Like many homeowners, you might be hoping to capitalize on the hot summer homebuying season to sell your house for a pretty penny. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make enough for the beach house you’ve been eyeing or for a long summer getaway.
But first, you’ll need to get your home ready to sell. And getting a home inspection may be one of the best ways to do that.
Inspections can shed light on potential issues and help you make necessary repairs before listing your home. It might even help you fetch a higher asking price if the inspection shows that your home is in better condition than others in the area.
All in all, an inspection can:
1. Alert You to Issues Before Going Under Contract
A home inspection can highlight issues that might concern potential buyers.
Pro tip: You should fix any issues that pose a safety hazard. And your inspection report can serve as a repair guide before listing.
2. Gauge Your Pricing Expectations
Inspections help you get a handle on what condition your home is in and what price it might fetch.
Pro tip: A clean inspection report, or proof of recent repairs, can help buyers feel more confident in making an offer.
3. Prevent Closing Delays
If issues crop up during the buyer’s inspection, it could delay closing due to repairs or prolonged negotiations. The buyer could even pull their offer altogether.
Pro tip: Fixing issues before listing the home can improve the outcome of your buyer’s inspection. And that could mean less negotiation on the whole.
Keep in mind that inspections come with an upfront fee, and you’ll be legally required to disclose any issues the inspector finds. However, we can discuss the inspection report to see how repairs could affect your home’s market value.
Are you considering selling your home this year? Want to know what it’s worth or what you can expect in today’s market? Reach out today for a free local market report and see how your house measures up.
Arabel Camblor Named 2019 Realtor® of the Year
(HONOLULU, HI) As the Hawaii statewide association of Realtors®, Hawaii Realtors® awards the prestigious Realtor® of the Year (ROTY) award to a Realtor® who displays exceptional experience in the multiple levels of Realtor® associations (local, state or national), Realtor® spirit, civic activity and business accomplishments. Only one Realtor® in the entire state is selected for this honor annually.
Arabel Camblor of Arabel L Camblor Realty in Hilo received the 2019 ROTY award in front of the Hawaii Realtors® Board of Directors on July 25, 2019. As a dedicated member of various Realtor® association committees and boards, Camblor is passionate about the real estate industry and Realtor® profession.
She will be honored alongside other state ROTYs at the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Conference & Expo this November.
Camblor has an impressive service history of 16 years at Hawaii Island Realtors® (HIR), 14 years at Hawaii Realtors® and 8 years at NAR. She has served as President of HIR (2009) and Hawaii Realtors® (2015). Camblor graduated from the Hawaii Realtors® Leadership Academy program in 2009 and has since become a trustee and facilitator involved in training the future Realtor® leaders of tomorrow.
Buying With Friends Isn't Like Renting
You’ve been living with your best friend since freshman year of college, and it’s been a blast. So why not pool your money and go in on a house together? After all, it’s easier to buy when you have two incomes.
It’s true that co-buying a home with friends or family can make it easier to own a home. And it can reduce your upfront costs.
But there are a few unique differences to co-buying. Here are three you should consider and discuss before you jump into the process.
1. What type of ownership will you have?
Don’t assume that splitting the mortgage determines the ownership.
If one person will be paying a larger portion, you might want to be tenants in common. This also allows you to transfer or sell your share of the property at any time. But if you want to divide the ownership equally, you can choose to be joint tenants.
2. How are your credit scores looking?
When two buyers are on a mortgage app, lenders use the lowest credit score to determine the interest rate.
Do you both have excellent credit? If not, you could have only one person on the mortgage loan, but you’ll only be able to count one income to determine the loan size.
3. How will you pay your bills each month?
This sounds like a minor detail, but it’s important to be on the same page about finances before the bills come in.
Will you pay bills out of a joint household account? Or will one person pay the full bill and have the other pay them back?
Once you’ve discussed your plans for the finances and ownership, your best bet is to have a legal agreement prepared ahead of time.
