No Hidden Suprises!
Pre-inspect your home before putting it on the market! Sell your home with Robert and Jani Bielenberg, Bielenberg & Associates, and take advantage of their R & J Certified Home Marketing Program! Transform your pre-owned home into a R & J Certified Home. It’s not difficult to do. Before the sign goes in the yard, your home will undergo a comprehensive pre-inspection, which includes the physical condition of the home, a review of the preliminary title report, and a review of HOA information. Once certified, your home’s major systems are covered by a 12-month Home Protection Plan, provided to the buyer at closing on your behalf by Robert and Jani.
Why do a pre-inspection before putting your home up for sale? A comprehensive pre-inspection of your home will help to minimize any surprises that might come up in the buyers home inspection. Simply put, it will provide peace-of-mind for both seller and buyer during one of the largest financial transactions of their lives, which can be a very stressful time.
Nationwide, research shows that eight out of ten home buyers get a home inspection when purchasing a home. So, wouldn’t you rather go in with your eyes open instead of with your eyes closed? Here are a few of the benefits you will gain with a pre-listing home inspection:
- Find out in advance what inspection items you might have to address, prior to receiving a buyer’s inspection notice.
- Have an opportunity to repair any items before putting your home on the market.
- Limit your financial exposure due to renegotiation during the inspection phase of the contract.
- Sell your home faster and for a higher price.
- Avoid having a contract fall through when a buyer isn’t satisfied with the condition of the home for the price being paid.
- Avoid potential issues with a buyer’s lender over the inspection resolution.
- Last, but not least… peace-of-mind… it’s PRICELESS!
Contact us today to turn your pre-owned home into an R & J Certified Home.
Appraisals are Not All the Same
1. An appraisal isn’t an exact science
All home appraisals are not created equally. When appraisers evaluate a home’s value, they’re giving their best opinion based on how the home’s features stack up against those of similar homes recently sold nearby. One appraiser may factor in a recent sale, but another may consider that sale too long ago, or the home too different, or too far away to be a fair comparison. The result can be differences in the values two separate appraisers set for your home.
2. Appraisals have different purposes
If the appraisal is being used by a lender giving a loan on the home, the appraised value will be the lower of market value (what it would sell for on the open market today) and the price you paid for the house if you recently bought it.
An appraisal being used to figure out how much to insure your home for or to determine your property taxes may rely on other factors and arrive at different values. For example, though an appraisal for a home loan evaluates today’s market value, an appraisal for insurance purposes calculates what it would cost to rebuild your home at today’s building material and labor rates, which can result in two different numbers.
Appraisals are also different from CMAs, or competitive market analyses. In a CMA, a real estate agent relies on market expertise to estimate how much your home will sell for in a specific time period. The price your home will sell for in 30 days may be different than the price your home will sell for in 120 days. Because real estate agents don’t follow the rules appraisers do, there can be variations between CMAs and appraisals on the same home.
3. An appraisal is a snapshot
Home prices shift, and appraised values will shift with those market changes. Your home may be appraised at $150,000 today, but in two months when you refinance or list it for sale, the appraised value could be lower or higher depending on how your market has performed.
4. Appraisals don’t factor in your personal issues
You may have a reason you must sell immediately, such as a job loss or transfer, which can affect the amount of money you’ll accept to complete the transaction in your time frame. An appraisal doesn’t consider those personal factors.
5. You can ask for a second opinion
If your home appraisal comes back at a value you believe is too low, you can request that a second appraisal be performed by a different appraiser. You, or potential buyers, if they’ve requested the appraisal, will have to pay for the second appraisal. But it may be worth it to keep the sale from collapsing from a faulty appraisal. On the other hand, the appraisal may be accurate, and it may be a sign that you need to adjust your pricing or the size of the loan you’re refinancing.
G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who’s had more than 10 appraisals performed on her properties in the past 20 years. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
Enjoy a safe Halloween! It’s such a fun holiday to share with our children no matter the age, but it is also a time to be cautious about potential safety hazards. We want our children to be safe and to have a good time. Here are several safety tips to help make your Halloween a safe one!
