HEALTHY HOME: The Top 10 House Maladies To Avoid

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babyhandWhether you’re selling a home or looking to purchase one, you’ll want to make certain the home in question is in good physical condition. Check out the following list of the 10 most common home “health” problems identified by members of the American Society of Home Inspectors in a recent survey.

1. Improper surface grading and drainage.

Inspectors rated this problem the most troublesome, with 35.8% of those surveyed listing it as their top issue. Responsible for household maladies, such as leaky basements or crawl spaces, grading and drainage problems can be fixed either by regrading the ground away from the house or replacing gutters and down spouts.

2. Improper electrical wiring.

This was rated the most common problem by 20% of the inspectors surveyed. Some inspectors reported that 70% to 80% of electrical wiring in homes is installed incorrectly — mostly by do-it-yourselfers. Noted problems included insufficient electrical service, inadequate overload protection and amateur (sometimes dangerous) wiring connections.{short description of image}

3. Roof damage.

Leaking roofs ranked third in the survey, resulting most often from old or damaged shingles or improper flashing and drainage. Asphalt shingles, the most commonly used shingle type, last between 20 and 30 years — about the same life span as wooden shake shingles. For longevity, try slate shingles, which can last 100-plus years!

4. Heating systems.

Most sales contracts require that heating systems be in working order, so it’s an item that must be dealt with if it fails the home inspection — which often happens, according to the ASHI survey. Problems include broken or malfunctioning controls, blocked chimneys and unsafe exhaust disposal. Don’t overlook heating system problems — they can be dangerous if left unattended.

5. Poor overall maintenance.

Although the survey found this problem common, it is truly avoidable. Signs of poor maintenance include: cracked, peeling or dirty painted surfaces; crumbling masonry; makeshift wiring or plumbing; and broken fixtures and appliances.

6. Structural problems.

This category includes damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters and window/door headers — often caused by some of the five problems already listed.

7. Plumbing.

Common problems include faulty fixtures and waste lines and the existence of old or incompatible piping materials.

8. Exteriors.

While exterior flaws may not have structural significance, defects in windows, doors and wall surfaces can cause discomfort to residents via moisture and air penetration. The most common exterior problems are inadequate caulking and/or weatherstripping.

9. Poor ventilation.

It is possible to “overseal” a home, resulting in excessive interior moisture, which can lead to rotting and failure of structural and non-structural elements.

10. Miscellaneous.

Included here were interior elements — usually cosmetic. They were mentioned so infrequently by respondents that they did not rank individually in the survey.Fortunately, many of the most common problems in homes are far from fatal — they can often be fixed quickly and inexpensively! The point is to fix them early, before they cause significant damage to your home.

Call us 910-202-3607 for more information and tips. Or visit www.cbbaker.com

 

 

Categories: #selling homes, #Spring Time To Sell, Healthy Homes, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate

TIMING: Seven Buying And Selling Secrets To Know Before You Relocate

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The secret to a successful relocation is timing — synchronized buying, moving and selling. Good timing just takes a little advance planning that puts you in control. Here are seven relocation secrets to make your move work smoothly for you.

1. Sell First

Ideally, you should sell your current home first in order to have all your financial resources available to purchase your next home. You want to avoid waiting until the closing on your new home forces you to sell your old home under the gun. Note that in some markets today, houses are moving so quickly that sellers will not even consider taking a contingency clause that postpones their sale until the buyer’s home sells. Setting the right price for your home and having a customized marketing plan are your best bets for bringing about a quick sale.

2. Find Out What You Can Afford

{short description of image}While your house is on the market, look at what’s available to buy within your price range in your destination area. Your perfect house is out there, but take as much time as you can to find it. It’s not just the house you’ll have to live with — you’ll want to find out about the neighborhood, the schools, proximity to shopping, etc. before you commit to your next home.

3. Shop For A Loan Before You Shop For A House

Try to lock in the best rate you can find. Get pre-approved for financing so you have more bargaining power when you bid on a house. With a pre-approved loan, you’ll be able to go to closing on your new house faster.

4. Coordinate Settlements And Moving Dates

Try to move directly from the old home to the new one. Sometimes you can rent back the old property for a few days or weeks if closing on the new one is delayed. Another alternative is an interim move to an apartment for a short time while waiting to close on the new house.

5. Begin Fix-Ups And Pre-Sale Improvements Early

Have any needed work completed before your house goes on the market. Consider having a home inspection early in the fix-up process so you know what’s important to repair or replace before you set the sales price for your house.

