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Walk Throughs And Why They're So Important

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

One of the most improtant things you can do before you close on your new home is to do a final walk through of the home you are purchasing with your Real Estate Agent.  Most of the time it takes 4-6 weeks to close on a home and many things can happen to that home within that time period.  The following will give you insight as to why the final walk through before closing is so essential.

For homebuyers and sellers alike, the final walk-through can be one of the most significant steps in the real estate process. It may also be one of the most nerve-wracking.

The final walk-through typically takes place mere hours before the closing itself. It’s one last opportunity for the buyer, along with his or her agent, to inspect the home and make sure there aren’t any last-minute problems.

Hopefully, your final walk-through will be smooth sailing. Every now and again, though, issues do arise – and they can go as far as to derail the entire home sale.

Here are 10 of the most common final walk-through discoveries that can potentially throw a wrench into the transaction:

  • The home isn't empty.
  • The house is a mess.
  • The negotiated repairs haven't been completed.
  • Included personal property has gone missing.
  • The lawn hasn't been cared for.
  • The utilities have been shut off.
  • The appliances aren't working.
  • There's major damage to the walls.
  • The HVAC systems aren't working.
  • The home was damaged in the moving process.

The Home Isn’t Empty

Unless otherwise agreed upon, the sellers should be totally moved out of the house by the time of the final walk-through. Now, if they left behind a can of paint or a couple bags of trash, that’s probably not the end of the world. But if they left behind much more, the buyer may have to request they come by and clean up.

The House Is a Mess

The typical agreement is that the seller leave the property in broom-clean condition. This is a somewhat nebulous term, and it may mean different things to different people. The house doesn’t necessarily have to be spotless, but neither should it be a disaster area. Ideally, the house should appear move-in ready for the new homeowners.

The Negotiated Repairs Haven’t Been Completed

When buyer and seller negotiate on repairs or renovations, it’s expected that they all be finished by the time of the final walk-through. If the seller needs a little additional time due to unforeseen circumstances, this should be communicated to the buyer well in advance of the closing.

Included Personal Property Has Gone Missing

Did the seller take items they said they would leave for you? Light fixtures? Window treatments? A piece of furniture you wanted to buy along with the house? That’s definitely something that can stall the closing or lead to some tumult.

The Lawn Hasn’t Been Cared For

Generally speaking, real estate contracts stipulate that the seller will keep the lawn areas maintained until the date of closing. That doesn’t mean everything has to be perfectly manicured, but if the grass is five feet tall, or has died during the escrow period, that’s a problem.

The Utilities Have Been Shut Off

Typically, your real estate contract will stipulate that the utilities have to be on through the final walk-through. If you don’t have power or running water during the walk-through, that could technically be a breach of contract.

The Appliances Aren’t Working

For homebuyers, it’s important to use the final walk-through as an opportunity to test all the appliances included in the sale, confirming they work as intended. If something doesn’t work, you can ask the seller for a repair allowance.

There’s Major Damage to the Walls

Did the seller remove a wall-mounted TV, a piece of artwork, or some kind of home automation technology? And if so, did it leave behind damage to the wall? This could be a big issue.

The HVAC Systems Aren’t Working

Buyers should test out both the heating and cooling capabilities of the home. See that they work satisfactorily. If not, that’s something for which you’ll likely want to negotiate repair costs or a price adjustment.

The Home Was Damaged in the Moving Process

If the sellers did any kind of damage to the home while they moved out, that’s something for you to take stock of. In some cases, it may be worthwhile for you to request a repair allowance.

These are some of the main items you’ll want to look out for if you’re a buyer going through your final walk-through. And if you’re in the process of selling a house, let these serve as words of caution. Make sure to avoid these common hurdles to the home closing.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

3220 Tilden St  

Price: $385,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1894

Updated home in a quiet Santa Clara neighborhood. Newer roof, vinyl windows,hardwood flooring and granite in the kitchen & bathroom. Kitchen w/ eating area leads to a cozy family room w/ gas fireplace & sliding door to the backyard. Separate living...View this property >> 

AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Home Sales Cool Off

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

October 2019 home sales number are in and it looks as if the market cooling off period is continuing.  October 2019 home sales were off from not only September of this year, but alo down from October of 2018.  As you will seehomes prices continue to creep up.  This trend could spell a continued slower housing market in the Eugene and Springfield area. Here are the number for Lane County homes sales of October 2019.

Lane County saw cooler activity this October. At 409, closings ended 2.9% short of October 2018 (421) and fell 4.7% from the 429 closings recorded last month in September 2019.

Pending sales, at 394, fell 13.4% short of October 2018 when 455 offers were accepted, and 6.2% short of September 2019 when 420 offers were accepted.

There were 424 new listings, ending 9.6% below the 469 new listings offered back in October 2018 and 4.9% below the 446 offered just last month in September 2019.

