Oct. 23, 2019

What is on a Home Inspector's Checklist?

What is on a home inspector's checklist?

It doesn't matter if you're the buyer or seller in the home owning process, you will probably have to hear from an inspector before the deal is complete.

So, what exactly does a home inspector check? While an inspector has over 1,600 items to check during their inspection, here are 10 general categories on the checklist.

  1. Grounds - they are looking for current or future problems around the outside of the home. This includes standing water, faulty grading or downspouts, pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and general health of trees and shrubs. Basically, they are looking for any red flags that might impact the house at a later date. 
  2. Structure - is the foundation solid? Are door and window frames square? Is the house sloping? This part of the inspection is extremely important for older homes. You can never be too careful about the overall structure of a home, especially an older one. 
  3. Roof - the inspector will look at the age of the roof, and see if there are any defects on the shingles, flashing, fascia, or anything else that could cause leaks inside the home. 
  4. Exterior Exam - this is when the inspector looks at the condition of the exterior of the home itself. They will look at the siding to see how old it is and what shape it is in. The inspector will also look at cracks in the stucco (if that is the exterior), dents in the vinyl, blistering and flaking paint, and proper clearing between the siding and the ground. 
  5. Windows, Doors, Trim - the inspector will make sure that the windows are sealed properly, and there is no rot in the frames. Basically, anything that could allow heat or cool air to escape is what is on their radar at this point in the checklist.
  6. Interior Rooms - finally! they made it inside the house. The inspector will look at walls to make sure they are structurally sound, ceilings to make sure there is no water damage, and sufficient vents to keep each room the same temperature as the rest of the house.
  7. Kitchen - this gets a special category in the checklist. Hood fans should vent to the exterior, ground-fault circuit interrupters exist, no leaks under the sink and cabinets and drawers operate properly.
  8. Bathrooms - these rooms are all about water flow. Inspectors make sure the toilets flush, drains are actually draining, showers are spraying, and tubs are securely fastened. 
  9. Plumbing - the evaluation of pipes, drains, water heaters, water pressure, and temperature of the water is what gets looked at in this step. They will also double-check everything to make sure there is no visible water damage.
  10. Electric - inspectors want to know that electric panels are in good, working order. Light switches and HVAC systems should also be working correctly, and there should be enough electric outlets in each room.  

Remember, an inspection is mandatory when you're working with a mortgage lender. They want to ensure that it is a solid investment, without any surprises. If you're still not comfortable with the home-owning process, don't worry! The Agents at Robinson and Co Realty are here to help. We will walk you through every step of the process to make you feel comfortable. After all, buying a home is exciting! We want to give that feeling back to you. Call us today to get started on finding your dream home (970) 858-9870.

Oct. 15, 2019

What are Closing Costs and What's Included?

What are closing costs and what's included in your payment?

You've found your dream home and your offer was accepted. Congratulations! Now comes the paperwork. You know there are some closing costs involved, but who is responsible for what? Well, here's a quick rundown of what closing costs are and what it might include. 

First, closing costs are the fees that are required to finalize your mortgage. Most of these costs are paid by the buyer, but buyers can negotiate the seller to pay a portion of the fees. The buyer will get a loan estimate at least three days before they close, so they can see the exact costs that will come up when the paperwork is completed. Next, let's get down to the actual costs.

Property-Related Costs

  1. Appraisal - this is a mandated fee by the lender. Your lender wants to make sure that the house you are buying is worth the amount of money that you have offered to pay. So, they enlist an appraiser to make sure. This is the fee to compensate the appraiser. 
  2. Escrow Fee - these are portions of the property tax and insurance that are required upfront. 
  3. Inspection - this is the fee involved with making sure the house you buy doesn't have any major damage or defects. This happens before you agree to purchase the home, but you usually pay for this service at the time of closing.
  4. Property Taxes - the buyer typically pays the city and county property taxes due at the time of closing through the end of the year. 
  5. Assessments - these can include an HOA fee if your house is located in an association. This cost may be due upfront at closing, it just depends on the covenants for the HOA. 

