Common Home Issues Inspectors Uncover

Before finalizing your home purchase, one crucial step in the process is the home inspection, during which a licensed inspector looks at the structure, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and more. Here are 5 common home issues inspectors keep an eye out for.

Faulty electrical systems. Out-of-date electrical systems, lack of adequate power supply, faulty circuit breakers, or exposed wiring can spell disaster for a home. Inspectors can sniff these issues out and recommend repairs to ensure the home is wired safely and properly.

Poor drainage. If the home has landscaping that causes water to drain towards the home, it can cause foundation shifts or cracks, wet crawl spaces, mold, and rot. This can be incredibly costly to correct, so it’s important to determine this before going through with the home purchase.

Leaks. Inspectors look for leaks in the roof to ensure there are no damaged shingles, gutters, flashing, or other issues. They also look for any possible causes of plumbing leaks, such as broken seals, corrosion, clogs, damaged pipe joints, and more.

Mold. Showers, tubs, air conditioning and heating vents, attics, and basements are some of the most common places inspectors find mold. This can lead to various health issues for the home’s occupants, like headaches, skin irritation, and respiratory issues.

HVAC issues. During an inspection, the inspector looks for issues that could impact your ability to heat or cool your home. These include blown fuses, pilot and ignition issues, damaged coils, dirty filters, gas leaks, and cracks in the ductwork and pipes.

With the inspector’s report, you can head to the closing table with more confidence and be prepared to negotiate repairs with the seller if necessary.

Tips to Brighten Your Space

Lighting is such a crucial aspect of your home and can affect the ambiance, energy, and vibe in each room. However, sifting through the various styles, bulbs, and placement options can feel overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started!

  • There are three different types of lighting. Ambient lighting (or general lighting) fills the room, accent lighting is used to highlight something, such as art, and task lighting is used to help you complete various tasks, such as desk lamps and vanity lights. It’s recommended you have at least two types in each room.
  • Start with selecting task and accent lighting in each room. Many times, the combination of these two provide enough light in a room so overhead lighting may not be needed.
  • To ensure lighting fixtures will mesh well together, try placing images of the fixtures on a Word document to see the full picture before purchasing.
  • Light bulb selection is equally important as fixture selection. By choosing incandescent or halogen bulbs, you can add a warm, sunny feel to a room. Fluorescent bulbs can provide warm white, cool white, or daylight color temperatures and radiate light 360 degrees around the bulb. Finally, LED bulbs can range from blue-white to neutral white to yellow-white and are the most energy efficient option.
  • Factor natural lighting into your light design by mapping out where the sun falls and how it moves across the room. Then, place lighting in darker areas.

With the right lighting, you can transform any room in your home and help you create your desired atmosphere for your home.

Credit Scores & Buying a House

Before you jump head first into searching for your dream home, you need to ensure your finances are in order. This includes reviewing and strengthening your credit. Here’s what you need to know!

Why Your Credit Score and Report Matters

As a buyer, a strong credit score and report makes you a more desirable loan candidate. When deciding to approve you for a home loan, mortgage lenders take a deep dive into past car loans, student loans, credit cards, bills, and more. They also review your history of repayment and public-record information. If their findings are positive, they will be much more likely to approve you for a loan and offer lower interest rates and better terms.

What Credit Score Do You Need

The credit score required for a loan depends on the type of mortgage you select, the size of your down payment, and your lender. According to QuickenLoans, most lenders require around a score of 620 or higher to be approved for a conventional mortgage with lower interest rates and flexible repayment periods. If a buyer would like a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, they require a minimum score of 580 and, for a loan through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), score requirements differ depending on the private lender.

How to Improve Your Credit

Reviewed your credit score and realized it may need some work? There are ways to improve your score. These include, but are not limited to, correcting payment errors on your credit report, ensuring you make all payments on time, making micropayments in between due dates, and paying down credit cards.

Your Guide to Recycling

Recycling has a positive impact on the environment for many reasons. It helps conserve natural resources, prevent waste from piling up in landfills, and protect nature. However, if not done correctly, your recycling efforts can be in vain. Here are 5 tips to follow!

Know what can and can’t be recycled. Paper, plastic containers, glass, cans, and cardboard are the most commonly recycled materials. Items like plastic bags, plastic wrap, styrofoam, paper towels, tissues, and aluminum foil are commonly mistaken as recyclable materials. However, they should be placed in the trash. If you place materials that cannot be recycled into the bin, they can ruin the entire load and cause it to end up in a landfill instead.

Avoid small items. Avoid recycling small items, such as caps, pieces of paper, can tabs, plastic cutlery, and pen caps, even if they are made of recyclable materials. These items can get lodged in sorting machinery at the recycling center.

