Wetumpka Area Market Trends–3rd Quarter 2018 Update

Gold Star ParkA few weeks ago, we looked at the Montgomery market as a whole and found just short of a 5 month supply of homes and a average sold price of $171,272 for the month of September.   Visit: Central Alabama Market Update–Fall 2018. We all know that real estate can vary considerably by neighbornood and  area, so  earlier this year we looked at market trends for the Wetumpka area including downtown and surrounding areas (zip code 36092). Visit: Wetumpka Area Market Trends–Year to Date (through May 2018). It’s time for an update to see how the more current information on the Wetumpka market compares with earlier this year and with the overall Montgomery area.

It looks like the Wetumpka Area continues to be more toward a sellers market than the Montgomery Market as a whole.  Wetumpka has less than a 4 month inventory of single family residential homes and and is averaging  about 90 days on the market from lisiting to closing  Also, although the average sold price of home is Wetumpka is below the average sold price in the overall Montgomery area market, prices are moving upward!

What does this mean?

If you’re a Wetumpka homeowner looking to sell, now looks like a great time to get that home on the market!   If you are thinking about buying a home in Wetumpka, you may want to consider stepping up your plans to get on board!

If you are interested in a more detailed breakdown of market trends by a particular zip code or neighborhood of interest , let me know and I’ll send you a free report:  Free Market Report for Your Neighborhood! 

Wetumpka Area Real Estate-QTR 3 2018

Data pulled from the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors on 10-15-2018  based on the period 1-1-2018 through 9-30-2018.  Data  Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Data focused on zip code 36092 which includes downtown Wetumpka and surrounding areas.  If you are interested in Wetumpka 36093 or any other area zip code or neighborhood, let me know and I’ll send you a free report:  Free Market Report for Your Neighborhood! 

Central Alabama Market Update–Fall 2018

The Central Alabama real estate market continues among the most affordable and generally stable markets in the US.  The average home  in our Central Alabama area sold for $171,272 in September.¹     It appears that sold prices may be on the rise, about 3.3% more in September compared to just last month (August 2018), BUT they are still under 1% higher than September last year 2017.

While many other parts of the country continue to experience major price increases along with lack of inventory, the Central Alabama market overall is more in balance with  realatively stable prices adjusting for seasonal variation and a hint of a sellers market–maintaining  close to a 5 month supply of homes.  Average days on the market in the Central Alabama region had been hoovering around 90 days for quite some time, but this past month, it edged up to 102 days.   Over half (57%) of the homes sold in under 90 days, but nearly 18% of homes that closed in September were on the market over six months.¹  It is possible that as inventories are lower, additional properties that have been on the market longer periods are selling and causing the average days on market calculation to increase.

Central Alabama Real Estate-September 2018 Market UpdateData from Montgomery Area Association of Realtors, MAAR MLS only, September 2018 as of October 1, 2018.

When looking at market trends it’s important to look at year to date information and to compare the same time periods in previous years.  We are all familiar with the impact of seasonal and even monthly variations on both housing supply and buyers in the marketplace.  In our area, our home sale activity varies seasonally, but not as dramatically as many areas of the country.  According to the data through August, the actual Montgomery area home sales are closely aligning with the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE), Culverhouse College of Business at the University of Alabama monthly projections for homes sold in the Montgomery area, suggesting a relatively stable and predictible market²:

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ACRE data shows that January and February are expected to have the fewest home sales in our area.  While this year started out slightly below the monthly projections, several of the following months exceeded the projections.    You can also see from the monthly data and projections that the lowest number of sold homes occurs early in the year, with the increase in spring market activity in 2018 beginning as early as March and peaking in June. By the end of August, 3226 residential units were actually sold, slightly over the projected year to date of 3192 by 34 units. Projections from September through December 2018 reveal an expected seasonal decline in homes to be sold, with a projected 1445 additional homes sold before the end of the year.  As we close out 2018, we will keep an eye on how the market actually performs and update on expectations for 2019.

What does this mean?

Although our area real estate market is relatively stable, there is a tendency toward a seller’s market and relatively low inventories with slightly increasing prices in the Montgomery area.  Regardless of the time of year, there is an active real estate market with buyers looking to purchase a home year round.  If you are thinking about selling in our area, the best time to sell is when you are ready!

