Indianapolis Real Estate Blog

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Home Warranties

Pros and Cons

For most people, a home warranty offers peace of mind in the instances of unforeseen problems. A home warranty can also reduce the frustration that often comes with attempting to find the best service company for the problem. Read on for tips on how to determine if a home warranty is right for you. 

Home warranties are designed to protect homeowners from unexpected repair costs for major appliances. Generally speaking, home warranties are ideal for homes with appliances over four years old. Warranties for new homes are supplied by builders and will typically cover any structural defects for up to a decade. Other items such as air conditioners, drywall, paint, plumbing, and electrical work may be covered anywhere from six months to two years.

For existing homes, warranty coverage options vary but include things such as interior plumbing, heating, electrical systems, water heaters, dishwashers, stoves, washer/dryers, refrigerators, air conditioners, garage door openers, pool equipment, garbage disposals and spa equipment.

Be cautious: Not all home warranties are beneficial; there are a number of limitations and exclusions which may apply. Claims have been denied because the company says the problem was pre-existing or because the consumer couldn’t prove that the broken item was properly maintained.

Make sure to research top companies with the most reliable and trustworthy track records. 

Home warranty research tips: 

  • The Better Business Bureau recommends that consumers verify a company’s licensing by contacting your state’s real estate commission.
  • Read documents thoroughly. Some providers hide their exclusions and limitations in the fine print. Read every word of the contract and understand the pros and...

Home Maintenance In The Fall: Whether You're Listing This Winter or Want To Keep Property Value Up

Fall is a popular and ideal time for home maintenance. It can also be daunting for many homeowners to think about seasonal projects that help keep up their property values. But many things can be done without having to hire someone to do it. Here are some projects, whether you're getting your home ready to list this winter or just want to keep the value up.

Roofs. The importance of a secure roof can’t be stressed enough. Roofing issues can be complicated and expensive to fix when allowed to linger too long. Simply walking the property and looking for any obvious problems before the weather prohibits repair is always a good idea. If a problem is discovered, homeowners should have their roofs inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

Windows and doors. Don’t wait until it’s too cold out to realize how much air drafts can hike up heating bills. Seal leaky windows with spray foam, caulk or weather stripping. A tip to make sure your weather stripping is doing its job: close your door/window and guide a lit candle along the stripping. If the flame flickers at any point, you know you have an air leak.

gutter leaves

Gutters and downspouts. Gutters are your roof’s drainage system. Gutters account for thousands of gallons of water being diverted from your home’s exterior and foundation. A pile of debris in your gutters can mean water in your basement. Inspect and clean and consider a mesh guard to keep debris out. 

Lawn health. If leaves are left on the yard for extended periods of time, they can kill the grass. To keep lawns and soil healthy, mulch the leaves and spread them around. 

Chimneys. As temperatures drop, fireplaces...

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

Potential homebuyers are always cautioned to be aware of mortgage lending standards and the difficulty they might face when trying to obtain a mortgage. Credit availability is expanding, making it easier to get a mortgage now than it was a year ago. The market is still tight however, and homebuyers should be prepared to shop around until they find a lender who is offering something that will meet the needs of their family.

Mortgage lending companies have high standards so it is important to make sure you and anyone else who will be included on the mortgage have their credit in check. The mortgage market is strict because lenders do not want to be put in a situation where they are forced to repurchase loans that are not paid on. They also do not want to end up in a litigation situation due to loan issues.

What Has Happened to the Number of Mortgages?

Due to the strict nature and requirements of the lending companies, the number of mortgages given out has significantly dropped. A report by the Housing Financial Policy Center at the Urban Institute showed that about 6.3 million fewer mortgages were given out between 2009 and 2015. The reasons behind this statistic are strict regulations and policies. These mortgages would have been granted if the lending standards where more reasonable.

Mortgage companies rely on calculations to determine if a home buyer will become delinquent on their payment. They will not give you a loan if you are too much of a risk for them. Credit history has a huge impact on this decision since lenders can see how often you pay back your debts. The history they receive is extensive. This view into your financial past causes lenders to take less risk when lending to you for your mortgage....

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

Will Increasing Mortgage Rates Impact Home Prices?

There has been some discussion recently on home prices in relation to mortgage rates. Some believe if there is a rapid rise of mortgage rates, home prices should decrease. Logically it makes the most sense for the price of the house to drop when interest rates are rising, but this is not always the case.

This theory of home prices decreasing is typically discussed by future home buyers. As a buyer you would like to think if you are paying higher rates on your mortgage, you should be able to see a decrease in cost somewhere else. Unfortunately, these rates are rising because the economy is in better shape. As the economy succeeds, incomes rise, rates go up, as well as the price of the home.

A recent study by the John Burns Real Estate Consulting found mortgage rates have very little impact on the cost of the home. The housing market and price increases are affected by things like job growth in the area and rising wages. Coincidentally, these same factors are causing the rise in the mortgage rates since people can afford to take out more.

Bottom Line

As the economy progresses and strengthens, mortgage rates and home prices will fluctuate. It is a misconception as rates increase, home prices will decrease. Advances in the economy have shown that rates and home prices are more likely to increase together.


Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

Common Things to Look Out for Before Buying Your Dream Home

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you enter the home buying market. Friends, family, colleagues, and even acquaintances will give you their opinions if you are a first time home buyer. While most of them are looking out for your best interest, they are not fully aware of what is happening in the housing market.

It is important for you to be prepared and have your own questions ready. No matter what other opinions you are getting, you are the one buying the home and your comfort level will help make your final decision. Here are three important questions to ask before you purchase a home.

1. Why am I Buying a Home?

Regardless of the finances, it is important to think about what made you want to buy a home in the first place. Usually the reasons don’t have to do with money. Instead, home buyers are focused on how the house will impact their family in the future. A study done by the Joint Center for House Studies at Harvard found there are four reasons people buy a home. Those reasons include schools for your children, a safe environment, more room for your family to grow, and control of your own space.

These factors are the most common reasons people look to buy a new home. When you ask yourself why you are looking to purchase a home, do any of those factors come up? Spend time with your spouse or family members who are involved in this decision and determine why you want a home in the first place. Creating this list will help when searching for a home and can help your real estate agent find the best home for your needs.

2. What is the Trend with Home Values?

Our current economy and housing market is strong. That means home values and mortgage...

Why You Should Consider Selling in the Winter

Selling In Winter Attracts Serious Buyers

The season you sell your home can have an impact on how much you get for your home and how quickly it sells. The season that has the most success in selling homes is spring. This is a good time of year for families moving to new school districts and is also more convenient weather for moving. Because of this trend, most people will recommend waiting to list your home until after the winter is over. Avoiding the winter is a huge misconception in the housing industry and can cause homeowners to miss out on opportunities.

Selling in the winter can give you a few advantages. There will be fewer houses on the market since most people assume winter is a bad time to sell. This gives your home more attention. Potential buyers are always looking no matter the time of year. Keeping your house on the market in the winter might bring the right buyer to your door. Real estate agents also tend to be less busy during these months and commit more time to getting your home sold.

Studies have shown winter buyers are buying because they need to move right away either for a relocation or personal situation. They will want to close quickly and allow for a much smoother sale.

Bottom Line

If you need to sell your home right away, or have some time but want to see what is out there, consider listing in the winter. Most homeowners who are going to sell will list their home in the spring, making for a competitive market. The winter allows buyers who are in a hurry to move consider your home and sell for more money than you would have in the spring.