5 Myths All Home Buyers Should Realise

5 Myths All Home Buyers Should Realize

If you are in the market for a home, you should be aware of some popular home buying myths. These myths have come into being by well meaning people who thought that they were making accurate assumptions of the housing market. Yet, as we all know this market is always changing and so are the habits of those who are in the selling market. For this reason, stick with instincts and realize not everything you hear about buying a home is true.

Here are a few myths every home buyer should know

You will know when you find the perfect home

There are no perfect homes and there are no perfect people. It is as simple as that.

Every home as a soul or will speak to you directly

Some misguided shoppers are continually looking for a sign or for a house with a voice to speak to them and say “I am the one.” This doesn’t always happen. Remember real estate agents and even regular sellers can help make you think the house is speaking to you or promote so called feelings that aren’t really there.

Every listing is completely accurate

Check the facts yourself. Face it, people aren’t always honest. Plus, people do make mistakes. If the ad says the house has copper plumbing, check that it does.

If the seller accepts your offer, you offered more than the house is worth

No, this is not necessarily true. In these bad economic times, a seller may be happy that you made an offer or he may just be eager to sell. If you did your research and you figured out your budget, don’t second guess yourself on what you offered.

Every home will increase in value

You can’t count that any home you will increase in value over time. You never know what the future will hold or what changes will happen to the economy. All you can do is hope for the best.

No, we can’t predict the future. All we can do is try to make the best financial decisions we can.

When it comes to shopping for a home, do your research, check your budget, get the facts and then use the best judgment you can. However, try not to fall for the most common home buying myths.

How to hire the best home improvement contractors

Over the years, I have had several interesting learning experiences when dealing with contractors. What follows is a list of observations and advice that will help customers when hiring a professional. Remember: The bottom line is to get the best job for the best price in the best amount of time.

Research the Problem

In recent years, the internet has grown to become a helpful resource for information. Do you have an issue with your home that none of your friends have encountered? Try Googling the problem. Chances are, other homeowners have faced similar circumstances, and posted something online. Frequently, I run across bulletin board discussions with questions and answers.

Keep in mind, however, that not all answers you encounter will be helpful. Try to identify about six or eight different sites, and read the proposed solutions. If they all seem to present the same answer, then you probably have a starting point.

Is this something you can do yourself? There are many online sites (YouTube being the most popular) that feature how-to videos. If the solution seems simple enough, you may be able to correct the problem without paying for the service. A trip to your local home improvement store may be all you require.

Ask Around – Don’t Hire Blindly

Do you want to know why so many businesses are named “AAA Roofing Company,” or “A. J. Smith Plumbing?” Because they show up first alphabetically in a phone listing. I can almost guarantee that “Aardvark Home Restoration” gets more calls than “Zoom Recovery Company.” Don’t fall for this. Ask your friends and neighbors for a referral first. Odds are, someone in your immediate network knows the right person, or at least has had a good experience with a professional.

If you absolutely MUST call from the phone book, work in reverse alphabetical order. You stand a better chance of getting someone out to your house in a timely manner if someone picks up the phone.

Get a Second Opinion

Several years ago, I encountered an electrical problem in my house: Two floors had lost power, but the other floor and basement were fine. The first electrician to investigate recommended that I spend a small fortune to re-wire the entire house. The second person to look at it identified the problem: A circuit had blown, and would need to be replaced. His estimate was much more affordable, so we hired him. Fortunately, the second electrician’s analysis corrected the problem.

Contractors Love to Bash Each Other

It seems that mentioning the name of one professional to a competitor yields a tirade about that person. A typical exchange goes something like this:

Contractor: “It looks like you had some shoddy work done on your gutters. Who did that?”
Me: “I think it was Bob Peterson.”
Contractor: “PETERSON? That guy’s a crook! I’m surprised he didn’t rip you off.”

Never, NEVER take anything one person says about his competition at face value. Sometimes there’s truth in it, but most of the time, it’s exaggerated to scare you away from hiring someone else.

