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The Benefits of a Home Warranty.

I have a client that just purchased a home. It was the home of their dreams and it had everything they ever asked for. I suggested to them that they get a home warranty because all of the benefits it provided.

“Home Warranty of America” was included in my 1st Home purchase and I made good use of it during the first year. I did not have it when I bought my 2nd home. As you know, the 2nd home was recently renovated with high-end appliances so I didn’t think purchasing another Home Warranty was needed. I am very glad you suggested it because in 2 months my microwave and oven both went dead. At first I panicked but I remembered that we had the home warranty. I could have paid over $1,000 to fix to these and didnt have to pay a dime. High-end products look and work good but they are expensive to repair. I won’t even think twice about buying a home without “Home Warranty of America” again.

 

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Nationwide, as buyer demand and competition for homes has grown, so has the desire for “quick closings”. Requests for quick closings have climbed as the home buying landscape has become more competitive. Buyers will offer to “close quickly” to enhance the appeal of their purchase offer making it more compelling and to help their offer stand-out among the competition.

Loan volumes play a major role in approval timelines and as loan volumes decrease, lenders are able to turn purchase approvals more quickly to the benefit of today’s home buyers. Loan volume is highly seasonal and volumes tend to increase in the spring and summer months.

As loan volume rises, your ability to do a quick close will wane. If you’re considering purchasing a home you’ll want to know How Long It Takes to Close on a Home Purchase and ways to maximize your closing speed, Follow these helpful behaviors outlined in the link and your loan can be approved more quickly.

As always, I am here to help you with all of your home-related needs whether you are in the market to buy or to sell. Call or email me anytime with questions or to start this important process.

Typically I suggest that home buyers negotiate with the seller over who pays closing costs. Sometimes the seller will agree to assume the buyer’s closing fees and buyers walk into the closing with minimum or no money down.

On the average, home buyers will pay between about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing fees. So, if your home cost $150,000, you might pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs. Lenders are required by law to give you a Loan Estimate, which will include what the closing costs on your home will be, within three days of receiving your loan application. But these are just an estimate, and many of the fees listed can change.

brick-home-290315 copy

WHY

The purpose of the inspection process is to identify any habitability issues with the home and to ensure the buyer is comfortable with the condition of the property. Small cosmetic and “maintenance” items are not to be considered “issues” when addressing an inspection report.

WHO

The buyer typically pays for any/all home inspections. Ranging from $200-$500 depending on the size of the home. A whole house inspection usually takes between 2-3 hours. I recommend a buyer showing up for the last half hour to get an overview from the inspector.

WHAT

Option 1: Whole House inspection

A professional inspection should look at the following for defects or malfunctions.

  • Buildings Structure (important to note, the inspector is not a structural engineer, they will mark areas of concern, but a professional structural engineer may need to be brought in for further assessment.
  • Systems and Physical components such as the roof, plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling
  • Floors surfaces, windows and doors
  • Detect pest infestations or dry rot and similar damage
  • The inspector should also examine the land around the house for issues concerning grading, drainage, retaining walls and plants affecting the house.

Important note: A whole house inspector is a jack of all trades and a master of none. 

Option 2: Specialized Inspections

A Buyer can choose to break down specialty inspections and pay for professionals to assess items of interest. Each professional will charge for an assessment.

  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Roof
  • Structure
  • Electrical

Option 3: Additional Inspections

  • Radon
  • Mold
  • Asbestos
  • Lead Based paint ( homes built prior to 1976)
WHEN

The inspection process begins when a buyer/seller are officially under contract and all terms have been agreed upon. The buyer typically has 10 days to conduct any/all inspections. Followed by the post inspection period when repairs can be requested.

3d-printing-house-countour-crafting

Printers have come a long way from simply churning out reams of spreadsheets, high school history reports, and cute cat photos. In case you haven’t heard, 3-D printing is rapidly changing, well, everything. The technology is making the unimaginable real, already producing everything from simple plastic toys to edible pizza and even human tissue and body parts (an ear!). Additive technology, as it’s also called, promises to revolutionize the world as we know it.

