Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing your dwelling place, and the place in which you will bring up your family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, we're only a phone call or email away!
Inspections are designed to help you understand the overall condition of a property, potentially saving you considerable time with the purchase process and hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. Some of the inspections which may be required or recommended by your real estate professional are:
Standard Home Inspection- The areas which may be covered include lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Contract For Sale and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some cases, homes can be sold "as-is" even though an inspection may take place.
Termite Inspection- A termite inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Inspection requirements vary by state.
Lead Paint Inspection- Painted surfaces of a home can be evaluated to determine the presence of lead paint. Homes that were constructed before 1978 may contain lead-based paint. Lead exposure can be harmful to young children and babies. Children with lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, and headaches.
On-Site Waste System (SeptiChekTM) Evaluation- SeptiChekTMis an evaluation performed by an on-site waste management professional. It involves accessing the cover of the septic tank to examine the fluid level inside the septic tank. The tank is then pumped to check the condition of the tank and its baffles. The leaching field is probed to check the level of sub-surface liquid waste (effluent). This test alerts the buyer to a wide range of potentially costly septic system repairs or failures. The SeptiChekTMevaluation provides more reliable information of potential problems than a septic dye test.
Pool/Hot Tub Inspection- Determines the overall condition and operability of a pool and/or hot tub's equipment. Additionally, the condition of the pool deck will be inspected for deterioration and/or other noticeable defects.
Private Well Flow and Potability Inspection- Designed to determine whether or not a private well adequately supplies water to the house. Samples are sent to a lab for a drinkability analysis.
Stucco Siding Inspection- There are two types of stucco siding to be aware of: cement-based "traditional" stucco and synthetic stucco. An inspection of the siding's application according to the manufacturer's installation specifications is recommended. Synthetic stucco siding is commonly referred to as Exterior Insulated Finish System (EIFS).
- In considering a home with stucco exterior, we recommend an inspection be conducted to determine the condition of the siding.
- Synthetic stucco is predominately found in the Southeast but it is present in homes in other areas of the country as well.
- Hidden structural damage has been documented in synthetic stucco homes in 34 states.
- Moisture readings are taken to determine if the system has already experienced water intrusion.
Obtaining the proper inspections for a home prior to purchase is one of the best ways to make a smart purchase decision and protect your investment.
As you start shopping for a home loan, your first question of each lender will probably be "What's your interest rate? How much are you charging?"
Interest rates are usually expressed as an annual percentage of the amount borrowed. If you borrowed $120,000 at 10% interest, you'd owe interest of $12,000 for the first year. With most mortgage plans you'd pay it at the rate of $1,000 a month. You would also send in something each month to reduce the principal debt you owe - and the next month you'd owe a bit less interest.
When your grandparents bought their home (putting at least half the purchase price down, by the way), their interest rate was probably around 4 or 5%. Rates stayed the same for years at a time. Then in the years following World War II, things became more turbulent. As economic changes speeded up, rates began to change several times a year. By the l980s, lenders were setting new rates on mortgage loans as often as once a week - and they still do today. When inflation hit a high in the '80s, some mortgage loans carried interest rates as high as 17% - and those who absolutely needed to buy paid that much.
Rates dropped gradually through the 1990s, and by 2000 had reached their lowest rates in decades. Continuing into the millennium, home buyers appear to have the most favorable conditions for mortgage borrowing since their grandparents' days - and without 50% down payments either.
My team stays updated on all facets of the home inspection process to include running the verifications to check and utilities and other city functions. We also like to keep you informed on market trends and at times will post information to help you be a better, informed consumer.
DISCLOSURES, NEWS, AND THINGS FOR YOU TO READ:
There are many disclosures and news items during the home buying and selling process that require your attention. The following are listed here so you can be well informed and more knowledgeable during any transaction.
Home Buyers Advisory is maintained by the Arizona Department of Real Estate is works like a dictionary of real estate terms and definitions. If you are buying a home this is a form you eventually sign. I have an active link for you to click so you can get the most up to date copy. Please click on the link and familiarize yourself with its contents.
Lead-Based Paint Disclosure is required reading for any house built prior to 1978. Before that time most paints contained lead and is known to cause cancer if ingested. In many cases, the paint may have been removed or encapsulated. This pamphlet is for disclosure purposes and one to become familiar with prior to purchasing a home. Please click on the link and familiarize yourself with its contents.
Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona Monthly Statistics The buying process includes knowing the market activity in Southern Arizona and evaluating the information so you as a buyer or seller can make an informed decision.
Each month the Tucson Association of Realtors produces this information and rolls it up in one report. This link will take you to the most current month's activity.
Mortgage rates are hard to predict. I have found the "Mortgage News Daily" is the best source to keep you updated on the market rates. This link will take you the "Mortgage News Daily".
"Jones on Real Estate", a Really Smart Guy Every now and then you want to read an opinion about a topic. Ted C. Jones Ph.D. is a very smart guy and I get a lot out of his articles. This link will take you to his articles.