Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home Buying Tips: Things to Consider Before You Buy

This article courtesy of the professional Realtors serving the Fort Knox KY real estate market.

Home ownership is part of the American dream, and it’s natural to get excited when you’re able to make that dream a reality. When you’re looking to buy a home, emotions can play a prominent part in your final decision. But home ownership is a substantial long-term investment, and it pays to take a step back and consider your potential home purchase choice from an objective standpoint. Before you make your final decision, go through this helpful checklist and consider each point.

Is the home the right size for your family and stage of life? Often it’s assumed that the bigger the house, the better. But remember that houses with lots of square footage cost more across the board. Everything will be more expensive: property taxes, heating and cooling bills, electricity bills, roof repairs, exterior painting and flooring. And lest we forget the mundane, every square foot needs to be cleaned. Bigger houses equal longer cleaning hours.

Does the home offer enough privacy for your comfort? Smaller lot sizes mean tighter boundary lines between homes. Walk around the house and look out each window. Will you be able to open your bedroom curtains without exposing yourself to the neighbor? Could you enjoy your outdoor space without being on display? If privacy is important to you, don’t compromise on this point. Hedges can be planted but they take time to grow. Fences are expensive to install and sometimes aren’t high enough to block distant views.

Is the home environmentally safe? Radon air and water tests are useful, but there are other potential environmental hazards in a home. Ask your home inspector to specifically check for mold (especially if the home has central air conditioning), rodent or insect infestation, and inferior wallboard. Ask about lead paint if the house is older, and check along basement baseboards for signs of water infiltration. Water damage is one of the most destructive things that can occur in a home. If you see water stains along the walls or in the attic near rooflines, investigate further.

Are the home’s operating systems in good working order? Even before you invest in a home inspection, you can easily check the mechanical operation of the plumbing. Don’t be shy about flushing toilets and turning on water taps, including the tub and shower. These simple acts communicate volumes about the quality of the water and the water pressure. Turn lights on and off as you walk around the house. If appliances are expected to be included in the home purchase price, test each of them. Turn on the range knobs to ensure they heat up as expected. Operate the microwave. The refrigerator doors should have a tight seal. Turn on the washing machine for a moment and let the dryer spin a few times to make sure they work. Visually inspect the water heater, furnace and any air conditioning units. If these units appear dirty or rusty, chances are the system has not been maintained. Quality Elizabethtown KY home inspectors will check these things but be sure to ask anyway.

These tips don’t represent the exciting part of looking at a home to buy in the Fort Knox Kentucky Area. It’s much more fun to fantasize about the amazing kitchen and imagine your kids or dog frolicking in the backyard sunshine. But spending some time going over each home purchase tip before you buy your new home can safeguard you from costly surprises after you’ve bought your home. Make your American dream a happy reality, not a nightmare.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

In the Market for an Elizabethtown Home? -- Why You Need to Have Your Own Buyer's Agent

If you are new to the Elizabethtown area, you are probably busy looking at Elizabethtown real estate and seeking out homes for sale in Elizabethtown, KY. But you should not let the rush to buy stop you from seeking out a quality buyer’s agent. These real estate professionals perform an important function, and trying to find houses for sale in Elizabethtown KY without one can be dangerous to your wallet.

Some people who are looking for Elizabethtown KY real estate, simply work with the listing agent, not realizing that, in some cases, the agent is working on behalf of the seller and not on their behalf. The job of the listing agent for Elizabethtown real estate is to get the highest possible price for the home. Failing to work with a qualified buyer’s agent, one who knows the Elizabethtown real estate market inside and out, can be a huge mistake. What's the direct cost to you? $0 Why? The seller's agent compensates the buyer's agent for finding a buyer. If you just use the seller's agent, in most cases, the seller's agent gets to keep what would have been your buyer's agent's share.

It is fine to use the listing agent to get some general information on the Elizabethtown real estate market and the houses for sale in Elizabethtown, KY, but when it comes to serious matters like making an offer or having an Elizabethtown home inspection done, you need an advocate on your side.

A buyer’s agent can serve as that advocate in the Elizabethtown real estate market. When seeking out a buyer’s agent, keep in mind that all real estate is local. The market for Elizabethtown real estate is likely to be quite different than the market for real estate in other parts of the country, or even other parts of the state.

The houses for sale in Elizabethtown, KY run the gamut, from fixer-uppers most suitable for contractors and those with lots of construction experience, to pristine homes in move-in condition. Having an Elizabethtown KY Realtor as your buyer’s agent with specific experience in the Elizabethtown real estate market is the best way to ensure you bid only on the Elizabethtown area homes that meet your needs and the needs of your family.

Having a buyer’s agent who is an expert in the Elizabethtown KY real estate market on your side also makes it easier to determine a fair offer price. When you shop for houses for sale in the Elizabethtown, KY area, you want to shop within your own established price range. You also want to avoid the temptation to bid too high on a home you really love. Without a buyer’s agent on your side, you could be tempted into overpaying for houses for sale in Elizabethtown, KY. With the help of an agent experienced in the Elizabethtown real estate market, you can craft an offer that will be as attractive to the seller as it is to your finances.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grayson County KY Farm for sale near

Are you looking for a Grayson County Kentucky farm near Leitchfield? If so, you absolutely must tour this beautiful Millwood farm. It offers approximately 134 acres of the most amazing farm land you have seen. You'll find rolling hills and beautiful pastures as well as cliffs and waterfalls on the back border of this farm land just outside of Leitchfield Kentucky in Grayson County.

