Purpose and Points of a Home Inspection

Buying a home is a huge investment. Having a home inspection on that home before your close on the purchase transaction is an even bigger investment for a lot less money. The home inspection is an important process in the home buying experience and one that is very informational so please do not skip it. The last thing you want to do is buy a home in need of thousands of dollars in repairs that you were not aware of and did not negotiate for in its price. So, let’s go through the process.

The buyer gets to choose the home inspector. As such, make sure you choose a reputable, licensed inspector. How do you find a good one? Ask your Realtor as they most likely have inspectors who are thorough and competent from past home inspections, research top inspectors on the Internet (sites such a Yelp can be very helpful), or ask your family and friends who they have used and liked. It a good idea to call an inspector and ask any questions you may have and even request recent referrals.

Once you have selected your home inspector, it is helpful to actually attend the house inspection and follow the inspector at the end of the inspection as he highlights and points out issues in the home. You may even pick up a tip or two about making your new home more energy efficient or how certain things work. It’s important to remember that no house is perfect…not even a new home. Believe it or not, inspectors even find repairs that are needed with a new home. Every home inspection seems to uncover conditions that need repair and/or potential safety-related concerns relating to the home. Mostly, the inspector is there to make certain the home is functioning as it should, checking items such as faucets and toilets to see if they leak, or the heating and air conditioning to ensure they are in good working order. If they see something that needs more attention they will recommend further inspections with a specialist. Home inspectors won’t address cosmetic items if they don’t impair the integrity of the home. They also do not do destructive testing so know there is always some risk of flaws (such as wiring and plumbing within the walls) that cannot be assessed.

When you get your inspection report back, however lengthy it is, your inspector will generally include a summary sheet as one of the first pages. Pay particular attention to this section with all its vital information because these are the items that the inspector believes are code and safety issues that need immediate correction. The rest of the report are other issues that you should know about but the inspector may not find to be a priority at this point. Most repairs are normally not a deal breaker between buyer and seller and can be negotiated for resolution. So go forth and buy that new home because you know exactly what you are buying.

If you have any questions about the home buying process or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact Lydia Gable at 818-383-4335 or asklydia@lydiagable.com.

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Tuesday Tips – June 21, 2016

 

We are so excited to roll out a new online tool called Homekeeper to our clients as an added value. It’s you online source for all of our recommended vendors for repairs, home improvements, inspections and more. Please contact me (lydia@lydiagable.com or 818-383-4335) if you would like to have access. Here for you and your home always!

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Finding the Right Realtor

It’s the busiest time of the year in real estate. Spring. Selling your home can seem like a daunting task with getting the house ready to sell, finding a good realtor, having showings and then the actual paperwork and process of closing the transaction. Try not to get overwhelmed because selling your home doesn’t have to be an arduous process. In an effort to help you navigate through selling your home (or even buying one), one of the top realtors in Conejo Valley, Lydia Gable with Lydia Gable Realty Group at Keller Williams, will be here every month to answer your real estate questions. If you have a question you would like answered, please send it to asklydia@lydiagable.com and your question with its answer may be featured in the Acorn next month.

 

Question: How do I find a good realtor because there are so many out there? And do I even need one?

 

Answer: A home is so much more than four walls, a roof and memories. For most people, it represents one of your largest assets and any mistake in the transaction may be costly and/or time consuming. A licensed realtor by the National Association of Realtors has the most in depth and current knowledge of buying/selling homes and they are held to a strict code of ethics for honesty and non-discrimination. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A good realtor is a knowledgeable expert who will help you negotiate the best price, understand/decipher the contract and avoid delays and/or costly mistakes.

 

There are six things I recommend to evaluate when trying to find the right realtor for you:

  • Track record – do your homework: talk to family and friends for their recommendations and look to Zillow or other online searches for reviews of real estate agents to find ones that continually have strong ratings.
  • Marketing skills – Internet is the name of the game these days so you want your home marketed effectively on the internet, as well as with mailers and other forms of advertising.
  • Negotiation skills – find someone who will negotiate the highest price in the best amount of time.
  • Customer service – A good realtor is responsive to all of your questions and returns phones calls/emails in a timely manner. Buying or selling a home is a complex transaction with endless paperwork and forms that can go very smoothly in the right hands.
  • Honesty – It’s important to know the facts, not just what you want to hear, about the market, what buyers are looking for in a home, and home values.
  • Pulse on the market – look for a realtor who is actively buying/selling homes in your market so they are knowledgeable with current trends and can provide you with guidance along the process.

 

Be sure to interview a few realtors to make sure their personality fits with yours and that they make you feel like the important client that you are! Good luck finding the right realtor for you and happy home buying/selling. If you have any questions, I am happy to help you so please call me at 818-383-4335.

