RealEstateBitz is a combination of real estate articles and residential real estate being bought and sold in the Tampa Bay Florida Area.
Appraising your Home
When looking to sell or buy a home, an appraisal is a good way to determine what a home is worth in today’s market. Talk to a real estate agent about how to go about getting a reliable appraiser. Real Estate agents have access to the best people in the business. In Tampa Bay Florida the housing market is hot. Getting an appraisal is one of the things I highly recommend. For more information contact Arona, a Realtor in the Tampa Bay, Florida area for more information or questions about buying, selling and renting a home.
Did you know that the appraisal can make or break your real estate sale? The appraiser works for the bank, not the seller or the buyer.
In real estate transactions, we have 3 significant players – the buyer, the seller, and the lender. The Appraiser is the eyes of the lender in the field. An Appraiser plays a vital role in every real estate transaction.
For example, we have a real estate transaction of a sale price of $300,000. The buyer is putting 10% down which is $30,000. He is getting a loan in the amount of $270,000. Everyone so far thinks this home is worth $300,000, obviously, the buyer thinks this because he made an offer for the sale price of $300,000.
The lender now sends the Appraiser out to the home to get an appraisal of what the home is worth. Here is where it can become pretty tricky. When the appraiser goes out here are a few things that can happen:
The appraiser determines that the value of the home is higher than the sales price, maybe its $305,000 instead of $300,000. This is great news because we can go ahead with our transaction.
The appraiser, appraisers the value of the home at $300,000 which is the sales price. Excellent! We move ahead with the transaction.
The appraiser values that home lower than the sales price for example $290,000. This becomes a problem for all parties involved. A couple of things can happen here which is not so great for the parties involved.
The Lender can still lend the buyer the money to purchase the home but only for $290,000, not the $300,000 sale price.
The seller can either eat the $10,000 and sell the home for $290,000 instead of $300,000. This can sometimes happen, where the seller comes down to the new appraisal price.
The buyer can buy the home at $300,000 but would have to bring additional money to the table. You can see this happening in a seller’s market. The loan is now $290,000 with a down payment of $29,0000, the loan amount would be $261,000. The buyer has to bring an extra $10,000 to purchase the home at $300,000.
The last thing that can happen is that the whole transaction blows up because neither party is willing to negotiate.
You can see how the Appraiser is vital to a real estate transaction. It does not matter what the buyer or the seller thinks the home is worth. It matters what the Appraiser thinks…that’s what counts!
Your offer has been accepted to purchase your dream home, and now you have to set up an inspection to make sure the home is in good condition.
When buying a home, you will have to get a home inspection if you’re getting a mortgage and even if you are purchasing with cash. You want to have a home inspection done no matter what the situation. By having a 4-point inspection done, it lets the bank or the homeowners know the quality of the home that they are purchasing.
A 4-point home inspection includes
Damages caused by termites, flood, fire, and mold.
Any of the above can impact the value of your home. If a home inspection is not done, and later you find out that the foundation is cracked or the roof is rotted, this can be a costly fix for the buyer.
Once something is revealed in the home inspection you can negotiate with the seller for a lower asking price.
Many of us may buy and sell a home maybe once or twice in our lifetime. This is one of the biggest investments that we will make so why leave it to chance. I know many of the DIYs are thinking I can do this job, this is a piece of cake. I can put my listing online and I can get a bunch of great offers. This is a common way of thinking for the average homeowner.
Don’t Make This Mistake
A homeowner may not know the value of their home. They either, undervalue it which they can potentially lose more than what they would have spent on hiring a Realtor who would have priced it correctly. On the flip side, we have the FSBOs that think their home is worth a lot more than it actually is.
Homes that are over-priced tend to sit on the market and get stale over time. Most people would not even call because they think that something is wrong with the home if it’s been on the market that long without a sale. It really isn’t an advantage, having your home sitting on Zillow for over 90 days. Don’t make the mistake of doing this.
Realtors know that homeowners are honest and hardworking people. We want to do our best to sell your home and get you as much as we can in the shortest period of time. We are there to be the buffer, to negotiate for you and your family, to do all the dirty work so you can get the benefit of a stress-free transaction. We strive to make your life remain as normal as possible during this whole process of selling your home.
Keep in mind
Your home will sell for what it is appraised at. It does not matter if you think your home is worth $20,000 more. It’s what the appraiser thinks it’s worth. Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Some Realtors will do this for free for you, so ask for one.
