Choosing a Good Home Inspector

Yes, while most of us tend to skip this evaluation step, due to the extra cost incurred, the aforementioned fact clearly implies that an efficient home inspector would not add, but possibly save a significant amount of your hard-earned money. Typically, a professional home-inspection would cost you somewhere between USD 300 to USD 800, depending upon the building in question. However, this amount is almost negligible when it comes to the additional repairs that would possibly show up in the near future.

There are many details―both major and minor―that may easily be overlooked by a layman like us. However, professional home inspectors are trained and qualified to scan through the important areas such as the basement, foundation, heating and cooling system, interior plumbing, and so on. In short, their job is to make sure that the house is perfectly assembled and technically suitable for the buyer to proceed with the deal.

How to Find the Ideal Home Inspector

Do not give it a blind shot. What makes choosing a home inspector different from choosing other professional services is the fact that you cannot completely rely on recommendations, especially if they come from your real estate agent. Be cautious of such referrals as there are high chances that the inspector will be loyal towards the agent, and not towards you. Most agents and inspectors have associations with each other, wherein the agent takes commission from the home inspector, who in turn, gets regular business from the agent. Therefore, it is best to roll up your sleeves and get on with some serious independent researching.

Evaluate the Licensing Criteria

The best proof of a professional’s credibility is a certificate or license, but, is it enough? Sadly, all American states do not have a mandatory licensing requirement for one to become a home inspector. Also, there are cases in which the training undertaken prior to obtaining the license is so negligible, that a license holder is no different from a non-license holder. It is best to see if the home inspector is a member of some reputed authority in the field, one of the most reliable being the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI). In fact, if you visit these websites, there is a search option that helps you locate a home inspector in your locality. Evaluating the criteria to be a member of the organization is also important to determine how easy or difficult it is, for one to become a member of the same.

Research on his Reputation and Work Records

After you have got some names to consider from, the next step would be to try to get references, and scroll through the testimonials of some satisfied customers. You may want to get in touch with the organization that the said home inspector(s) is a member of, and inquire about his work record, registered complaints (if any), and the overall reputation. You should ideally narrow down your search to those who are known as ‘deal killers’. This means that they are honest workers, and scrutinize every nook and cranny of the property in question.

Interview the Inspector

Though it sounds a little too extreme, but this step is by far the most necessary one in the decision-making process. Shortlist about a minimum of three potential candidates, and schedule an interview with each one of them. Be stern and upfront regarding all your queries and doubts. Don’t hesitate to check their credentials, and ask them relevant questions such as, how many inspections have they done so far, what are the most crucial areas of the house that tend to get easily neglected, and the like. You must observe the way the inspector replies to your queries. A true professional will give confident answers, and not fumble while replying.

Accompany Him to an Inspection

When everything seems to be fine, ask if you could accompany him to one of his home inspections. Ideally, a true professional will have no problem with this. However, if he puts down your query, then consider that to be a warning sign. Watching the inspector work would enable you to evaluate the nitty-gritty of the whole process. You will be able to see the depth of the inspection―whether the inspector just runs through, or scans the property. Ideally, an inspection carried out by a single professional should take about 3 to 4 hours, depending upon the size and make of the property. If the inspection is over within 45 minutes or so, know that the work has not been done properly.

Ask if He has Errors and Omissions Insurance

Another important question to ask the professional is if he offers any form of guarantee for his work, and if he has ‘errors and omissions insurance’. There are some professional who work for firms that offer a written guarantee for their inspection. The guarantee is valid for a fixed time frame. If there arises the need to repair any area that was O.K.ed or overlooked by the inspector, previously, then the inspector needs to reimburse the client for it.

Check a Sample of a Final Report

Another plus point of going through his working style is that you will be familiar with what to expect in the process. An important thing is to see how the inspector prepares his final report. The organization he is affiliated to should have certain standards that he should follow while preparing the report, in terms of the areas covered, the details of the defects noticed, and the like. You must ask him to show you a sample of the same. Check if you are able to understand his writing style, and if the report consists of the site’s pictures. The report should be elaborate and clear. If possible, try to get a hard copy as well as a soft copy of the report.