Loan Related Costs

  1. Title/Attorney Fees - these are the fees to complete the paperwork for transferring the deed to a new owner. 
  2. Loan Interest - if you aren't closing on the first of the month, the buyer will be required to pay interest on the loan from the date of closing to the first of the next month.
  3. Lender Fees - these vary depending on the lender but make up the amount of time it took to pull credit, and put together the paperwork for your loan.
  4. Origination Fee - this is paid to the lender to obtain the mortgage and is typical expressed as a percentage point. 

Other Fees

  1. Private Mortgage Insurance - otherwise known as PMI. This is an amount that you will see on your loan every month until you have 20% of the total amount paid. You can pay this amount of money upfront, and it will save you money over time, but most people don't have a lot of extra money to pay the lump sum, so it gets rolled into your monthly mortgage payment. 
  2. FHA, VA, and USDA Fees - if you are getting one of these types of loans, you might see a fee associated with them. They all charge for different things and different amounts, so ask your lender to explain the ins and outs depending on the specific loan you chose. 

This is the final stretch of your homeownership journey. Make sure that you ask any and every question you need to feel comfortable with this process. Your realtor can help answer these questions or your lender. Both of their jobs is to make sure that you understand what is happening and make sure the process is as simple as possible. 

If you're just starting this journey, let the realtors at Robinson and Co Realty help you! Our team of experts is here to guide you no matter what you're looking for. Give us a call today to get started (970) 858-9870. 

Posted in Homebuying Tips
Oct. 8, 2019

Fruita Market Report-September 2019

Median Fruita List Price - September 2019


Here's the latest market report from Fidelity National Title. Their current report indicates that it is still slightly a seller's market.

They use an index that measures the current rate of sale vs. the amount of inventory available. Anything over 30 is a seller's marketing. Anything under 30 means it is a buyers market. As of today, the index lists Fruita at a 38, so it is a seller's market.

The median list price decreased from last month and now sits at $409,950 and the 90-day average days on market is 120.

To view the full market reports click below.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 2, 2019

8 Steps to Buying Your Dream Home

8 steps to buying a homeBuying a home is a process, but don't worry, these steps can help you make sense of it.

Knowing what to expect will help you reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with looking for a home. 

  1. Check Your Credit Report and Score - this is a smart first step of knowing if there are any outstanding items on your credit report that you might need to repair before getting a loan. A credit report will take in to account payment history, accounts opened and what is owed on them, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit. Anything above a 720 is considered a good score and will get you great loan terms.
  2. Pre-Approval - having a pre-approval for a loan will let you know how much house you can afford. This will let you and your agent know what homes to view. Remember, being approved for a certain amount might not actually work in your budget, so run the numbers and see what amount you can comfortably afford. 
  3. Find an Agent - once you're armed with your credit score and the amount you can spend, get yourself a real estate agent! They will be able to listen to the list of wants and needs and narrow down the homes that fit the criteria. Agents are knowledgable about local listings, the fair prices of homes, and what you'll be able to do if you want to remodel a home. 
  4. Looking at Homes - this is the fun part! You get to visit the homes on your list and see what items you are willing to give up versus which ones are most important to you. This will help you refine your search and ultimately find your dream home!
  5. Making an Offer - once you find the home that fits your needs, it's time to make an offer. This is where your agent, again, comes in handy! They will be able to guide you in putting in an offer that you feel comfortable with and get you the best terms possible. You might also work through counter offers with your agent, and they will explain the process and encourage you to walk away if it doesn't feel right. 
  6. Home Inspection - is a necessary step in the home buying process. A home inspection will tell you if any major items need to be fixed or replaced soon. This is also one of the last places that will allow you to back out of a deal. So, if a home is found needing some major repairs that you don't feel comfortable with, you can ask for a drop in the home price, money towards fixing the problem, or you can decide to not purchase the home.
  7. Insurance and Utilities - you will need homeowners insurance. Talk to your agent, or find a new one and let them know that you'll be buying a home and all the information on it - including the closing date. The same thing goes for utility companies. You will need to get utilities put in your name. 
  8. Closing Day - this is the big day! You'll read and sign papers until your hand hurts, just kidding. There will be a lot of papers to sign and your lender and agent will be there to help you understand what is happening. Once it is complete, you'll receive the keys to your new house and be able to move in!

