6 Secrets to Understand a Home Inspection


Home inspections are an important part of any real estate transaction. In general, they are an imperative part of the home buying process. Home inspections can help you avoid costly repairs later on and can also save you time and money.

As a homebuyer, you want to make sure that the property you are investing in is in good condition. It is especially important to have a property inspection if the buyer is purchasing a home that is a fixer-upper. There could be serious issues vs. buying a turnkey house.

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a routine inspection of a property to assess its condition and potential repairs.

It is recommended for a buyer to have a property inspection as part of the purchase contingencies. A home inspector will check for structural issues, water damage, and other problems that may need attention.

The cost of an inspection varies depending on the location and type of inspection performed. A full home inspection may include an evaluation of systems such as heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical.

An abbreviated property inspection may just cover areas such as the roof, exterior foundation walls, and attic. Even if you are purchasing new construction, it is recommended to have an independent inspection.

Home Inspection Secrets

When is a Home Inspection Recommended?

A property inspection is recommended for buyers who are considering a purchase in an area where there is a higher incidence of property damage or costly home inspection repairs.

In addition to inspecting general conditions such as insulation levels and drywall conditions, inspectors will look for potential signs of problem areas such as water leaks in the roof and water staining in the ceiling. Home inspectors also look for any kind of water intrusion in the home and this may lead to other inspections.

A home inspection will be completed within the due diligence timeline. The home inspection needs to be completed within the specified timelines when buying a home.

What Do I Need to Know About Home Inspections?

There are a few things you should know before hiring a home inspector including the type of home you are purchasing whether it is a single-family home or a condominium.

A condominium is a residential complex with separate units. The residents own a single unit in the condo complex, and everyone shares the common areas,

Other important factors include the age and the overall condition of the home.

Ideally, as a home buyer, you will have received the seller’s disclosures and will be aware of any past issues with the home. The disclosures provided by the seller will include any defects or problems with the property.

How Can I Prepare for my Home Inspection?

Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your home inspection.

Familiarize yourself with the basic types of home inspections and their objectives. Talk to your inspector in advance so you have an idea of what to expect.

A general home inspection will check for conditions that could lead to problems down the road. Those problems include faulty wiring, a leaky roof, and shifting foundations.

Arrive at the home inspection with a clear mind and a positive attitude. Have a list of questions and items you want to be addressed during the inspection.

It is a good idea to walk around the property, and at the conclusion of the inspection, be sure to ask questions about items not addressed in the summary.

Be sure to check the property for any defects or problems that you are aware of.  Bring photos or written documentation of any defects or problems found. Lack of home maintenance is one of the biggest trouble spots with inspections.

What Does a Home Inspection Include?

Most home inspections will include the following a thorough inspection of the home. A home inspector may start the inspection with the exterior of the property.

They will look at the condition of the roof, eaves, signs of wood rot, condition of stucco, and much more. the inspection will include ensuring that interior and exterior doors are operable. It is a good idea to find out why the doors are difficult to open.

Home inspectors will run the HVAC system including the heating and cooling to ensure they are operable. If the HVAC is not operable, the buyer may request to have another inspection to determine the problems with the heating or cooling.

Home inspectors will also look at windows to ensure they are operable. If screens are missing, then the inspector will note that.

The inspector will also look at the appliances to ensure they are operable. They will look at the fixtures in the home as well to ensure they are not leaking.

How Can a Pre Listing Home Inspection Help You Sell Your House?

A pre-listing home inspection can help you sell your house more quickly. If there are any major problems with the property that are not detectable during a walk-through, the inspector can document these issues and suggest corrective measures.

If you have had any updates or repairs made to the property since your last inspection, be sure to bring documentation of these updates with you when you visit the property.

The pre-listing home inspection should be provided to a buyer once the property is in escrow as part of the disclosures.

Even if a seller is selling the property as-is, it is still a good idea to have a pre-listing inspection so the seller is fully aware of what the buyer may want to negotiate with a request for repairs.

Sellers may be trying to save money when they are selling the home and are trying to get every last dollar. It is still a good idea to spend several hundred dollars to have a home inspection prior to listing.

Even if a seller has their own inspection, it is the buyer’s right to have another inspection with the home inspector of their choosing.

Final Thoughts

An inspection is an important tool for buyers when purchasing a home. It can help you avoid costly repairs and can also save you time and money.