Inventory increased remained the same at 1.8 months in October. Total market time increased to 45 days.

Year to Date Summary

Activity is cooler so far in 2019 compared with 2018. Comparing the first ten months of each, pending sales (4,314) have decreased 6.4%, closed sales (4,178) have decreased 6.1%, and new listings (5,257) have decreased 8.6%.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2019 to 2018 through October, the average sale price has increased 5.3% from $308,200 to $324,400. In the same comparison, the median sale price has increased 4.6% from $282,000 to $295,000.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

3220 Tilden St  

Price: $385,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1894

Updated home in a quiet Santa Clara neighborhood. Newer roof, vinyl windows,hardwood flooring and granite in the kitchen & bathroom. Kitchen w/ eating area leads to a cozy family room w/ gas fireplace & sliding door to the backyard. Separate living...View this property >> 

AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Good Monday Morning!

The good news is that mortgage interest rates are down again.  The other news is that for most of the country, including the Eugene/Springfield area, home prices continue to climb and home inventories remain low.  For would be home buyers who have been frustrated in finding a home over the Summer months and early Fall, look for the number of homes on the market to increase slightly and for the competition to level off for the next few months.  There should be a very good window of opportunity to purchase a home between now and Spring. The following article is from Realtor.com and it talks about the recent decrease in mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates dropped in the past week after rising in six of the last nine weeks, including most of the month of October.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69% during the week ending Nov. 7, down three basis points from the previous week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

The rate on the 30-year mortgage is over a full percentage point lower than it was at this same time a year ago, when rates averaged 4.94%.

“After a year-long slide, mortgage rates hit a cycle low in September 2019 and have risen in six out of the last nine weeks due to modestly better economic data and trade related optimism,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in the report. “The improvement in sentiment has been one of the main drivers behind the surge in equity prices and will provide a halo effect to consumer spending heading into the important holiday shopping season.”

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped six basis points to an average of 3.13%, according to Freddie Mac. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.39%, falling four basis points from a week ago.

Mortgage rates generally track the direction of the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year Treasury yield rebounded Thursday morning amid hopes that the U.S. and China had reached an agreement to end their trade dispute.

But would-be home buyers looking to take advantage of these low rates will face steep competition when it comes time to make an offer. A report last week from Realtor.com found that the U.S. housing market experienced a 6.9% decline in inventory year-over-year in October, thanks to a decrease of 98,000 listings. Low mortgage rates have stoked home-buying demand, which has dried up much of the inventory of homes up for sale.

“With dwindling supply, prices maintain their upward pressure, deepening the affordability challenges for first-time buyers,” realtor.com senior economist George Ratiu said.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

3915 Royal Ave  

Price: $345,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1479

New Construction that backs up to an expansive Park. Open Living, Dining, & Kitchen. Master bedroom with walk-in closet. Carpet in all bedrooms. Home has vaulted ceilings, granite counters, high end cabinets and wood floors. This home includes an in...View this property >> 

AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Tips To Help Safegaurd Your Home This Winter

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Fall is here and Winter is quckly approaching.  With the changing weather in Winter, it is extremely important to safeguard your home from the harsh elements that come with this time of year.  Here are a few tips that may help you with your Winter time home prep.

Extreme winter weather can leave neighborhoods and communities without power or other public services for long periods of time, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns.

It's a smart idea to prepare your home for such winter weather emergencies as well as cold weather throughout the season that can cause minor issues to evolve into larger problems – with potential damage to your property or risk of personal injury.

Whether it’s for your primary residence or a second home you plan to leave vacant until spring, here are tips for winterizing your house:

  • Clean out gutters and clear the roof.
  • Insulate the attic.
  • Have your heating system serviced.
  • Prepare your plumbing.
  • Call a chimney sweep.
  • Check for drafts.
  • Have a friend on call.
  • Clean Out Gutters and Clear the Roof
  • Leaves, sticks and other bits of nature make their way onto your roof and into your gutters during the fall. But before the first heavy snowfall, be sure to clear debris from your roof and gutters to prevent a buildup of ice and snow that can get under shingles and cause leaks and water damage inside your house. 
  • “If they don’t have their roof cleared off, that’s typically where stoppage and backup issues happen,” says Mike Gulla, senior director of underwriting and customer support for Hippo Insurance, based in Palo Alto, California.
  • If the house is vacant: Clear as much debris as you can before you close up the house for the winter, but you may need to have a local friend or contractor finish the job when you’re away.
  • Insulate the Attic
  • Another way to reduce the chances that an ice dam will form is to insulate your attic floor. This helps keep the living areas of your house warmer, explains Anne Cope, chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety in Richburg, South Carolina.
  • Cope recommends going up to your attic before the winter weather sets in to examine attic vents, check for leaks and get a look at the insulation. “If your insulation looks terrible, now is a great time of year to get that taken care of,” she says.
  • If the house is vacant: Insulation will help you avoid hefty heating bills during the months that you’re not staying in the house. Good insulation that leads to lower heating and cooling bills can also be a plus when you sell your home!
  • [See: The Best Time of Year for Every Home Improvement Project]
  • Have Your Heating System Serviced

