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Home Inspections: What to Expect

by The Jansen Team

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. Consider the following 5 areas when choosing the right home inspector for you:

  1. Qualifications – find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties.
  2. Sample Reports – ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they will be inspecting your dream home. The more detailed the report, the better in most cases.
  3. References – do your homework – ask for phone numbers and names of past clients who you can call to ask about their experiences.
  4. Memberships – Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors, and membership in one of these groups should not be the only way to evaluate your choice. Membership in one of these organizations often means that continued training and education are provided.
  5. Errors & Omission Insurance – Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over. The inspector is only human after all, and it is possible that they might miss something they should have seen.

Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to tag along during the inspection, that way they can point out anything that should be addressed or fixed.

Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors. The job of the inspector is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to: the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating & air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, the fireplace and chimney, the foundation, and so much more!

Bottom Line

They say ‘ignorance is bliss,’ but not when investing your hard-earned money into a home of your own. Work with a professional who you can trust to give you the most information possible about your new home so that you can make the most educated decision about your purchase.

 

Information in this post taken from: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/05/08/home-inspections-what-to-expect/?utm_campaign=Blog_Promo&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=DailyBlogSubscription&utm_term=BlogPost​ 

Cold, Hard Home Selling Facts

by The Jansen Team

Selling your home is a long, sometimes inconvenient process. It involves packing, adjusting your schedule around showings, a lot of negotiating, and more. Honesty is the best policy through it all... here are some facts that will help make the process go smoothly. 

  1. A clean, uncluttered home sells. Putting in a little elbow grease will grow your profit by thousands. Get rid of odors, hide small knick-knacks, and make sure the floors sparkle!
  2. Overpricing your home helps sell your neighbor’s home. Picture this – buyers are qualified to buy within a certain price range. They’re looking in a certain location, but your home won’t show up in a home search out of their price range, so it may not even come across their radar.
  3. Trying to hide a defect will haunt you. No one wants to get a call from an attorney who says the buyers are suing for a structural issue that you knew about but chose not to disclose…
  4. Cooperation is the name of the game. Don’t fight the buyer, listen to your agent, pack away your boxing gloves. Things will go smoothly with a little give and take!
  5. What you love isn’t what a prospective buyer loves. Neutralize colors, pack up mounted hunting treasures, etc. Make it so the buyer can picture themselves living there!
  6. Closing date is move out date! Everything needs to be packed, moved out and cleaned. Unfortunately, you can’t go back to finish things you never got to.

 

Info in this post found here: http://imagineyourhouse.com/seller/20-cold-hard-facts-real-estate-home-selling/ 

Private Mortgage Insurance

by The Jansen Team


 

With many different types of loans and mortgage programs out there, especially ones that allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments under 20%, you can’t have too much information about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Defined by Freddie Mac:

The average down payment for all buyers last year was 10%. Putting less down on your house at first increases your monthly mortgage payment, it’s a good option to consider. For some, it will allow  you to buy now to start building up your equity, instead of waiting 5-10 years saving up for a 20% down payment.

 

Information in this post found here: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2018/04/10/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-pmi/?utm_campaign=Blog_Promo&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-automated&utm_content=DailyBlogSubscription&utm_term=BlogPost

 

 

Maintaining Your Credit Score

by The Jansen Team

Whether you’re planning on selling your home, buying new, or staying put for a couple more years, building up your credit score AND keeping it maintained will play a huge part in the process.

To maintain your credit score, here are some helpful tips:

  • Maintain low balances on your credit cards and revolving lines of credit. Once they’re paid down, keep balances low by using them only for emergencies.
  • Set up automatic bill pay. This ensures that all bills will be paid on time.
  • Keep rate shopping within a 30-day window of time. If you’re thinking of taking out a loan, limit your rate search to a small timeframe so the inquiries will likely be treated as a single one. The more inquiries into your credit, the more likely they’ll count against your credit score.
  • Reconsider closing accounts. Even if you don’t use a line of credit anymore, it may not be in your best interest to close it. Closing too many at once may raise red flags. Instead, leave the balance at zero and try not to use it.
  • Be responsible. Credit takes time to build and usually longer to rebuild if damaged.