If you're ready to start the home buying process, call us! Our agents would love to be there by your side through this journey! Call us today to get started. (970) 858-9870.

Posted in Homebuying Tips
Sept. 19, 2019

What Does A Real Estate Agent Do for a Seller?

What does a real estate agent do for a seller?

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, you might be trying to decide if you want to hire a real estate agent, or if you want to go it by yourself.

There are a lot of things that Real Estate Agents help with besides the showings. Here's a quick rundown of what an Agent can do you for!

  1. Prepare the Home - Real Estate Agents are like your best friends, only more honest. They know what buyers are looking for, so they know the exact things that you need to focus on, fix, or freshen up before your home gets listed. These might all be small things (taking some of your child's artwork down and packing it away) or they might be major items (remodel your master bathroom). These are suggestions for you to get top dollar on your home sale, but you're not required to do any of the items.
  2. Price the Home - Agents who know the market well, know exactly where to price your home to get it sold for the highest profit. While you might want to hear a higher price, Agents will be straightforward and tell you the accurate listing price, not just what you want to hear.
  3. Market the Home - Agents have buyers that are looking for specific items in a home, a network of other agents, and can market the heck out of your house! They will take beautiful photos, create the perfect wording to describe your home and they are also able to put your home on the MLS to help it get further out to buyers. Real Estate Agents will be better able to market your home, thus getting it sold faster. 
  4. Communication - Not only do Agents let you know when there is an offer, but they also communicate to you during the entire selling process. Even if there isn't much to update, a good agent will keep in touch to answer all the questions you have.
  5. Closing - This is the scariest part for most sellers. You might not know all the terminology or items that you should be asking for, and that is where a Real Estate Agent comes in handy. They are well versed in the art of closing a deal. They will make sure you are protected and don't succumb to any requests that you aren't prepared to accept. 

It doesn't matter if you're looking to sell tomorrow or a few years from now. Trust the agents at Robinson and Co. Realty. We are on your side through the entire process to make it easy for you. Call us when you're ready to get started (970) 858-9870.

Posted in Selling Tips
Sept. 10, 2019

Fruita Fall Festival Fun

Fruita Fall Festival

Fruita Fall Festival is right around the corner and we are SO excited.

This is one of our favorite festivals of the year, and not just because we sponsor and get to taste everything in the Baking and Canning contest, but because it brings everyone together and oozes that "small town" charm. Here are a few of our highlighted events for Fruita Fall Fest.