- Trick-or-treat in familiar neighborhoods
- Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries
- Carry a spare Halloween bag, in case yours breaks
- Make sure your costume doesn’t drag on the sidewalk
- Watch for open flames inside pumpkins and candles
- Trick-or-treat in groups, accompanied by an adult
- Stay on the sidewalks – don’t take any shortcuts
- Walk, don’t run
- Visit only well-lit houses
- Don’t stop at dark houses
- Don’t cut across yards
- Don’t enter any house
- Stay in cross walks and follow traffic signals
- Watch for cars
- Never accept rides from strangers
- Don’t approach animals
- Don’t eat any candy until it has been inspected under a bright light
- Avoid any candy that has loose, punctured or opened wrappers or is homemade
- Report any suspicious activity to an adult or police
Here’s what you need to do to get your home loan. You need to be prepared and willing to provide anything and everything your lender asks for, when and how they ask for it. A borrower’s assets and debits need to be explained and documented. You will need to disclose everything. This may sound like simple advice, but failure to disclose or provide information when being asked, can be a huge sticking point for anyone trying to get a loan and your frustration won’t lag far behind. When your lender asks for a specific document, unless you were given an option, you need to provide that “exact document”. For example, if your lender asks for your bank statement, provide the full bank statment – not just the pages that you think are relevant.
Where the rubber hits the road, is not in satisfying credit underwriting, but rather in meeting the stringent documentation requirements. The loan process, guidelines and requirements are the same for everyone, so while it may feel like you are being picked on, you aren’t. Here’s what you need to do to get your home loan through. Enter the process with a positive attitude, knowing that this will be a huge inconvenience and intrusion into your private financial life. It will be over soon and this is better than becoming angry and ready for battle.
The reason the mortgage approval process is now so stringent, is because of all the defaults. The lenders have suffered staggering losses over the last several years since the beginning of the housing market crisis. What is most important now, is a borrower who can meet all the underwriting guidelines and who is able to document it.
Residential hazardous waste removal is available door-to-door for single family residences in many Cities and Counties. It offers homeowner’s a great opportunity to get rid of all kinds of HHW (Household Hazardous Waste). Such items may include, used motor oil, used oil filters, antifreeze, dried paint, household and auto batteries, pesticides, herbicides, solvents, acids, photo and household chemicals.
Each City or County who offers such a program, manages their own residential hazardous waste removal. So, the first step is to contact the City or County that you reside in and see if there is such a program available. Then contact the program administrator and see if you qualify. While you have them on the phone, clarify what types of hazardous waste you would like to dispose of and verify that it is allowable under their program. After you have been qualified, the operator will walk you through the procedure, explain the cost and determine the next available pick-up date in your area.
This is a very easy and affordable way to get rid of your residential haszardous waste. For Unincorporated Arapahoe County, City of Centennial and Denver residents, see the following contact information:
Curbside Inc. 1-800-449-7587 or email: email@example.com for collection information and to schedule an appointment.
Additional resources on household hazardous waste and recycling can be found at:
http://earth911.org Earth 911 lists by State and County, HHW facilities, collection details and collection event information.
http://obviously.com/recycle/ Obviously.com provides a recycling guide that offers a starting point for consumers in the USA and Canada, who are searching fthe internet for recycling information.
http://denvergov.org The Official website for Denver.
Senior Property Tax Exemption Reinstated - Good news for seniors, the Colorado State Legislature reinstated a property tax exemption for seniors. Following a three-year suspension, this tax exemption is for the 2012 tax year, payable in 2013. So mark your calendars for July 15th! Applications for a Senior Property Tax Exemption must be received by the Assessor’s Office by July 15th for the first year that you are applying for the exemption.
Seniors Claim Your Property Tax Exemption
How Does The Senior Property Tax Exemption Work?
Qualifying residents who are 65 years or older will see 50% of the first $200,000 of actual value in their primary residence exempted from property tax. One owner must be 65 years of age or older, and must have occupied the home as a primary residence for at least 10 consecutive years prior to Januay 1, of the year in which application is made.
What If A Senior Has Already Applied Under A Previous Exemption? It will automatically carry over from year to year as long as nothing has changed in ownership or occupancy. The County Assessor’s Office should be able to assist seniors with completing an application. They should also be able to verify if the senior’s property was already approved for the previous senior property tax exemption.
For an application form or more information? Contact the Assessor’s Office for the County in which you live.
