Home Inspections: Items That Aren’t Deal-Breakers

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

After making an offer on a home, you’ll enter into a contract. Part of that contract should always include getting a home inspection. It is recommended that any homebuyer make an offer to purchase contingent upon a home inspection. This allows you to withdraw your offer if there are any major issues discovered during an inspection.

More than likely, the home inspector will find problems that need to be fixed before closing. Major foundation issues and significant water damage are at the top of the list of signs to walk away from.

On the other hand, there are some home defects found during an inspection that don’t have to be deal-breakers. Many of them can be fixed, and they can be used to negotiate with the seller for a lower price point or additional help with the closing costs.

Lead-Based Paint
Lead-based paint was banned in 1978, but it’s still possible that you could purchase a home that contains it if it was built before the ban. The sellers should disclose this, but the home inspector may find it, as well.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how comfortable you are with purchasing a home that has lead-based paint, but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. You can hire a contractor who is certified to remove lead-based paint, and the home will be completely safe.

Concrete Floor Cracks
Cracks in a concrete basement floor may seem like a structural problem, but this is natural and not indicative of significant damage. Small cracks occur in concrete because it’s a porous substance. These cracks can be fixed at a relatively low cost, and shouldn’t be a reason for you to back out of a contract.

What is something that’s cause for concern are cracks in concrete walls, as these may or may not be associated with the structure. If the wall has moved or if the cracks have a large opening, then these would be deal-breakers.

Mold
Mold is something that no one ever wants to see in a home you put an offer on, but a little bit of mold by the shower doesn’t mean you need to back out of your offer—at least not immediately.

If mold is found during the home inspection, have a qualified mold inspector take a look. Not all molds are toxic, but the safest way to determine if this is a deal-breaker is by hiring a mold professional.

Bug Infestations
Bug infestations can cause significant damage to the home’s structure if they aren’t exterminated quickly and efficiently. A home inspector may find signs of an infestation during an inspection, but how do you tell if it’s truly a deal-breaker?

The best way to know if there is pest damage to the home’s structure or foundation is to ask a qualified pest expert to do an additional inspection of the home. Someone who is a specialist will be able to tell you if the home just has a few bugs, or if you need to rescind your offer.

When problems arise during home inspections, it doesn’t always mean you have to back out of your contract. Home inspectors will often find problems outside of their scope of expertise, so always get a second opinion from a specialist before making a final decision. In many instances, these problems are opportunities to negotiate with the seller. You can request that the seller do the repairs, or ask for money to put towards repairs.

You can also ask the seller to include a home warranty on the home in the contract of sale, but it won’t repair the problems found in a home inspection contract. A home warranty is there to protect you from aging systems and appliances after you buy. Think of getting car insurance on a car that was just wrecked and then opening a claim—it wouldn’t work, because the insurance was put on after the damage happened. The same goes for a home warranty.

Whitney Bennett is the SEO specialist at a home warranty service provider headquartered in Utah.

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$169,900 :: 11139 JUNIPER Court, Washington Twp MI, 48094

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Property Photo

2 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,219 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 04/28/17, Last Updated: 04/28/17
Property Type: Condo
MLS Number: 217033708
Community: Washington Twp
Tract: TIMBER MILL CONDO
Status: Active

Washington Township Condo in fantastic location. Has everything you could want. Private courtyard entrance. Brand new appliances…Cafe Frig, Convection Gas Oven, Microwave and Dishwasher. Light and bright with skylights and 2 Doorwalls. Large window in Master. Brand new gas logs with remote. Attached 2 car garage. 1st floor laundry. Finished basement plumbed for additional bath. Slide out shelves in Merrilat kitchen cabinets. Ample closet space. Just a great complex. 5 Minutes from Stoney Creek. Lots of shopping nearby. Seller is a licensed real estate agent.

Listed with Ralph Roberts Realty LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$169,900 :: 11139 JUNIPER Court, Washington Twp MI, 48094

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Property Photo

2 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,219 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 04/28/17, Last Updated: 04/28/17
Property Type: Condo
MLS Number: 217033708
Community: Washington Twp
Tract: TIMBER MILL CONDO
Status: Active

Washington Township Condo in fantastic location. Has everything you could want. Private courtyard entrance. Brand new appliances…Cafe Frig, Convection Gas Oven, Microwave and Dishwasher. Light and bright with skylights and 2 Doorwalls. Large window in Master. Brand new gas logs with remote. Attached 2 car garage. 1st floor laundry. Finished basement plumbed for additional bath. Slide out shelves in Merrilat kitchen cabinets. Ample closet space. Just a great complex. 5 Minutes from Stoney Creek. Lots of shopping nearby. Seller is a licensed real estate agent.

