What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

If you’re selling your home, home inspections can be a challenge. It is important to know what to look for before a home inspection on your listed home. A little insight before a home inspection can save a lot of money in last-minute home inspection repairs. There are certain areas that are common home inspection problem areas that can be spotted before you have a ratified contract. For instance,

What to look for before a home inspection: Wrong Wiring

Check the wiring. Any home can have electrical issues, but there are a few electrical What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electricalissues that are common problems in home inspection repair requests. An inexpensive plug-in tester can give you all the information you need to make a simple check of the electrical wiring at the receptacles in your home.

Receptacles with reversed hot and ground, or reversed hot and neutral wires are simple fixes. It is common when replacing a wiring device to get the wires backward. When that happens, the tester will show an

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

 anomaly with lights lit differently than correct wiring. The photo above shows the correct wiring. If the lights are lit in another format, the wiring is incorrect and can damage sensitive electronics.

 

Make sure to turn the power off on receptacles that are incorrectly wired and reverse the wires. A simple rule is that black wires go on brass colored screws and white wires go on silver-colored screws. The bare copper wire goes on the green screw. Simple enough?

What to look for before a home inspection: Non-grounded Receptacles

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: ElectricalAnother electrical issue, that I see often, is when non-grounded receptacles are replaced with receptacles designed to be grounded. In older knob and tube wiring or in wiring where the Romex wires only contain two conductors (early 1960s), a ground wire is not present. Changing the receptacles from a two slot device to a three slot device does not make it grounded. It can also create a situation where sensitive electronics can be damaged.

 

What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electrical

There is a way to fix this problem without re-wiring the house. A ground fault receptacle can be placed at the beginning of a line of receptacles and everything down-line receives an element of protection. The GFI must be the first device in the line. The What to look for before a home inspection on your listed home: Electricalwires still need to be on the correct sides of the GFI receptacle and the down-line receptacles need to be on the “LOAD” side of the GFI. That one change can make a huge improvement in an non-grounded circuit. It is radically less expensive than a full re-wire, and it gives an element of protection to an non-grounded circuit. The receptacle cover-places on that line should have a sticker that indicates that the device is non-grounded. The GFI provides protection, but it is not the same as a grounded receptacle.

It is important to know what to look for before a home inspection on your listed home. Being ready for the inspection will make you less stressed and more ready to move on to closing your home sale. When you’re ready to list your home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros, and we are Virginia state contractors. We can help point out areas that need attention before your home hits the market.

 

 

 

What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?

If there is one question I hear from home sellers over and over it is, “What changes can What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?I make to get more money for my home at resale?” I’ve had some say they were going to add a pool, do a major kitchen remodel, completely gut and remodel a bath, and I always say, “STOP!”

You definitely don’t want to add a pool. There is a narrow market of home-buyers who would want a pool. If you’re going to do a major kitchen remodel, do that while you live there so you can enjoy it, and why would you want to do a radical bath remodel? What is wrong with the current bath? Here again, if it needs a remodel, do it while you’re there and can enjoy it.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Minor remodeling gives more bang for the buck.

The kitchen

Minor remodeling of some of the key areas can give more bang for the buck much of the time. Paint, flooring and good lighting can make a major difference in a bath or kitchen. Painting kitchen cabinets can bring them new life, and that has become a thing today. Rather than a $50,000 cabinet replacement, a couple cans of paint and a little patience can go a long way.

Counter-tops are always a plus, but granite counters can run into the thousands quickly, and you may not recoup your costs. Also, granite is porous and can collect permanent stains. A less expensive alternative (not radically less) is quartz. Quartz will not hold on to stains like granite, but it will give the same appeal.

The bathrooms

The bathrooms are another buyer hot-spot. If the bath appliances are dated, you may want to have them replaced, re-glaized or have them repaired. There are companies that can place a cover over an outdated pink tub and make it look brand new. It’s a less expensive option and it accomplishes the same goal. You can also pick up new bath appliances at Habitat for Humanity Restores for a song.

Simple things like a new sink, toilet, toilet seat, towel racks, light fixtures and even a great shower curtain can make a bath look completely different. Paint and flooring are always a plus. Always make sure the caulk around the shower, sink and toilet are fresh and clean. Simple changes can give an 80%-100% return on your efforts.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Throughout the house

There are a few areas that improve your homes appeal with a small investment.