  • Have your heating and ventilation system checked for problems and cleaned before the weather gets too cold. If you wait until the first cold snap or snowstorm of the season, many service professionals will be overbooked.
  • Beyond keeping you warm, a functioning HVAC during the coldest days of the year is key to avoiding frozen pipes, which can burst inside your walls and cause significant damage.
  • If the house is vacant: It’s important to keep a vacant house at a temperature well above freezing; the standard is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Having your HVAC system serviced before you leave for the season is also important so cold temperatures don’t cause a bigger issue like a burst pipe. “That’s typically the reason that someone has a frozen pipe – it’s not usually a faulty pipe but because the HVAC stops working. … If it’s 20 degrees outside and you have no heat in the house for a few days, you can expect the pipes to freeze,” Gulla says.
  • Prepare Your Plumbing
  • Ensure your plumbing is set up to withstand the cold, and consider utilizing sensors to let you know when there’s a problem.
  • In Northern states where freezing temperatures are expected for a portion of the year, housing codes require insulation and for pipes to be properly protected from the cold. Places that don't see regular frost, however, won't always have a basement for plumbing to stay warmer or effective insulation to keep heat from escaping. As a result, a day or week of freezing temperatures in parts of North Carolina, Georgia and even Texas can cause a lot of damage, Cope says.
  • If your plumbing runs through a crawl space, consider insulating the pipes or the crawl space itself. “It can be a do-it-yourself project, or it can be a hire-a-handyman project,” Cope says.
  • Gulla recommends getting both water-leak and pipe-temperature sensors. The former will let you know if pressure inside the pipe suddenly decreases, indicating a burst pipe, while the latter will notify you of dangerously cold pipes so you can prevent a burst pipe.
  • Additionally, automatic water shutoff valves are becoming more popular in homes. They stop the flow of water should a pipe freeze and burst to reduce the amount of damage to the home.
  • If the house is vacant: Gulla stresses the importance of having sensors and a remote water shutoff valve option to prevent damage in the house before you can get there.
  • Call a Chimney Sweep
  • Whether you have a wood-burning or gas fireplace, make an appointment for your chimney to be inspected annually to see if cleaning or repairs are necessary, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America. In wood-burning fireplaces, a professional will clean out creosote buildup, which comes from burning wood and can cause a fire hazard inside the chimney if it’s not cleaned. In any fireplace, it's important to clear animal nests that might be blocking the chimney and to check for issues in the masonry.
  • Gulla warns that a blocked chimney “can also cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house, which can obviously be life-threatening to anyone in the house.”
  • If the house is vacant: Be sure to close the chimney flue as well as any hearth doors. That way you’ll keep cold drafts from making your furnace work harder and prevent animals from entering through the chimney and getting into other parts of the house.
  • [See: 7 Ways to Cut the Dry Air in Your Home This Winter]
  • Check for Drafts
  • As the weather cools, walk around the house and check for drafts or air leakage, particularly around windows and doors. Use caulk to seal cracks and weatherstripping to help insulate around door and window frames.
  • If the house is vacant: Checking for drafts and leakage will help cut down on the work your furnace has to do by keeping cold air from coming in.
  • Have a Friend on Call

  • If you go away for vacation or on a business trip, it's good to have a friend, relative or neighbor on call for your temporarily vacant house. Especially if a winter storm occurs while you're gone, you want someone to make sure your power stays on and even shovel the sidewalk to prevent slipping hazards.
  • If the house is vacant: Your HVAC may be in perfect condition with everything insulated, but you still shouldn’t leave the house unchecked for the entire winter.
  • “I wouldn’t want someone to think that a property can sit vacant for months at a time without someone coming to check on it. You wouldn’t do that with your car,” Cope says.

If you have friends or relatives nearby who can check on the house every few weeks, ask them to do so. Otherwise, hiring a local handyman to regularly check in can help ensure the heat continues to work, the power stays on and no critters manage to break their way into the living space. Even if you have security cameras and sensors, you need someone who can come by on short notice if an issue occurs.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

3201 Kentwood Dr  

Price: $369,900    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 1508

This is a light & bright, beautifully updated home in a convenient Ferry St. Bridge neighborhood. Open floor plan w/ vaulted ceilings, spacious kitchen w/ granite counters, new hickory wood flooring, fresh interior & exterior paint. New deck & fenci...View this property >> 

AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

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Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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