And the greatest potential for transformation and disruption, some believe, may be in housing. If “printed homes” seem like a distant fantasy, you’d better buckle your seat belts. You’re in for quite a ride.

So how exactly is 3-D printing poised to reshape the housing market?

Well, let’s start with price. Three-dimensional printers don’t require laborers, produce much less waste (as materials are fed into the machines), and will be able to erect homes in days instead of months—making them substantially cheaper to build. And that’s expected to extend the American dream to a whole new group of buyers who would otherwise never be able to afford their own abodes.

Gone will be the problems caused by a shortage of highly skilled construction workers, long building times, and wasted materials such as lumber.

And let’s touch on dreams. Three-dimensional printing will eventually help facilitate the creation of radical new housing designs, new shapes, and brand-new architectural ideas. The road from fanciful concept to livable reality will become shorter and more traversable than ever.

This is exciting stuff—and not just for those who are currently priced out of homeownership. Imagine your average accountant or Chipotle manager being able to design their own Frank Gehry–styled, uniquely shaped home on a computer— and a specialized, industrial-size 3-D printer bringing it into existence in a matter of hours or days for just a fraction of the usual price. Then think of what the technology could mean for storm-ravaged communities if residents who lost their homes could have identical replacements easily printed, complete with furniture.

And we’re not talking about a far-distant future. Rudimentary printed structures, mostly made of concrete and resembling stark gray boxes, are already sprouting up around the globe. Now a handful of cutting-edge construction companies are engaged in something like a 3-D printing arms race—each striving to be the first to refine the technology.

A Chinese company even recently printed a two-story, 4,305-square-foot building on-site in just 45 days.

And while such current buildings may not exactly be the “dream home” of your average buyer, experts predict that within five to 25 years (depending on whom you’re talking to), the technology will be advanced enough to print sophisticated and easily customizable dwellings out of wood, metal, and stone. These are places that buyers would be proud to call their own.

How to print a home

3D printers are expected to transform the how homes are built and could lead to lower real estate prices.
Three-dimensional printers are expected to transform how homes are built and could lead to lower real estate prices.

Branch Technology

Here’s how it works: Building designs are created in a computer just like in a computer-aided design, or CAD, program and then transmitted to a large, specially made industrial printer, like the one above. The devices vary greatly in size and capabilities, depending on who is making them—but all of them are big. The apparatuses usually have one or more robotic arms tipped with a nozzle that spews out construction materials as the arms make their computer-programmed rotations around the base of the building. (Think of cake icing being squeezed through a piping bag.)

Those liquidlike materials, similar to molten lava, are layered on top of one another to form the walls of the structure. These materials can vary from fiber-reinforced concrete, which doesn’t require steel rebars for support, to steel and even wood, which would require reinforcements.

And eventually, experts predict the technology will print modern-day necessities such as electricity and plumbing at the same time as the home is being constructed.

“It’s still very early,” says Aric Rindfleisch, executive director of the Illinois MakerLab, a 3-D printing lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. “We’re probably back to where the computer industry was in 1982.”

The challenges to 3-D printing

So when is it coming, for real?

Opinions vary. Rindfleisch believes the technology is still about 25 years away from creating sophisticated homes that buyers would be vying to live in. Other experts have pegged the timeline closer to just a decade—or even half that.

The challenges lie mostly with the materials fed into the devices—and working around their current-day limitations. Scientists are closely tracking the materials used for construction and how long they take to dry before a new layer can be added, Rindfleisch says.

He says progress is coming at a rapid clip. “About two years ago, all we could print was hard plastic,” he says. “Now we can print soft plastics. We can print wood.” The wood is basically a pulp mixed with plastic that can be fed into the printer.

Home buyers could become home designers

Customizable and one-of-a-kind homes are expected to become cheaper thanks to 3D printing technology.
WATG Urban Architecture Studio won a 3-D home printing competition with this Curve Appeal design. The home is slated to be printed later this year.

