Get your Arizona Real Estate License in Prescott

Renewal Education of Phoenix offers the 90-Hour Real Estate Licensing Sales Person
This course, approved by the Arizona Department of Real Estate (ADRE), meets the education requirements for an Arizona Real Estate Sales Person License.

Course Enrollment and Presentation

  • Enroll at one of the classrooms located throughout Arizona (Prescott Classroom located at 140 N Montezuma Street, Suite 201 in the office of HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land) . At time of enrollment, you will be provided the Arizona Principles of Real Estate 2nd Edition textbook on USB drive published by OnCourse Learning, and authored by Harry V. Eastlick and Carlton C. Casler.
  • Complete the 90 hour Pre-Licensing Course. Completion means that you have attended each of the 18 sessions at the selected classroom and successfully completed the 18 session tests. The 18 sessions are presented as follows.
    • The course content including the pre-recorded lecture, is delivered to you at the classroom over the internet using ReNewal’s proprietary multimedia e-learning system.
    • You may begin the program on any day, but reservations with the classroom are required due to the unique format and classroom size limits. You may complete only two sessions per day with completion of all 18 sessions in as little as 9 days or if you desire, as long as one year from enrollment.
    • There is an AZDRE Approved instructor present for each session presentation, but the majority of the course presentation is computer based and self paced. The approved instructor will work with you, generally on an one to one ratio, during each section presentation to ensure that you understand the material covered.
  • Pass the classroom final examination with at least an 80% overall grade. If you do not pass initially, you are required to take additional exams until you do pass.

Requirements for the State License

  1. You must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. You must complete the 90 hour Real Estate Licensing Salesperson course
  3. You must pass the Renewal Education Examination
  4. You must pass the Arizona State Examination

Prior to activating your license you are required to complete the six hour contract writing course before the state will issue your license.

All licensee applicants must provide with their applications a Fingerprint Clearance Card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Be sure to start this process early as issuance of the card may take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

4 mortgages that require no down payment or a small one

If you want to buy a house but don’t have a lot of money for a down payment, don’t lose heart. Your dream of homeownership is still attainable.

Homebuyers who can’t come up with big down-payment money have options. There are mortgages available for a low down payment or even no down payment.

Check out five options for mortgages with little to no money down.

1. No money down: Department of Veterans Affairs

The VA guarantees purchase mortgages with no down payment required for qualified veterans, active-duty service members and certain members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Private lenders originate VA loans, which the VA guarantees. There is no mortgage insurance. The borrower pays a funding fee, which can be rolled into the loan amount.

For purchase and construction loans, the VA funding fee varies, depending on the size of the down payment, whether the borrower served or serves in the regular military, Reserves or National Guard, and whether it’s the veteran’s first VA loan or a subsequent loan. The funding fee can be as low as 1.25 percent or as high as 3.3 percent.

For first-time buyers making no down payment, the funding fee is 2.15 percent for members or veterans of the regular military, and 2.4 percent for those who qualify through their service in the Reserves or National Guard.

Comparison shop for home loans to find the best mortgage rate.

2. No money down: USDA

The USDA’s Rural Development mortgage guarantee program is very popular and sometimes runs out of money before the fiscal year ends.

Many borrowers are surprised to learn that Rural Development loans aren’t limited to farmland. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has maps on its website that highlight eligible areas.

Besides geographical limits, the USDA program has restrictions on household income, and it is intended for first-time buyers, although there are exceptions.

The USDA mortgage comes from a bank, and there is no mortgage insurance. Instead, the USDA levies a 1 percent upfront guarantee fee, which can be rolled into the loan amount, and an annual guarantee fee of 0.35 percent of the loan balance.

3. Little down: Buy private mortgage insurance

Qualified borrowers can make down payments as low as 3 percent with private mortgage insurance, or PMI. For most borrowers, PMI costs less than Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. But PMI has stricter credit requirements.