  1. The Food - all the good food vendors come out for Fall Fest weekend. None of it is that healthy for you, but it is the one time of year we indulge in all the things. Navajo tacos and funnel cakes are always on the top of our list, but you can also get the typical carnival food like turkey legs, cotton candy, and caramel popcorn. You never know what food vendor will turn up and become your new favorite
  2. The Parade - nothing kicks off a weekend of fun like a parade, and ours is amazing! Pageant winners, marching bands, vintage cars, tractors, horses, and floats made by our very own locals and businesses are the entries that you will see. So, claim your spot early with your camp chairs and settle in for some old-fashioned entertainment.
  3. The Outhouse Race - yes, you read that correctly. We've got outhouse races that have been happening for six years. Teams design and build their outhouses and race them up and down Aspen Avenue. These teams push their hand-built outhouse cars to the limits, with some hilarity that usually ensues. 
  4. The Music - Fruita Fall Fest wouldn't be the same without tons of live music options. Each day is jam-packed with local artists, up-and-coming stars, and known musicians. Relaxing while listening to music is half of the fun at Fall Fest!
  5. The Farmers Market - you can't completely experience Fruita without tasting the local fare, so bring some cash (for the best deals) and explore the Farmer's Market. You can get some Fresh Palisade Peaches, local roasted green chilis, and other fresh home-grown vegetables. 
  6. The Baking and Canning Contest - obviously! Who doesn't love to see and taste what people can create in their kitchens? We love sponsoring this event, and we love judging it even more! This event is free to enter, you just have to pre-register. The theme this year is "Fall in Love With Fruita" and we can't wait to see how creative everyone gets! There are multiple categories to enter with a couple of new ones this year. 

With all the events and activities that you can explore at Fruita Fall Fest, can you blame us for loving this one the most? Fruita is home to so many wonderful festivals, events, and places to explore. If you're looking to make Fruita your home, contact us! We'd love to help you find your perfect home.

Posted in Community
Sept. 5, 2019

Fruita Market Report-August 2019

Fruita Market List Price - August 2019

Here's the latest market report from Fidelity National Title. Their current report indicates that it is still slightly a seller's market.

They use an index that measures the current rate of sale vs. the amount of inventory available. Anything over 30 is a seller's marketing. Anything under 30 means it is a buyers market. As of today, the index lists Fruita at a 41, so it is a seller's market.

The median list price increased from last month and now sits at $414,525 and the 90-day average days on market is 124.

To view the full market reports click below.

Posted in Market Updates
Aug. 28, 2019

Selling a Home That Needs Work

Selling a Home That Needs Work

We get it. Getting your home "show" ready is a lot of work, but if you want to get the best price out of your investment, it's the way to go! But, what happens if you don't have the time or money to complete all those projects?

If you want to list your home without completing any repairs, you need to be prepared for the reality of what that means to your bottom line. Here are 5 items to think about when you sell a home that still needs work.

  1. Sale Cost - this is the biggest thing about selling your home before it's perfect. The sale price will probably be a little lower than you expect, depending on how many projects you leave unfinished. For example, a few scuffs on the walls probably won't be a huge deal, but if you decide to not update a kitchen or bathroom to reflect new styles, you're going to see a lot lower offers coming in the door. 
  2. The Pool of Homebuyers - lots of homebuyers, new or otherwise, don't want a house that has projects to complete. This means you're initially limiting the number of prospective buyers interested in your home. This is before that pool of people gets paired down, even more, depending on the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and the neighborhood. 
  3. The Waiting Game - be prepared to wait for offers. If your home isn't the most pristine on the market, you might have to wait a while before someone puts an offer in. If you do get an offer, you need to seriously consider it based on what you're selling. Sometimes people will put in a really low offer, so if that isn't what you want to accept, don't, but be prepared to wait for the right one.
  4. Offer an Allowance - if you don't want to or are unable to make updates to your home before the sale, think about offering an allowance to make it more attractive to potential buyers. This might mean money for a new roof or water heater. This is in line with the thinking of lowering the home price but gives specific amounts for the items that need to be updated, rather than just putting a lower price tag on your home.
  5. Get some Bids - if you have a larger item that needs updating (hello, 70s kitchen), get a couple of estimates for what it would cost to update it. Have that information ready for potential buyers, so they have a realistic idea of how much it will cost them to update to their specifications. Homebuyers might be more willing to go through a renovation if they have an exact number in front of them, rather than a guestimate. 

It doesn't matter if your home is pristine or could use a little work. Our agents are used to every situation and will work with each seller to make sure they get what they need out of the sale as quickly as possible. Contact us today to get started!