For buyers,  this is a great time to make a move to buy a home.  Prices here are relatively steady and there has not been the pricing frenzy and multi-offer competitive buying situation that have been experienced in many areas of the country causing prices to go incredibly high.  This means that you can place an offer to purchase a home with more confidence that a reasonable offer will be accepted and be in a position to build equity for the future.  While no one can guarantee which direction the market will actually go, the Central Alabama area market is relatively stable and affordable.

Keep in mind that markets vary by neighborhood.   If you are interested in a more detailed breakdown of market trends by a particular zip code or neighborhood of interest , let me know and I’ll send you a free report:  Free Market Report for Your Neighborhood! 

__________________

¹Montgomery Area Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service, September 2018 residential sales data (pulled October 1, 2018).

²The University of Alabama, Culverhouse College of Commerce, Alabama Center for Real Estate, Montgomery Area Real Estate Sales Forecast, August 2018 update.

Secrets to a Stress Free Purchase!

Are you in the market for a new home or  thinking about it?

Either way these tips can help you prepare and better understand the process once you make the decision to move forward!

STEP 1:  Lay the groundwork. 

These are things you can (and should) be doing right now even if your home purchase is months or even years ahead!  It is especially important to assess your financial situation, including your credit status, money for downpayment and closing, and how much you can and want to spend on your home.  The sooner you sort this out, the sooner you can set your timetable to get your new home.  Check out the infographic below for more details!

STEP 2:  Work with an agent.

Even if you are just getting started in the process, you can still work with a Realtor®.  A Realtor® can help you understand the steps in the process, what to expect and how to prepare,  and will coach you on navigating the real estate market place.

STEP 3:  Communicate effectively.

The team involved in your home purchase consists of your Realtor®, lender/banker, inspector, any other agent involved in the property listing, and others who have a role in making the home purchase come together.  Your Realtor® serves as a coordinator to ensure the transaction goes smoothly with all involved.  It is essential that you communicate effectively with the team, but in particular with your Realtor® who can help facilitate communications with everyone else on the team.

STEP 4:  Be patient, persistent and decisive.

This is another really important area where your Realtor® can be invaluable.  There are times in the process where you need to be patient and wait for the process to move forward, but there are also times when some action needs to be taken.  Your Realtor® can help you through these steps and help you through the decision process so your transaction goes as smoothly as possible with the least amount of stress!

Step 5:  Be flexible.

Keep in mind that it may take some home improvements or even multiple moves to reach your goal of the totally perfect home of your dreams.  It’s important to dream, but also to be flexible with the process as you take the steps to move closer to living your dreams.

Check out the infographic for more details:

StressFreeTransaction-783345
Secrets for a Stress Free Home Purchase

Thinking of buying a home now or in the future?  It’s not too early to contact me to help you understand the process and get familiar with the market.  Contact Me to arrange a complimentary consultation.

5 MAJOR FACTORS IN PRICING A HOME

adult-advice-american-1050297When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

 

  1. Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.  When dealing wih unique properties and rural properties, setting a value can get complicated.  Home valuation models typically vary greatly on these homes,
  2. Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
  3. Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
  4. Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles and home condition.
  5. Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.  The same may apply to sales between family members.

Let us help you price your home right the first time around ! You might be surprised at what your home is worth!  For a general idea of your home’s value, hop on over to my automated home valuation and see what it says:  Instant home value estimate

Dog Friendly Dwellings and More…

Pups at homeIt may come as no big surprise that pets have their preferences when it comes to the home they share with you. 

Check out my December Newletter here for ideas to make your home a dog-friendly dwelling and other useful news.

 

The Home Equity Playbook

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What is Home Equity?

Home equity seems to be a very simple calculation — the total amount of mortgages owed subtracted from the current market value of a home. Here is a simple example:

Current Home Market Value               $325,000
Existing Mortgage                                    $225,000
Homeowner Equity                                  $100,000

One side of the equation is well defined, and it is found on the monthly mortgage statement, the loan balance. The other side is less obvious — the current market value of the property.

As a homeowner, your down payment purchases your initial equity, and your monthly (or additional) principal payments increase your equity. In strong real estate markets and in-demand locations, equity can increase quite rapidly as the property value increases, but the inverse can also happen — too much available inventory and market down-cycles can lead to falling home values and a reduction in homeowner equity.

It can be difficult to put an accurate value on something that you have emotional and monetary vesting in. It is safe to say that most people think their home is worth more than then it is.