PMI has another edge over FHA: Once your mortgage balance is under 80 percent of the home’s value, you can cancel PMI. You can’t get rid of FHA insurance unless you refinance into a non-FHA loan.

4. Little down: Federal Housing Administration

With a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent, an FHA loan is the low-down-payment option for people with tainted credit histories.

The FHA charges an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 1.75 percent of the mortgage amount. On a 30-year loan with the minimum down payment, there’s an annual premium of 0.8 percent of the mortgage amount, or $800 a year for each $100,000 borrowed — $66.67 a month for a $100,000 loan.

Lori Shaw at HomeSmart specializes in finding homes for the Military and First Responders. She can refer you to a lender who waives fees for veterans! Call her at 928-420-3013.

Why an FHA Loan can help move you into your next home?

An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with FHA loans pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

Because of that insurance, lenders can — and do — offer FHA loans at attractive interest rates and with less stringent and more flexible qualification requirements. The FHA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan the borrower needs. To get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, the borrower needs a credit score of 580 or higher.

Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 must make down payments of at least 10 percent.

People with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. The FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if they meet requirements. Ask your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist if you qualify.

For most borrowers, the FHA requires a down payment of just 3.5 percent of the purchase price of the home. In late 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced minimum down payments to 3 percent from 10 percent, but such loans have limited availability.

FHA borrowers can use their own savings to make the down payment. But other allowed sources of cash include a gift from a family member or a grant from a state or local government down-payment assistance program.

The FHA allows home sellers, builders and lenders to pay some of the borrower’s closing costs, such as an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an incentive for the borrower to buy a new home.

Lenders typically charge a higher interest rate on the loan if they agree to pay closing costs. Borrowers can compare loan estimates from competing lenders to figure out which option makes the most sense.

Because the FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to get their loan through an FHA-approved lender (as opposed to directly from the FHA). Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs — even on the same FHA loan.

Costs, services and underwriting standards will vary among lenders or mortgage brokers, so it’s important for borrowers to shop around.

Two mortgage insurance premiums are required on all FHA loans: The upfront premium is 1.75 percent of the loan amount — $1,750 for a $100,000 loan. This upfront premium is paid when the borrower gets the loan. It can be financed as part of the loan amount.

The second is called the annual premium, although it is paid monthly. It varies based on the length of the loan, the loan amount and the initial loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. The following premiums are for loans of $625,500 or less.

Annual premiums for FHA loans
30-year loan, down payment (or equity) of less than 5 percent: 0.85 percent
30-year loan, down payment (or equity) of 5 percent or more: 0.80 percent
15-year loan, down payment (or equity) of less than 10 percent: 0.70 percent
15-year loan, down payment (or equity) of 10 percent or more: 0.45 percent

The FHA has a special loan product for borrowers who need extra cash to make repairs to their homes. The chief advantage of this type of loan, called a 203(k), is that the loan amount is not based on the current appraised value of the home, but on the projected value after the repairs are completed.

A so-called “streamlined” 203(k) allows the borrower to finance up to $35,000 for nonstructural repairs, such as painting and replacing cabinets or fixtures.

Of course, FHA insurance isn’t supposed to be an easy out for borrowers who are unhappy about their mortgage payments.

But loan servicers can offer some relief to borrowers who have an FHA-insured loan, have suffered a serious financial hardship or are struggling to make their payments. That relief might be in the form of a temporary period of forbearance, a loan modification that would lower the interest rate or extend the payback period or a deferral of part of the loan balance at no interest.

The Lori Shaw Group 928-420-3013 can refer you to Lenders offering good terms on FHA loans.

U.S. Housing Market Roars Into 2017

Case-Shiller Says Home prices shrug off higher interest rates to cap year of robust growth in 2016

Home prices jumped in December to their fastest full-year growth since 2013, as buyers shrugged off the effects of higher interest rates.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, covering the entire nation, rose 5.8% in the 12 months ended in December, compared with a 5.6% year-over-year increase reported in November.