Clean before recycling. Containers should be free of food waste, rinsed, and dried before being placed into a recycling bin to avoid contaminating the entire batch.

Keep a list of recycling guidelines nearby. Every community has a different recycling program depending on what local facilities can process. Keep a list of the guidelines nearby to ensure you are recycling correctly.

Pay attention to the numbers. Not all plastic and glass containers are made equally and many may not be recyclable in your area. Make sure to check the numbers inside the recycle symbol on the bottom of the container and refer to your recycling guidelines to determine which types will be accepted by your local facility before placing them in the bin.

Smart Kitchen Products

As technology continues to evolve year over year, new products hit the market that help make our lives easier. Check out these five amazing innovations that can assist you in the kitchen!

Instant Pot Smart WiFi 8-in-1 Multicooker.

This handy appliance is an electric pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, warmer, and more. It’s compatible with Alexa and connects to WiFi, allowing you to access more than 1,000 recipes, control cook settings, and check on your meal’s progress with their free app or voice assistant.

NutriBullet Balance Bluetooth Enabled Smart Blender.

Using Bluetooth to connect the blender to your smart device, you can use the free NutriBullet Balance app to set your health goals and select from hundreds of recipes. Then the blender counts calories, proteins, carbs, and more based on the volume of each ingredient you add.

Hamilton Beach Smart Coffee Maker.

By pairing this smart coffee maker with an Echo Dot, your morning routine becomes a little easier. Ask your Alexa app or the smart speaker to start brewing up to 12 cups of coffee, switch between regular or bold brew, or turn the coffee maker off.

Qi Aerista IoTea Brewer.

Not a coffee fan? Not to worry, we have you covered. This smart tea brewer has 9 automatic tea programs for different types of tea and can be controlled with the free Qi Aerista app.

COSORI Smart WiFi Air Fryer. Combining the power of this air fryer with the Echo Dot, use the voice assistant or the VeSync app to cook your favorite meals or choose from 100 pre-programed recipes.

Organic Food 101

You’ve seen the label ‘organic’ for years now, but what does this really mean and what are the benefits to you and your family?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the word ‘organic’ references the way farmers grow and process agricultural products. Organic farming practices are designed to address several factors, such as pest and weed control, usage of additives, animal habitats and treatment, pollution, and more.

For produce to be certified as organic, it must have been grown on soil that has been free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for at least 3 years. For meat to carry the organic certification, the animals must be raised in living conditions that allow them to continue their natural behaviors, fed natural, GMO-free foods, and cannot be given hormones or antibiotics. Finally, when it comes to processed organic foods, they must be free of artificial preservatives, food coloring, or flavors.

Over the years, research has shown potential health benefits of eating organic, such as an increase in nutrients, like Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, in produce and an increase in omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat due to feeding requirements for the animal. Additionally, crops grown organically have shown lower levels of pesticide residue due to fertilization practices and lower levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that can affect the liver and kidneys.

Generally, organic foods are more expensive than traditional foods, which is a factor that hinders many from opting to go fully organic. However, depending on your family’s financial situation or health requirements, it may be worth the additional cost.

Bring Some R&R Into Your Home

Your home is your oasis. A place to kick back and relax from your day. So, why not invest in some items that can boost the zen in your home? Check out the tips below to help you achieve ultimate bliss!

Introduce calming scents. A calming scent, like lavender, valerian, camomile, and bergamot, can do wonders for easing stress or anxiety. Find candles that incorporate these scents or purchase essential oils and diffusers, like this one from URPOWER that has over 44,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Drown out the noise. Having trouble sleeping due to distracting outside noises? A sound machine might be the solution. Like this one from Letsfit, most of them offer several sounds to choose from including natural noises, fan sound effects, and white noise.

Wake up more naturally. Studies have shown that waking up to natural light can allow you to wake with more energy and in a better mood. However, if you can’t wake to real sunlight, a wake-up light, like this one from Philips, can also get the job done. In addition to simulating the sunrise and sunset, it has natural wake-up sounds, FM radio, and tap snooze.

Get an at-home massage. Nothing feels better than a great massage. Bring that feeling home with a shoulder massager like this one from Naipo. Most massagers offer different modes and speeds for you to choose from depending on the area you are massaging or personal preference.

Whether you try one or more of these tips or find something else that works best for you, self care and relaxation is always a great investment!

Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional

Choosing the right real estate professional to work with is one of the most important decisions you can make in your home-buying or selling process!
The right agent can explain current market conditions and break down exactly what they mean for you.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home this year, make sure to work with the

Yancey Realty team!
Give us a call today at 704-467-8877 to get started!

 

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We’re are so excited to see what 2021 has in store for us all!
If one of your goals for 2021 is homeownership, we’d love to help you!