How Can I Protect My Family From Lead-Based Paint In The Home?

As you’ll see in this vignette, if the house you’re considering was built before 1978 and you have children under the age of seven you will want to have an inspection for lead-based paint. Prior to 1978, oil-based house paint contained lead.

It’s important to know that lead flakes from paint can be present in both the home and in the soil surrounding the house. The problem can be fixed temporarily by repairing damaged paint surfaces or planting grass over affected soil.

A lead abatement contractor can be hired to remove lead-based paint chips and seal damaged areas to fix the problem permanently. Watch this vignette and it’ll make sense.

How Can I Protect My Family From Lead-Based Paint In The Home? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Should I Look Out For During The Final Walk-Through?

Well, as this vignette shows, this will likely be the first opportunity to examine the house without furniture giving you a clear view of everything during the final walk-through.

Check the walls and ceilings carefully as well as any work the seller agreed to do in response to the inspection.

Any problems discovered previously that you find uncorrected should be brought up prior to closing. It is the seller’s responsibility to fix them.

What Should I Look Out For During The Final Walk-Through? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




Are Power Lines A Health Hazard?

While everyone uses electricity concerns about possible effects from high-tension power lines nearby are a common question.

As this vignette shows, according to the US Department of Housing & Urban Development as of 2013, there are no definitive research findings that indicate exposure to power lines results in greater instances of disease or illness.

Are Power Lines A Health Hazard? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




Do I Need To Be There For The Inspection?

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea; your favorite KW REALTOR® will be there.  As this vignette shows, let the inspectors do their job while you take notes and pictures. In most cases,  pest-property-roof inspections can be scheduled for the same day; ask your favorite KW REALTOR® for details.

Following the inspection the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas.

This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general maintenance questions.

Do I Need To Be There For The Inspection? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Is An Inspection Clause?

Remember these pointers from the following vignette: you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home. In CA, a buyer investigation period is addressed in your residential purchase agreement. Ask your favorite KW REALTOR® for details on this another important buyer contingency issues.

An inspection clause gives you an “out” on buying the house if serious problems are found or gives you the ability to renegotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed.

An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you close the purchase of the house.

What Is An Inspection Clause? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?

As we show you in this vignette, an inspector checks the safety of your potential new home.

Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.

The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money.

Generally, an inspector checks (and may give estimates for home system repairs on such things as):

  • the electrical system
  • plumbing and waste disposal
  • the water heater
  • insulation and ventilation
  • the heating and AC system
  • water source and quality
  • the potential presence of pests
  • the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof.

Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced. It’s a good idea to have an inspection before you remove the buyer investigation contingency in your residential purchase agreement (RPA). In California, we use the CA-RPA for written offers, which by default affords you sufficient time for buyer investigations. Ask your favorite KW REALTOR® for details.

What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Are “Home Warranties”, And Should I Consider Them?

You’ll see some pictures in this vignette to help you remember later;  in essence, home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time, such as one year, against potentially costly problems like unexpected repairs on appliances or home systems which are not covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Warranties are becoming more popular because they offer protection during the time immediately following the purchase of a home a time when many people find themselves cash-strapped.

What Are “Home Warranties”, And Should I Consider Them? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




How Do I Make An Offer?

Watch this vignette and it’ll make sense. Your favorite KW REALTOR® will assist you in making an offer which will include the following information:

  • The Complete legal description of the property
  • The Amount of earnest money
  • The Down payment and financing details
  • The Proposed move-in date
  • The Price you are offering
  • The Proposed closing date
  • The Length of time the offer is valid
  • The Details of the deal
  • Several Other contractual safeguards

Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller not just making an offer.

How Do I Make An Offer? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Steps Could I Take To Lower My Homeowner’s Insurance Costs?

You’ll see some pictures in this vignette to help you remember later, but basically, be sure to get quotes from several insurance companies. Also, consider the cost of insurance when you look at homes.

Newer homes and homes constructed with materials like brick tend to have lower premiums.

Think about avoiding areas prone to natural disasters.  Choose a home with a fire hydrant or a fire department nearby.

Other ways to lower insurance costs include insuring your home and cars with the same company, increasing home security, and seeking group coverage through alumni or business associations.

Insurance costs are always lowered by raising your deductibles but this exposes you to a higher out-of-pocket cost if you have to file a claim.

What Steps Could I Take To Lower My Homeowner’s Insurance Costs? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What Is An Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), And How Much Should I Set Aside?

Like the vignette shows, “earnest money” is money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-3% of the purchase price though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions.

If your offer is accepted, the earnest money deposit (EMD) becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your earnest money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, unprotected by time-sensitive buyer investigation/appraisal/loan contingencies, the seller may have a claim to all or part of your EMD.

What Is An Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), And How Much Should I Set Aside? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




What About A Home Located In A Flood Plain?

As this vignette explains, a flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. Watch this vignette and it’ll make sense.

If you live in a flood plain, lenders will require that you have flood insurance before lending any money to you. But if you live near a flood plain, you may choose whether or not to get flood insurance coverage for your home.

Check the National Flood Insurance Program site  at FloodSmart.gov  or your favorite KW REALTOR® for more information. And work with an insurance agent to construct a policy that fits your needs.

What About A Home Located In A Flood Plain? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




How Do I Determine The Initial Offer?

As you’ll see in this vignette, unless you have a buyer’s agent remember that the agent works for the seller, not you and your best interests. Make a point of asking him or her to keep your discussions and information confidential.

Listen to your favorite KW REALTOR’S® advice but follow your own reason on deciding a fair price.

Calculating your offer should involve several factors:

  • what homes sell for in the area
  • the home’s condition
  • how long it’s been on the market
  • financing terms
  • the seller’s situation.

By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford.

Be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth until they can agree on a final price.

How Do I Determine The Initial Offer? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.




Do I Really Need Homeowner’s Insurance?

This vignette puts this in more visual terms, but Yes! A paid homeowner’s insurance policy (or a paid receipt for one) is required at closing so arrangements will have to be made prior to that day.

Involving your favorite KW REALTOR® early in the home buying process may save you money. Insurance agents are a great resource for information on home safety and they can give tips on how to keep insurance premiums low.

Do I Really Need Homeowner’s Insurance? is a post from Life and Real Estate in Campbell CA, which is not to be copied on other sites.