Homeowners can make savvy assessments about their home’s current market value by following the sales of similar properties in the neighborhood, but should be very cautions of websites such as Zillow and Trulia, which provide inaccurate and outdated estimates. The most accurate measurement requires a comparative market analysis from a real estate professional or having the home professionally appraised. But, the bottom line — your home is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

Creating Value is in Your Hands

Maintaining the condition of a home is vitally important to retaining and increasing value. Homes are judged against their peers: how they compare to similar homes in the neighborhood. Another way to retain value is to not over upgrade, since it is rare to ever recoup the money spent if you exceed neighborhood value. Keep up the landscaping and do the little things to add curb appeal.

Putting Home Equity to Work

Home equity represents the largest single asset of millions of people, and because it represents so much of an individual’s net worth, it must be treated with respect. Home equity is not a liquid asset until a property is sold or it is borrowed against.
There are two types of loans that tap into homeowner equity as collateral:

Home Equity Loans
Many home equity plans set a fixed period during which the person can borrow money, such as 10 years. At the end of this “draw period,” the person may be allowed to renew the credit line. If the plan does not allow renewals, the homeowner will not be able to borrow additional money once the period has ended. Some plans may call for payment in full of any outstanding balance at the end of the period. Others may allow repayment over a fixed period, for example, of 10 years. A home equity loan, sometimes called a second mortgage, usually has a fixed rate and a set time to pay it back, generally with equal monthly payments.

Home Equity Line of Credit
A home equity line of credit is similar to a credit card. The lender sets a maximum amount you can borrow, and you can draw money as you need it, though many home equity lines of credit require an initial draw. The interest rate varies daily, and is usually prime plus a set number, but the required payment is usually interest only. Once the loan has been paid down, the payment is reduced, and it can be paid off and initiated as many times as a homeowner requires.

How Much Equity can be Accessed?

Since the financial institution is lending money and using a home as collateral, they will not typically lend 100% of the home’s equity. The bank does not want to take the risk that if the house price drops, they would be carrying a loan for more than its market value. Therefore, most banks will allow a qualified homeowner to borrow approximately 80% of their equity.

It’s Important to Use Your Home Equity Wisely

Because it is likely the biggest asset most people have, losing your home equity is hard to overcome. It must be used in prudent ways, and the payments against the loan must be affordable. Using equity money to make the loan payment is only acceptable for a short-term solution.

There are number of good reasons to use money from a home equity loan… and some really bad ones.

First, let’s cover smart uses:

1. Invest in Your Home

The best way to use the money is create more equity in the home. Among the very best returns on your investment (ROI) include kitchen and bathroom remodels, adding square footage or an extra bath, enhancing curb appeal and repairing/keeping the existing structure sound. Making prudent investments in your home is a wonderful win-win: you enjoy the upgrades and the repairs can add value to the home.

2. Invest in your Children’s Education

Using your home equity to finance a child’s higher education may be the greatest payoff of all. Not only is the rate much lower than a student loan, it is an investment in the child’s future.

3. Supplement Retirement Needs

Older homeowners spent their working lives paying down their mortgage. At retirement, when monthly income is reduced, a home equity loan could pay for a dream vacation or an unexpected major expense.

4. Augment the Impending Sale of a Home

If you’re planning to sell soon, a home equity line of credit may be the best way to finance improvements, and you can pay it off entirely when you sell. Investing wisely on upgrades and repairs may even reap a profit on your investment.

Here are some examples of some not very wise choices:

Adding luxury amenities like a swimming pool, a hot spa, lavish landscaping, expensive appliances and exotic countertops and flooring rarely pay off.

Purchasing a car or boat or most any personal luxury items is a poor use of the funds, since these items quickly depreciate in value.

Also stay away from using money on risk-heavy investments. Financing stock purchases, start-up businesses and paying routine bills is not financially smart. If you cannot afford to purchase those items with available funds, using equity from your home means they should not be in your budget.

You should treat a home equity loan as an investment and not as extra cash when making financial decisions. If your intended use of the money doesn’t pay you back in some way, it’s not likely to be the best use of your valuable equity.

I am Happy to Assist You

If you would like an assessment of the market value of your home and the current equity you may be able to access, contact me for a comparative market analysis.

Don't Get Burned!

