Making the Most of Your Real Estate Agent's Expertise

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Making the Most of Your Real Estate Agent's Expertise

Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but there is a lot that has to be considered if you want to make sure that your investment is a solid one. For example, while it isn’t required, it is a good idea to have your real estate agent hire an independent inspector to have prospective homes personally inspected for safety and condition before making an offer. Learning how your real estate agent can best help you before actually hiring an agent will ensure that the person you work with has the experience and ideas needed to get the results that you want. On this website, you can expect to find out how to find a great real estate agent and how you can best tap into the talents.

4 Things To Check For In A Fixer-Upper

If you plan on buying and remodeling a fixer-upper, you may not care about things like paint colors, carpet condition, and dings in the walls when you tour the home. However, that does not mean you should buy just any home. Some problems are really expensive to fix or could severely limit the market value of the home, even with updates. Here are five things to check for before buying this type of real estate.

1. A solid foundation

Fixing a foundation is so costly and time-consuming that doing so is rarely worth it. Even if you were to buy the home for $10, you might not get your money back on the resale if you have to do extensive foundation repairs. Look over the foundation very closely. If there are any horizontal cracks, this is a bad sign. (Vertical cracks are not a big concern unless they are huge — they tend to be a normal effect of settling. If the doors do not shut, the door frames seem out of alignment, or the floors are crooked, these are also signs the foundation is shifting badly.

2. A sturdy roof

The shingles may need replacing, and that's okay. What you do not want to see is a roof that looks bowed or dipped-in. This means that the wood under the shingles is damaged, which means that the roof has probably been leaking for some time. Open up the attic and the upper story walls, and you may have quite the mold problem. Mold is tough to clean up once it is extensive, and replacing the wooden underlayment of the roof is not cheap either.

3. A decent neighborhood

You don't have to buy a house in the most ritzy neighborhood around, but you don't want to buy in a dangerous neighborhood either. Most people won't want to buy a home in a dangerous neighborhood even if it has been nicely remodeled. So check crime rates before you buy, and take a drive around town while you're at it.

4. Acceptable plumbing

If you have to replace a few pipes, that's fine. What you do not want to get into is replacing all of the pipes in a home. This is a very costly task and often involves tearing out multiple walls and floors. If the house has old galvanized pipes, walk away. Most were installed in 1960 or earlier, and they are likely starting to rust. You want pipes made from copper or PVC.

Many things are easy to fix, but the plumbing, roof underlayment, foundation, and neighborhood are not. Look for a fixer-upper with good bones, and you'll be successful.