Tag: Phoenix Real esate

The following five questions address one potentially harmful home product that many homeowners may not be aware of. Home maintenance means more than caring for your home, but also becoming aware of the potential health and environmental hazards that exist within that environment. By understanding the levels of VOC found in a typical can of paint, you will be one step closer to protecting your family and the world around you. 1.     What are VOC’s? In a typical can of interior wall paint, there are many different chemicals and materials that have been mixed to create the right consistency and pigment. As research has shown, many of these cans of paint contain chemicals referred to as VOC’s. What are VOC’s one might ask? VOC’s, or volatile organic compounds, are compounds that contain carbon which easily vaporizes into air when released. When the VOC’s make contact with the air, elements react, and ozone is produced. When using paint high in VOC’s you are creating an environment in which these potentially harmful chemicals are released directly into the air of your home. This wet VOC-containing paint has been shown to release a high amount of chemical substance into the air while still wet, and even one year after the paint has dried, may still give off a portion of the same toxic substance. Now that you know what VOC’s are, you may be wondering what risks are involved. 2.     What are the Potential Risks? The dangers of VOC’s include many potential risks to health and environment. From a simple headache to potential cancer-causing toxins, the effects of VOC’s have been shown to be extremely harmful to humans and pets alike. When planning your home maintenance routine, you may want to now include awareness of toxins to your list. VOC’s not only affect your health, but can have a dangerous effect on the environment as a whole. 3.     How do they Effect the Environment? As VOC’s make contact with the air, ozone is created and adds the pollution already existing in the environment. While the health of your individual home and family is important, the environment affects everyone and everything around you. If each consumer made the effort to change simple home maintenance procedures, the earth might be spared a little more pollution. 4.     What are the Available Alternatives? Alternative interior paints have been created with much lower levels of VOC’s. These lower levels of VOC allow you to reduce the pollutants in your own breathing air, as well as the air in the environment. Keeping your family safe from these toxic chemicals is one home maintenance step that can affect the long-term health and well-being of your family. 5.     Where can these Safer Alternatives be found? Low-VOC paint can typically be found wherever paint is sold. Ask someone in the paint department of your local hardware store to direct you to eco-friendly paint alternatives for your interior home maintenance and painting needs. Because paint-related products are some of the worst environmental pollutants in our society today, doing your part to reduce to pollution on the earth, as well as in your own home, can make a bigger impact than you may think.]]>

Buying a new home or your first home is a very exciting thing. If it’s your first time, you might quickly find that there is a lot more to home buying than you originally thought. You can take care a lot of the early work—like loan pre-approval and looking into a home warranty—on your own. For most other things, you should be able to turn to your real estate agent for help. Here are 5 tips to get you started toward buying a new home. 1. Start by making 2 lists for your new home: a list of needs and a list of wants. Needs should come first. For instance, if a home warranty is important to you, then make sure that is included with your home. If you must have at least 3 bedrooms and a big yard, put that on your list. If you want a big yard, but don’t necessarily need one, put that on your wants. Prioritize needs versus wants. 2. Get loan pre-approval. You might be able to do this before you find an agent to work with. Loan pre-approval will help you know how much money you are able to borrow to purchase a home. Essentially, this is like getting your home buying budget established. You will likely want to find a home that falls within the limits of your loan. Shop around for loans to make sure that you get the best interest rates. You don’t necessarily need to go with the first loan that you are approved for, so be choosy when you can. 3. Find a good real estate agent. You want someone who will listen to you and try to find exactly what you want in your home. Your agent needs to have good communication and should basically go to bat for you to make sure the home buying process is as stress-free as possible. You should be able to ask your agent any questions, such as what makes a good counter-offer or who you should hire for an inspection. Make sure you are comfortable with the agent that you choose. 4. Get an inspection before you buy. Even with a good home warranty in place, some things might not be covered even if you didn’t know about it before you purchased the home. Hire a professional inspector to look over the home thoroughly so that there are no expensive surprise repairs that need to be done after you close the sale. 5. A home warranty can save you a lot of money if there are certain issues that arise with the home. These issues might be anywhere from structural to electric. It may or may not include the appliances in the home depending on the warranty. It is probably a good idea to consider getting the warranty with your home as you never know what issues may pop up later. Buying a home is a very exciting adventure, even though there is a lot of work and waiting that goes along with it. If you are looking to buy a home, try following the tips listed above to get started. It will hopefully help things to go smoother. Don’t forget to ask your real estate agent about the home warranty. As with purchasing anything, a warranty could come in handy when the buying process is finally finished. Happy house hunting!]]>