Get a Home Inspection to Save Money on Your Next Purchase

Okay, you made one of the most important decisions in your life: you’re buying a home! You found your ideal home. It’s in your desired neighborhood, close to everything you love, you dig its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the deal.

But, whoa … wait a minute! Buying a home isn’t like buying a toaster. If you discover something’s wrong with your new home, you can’t return it for a refund or an even exchange. You’re stuck with your buying decision. Purchasing a home is an important investment and should be treated as such. Therefore, before finalizing anything, your “ideal” home needs an inspection to protect you from throwing your hard-earned money into a money pit.

A home inspection is a professional visual examination of the home’s roof, plumbing, heating and cooling system, electrical systems, and foundation.

There are really two types of home of inspections. There is a general home inspection and a specialized inspection. Most general inspections cost between $267 and $370, but this varies by area. The cost of the specialized inspection also varies from type to type. If the inspector recommends a specialized inspection, take that advice. Buying a home is the single most important investment you’ll make and you want extra assurance from the inspection that you’re making a wise investment. 

By having your prospective new home inspected, you can:

  • Negotiate with the home seller and get the home sale-ready at no cost to you 
  • Prevent your insurance rates from rising
  • Opt-out of the purchase before you make a costly mistake
  • Save money in the short and long run

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

A home inspection helps to find potential expenses beyond the sales price, which puts homebuyers in a powerful position for negotiation. If there are any issues discovered during the home inspection, buyers can stipulate that the sellers either repair them before closing or help cover the costs in some other way. If the sellers do not want to front the money to complete the repairs, buyers could negotiate a drop in the overall sales price of the home!  In some cases you may be able to opt-out of the purchase.

Perhaps even more importantly, a home inspection buys you peace of mind. Your first days and months in a new home will set the tone for your life there, and you don’t want to taint that time with worries about hidden problems and potential money pits.

To help you understand how much money a home inspection can save you, here are some numbers from HomeAdvisor to drive the point home … so to speak.

Roof – Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections. Roof repair can range between $316 and $1046, but to replace a roof entirely can cost between $4,660 and $8,950.

Plumbing – Don’t underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage that costs between $1,041 and $3,488 to repair. Your home inspector will look for visible problems with the plumbing such as leaky faucets, water stains around sinks and the shower, and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors may reflect plumbing problems.

Heating and Cooling – Ensuring the home’s heating and cooling system is working properly is very important. Your home inspector will make you aware of any problems with the existing system and let know you whether the system is past its prime and needs replacing. You don’t want to throw down $3,919 to replace an aged furnace. Nor do you want to spend $5,238 replacing an ill-working air conditioner. Replacing and repairing a water heater gets pricey too. Wouldn’t you rather use your savings for a vacation?

Electrical Systems – When thinking of the electrical system, no problem is better than even a small problem. Electrical problems might seem small, but they can blossom into thousand-dollar catastrophes. Make sure your home inspector examines the electric meter, wires, circuit breaker, switches, and the GCFI outlets and electrical outlets.

Foundation – If your home inspector sees that the house is sinking, that means water is seeping into the foundation; cracks in walls, sticking windows, and sagging floor also indicate foundational problems. The foundation is so important that if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, lenders will not lend money on the home until those issues are solved. Foundation repairs can reach as high as $5,880 to repair.

As you can see, a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a general home inspection can save you tons of money and future headaches. To save even more money, you might consider investing in a specialized home inspection as well. A specialized inspection gets down to the nitty-gritty of all the trouble spots the general home inspection might have located.

How Much Money Can a Specialized Inspection Save You?

A general home inspection can trigger a need for a specialized inspection because the general home inspector spotted something of concern about the roof, sewer system, the heating and cooling system, or the foundation. If humidity is high where you’re buying your home, a pest inspection is recommended, and in our area most lenders require it. Usually, a pest inspection will check for mold as well as pests. Some homebuyers have a Radon test done to ensure air quality.

Roof – Roof specialists examine the chimney and the flashing surrounding it. They also look at the level of wear and tear of the roof. They can tell you how long the roof will last before a new one is needed. They’ll inspect the downspouts and gutters. The average cost of a roof inspection is about $223. Most roof inspections will cost between $121 and $324.

