How to Read an Inspection Report

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When interviewing a home inspector, ask the inspector what type of report format he or she provides.

There are many styles of reports used by property inspectors, including the check list, computer generated using inspection programs and the narrative style. Some reports are delivered on site and some may take as long as 4 – 6 days for delivery. All reporting systems have pros and cons.

The most important issue with an inspection report is the descriptions given for each item or component. A report which indicates the condition as “Good,” “Fair” or “Poor” without a detailed explanation, is vague and can be easily misinterpreted.

An example of a vague condition would be : Kitchen Sink: Condition – Good, Fair, or Poor.

None of these descriptions gives the homeowner no idea what is wrong. Does the sink have a cosmetic problem? A plumbing problem? In our opinion a good report should supply you with descriptive information on the condition of the site and home.

An example of a descriptive condition is: Kitchen sink: Condition – Minor wear, heavy wear, damaged, rust stains, chips in enamel finish. Recommend sealing sink at counter top.

As you can see, this narrative description includes a recommendation for repair. Narrative reports without recommendations for repairing deficient items may be difficult to comprehend, should your knowledge of construction be limited.

Take the time and become familiar with your report. Should the report have a legend, key, symbols or icons, read and understand them thoroughly. The more information provided about the site and home, the easier to understand the overall condition.

At the end of the inspection your inspector may provide a summary with a question and answer period. Use this opportunity to ask questions regarding terms or conditions that you may not be familiar with. A good inspector should be able to explain the answers to your questions. If for some reason a question can not be answered at the time of the inspection, the inspector should research the question and obtain the answer for you.

For instance, if the inspector’s report states that the concrete foundation has common cracks, be sure to ask, “Why are they common ?”

The answer you should receive will be along these lines: common cracks are usually due to normal concrete curing and or shrinkage. The inspectors knowledge and experience is how the size and characteristics of the cracking is determined.

We recommend that you accompany your inspector through the entire inspection if possible. This helps you to understand the condition of the home and the details of the report.

Read the report completely and understand the condition of the home you are about to purchase.

After all, it is most likely one of the largest investments you will ever make!

Written by Ron Melton and Mike Ross

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Ten Low-cost Ideas to Make Your Home More Saleable

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It’s the little things as well as the big things that count when you are selling your home. You never know what will capture a buyer’s fancy and what will turn them off. Most buyers predictably respond to the same things – clean, clutter-free homes in good repair. Your agent may have already suggested that you paint the house, or that you do some major repairs. Those are big ticket items, but what can you do on a small scale to get your home ready to compete on the market?

There are a few time-honored tricks you can use to make sure your buyer sees what you want them to see, and overlook what you want them to overlook. Keeping your home in tip-top shape for showings will insure that your buyer will offer a higher amount than for a home that isn’t showtime-ready.

Always look at a home from the buyer’s perspective. Be objective and honest with yourself. If something bothers you about your home, chances are good it will bother the buyer, too. Do what you can to get rid of the problem. You want to keep objections about your home to a minimum. Preparing a home for market means you’ll be putting some elbow grease into it, so get ready.

1. Have a garage sale before the home is listed. Get rid of clutter so that the buyer can really see your home. Clean out what you think you won’t need in your next home. Pack away all that you can. Home buyers will expect you to be preparing to move, so a few packing boxes here and there can be used to your advantage. They could be a good visual stimulant to someone who is “on the fence;” they show that you are moving and are serious about finding a buyer. Be sure, though, to find the fine line between clutter and emptiness.

2. Welcome the buyer at the entry. Put out a new doormat, but avoid mats with cutesy sayings. Clean and polish the brass door knocker. Put potted flowers on the porch. Make sure the front entry floor is always sparkling clean and the porch and steps are always swept. First impressions count.

3. Stimulate the buyer’s imagination by setting the stage. Set the dinner table with your best china. Use the coziness and romance of the fireplace to advantage. Put a pair of wine glasses and a vase of flowers on the coffee table in front of the fire.

4. Be ruthless about odors. If there is a smell, your house won’t sell. Use cleansers of all kinds to make the home smell fresh, from carpet freshener to potpourri. Deodorize cat litter and scoop litter daily. Put cedar chips inside the closets. Be careful with room sprays, they could stimulate allergies. Use the sense of smell to your advantage by having fresh-baked cookies on the kitchen table.