There are thousands of home-inspectors around; however, a majority of them are not qualified enough to meet the aforementioned requirements. It is important to give your search ample time, preferably even before you begin looking for your property. Many times, it so happens that because you have less time to find the inspector, you settle for anybody who comes to your rescue (especially the one recommended by your real estate agent); this should be avoided in case you need a genuine feedback.

Become a Real Estate Appraiser

download-8Real estate appraisers are professionals who use their expertise in assessing real estate, and determining its value by employing specific conditions and measuring standards. They are people who were and currently are in great demand due to their unique skills and expertise in the real estate field. Insurance firms, federal agencies, tax assessment companies, real estate agents and firms, lawyers, museums and private collectors are some of the entities, who require the services of these experts.

Appraisers may even provide other services to their clients, such as home buying, home selling, real estate negotiations, etc. Due to the many requirements that lead to property appraisals, appraisers have the option of specializing in diverse fields. If you are planning to become a real estate appraiser, you need to possess a basic understanding of how the real estate and property business works, and what are the various operational aspects.

Types of Real Estate Appraisers

Appraisers are responsible for assessing not only residential property, but also commercial and agricultural holdings. Some people hire or take assistance from a personal property appraiser to evaluate the value of their vehicles, art, jewelry, antique furniture and collections.

The services of business appraisers are utilized in order to assess and determine the value of businesses, and all its assets which most importantly comprises its brand name. A professional from the real estate appraisal field ought to be a good communicator and possess high analytical thinking qualities. He should be capable of drafting concise and lucid reports for his clients.

Becoming a Real Estate Appraiser

As in any other profession, there are certain steps for becoming an appraiser. Licensing is required in most of the cases, particularly for the appraisal to be formally recognized as legal and valid by the federal government or any financial institution. Getting the related certification requires a certain number of hours to be spent in classroom training at a real estate appraisal school, and the capability to get through the real estate exam successfully.

In the USA, prospective appraisers are at least required to possess a bachelor’s degree to be considered eligible for this profession. However, it is possible to become an appraiser even without possessing a bachelor’s degree, provided tantamount college credit hours have been obtained.

There is no particular requirement for the field of study, however, those who plan to take up this as a career option mostly choose subjects like economics, business or finance. These subjects are somehow related to the field of real estate, and serve as a good background that will help in precisely determining market valuations for property.

The needed classroom time may depend upon the state and region of residency. In some states, there is a possibility of deputizing the need of classroom time for an equivalent correspondence or online degree programs. However, the course needs to be recognized by the ‘board in charge’ of certifying real estate appraisers in a particular area.

The course generally includes topics on real estate law, local federal aspects, related ethics, and some other factors regarding the real estate industry. After the completion of the course, the next step is taking the appraisal exam. Generally, taking the exam is easier for individuals who have gained significant knowledge in the course.

The exam is normally held at particular times in a year, or may be administered on demand, depending on the state. If you need more information regarding the exam and other requirements, you need to inquire with the regional real estate licensing board.

After the completion of all requirements, you need to complete the paperwork which includes an application form. In some cases, you would also be required to pass through a criminal background check. While dealing with paperwork, ensure that you include all information regarding test results, real estate course certificate, and other related documents.

The earnings of real estate appraisers largely depend upon the clients, expertise, experience, specialty, market reputation, and the level of professionalism. The annual earnings may range from $30,000 to even $300,000.

Investing Tips for Real Estate

When you have extra money, you think of ways to invest it so as to earn more money. If it is a huge sum, an idea of buying second home may always pop up in your mind. Buying real estate can help you earn large amount of profit on the basic investment. Real estate investment is a fabulous business and you can do it along with your existing job or business. But, this doesn’t mean that it is a very simple business which just involves buying a property and selling or renting it. It’s a wise investment and definitely, you need to invest your time and brain in this business to make it successful. So, what are you waiting for, go through these real estate investing tips mentioned below before you start off.

