home inspections

Rent or Buy: The Struggle Remains

I think we can all finally, confidently agree that Tampa’s real estate market is on the rise. And it seems to be steady. Current reports prove the demand for housing is increasing, so much so that the market is not able to keep up with demand. At a time when real estate is an excellent investment opportunity, is it time to rent or buy? If Tampa is such a hot market, why are so many people still renting their homes instead of buying?

Renting is Currently More Expensive

. In Tampa, renting an apartment will cost you an average of $1,300 per month. With interest rates on mortgages at an all-time low in 3 years, purchasing a home will cost you an average of $1,000 per month. If you qualify for a mortgage loan and you already know which neighborhood you would like to plant your roots, then buying a home is definitely your best option. However, not everyone wants to plant their roots. Welcome to the new generation of homebuyers.

The Millennials are moving, alot

. Trending within the Millennial generation is the ability to move around. Freedom they call it. Paying more money for apartments all over the Tampa Area just so they don’t “settle down” too quickly. In fact, home ownership is the lowest it has been in over 50 years in the Tampa Bay Area! That is a pretty significant number. In addition, some of these newly-graduated Millennials are still struggling to find decent jobs and as such have not moved out of their parent’s spare room to their own home. Home-ownership is no doubt a tell-tale sign up our economy.

We won’t forget 2008

. And neither will the younger generation who witnessed what their parents endured through the massive home foreclosures and job losses. The stench of a down-trodden economy still lingers in the air, making young adults more cautious of such a big decision. I believe this statement from a published article by the Tampa Bay Times, Robert Trigaux, sums it up perfectly:

“Our research indicates that not owning a home has a sizable financial cost, as renters miss out on low mortgage rates and are hit by higher rents,” states the August analysis by Apartment List. “This phenomenon may exacerbate inequality in our society, as those wealthy enough to invest in real estate benefit from lower interest rates, whereas minorities and younger Americans, hit by rising rents and student debt, risk being locked out of homeownership.”

Sources:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/trigaux-the-decline-in-home-ownership-in-the-tampa-bay-area-needs-to-end/2290229

home inspection

How do you Price Experience?

A ship engine failed, no one could fix it. Then they brought in a man with 40 yrs. on the job. He inspected the engine carefully, top to bottom. After looking things over, the guy reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. The engine was fixed! 7 Days later the owners got his bill for 10k. ‘What?!’ the owners said ‘You hardly did anything. Send us an itemized bill. ” the reply simply said Tapping with a hammer. $2 Knowing where to tap? $9,998 Don’t Ever Underestimate Experience.

This story is an interesting one. Many times we don’t understand pricing. I’ve had many customers ask why our home inspections are priced the way they are. Some of our competitors might try to undercut us by pricing their home inspections lower and if you decide to go with them that’s okay. Of course we want your business! But we also understand the value of experience that each and every Divinity Inspector brings to you and your home inspection. A combined 50 years of experience to be exact!

Our testimonials and Google Reviews speak for themselves. Our reports are extremely detailed and thorough. We don’t cut any corners because we understand the value of educating your on your new home.

Divinity

knows our home inspections contribute to making one of the biggest decisions of your life! We don’t take that responsibility lightly. Our home inspections average 3 hours or more depending on the size of the home. Like the story above, it’s not just our actions that determine our work, but our experience as well. We are confident you won’t be disappointed with our service. We take appointments last minute or you can schedule an appointment with us. Early mornings and late evenings are no problem. Did we mention we work 6 days a week? And you can request a home inspection right here on our website!

home inspections

Home Inspections Cost Less

Home Inspections cost less than you think. The average new home buyer may consider skipping a home inspection but when you think about the cost of a home inspection vs. potential home repairs, it makes no sense at all. Check out some of the average costs in common home repairs we find during our inspections and compare them to making the $500 decision of getting your home inspected. The list we’ve created below are potential repairs, that when identified ahead of time, could save you a significant amount of money. We hope that after reading this article you find that home inspections cost less than you ever realized!

The Roof

The average new roof on a home costs approximately $15,000. The larger the home the higher the cost of a new roof. Every home inspector will inspect the roof to identify how many years are left on the vitality of the roof. If your roof will need to be replaced soon you can better prepare for that big expense. Sometimes you can even negotiate the expense into the purchase price.

New Plumbing

The average cost of new plumbing in a 1500 square foot home ranges from $4,000 – $10,000. In older homes, plumbing is a common issue that many times need to be addressed. Without a proper home inspection this issue is easily overlooked. With such an expensive potential home repair, a $500 home inspection should seem necessary.