5. Create a spacious feeling. Make sure that all doors, cabinets and drawers open all the way without bumping into anything or sticking. Clean out the entry closet and put only a few hangers so that the buyer can visualize winter coats. Move oversized furniture to a storage facility. Make sure entrances to all rooms have an open flow.

6. Make the most of views. Disguise unsightly views. Put a screen or a basket of flowers in front of a fireplace if not in use. Let the breezes move your sheer curtains at the window. Make sure the interior is visible from the street. All windows must be crystal clean and clear.

7. Create counter space. Store away extra appliances. Put away dish racks, soap dishes and other clutter. Decrease kitchen clutter further by removing magnets from refrigerator.

8. Avoid eccentric decor. De-personalize your teenager’s room, the gameroom or other areas by removing wild posters or any decorative item that could be construed as offensive. Remove hanging beads in doorways, your children’s jars with spiders or bugs, and anything which won’t appeal to the masses.

9. Increase the wattage in light bulbs in the laundry room, kitchen and bathrooms. For showings, turn on lights in every room.

10. Put photos of the family enjoying your home in at least three different places.

Now step back. Stand outside the front door, as much as 30 feet away and evaluate the feeling you get. Is the house warm and inviting? Does it feel like home?

Then perhaps it will to your buyer, too.

Written by DeLena Ciamacco and Blanche Evans

 

Finding the Right Home

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With all the choices in today’s market, how do you go about finding the right home? It seems the more research you do, the more alternatives you discover – single family, city loft, townhome, zero lot line, condominium, duplexes and more.

It’s important to visualize your needs and plan ahead. “Know what you want in a home, what’s important to you, and what you can live without,” suggests broker Robert Alvarez , MBA, ABR®.

“Many of us start out with a champagne taste and a beer pocketbook, so it’s important to be realistic. Where and what you buy will affect you for as long as you live in the house,” says Alvarez.

It begins with getting your priorities in order before you start looking or even talk to a real estate professional . Alvarez says,”For first-time home buyers this is a new experience, so it’s especially important to do your homework. If you currently own a home, you know exactly what’s lacking. You may need another bedroom or bathroom, or a good school nearby.”

One place to start is where you want to live. How close do you want to be to your job? Will public transportation be a factor or will you be driving your car? Alvarez suggests practicing the commute in rush hour before you make a commitment to a particular neighborhood. “A seemingly quiet road can transform into gridlock during peak hours,” he cautions. Another factor is how you earn your living. ” If your job requires a lot of reading or is quite stressful, public transportation may offer valuable time to sit quietly.” suggests Alvarez.

People with children have other major considerations: school and safety. If you plan to send your children to private schools, you can live where you want assuming you can easily arrange transportation. If you are a public school supporter, visit the schools and look at the scores. But be sure to weigh your decision by comparing the tax structures of different school districts. A lavish public school system may indicate high local real estate taxes.

Obviously, lifestyle is an important consideration, so think carefully about the activities you enjoy. People who frequently dine out, go dancing and attend the theater are happiest in the city or a close-in suburb. For others, being near family or friends is a bigger consideration. “Think about what matters to you in your life and that of your family, so that the home you choose will be in close proximity to the things that matter most,” advises Alvarez.

The style of your home can be qualified two ways – ambiance and maintenance. So ask yourself, how does the home I want make me feel? Country homes may be the rage in your area, but what if you are more of a loft-with-a-city-view sort of a person? Picture yourself performing your daily routine in the home of your dreams. Do you like breakfast on the patio? Dinner by a cozy fire? Do you see yourself entertaining others in small groups or big blow-outs? Where do you like to watch TV? What are the children’s needs? Do they need a playroom? Separate rooms? A large back yard? Do you have pets or plan to acquire one? Questions like these will give you food for thought that will help you eliminate homes that don’t fit your lifestyle.

For those who want more freedom and less maintenance, condos, zero lot line homes, and townhomes offer a wide range of choices. You will be turning over landscaping and repair chores to a homeowner’s association, or a tenants’ association. Just make sure the fees charged are within your budget and are worth the services and additional amenities ( swimming pool , exercise room, security gate) that you are paying for.