Getting your home ready for the long, hot summer is one improvement project that will help keep you cool until the thermometer starts dropping again. You may also find that spending a little time and money now will make it easier to maintain your home through the different seasons.

You may want to start by doing an energy audit. Walk around the outside of your house and look to make sure all of your windows are sealed properly around their frames. If not, you may want to get some chalking and seal any cracks between the frame and siding. There are several types of the product available that are made out of very durable silicon, which can dry in a few hours.

Next check the outside vents from the attic to make sure they are in good condition and are not blocked by excess dirt or dust. Give your entire roof a good going over too. You will want to make sure any fan covers were not blown off by any recent storms. Loose or missing shingles or other roofing materials will also need to be replaced or repaired. Check any windows going to your basement to make sure they are also sealed properly to help keep that area cooler. Next you will need to check inside your attic if you have one. Putting insulation materials throughout this area will help keep the heat from the roof from getting down into your living space. Many new products are available that are more affordable. Many home improvement stores carry rolls of insulation material you can install yourself without using any special tools. If you have enough in your budget you may want to hire professional installers to do it for you. No matter how much you can afford, you will find that adding or upgrading the insulation may dramatically improve your ability to keep your home cooler in summer.

Some parts of your home may get warmer than others if they are exposed to the sun the entire afternoon. And it may be harder to cool off that part of your house even after the sun goes down. You may want to plant shade trees that have broad leaves outside any large windows to block the sun. You may also want to consider having your windows tinted to reflect the sun and keep it from heating up your home. You can find these types of products at many hardware stores to install yourself. If installed properly tinted windows can last for many years. If planting trees or tinting your windows are not options you can buy heavy curtains you can pull close when you are not at home. The curtains will not allow any ventilation from outside but will block the sun too.

If you have an air conditioning system you may want to check to make sure it’s working properly too. Inspect the outdoor unit and make sure there isn’t any debris blocking it. Also inspect all of the electrical writing and any other hoses to make sure they are not cracked. You can turn the system on at the thermostat and check to see if it’s blowing cold air into your home. Inspect the air duct system for any leaks where sections of the tubing are taped together. Put on new tape to secure the sections to each other if needed. You may want to check the vents going into each room and remove any dirty or dust that can block the flow of air. Thanks to advances in cooling technology you do not have to invest in an air conditioning system for your entire home. You can buy a portable air conditioning unit that does not require installation. Just plug it in and it will cool off the room. No matter where you live you will want to be prepared for when the temperatures get too hot. By doing some preventative maintenance on your home now you can be comfortable inside while escaping the summer heat outside.

Buying a home is generally the largest purchase that an individual will make.  Costly repairs and replacement of older items that can be found in an existing home are not usually things that a new homeowner wants to deal with.  It can be both expensive and time consuming.  Unfortunately, as a home ages it is bound to have some items that need to be repaired or replaced.  To protect your investment and your sanity when buying a piece of real estate, be sure to investigate home warranty options.  A home warranty provides coverage that a standard hazard insurance policy would not.  Fill in the gaps in your home insurance policy with a home warranty.

Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Coverage vs. Home Warranty

In order to close on a home it is required to have a homeowner’s insurance policy of some sort in place.  The lending company can even require a homeowner to obtain specific coverage levels or endorsements to ensure the risk they are taking on as the lender would be lessened.  Only under rare circumstances would a homeowner get away without having an insurance policy on his home.  It’s simply a must have item.  There are always gaps in coverage that provides the insurance company a way to wiggle out of some responsibility, however.  In order to fill these gaps, particularly in the first year of homeownership, a homeowner can obtain a home warranty to provide coverage where the insurance policy typically ends.  Major appliances and electrical, heating, and plumbing systems would be covered.  The out of pocket expense to obtain a home warranty is negligible, particularly when compared with the coverage it provides.

Manage Unexpected Household Expenses with a Home Warranty

A home warranty can protect you from having to deal with the expenses of repair and replacement items within your home. In fact, it can help you manage those items which will eventually expire in a way that reaches well beyond a standard insurance policy’s provisions.  Usually a home warranty is one year in length and covers major appliances and systems that an insurance policy does not.  A basic warranty would provide coverage for the following items:

  • Ductwork
  • Central heating
  • Air conditioning
  • Plumbing systems, stoppages and toilets
  • Water heaters
  • Electrical systems
  • Telephone wiring
  • Garage door openers
  • Ceiling fans
  • Ovens, ranges, cooktops
  • Garbage disposal
  • Dishwashers

In addition to these items listed here, there are many more systems and appliances that would be covered under the provisions of a home warranty.  Rather than worry about the expenses associated with these items during the first year of homeownership, manage them with the purchase of a home warranty.

When looking for a home warranty in AZ the hardest part will probably be in choosing which one to go with. You can usually find many different kinds offered by many different places and the options can seem overwhelming. The key to finding the right one for you really rests on getting sample copies of different ones to study. No one wants to pay more money than they have to, whether on a warranty plan or on the repairs themselves. Most home warranty in AZ plans will cover the basics, namely the basic building of the home such as floors, walls, plumbing and electrical systems, heating and cooling systems and some major appliances. Usually the appliances covered are just built-in dishwashers, refrigerators, and stoves; however, you can sometimes find plans that cover clothes washers and dryers, built-in microwaves, ceiling fans, and trash compactors to name a few. When getting sample warranty copies you will want to compare coverage as well as rates and the reputation of the warranty company. Some home warranty in AZ plans will not cover repairs needed because of improper installation, excessive wear and tear, and improper maintenance. Some companies and plans will not cover the cost of replacement at all, just the cost of repair. This means that you will need to make sure that you have treated your appliances and such well and that you know what the warranty company’s definition of those things is. Part of that is looking at the reputation of the warranty company. Home warranty in AZ companies will usually have customer testimonials listed on their website; but you can also search for blogs and other websites that will have reviews on them, or even ask people that you know if they have had dealings with the company. Usually your realtor will be able to steer you in the right direction when looking for a company from whom to purchase a warranty plan. In fact, a lot of realtors will have good working relationships with at least one warranty company so that they will be able to better help their clients. When looking at reviews for any company you will want to read both the good and the bad to get the most accurate picture possible of the company’s policies and practices. Once you have the coverage and reputation figured out it is time to start looking at home warranty in AZ rates so that you can know how much this will cost you. Sometimes the initial warranty rate will be included in the closing costs of the home and sometimes it will not; however, for plans that have the option to renew on a yearly basis you will want to know how much you will have to pay per year of coverage. Sometimes after a year you will be able to have enough saved up to cover repair costs yourself and sometimes you will decide that the coverage is not worth the additional cost every year. Most warranty plans will cost a couple of hundred dollars every year and you may not find much variation in cost of coverage for similar plans from different companies.]]>