Have more questions about co-buying a home? Reach out today to discuss your needs and get the process started.
Have you ever decided to buy something, only to find out about additional costs at the end? The last thing you want is to be surprised by unexpected fees – especially at your closing.
You’ve made your financial calculations. Extra charges at the eleventh hour could make all your plans go bust.
But you can't just skip the closing – that's when the legal ownership is transferred.
Want to avoid being blindsided at your closing? Here's how to plan ahead for closing fees:
What’s the deal with closing costs?
Closing costs typically run about 2% to 5% of the purchase price and are paid to lenders, attorneys and other third parties. Buyers often have more closing costs than sellers because most fees are related to the new mortgage loan.
Common closing costs for buyers:
How can you lower the costs?
After applying for a mortgage, you’ll receive a Loan Estimate from the lender. It summarizes the loan terms, such as the loan amount, interest rate and all closing costs. Comparing Loan Estimates from different lenders is important.
Page 2 of the Loan Estimate also details the services you can shop around for, such as surveys, appraisals and title searches.
Are closing costs ever negotiable?
Yes. A seller or buyer sometimes agrees to pay part or all of the other party’s closing costs. This is something we can negotiate into the purchase agreement.
As for paying the closing costs? Some lenders will allow you to roll the cost into your mortgage. However, you’ll pay interest on it for the life of the loan. Paying cash upfront is a smarter option if you have the funds available.
Have more questions about closing on a home? Or are you ready to get your home search started? Reach out today.
How handy would you say you are? Can you fix a leaking faucet or install a new backsplash? Do you own all the drills, power saws and sanders used by the pros?
It can be tempting to DIY it all — especially if you’re on a budget. After all, you can have an active role in improving your home, and save cash to put toward other things. Why wouldn’t you want to?
The truth is not all projects are suited for a DIYer — no matter how much of a shiplap expert you might be.
If you’re considering a few renovations, here’s when to put on your toolbelt and when you might want to call a pro:
In the Kitchen: You can probably replace a sink, reface your cabinets or install a new dishwasher.
Want to move the sink or add recessed lighting? You’ll want a pro.
In the Bathroom: Installing new floor tiles, upgrading your toilet seat or changing your showerhead are all tasks you can do.
If you want in-floor radiant heating or to install a tub where there isn’t one, bring in a pro.
On the Exterior: Looking for more curb appeal with a new garden bed and a fresh coat of paint on your front door? Have at it.
Substantial upgrades like installing a skylight, repairing your roof or repaving your driveway are better suited for a professional.
Structural Changes: If you’re super handy, you can probably install drywall or relocate a door.
But if you’re changing an area that’s load-bearing? Definitely call a pro.
Remember, DIY doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. You’ll want to hire a professional for anything that requires specialized knowledge. There’s no shame in asking for help from an expert.
Want to discuss what home renovations might improve your property’s value? Get in touch today.
You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?
Well, house hunting should be treated the same way.
You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself.
If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:
Cost of Living
Are the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?
Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.
Commutes and Social Life
How close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?
It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.
How does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?
A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.
Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.
Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.
You’ve decided it’s time to sell your home. Your neighbor just sold for a pretty penny, but they also spent a lot on remodeling and renovations. Does that mean you need to upgrade your home to sell?
Is it worth trying to sell as is? Or will your home be passed up and stuck on the market?
Fortunately, full-scale remodels aren’t required to sell your home. Sure, a home reno might fetch more money, but it’s not always worth the time and effort.
So how do you know what’s worth fixing up? Here are the do’s and don’ts of pre-listing home renovations:
A few repairs and upgrades can certainly make your home more marketable. But a full-scale remodel? That’s not necessary in most cases.
Are you ready to sell? Get in touch today for a comprehensive review and marketing plan for selling your home.
View blog post here as well.
Want to take the pain out of homebuying? Keep your lifestyle priorities top of mind.
If you’re planning to buy a new home, there’s great news: More houses have hit the market in recent months. This means you’ve got more options to choose from.