The 10-city index gained 4.9% over the year, up from 4.4% the previous month, while the 20-city index gained 5.6% year-over-year, versus a 5.2% increase in November.

“The big takeaway from this report is that all signs that the housing market was going to cool in 2016 are now reversed,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. “The spring selling season is going to be another doozy for home buyers.”

The hottest markets in the country remain concentrated in the northwest, as many buyers priced out of the Silicon Valley area flee to secondary technology hubs. Seattle led the way with a 10.8% increase, while Portland posted a 10% year-over-year gain and Denver had an 8.9% annual increase.

A number of markets that have seen prices grow modestly since the recession are starting to see much faster rates of increase than they had in the recent past. Tampa, Fla., jumped 8.4%, while Atlanta enjoyed a gain of 6.3% and Las Vegas increased 5.8%.

Nationwide, home prices hit a record in September and have continued climbing by more than 5% year-over-year since then, driven by strong demand and a shortage of homes for sale.

Housing inventory in December hit its lowest level since 1999, when the National Association of Realtors started tracking the data. The number of homes for sale was down 7.1% in January compared with a year earlier, the Realtors said.

“With all 20 cities seeing prices rise over the last year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural,” said David Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

While Mr. Blitzer said the rate of appreciation is much higher than the average pace of 1.3% since 1975, it remains within the range economists consider normal. “Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming,” he said. Annual growth has ranged from -4% to 7% about two thirds of the time since 1975.

If mortgage rates continue to rise, economists said, the current rapid rate of home-price growth likely will slow.

“I’m not sure that it’s a bubble because demand is coming from solid job growth and improving demographics,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance. “I don’t think it’s a bubble, but I don’t think it’s sustainable, nor is it healthy.”

Wages increased 2.5% in the year ending in January, better than the 2% gains that were common earlier in the recovery but still much slower than the rate of home-price growth.

Month-over-month the U.S. Index rose 0.2% in December before seasonal adjustment, while the 10-city and the 20-city index increased 0.3% from November to December.

After seasonal adjustment, the national index rose 0.7% month-over-month, while the 10-city and 20-city index rose 0.9% month-over month. After seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities posted price gains.

December’s numbers reflect the peak of a sharp rise in mortgage rates since Election Day. Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose from roughly 3.5% around Election Day to 4.32% at the end of December, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. In the past week they averaged 4.16%, Freddie Mac said last Thursday.

Purchases of existing homes increased 3.3% in January from a month earlier, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday, suggesting continued strong demand.

Looking for an experienced realtor who is an associate broker with 25 years experience and a strong negotiator call Lori Shaw 928-420-3013 Lori Shaw Associate Broker

How Much Will Your Monthly Payment Change?

Mortgage rates are still historically low, but crossing over to the four-percent range raises worries to potential homebuyers. But, should they be worried? How much can this rise of mortgage rates change their monthly payment? How does this change monthly payments?

We calculated the monthly payment for Yavapai County based on the mortgage rate prevalent a couple of months ago (3.5 percent), the rate as of early January (4.2 percent) and a higher rate likely to be seen within the next two years (5.0 percent).

In Yavapai County the Avg Home Value is $231,605 at 3.5% Payment is $931 at 4.2% Payment is $1,109 at 5% Payment is $1,119.

National Association of Realtors expects that the 30 year fixed-rate will increase to 4.4 percent in 2017 and 4.8 percent in 2018 while home prices are expected to rise 3.9 and 3.2 percent, accordingly. Rising prices, in addition to rising mortgage rates, will push the monthly cost of housing up even higher for new homebuyers.

How to become a real estate agent

What do you need to know to do this job?