This farm includes a beautiful one-of-a-kind handcrafted home with a panoramic view of the lake from most windows! Built with only the best materials including all 4x6s, river rock throughout including family room focal point, solid poplar wood doors and trim in every room, 3/4" solid oak flooring, and energy efficient sun screened Anderson windows. Barn, workshop, extra house, and much more.

Come tour this beautiful farm in Grayson County KY today. This is a farm you don't want to miss! Call, text, or email 270-268-3848 TaraStill@HardinHomes.com with questions or to take a look in person.

Be sure to take a look at the 42 (full-screen) pictures and the listing details.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fort Knox Kentucky home buyers should always get a home inspection before purchasing.

Why do I need to have a home inspection when purchasing real estate?
Buying a home near Fort Knox should always involve a home inspection to identify any problems with the structure, the plumbing, the electrical wiring, the heating system, the roof, and more. Buying a home is a wonderful investment and you are limiting your risk by requiring an inspection. Whether you're buying a new home or an existing one, we always recommend you have a home inspection; even people who are pretty "handy" should get one. A good home inspector is doing checklist-based home inspections daily, is much more thorough than the typical buyer, and spends two hours or more at the house. Many buyers mistakenly think the VA appraiser is a home inspector. The VA appraiser is arriving at a fair market value for the home while checking for obvious physical defects. An appraisal of any kind is not a substitute for ordering a home inspection.

What requirements exist to become a licensed home inspector?
Kentucky requires the home inspector be licensed to conduct the inspection. Inspectors must take a board-approved training program or course involving the performance of home inspections, and pass an examination prescribed or approved by the board. Inspectors must also have insurance with general liability coverage of at least $250,000. How can you recognize an unlicensed home inspector? You can verify the status of a Kentucky inspector's license on the Board of Home Inspectors website.

How do you choose a good home inspector?
We, and many other Hardin County Kentucky Realtors, always recommend that buyers choose their own inspectors. Other than finding inspectors on the internet buyers should ask family, friends, and neighbors who have recently purchased. We have a list of home inspectors for Hardin County and Meade County with reviews.
Gather names, phone numbers, and email addresses of local home inspectors. Once you have completed this search, select several of the individuals from your list. You can narrow your choices down easily by selecting home inspectors who live nearby. We feel it's important to choose a home inspector who is familiar with the local area.

You'll want to interview the inspectors (over the phone), here are a few questions to ask:
  • How much do you charge to perform a home inspection? Inspections usually run anywhere between $200 and $400. Make sure the inspector knows the location of the property, you want to make sure he/she services that area and the fee may also be based on how far the inspector has to travel. Even though it may be difficult, try not to base your decision solely on price; a busy inspector may charge more because of his/her high demand (the whole supply/demand thing). As per your real estate purchase contract, you need to have your inspection done in a timely manner so be sure to check the inspector's availability and inform him/her of your deadline.
  • What parts of the home are inspected and what parts aren't? If there are any specific areas of concern, be sure to address them with the inspector and ensure they are checked.
  • How long have you been inspecting houses near Fort Knox Kentucky? As with anything else, you probably want someone with a bit of experience and may want to avoid hiring a total "newbie".
  • When will I get the inspection report and can you email it? It's important to have your report within your contract deadline so you can decide which items you want repaired. It's also important for you and your Kentucky real estate agent to get an email copy of the report. Because of the time crunch it's important to have the speed of email (plus we're in the 21st century). Many inspectors will also provide you with an additional paper copy.
  • Can I go to the home inspection? Although it is not required, it is very important that you are present while the home inspector is inspecting the home. It's almost never a problem for the buyer to attend the inspection and it's a great idea for you to be there so you can ask questions. Your inspector may be able to give you an idea of how much specific repairs will cost. Be cautious if the inspector offers to make the repairs because that's a significant conflict of interest.
  • Ask the home inspector for a reference or two. Call each of the references to verify that the home inspector did satisfactory work. As long as you like everything that you hear about a particular home inspector, you have found the right one. If you want to go one step further, contact the Better Business Bureau. Find out whether any complaints have been lodged against this specific home inspector. If complaints have been filed, you might want to rethink your choice.
When you get to the home inspection
Give the home inspector a copy of the MLS listing because it usually contains information about appliances, roof, well, septic system, recent additions, etc. Follow the home inspector and take notes on the problems he finds. Ask the home inspector what needs to be done to correct any problems.

Remember, if nothing else, make sure you get an inspection, even the worst home inspector probably has more knowledge than the average home buyer.

Related: A home sold "as-is" might not really be "as-is"

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 BAH Rates Fort Knox Kentucky

Fort Knox Kentucky BAH Rates for 2012 have been released and they're pretty sweet compared to 2011. Soldiers with dependents had an average increase of 5.5% and those without dependents are up about 6.6%. E4 and below saw the biggest increase, averaging about 8% while E5 with dependents got a little over 10%.

When you get a mortgage for a home near Fort Knox, your BAH goes pretty far since rates are so amazingly low right now (around 3.75%).

It's very cool to see how the BAH rates have changed for the Fort Knox area. We have history as far back as 1998 for each pay grade. For example an E6 (with dependents) received just $536 in 1998 and receives $1,254 for 2012.