Sewer System – Making sure your sewer system has no problems should happen before the closing because what might look like a small problem can turn into a large problem in the future. If any issues pop up, you can negotiate with the seller about needed repairs or replacements before closing. Cost of inspection will vary; on the low side, it might cost you around $95, and on the high side, it might cost you $790. Compare these numbers to repairing a septic tank, which can cost, on average, $1,435 (though it could reach as high as $4,459), and you can see that the cost of an inspection is worth it when you catch the problem before you buy.

Heating and Cooling System – A HVAC specialist will check the ducts for blockage and for consistent maintenance of the unit. The repairs needed might be small or they might be big, but this small investment will save you headaches and lots of money down the road.

Foundation – A foundation specialist will pinpoint the exact problem with the foundation. The specialist will look at the grade or slope of the home. The ground should slope away from the home in all directions a half inch per foot. Most homeowners have spent between $1,763 and $5,880 to repair their foundation. And the average cost to re-slope a lawn is at $1,705. Most homeowners paid between $933 and $2,558 to re-slope their lawn.

Pest Inspection – Termites eat a home’s wood structure from inside out and can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Other pests can turn your dream home into a nightmare. Depending on the humidity of where you live, you should a pest/termite inspection every two years or so. You can start with your potential new home. Most inspections are extensive and cost between $109 and $281. The good news is that most pest management company will guarantee the past inspection if bugs show up.

Radon Test – Radon is a naturally occurring invisible odorless gas that has been identified as a leading cause of cancer.  The cost of radon test is low and its cost varies from state to state. Here’s more information about Radon.

Steps You Can Take to Save Money Using a Home Inspection

To help yourself save with a home inspection, you will need to:

Attend the inspection – Attending the inspection is important because it’s an opportunity for you to ask questions. It will also help you understand the relative importance of any findings so that you will be more aware of the impact of possible repairs.

Check utilities – Checking utilities let’s know the energy efficiency of your potential home.

Hire a Qualified Home Inspector – I can recommend bona-fide home inspectors to you. You can compare our recommendation with all inspectors who belong to the American Society of Home Inspectors. While the decision of who you work with is always yours, I can educate you so that you make a wise home buying decision.

Don’t Get Burned!

Get a Home Inspection to Save Money on Your Next Purchase

Okay, you made one of the most important decisions in your life: you’re buying a home! You found your ideal home. It’s in your desired neighborhood, close to everything you love, you dig its design and feel, and you’re ready to finalize the deal.

But, whoa … wait a minute! Buying a home isn’t like buying a toaster. If you discover something’s wrong with your new home, you can’t return it for a refund or an even exchange. You’re stuck with your buying decision. Purchasing a home is an important investment and should be treated as such. Therefore, before finalizing anything, your “ideal” home needs an inspection to protect you from throwing your hard-earned money into a money pit.

A home inspection is a professional visual examination of the home’s roof, plumbing, heating and cooling system, electrical systems, and foundation.

There are really two types of home of inspections. There is a general home inspection and a specialized inspection. Most general inspections cost between $267 and $370, but this varies by area. The cost of the specialized inspection also varies from type to type. If the inspector recommends a specialized inspection, take that advice. Buying a home is the single most important investment you’ll make and you want extra assurance from the inspection that you’re making a wise investment. 

By having your prospective new home inspected, you can:

  • Negotiate with the home seller and get the home sale-ready at no cost to you 
  • Prevent your insurance rates from rising
  • Opt-out of the purchase before you make a costly mistake
  • Save money in the short and long run

How Much Money Can a Home Inspection Save You?

A home inspection helps to find potential expenses beyond the sales price, which puts homebuyers in a powerful position for negotiation. If there are any issues discovered during the home inspection, buyers can stipulate that the sellers either repair them before closing or help cover the costs in some other way. If the sellers do not want to front the money to complete the repairs, buyers could negotiate a drop in the overall sales price of the home!  In some cases you may be able to opt-out of the purchase.

Perhaps even more importantly, a home inspection buys you peace of mind. Your first days and months in a new home will set the tone for your life there, and you don’t want to taint that time with worries about hidden problems and potential money pits.

To help you understand how much money a home inspection can save you, here are some numbers from HomeAdvisor to drive the point home … so to speak.

Roof – Roofing problems are one of the most common issues found by home inspections. Roof repair can range between $316 and $1046, but to replace a roof entirely can cost between $4,660 and $8,950.