Flood Zones

In Florida, if a home is in a flood zone then it will be listed. However, not all homes that experience some type of flooding is actually listed in a flood zone. Some neighborhoods might experience flooding throughout the neighborhood, or a driveway, or backyard, etc. A home inspector would be able to find identifiers that suggest flooding issues. A major flooding issue would easily cost you thousands of dollars to repair.

As you can see, home repairs come in all sizes. Some big, some small, some minor, and some major. When you get a thorough home inspection like what Divinity Inspection Service offers you can find peace of mind knowing that any issue will be determined, listed, and detailed in our home inspection report.All of a sudden $500 doesn’t sound like a lot now does it?

home inspections and flooding

Home Inspections and Flooding

Due to the excessive rain we’ve had in Tampa the last few days, we felt the need to share a little information on home inspections and flooding. The down-pouring of rain these last few weeks have made living in Tampa feel more like living in Seattle. While this much rain this often isn’t year-round, it can certainly cause issues for many homes around the Tampa Bay Area. This is especially true for homes located in flood zones, specifically in South Tampa, and along the shoreline. Flood hazards directly effects the buying and selling of a home. As we’ve mentioned in a few of our past blogs, inspecting a home during the rain can actually be a really good thing. In addition, and for any home-buyer, here are a few questions and warning signs to look out for when purchasing a home in South Florida.

The Flood Zone

As always, it is the seller’s responsibility to let you know if the home you are considering purchasing is within a flood zone. Although it is the seller’s duty, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. especially living in Florida in areas like Tampa, South Tampa, St. Petersburg, Treasure Island, North Tampa, and even Land O’ Lakes areas. All over Tampa are flood zones and there is a good chance your future home is in one. Don’t assume the seller will let you know, go ahead and ask them. Even if the house is not in a flood zone the neighborhood could experience some flooding when there is substantial rain and you’ll want to know about it ahead of time. You can also enter the home address into FEMA’s Flood Map to find out.

What Flooding Can Cost You

Living in Florida means no basements, so you don’t have to worry about your basement flooding if you’re in a flood zone. If you live, or are planning to live, on the coast then you should already be familiar with the mandatory standards for coastal flooding. Living in a flood zone also has some costs associated with the location, such as higher insurance premiums (much higher in fact!), difficult access in and out of your driveway or neighborhood, higher maintenance costs on your home, or even more maintenance on your car if you experience a substantial amount of travel during flooding. Be aware of the extra costs before committing to a home within a flood zone. Of course, during our home inspection if we see any signs of flooding within or around the home we’ll be sure to give you all the information you need.

Deal Breaker or Not?

Should flooding issues be a deal breaker or not? This question is a little tricky because there are so many flood zones all around Tampa that excluding these homes would narrow down your options considerably. That being said, ultimately it is your decision. Flooding issues can vary in intensity and you may find that the flooding issues near or around your home are minor, making a small impact on your decision. The more information you know about your future home, the better!

home inspection Tampa

What to Expect for the Housing Market in 2017

As we steadily approach the Fall of 2016, it’s important for you to prepare for the housing market in 2017. According to Time, the housing market is still in the healing process from prior bumps and bruises from the last inventory squeeze. With the 9% less inventory than 2015, the housing market needs to be on their A game.

We’ve accumulated a short list of what to expect in the next year’s housing market to prepare for what’s soon to come.

Lower home prices

The Tampa/St.Petersburg area is predicted to have a 3% home increase which, compared to the whopping 8.7% increase of house prices, is a relief. Chris Flanagan, Bank of America analyst, even predicts in 2017 the price level will decline to 1.7% in 2017, 2.1% in 2018, and 0.8% in 2019.

Housing Construction will be on the move

Home construction has decreased, however it’s expected to see some movement with more renters becoming homeowners. In fact, the Tampa area has already seen an increase in construction and new builds.

Low Mortgage

According to Gord Collins, mortgage rates are expected to stay low with wages and employment increasing.

More housing units to be occupied

According to Forbes, More housing units are being occupied, and that dictates a strengthening market in 2016.

According to Bloomberg, Chris Flanagan predicted in a report on August 1, 2016, that starting in 2017 the U.S. housing market will experience three straight years of “modest” declines in property values. This is great news for both sellers and buyers. Especially considering the past few years we’ve had in the real estate industry. A nice turn-around would be a refreshing change for everyone!