New Construction Inspections

New Construction Inspections

  “I am buying a new construction home, I don’t need a home inspection.” STOP!! Let’s take a step back and think about this before “saving” $500. I have heard this argument from more than one Buyer. The builder may be great. They may have great people working for them. However, even great people make mistakes. What if they had to use a new vendor or subcontractor? What if the material was defective? What if someone was rushing to beat the rain and missed something? Many inspectors will do multiple inspections throughout the building process. There are generally 3 phases of inspection. Framing Mechanical Insulation Doing phase inspections enables inspectors to check the footers and look for any variance in framing measurements. They can view the electrical and plumbing prior to the drywall being installed as well as making sure insulation is in walls, around windows and everywhere else it should be. Home inspectors see some unfortunate things in new construction homes. Houses that passed the Codes inspection with glaring defects. Plumbers have come in after framing and cut joists for piping and not properly supported the joists that were cut. This could cause structural issues, not to mention, perhaps void possible warranties. Entire sections of walls have been missing insulation. People sue builders over poor building standards and defects all the time. From my experience, most of those lawsuits happen when a home was already complete and the Buyer didn’t or wasn’t able to do phase inspections. A lot of builders and developers are just out to make money and don’t put as much emphasis on quality control and customer service as we might expect. I don’t want to seem mistrusting, however, with a purchase as large as a house, you need to feel as comfortable as possible that your brand new home is going to last, hold and even grow its value over the years. That brings me to the final point. Don’t fret if you found the house further along in the building process and you have not had phase inspections. A home inspector can still find things, and most likely WILL find things. It doesn’t matter how old a house is, a good inspector will find items that got missed. And don’t be fooled that “It wouldn’t have passed the Codes inspection if it wasn’t done correctly.” Again, humans make mistakes. My best suggestion is that you have a home inspection any time you buy anything someone will live in. If you need a recommendation for a good home inspector, most Realtors can give you a list of inspectors they or their clients have used or you can look online. www.Ashi.org is also a good...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

  I live and work in Nashville TN. Our nickname is Music City. People move here every day, in hopes of becoming either a songwriter or a star. As a songwriter, or a writer in general, you need inspiration. Something that will, seemingly, just come out of nowhere. Something that hits you between the eyes and speaks to you. It may be a trip that you took, it may be a sunset. It could be a heartbreak or an illness. So many things in our daily lives can inspire us if we are open to them. It can be the same in real estate. When you are looking to buy or sell a house, you have an inspiration. Something came into play that helped you make that decision. Did you take a job in a different area and want to move closer to work? Is your family growing and need more space? Are your aging parents needing help and you are looking to combine two households? Whatever your inspiration, buying and selling real estate can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your eye on the end game. Keep focused on the inspiration that got you here in the first place. If that inspiration is negative, then focus on how you will feel once it’s over and that chapter is closed. Some of the most award winning, popular, beautiful songs are written out of a negative place so don’t be afraid to go through it. When you come out on the other side, you will be a better, stronger version of yourself and you’ll have new inspirations for a new season. Once you get where you are going, there are entirely new inspirations to be found. What color will you paint the bedroom? What kind of stools will you put at the breakfast bar? What type of painting or art will look best in the living room? You may want to take from travels you have been on and infuse other cultures into your world or you may collect things you have seen at art fairs. However you enjoy to add life to your home, make it a piece of you. I believe, and hear from others, that when you walk into a home, it has a feel. You can feel the energy. What better energy than that of yourself. When others come into your home, they see a piece of you. They see your personality play out in the things that surround them. Make it yours and don’t apologize for it. Who cares if you don’t use this year’s “color of the year” or have the latest trend in countertops in your kitchen. If you love...

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You’re Not All That

You’re Not All That

  You’ve met them. Those people that the minute you meet them you know they think they were born to bless others with their presence. They think they can do nothing wrong and you are stupid if you think otherwise. Don’t you just want to tell them, “you’re not all that”? Yeah, it goes the same for some people in the real estate market. They think that their $20,000 under asking price, cash offer, first day on the market should make Sellers run to sign the papers and ask if they want all their furniture too. We have a great real estate market in the Nashville area. Over the past two years, I have taken many calls from real estate investors from other states that heard that Nashville was a great market and a great place to invest. They are looking for a “deal”. Well, those days are gone for now. Prices have risen, and Sellers are smart. I have had to explain to more than one person that while cash is great, if it doesn’t accompany a strong offer in other ways, it just might be “prince” instead of “king”. Certainly, there are circumstances where a cash offer makes most sense but if the offer price is a lowball offer, most Sellers will say, “No, thank you”. Think of it this way, if you are a Seller and your house is on the market for 2 days. You get two offers. One is for full price, is contingent on the Buyer’s 90% conventional loan and they are pre-approved by a reputable lender. The other offer is for $15,000 below asking price but is all cash. In most cases, Sellers would take the risk to make $15,000 more. However, the offer may have included things like no appraisal, or no inspection, in which case, the Seller may want to consider value and condition of their home prior to making that decision. I try to get my Buyers to be reasonable in their offers. It is never a good idea to offend or make a Seller mad with the spirit of negotiation in mind. Some people know it’s not personal while others take it very personally and are very offended by a lowball offer when a property is priced well and a Buyer is just out fishing for deals. Life and real estate is about compromise – negotiation. If you start off offending, chances are not good that you will come to a resolution and an outcome that you are hoping for. So, just because you have cash and think your *you know what* doesn’t *you know what*, doesn’t mean that you will get that house. They may just tell...