Affordability can be a factor not only in the type of housing, but whether it’s new or an existing home. Old houses often have fine woodwork or interesting nooks and crannies not normally found in new homes. They generally sit on landscaped lots with mature trees and grown bushes. New homes cost more, but you can make many more decisions on amenities, colors, carpeting and fixtures. “Make sure you’re dealing with a reputable builder, and have an attorney review all documents,” Alvarez says.

Selecting a real estate professional is an important first step in beginning your search. “Ask for personal recommendations to find an individual who is knowledgeable about the neighborhood and has access to the local Multiple Listing Service,” advises Alvarez. “Make sure you feel confident about his or her knowledge and skills, and understand the business relationship that you have established between you.”

 

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9 TIPS FOR CREATING A FAMILY FRIENDLY HOME THAT MARRY FORM AND FUNCTION

Having a kid and trying to make sure you don’t lose your sense of style as the home gets overrun by bouncy chairs and toys? Maybe you’ve been in kidland for several years and are looking to reclaim some of your style. It can be challenging.

“As tricky as it may be to live comfortably in a small one-bedroom or studio, decorating a big family home has its hurdles, too,” said MY DOMAINE. “There are so many questions to ask: What fabrics are kid- and pet-friendly? Which coffee tables won’t take my toddler’s eye out? How can I give myself a little privacy? Once you figure out what works best for your brood, the next big thing to consider is how to do it all in style.”

Here are some tips to help you navigate the space between form and function.

Fight against dirty walls

“There’s no getting around it: Walls take a beating with young ones around,” said HGTV. “Cleats are casually tossed against white baseboards. Bedroom doors become backboards for basketball practice. A fresh expanse of drywall morphs into a blank canvas for that new set of crayons. Sticky fingers trail along hallway walls.”

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful color. Just make sure you choose paint that is washable and wipeable. Some family-friendly favorites can be found here.

Watch those corners

Sharp corners are the bane of a new parent’s existence. You can mitigate them by using pool noodles or edge guards, but they’re not so stylish. A round coffee table instead of one that’s squared off can be a great addition to your living room, both from a functional and style perspective.


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Bring in a little fun

Adding in fun touches keeps your home lively. This chalkboard barn door does the trick, and it comes in a variety of different finishes and textures to match your unique style.

You can have the white couch

We always chuckle when we see home design shows that give a growing family a big white couch. That’s not happening in our house, where materials are chosen expressly for their ability to resist spills and dog hair, and colors chosen to best disguise dirty fingers and puppy stains. But, white can be done. You just need some washable slipcovers, a little diligence, and a good washing machine.


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You don’t need a glider chair

It’s one of the first things new parents-to-be think about when preparing for their first child. And a glider chair is a great place to hold, rock, and nurse a baby. But, unless you’re planning on having several children in a row or see the chair melding into your décor beyond the baby stage (especially if you’re intending to put it in the middle of your living room), you might be able to do without – especially if you’re on a budget.

There’s a lot of back and forth about how much of a necessity (or not) a glider is, but if you’re on the fence, don’t want to spend the money, or would rather focus on something that better matches your style and long-term décor needs, you’re justified.

You don’t need duckies and bunnies or baseballs and mitts in the baby’s room

Nor do you need a gender-specific color. Check out the chic HGTV star Jillian Harris created for new baby, Leo.


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Don’t go with a cheap rug

You might be worried about wear and tear and stains with kids, but a quality rug may be a better option than something cheap. “Invest in a wool rug,” said The Chriselle Factor. “Wool rugs generally come at a higher price point, but for the family-friendly home, they’re worth every penny. They’re soft underfoot, help break the tumbles and falls of the newly-walking, and they’re much more durable against foot traffic – so more often than not, you’ll be saving in the long run.”

Get creative with storage

Whether your kids are brand-new or heading into their teens, you always need more places to put stuff, and you want them to be as nice to look at as they are useful. If you’re in the market for a new kitchen table, consider a banquet with a lift-top bench or slide-out drawers. They make great places to store kitchen or dining items, bibs and towels, and kids’ art supplies.


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Coffee tables with drawers or ottomans you can slide under desks or taller tables are key for families and also make great options for extra seating in a pinch. But when it comes to toy storage, they can start to overrun your house.

