Buying a Home: What TLC Really Means

buying a home

When it comes to buying a home, you’re going to run into a lot of jargon you may not be familiar with. Knowing commonly used real estate terminology will be useful as you begin searching for the perfect home. For example, as you look through home listings, there’s a good chance that you’ll stumble onto the term “TLC” occasionally.

What Does ‘TLC’ Mean?

The acronym TLC stands for “tender, loving, care;” as in, the home is in need of it. If you see the TLC in the description, it doesn’t mean the seller has nostalgic feelings towards the home. It means the home needs work. It doesn’t sound like it, but the term TLC is often used for properties in need of significant renovation work and not just a touch-up.

TLC homes are fixer-uppers. You should expect to pay a substantial amount of money on repairs if you buy the home. For instance, a house in need of foundation repairs, roof replacement, or plumbing replacement could be listed as TLC.

Should You Buy a TLC?

Money-wise, there’s often a deal to be had when it comes to houses listed as TLC. It indicates the sellers don’t want to make the repairs themselves, which will be reflected in the asking price.

If you want a project (and you’re willing to put time and money into fixing up the house), then a TLC might be a good option. If you’re looking to invest in fixer-uppers to flip for a profit, TLCs are worth finding. However, if you don’t have the time or money to put into renovations, you may want to avoid TLC listings.

Be sure to understand what a TLC is when buying a home. For more home buying advice, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Buying a Home: 6 Things to Know About Radon

 

radon

When it comes to buying a home, there’s a lot of due diligence that must be done. The last thing you want is to buy a house that requires you to invest even more money into repairs or improvements – especially if you weren’t counting on having to do that. One thing you should be sure to do before you buy a house is to have it tested for radon. The following are six things you should know about radon:

  1. Radon is a radioactive gas that’s naturally occurring. It comes from the decay of uranium found in basically every type of soil.
  2. Because it’s found in soil, radon can easily enter the home through cracks and holes in the foundation.
  3. Radon is invisible and odorless, which means testing is needed to identify whether a home has high levels of radon.
  4. Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. 
  5. According to the EPA, there are more than 21,000 radon-related deaths in the U.S. alone every year.
  6. Despite being dangerous, radon is so common that every house likely has it. Fortunately, low levels of radon are not dangerous. According to the EPA, 4.0 pCi/L is an acceptable level of radon.

Radon testing will identify whether there are dangerous levels of radon in the home. If this is the case, then radon mitigation will need to be performed to lower those levels to an acceptable number. The last thing you’ll want to do is move into a home that could be potentially dangerous, after all.

Before buying a home, ask if a radon test was recently performed. Radon tests should be done when buying a home as well as after any renovations were done to the home. For more advice about buying a home, contact us at Randy Lindsay today. 

Buying a Home: What Does Under Contract Mean?

buying a home

When buying a home, you’ll notice a lot of different categories when perusing real estate listings. One status is “under contract.” This term means the purchase process has essentially begun between the seller and a buyer.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the house will be taken off the market. There’s still a chance the deal might fall through, which is why the listing isn’t removed. 

When Does a Listing Go Under Contract?

When buyers want to make an offer, there are several steps they will have to take. They need to determine how much they want to offer and, typically, they’ll have to submit a pre-approvement letter. This shows they will have the funds necessary to support that offer. A buyer’s agent will submit an offer letter that includes all of this information. 

Even if the seller accepts the offer, the house will still not be “under contract.” The buyer and seller will also have to agree to the contingencies. Once everything is agreed upon, the house goes under contract. 

What Happens When a House Is Under Contract?

The house remains under contract until all contingencies are met. For instance, the sale may be contingent on the home inspection. If the inspector finds a problem and a solution can’t be found between the seller and buyer, the buyer might withdraw. The house will no longer be under contract. When this happens, other buyers will be able to make an offer to purchase. 

While most houses that are under contract are sold, there are some that go back on the market because the deal fell through. Because of this, keep your eye open for desirable under-contract homes.

For more tips on buying a home, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

3 Home Buying Contingencies to Keep

home buying

At the moment, the home buying challenge is a difficult one. Why? Because it’s a seller’s market: the housing supply is low and the number of buyers on the prowl for a new home is high.  One of the things many buyers are doing to make their bids stand out is to waive certain contingencies. While you might be willing to do so, the following are three contingencies you should be sure to keep despite what the competition may be doing.