Carbon monoxide deadly! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is deadly and home detectors are now required. Carbon monoxide exposure accounts for 500 deaths and an estimated 15,000 emergency room visits, each year in the United States. In 2009, Colorado lawmakers passed HB1091. The Lofgren and Johnson Families Carbon Monoxide Safety Act, requires all residential properties, to have carbon monoxide detectors installed within 15 feet of each bedroom.
It is important for your families safety, that you purchase a carbon monoxide detector that has been laboratory tested. Do not buy the cheapest model available. Buy one for it’s features and not the price. Even if it means upgrading the one that’s already in the home that you just purchased. Sellers are required to provide detectors, but they are not required to provide the industry best. At the end of the day, it is very cheap protection for you and your family, and if you have a leak that goes undected, you may not get a second chance.
Carbon monoxide is deadly! If your carbon monoxide detector goes off immediately:
- Determine if it is your smoke detector or your carbon monoxide detector going off. You should have both.
- Check to see if any one in the home is experiencing severe headache, dizziness, confusion and/or nausea – all signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If so, get them or you, out of the home immediately and seek medical attention.
- Get fresh air into the home.
- Call 911 or get to an emergency room. Be sure to tell Emergency Responders that you believe that you have been exposed to carbon monoxide.
- Don’t ignore symptoms especially if more than one is feeling them.
When you’re selling your home, occasionally you will receive a call that a buyer wants to see your home within the next few minutes. Don’t panic.
Use this checklist to get ready quickly.
- SOUND. Turn off the television and tune the radio (low volume) to a classical, soft rock, or middle of the road station.
- SIGHT. Turn on every light in the house (day or night) and open every drape and blind (daytime only).
- KITCHEN. Wipe kitchen counters. Place dirty dishes in dishwasher.
- BATHROOM. Wipe counters, flush and close toilet.
- LIVING ROOM. Hide magazines, and newspapers. Remove clutter.
- FAMILY ROOM. Hide magazines, games and newspapers. Remove clutter.
- BEDROOMS. Straighten beds. Hide clutter under bed (not in closet).
- EXTERIOR. Put away toys and clutter. Keep walks clear.
- PETS. They are a distraction, so send them outside.
- GOODBYE. Sorry, but this is the single most important thing you can do to help sell your home. Even if the agent insists that it is OK for you to stay, you must leave. Buyers must get emotionally committed to your home to buy it. They can’t become emotional about “their new home” if the current owners are hanging around. Please, at the very least, go into the yard or take a walk around the block.
|When it comes time to move or travel, pet owners are faced with a dilemma … how to transport their pets safely and with minimal hassle.
|When it comes time to move or travel, pet owners are faced with a dilemma … how to transport their pets safely and with minimal hassle. Petrelocation.com is an online company offering door-to-door service for transporting animals across town, across the country or even to another part of the world. The Texas-based company uses a network of carriers and transportation routes to create a customized travel itinerary for many types of animals. If clients want to know where their pets are at any time during their travels, they can check the real-time flight status online. The web site also provides destination specific information, such as local veterinarians, dog parks and vaccination requirements.
What will happen to interest rates in 2012?
There has been been a lot of speculation all year by everyone from the Federal Reserve to the National Association of Realtors. Projections are difficult at best when so many factors are in play. However, the general concensus is that interest rates will gradually start to rise from recent record lows to 4.5 percent by the middle of 2012.
While the housing market is still struggling and analysts are waiting for improving job markets, both are expected to improve throughout next year and thereafter. The unemployment rate should decline modestly to around 8.7 percent by the end of 2012. And the National Association of Realtors expects new home sales to reach 372,000, with existing home sales rising 4 to 5 percent.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, says “housing affordability conditions, based on the relationship between median home prices, mortgage interest rates, and median family income, have been at a record high this year. Very favorable affordability conditions will dominate next year as well, which will probably be the second best year on record dating back to 1970. Our hope is that credit restrictions will ease and allow more home buyers to take advantage of current opportunities.”
The take away in all of this is that as the housing market continues to improve, interest rates will start inching up. Our best advice for now is that Buyers who are interested in making a move should take advantage of this attractive combination of historical low interest rates and favorable housing affordability.