One of the keys to a good design scheme is mixing it up with interesting shapes, colors, and textures, so consider this tip from Huffington Post: “Think outside of the box with your storage! Who says toys need to be stored in ugly plastic bins? There are so many gorgeous baskets (or even an unexpected roomy tote) at a range of price points. Storage that doubles as décor also makes cleanup a cinch.”


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Keep the big picture in mind

There are several great tips in this chic living room: Ottomans keep it cushy and can be moved out of the way for floor play. Bookcases stuffed with games and toys put everything your little one wats at arm’s reach and are easy to put back for a tidy space. The concrete table is “perfect for kids’ crafts,” said MY DOMAINE. And bright pops of color and a ship chandelier keep it all interesting.


The Purchase You Can’t Afford To Ignore


Real estate owners who stay in touch with their neighbors can be first in line when the neighbor of an abutting property wants to sell.

Abutting or adjoining properties are neighboring real estate with at least part of one boundary touching part of your property.

If you own a house, semi-detached, recreational property, or even a condominium unit and the owner of a property bordering on yours considers selling, you want to be among the first to know and to act on that knowledge.

There are strong advantages to owning abutting property as well as your current real estate:

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Proximity to neighboring homes may limit what you can do on your property. In turn, an adjoining neighbor’s add-on or build-up may have negative impact on your home. Buy the property beside you and you’ll have renovation “elbow room” and can escape being over-shadowed by a neighbor’s expansion.

Buy the adjoining real estate and you’ll may be able to combine the properties into a large lot that which would enable you to build an even larger home or add more amenities or trees.

Rent out the second property and you’ll have income, deductible maintenance costs, a say in who lives there, and full benefit of that property’s appreciation in value.

Owning adjoining properties is equivalent to having a sound and privacy barrier—breathing space—between your real estate and that owned by others.

Townhomes and condominium units with common walls provide opportunities for expanding space without moving. Check out the legalities of such possibilities when you buy the first property or at least long before an abutting unit is on the market.

If you own a recreational property, buying an abutting property could improve your enjoyment by extending your waterfront or expanding your view. You’ll definitely have control over more of the environment.

Larger properties provide opportunities for development to add multiple units or build up, all of which can increase property value.

You’ve chosen to live in an area you believe in. With two properties you’ll at least double your investment return as local real estate values rise. Buy more—whether you hold separate title on each property or combine some—and you’ll be investing in something you can live on or in and enjoy as it grows in value.

Here’s how buying the house across the driveway worked out for one couple: Mike and Melissa Russell (not their real name) struggled financially to buy their first house: one of the more modest detached two-storeys on a tree-lined residential street in the best neighborhood they could afford. They put location ahead of decor and house size knowing location could not be changed, and decor and size were what renovation was all about.

Years passed and the house became too small for their growing family. Moving was out because they had so many friends in the area, had so many connections to the neighborhood, and their children loved their schools. Then, the elderly neighbor living directly behind their property died suddenly.

The Russells knew the house and decided to approach the estate to buy it. After appraisals to establish fair market value and discussions between their lawyer and that for the estate, the Russells were proud owners of a second house.

They quickly completed cosmetic improvements on the house and rented it to cover costs including taxes, maintenance, and a mortgage designed to be paid off as quickly as possible. The two backyards were combined. The Russells created a large vegetable garden, outdoor kitchen, and patio. Over the years, friends helped the Russells add a pool and a basketball court to maximize the double yard.

After a few years as landlords, they could afford to carry the second house themselves. With the help of friends, the Russells transformed the basement into a sports playroom for the children, added a separate smaller rental unit, and created an office for Melissa’s online business.

Their plans for the future include selling the second home to subsidize travel and modernizing the original house once Mike takes a pension from his job. Living in their original home will mean no downsizing required, renovation without a mortgage, and staying in the neighborhood the Russells have always loved.

Whether you buy the house across your mutual driveway or backyard fence, the end unit beside you in your townhouse row, or the condominium unit above yours, buying abutting real estate should always be considered as a serious option before the opportunity is lost.

