping space. 

You may be fortunate enough to have an extra bedroom in your home that can simply be a guestroom. If so, great! When furnishing your guest room, youíll want to design it to have the aesthetics you like, but also functionality for as many hosting situations as possible. When selecting furniture search for something versatile. A queen bed with a pull-out trundle is ideal. This bed allows you to host up to three people in the same room. If there isnít much space in the room, try a bed with pull-out drawers where you can store extra linens and blankets, or where your guests can store their belongings.

If you donít have a guest room, think about ways you can make other rooms in your home useful for guests. If you have a home office, you might be able to introduce a couch that doubles as a futon. You can find great daybeds, often with trundle options, that will work as a nice nap space on a regular basis, but that can serve guests when needed. If youíre using your living room or den as a sleeping space for visitors, invest in a durable sofa bed. You may also consider adding fold-out cots or rollup foam mattresses that are easy to store in closets. If you have kids that frequently have friends or cousins over have a couple extra sleeping bags handy so you can make additional sleeping space in your kidís rooms. 

Linens and toiletries. 

Second to comfortable sleeping areas, you will want to have plenty of linens and extra toiletries handy for your guests. Have enough towels and bedding on hand for at least the number of people you may commonly have over. When friends and family come to stay, at least one person always forgets some of the basics. A great host will have extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant (go for travel size!) and soaps available to help someone out in a pinch. 

Hosting is so much fun, but being unprepared can add unwanted stress when youíre trying to enjoy time with those you love. Take a few steps to prepare for your guests in advance, so all you have to do when the time comes is worry about food and fun!




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Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/26/2021

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 Photo by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

There are many title companies available to complete a title search for you. However, if you’re trying to reduce some of the costs associated with buying a property, you can complete a title search on your own and potentially save hundreds of dollars.

1. Identify the Property

Start by gathering as much information on the property as you can find. This information should include the home address, the county in which it is located and the current owner's name.

2. Look Up the County Office

It can take some time to browse various county offices for information on the home, but this is a necessary step. Look for information with the county clerk, the county record and the county tax assessor first. If you are unsure of how to find each county office, start by checking out your state government website. Once you’ve found that web page, you should be able to navigate to each county and find which local office has the property records on file.

3. Locate the Property in Public Records

 Research the property information with the proper county office. This can be done online or in-person. However, most public records are available online digitally. Requesting public records online can save a great deal of time but remember that you will likely have to pay additional fees to request a copy.

4. Review the Property Details

When completing a title search, you’ll want to access the most recent deed for the property. The deed you’re looking for should include the current owner's name, as well as the person or entity that sold the property to them. You should search the document as far back as possible, looking for any transactions between buyers and sellers—which may take you back several decades. Take the time to make sure that each deed passed from each person correctly, to create a chain of title.

5. Look for Potential Issues

While reviewing the title, keep an eye out for possible issues like tax liens or gaps in ownership. If you notice something like a seller that wasn’t included as a buyer on a previous document, you may not be able to complete the purchase.

Remember that even though it can take some work, you should always be able to find the property in question. If the property doesn’t show up in your search, some of your information is incorrect or it’s not in the current recorder system.




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