Tip: If you know you don’t like
answering the phone, and talking to strangers
is not available to show your home during the day or evenings
cannot do open houses
hate to negotiate with people
already busy with family life (school, sports, work, kids)
not computer savvy
can’t take good photos
Don’t attempt to sell your own home. You are better off using a Realtor to help you sell your home. Call me if you are selling your home in the Tampa, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Tarpon Spring, Palm Harbor areas. I am an agent in Pinellas County Florida and can answer any questions you may have about selling your home.
In order to use an FHA loan to purchase a home, the property will have to be appraised and inspected by a HUD-approved appraiser. This is to ensure that the property meets HUDS’s minimum property standards.
WHAT IS AN APPRAISAL?
Only an expert can assesses or determine the value of your home. You get an appraisal to determine the value of your home in today’s market. The appraiser usual has a check list of HUDs requirements for FHA.
Things You Should Know About FHA Home Appraisals
HAND RAILS – handrails should be installed along open staircases, and in accordance with FHA/HUD requirements.
RAILINGS – has to be installed around, decks, patios, porches and balconies.
PAINT – all interior and exterior paint should be in good condition. There should be no distressed paint eg. peeling paint.
WINDOWS – all windows should be fully operational and not broken. If it is, it has to be replaced.
DOORS – doors should be functional and hanging properly.
ROOF – If the roof has leaks it must be repaired or replaced.
UTILITIES -utilities must be on and functional at the time of the inspection.
These are just some of the things that will be addressed with an FHA Appraiser. To get more information visit FHA APPRAISAL
If you are looking for more information on selling or buying a home please call/text 727-422-9340 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact form.
You have these grand ideas about installing a pool in your backyard. But will you get the money back you spent on this extravagance, or will it cost you?
Pools are great and you think that you’ll use it more than you actually do. This is an on going expense for a homeowner who is not handy around the house and needs to hire a pool company to take care of the pool.
When a Pool Makes Financial Sense
If you live in a higher-end neighborhood and most of your neighbors
have pools. In fact, not having a pool might make your home harder to
If you live in a warm climate, such as Florida or Hawaii.
Your lot is big enough to accommodate a pool and still have some yard left over for play or gardening.
Still, that’s no guarantee you’ll get a return on your investment. At
most, your home’s value might increase 7% if all circumstances are
right when it comes time to sell. Those circumstances include the points
made above, plus:
The style of the pool. Does it fit the neighborhood?
The condition of the pool. Is it well-maintained?
Age of the pool. If you put a pool in today and sell in 20 years,
you probably won’t recoup your costs, especially if the pool needs
You can attract the right buyer. Couples with very young children
may shy away from pools because of safety issues, but an older childless
couple may fall in love with it.
But only you, the homeowner, can determine the true return on
investment. A pool can add value to your quality of life and enhance the
enjoyment of your home. You can’t put a price tag on that.
But we can put a price tag on how much a pool costs to build and maintain.
Pools Aren’t Cheap to Build
The average cost in the U.S. to install, equip, and fill a 600-sq.-ft. concrete pool starts at $30,000.
Add in details like safety fences (most states require them),
waterfalls, lighting, landscaping, and perhaps a spa, and you’re easily
looking at totals approaching $100,000.
Costs also depend on the type of pool you choose.
Gunite is the most popular in-ground pool. Gunite is a mixture of
cement and sand, which can be poured into almost any shape. It has
replaced concrete pools as the sought-after standard.
Fiberglass shells and those with vinyl liners fall on the lower end
of the budget scale, but the liners typically need replacing every 10 or
so years. Changing the liner requires draining the pool and replacing
the edging (called coping), so over time, costs add up. Most homebuyers
will insist that you replace a vinyl liner, even if it’s only a few
Costs of Filtration and Heating
The filtration pump is the biggest energy hog in a pool system, so you want to get the most efficient pump possible. The good news here is that new, variable-speed pumps use up to 80% less energy than old single-speed pumps, cutting operating expenses dramatically.
At about $500, these cost more up front, but some local utilities
offer rebates through participating pool dealers. You can further cut
energy costs by setting the pump to run at non-peak times, when rates
for electricity are lower.
If you’re planning to heat your pool, gas heaters are the least
expensive to purchase and install, but they typically have the highest
operation and maintenance costs. Many pool owners opt instead for
electric heat pumps, which extract heat from the surrounding air and
transfer it to the water. Heat pumps take longer than gas to warm the
pool, but they’re more energy-efficient, costing $200 to $400 less to
operate per swimming season.