Listed with Ralph Roberts Realty LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$568,600 :: 58022 GREY FOX GLEN, Washington MI, 48094

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Property Photo

4 beds, 4 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 3,269 sq ft
Lot Size: 20,037 sq ft
Added: 03/05/17, Last Updated: 04/29/17
Property Type: 1 1/2 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21268015
Community: Washington Twp (50006)
Tract: WEST RIDGE
Status: Sold

Pristine condition 3400 sqft Cape Cod situated on it’s own private Oasis with a partially wooded lot and serene pond view. Finished walkout bsmt has sauna, hot tub, pool table, wine fridge, full bath and addt’l room for BR, theatre or fitness. 1st floor MBR has 2 WIC and a deck with retractable awning. Master bath has jetted tub and dual vanities. Hardwood floors throughout, cathedral ceiling in office, butler’s pantry with wet bar, BR2 has WIC, sprinklers have drippers to landscape beds, granite counters, silhouette window treatments, new dishwasher, new sump 2015, newer roof, Cabana and many more features and details to see and enjoy. Great location. Romeo schools.

Listed with Real Estate One-Rochester


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$169,900 :: 11139 JUNIPER CRT, Washington MI, 48094

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Property Photo

2 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,219 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 04/28/17, Last Updated: 04/29/17
Property Type: 1 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21288393
Community: Washington Twp (50006)
Tract: TIMBER MILL CONDO
Status: Active

Washington Township Condo in fantastic location. Has everything you could want. Private courtyard entrance. Brand new appliances…Cafe Frig, Convection Gas Oven, Microwave and Dishwasher. Light and bright with skylights and 2 Doorwalls. Large window in Master. Brand new gas logs with remote. Attached 2 car garage. 1st floor laundry. Finished basement plumbed for additional bath. Slide out shelves in Merrilat kitchen cabinets. Ample closet space. Just a great complex. 5 Minutes from Stoney Creek. Lots of shopping nearby. Seller is a licensed real estate agent.

Listed with Ralph Roberts Realty LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$169,900 :: 11139 JUNIPER CRT, Washington MI, 48094

Thumbnail for 153308
Property Photo

2 beds, 2 full baths
Home size: 1,219 sq ft
Lot Size: 0 sq ft
Added: 04/28/17, Last Updated: 04/29/17
Property Type: 1 Story, Residential
MLS Number: 21288393
Community: Washington Twp (50006)
Tract: TIMBER MILL CONDO
Status: Active

Washington Township Condo in fantastic location. Has everything you could want. Private courtyard entrance. Brand new appliances…Cafe Frig, Convection Gas Oven, Microwave and Dishwasher. Light and bright with skylights and 2 Doorwalls. Large window in Master. Brand new gas logs with remote. Attached 2 car garage. 1st floor laundry. Finished basement plumbed for additional bath. Slide out shelves in Merrilat kitchen cabinets. Ample closet space. Just a great complex. 5 Minutes from Stoney Creek. Lots of shopping nearby. Seller is a licensed real estate agent.

Listed with Ralph Roberts Realty LLC


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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How to Get Rid of Private Mortgage Insurance

(TNS)—If you bought a house with a down payment of less than 20 percent, your lender required you to buy mortgage insurance. The same goes if you refinanced with less than 20 percent equity.

Private mortgage insurance, called PMI for short, is expensive—but you can remove it after you have met some conditions.

You should know, however, that although you can cancel private mortgage insurance, you cannot cancel recent Federal Housing Administration insurance.

Canceling PMI Sooner
Here are steps you can take to cancel mortgage insurance sooner or strengthen your negotiating position:

  • Refinance: If your home value has increased enough, the new lender won’t require mortgage insurance.
  • Get a New Appraisal: Some lenders will consider a new appraisal instead of the original sales price or appraised value when deciding whether you meet the 20 percent equity threshold. An appraisal generally costs $300 to $500.
  • Prepay on Your Loan: Even $50 a month can mean a dramatic drop in your loan balance over time.
  • Remodel: Increase your home’s market value, then ask the lender to recalculate your loan-to-value ratio using the new value figure.

Refinancing to Get Out of PMI
When mortgage rates are near record lows, as they are now, refinancing can allow you not only to get rid of PMI but can also reduce your monthly interest payments. It’s a double whammy of savings.

The refinancing tactic works if your home has gained substantial value since the last time you got a mortgage. Let’s say you bought your house three years ago for $100,000, and you borrowed $90,000. That means you have a loan-to-value ratio of 90 percent, and you pay for PMI.

Three years later, you’ve made all your payments and you have chipped away at the loan balance. Now you owe $85,000, and your home’s value has gone up—now it can be appraised at $112,000. Its value has grown 4 percent a year.

