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The Louisville Real Estate Blog

Louisville Real Estate Blog

Home Inspections

How are home inspections used when purchasing a house ? Other than financing, home inspections are the single most important component of a Real Estate transaction.

BUYERS: if you are not a licensed contractor as a buyer, its always wise to hire and pay for a home inspection.  There are numerous inspectors as is Realtors, my advice is ask for recommendations from family, friends, co-workers that have recently purchased a home. Typical costs are $400-$500, some companies charge more depending on the size of the house. The actual inspection will last 3-4 hours with a written report from the inspector after they are finished. I always recommend a prospective buyer at a very minimum meet with the inspector at the property before the inspection is completed, this enables the inspector to explain and answer questions of possible issues. 

SELLERS: As a seller no matter how good of condition your house is in, you have to come to realization that the inspector will find issues with your house.  Per the sales contract the buyer will request the items that they want addressed from the inspection. In many cases the issues are small and inexpensive, this is where your Realtor needs to discuss the potential costs and advise on how to proceed. 

Conclusion: I suggest to buyers to focus on major issues that effect the safety and livability of the house, leaks, electrical (safety), etc.... Sellers need to focus on addressing those major issues, unfortunately if they don't they will be revisited again with the next buyer's inspection. Both parties can move forward toward a happy closing after these items are agreed on. 

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No interest rate hikes in 2016

Good news for home buyers in 2016, it appears interest rates will not rise due to the sluggish economy as previously anticipated. Based on the new growth numbers, the chance for a March interest rate hike has changed from 22% to 8%. 

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Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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