Regardless of heating system, covering the pool with a solar blanket
to trap heat and reduce evaporation will further lower operating costs.
Then There’s the Cost of Upkeep
All pools require that the water be balanced for proper pH,
alkalinity, and calcium levels. They also need sanitizing to control
bacteria and germs, which is where chlorine has traditionally entered
These days you have a variety of options, including systems that use
bromine, salt, ozone, ionizers, or other chemical compounds that can be
less irritating to skin. Chlorine remains the most popular because the
upfront costs are reasonable, and you don’t have to be as rigid about
checking the levels on a set schedule. But as far as your wallet is
concerned, they all even out in the end.
In a seasonal swimming climate, budget about $600 annually for
maintenance if you shoulder the chemical balancing and cleaning
yourself; in a year-round climate, it’s more like $15 to $25 per week.
To save yourself the task of once-a-week vacuuming, you can buy a robotic cleaning system for between $500 and $800 that will do the job for you. In locations where the pool must be opened and closed for the season, add another $500 each time for a pro to handle this task
A Pool Can Increase Insurance Costs
A basic homeowners insurance policy typically covers a pool
structure without requiring a separate rider, but you should increase
your liability from the standard amount.
It costs about $30 a year to bump coverage from $100,000 to $500,000.
Many underwriters require you to fence in the pool so children can’t
wander in unsupervised.
In some areas, adding a pool may increase your annual property taxes, but it won’t necessarily add to your home’s selling price. For that reason, try to keep your total building cost between 10% and 15% of what you paid for your house, lest you invest too much in an amenity that won’t pay you back.
Home Sweet Home! Most people would say that in your lifetime your biggest financial investment would be your home. I would say that is true, that the biggest financial investment most of us Americans will make in our lifetime is buying a home. If that is the case when selling or buying a home who do you trust with the biggest financial investment of your lifetime?
As a homeowner myself, it’s very difficult to just trust anyone with such a huge transaction. Many of us have saved for most of our lives to have enough money to have a down payment for our dream home. Even if it’s not our dream home, it could be just a place that we want to call home, until we can afford our dream home.
You need a Realtor for this transaction, whether you are buying or selling a home. This will be something you want to do right the first time. Buying and selling a home includes tons of technical documents and having a realtor to help you navigate through this without making major mistakes is a lifesaver and can be less costly to you.
Who do you want working for you?
When interviewing an agent you want to go with the one that is not afraid of being honest with you. An agent should go above and beyond for their client, as long as it’s legal. I would say an agent that puts their clients before their commission is a keeper. Realtors have inside knowledge about pricing for neighborhoods and can direct you to a neighborhood that you may not have heard of, but one that will fit your needs and with your perfect home.
Realtors are trained to negotiate to get the best deal for you, whether you’re buying or selling your home. You may not be the only buyer looking at a particular home. A Realtor can help you negotiate whether their are contingencies or other factors to deal with.
Putting your house on the market, then get a Realtor, the more people that see your home the better chance of selling it faster and for a better price. Once you list with a Realtor you have your home listed on many websites where buyers are able to view all the information and photos of your listing.
Before you agent leaves your home and before you sign that contract, you should know what to expect from your agent. How he or she will communicate with you. Whether on a daily basis every couple of days etc. You should understand what will happen once your home is sold . He or she should have gone over the contract so that you understand exactly who will see your home and where will it be seen, whether through online website and which ones.
Marketing should be your main focus. If the agent is not marketing your home properly then no one will see it and it will not sell as quickly as you may want it to. Your agent should provide you with a detailed marketing plan or strategy on how to sell your home. And how they will show your home.
Just remember not every real estate agent is a Realtor. A Realtor is someone who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®. Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and follow the Realtors® Code of Ethics. Realtors also have access to the MLS.
Realtors want to work with their clients to get the best outcome for their listings. We wear a lot of different hats through out the whole process of selling or buying a home. Our job is to make sure that our client is happy and is getting the best deal possible. We hold our client’s hand through out this whole emotional process and we want to make this process an easy one for them. It’s a job we don’t take lightly.
So when thinking about hiring a Realtor, don’t think about the commission they will be making. Realtors work hard and earn their commission. Realtors pay out of their pocket for marketing, spend time researching listings, driving around, doing showings, taking professional photos/videos and being on call for you at all times. We take pride in what we do.