Posted in Selling Tips
Aug. 21, 2019

5 Steps to Real Estate Investing

5 Steps to Real Estate Investments

In last week's blog, we talked about the two main types of real estate investments. This week, we're going to talk about the five steps to take to become the best real estate investor! 

  1. Pay in Cash - if possible, this is the best way to pay for an investment property. You will save thousands of dollars in interest, you won't have to worry about paying the mortgage each month, and you won't create unnecessary risk by financing your new investment. However, this isn't usually a realistic scenario for most people, so make sure that the loan you secure for your new investment has a great interest rate and the monthly payment is manageable, even if you don't have a renter every month.
  2. Stay Local - being a property manager is hard enough, so don't add location into the mix. Make sure that the property you invest in is close to you. You'll want to do some spot checks on your investment to make sure your renters are holding up their end of the bargain. Even if you hire a property manager to do the day-to-day work, it is nice to be close in case anything goes wrong.
  3. Be Prepared for Risks - investment properties rarely go as planned. If you have renters, sometimes they turn out to be bad. If you are flipping the house, some things might come up that are unexpected. Always be financially prepared for the what-ifs in investment situations.
  4. Start Small - don't make your first investment property a huge one! Do your research. Talk to other real estate investors to learn about their experiences. Start by renting out a bedroom or space above (or in) your garage. Whatever first step you chose to take, make sure it is manageable. 
  5. Hire a Real Estate Agent - don't start this journey on your own. Talk to a realtor in the local market that you're looking to invest in. They will have insight into the homes on the market and which ones might be the best for your needs. Having an agent by your side will also give you the advantage and expertise to get the best deal on the property.

Real estate investing isn't for everyone. Think about the pros and cons of your situation and determine it is right for you. If you're ready to take this step, give us a call! Our agents will be happy to help you find your perfect investment property.

Posted in Homebuying Tips
Aug. 13, 2019

The 2 Common Types of Real Estate Investments

What are the types of real estate investment and what should you keep in mind?

The real estate market is HOT right now in the Grand Valley. Are you thinking of dipping your toe in real estate investments?

First of all, you need to decide if you want to purchase a home as a rental property, or if you want to try and flip a home. Let's dive into both of these options a little bit more.

Rental Property - these can be great to earn some additional cash each month. You can use that money to add into your retirement savings, an upcoming vacation, or saving for your kid's college tuition. Whatever you've got coming up, rental income can be pretty cool. There is always a downside though. Having a rental property isn't all fun and games. It is work. Things break in houses and you need to fix them or have the funds to get them repaired. Also, it can be hard finding good renters. People don't always care for a rental home like you care for the home you own.

If you're searching for a rental property, do some research first. See what rentals are currently on the market, which ones go fast, and what people are looking for. Once you've got a good idea of what is needed, give that list of wants to your Realtor. They will be able to narrow down your list and help you determine which ones will be the best for your needs. 

House Flipping - this has become a big trend as the popularity of these TV shows have increased. TVs make house flipping look simple and the people that do them make so much money! Most of these shows are set in large markets, with many options to choose from, and they are also spaced out over months, not just a couple of weeks. When you look for a house with flipping potential, you need to be realistic on the timeline. Also, figure out how much of the work you can do, and what you will need to hire out. Are contractors busy right now? It might be really difficult to find someone to take on your smaller projects in a timely manner. 

However, if you find the perfect house with good bones and layout that only needs minor updates, flipping could earn you some (relatively) quick cash! 

Before you start this process, make sure you talk to your tax expert. Lots of people start down this path before they know the full picture. When you get extra income, you might have to deal with Capital Gains or taxation on rental income. You want to be fully prepared when tax season comes around - no one likes surprises from the IRS.  

It doesn't matter if you're looking for your starter home, an investment home, or your forever home. The agents at Robinson and Co. Realty can guide you through the process - making it easy! Call us today to start looking for your next home (970) 858-9870. 

Posted in Homebuying Tips