A pre-listing home inspection will ensure that your property is in good condition and ready to be sold. Selling a house in bad condition will net less money.

About the Author: The article “6 Secrets to a Successful Home Inspection” was written by Sharon Paxson, one of the best Newport Beach Real Estate agents. With experience beginning in 2005, representing buyers, sellers, and landlords, we welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with you and guide you through your real estate transaction.

What to Know About Insurance When Moving


Moving from one home to another is one of the bigger moments in any person’s life. When you’ve never done it before, moving can be a challenge.

Everything from finding a moving company, putting belongings into storage, transporting your car, and even knowing how much you need to tip a mover are all essential.

You pour so much of your time and personality into the place you call your own.

You have to reassess all your priorities and decide what is important and what can be changed when relocating to your new place.

Some people move because they want to be closer to the family they grew up with. Other families have to move because the main breadwinner has a new job in a whole different state.

Sometimes kids have to make the tough choice to move across the country to go to the college of their dreams.

There are so many thoughts that run through your mind. You can often forget about some of the more logistical requirements of living in a different state.

Car insurance is one of these items that is often forgotten, but doing so can have huge consequences.

Insurance when moving out of state is fluid, but you always need to have it no matter where you are in the moving process. Being caught driving without an auto insurance policy can have a huge impact on your wallet. It can even get you in a bit of legal trouble if you’re pulled over by the police.

We’ll talk about the ways to make the moving process easier. We’ll also discuss how to maintain insurance throughout the move and why you should consider the small things that will affect your insurance after settling into your new place.

What to Know About Insurance When Moving

When do you need to get new insurance during a move?

Moving can take a long time, both during the preparation and when you actually get in your car and drive across the country. When moving long distances, the culture of the new state and the regulations of the insurance policies may be vague and completely foreign to you.

One thing that is completely clear no matter your location is that most states are going to require you to have car insurance.

As we already mentioned, you could be severely penalized if you are caught driving without insurance. Telling the cops that you are in the process of moving is not going to be a valid excuse for being uninsured.

Let your insurance company know as soon as possible that you are moving. They will give you the best information on what policy would fit your lifestyle and car, depending on the state you will be living in.

You should only drop your old policy once you have completed the application for a new one and have the evidence of the change in your hands. This means that you will always be insured.

You may worry that you should wait to move until you have gotten your new insurance. There is no need to do that if you are prompt in making the change once you have arrived at your destination.

You also need to register your car, usually within 30 days. Any insurance company that sees you are not registered in the correct state will void coverage until you have updated your place of residence on your car registration at the DMV.

How does a new location affect the cost of insurance?

Be prepared for significant changes to your home insurance costs depending on the state you move to. Prices vary due to a variety of factors. These include the number of car accidents people get into, the amount of traffic and population of a city, and the type of cars driven.

For example, Florida has monthly insurance at just under $80, but North Carolina is jacked up to $130 for the same vehicle make and model. If you are someone who struggles to pay bills and the point of your move was to save some money, the increased price of insurance is going to be something you need to ask before buying a new house.

Criminal activity is also something that people don’t know is a risk factor for insurance companies. Moving into a high-crime neighborhood comes with the dangers of car break-ins, and insurance companies will increase the monthly rates on your policy.

Don’t lie about your location to try and get out of the higher rates, as this could lead to insurance fraud. Revoked coverage and even criminal charges can result from this dishonesty.

Don’t feel like your insurance prices are a deal breaker to capitalizing on your new experience in a fresh state. Shopping around for the best coverage and asking your current provider what available options will lead to surprising results.

Will your current agent have the tools to ease the moving process?

This leads us to the final point on our moving checklist. Insurance agents can often feel like dear old friends. Moving to a new state can break up this great relationship and lead to confusion and disappointment when your new agent is not the same.

Staying with the same company can often soften this blow because so many agents have connections to others in the profession across the country.

During the pandemic, zoom meetings and remote work have broken distance barriers and allowed for greater personal bonds between insurers and their customers.

You may even be able to keep your same agent with a different policy because of how people worldwide communicate.

Insurance companies don’t want to lose their customers, so ask them for their assistance and see how close you can remain throughout the move.

The worst thing that could happen is getting overwhelmed by the fallout of not investigating these steps beforehand. Preparing for change is not only the smart thing to do, but it should be an expected byproduct of moving.

Welcoming all changes that accompany a move will bring you less stress and more time to enjoy your new surroundings and environment. Figure out what elements of the process you can control.