Plumbing – Don’t underestimate the plumbing. Small leaks can cause damage that costs between $1,041 and $3,488 to repair. Your home inspector will look for visible problems with the plumbing such as leaky faucets, water stains around sinks and the shower, and noisy pipes. Stains on walls, ceilings, and warped floors may reflect plumbing problems.

Heating and Cooling – Ensuring the home’s heating and cooling system is working properly is very important. Your home inspector will make you aware of any problems with the existing system and let know you whether the system is past its prime and needs replacing. You don’t want to throw down $3,919 to replace an aged furnace. Nor do you want to spend $5,238 replacing an ill-working air conditioner. Replacing and repairing a water heater gets pricey too. Wouldn’t you rather use your savings for a vacation?

Electrical Systems – When thinking of the electrical system, no problem is better than even a small problem. Electrical problems might seem small, but they can blossom into thousand-dollar catastrophes. Make sure your home inspector examines the electric meter, wires, circuit breaker, switches, and the GCFI outlets and electrical outlets.

Foundation – If your home inspector sees that the house is sinking, that means water is seeping into the foundation; cracks in walls, sticking windows, and sagging floor also indicate foundational problems. The foundation is so important that if the general inspection report shows foundation problems, lenders will not lend money on the home until those issues are solved. Foundation repairs can reach as high as $5,880 to repair.

As you can see, a small investment of a few hundred dollars for a general home inspection can save you tons of money and future headaches. To save even more money, you might consider investing in a specialized home inspection as well. A specialized inspection gets down to the nitty-gritty of all the trouble spots the general home inspection might have located.

How Much Money Can a Specialized Inspection Save You?

A general home inspection can trigger a need for a specialized inspection because the general home inspector spotted something of concern about the roof, sewer system, the heating and cooling system, or the foundation. If humidity is high where you’re buying your home, a pest inspection is recommended, and in our area most lenders require it. Usually, a pest inspection will check for mold as well as pests. Some homebuyers have a Radon test done to ensure air quality.

Roof – Roof specialists examine the chimney and the flashing surrounding it. They also look at the level of wear and tear of the roof. They can tell you how long the roof will last before a new one is needed. They’ll inspect the downspouts and gutters. The average cost of a roof inspection is about $223. Most roof inspections will cost between $121 and $324.

Sewer System – Making sure your sewer system has no problems should happen before the closing because what might look like a small problem can turn into a large problem in the future. If any issues pop up, you can negotiate with the seller about needed repairs or replacements before closing. Cost of inspection will vary; on the low side, it might cost you around $95, and on the high side, it might cost you $790. Compare these numbers to repairing a septic tank, which can cost, on average, $1,435 (though it could reach as high as $4,459), and you can see that the cost of an inspection is worth it when you catch the problem before you buy.

Heating and Cooling System – A HVAC specialist will check the ducts for blockage and for consistent maintenance of the unit. The repairs needed might be small or they might be big, but this small investment will save you headaches and lots of money down the road.

Foundation – A foundation specialist will pinpoint the exact problem with the foundation. The specialist will look at the grade or slope of the home. The ground should slope away from the home in all directions a half inch per foot. Most homeowners have spent between $1,763 and $5,880 to repair their foundation. And the average cost to re-slope a lawn is at $1,705. Most homeowners paid between $933 and $2,558 to re-slope their lawn.

Pest Inspection – Termites eat a home’s wood structure from inside out and can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Other pests can turn your dream home into a nightmare. Depending on the humidity of where you live, you should a pest/termite inspection every two years or so. You can start with your potential new home. Most inspections are extensive and cost between $109 and $281. The good news is that most pest management company will guarantee the past inspection if bugs show up.

Radon Test – Radon is a naturally occurring invisible odorless gas that has been identified as a leading cause of cancer.  The cost of radon test is low and its cost varies from state to state. Here’s more information about Radon.

Steps You Can Take to Save Money Using a Home Inspection

To help yourself save with a home inspection, you will need to:

Attend the inspection – Attending the inspection is important because it’s an opportunity for you to ask questions. It will also help you understand the relative importance of any findings so that you will be more aware of the impact of possible repairs.

Check utilities – Checking utilities let’s know the energy efficiency of your potential home.

Hire a Qualified Home Inspector – I can recommend bona-fide home inspectors to you. You can compare our recommendation with all inspectors who belong to the American Society of Home Inspectors. While the decision of who you work with is always yours, I can educate you so that you make a wise home buying decision.