Problems to Look For When Buying an Old House

An older home definitely has its own character. That’s why lots of people are drawn to its charm. You’re buying a piece of history. If you’re planning to buy an older house, it needs to be inspected thoroughly. This is the only way you can avoid spending thousands of dollars on costly repairs or upgrades. Hiring a competent professional home inspector can help you detect these unforeseen problems that could wreak havoc on your home ownership experience. These are the problems to watch out for when buying an older house.  

Structural integrity 

An older house has seen its fair share of wear and tear. It has endured storms or earthquakes that happened after it was built. It is only natural that the sturdiness of its foundations has degraded over time. The inspector must take a closer look at the structural integrity of the old house. This is to make sure that it will be a safe place for your family to live in. 

Hazardous materials  

Homes built before 1978 use hazardous construction materials that contain lead and asbestos. Paints and plumbing pipes back then contain lead. Lead is a highly toxic material that can cause serious health problems for children under 6 years old found in paints and plumbing pipes. Asbestos, meanwhile, is a fibrous material used in insulation and fireproofing materials until the mid-1970s. When the asbestos fiber is inhaled, it can cause respiratory illnesses and can often lead to lung cancer. Talk to your home inspector how can these problems be addressed and how much it will cost you. 

Electrical system  

This is to avoid potential fire hazards. The National Electrical Code is updated constantly. It is to make sure that safety standards in installing electrical wirings go with the changing times. We all rely on electricity to make our lives more comfortable every day. An outdated home electrical system is something that your inspector must take notice of because the wires are usually hidden within walls and ceilings. 

AC and heating system  

An energy efficient AC and heating system can help lower your electricity bills all year round. You or the inspector must ask the current owner how old these systems are. You don’t want to deal with higher electricity bills month after month after your family has moved in.   


An older house must also be inspected for any infestations. You don’t want to share your living spaces with mice, rats, or termites. If these unwanted guests are found in the house, you can ask the owner to address this problem as part of the purchase agreement. If you forgot to bring up this detail, you will have to deal with the problem yourself. 

Things to Consider Before Selling Your House

Are you looking to sell your house? You must have valid reasons for doing so. Are you relocating because of work or you need the money because of a medical emergency? Whatever your reasons are for wanting to sell your house, there are things you must consider before selling your house.  

Know the current market value 

By knowing the market value of your house, you get the picture of how much you are going to sell it for. It is very important to get this right so you won’t be selling it at a loss. Remember how much you got it for including the interest of your loan, cost of renovations done, and value of the items included in the house sale that will go to the successful buyer. If this sounds too much for you, talk to Real Estate Agents because they can give you a clearer picture and give you professional advice. 

De-clutter and make it ready for occupancy 

Make sure that the yard is well-trimmed, throw out the non-essential items, do some minor repairs like the leaking on the roof or applying a new coat of paint to make the house look presentable. Remember that any unwelcome sight can potentially turn off interested buyers or negotiate a lower price. On the other hand, if everything is set in order, you can stand firm on the price you want to sell your house for. Make it easy for potential buyers. Let them feel that all they need to do if after purchasing your house is to move in. 

Highlight the main selling points of your property 

If you have a backyard swimming pool or an underground wine cellar, make it a point that it will leave a lasting impression on those who come to visit and view your house. Make it stand out so that potential buyers will notice and get the feeling that they are getting more than their money’s worth. 

Work with your trusted Real Estate Agent or Brokerage Firm 

Hiring their services surely costs money but think of the advantages you’ll get in exchange for their services. Not only can they give you sound professional advice, they can also get to sell your house faster than you think because of their vast connections. They know who are particularly looking for properties like the one you are selling and this gives you the chance to grow your money and achieve your investment goals. 


Since the US Tax system has been recently updated, you should know how much money you make from the sale of the property goes to the Government. This is very important because failure to do so might result in having another property that you own getting foreclosed in order to settle your obligations. Consider how much you will have to pay in taxes to avoid sleepless nights and inconvenience.  