Tips for Investing in Real Estate

  • Scrutinize the property before buying. This is one of the most important tips. Check with the nearby localities about your site. Examine your site properly, do not be negligent about doing this. You can also hire a professional inspector for this.
  • In any business, research has prime importance. A comparative study will prove beneficial, before doing any deal. You need to do a research to know about the average property value, around your property. This will help you in deciding the value of your property if you have to sell it.
  • Similarly, check the rent of properties in this area if you are planning to rent your property. This is the best way to measure the market value of your property. The sale price of your property is almost equal to that of the nearby properties and even the rent will be almost equivalent.
  • The rate will only increase or decrease depending upon the amenities and condition of your property. This research is necessary even if you are renting your property because, if you decide a higher amount of rent as compared to other properties with similar features, then it will be difficult to find customers.
  • Also, a person who can afford highest price, will think of buying instead of renting, so reasonable rent price is important.
  • There are various fields in the investment business. Get specialized in any one field, this will help you to gain deeper knowledge and have updates of those investment properties. For example, you can focus on fixer- uppers, foreclosures, low down payment properties, starter homes, small apartment buildings, condominiums, etc.
  • You need to be thoroughly aware about the current tax laws, real estate loan options, loan payments, cash flow statements, etc. Also, you need to study the tax properly and calculate your advantage.
  • An essential factor is tax, as it makes a huge difference between negative and positive cash flow. Newcomers can take help from tax advisers. You can also take advice from a real estate attorney for legal matters relating to your property.
  • If you are renting your property then you must have the necessary information about tenants. Know where they work, their hometown, contact numbers, etc. Collect the security deposit as well. Also, respond to all their complaints; solving them on time will help you keep up good relationship with them.
  • Negative cash flow will lead to frustration. If a property is reducing your cash everyday then it may lead to a lot of stress followed by financial problems. So, note out any issues that may affect your cash flow negatively and make you to sell the property even before you earn enough benefits out of it.
  • Remember that you have to first secure your investment and then earn profits out of it. Opt for the best insurance coverage for your investment. For this also, research the available options and the benefits of each over the other.
  • Learn the art of real estate negotiation. You have to be a good negotiator to do this business. Highlighting the plus points of your property, in a way that customers forget the minus points is much important. Your convincing abilities will be helpful while deciding the price.

Starting a real estate investment business is a great option of investing your surplus money. It all depends on your knowledge and confidence to make this business, a success. Study about real estate field thoroughly and be a successful investor.

Quick Tips to Help Pick a Good Contractor

images-8A few years back, excavation work meant a tedious job that took days to complete. However, thanks to modern technology, the project will only take a few hours without even straining the workers. What is even more is that there are so many contractors to pick from. This has further made the service fees more competitive.

Although it is possible to handle some of the demolition work (afbraakwerken) or excavation projects on your own, it is always a good thing to work with experienced contractors. They will help you make the right choices and also make sure the best team is working on your project. The problem is, not every contractor you find out there has your best interest at heart. Some are untrained and are only out to make money at your expense. So, how do you ensure you find the right contractor for your earthworks project?

Go for the experienced

 There is only so much that technical schools can teach a contractor. For him to do his job well, he needs hands-on experience. This is how he ends up understanding the intricacies of excavation work (graafwerken). An experienced contractor will also have established professional connections that will help you finish your project faster. While looking at the experience of the contractor, take some time to consider his previous projects and what his most recent clients are saying about his work. Negative reviews are a red-flag.

His arsenal of equipment

No matter how experienced a contractor is, if he does not have access to the right equipment, the excavation work he ends up doing will always be wanting. Therefore, before you settle for the most experienced service provider, make sure he has the equipment needed to do the work. The more advanced his range of equipment are the better.

Research is the key to finding the perfect contractor for your demolition work project. The right contractor will assist you to dig up the ground and give you advice on how to complete the project successfully. Only settle for the best team.

Grondwerken Hylen is one of the most reliable companies you can turn to for excavation work in Lier. The company has been in the business for years and has invested in modern equipment and a team of highly qualified professionals to help with any project ranging from demolition work in Mechelen to earthworks. Grondwerken Hylen will help with paving, breaking yard, sewage works and a range of other projects. You can always count on quality services.