  1. The home inspection contingency – Most home sales are contingent on a professional home inspection. This ensures that you don’t buy a house that’s riddled with expensive problems you didn’t know about (such as having to replace the roof). If you waive this contingency, you could end up buying a lemon without much legal recourse.
  2. The appraisal contingency – An appraisal gives you information about the property’s value vs. what the seller is asking for it. The appraisal is important because your lender wants to make sure it’s not lending you more than what it’s worth. If you waive the appraisal and sign on the dotted line, you may end up having to pay the difference between the appraisal and the cost since your lender won’t cover that. If you can’t cover those costs out of pocket, the deal could fall through.
  3. The financing contingency – The financing contingency states that your offer is dependent on your ability to secure a loan. If you waive this contingency and you end up being unable to get the loan you need, you could lose your deposit.

If you’re looking to buy a home soon, don’t waive any of these contingencies in an attempt to craft a more competitive offer. For more home buying advice, be sure to contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Upsizing to a New Home

Upsizing to a New Home

There comes a time for many homeowners when they realize their house is too small for their needs. Your family has grown and you need extra space. Or maybe your first home was all you could afford, and it was a bit on the small side to begin with.

You may find yourself in a position where it’s necessary and financially feasible to upsize. If you plan on upsizing, be sure to avoid these three mistakes when buying a home:

1. Not being realistic about your needs – Bigger doesn’t always mean better. If you buy a house that’s massively larger than your current home, remember it will cost more time and money to maintain that extra space. Plus you’ll need more furniture. Assess what your needs actually are before you jump to upsize.

2. Not taking a long-term view – Your current needs may not be the same as your future needs. For example, you may have two teenage kids living at home and that’s why you want to upsize. Everyone needs more space. But what happens in a few years when they move out? You may get stuck with extra space you’ll never use.

3. Rushing to upsize – Don’t dive into buying a new home the moment you’ve decided you want to upsize. Because you already own a home, you have the luxury of waiting until the time is right for you. There’s a lot to consider:

  • How your financial situation looks
  • The state of the local real estate market
  • What you want to do with your current home

…and more.

When buying a home to upsize, be sure to avoid these mistakes. For more professional advice on buying a home in general, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

Are HOA Fees Worth It?

buying a home - HOA fees

There are a lot of different costs to evaluate when buying a home. For example, many properties are governed by an HOA (homeowner’s association).

If the house you’re buying belongs to an HOA, then you’ll pay monthly or annual fees. Those fees will vary based on your location and the services you receive from the HOA. HOA fees can be $200-$300 a month. But if you’re buying a condo in New York City, the fees can cost as much as $3,000 a month.

Here are 4 reasons why HOA fees are worth it:

  1. Access to community amenities – Some home communities have community buildings, play areas, swimming pools, and gyms. HOA fees can cover the costs of maintaining these areas so you can use them safely.
  2. Community engagement – HOAs often organize community gatherings to create a stronger sense of unity.
  3. Maintain property values – HOAs govern membership by implementing rules and guidelines regarding property development, renovations, remodeling, and landscaping. This ensures the community has a somewhat uniform look and that the actions of one homeowner won’t bring down the values of surrounding properties.
  4. The HOA pays some or all of your community expenses – Different HOAs cover different expenses. It’s not uncommon for an HOA to cover the costs of trash collecting, gatekeeping for gated communities, and landscaping.

HOA fees go toward maintenance, upkeep, and more. This makes them well worth the expense. However, it’s important that you pay attention to HOA fees when buying a house. Make sure the fees are worth it for you.

For more advice on buying a home, contact us at Randy Lindsay today.

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Randy has enjoyed over 27 wonderful years in the Real Estate industry making dreams come true for homeowners.

Superior customer service is #1 to Randy and he provides this to all of his clients using knowledge, professionalism, integrity and persistence.

Randy is a successful and experienced real estate agent who expertly represents both buyers and sellers. Scores of Charlotte area residents have trusted Randy in the process of listing their homes to sell.

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