  • New lighting – Consider LED rings for recessed lights, and swap out other light bulbs with more efficient whiter light LED bulbs.
  • New flooring – replace worn and stained carpet.
  • Hardwoods – if you have worn hardwood floors, having them sanded can add a lot of appeal to buyers.
  • Keep everything clean and put away – it makes the house look larger when it is not wall to wall stuff.
  • Make sure the windows can let the light in. Light is your friend.
  • Paint the walls with a neutral color.
  • Better insulation (one of the highest returns)

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? Outside

Curb appeal is always a good thing to concentrate on when preparing your home for sale. Landscaping is an inexpensive plus. Make sure your mulch is fresh and spread What changes can I make to get more money for my home at resale?well. Add a pop of color throughout the flower beds and keep the flower beds weeded throughout the sale period.

Another often overlooked option is the front door. Bankrate.com rates a new entry door as a 90.7% return on the investment. That’s a pretty good return if it causes your home to sell, and it can make a great first impression to your entry.

What changes can I make to get more money for my home? What doesn’t return the most money?

  • A major kitchen remodel
  • A basement remodel
  • A family room remodel
  • A major bath remodel
  • An addition
  • New Windows – lower sale return, but a good investment if you’re going to live there.

These are all things that will make the home more enjoyable while you live there, but if you’re doing them to increase your home’s value for resale, you may be giving money away. For instance, a family room addition may not return more than 69% of your investment. A basement remodel is nearly the same at 70%.

Spend your money where you can get the most for the effort and you will be sure to walk way from the closing table happy. Sometimes, less really is more. Always make sure you do your homework before selling your home and find out  where the best return is for the sale. When you’re ready to sell your home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.

 

 

Loudoun County, VA 3rd Quarter Real Estate Market Update – 2017

Loudoun County, VA 3rd Quarter Real Estate Market Update – 2017

How does the Loudoun County, VA 3rd quarter real estate market compare to previous quarters? You’ll need a little history lesson to see how the current market compares to previous quarters. In 2004, I was in my first class leading to my real estate salesperson license in Virginia. The country was still recovering from the last recession. Home prices were steady and were moving up. It was a good time to enter the real estate field.

The instructor for my class was in the Loudoun County, VA real estate market and he made a statement that I remember to this day. He said, “The local real estate market is insulated from recessions.” What? How could that be? He wasn’t 100% correct, but he wasn’t too far off.

When the national real estate market collapsed in 2008-2009, Loudoun County, VA took a hit like most markets, but the recovery time was faster than many markets. The numbers tell the story.

Loudoun County, VA Real Estate Market: Where it has been

In 2007, the Loudoun County, VA real estate market had 1316 real estate sales in the third quarter. The average home sale price was $545,211. The average days on the market was 87. Distressed property sales made up 5% of the market, and from an outsiders view, it was a healthy market.

After the recession took full effect in 2009, the Loudoun County, VA real estate market took a sizable shift. In 2009, there were 1527 sales, but that number is more of a reflection of the type of properties for sale and not a sign of a robust market.

The average home sale dropped to $395,218. For homeowners trying to sell their homes, that was a 28% drop in the average sales price. That event alone, put a lot of homeowners underwater. The days on the market actually declined to 61, but here again, that is most likely because of the type of sales. Distressed properties, which include short sales and foreclosures, made up 39% of all sales in the third quarter of 2009.

Loudoun County, VA Real Estate Market: Where are the numbers today?

The numbers from 2009 seem so far away as you look at the Loudoun County, VA 3rd Loudoun County, VA 3rd Quarter Real Estate Market Update - 2017quarter real estate market in 2017. Home prices have mostly recovered at an average sales price of $512,128 today. The days on the market have declined to an average of 36 and distressed properties are down to 3.5%. That is almost a negligible number.

Over the past five years, the Loudoun County, VA real estate market has seen consistent progress. The numbers have stayed in a tight pattern showing that the market has found stability and good incremental health.

Loudoun County, VA 3rd Quarter Real Estate Market Update – Stability and growth

From 2013 to 2017, the Loudoun County, VA real estate market has sustained 7% growth in the third quarter. Over those five years, the market has increased four out of fives years at increments between 2.4% – 4.5%. Where the real change is seen is from the down days of the recession in 2009 to the current third quarter market.

When you compare the struggle of 2009 third quarter to the current market, housing prices have increased 23%. Considering the market lost of 28% in 2009 third quarter, the market is nearly back to where it was in 2007-2008.  As an investment, real estate markets tend to be resilient.

Loudoun County, VA homeowners and home-buyers can sell or buy with confidence today because the market is healthy and stable. When you’re ready to sell your Loudoun County, VA home, or when you’re ready to buy a Loudoun County, VA home, give Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., a call. We are your local real estate sales pros.