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Why Realtors Should Hang Out

Why Realtors Should Hang Out

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a networker. I network with CEO’s, musicians, blue collar workers, association and Chamber members, neighbors, and, yes, Realtors. When new real estate agents ask me for advice, I tell them they need to network with other agents. They often look at me like I’m crazy. They say, “I’m not going to sell a house to another Realtor.” Oh, but you ARE! Here are five reasons why Realtors should hang out. You can get the inside scoop on upcoming listings. I am in networks of Realtors that send me listings that are not yet on MLS for the public to see. This is hugely helpful in a competitive market when I have clients looking for a very popular type home. I can be ready to show it immediately when it is available. Sometimes they’ll let you in a listing FIRST.Every once in a while, clients prefer to take the hassle out of listing their house on MLS. They don’t want tons of people going through their house and would rather a few select people see it if it is likely to bring a good, quick offer. If you have a relationship with the listing agent, you may get to be one of the select few and save your client the hassle and disappointment of competing with other buyers. You may win for your client in a competitive market.I have had more than one instance where a Seller has chosen my Buyer’s contract over another one that may have even been slightly better because I had a relationship with their agent. When a Realtor knows that the agent representing the other party is professional and easy to work with, it can go a long way with clients who want a stress-free experience. You may find a house that isn’t listed for your Buyer.It is frustrating for agents and for buyers when the market is so hot and we see properties being listed on MLS and go under contract as soon as they go live. Chances are, they knew about it before it was listed. If you have a Buyer with a particular need, send it out to your Realtor network. There is likely someone who has a client who is looking to sell a property that fits that criteria and it may be possible to get it under contract before anyone else knows about it. The bad stuff is easier to deal with.Not all transactions are easy. Not all clients are reasonable. So, when the bad stuff happens, having a relationship with the other Realtor can make all the difference. If you know and respect each other, solutions can be found even...

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Why Choosing the Right Lender is So Important

Why Choosing the Right Lender is So Important

  We like to meet with our Buyers in person prior to going out to see any houses. One reason for that is so we can sit in a relaxed environment and get to know their wants, needs, and what is driving their home purchase. Another reason is to go through a flow chart of the home buying process. As full-time Realtors, we do this on a monthly basis. We know the process inside and out and can tell you where the pitfalls and hang-ups will be if there are any. If our client has not already spoken with a lender about pre-approval, we discuss this and explain why choosing the right lender is so important. There are many different types of lenders as well as types of loans. When we are discussing our client’s desires for a home, this can clue us in on certain lenders that would be a good fit for them. For instance, if you are buying raw land, you can’t just walk into any bank or lending institution and get a loan. Not all lenders are set up to give loans for raw land. Another example is mobile homes or houses without a permanent foundation – like some “tiny” homes. There are very few lenders that can handle those loans. One we see a lot is condominiums. One would think that it is pretty straight forward, and that any lender can lend money for a condo purchase – not so. A lot of condominiums allow rentals or have allowed rentals in the past. If the ratio of owner-occupied to tenant occupied is too high, some lenders can’t or won’t lend the money to purchase that unit, whether or not you, the Buyer, is buying to live in or rent out. When we have a Buyer that has already talked to or chosen a lender prior to meeting with us, we ask specific questions to make sure that is the right fit for what they are trying to buy. You would think that loan officers would ask pertinent questions on the front end, but not all of them do, or Buyers aren’t quite sure of what they want in the beginning stages. We have had far too many bad experiences with lenders that promise the world but don’t deliver. We’ve also had many Buyers disappointed and incur extra expense because their closing date had to be changed because the lender did not get the loan processed in time. Realtors can do their best to manage the process and make sure the lender is on notice to get a condo questionnaire, any HOA documents needed and order the appraisal in time, but sometimes that is not...

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