Lenders typically decide what they consider acceptable credit, but the breakdown often looks like this:

How To Keep Your Home Running Smoothly, Month by Month

by The Jansen Team

Maintenance on your home is extremely important, especially if you want to avoid costly repairs. Experts say in order to keep your home running smoothly, month by month, stick to this basic checklist:

January:

  • Clean kitchen light fixtures
  • Declutter

February:

  • Dust baseboards and vents
  • Clean light fixtures in the living and dining rooms

March:

  • Wash and fluffs pillows and bedding
  • Turn, rotate, and vacuum mattresses
  • Test and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries

April:

  • Get the HVAC system serviced
  • Clean gutters
  • Check decks and wooden exterior features

May:

  • Review contents of your emergency kit
  • Clean light fixtures in the master bedroom

June:

  • Get ducts and vents cleaned
  • Wash windows inside and out
  • Check the attic
  • Clean light fixtures in other bedrooms

July:

  • Deep-clean the refrigerator and freezer
  • Clean the dishwasher
  • Dust ceilings, corners, and ceiling fans

August:

  • Get an annual inspection of the chimney and fireplace
  • Touch up paint inside and out where needed
  • Clean light fixtures in living and dining rooms

September:

  • Trim back overgrown and dead branches
  • Check caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors
  • Wash and fluff pillows and bedding
  • Test and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries

October:

  • Get the HVAC system serviced
  • Vacuum or sweep the garage
  • Service and winterize outdoor equipment

November:

  • Clean gutters
  • Shut down water for winter
  • Vacuum the basement or storage areas
  • Dust baseboards and vents
  • Clean master bedroom light fixtures
  • Dust ceilings, corners, and ceiling fans

December:

  • Vacuum lampshades
  • Assess holiday decorations
  • Clean light fixtures in the bedrooms

Every month:

  • Spot-clean furniture
  • Wash kitchen and bath mats
  • Wipe switches, phones, computer keyboards, and remotes
  • Wipe down appliances

Quarterly:

  • Spot-clean walls
  • Change furnace filters
  • Clean bathroom light fixtures and exhaust fans
  • Clean window treatments and blinds
  • Clean the oven

​​

Information from this article found at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/how-to-keep-your-house-running-smoothly-month-by-month/2018/01/02/6c537712-db88-11e7-b859-fb0995360725_story.html?utm_term=.de10ee0264be​ 

10 Ways To Get Ready For Spring!

by The Jansen Team

The official date of spring is March 20th. Now is the time for stepping out into the yard, inspecting your property, and preparing for warm weather. Here are some helpful tips for you:

 1. 

Put out water, seeds, and suet for birds.

 2. 

Replace storm windows with original screens.

 3. 

Clean gutters: clear any blockages, leaves or branches.

 4. 

Call a chimney sweep for maintenance after the winter season.

 5. 

Check/replace air conditioning filters (Have your HVAC system inspected at least once a year).

 6. 

Clear old foliage from flower beds and yard.

 7. 

De-clutter your home: focus on desks, closets, office spaces, etc.

 8. 

Check your sub pump for proper operation.

 9. 

Prepare an emergency kit with flashlights.

 10. 

Make any minor repairs to exterior.

We wish you a beautiful, refreshing Spring!

Top Mistakes FSBOs Make

by The Jansen Team

Thinking of selling your home on your own? Hold that thought! 80% of FSBO (for sale by owner) properties fail and fall off the market. If you’re dedicated to selling your home, hiring an experienced agent (like one of us) is your best bet. Here’s why:

  1. Better pictures. Buyers and their agents are attracted to high quality pictures – they drive more showings and overall make those in the market more drawn towards your home.
  2. Pricing the home correctly. Overpriced homes will reduce buyers’ interest and underpriced homes might lose you money.  Hiring a professional who knows the market will help you get top dollar for your home!
  3. Leveraging the MLS. The MLS (multiple listing service) is an extremely useful tool available to licensed agents that helps get the word out about homes on the market.
  4. Qualifying the buyer. Most FSBOs don’t make sure the buyer is qualified and others drill them too hard. Having an agent will help with all that goes along with the financing process.
  5. Assistance with showings. Buyers don’t want the seller there during showings because it makes them nervous. However, setting up showings through an agent would give them more peace of mind.