PUBLISHED ON FEB 11, 2016

By the end of 2015, the housing market looked more robust than it had in years, which means more people are turning to a career in real estate. When you get your real estate license, you become responsible for one of the biggest decisions your clients will ever make. In every state, the process for how to become a real estate agent is different, but there are some constants across the industry: you’ll need to use technology to keep up with the fast pace and consumer demands, you’ll need to be able to adapt; and you’ll need to develop people skills if you don’t already have them. It’s not an easy career, but it’s a rewarding one.

So how do you know if a career as a real estate agent is right for you — and what it takes to get there? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What do I need to know before getting into real estate?

What is a real estate agent?

In the U.S., a real estate agent is a person licensed to represent a buyer or seller in a property transaction. In exchange for representing the buyer or seller, agents are typically paid commission on the price of the property — though agent compensation varies from agent to agent and brokerage to brokerage.

Who licenses real estate agents?

Real estate agents are licensed by each state (and the District of Columbia). Although every state requires pre-licensing courses, the licensing requirements can vary widely from state to state.

How many real estate agents are there?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 337,400 real estate agents and 83,900 real estate brokers — a total of 421,300 operatives.

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

All real estate agents are licensed by the state, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. A Realtor pays dues to the National Association of Realtors(NAR) and is entitled to the benefits of membership, including access to different technologies and transaction management services, access to health/dental and personal property insurance, banking services and discounts.

Realtor listings are posted for free on realtor.com, and Realtors also have access to NAR’s training programs, statistics and research. NAR advocates politically on behalf of Realtors, as well; its lobbying group is considered one of the most powerful in the country.

NAR also has constructed a code of ethics and standards of practice. It asks Realtors to complete 150 minutes of ethics training that meets its guidelines within a four-year cycle. The current cycle ends Dec. 31, 2016. Realtors may complete their ethical training through classes offered at local Realtor associations, correspondence, online courses or home study.

How many Realtors are there?

NAR reported that it had 1,160,392 members as of Sept. 30, 2015.

That’s a lot more than 421,300. Why is that?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics number is a projection “predicated on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the projected period.” This estimate is based on the Occupational Employment Handbook, which relies on the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, “a semi-annual mail survey of non-farm establishments.”

On the other hand, NAR membership comprises people “who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.”

What does the average real estate agent make?

The median pay for real estate brokers and sales agents was $43,430 per year in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Anything else I should know before I consider getting my license?

The real estate industry is facing some challenges — consumers are not required to use their services, for example, and some technological advances have made it easier for sellers and buyers to work without agents.

There are other threats to the industry, too. More than anything, real estate industry professionals themselves say that the biggest threat to the industry is low-quality agents.

How do I get my real estate license?

How long does it take to become a real estate agent?

It varies from state to state. Because the licensing requirements are different, in some states, the pre-licensing courses can be completed and the exam taken in a matter of weeks. For example, the pre-licensing courses can be finished in 63 hours in Florida. In California, three college-level pre-licensing courses must be taken — a total of 135 hours.

Are there pre-requirements?

Typically, you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete the real estate courses and pass the exam.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent?

New agents should expect to pay for their licensing classes and a fee for every time they take the real estate licensing exam. Again, those fees vary from state to state.

There are a number of other fees affiliated with becoming a real estate agent. These include MLS and/or Association fees, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, lockboxes, annual brokerage accounting fees, brokerage materials fees (for badges, orientation binders and so on).

And you will need to spend money in order to grow your business in real estate. You will need transportation and a cell phone at the very least — at best, you will have your own marketing budget and lead generation budget. There are office supplies and business cards to be considered, too.

What happens if I fail the real estate exam?

You can retake the real estate exam if you fail. Again, rules vary state by state, but there is generally no limit to the number of times you can take the exam before you pass it. You must wait until you have been notified that you failed the exam before you apply to re-take it in most states.

What happens if you practice real estate without a license?

Practicing real estate without a license — selling property that isn’t yours on behalf of a client — is illegal. If caught, at best, you will be fined. At worse, you will face jail time. Like licensing requirements, consequences vary from state to state.