Choice is always good, but it can also be overwhelming.
The key? Careful, disciplined prioritization.
Let’s go beyond square footage or the number of bedrooms and consider how the property fits your life. By focusing on what matters the most to you, we can refine your search to the closest matches.
Here are the three questions every potential homebuyer should ask themselves:
Where do you want to live?
Think beyond your commute. Do you want to be in a specific school district? How much street noise can you cope with?
Are you looking for an established neighborhood or one that’s up and coming? That could affect future home values.
What does the future hold?
Think about the next 10 years. Are you planning to have kids? Will your aging parents move in?
If you plan to stay for the long haul, you might want a property to accommodate your family today, and in the future. If you know your career will have you on the move, will you want to sell the property or rent it out?
How much work are you willing to do?
When considering condition, be honest with yourself. How much work are you truly willing to take on?
If the home needs cosmetic updates, will you want them completed before you move in? If you fall for a fixer-upper, do you have a budget for renovations?
Communication is a critical element of your home search. The more information you share, the better we’re able to match you with a home that fits your life.
Got your priorities in order? Let’s find your dream home. Reach out today.
TV shows make finding a profitable fixer-upper seem easy. But in the real world, there are real challenges and decisions to be made.
Whether you’re buying an investment property or a starter home for your family, there are dozens of factors to consider. How much will it cost to renovate? Are home values rising or falling in the neighborhood? How in-demand is the area?
Want to make sure your purchase isn’t a money pit? Ask yourself these four questions:
1. Does it have good bones?
We want to avoid expensive repairs that would eat into your bottom line. It’s vital to have structural elements like the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system inspected.
2. Is the price comparable to the area?
The property may come at a fixer-upper price, but how does it compare to others in the area? Let’s also take a look at new developments or zoning laws that could influence future home values.
3. Does it need special inspections?
Fixer-uppers need to go beyond standard inspections. Things like sewer lines, septic systems and pools age with the property, so it’s important to have each evaluated.
4. What does your contractor think?
Bringing a contractor on board early is essential when creating your renovation budget. We need to estimate the cost of any aesthetic changes or upgrades to avoid overimproving the home.
Remember, it’s not just the sticker price you want to consider when buying a fixer-upper, but the cost of the entire project.
Do you need help finding the fixer-upper of your dreams?
Together, we can evaluate the purchase price, factor in repair costs and determine the future resale value of the home.
If you’ve already got your eye on a fixer-upper, or want help finding a contractor in our area, get in touch today.
Who doesn’t love getting a tax refund?
It’s exciting to know that your bank balance will get a boost. But remember, a refund isn’t a bonus -- it’s your hard-earned money, which is why you should make the most of it.
If you’re thinking of buying a new home this year -- whether it's your first home or the one you plan to retire in -- financial planning is critical.
Expecting a refund? Make a bigger impact on your home purchase with these tips:
1. Lower Your Mortgage Rate: Did you know you can pay “points” up front to lower the interest rate of your mortgage? If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, this could result in significant savings over the life of your loan.
2. Pay Closing Costs: Closing costs average about 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price. Many buyers roll it into their mortgage and pay it off over the life of the loan. But you could use your refund to pay it up front and avoid paying interest.
3. Save for a Down Payment: In some cases, your refund could cover your entire down payment. Some loans only require 3 percent down, so this is more realistic than you might think.
4. Boost Your Credit Score: Paying down your debts can have a significant impact on your credit score and the mortgage rate you’ll qualify for.
5. Renovate or Update Appliances: Many buyers are tempted to open a line of credit to pay for these purchases, but that could negatively impact your mortgage loan. Using your refund is the smarter move.
Remember, a tax refund is only one factor to consider in your homebuying budget. Get in touch today for a referral to a financial planner or mortgage lender if you need help preparing your budget. Let’s work together to plan your path to homeownership.
Hawaii Island Realtor® Broker,