Real Estate Information Archive


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What is the Purpose of a Home Inspection

by David Crowell

Q:  What’s the purpose of a home inspection?

A:   A home inspection is performed after the buyer and seller have entered into a written contract.  It’s a review of the home’s condition, including the heating system, attic, foundation, and a mold review.  The point is to identify any area of the home that needs replacement or repair.  You’ll use the report to set the final price of your purchase.

You may choose to buy the house and make the repairs, or you may walk away from the property if the costs would be too high for your budget and the sellers refuse to lower the price or make the repairs. You can get your earnest money back provided your contract has a “sale contingent on inspection” clause.

You’ll also need to get an appraisal, which serves to assess a value to the property. You need to know that the property you’ve selected will appraise at or above the amount you’ve contracted to pay for it.

Want to learn more?  Ask for my Free Consumer Report called “Top 10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes To Avoid.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

Home Problems To Fix Now

by David Crowell

If you address a few home problems now, you may avoid major damage and repairs later. 

Here are three areas to check:

Electrical problems.  Circuit breakers tripping frequently, outlets becoming hot, or flickering lights are indications that you should call an electrician.  A home or appliance warranty could cover some of the costs.  Fixing these problems may prevent a fire later.

Loose railings.  A loose handrail is dangerous if someone puts too much pressure on it.  You can remove the screws and reattach new and longer screws.  If it’s attached to concrete, you’ll need to install anchors in the concrete and then place steel bolts in the anchor.

Washing machine hoses.  These hoses can burst or leak at the connection site, possibly resulting in mold or damage to your floors and walls.  Make sure your hoses are connected securely, and verify that you have at least 4 inches of space between the wall and the back of the machine so the hose doesn’t bend.  If you’re going to replace hoses, purchase those made of braided stainless steel.

Think Twice Before Renovating

by David Crowell

If you’re planning a home renovation, do it for your own enjoyment.  But if you might move in a few years, know that some projects won’t generate the return you hoped for.  Here are some do’s and don'ts. 


Do consider these upgrades:

 1) Replace your kitchen countertops with stone or granite (check material cost calculators at  Paint your cabinets and add new handles.

 2) Modernize the bathrooms. A total renovation can cost thousands, but just replacing the vanity in one bathroom with a granite top and dark-wood cabinets will make a huge difference.  For example, you can find one at Costco for about $600.

 3) Make your home more energy efficient.  Buy energy-efficient appliances, insulate your attic, seal air leaks around the house, and install a programmable thermostat. While these upgrades may not be obvious, they will save you money and buyers will appreciate them.


Enjoy these, but you may not get a return on your investment:

 1) Installing a pool.   A pool is entertaining, but it can be a liability when you sell.  Buyers worry about safety and maintenance.

 2) Creating a dedicated home office.  It’s appropriate if you work at home and use it everyday, but if you just use it to pay bills, make sure the room can also be used as a den or spare bedroom.

 3) Over-renovating for your neighborhood.   If you spend $25,000+ on a new kitchen, you may price yourself out of the local market when it comes time to sell.

What big mistakes should I avoid when selling my home?

by David Crowell

There are plenty of mistakes you can make when you sell your home but most can easily be avoided.   Here are three important ones:

  1. Pricing Your Home Incorrectly.  You need to set the right price when you put it on the market.  If you start high, you may keep buyers and other real estate agents away.  If you lower your price in increments, it may be too late, as the home may already be viewed as “overpriced.”
  2. Failing To Stage Your Property.  You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!  Look at your home from a buyer’s point of view: clean it up, clear the clutter and get it in model-home shape.
  3. Selecting The Wrong Agent.  You need to hire a REALTOR® who understands your goals and will meet your needs.   

Learn more about selling your home in our Free Consumer Report called “How To Avoid 7 Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Home.”  Email your request to and we’ll send a copy right over to you.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4