What else do I need to become a real estate agent?

Real estate agents must find a sponsoring broker to supervise their sales. Some new agents choose to find a sponsoring broker before they take the licensing exam; others wait until they have passed the exam to find a sponsoring broker.

Do I need a broker?

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?

Real estate brokers are also licensed by the state. The licensing requirements are more rigorous for real estate brokers than for agents, but those requirements also vary state-by-state.

You must usually work for between one and three years as an agent before you can become a broker.

What should I know about my sponsoring broker?

New agents should ask their sponsoring brokers questions about trainingand support that the broker offers — mentoring or shadowing more experienced agents, for example. New agents will also want to ask about any monthly desk fees at the brokerage and the commission splits they can expect in their first couple of years on the job.

Other questions to ask include additional fees (transaction fees, association dues), marketing or advertising options (what will the brokerage provide, and what might you want to add yourself), the office culture and environment, referral policies, information about any regular sales meetings and how receptionists manage and distribute phone calls are all good things to know about your potential new brokerage.

Will I be considered a brokerage employee or an independent contractor?

This depends on the brokerage. Some brokerages (like Redfin) offer salaries and benefits for employees.

Most brokerages, however, hire real estate agents as independent contractors. This could mean that your health insurance coverage and other benefits that are typically picked up by full-time employers might be considered your responsibility.

What do I need to do to get clients?

Know your strengths and weaknesses, and act on that knowledge

If you make friends easily and have no problems approaching new people, but you aren’t very savvy about marketing, then you might want to look for a sponsoring broker who can help you market yourself but who’s relatively hands-off when it comes to generating new leads (finding new clients).

On the flip side, if you’re an introvert who finds it difficult to strike up conversations with people you don’t know very well, but you’re skilled at writing copy and putting together a marketing plan, then your ideal sponsoring broker will help you with lead generation or referrals but will let you manage your own marketing.

You will need to be able to provide advice about market conditions and listing price, host open house events, prepare documents and manage negotiations for your clients. Emotions can run high, so it will help to have skills solving problems and soothing ruffled feathers.

Choose the right technology

There are hundreds of tech tools available to help make your job as an agent easier. These include tools to help you manage your lead generation, client documents, listing videos, listing photos, open houses, business marketing and many, many more.

How do you know which technology is right for you? Pick tools that you will use. If there’s a free version or demo available, try it before you commit to spending money for something.

 

 

Prescott Arizona – Everyone’s Hometown

The Beautiful Central Highlands of Arizona

Here in the cool highlands of central Arizona awaits an experience that can become yours for a lifetime. Yavapai Hills has been master-planned and engineered to preserve the natural beauty of the land. Its paved roads curve gently around pinion pine and juniper. Comfortable suburban living is combined with all the facilities and conveniences of urban living.

Beautiful Central Highlands

Prescott, Arizona

Voted one of the top places to retire in the US, Prescott lies in a mountainous section of west central Arizona surrounded by 1.2 million acres of the Prescott National Forest. Prescott’s mile high elevation assures clean clear air and an ideal year round climate. The average daytime temperature is 70 degrees, with the summer daytime average reaching 89 degrees and the winter daytime average reaching 52 degrees. Prescott combines the charm of Arizona’s historic past with modern schools, shopping, medical facilities and community programs.

whiskey-row--prescott-saija-lehtonenThe hub of many cultural activities, Prescott is home to five museums, four art galleries and the dramatic offerings of Yavapai College and Prescott Fine Art Association. In addition, the city offers acres of parks providing such activities as tennis, softball and golf.

 

Cathedral Glow

More About Prescott, AZ

Things to do in Prescott

City of Prescott Trails System

See Homes for Sale in the Prescott Area

Surrounding Region

Distance to Phoenix: 100 miles
Distance to Tucson: 215 miles
Distance to Las Vegas: 250 miles
Distance to Los Angeles: 390 miles
Distance to Flagstaff: 90 miles
Distance to the Grand Canyon: 120 Miles
Distance to San Diego: 395 Miles

Buyers check these 14 items out very carefully when placing an offer to purchase!