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Little Changes in Lighting – Big Impact for your home

Have you been wanting to update your home, but don’t have a clue where to start? Sometimes even the smallest of home improvement projects are overwhelming – not knowing where to start, needing inspiration or ideas, and trying to be smart about making sure any money you spend will add value to your home. Refreshing your home in small steps is a great way to make your house the home you want it to be whether it’s for finally selling your home to move or just updating your home for you. So let’s get these projects started because little changes can have a big impact. Welcome to my news series of blogs here at www.lydiagable.com to provide you with tips of simple and relatively inexpensive ways to transform your home.

 

Since the whole unclutter your closet and get organized thing has been done and re-done, we are going to skip right over that. You have cleaned out your closets and donated unwanted or unused items, right? If you have not used it in the last year, it’s time to donate it, sell it on eBay or whatever local site works for you, or trash it. Seriously. This is basic stuff and too many times we rationalize keeping it because “you never know” when you might need it. Here’s the thing, you haven’t needed it so do yourself a favor and clear it out of your way. Now, let’s get on to more fun ways to give your home a little update.

 

Lighting can transform a room. If you don’t think so, just check out some of the homes for sale on my listings and see what people have done (or not done) in their homes. And before you think to yourself you can’t update the lighting fixtures in your home, hear me out. You can do this! Feel free to contact me at asklydia@lydiagable.com for a good electrician for the install or if you are handy yourself, have at it. There is always YouTube, my favorite place when I need a little inside information and guidance. I watch a few videos and suddenly, I have knowledge and know how.

 

Lighting Needs a Style

When you are choosing new lighting, it’s best to begin with an overall style you want to achieve. Take a look around your home. What style is the best piece of furniture or artwork in your home that you absolutely love? Capitalize of that look and feel in your lighting. Do you like casual traditional, modern glam or that rustic industrial feel? Pick your preferred style and then it’s time to decide on your finish: satin nickel, antique bronze, a wood element or something that has sparkle and glitz. All finishes have their place in today’s homes but keep the look consistent and unified. The finishes don’t have to match in as much as they should coordinate with one another.

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Possini Euro Design Glass Sphere 15-Light Pendant Chandelier Lamplus.com

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Eliana 6-light Black Linear Glass Globe Chandelier Overstock.com

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Constance 5 Light Chandelier Wayfair.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All About the Layers

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Spray painted chandelier as seen on HGTV.com

The current trend in lighting is layering. The theory is no one light can do it all in a room. You need functional lighting to illuminate the space, accent lighting to add depth to the space (think recessed or track lighting), and then the wow factor lighting (a unique chandelier or a cool pendant light). And here’s when you can get your DIY on. There are many great websites for buying new, but sometimes, a crafty alteration is all you need to give the room some pizazz. Have a builders’ grade brass chandelier that you desperately want to change but it’s not in the budget right now? There are some great spray paints at your local hardware store that will give your chandelier a whole new updated look – you could go with a sleek flat black, a bright white, or even a hammered bronze to add texture. Think about using globe bulbs for a final touch and suddenly it’s a whole new look for your home.

Size Matters

Size matters. Yes, yes, it does in lighting. You want to make sure your light fixtures are in proportion to your room and furniture sizes. Below are some good general tips, but remember, if it doesn’t look right to you, go with your gut feel on height and size. And if you don’t trust your gut, flip through some home decorating magazines to get a sense of what the lighting in a room looks like according to professional interior designers.

Dining Room

  • The diameter of the chandelier should be about one half to two thirds the width of the table it will be hanging over.
  • The bottom of the fixture should hang between 30″ and 36″ from the tabletop assuming you have an 8′ ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height you should add about 3″ to the suspension height.

Kitchen

  • For pendants, provide approximately 36 inches clearance above tables and countertops. Make sure it doesn’t block views from across the kitchen.
  • Space a pendant every 2 feet or so above a kitchen island and pick the right size of pendant to suit your island length. Small islands (4 to 5 feet long) can handle 1 large or 2 medium pendants. Larger islands can handle 2 large or 3 medium pendants.
  • Larger kitchens should boast medium to larger fixtures as small pendant lights will seem lost in the space.

Bathroom

  • Bar lighting is most popular and should be about 75% of the width of your mirror width and center mounted.
  • Sconce lighting on both side of the mirror offer more ideal lighting but not always possible

Foyer

  • Fixture should have a minimum clearance of 7 feet
  • When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add together the length and width dimensions of the foyer area and make that same number be inches. For example, 18 feet by 12 feet is 30 inches total so the light fixture should be about 30 inches in width.

 

Hopefully, now I have you thinking and inspired. Dare I say, illuminated on the idea? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Try changing out one lighting element and you just may be hooked to do more! Good luck and see you back here next week for another fun idea on updating your home.

 

If you have any questions, I am here for you and your home always.

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