10 Home Buying Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by The Jansen Team

Current trends show that buyer demand for homes is high and rising. If you’re in the market, here are 10 common mistakes buyers make and how to avoid them:

  1. Not doing proper research and preparation – understanding your financial situation and knowing the neighborhood are two huge factors to take into consideration.
  2. Have your loan preapproved before searching! This gives you a competitive advantage over other buyers in the same market.
  3. Don’t be influenced by the market over your own needs – have a professional agent in your corner to sort out confusing messages you might find in the media.
  4. Going beyond your budget – take the time to find the perfect home, and make sure it’s one that matches your financial capabilities.
  5. Falling in love isn’t a huge mistake – but letting the sellers’ agent know you’re in love could turn into one, especially when it comes down to the negotiation process.
  6. It’s not all about price – price is what you pay, value is what you get!
  7. Not having the right protection clauses in the contract of sale – another reason to have a professional, experienced agent on your side!
  8. Underestimating the full costs of buying a home, such as acquisition costs and ongoing costs of owning a property.
  9. Not organizing a professional inspection – Inspectors are trained to find faults, if the list is long, don’t be worried! Just focus on the major issues.
  10. Going solo – buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make – don’t do it alone! Having a professional agent on your side will give you peace of mind and make the whole process easier to understand. 

Spruce up your home!

by Jansen Team

Trend Watch: Colors that won’t die quickly

You’ve probably noticed a lot of older trends coming back in style, and now you’ll see them inside homes too! Industry experts have come up with their predictions for the top 10 home design trends gaining traction in 2018.

  1. More color in kitchens

Give the space a warm, personalized, unique feel – take risks and be BOLD!

  1. Rich colors throughout the home

Not like the 70s avocado green and mustard colors – warm grays paired with camel, rust, tobacco and brown-blacks, as well as earthy reds and yellows won’t date quickly and give a cozy feel to any room!

  1. No more white or stainless steel sinks

Modern Farmhouse trends will continue and spread to bathrooms – more concrete, stone, copper, and granite composite sinks in darker shades of gray, bronze, and black will be more prominent.

  1. Florals

Eye-catching and oversized – you’ll continue to see these everywhere!

  1. Vintage lighting

Sconces, lanterns, pendants, and chandeliers – a good DIY project when adding new technology to these more-durable retro fixtures.

  1. Trough or bucket sinks

Another modern Farmhouse trend that’s not going anywhere – these durable, low maintenance sinks maximize space and add a rustic aesthetic.

  1. Concrete accents

This affordable, versatile, accessible material is being used in unexpected ways and stealing the spotlight!

  1. Millwork feature walls and detailing

Another great DIY project – easy to work with and readily available.

  1. Wallpaper-like backsplash

Subway tiles are out – wallpaper is back in, making a great refresher for kitchen and bathroom spaces!

  1. Casual and calm modern bedrooms

Less is more! Leave the bold colors in the kitchen and keep bedrooms minimalist and opt for simple furnishings and neutral color palettes.

_______________________________________________________________

Information in this article was found in a Washington Post article: "Trend Watch: Colors That Won't Die Quickly" written by Megan McDonough. Full article can be found at the following link:

http://www.omaha.com/eedition/sunrise/articles/trend-watch-color-that-won-t-die-quickly/article_a8d6d99b-cb98-5fe0-aa53-021d64ed1b26.html 

Homestead Tax Exemptions

by The Jansen Team

Looking for a way to save on your taxes? You may be eligible for a Homestead Tax Exemption! This would provide relief from property taxes by exempting all or a portion of the valuation of a home from taxation. The percentage is based on the applicant’s income and their home valuation.

Who qualifies?

  • Seniors 65 and older
  • Disabled individuals
  • Veterans with 100% service-related disabilities or their widows

To apply, applications must be filed with the county assessor or register of deeds between February 1 and June 30 of each year. Current recipients receive applications by mail each year. If it’s your first time applying, applications can be found at the link above.

Ready to buy a home? This exemption will stay with a property until the end of the year – so check to see if the homes you’re interested in are tax exempt! 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 161

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The Jansen Team
NP Dodge Real Estate
601 N. 108th Circle
Omaha NE 68154 USA
402 330 5954
Fax: 402-330-5365