When looking for a home to buy, it pays to be aware of common problems found in many homes. Once you make the purchase, you take over responsibility for all of the existing issues in the home. Keep an eye out for these issues so you can adjust your offer accordingly, or move on to another property that is relatively problem-free.

If you are a perspective home seller reading this please make mental note of these common home sale issues so you can be well prepared to identify and address them before you put your home up for sale. You will be glad you did!

1. Roof Problems

The roof is one of the most important components of the home. A damaged or poorly maintained roof can lead to serious problems, including water damage. Major roof repairs can be expensive, and should definitely be factored into the price of the home if they exist. The roof is an area that most buyers will not compromise on. Keep in mind however that when you have a home inspection and your inspector tells you that there are only a few years of expected life in the roof, you shouldn’t expect the seller to replace it. Most sellers are not going to replace a roof when there are years of life left before issues arise.

2. Old Appliances

Appliances are built to last only so long, especially if they are not regularly maintained. The cost of replacing appliances can be substantial and should be considered. Granted, higher quality appliances last longer. It is worthwhile to do some research on the year, brand and model of the major appliances in a property to get a clear picture of what you are purchasing.

3. Handrails

This may seem minor, but functional handrails are necessary on staircases and along balconies for safety. Test all of the handrails in a home, and ensure that all appropriate areas have handrails before buying. One of the common trouble spots is on decks. This becomes especially important when the deck is elevated off of the ground where someone could get seriously hurt if falling from a greater height.

4. Storm Damage

Each area of the country experiences extreme weather – weather that can do serious damage to a home. From hurricanes to hail storms, these weather events can damage roofs, siding and even foundations in the event of flooding. Hail storms can be very destructive without a home owner even realizing it. A few years ago in Hopkinton Massachusetts, over a third of the homes in town received new roofs because of a vicious hail storm.

This is something that most good homeowners insurance policies will cover. Unfortunately there were also a number of people in Hopkinton who did not even think to check that they had hail damage. Upon selling their home, the buyer would get a home inspection and that’s when they found out they had damage. For many of these home sellers it was too late to file a claim. The tough part of hail damage is that it is not often visible to the naked eye. A good home inspector will be able to spot hail damage by getting up on the roof or possibly by using high-powered binoculars.

5. Rotten Wood

Even modern, pressure-treated wood will break down under the elements eventually. Look for rotten wood around the base of the home, along the roof and anywhere else where moisture may have been an issue. Some of the most common areas you will find wood rot on a home are on the window sills.

While rotted window sills can be found on any age home, there has been a prevalence of it in homes that were built in the 80’s and 90’s due to lesser-quality, finger-jointed woodwork. Finger-jointed materials, if not constantly painted, will rot a lot more quickly due to water penetration and just an overall lack of quality.

6. Cooling or Heating Systems

Temperature control systems wear out over time, and they can be expensive to replace. Check on the age, integrity and maintenance schedule of any heating or cooling system present in the home. Newer models are notably more efficient, making them a much better deal in the long run.

One of the most important things you can do as a home buyer is to check the current owners’ upkeep of these items. It is certainly possible a well-maintained boiler can last thirty years or more. It is just as easy for that same boiler to last half as long if not maintained yearly with regular servicing.

7. Environmental Issues

Environmental regulations become increasingly strict as time goes on. This is good for buyers of new homes, but it does not necessarily protect you if you are purchasing an older home. Radon, lead-based paint, mold and asbestos are all health concerns.

Be aware of the dangers of these materials and verify  whether they are present in each property. If the home is serviced by a well (as opposed to public water), it is also a good idea to get that tested too. Often times standard well tests will only do a limited screening for such things as iron, copper, manganese, etc. You will want to make sure you also test for more dangerous compounds such as arsenic, mercury and lead.

