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!

multiple inspections

Multiple Inspections May Be On The Way

The housing demand is high and the market is low. Multiple inspections are becoming a common phenomenon in the housing market. Sellers are encouraging all out bidding wars and taking to new tactics to ensure they get the most out of their sale. Unfortunately for the buyers, this could mean paying for multiple home inspections.

More Than One

According to real estate broker Kelly Meister, sellers are looking for pre-inspections as an indication of a serious buyer. This means serious buyers are willing to shell out the cash for a pre-inspection before making an offer, and without any guarantee of getting the home. Even with a pre-inspection you are still encouraged to get a home inspection before completing the purchase of the home. This results in hundreds, sometimes thousands, of extra fees that you may be paying for.

Specific Types of Inspections

One way you can save money on pre-inspections is to get a specific type of inspection. An example of this would be a wind mitigation inspection or a structural inspection. Instead of spending $500 on a home inspection you can save a few hundred dollars. With these specific types of home inspections you can feel confident the “big” issues are out of the way and save the full home inspection when your offer on the home has been accepted. At Divinity Inspection Service we offer inspections in all areas of the home.

Don’t Get Too Attached

Home buyers commonly get emotionally attached to a home before purchasing. Unfortunately, this means walking away from the transaction can be very hard. If you are spending tons of money in home inspections it will quickly become an issue as funds run low and options run out. We recommend keeping an open mind and trusting our ability to inspect your home thoroughly.

home value

5 Surprising Things That Decrease Your Home Value

For most home buyers, the future home value is not at the top of their priority list. Home value, essentially home equity, should be a key player in the home buying decision. In fact, most home buyers would be surprised at some of the common features that can actually decrease the value of the home.

Swimming Pools

Most homes in Florida do have swimming pools or access to a community pool. While swimming pools are a desired feature in Tampa, especially with the summer heat, a pool can be seen as a nuisance. In ground pools mean constant maintenance and other associated costs which can drive away buyers. Considering Florida is one of the most popular states in the U.S. for retirees, you can imagine how a pool would not be a preferred feature.

Safety is another pool related concern. Many families with young children don’t like the idea and potential hazard a pool can create.

The Garage

This feature is important for both the home seller and buyer. If a home does not have a garage it could be worth the investment to have one added to the home. Most home-buyers not only enjoy having a garage but also need one. A garage serves as protection for a car, extra storage, a workshop, and sometimes all the above at the same time! While turning a garage into a living space may seem like an attractive idea it could make the house much harder to sell.

Expanding a room

You may think expanding a room would only increase a home’s value but that is not always the case. If you get rid of an essential room like a bedroom or bathroom to do so, you may only be decreasing the value of the home. For most home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, bedrooms and bathrooms are essential. Getting rid of an essential room to increase another room’s size may seem like a good idea at the time but could hurt you in the long run.

Your Style

Your home is a place of self-expression – and rightfully so. However, sometimes your style may not appeal to a home buyer. While many changes are simple aesthetics, visuals play a huge role in selling a house. This could mean painting a wall, packing away some decor, or taking down wallpaper. Don’t be afraid to make these changes if it means potentially selling your home faster.

Landscaping

Landscaping are among one of the top three investments that bring the biggest return. In fact, according to HomeGain, an investment of a few hundred dollars on landscaping can bring a return of four times that. If this is the case, you can imagine that not taking care of the surroundings can significantly decrease a home’s value.

When you hire Divinity Inspections we make sure to detail, both in our report and directly to the home buyer or seller, what could potentially decrease or increase the homes’ value.

home inspection on green homes

Home Inspections on Green Homes

As the future of “green” homes keep expanding, home inspections on green homes expand along with it. From solar panels, to wind turbines, and more, we will explain how these environmentally friendly products impact a home inspection.

What exactly is a green home?

According to InterNachi, a green home is any type of home that is energy efficient, uses sustainable practices or materials, and promotes human and environmental health. If you are not sure if your home qualifies as a green home, we can make the distinction for you in our home inspection. All of our home inspectors are trained and certified in both residential and commercial property inspections, including home inspections on green homes.

