Buying a home is as much about your state of mind as the state of your bank account—but both need to be in great condition.
A home’s risk of flooding—from hurricanes or a huge downpour—is probably not the first thing you’d think to check. Ideally, you want to size up this potential and take precautions if necessary well before you might end up underwater!
Most homes in high-risk flood zones are near a body of water. For instance, the Gulf Coast is one of the U.S. regions most vulnerable to hurricanes that cause flooding. Yet more than 20% of flood-related home insurance claims happen in non-flood zones, so no one should assume they’re safe.
And due to climate changes, flooding may also become more common. According to Popular Science, “Nearly 15 million American properties are at substantial risk of flooding in the next 30 years, and more than three million are almost certain to be underwater at some point in that time.”
So how can you find out if your home is in a flood zone—and if it is, how can you assess the size of this risk and what protections can you put in place? Whether you own a home or are looking to buy, here’s how to figure that out.
To start, hire a fantastic listing real estate agent. These professionals will have the tools and background needed to help you sell your home in today’s quickly changing market.
It’s smart to be picky! A great real estate agent can help find buyers to sell your home fast, and for the most money. Make the wrong choice, and your listing might languish. Then, the lowballing bargain hunters come circling—it’s not pretty.
But there are specific questions to ask so that you can pinpoint the right professional for you.
You might find that now is not the right time to buy a new home. Instead, it might be time to love the one you already own.
Need a little help feeling good about staying put for the time being? Then perhaps, it’s time for a remodel project to turn your house into the home you’ve always dreamed about.
Before you run away screaming at the thought of renovating, read on.
When homebuyers tour potential homes, most can spot obvious problems like a bad grout job in the bathroom or an outdated kitchen. But do you know what to look for outside the house, on the land beneath your feet?
Land is more of a mystery to homebuyers, since variables such as soil quality and proper drainage aren’t easy to eyeball. Still, it’s important to get the dirt on it, since it can hide a variety of issues that can cause major problems for the homeowner and be costly to fix (if it can be fixed at all).
To help you ferret out these expensive issues, here are some red flags that can commonly be found lurking on a bad piece of property.
Realtor®, real estate agent, broker—it’s hard to keep up with all the lingo involved in a real estate transaction. A good place to start is by learning what a Realtor really means.
What is knob and tube wiring? While it might sound like a bad 1990s indie band, it’s actually an outdated electrical system that’s still found in many old homes in the United States.
Often abbreviated as K&T, this early standard—widespread in residences built from the 1880s to the 1930s—is often considered a hazard today, depending on how it was installed.
So if a home you’re hoping to buy has it, you’ll want to have it examined closely and possibly replaced. Why?
Do you know how much an average real estate agent commission is? Or who pays real estate agent fees and closing costs?
Though most homebuyers and sellers might not be able to tell you what these fees are, they’re fairly critical to the real estate agent working for you. These fees are how most real estate agents are paid.
So in real estate, who is responsible for paying commissions and fees: the homebuyer or the home seller? How much, on average, should you expect it to cost, and what other fees are you responsible for when you buy or sell a house?
There are signs that the housing market is easing off the record-high prices it’s seen during the past few years, but bidding wars for homes are far from over—especially in competitive markets. And the difference between landing your dream home and going back to square one can come down to something as silly as minor misunderstandings or misinterpretations of real estate lingo.
Take, for example, the subtle difference between the terms “highest and best” and “best and final,” which are used to describe the types of offers a buyer makes on a house. Many home sellers are asking buyers to submit one of the two types of offers in anticipation of—or amid—a bidding war.
Are you sure you know the difference between these two types of offers? Read on for the definition—and for savvy tactics from real estate experts—so you can put your best foot forward and land the home you have your heart set on.
HERE’S everything you need to know about cleaning out your musty closet—and preventing the smell from ever creeping back in.