At this point, you owe $85,000 on a $112,000 house. This means you owe 76 percent of the home’s value—well under the 80 percent loan-to-value that triggers the need for mortgage insurance. Under these circumstances, you can refinance into a new loan without having to pay for PMI.

Many loans have what’s called a seasoning requirement that requires you to wait at least two years before you can refinance to get rid of PMI. So if your loan is less than 2 years old, you can ask for a PMI-canceling refi, but you’re not guaranteed to get approval.

What Mortgage Insurance Is For
Mortgage insurance reimburses the lender if you default on your home loan. You, the borrower, pay the premiums. When sold by a company, it’s known as private mortgage insurance, or PMI. The Federal Housing Administration, a government agency, sells mortgage insurance, too.

Know Your Rights
By law, your lender must tell you at closing how many years and months it will take you to pay down your loan sufficiently to cancel mortgage insurance.

Mortgage servicers must give borrowers an annual statement that shows whom to call for information about canceling mortgage insurance.

Other Requirements to Cancel PMI
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you have to meet certain requirements to remove PMI:

  • You must request PMI cancellation in writing.
  • You have to be current on your payments and have a good payment history.
  • You might have to prove that you don’t have any other liens on the home (for example, a home equity loan or home equity line of credit).
  • You might have to get an appraisal to demonstrate that your loan balance isn’t more than 80 percent of the home’s current value.

Higher-Risk Properties
|Lenders can impose stricter rules for high-risk borrowers. You may fall into this high-risk category if you have missed mortgage payments, so make sure your payments are up to date before asking your lender to drop mortgage insurance. Lenders may require a higher equity percentage if the property has been converted to rental use.

©2017 Bankrate.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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Homeowners Making Improvements Despite Political Uncertainties

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HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Homeowners are springing more for upgrades to their homes, despite unknowns that have the potential to impact their spending—a full 60 percent more than what they spent in 2016, according to a new report by HomeAdvisor.

“Home improvement activity is showing resilience in the face of political shifts,” says Brad Hunter, chief economist at HomeAdvisor. “While there is a sharp divide in how homeowners feel about the economy and the current presidential administration, that divide is not affecting their willingness to take on home projects.”

Thirty-five percent of the homeowners surveyed for the report, the 2017 True Cost Report, are confident the Trump Administration will put policies in place that will improve their finances—but 80 percent will carry out upgrades, anyway.

The report also found:

HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Source: HomeAdvisor

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Homeowners Making Improvements Despite Political Uncertainties

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HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Homeowners are springing more for upgrades to their homes, despite unknowns that have the potential to impact their spending—a full 60 percent more than what they spent in 2016, according to a new report by HomeAdvisor.

“Home improvement activity is showing resilience in the face of political shifts,” says Brad Hunter, chief economist at HomeAdvisor. “While there is a sharp divide in how homeowners feel about the economy and the current presidential administration, that divide is not affecting their willingness to take on home projects.”

Thirty-five percent of the homeowners surveyed for the report, the 2017 True Cost Report, are confident the Trump Administration will put policies in place that will improve their finances—but 80 percent will carry out upgrades, anyway.

The report also found:

HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Report Infographic (PRNewsfoto/HomeAdvisor)

Source: HomeAdvisor

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$699,900 :: 14933 TIMBERWOODS Court, Washington Twp MI, 48094

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Property Photo

5 beds, 5 full, 1 part baths
Home size: 4,358 sq ft
Lot Size: 75,358 sq ft
Added: 04/28/17, Last Updated: 04/29/17
Property Type: Residential
MLS Number: 217031266
Community: Washington Twp
Status: Active

“There’s No Place Like Home!” Feeling disappointed by the lack of quality homes available in Today’s Market? Don’t be!! You now have the Opportunity for Ownership of a Beautiful, Desirable, Custom-Built Split w/ not some–ALL–of the Amenities that Today’s MOST Discerning Purchasers have come to EXPECT in their “Work Hard/Play Hard” Smart Luxury Lifestyles. This 4300 SQ Ft, 5 Bed/5 Bth All-Brick Home on 2 Acres, in Award-Winning Romeo Schools, is Perfect & Upgraded in Every Way! Fireplaces in Breakfast Nook, 1st Floor En Suite, & Great Room, w/ Floor to Cathedral Ceiling Windows overlooking Wooded yard adds a Peaceful Ambience to the Entire Space. Well-Thought, Modern Luxuries=Truly Special: 1st & 2nd Floor Laundry! Central Vac! Finished Basment w/ Full Bath, Wet Bar, Hidden room, Built-in Pool, Basketball Court, Water Purification, Butler’s Pantry w/ Custom Built Wine Storage. Truly Open Concept designed for Entertaining: It’s Time to Enjoy your life in Comfort and Style!!

Listed with Keller Williams Realty-Great Lakes


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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