Kelly Innello's Blog
Floods can be devastating. Not only do they damage many of your personal belongings, but they can also lead to devastating problems with your home. The good news is, you can make the process easier by following a few steps in the immediate aftermath of a home flood.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The first step is to notify the insurance company that you have experienced a flood. The sooner you call, the better. Flood damage may or may not be covered under your policy, but if it is, there is likely a process that you will have to follow to make sure that your claim is processed in a timely fashion. Your insurance company may require an assessor to come out. Even though they are likely to take pictures during the assessment, you should take your own immediately to document exactly how everything looked when the damage occurred.
Find a Safe Place to Stay
If there is a significant amount of water in your home, it may not be safe to stay there until the restoration process is complete. If this is the case, find a safe place to stay until the cleaning process is finished. If the damage is minimal, make sure you protect yourself when in the space by wearing a surgical mask, boots and other protective clothing. Water damage can lead to mold and mildew, which can lead to respiratory problems.
Contact a Cleanup Specialist
The final step is to call a cleanup specialist. Water damage can require special care to ensure that your home is properly restored. Your cleanup specialist will make an assessment of the damage, salvage what property they can, remove the water and disinfect the area so that you and your family will not suffer from mold-related issues. They will also inform you about possible repairs that need to be made as a result of the flood.
Don't let flood damage ruin your home, follow the steps above to get on top of the damage so that you can achieve the best results.
Fireplaces are often seen as a necessity for homebuyers. It adds charm and decorative as well as physical warmth to a home. More than half of new homes have a fireplace. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, you may wonder if installing and maintaining a fireplace is worth it. Will it add value to your home? There are a few things you need to consider before you decide to take on this project.
Keep in mind that fireplaces are not directly accounted for during a home appraisal. Yet, they add value to a home. Home buyers will pay more for homes that have fireplaces. Depending on the location of your home, a fireplace can increase the value of the property by a significant amount- up to thousands of dollars.
The location of a home really has a direct effect on how much value it adds it a home. When added to other amenities in your home, a fireplace can compound to make the home appear more luxurious. A fireplace is a must in a higher end home.
On the flip side, more modest homes may not need fireplaces. If a home needs many other improvements, a fireplace may not add much to the property. The amount of value a fireplace adds is very much dependent on the type of property it’s being added to.
It’s possible to add a fireplace to just about any home. The cost will vary by a large amount ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Specific requirements may exist within your city dictating how fireplaces must be installed. Keep in mind that everything from the type of fireplace that’s being installed to the height of the chimney must be considered. Look into things like:
- Emission limits
- Chimney height
- Construction requirements
- Type of installation
Each requirement will add a bit more cost to the project, so it’s best to do some research beforehand.
Getting The Maximum Value
If you decide that adding a fireplace is the right decision for your property, there are a few ways to get the maximum return on your investment. First, you should build the fireplace in the room of your home that’s most used. This space would most likely be the living room or family room in most cases. Keep in mind that adding a fireplace can drastically change the look of a room.
Whether you’re adding a fireplace or putting in an initial one, you can be sure that it will add value to your home in the form of attraction and home price.
You and your agent invested hours, days, weeks and even months searching for the right house. Time spent visiting open houses. But now all your efforts pay off. You’ve found the one. It’s the right size, the right neighborhood and within the budget parameters. This is the home of your dreams. It’s time to make an offer.
First Things First
Let your agent guide you. A great agent knows what the market will bear. They also have the experience and know-how to save you thousands on your home purchase. When you work with an agent, you can submit an excellent offer that the buyer wants to accept.
Don’t make the mistake many first-time homebuyers do of low-balling the offer. Of course, you want to pay as little as possible for the house, but too low of an offer, one that doesn’t account for proper market analysis, just frustrates the seller. If nearby, comparable homes recently sold for five to six percent less than the asking price, you can reasonably offer seven to nine percent less, leaving both of you room for negotiation. But if this is a seller’s market, offering less than the asking price exposes you to the risk of being outbid by other buyers. Your agent knows the temperature of the market. They’ve already experienced what buyers accept and what they reject. If this is the house you want, follow the guidance of your agent when making the offer.
Dot the I’s
Submitting a bid for real estate is a legally binding document. You don’t want to make a costly mistake that jeopardizes your purchase or forces you to buy a home that requires a lot of repairs and renovations to be livable.
Cross the T’s
Having a pre-approval sets you up for negotiating power. Remember that the seller actually wants to sell. And you actually want to buy. This is where a little give-and-take compromise wins the day. Once you make the offer, the seller counters, you resubmit, and they accept, your next action includes a home inspection. Your knowledgeable agent will have written contingencies into your offer for failures in significant systems that the inspection reveals. At this point, any HVAC, plumbing, electrical, foundation and roof systems that need repair are negotiable. Do not let anyone talk you out of doing an inspection. It is well worth the cost to protect yourself from major but hidden issues. Your agent can recommend a home inspector, or you can hire one yourself. Make sure they have all licenses and certifications.
The other primary contingency should be the final appraisal. To qualify for your loan, your lender will require an appraisal of the property’s fair market value. While the inspection protects you from future problems, the appraisal protects you from overpaying. If the appraisal comes in lower than your accepted offer, your agent will begin renegotiation for you.
Now you’re on your way to closing. The best day in the process. Use your professional real estate agent’s abilities to get you to the finish line.
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