Where to Find Budget Homes Online

Yes, you are looking for a new house but you are short of budget. The solution- find budget homes online. In this article, we will discuss the best property finding sites where you can find budget homes as well as other alternatives. 

Property finding sites 

Three to four decades ago, long before the internet became an “it” thing in the real estate industry, the best way to buy Calabasas real estate is to phone in a real estate agent. You need to talk to him, describe what you want, drive in the neighborhood where you are expecting for a miraculous “for sale” signage.  

Today, some people still do this but it’s safe to say that this house hunting practice is time-consuming and inconvenient. There are a plethora of property search engines that provides complete listings of different types and price range of houses.  Here are some top search websites where you can find your new home: 


This website has been around for quite some time. Despite many new property websites coming out almost every day, Rightmove is still one of the most trusted places to compare houses in the market. Aside from an enormous collection of property listings, you can easily find the exact location of the property because it is already plotted in Google Map. 


What’s unique about Zoopla is that it lets you match up sold prices with old advertisements which contain pictures, asking price, home styles, and floor plan. Try this feature by going the page’s sold prices section, search for an area, and choose the property for historic listings. contains extensive property listings where you can compare the prices with others in town and postcode. 

Other helpful sites where you can find budgets homes include Craiglist, Trulia, and Zillow. They are the most popular property search websites at present. They update their list every day so if you are serious about your house hunting, check these sites daily. If you will download their app for your mobile, you will have the ability to save your searches and track your favorite listings. This makes property finding easier and more convenient. 

In addition to these websites, social networking platforms are also a great source of cheap houses listings. In Facebook, for example, you can join housing group and chat with the members and let them know that you are looking for budget homes in a particular area. 


Where to Get Leads in Real Estate

As a real estate agent, you know that leads are your lifeblood. It gives you a list of potential clients, whether buyers or sellers of a property. Having a lead will give you more control over your time because you can reach to more clients at a time. 

In 2014 research conducted by the National Association of Realtors reveals that 64% of sellers work with their prior agents or with agents referred to them by friends. The research highlight two important points: (1) referrals are important in getting new clients and (2) 39% of sellers use several channels to find an agent. Item number two shows that only 4% of the seller found their agent online, while another 4% met an agent at an open house. 

Here is a quick guide to getting a steady supply of leads: 

  1. Keep in touch with your buyer

Your communication with your buyer should not stop after you hand over the keys. If you are 100% sure that your client is satisfied with your service, you can ask him for help by soliciting referrals. Give him a stack of your business cards and ask him to give them to his friends who will need an agent. Referrals from past clients are very helpful in generating new leads. 

  1. Go After For SaleBy Owner (FSBO) Listings 

There are sellers who try to sell their own property by themselves. 90% of them cannot complete the task and eventually hire an agent. Check for FSBO listings on Craigslist and try to offer your services. When you contact them, try to convince them by creating an impression that you are a consultant who is an expert in all aspects of real estate. 

  1. Contact Sellers with Expired Listings

Contact FSBO properties and contact the owners. Discuss with them the possibilities why their properties are listed for so long. Offer your assistance in revitalizing the listing. Convince them that you are the person they need to finally sell their properties. 

  1. Facebook lead generation

The beauty of Facebook is that you can freely search for people who might need your service. On top of your profile, there is a search bar where you can look for people who might be selling their homes. Type the city along with few keywords related to selling a home like moving, best neighborhood and packing. This can lead to finding profiles in your extended network that could qualify as leads. 

Rent to Buy Your First Home – 10 Ways You Benefit

It won’t be long before the whole of the UK gets on board with using “Rent to Buy” as a prime way to buy property, because of the massive benefits for the incoming home owner. Based on my own experience of working with home buyers, here’s a list of the Top 10 Benefits… not in any particular order, so you can decide for yourself.

You only need 3-5% “get started” money.