8. Poor Drainage

Water damage is a risk in areas with poor drainage. Verify that each home you consider has adequate drainage to deal with area rainfall. Because water damage can lead to expensive repair work and mold infestation, you need to ensure that drainage is sufficient on any property you purchase. This is one issue as a home seller not to mess with. There is nothing that will kill a real estate sale quicker than a water issue. Buyers do not want to even think about having a water problem with their home.

9. Electrical Safety Concerns

Older homes may not have electrical systems up to current codes. Things like ground fault breaker outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, as well as grounded outlets throughout the house are necessary for a safe living environment, especially when you consider the current electrical load people put on their homes with new appliances and electronics. In older homes look out for knob and tube wiring.

Most lenders will not provide a loan and most insurance companies will not ensure a home with knob and tube wiring. Eliminating a huge chunk of the buyer pool is not going to help you get top dollar for your home. This is an issue you would want to address before listing your home for sale.

10. Roof Water Control

Gutters may seem like a minor part of a home, but they do a very important job in keeping your house free from water intrusion. Clogged or poorly maintained gutters can leave your home exposed to water and the mold that comes along with it. Sellers that have plants growing in their gutters bring negative attention to their homes. It looks like you could care less about the upkeep of your property and makes buyers look more closely at other potential problems.

11. Plumbing Problems

Plumbing may be hidden from site in homes, but it is a large part of what makes the modern home livable and comfortable. Older homes with older pipes can present problems, though. Make sure your potential home has plumbing that works, and no serious plumbing issues right around the corner. Things like tree root growth can quickly stop up your plumbing and may be a problem with older pipes.

12. Bad Insulation

Modern insulation is excellent at keeping the temperature in your home comfortable. However, some home builders, especially in older homes, did not always insulate adequately. If you view a home in summer, you may be surprised come winter when the house will just not hold heat. Have someone who knows verify that the home has good insulation before you buy. It is common for older homes to not have nearly the same energy efficiency due to lack of insulation in walls and sometimes in the attic as well.

13. Poor Ventilation

A home that does not allow airflow is at risk of developing mold problems, a nightmare for any homeowner. Verify that the home you are looking at allows airflow throughout the house, including the attic. It may be impossible to achieve perfect airflow in every room, especially basements, but the home should allow airflow through most rooms of the house.

One of the most notable home imperfections is a bathroom vent dumping into the attic and not out through the roof. While a bathroom being vented through the roof is now code in most states, this was not the case until recently. It is very common to see homes that have venting leading into the attic, creating the perfect environment for moisture and mold growth.

14. Foreclosed Homes

Foreclosures may initially present an excellent deal, but they also present certain risks. Sometimes earlier owners will do serious damage to such homes before exiting the property. This can include anything from stripping copper piping to tearing out cabinets or other valuable fixtures.

Always look over the property before getting your hopes up, because sometimes you do get what you pay for. When real estate deals seem to good to be true they usually are! Keep in mind when you purchase a foreclosed home the lender who now owns the home generally will know very little about the previous owners’ upkeep and maintenance.

The Help of Someone Who Knows

If these 14 things seem like a lot to keep track of, it is because they are. This is why the help of an experienced professional real estate agent can prove so valuable. They look for such things as a matter of course. However, if you choose to go it alone, make sure to download a home viewing checklist to make sure you cover all of your bases before making an offer.

These are all common items that can certainly be discovered at a home inspection by a qualified home inspector. As a buyer, you should be making mental notes of these items before hand so you can make an offer and budget accordingly. When you are mentally prepared for these types of issues when purchasing real estate, there will be a lot less stress involved with your transaction should one or more of these problems crop up. Don’t lose your cool when you find a problem. Take it slow and do the necessary research to resolve the problem by speaking with a few reputable contractors and getting necessary estimates for repair.