6. Work Closely With Your Agent

Make sure every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed on time for both closings. You may save time and money for the buyer of your old home with lower “re-issue” fees by referring them to the previous providers of inspections, surveys, title insurance, etc. The information is in your settlement papers. And, if it’s a busy season, line up appointments in advance with the people you’ll need to close on your new house.

7. Avoid The Last-Minute Rush

Call us early. We’ll gather information and provide it to you quickly so you can make informed decisions and workable plans.

Categories: #selling homes, Buying Wilmington NC real estate, Showcasing your home, Uncategorized

2016 Interest Rates | Does Locking In An Interest Rate Make Sense?

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If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage loan, the odds are you’re following the ups and downs of mortgage interest rates carefully. This isn’t surprising; a higher interest rate will make your monthly payment bigger. A lower one can save you a significant amount of dollars each month.

But when should you lock in a mortgage rate? That’s a challenge that many borrowers face.

In a rate lock, your mortgage lender agrees to hold the current interest rate for which you’d qualify for a certain number of days. Your lender might agree to hold an interest rate of 4% on your 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for 15 or 30 or 45 days, for example.

If you don’t lock, your rate might rise before you complete the loan-application process. But remember that average interest rates might also fall after you lock in a rate. That is a risk that you take when ordering a lock.

Remember, too, that locking a rate usually isn’t free. You may have to pay for the service, though what you pay varies depending on your lender and how long you want to lock-in that interest rate.

If you’re debating whether locking a rate makes sense for you, call us. We’d be happy to talk about the pros and cons of finding a rate and locking it in place.

 

Categories: #selling homes, Home Ownership Options', Locking in a interest rate, mortgage rates, Uncategorized

TAKE ONE: How To Package Your Home To Sell | Wilmington NC real estate

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After a full day of house hunting in Wilmington NC, even the hardiest shopper has difficulty remembering each home visited. A selling display featuring your property’s benefits is a great way to be sure your home stands out in the shopper’s memory. We’ve used the following marketing strategies to successfully sell many homes. They could work for you too!

Creativity Counts

{short description of image}Your home’s memory points can be mounted attractively on a poster or in a looseleaf binder or photo album and displayed on your dining table or near the front door.

Home shoppers appreciate a memory-jogging take-home flyer, summarizing the display information for later study. The flyer should always include the property address, price, brief description and agent’s name and phone number.

Focus On Features

Each home will have its own outstanding features. When we talk about a marketing strategy for your home, we will consider what to include in your display and on the flyer. Here are some worthwhile ideas:

Capital improvements.

Include project description, year completed and your investment in the improvements.

Upgrades or replacements.

List new appliances, paint, wallpaper, attic fan — anything you’ve accomplished that buyers won’t have to do after move-in. Mention special features and benefits. For example: “Easy-care kitchen range with self-cleaning oven, sealed burners, electronic ignition, digital controls; 1992.”

Energy-saving features.

Cite money-saving extra insulation, high-efficiency heating/cooling system, thermal double-pane windows, etc.

Average annual utility bills.

Also mention affordable property taxes. Buyers want to know!

Floor plan.

Show room arrangement and dimensions. New-home builders and renovators can often provide floor plans, or one can be drawn for your home.

House illustrated.

Picture your home in your display and on the flyer. Architect’s renderings may be available from the original builder.

Gardening highlights.

Sketch the landscaping plan to show the work you’ve done. Identify trees and plants, especially if you have unusual ones. Provide photos of bushes and flowers in full bloom, if you’re selling off-season.

Pre-listing home inspection report.

Impress buyers with proof of your home’s excellent condition. Show receipts for correcting any problems the inspector noted.

Neighborhood map.

Highlight nearby schools, convenient transportation, shopping, parks, libraries, hospitals, and any other amenities or points of interest. Your kids can help color the map!

School data.

Feature excellent schools. Mention honors and awards, good student-teacher ratios, sports and athletics, drama presentations, and special programs (i.e. for learning disabilities or English as a second language).

Neighborhood information.

List neighborhood association dues (if any), annual community events, Neighborhood Watch programs, and the like. If yours is a friendly, quiet neighborhood, be sure buyers know it!

Community services.

Include helpful information such as days for recyclable-material and bulk trash pick-ups, availability of swimming pools, children’s summer day-camps, adult education, and so on.

Categories: #selling homes, wilmington nc real estate


Kay Baker Associates | 1001 Military Cutoff | Ste 101 Wilmington, NC 28405 | kaybakerassociates@ec.rr.com | 910-202-3607 | Fax 910-338-2428

Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.