Be sure you have done your “homework”. You may only have a short headstart before everyone knows the property adjoining yours is for sale. Here are a few of the questions that help you prepare in advance:

  • The location was an excellent investment for your home, but does this neighborhood warrant further real estate investment?
  • Is staying in this location the best short and long term decision for you and your family?
  • How will you finance the purchase of the second property? Will rental rates cover mortgage payments and other expenses?
  • What municipal bylaws and other legal issues may undermine your projected use of the second property?
  • If you did not make this investment, how else would you put your money to work for your future?

Buying an abutting property is not always the right idea, however, it is always the right thing to consider very seriously when an opportunity to purchase presents itself. Be prepared by considering your options well in advance. You never know when a neighbor will knock on your door and ask…

 

Written by on Monday, 07 November 2016 3:22 pm

 

 

Luxury condos in the heart of Mesa Arizona under 200k

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Located in the heart of the East Valley, Coyote Landing is home to an exclusive community of newly built luxury condos. Coyote Landing offers residents executive-style luxury homes matched with unsurpassed community living. From top-of-the-line custom features to luxurious community amenities, the property offers indulgence at every turn. Whether you are looking for your new permanent residence, a warm vacation rental, or a second home for the winter season, Coyote Landing welcomes you to your new home.

LUXURY FINISHES AND IMPECCABLE ATTENTION TO DETAIL

 UPGRADED LEVEL 2 GRANITE WITH 1.5″ BULLNOSE EDGE IN KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS

·    8” DEEP KITCHEN SINK

·    20X20 TILE IN ENTRY, MAIN PATHWAY, KITCHEN, DINING, BATHROOMS, LAUNDRY, HALLWAY

·    UPGRADED WOOD STAINED CABINETS

·   SOFT CLOSE ON DOORS, SELF-CLOSE ON DRAWERS (SOUND REDUCTION)

·    MASTER BATH INCLUDES WALK IN TILE SHOWER WITH GLASS BLOCK

·    GUEST BATH INCLUDES TILE SURROUND WITH 18” TALL, 32” SIDE VIKRELL TUB

·    6 PANEL COLONIAL DOORS

·    DECO SWITCHES

·    LARGE 128SF COVERED PATIOS

Coyote Landing Condos has 2 heated pools in the community of 176 condos!  The pools are heated ALL winter long, not common for surrounds communities in Mesa!  The community will be adding an additional 116 luxury condos built by BG Builders.  The next addition to the community is a building with 12 units of 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom

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Comfort and relaxation in every detail.

Coyote Landing Condominiums were designed with luxury in mind. We have created a community that will make you feel comfortable, cozy, and at home as soon as you enter the private gated property. Coyote Landing boasts low HOA dues, low taxes, and low maintenance so that together make your home easy and able to lock & leave. We live among amazing residents and are proud to have an engaging and helpful on site staff.

Clubhouse

THE CENTER OF COYOTE LIFE

The clubhouse is home to all community events at Coyote Landing. From holiday parties to cocktail hours, the clubhouse has hosted residents for mingling, networking, and fun! The clubhouse is also home to our fitness center,  a library, local information, and our onsite sales team from Inteam Realty. The property is professionally managed and the sales team is on site to assist residents with daily activities and information.

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Pool & Jacuzzi

YEAR ROUND RELAXATION

Our heated pools and jacuzzi serve as a social hub during the warm Arizona days, where owners come to cool off and have some fun! Residents can BBQ with friends or relax and sunbathe with a great book. If you prefer, come down and enjoy a relaxing evening in the jacuzzi with your sweetie.  Our residents love to socialize and spend their days in the sun!

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Recreation and Outdoor Fun

BASKETBALL, BBQ’S, AND BLISS, OH MY!

Come play outside with friends, guests, neighbors and family! Our community offers outdoor basketball courts, barbeque space and shaded sitting areas for eating and entertaining! The community space is maintained and included in HOA dues and is a fun addition to the year round fun here at Coyote.

Coyote Landing Park & Open Space

A GREEN OASIS IN THE ARIZONA DESERT

Coyote Landing Park provides a cool, green resting spot perfect for pets to roam or children to play. Come set up a frisbee game with your neighbors or let your kids enjoy a nice walk in the park. Your perfect getaway from the Arizona desert. We also provide a modern playground for young ones to let out their energy.

Coyote Landing is more than a complex, it is a community that help each other and enjoy each other’s company, we can’t wait until we are back!

— S & O, Renters at Coyote Condos