Pat Baker - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Pat Baker on 7/7/2017

Once you've made the transition from renter to homeowner, life is never the same again! While new responsibilities like home repairs and paying property taxes may sometimes feel like a burden, there are plenty of benefits that should outweigh the costs.

For example, home ownership usually brings with it tax advantages and investment features that can work in your favor. Getting guidance from a licensed tax advisor and financial consultant can help make sure you're getting the maximum return on your real estate investment.

Tips For House Hunters

If you're in the process of buying or looking for a new house, an experienced real estate agent (and home inspector) can be a valuable resource when evaluating the condition of a home, estimating the current market value of the property, and predicting the growth potential of the neighborhood. As you may already know, the location of a property is one of the most important aspects of its current and future value.

Seller disclosure laws, which vary from one state to the next, can offer buyers some measure of protection against costly problems, health or safety hazards, or quality of life issues down the road.

There are two reasons that seller disclosure requirements don't always protect home buyers from property flaws and repair problems: seller dishonesty or hidden conditions sellers aren't aware of. They can't reveal issues they don't know about, and in some cases problems are hidden behind walls, ceilings, and other places.

As mentioned, a potential obstacle to getting the full story about a home's history, flaws, and weaknesses is the seller's unwillingness to be completely honest. Even though they're opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit if they fail to reveal known problems with the property, they may risk it if they think full disclosure may derail their chances to sell the house or get top dollar for it.

From the buyer's standpoint, the best advice to keep in mind is caveat emptor: "Let the buyer beware." Your real estate agent can fill you in on the details of exactly what a seller needs to disclose, in terms of flaws, defects, hazards, damage, repairs, infestations, and even bizarre things like paranormal activity, suicides or crimes that occurred in the house. You'll also want to know things like whether the property is in a designated flood plain, whether there are any boundary line disputes, and if there are known toxic substances on the premises or underground.

While there are many variations in seller disclosure forms (depending on state laws and local conditions), there are also standard questions in most forms. As a side note, some localities may require disclosure about hazards such as earthquakes, fires, or other potential natural disasters.

You can get an overall idea of what's included by doing an online search for property disclosure forms. Generally speaking, the most reliable sources of information are your real estate agent, a real estate attorney, or your state's Department of State.





Posted by Pat Baker on 9/2/2016

You can't see it. You can't smell it. You can't taste it. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) reports 1 in 3 homes have potentially dangerous levels of radon. The Surgeon General's Office estimates that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. If you are having a home inspection or you have lived in your home for a long time the US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association and National Safety Council all recommend you test for radon. Your home inspector can test for radon, or you can purchase a do-it-yourself test. If you have a well you will also want to make sure to test the water for radon. If your home has high concentrations of radon (over 4 pCi/L) you can mitigate the radon. You can find a list of certified radon mitigators here.    





Posted by Pat Baker on 7/15/2016

At your home inspection you notice the windows look dirty and hazy, they even have water droplets inside the panes. The seals are broken. You immediately think you will need new windows or do you? What you see is a failed or broken window seal. Window seals usually fail due to age, the typical window seal will last around 10 - 15 years. Other reasons a window seal may fail are:

  • Pressure changes caused from hot and cold weather
  • Building settlement
  • Movement from opening and closing
  • Objects hitting the window
  • Pressure washing
  • Deteriorating frameworks
If you can't stand the look of the hazy windows and decide to replace them make sure to find a company that offers a good warranty plan, look for a 10-20 year warranty.  





Posted by Pat Baker on 12/4/2015

If you live in or are buying an older home you may be concerned about asbestos. Asbestos was banned in 1978 because of the health risks associated with it. Asbestos fibers are dangerous when inhaled.  The microscopic fibers can become lodged in the respiratory system and lead to asbestosis or scarring of the respiratory tissues. Asbestos was commonly used as a binder and fire retardant in many building products. It can typically be found in acoustical ceiling tiles; thermal insulation of boilers and pipes; steel fireproofing, cement asbestos siding and roofing; tile and sheet floor coverings. Inspectors are most concerned with what is known as friable asbestos (easily crumbled or pulverized to powder) and often recommend it be removed. It should always be removed and disposed of by a qualified contractor. Contact the Environmental Protection Agency for an updated list of qualified testing and or mitigation contractors.

 
   







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