What exactly are sustainable products?

Sustainable products range from many low-energy materials. These materials recycled soil or wood harvested from fast-growing forests where they are replenished at a faster rate. Sustainable products can also be water conserving shower heads and dual flush toilets. A good example of a sustainable product which is currently a requirement in all home are LED light bulbs.

Can home inspectors actually inspect these “green” products in homes?

While most home inspectors won’t get into vivid detail about how solar panel or dual toilets actually work, they will always be able to identify if they are included in the house before you move in. You home inspector can also identify how these products will contribute to your home’s efficiency. If problems occur with these energy-efficient products, the homeowner is typically responsible for those issues. 

What are the two main green home add-ons?

Solar Panels

Solar panels are an amazing asset to the environment, though they may be on the more pricey side of energy-efficient products, they would end up saving you thousands of dollars down the road. Energy Informative claims you not only save thousands, but start saving from the very first day the panels are installed. A fun fact about solar panels: residents in Hawaii save an average of $64,000 dollars the first 20 years! Solar panels can also increase your home value and are a very secure investment because of their fixed energy costs.

Wind Panels

Wind panels are usually associated as home add-ons for the real “tree-huggers” out there, however, this is not necessarily the case. Wind panels support agriculture, promotes price stability, generates free fuel, revitalizes rural communities, conserves water and promotes clean air. To get a wind turbine installed on an average sized home, you may spend about $50,000 dollars. That may seem like a high cost but replacing current energy resources with wind panels will make for an entirely healthier future.

Thinking about moving into a new home with “green” products installed? Divinity can help you identify these products up front!

home inspection Wesley Chapel

Hurricane Season and Home Inspections

Hurricane season and home inspections are related. As we all know, Florida is notorious for getting hit with hurricanes. The official hurricane season has already commenced with an early June 1st start date and a late finish on November 30th. According to bankrate.com, it has been predicted by CSU meteorologists that 12 storms are expected to hit. Five of those storms possibly becoming big level 3 hurricanes. When storms are rolling in with only a 1-2 day notice sometimes, can you say your home is fully prepared? Here are two key areas of your home that need to be inspected if you want to prepare for hurricane season.

Roof Inspections

Your roof is key to protecting your home from storms that could wreak havoc onto your roof and entire home. Roof damage can be caused from leaks in roof decking. These leaks can lead to soaking through ceilings and damaging belongings, or even having your entire roof ripped apart, due to loose shingles or roof tiles. Also for added protection, installing hurricane straps are a necessity if you live near the coast.

Wind Mitigation Analysis

Wind mitigation inspections are extremely useful for making sure your home is able to withstand high winds, storms and any type of damage that can occur over time. Wind mitigation inspections are especially important when it comes to hurricane season. When having a proper inspection done and taking precautionary measures to protect your doors and windows, you could really be saving yourself from a potential disaster in your home. Right now is the best time to choose to have your home inspected by a certified wind mitigation inspector at Divinity Inspections. Did you know that you could also lower your home insurance premium with a wind mitigation inspection?

 

Lastly, here are a few additional precautionary tips to use during hurricane season:

  • Ditch the “X” on the window
    • Don’t tape your windows. The National Hurricane Center actually says the tape won’t keep your glass or windows from shattering. Instead use that valuable time to prepare for the hurricane by stocking food and water.
  • Plan to evacuate
    • While hurricanes rarely result in a mandatory evacuation – it does happen. Be prepared to evacuate if evacuation becomes a requirement.
  • Pick up the yard
    • It’s easy to forget things in the front or back yard but if you don’t remember to pick them up more than likely they won’t still be in the yard after a hurricane.
  • Don’t stop for gas
    • Preparing for a hurricane should always include filling up your gas tank in case you have to evacuate or leave in a hurry. Many people may need to stop at the gas station and you don’t want to have to join that line if you’re trying to get out of town.

 

Call Divinity Service anytime to schedule your home inspection. We work with your schedule, take last minute appointments, and all of our inspectors are certified!