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4 things to watch out for when buying or selling a home

Shawn Von Talge


WINTER IS HERE. The colder temperatures have arrived and with it the passing holiday of Thanksgiving, the upcoming holiday of Christmas followed finally with New Year’s Eve! Typically this time of year purchasing a home isn’t at the forefront of families daily tasks. Moreover it’s about travel, Santa Clause, food and just simple reflection of where the past year went. At some point in the coming weeks however, purchasing a home and/or selling your existing residence will start to re-emerge. Are you prepared in what could potentially delay or even worse kill the possible financing arrangements on either the home you are wanting to buy or the residence you have to sell? To get a jump start, below are some common factors (in no particular order) that most often pop up when navigating the mine field of residential home financing.
1) Peeling paint
Most often times exposed wood from peeling paint lends issues for government financing (i.e. USDA, FHA and VA). Obviously should you be selling a residence you will not know the type of financing your potential buyer will or will not be using so you need to be prepared to have the home you are either buying or selling meet this requirement. The best remedy to fix this issue, should it be present, is to drop a cloth on the location in question so that when you scrap the peeling paint, chips of paint don’t end up on the ground and then re-paint the area so no exposed wood is present.
2) Settlement issues
Typically issues arising from settlement cracks are brought up by either a home inspection being completed or something notated in the appraisal report that the lender orders. Don’t worry the so-called “hairline or spider cracks” are pretty common and most often do not pose any lending issues. The type of stress cracks we, as a lender, are worried about have to do with cracks that weaken the structural integrity of a home or let outside elements into the interior (i.e. water stains). Should you be looking at either purchasing or selling a residence with what could appear as a settlement problems please consult your real estate agent or get a foundation specialists involved.
3) Smoke detectors
One would be surprised how many of your more seasoned homes are not equipped with compliant smoke detectors or have any smoke detectors at all. Newer residences, those built within the last 10 years, shouldn’t have to worry about this but be cognizant and make sure they operate appropriately. The absence of smoke detectors or working smoke detectors is considered a safety issue and must be resolved.
4) GFCIs installed
Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs should be present and functioning if an outlet is in close proximity of water (i.e. kitchen, bath, shop sink, etc.) Again, your newer properties (those built within the last 10 years) shouldn’t have to overcome this hurdle but many of your older homes should have this looked at because it falls under the “safety and soundness” of a home.
The list above isn’t all encompassing and if you were to look at many of the underwriting booklets and expand those into this brief blog one would be overwhelmed. Moreover it’s just a simple list of the most common hurdles that routinely pop up during the course of providing home financing. Should you have further questions please consult one of our mortgage professionals or ask your current mortgage advisor should you be dealing with another company.
Enjoy and safe travels throughout the holiday season!
– Flat Branch Home Loans

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