I have lost count of the number of first-time home buyers who tell me they feel like they’re moving further away from their dream, because of the deposit demands of the high street banks. True to say, you’ll need anything up to a 25% deposit to get the best mortgage rates right now, and saving THAT much money in a recession is a really tough ask. A typical Rent to Buy scheme only asks the tenant-buyer for a far more affordable 3-5% of the home’s value to get started, giving a significant advantage over traditional loan terms, and offering a much more achievable target for getting on the property ladder.

You don’t need a mortgage today.

That’s right… a typical Rent to Buy scenario lets you move into the home straight away, without all the delays and hassles of getting a mortgage from the outset. This is normally because the home has been purchased with private funding, or sometimes leaving the asset of the previous owner’s debt in place for the period of the option term. This time lag allows the incoming tenant-buyer the luxury of applying for finance at a time most suitable for them (for example; when a great mortgage product is being promoted, or when their savings are at an optimum level).

You can build up a payment history as you go along.

There is a little understood barrier, particularly amongst first-time home buyers, around the issue of their credit rating. To have the BEST credit score (and therefore be an appealingly low risk for the banks ND gets their best loan interest rates) you actually need to have a history of borrowing and successfully paying back money. By taking a Rent to Buy option, a track record of paying monthly outgoings such as utility bills, council tax, rent and option fees builds up, increasing the chances of a successful finance application when the right time arrives.

You can start buying while your credit rating repairs itself. So… you’ve been a bit unlucky in the past, and maybe missed a couple of regular payments that has spoiled your credit rating for a while. Should that mean that you’re denied the opportunity of home ownership? With a Rent to Own property the answer is firmly NO. Of course, you would expect to discuss these matters with any potential landlord or seller, but if you can satisfy some basic criteria and demonstrate steady employment, earnings potential, and a commitment to clear the slate of those old misdoings, there is no reason why you can’t be a home owner and start the buying process straight away.

Buying Your First Home the Right Way

The housing market is currently offering the best deals for buying your first home. It has never been a better time to take advantage of low mortgage rates, low housing costs, and many homes to choose from. Here are some tips for taking advantage of these benefits when buying your first home.

Start Your Search

Decide what kind of home and neighborhood you want to live in. Then start searching. Performing online real estate searches is the best way to begin looking for a home. Browse thousands of home listings, take virtual tours, and view pictures of homes. Check out the neighborhoods that the homes are located in, and be sure to read reviews of the surrounding areas before buying. If you have picked out a few homes that you might be interested, contact the listing agent about a showing.

Seeing a Home

Showings are free, apart from the gas and travel costs. However, do not expect to see twenty homes in a day. You will start to feel tired, cranky, and not remember most of the homes’ details after the first ten. Ask the agent to show you five homes you are interested in buying, and rank them in order of most important to least. Make sure you get to the homes you really want to see first.

Take notes, and pictures, if you are allowed. Think about the details, and ask questions. Look for unusual features, such as design, odd angles, and things that make the house unique. If you see something that might be an issue, bring it up with the agent. Issues such as past electrical problems, plumbing, and a crumbling foundation can be costly mistakes in the future if you don’t ask up front before buying.

How to Buy Your Favorite

Experts argue about the best time to buy a home after a showing. Should you buy the first home that you like that is in your price range, or should you keep looking at other options first? Some good advice is, if you love the home, go for it. The house may be sold right from under you if you wait too long. If you simply must view the home one more time before buying, do it as quickly as possible. Be sure that the house is absolutely available for sale before committing.

If your heart is set on your favorite home, next is the time to sit down and look over a buying contract. Ask the agent to fully explain each part of the contract to you, and gain outside advice, especially if a mortgage is attached. You want to make sure you fully understand the contract and are able to meet it. Buying your first home can be a thrilling, once in a lifetime experience. The process of finding the home of your dreams, seeing it in person, and eventually buying it can never be replicated. Make sure that you are buying the right home for you by doing all your research and asking all of the questions that you can. Happy hunting!