Daniel Caven/WATG Chicago Urban Architecture Studio

The printing process is likely to eventually empower more everyday home buyers without fancy architecture degrees to design their own perfect pad on a computer—and then print it out on a plot of land.

“You can have high design on a budget,” says architect Christopher Hurst at WATG Urban Architecture Studio. “You don’t have to go to a builder and get the same cookie-cutter house next door. … Now you can go to a contractor, and you have a highly customizable house that’s indicative of you and that way you can express yourself in how you live.”

In April, Hurst’s Chicago-based firm won the Freeform House Design Challenge with its sleek Curve Appeal home. Construction on the winning design, which will, of course, be printed three-dimensionally, is slated to begin in November by Branch Technology, the Chattanooga, TN–based builder that sponsored the contest.

The home would go for about $900,000 on the market if it were conventionally built, Hurst says. But he hopes to print the carbon fiber structure at a Chattanooga site at a fraction of the cost.

“The limitations are [that] the arm [of the printer] can only reach so far,” he says of the 15-foot appendage. “If you print large structures, you’d need a much bigger machine. … Eventually, we’ll have multiple arms printing simultaneously.”

Once the technical challenges are solved, a 2,500-square-foot home could go up in less than 24 hours instead of months, predicts 3-D home building pioneer Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He gave a TED Talk on the subject.

And the buildings could be more attractive to buyers than those constructed by human hands, he says.

“In stick frame [i.e., traditional] construction, it’s very hard to use curvature. It’s very hard to bend lumber. It’s very hard to bend drywall,” says Khoshnevis, whose 3-D printer company Contour Crafting has a contract with NASA. But “a computer can build any shape.”

A boon to cities?

The new technology could make its biggest mark, at least initially, in the nation’s urban areas.

Three-dimensional printing will enable developers to put up buildings on previously “unbuildable” sites—such as smaller city plots where it would be near impossible to fit a crane, says K.C. Conway, head of market intelligence for commercial real estate lending at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. It could turn costly and time-consuming regulatory problems into no big deal as building plans will be redesigned by computers—instead of flesh-and-blood architects.

“It will bring affordability back to urban housing,” says Conway, also a member of Counselors of Real Estate, a Chicago-based group of industry professionals who provide real estate advice. “The later adoption will be in the suburbs.”

Another bonus is that homes will eventually be able to go up a lot quicker—that’s particularly important in natural disaster–ravaged areas, points out Alex Le Roux.

He began designing a 3-D printer while he was still a mechanical engineering major at Baylor University in Waco, TX. Now the 23-year-old is CEO of Vesta Printer, which printed a rudimentary, 120-square-foot building in June in Katy, TX. He’s hoping to soon print larger ones.

His company has received funding from ModEco Development, a Rochester, MI–based builder that has been experimenting with the technology.

“This is where we see the business going,” says ModEco owner Drake Boroja. “The American dream is getting harder and harder to get [as the prices of homes are soaring]. We see these tools as a way to keep this dream going for the next generation.”

Realtor.com announced today that data from August revealed that the national housing market was “hotter” than it has been in the past decade with fast moving inventory and record-high prices for the residential real estate market. When breaking down the information on a regional basis, the Columbus metro area landed in 7th place on their list of hot markets with houses only sitting available for a median of 46 days.

“Summer 2016 was one of most competitive buying seasons that we have ever witnessed, fueled by historically low mortgage rates and inventory shortages that resulted in record-high prices,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com. “With the school year starting now in most of the country, we’re seeing some drop-off in demand, which may provide some relief for buyers weary from battling it out against other buyers all summer.”

The national average for listings is 72 days with a median price of $250,000, which is eight percent higher it was a year ago.

The six regions to top Columbus on the list of hot housing markets are Vallejo-Fairfield (California), Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Stockton (California) and San Diego. The only other midwestern cities to make the list were Detroit (9th place) and Fort Wayne (11th place).


Contact

I am always available to talk. (614)289-8799 #RealEstateSuitedForYou

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© Copyright 2016 Samuel Miller