Ask Questions

Before selling a house, I once hired an electrician to be sure the house was up to the current local codes. A few days into the project, he mentioned to me that he wasn’t licensed to work in my county, so I shouldn’t mention it to the buyer. If he wasn’t licensed, why did he take the job? I learned a lesson from that experience, and never hired him again.

Some Contractors Forget the Details

There have been a few occasions where I listed what projects I wanted to complete, but some components were never written on the estimate. Therefore, that work was never done. Other times, a company forgets what they already did.

The funniest example of the latter involves some roof work I had done. One Saturday, a roofer arrived with three helpers. They worked all morning, left for lunch, and didn’t return. The next day was Father’s Day, so I assumed they would come back on Monday. However, they still didn’t return. I finally called them to ask when they would be coming back, and they had no idea who I was. They didn’t return, and they never billed me either. Essentially, I had a morning’s worth of roofing done for free.

Get an Estimate

This may seem like standard practice, but be sure you get a written estimate from a contractor before agreeing to have work done. This will prevent you from any surprises when receiving your bill. It also allows you to shop around for the best deal, in case another professional can complete the job for a better price. Don’t settle on a verbal agreement, because you have no proof of a quote. Always get it in writing.

Follow Up

You hired someone who said he’d be over Tuesday, and it’s now Thursday? Call him, and keep calling him. Many professionals take on work that runs longer than expected, and they may be rescheduling you without telling you about it. Yes, they need to complete their work for another customer, but don’t forget that you need your work done as well. You should not be expected to give in to someone else’s problem. You may accommodate to an extent, but don’t become a doormat. Keep in touch with your contractor until your job is completed.

Avoid Hiring Friends

Unless you know a friend is absolutely fair, and will do a professional job for you, it’s best to hire someone else. If a friend’s work is substandard, or if there’s an issue with money, that friendship runs the risk of serious strain. It’s not worth losing a good relationship over a bad business deal. Try to keep your personal and professional relationships separate.

Pay on Time

If you hired someone to do work, make sure you have the funds to pay him in a reasonable time. This is good business practice, and will solidify your reputation with that person if he is to do work for you in the future. Deadbeat customers will find their voice messages unanswered over time.

Summary

Every homeowner will need to hire professionals to do work at various times. Knowing who to hire can be confusing, but the points above can help. Always remember to keep these relationships professional (don’t take things personally). You and the contractor are both looking for results that will be mutually beneficial. Don’t allow someone to take advantage of you, but be sure to pay them in a timely manner as well. Make your own interests clearly known, and work together to achieve your desired outcome.

Tips and tricks (with detailed timeline) to prepare yourself for house moving

There are a number of important things to consider when you are moving home. This article does not cover packing up furniture but all the other things that will have to be packed to move. Having moved home a number of times over the years I think I now have the experience to pass on to any novices! You’ll be thanked by your movers and taking the following advice will make your life much less stressful.

Collect boxes

When your home goes on the market start collecting boxes for packing and paper for packing. You can of course buy these but why would you? Be careful not to collect boxes which are too big to handle when full.

After the house is sold

As soon as your home is sold start packing. Start in the garage and the loft and the cupboard under the stairs: in other words any place that you store your ‘junk’. Get rid of anything you don’t use – to a car boot, charity shops, waste and so on. Pack all of the rest up unless you are absolutely sure you won’t use if before the move. The kitchen is a good place to go next. Pack everything you haven’t used in the last 3 months. If you haven’t used things for that period of time you certainly can do without them until you get to your new home. LABEL ALL BOXES – in these cases say Garage (or whatever) and label them URGENT or NON-URGENT. (You’ll be going back to the kitchen later)

Bedrooms next;- pack up shoes, clothing, handbags etc. that are for next season. In other words if it’s winter now pack up all of your summer clothes and vice versa. LABEL THESE BOXES – Bedroom 1 – SUMMER STUFF etc, etc. Do the same for each member of your household. (Go through all wardrobes and all drawers).

If you have a separate dining room where you store crockery – again pack up anything that hasn’t been used in a while and LABEL the boxes appropriately. i.e. what’s in them and which room in the new house they are destined for.

Books

Most, if not all books can be packed in good time for the move. Don’t overpack boxes – they’ll burst open if you do and/or they’ll be too heavy to lift. LABEL the boxes and say which room they will be going in at the new house.