See which ones are harder to predict. This is good advice for any type of change in life, but it suits moving as much as any other event.

Shawn LaibAbout the author: The above article on the insurance checklist to follow when moving was written by Shawn Laib. Shawn writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He prides himself on clear analysis of issues in the car insurance industry that need more attention.

What Will Real Estate Buying Look Like for the Rest of 2022?


2021 was a rough year for many home buyers who had to contend with skyrocketing home prices, lightning-fast sales, and rampant bidding wars just to get the keys to a home.

Without putting in a strong offer fast and well over asking, you would likely lose out on a home you wanted.

Once they completed the steps of buying a home, many learned the true cost of homeownership was higher than they realized. 

Still, buying a home in 2021 was a pretty great investment because of rising home values, no matter where you purchased it. So what does the 2022 real estate market forecast look like? We’ll examine predictions for this year’s market and what it could mean for buyers.

Buying a Home 2022

New Housing Supply Will Hit the Market

A housing shortage is driving the increase in home prices. Construction of new homes slowed during the pandemic because of worker shortages and supply chain problems. Additionally, many municipalities still resist high-density zoning that could create more dwellings.

The entire housing shortage won’t disappear in just one year, but a bunch of new housing is expected to hit the market in 2022. As supply chain issues ease and demand for housing remain strong, the construction of single-family homes is expected to explode. Many of those units will hit the market this year. 

Still, new housing won’t be enough to meet demand. According to Fannie Mae, there will be a 50% shortage in homes. That will keep prices high, but new supply should slow relentless upward pressure on prices.

Demographics Will Continue to Squeeze the Market

Twin demographic pressures will keep the housing market tight. For one, more than 40 million millennials are reaching the age to buy their first home.

Once they save enough for a down payment, they’re going to be looking to buy. That will keep overall demand high. 

Millennials prefer two-story homes with outdoor space, green features, and open floor plans.

They’re also interested in suburban living because many of them are starting families. This type of starter home is already among the most coveted pieces of property, so bidding wars may continue as millennials duke it out for their dream starter homes.

That’s not the only demographic pressure on the housing market. Boomer homeowners are at an age when many should be downsizing, but the lack of inventory has made it so tough that many are choosing to stay put — keeping their homes off the market.

Rising Rates Will Reduce Demand

Mortgage interest rates hit record lows in 2021, but they will likely climb throughout 2022 as the Federal Reserve raises rates to combat inflation. Mortgage rates haven’t shot up yet, and in the short term, looming increases may push buyers to purchase homes now while rates are still low.

As rates climb, demand will likely decrease as many buyers may no longer be able to afford a home. Buyers may migrate to new online brokerages offering home buyer rebates and other incentives. 

Due to rising rates, income will need to be higher to get the same home you could have purchased last year.

Climate Change May Affect Some Markets

Home buyers may start to consider climate change when they purchase a property. Rising temperatures and the subsequent bump in utility costs could change markets in the South and the Sun Belt. Other high-priced markets — such as Colorado and California, which have experienced an uptick in wildfires over the past few years — may start to feel the consequences.

Homeowners in flood-prone areas will also have to grapple with increased repair and insurance costs.

Millennials, who make up the largest cohort of home buyers, are also the most environmentally conscious generation, making it even more likely that climate change will lead to market change.

Prices Will Likely Continue to Increase

Although many experts once predicted a slowdown in home appreciation in 2022, most have revised their estimates upward.

Zillow, for example, is predicting an 11% rise in home values after earlier predicting single-digit growth. Goldman Sachs and Fannie Mae also anticipate double-digit appreciation.

Not everyone is so optimistic, though. The National Association of Realtors expects less than 6% appreciation through 2022, while Realtor.com predicts an even smaller rise of 2.9%.

Many market watchers fear we’re in a bubble, but other experts theorize that the Great Recession tanked prices so dramatically that, on a longer timescale, home values are approaching the price they’d be if they’d risen steadily over the past 20 years. 

In the end, 2022 may be a little easier for buyers than 2021— but not by much. High-interest rates may bump some buyers out of the market, but low inventory, looming rate increases, and demographic pressures will likely keep competition very high. 

Final Thoughts

At some point, the real estate market will change. The pendulum always swings the other way eventually. When that exact moment occurs is hard to tell. It’s essential to remember that all real estate is local.

One area of the country might change quickly while others lag behind.