An AZ home warranty is a yearly plan that you can pay either as part of your closing costs or on your own.  The things that are covered by a home warranty usually vary by warranty company and plan, but usually cover things such as plumbing, major appliances, and structural issues which can occur during normal wear and tear. Sometimes you will find warrantees and guarantees which are called home warranties, but which are actually different and at times can be had along with a traditional AZ home warranty. You should always research an AZ home warranty before purchase so that you can not only find the best deal for your money; but also, so you can know exactly what is covered and covered under what circumstances, as well as who to contact if something breaks. Sometimes you will need to contact the home builder, sometimes the manufacturer of an appliance, and sometimes an insurance company to get something fixed. Sometimes there will be conditions to repair work such as excessive wear and tear, pre-existing problems, or maintenance neglect which will keep a warranty for paying for repairs; and, sometimes a warranty will only cover repairs and not replacement, even if an item is beyond repair. As a home owner you expect to have some maintenance expenses, especially as you home and appliances get older; however, no one wants to pay more than they have to and having the option to purchase a warranty plan will probably save you money in the long run. Most of the time an AZ home warranty will cover things such as plumbing and electrical, heating and cooling, and some major appliances such as fridge, built in dishwasher, and stove. While most warranties do not, some policies will include coverage for other appliances such as trash compactor and garbage disposal, built-in microwave and more. You will want to check which policies available cover which things and for what price. Most of the time a home warranty will cost a couple of hundred dollars a year for as long as you want to and can renew it. However, sometimes a home warranty will be a one year thing and be included in the cost of your new home. It is always a good idea to research the terms and costs of various different warranty plans before you purchase any of them so you know that you have the best deal possible. You will want to research whether or not you want an AZ home warranty from your realtor, your builder, or from your insurance company and whether or not you can have multiple policies. Sometimes your home owners insurance will have a home warranty rider that will help cover some things as well. Since policies vary widely you will want to see a sample copy or read over the paperwork before you make any commitments. When you do get the paperwork you will want to really spend time reading over it so that you know exactly what you are getting into. Don’t feel pressure to speed read the contract either, most of the time if the person handing it to you is honest then they won’t mind you taking the time to read and understand the paperwork before you sign.]]>

When you purchase a new home, your worst nightmare might be that you are buying a faulty piece of property. You might have a fear that the walls will be made poorly and will start to crumble after you close the deal. You might worry that the foundation is cracked and that the basement will flood every time it rains. Perhaps you think that the appliances are faulty and will not work properly after a few months. While these are all valid concerns, the chances of them happening are typically not very great. When most people sell their home, they make sure that it is all in good condition so that they have an easier time selling the home quickly. When you are looking at new homes to purchase, you may want to check and see if there is a home warranty. There are some benefits of Arizona home warranties that you may not be familiar with. One benefit of Arizona home warranties is that after you buy a home, you might be financially strapped. Perhaps you saved and saved and spent almost all of your savings as the down payment for your new home. Maybe there were a few changes that you paid for, such as painting your bedroom a different color, or buying new window coverings for the living room. When you purchase a home, it is a large purchase, and you typically don’t want to spend money on items that are not necessary. If some of your major appliances were to go out after you closed the deal, you may not be able to pay for them to be fixed. With a home warranty, they will be covered and you will not have to foot the bill. Another benefit of Arizona home warranties is that you will not typically have to purchase the warranty. If you are looking at a home with no warranty, but you are seriously considering purchasing the home, you may want to talk to the seller about buying a home warranty. Many home sellers will buy a home warranty because they are eager to sell their home. If a home warranty is what it takes to get their home sold, they may be more than willing to foot the bill. Something that you might want to let them know is that they might be able to wait until closing to have to pay for the warranty, so it might not have to be too much of a financial burden for the seller, either. The confidence of knowing that the home seller is not selling you a home with faulty appliances is another benefit of Arizona home warranties. Arizona home warranties protect against damaged or broken heating systems, microwaves, cooking ranges, plumbing systems, and other electrical wiring systems. If a home seller has purchased a home warranty, chances are that they are confident that the appliances will hold up and be a fantastic purchase for you. If, for some reason, the appliances are not as great as the home seller thought they were, then you are protected and the costs are covered so that your appliances can be fixed or replaced.]]>