Sitting room(s)

Check all drawers and cupboards and pack anything you haven’t used in a while – EXCEPT PERSONAL PAPERS – passports, birth certificates, insurance documents and so on. If you haven’t already done this you should obtain a secure metal container and put all of these kinds of papers together. Put these somewhere safe (say in your bedroom) and keep them with you during your move. DON’T leave them in the removal van. As you go through your papers throw out anything you know you don’t need. (Moving house is a good opportunity to get rid of all of your rubbish in all of your rooms).

Nearer to the Move

Repeat all of the above about two weeks before you move and again one week before you move. At this stage you need to LABEL ALL BOXES VERY CAREFULLY – because these are the boxes you’ll need as soon as you move into your new home.

The day before the move

Pay close attention to this!!!!! – There are a couple of things I’ve learned in terms of moving which I think are absolutely essential to settling in quickly.

Pack up the basic bedding you will need for the first night in your new home and LABEL the box clearly. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR NEW HOME – MAKE UP THE BEDS. That way the moment you have had enough unpacking and you are very tired you can just fall into bed without having to think about where everything you need is! Don’t forget a couple of towels.

In an empty box – pack up a mug, a plate and basic cutlery for everyone involved in the move (including the movers). Also make sure you have, coffee, milk, tea, juice, sugar and a kettle. Pack some snacks and also something which you can easily turn into a meal, – your toaster; bread, soup, beans, eggs, pack of bacon – whatever you like but do plan in advance. Again, when you are suddenly tired and hungry and these things are readily available it feels great! Don’t forget a couple of tea towels and some washing up liquid. Plan this carefully for your own needs.

The day of the move

If you’ve labelled all of your boxes properly and got your beds made up and your food box to hand – the rest should be straightforward. You can take your time to plan how, when and what you will unpack over the coming days / weeks without feeling too tired and stressed. I hope you’ll be happy in your new home!

Should you rent a home and things to consider

An assessment of a rental house is important. A checklist is good to have when looking at the home. The checklist should include the roof and floors. These are the two most expensive repairs. Other items on the checklist are the electrical work and the walls. The checklist should also include the plumbing for any leaks. A water leak can create problems in the walls and floor. Adding the duct-work to the list is also a good idea. If there are holes in the duck-work they will need to be patch or replaced.

The costs of any repairs are sometimes high. Cash for the cost of the repairs is a good ideal. Paying cash for part or all of the repairs will be useful. Using cash for repairs and/or to purchase the property is more efficient. Any loans will accrue interest which means even more investment. The less money used to invest the sooner the profit will start to accumulate.

With any home another cost is the renter’s insurance and taxes. Also if investing in a rental home there will be a lot rent. This is another consideration unless land is already owned.

After completing the checklist for repairs of the property it’s time to start. Now making some calls to get pricing on the material. Now check around for a good carpenter. They often leave business cards at community stores or service stations. Getting several cards is recommended this gives a choice. Most carpenters will give a free estimate for a job. Now call the numbers on each card that you have to compare their prices. Write the estimates written on the back of each card. Most carpenters will give a free estimate. Some carpenters will charge by the hour but most charge by the job. Checking some references is not a bad idea. Then the best person and lowest estimate will be the one to choose.

After choosing the laborers if floor damage than floor covering may be needed. First decide what type covering will be used. The best quality is not suggested. Any carpet or tile business will be of help when selecting this. Of course, you will want covering that will last. If selecting carpet the first-rate padding is suggested. After all the padding is the life of the carpet. Also for larger rooms 16 inch tile is advised. However, the 12 inch tiles are alright for bathrooms but carpet is not recommended. Be sure to check for leakages in bathrooms for repairs. Check around the bathtubs and or showers. To save money it is suggested the commode donut be changed.

Before renting, a contract is recommended. Most rental owners use contracts. Therefore, a copy may be made or purchased from another owner. Any lawyer will write a contract for a small fee.

Keep in mind that any repairs that you do will save on the cost. Also, the home owner decides whether the appliances are supplied. When the list is completed the home is ready to rent.