Tag Archives: Home Value

The Importance of Home Maintenance Records

July2015-Trulia-4-Reasons-You-Absolutely-Need-to-Save-Home-Maintenance-Records-girl-filing-away-papersWhen it comes to our cars, most of us understand that it’s important to save our service records—or at least shove them in the glove compartment—especially if we’re hoping to get top dollar when it comes time to sell.  While your latest oil change might not seem like big news, it may be to a potential buyer who will want to see how well the vehicle has been cared for.

On a larger scale, it’s important to think of your home in the same terms.  While it’s always tempting to throw that pink carbon receipt away from your latest HVAC tune-up or leak repair, consider utilizing a digital or standard filing system to keep track of these types of records.  Here’s why:

POTENTIAL BUYERS: Purchasing a home is a massive financial investment, which means some buyers will be more than meticulous when it comes to assessing the condition of your property.  Due diligence often pays off for buyers, so chances are good that if selling is in your future, you’ll want to be able to give dates for everything from when your gutters were installed to your last carpet cleaning.  You don’t want to get caught off guard with questions that you’re simply unable to answer, so let the receipts do the talking for you.

SAVE YOUR MONEY: Maintenance records are just that—records.  In short, they give you the opportunity to keep track of how often something is being worked on so you gain a better understanding of whether you should continue throwing money into repairs or should simply bite the bullet and purchase a new product.  If you notice that those pink slips are piling up, you might save more money with a replacement.

INSURANCE DISPUTES: Insurance companies make money off of the assumption that you’ll likely pay more for monthly coverage than they’ll ever have to pay in the case of an accident.  In essence, it’s a numbers game that makes them a good bit of money; however, it also creates an environment where their goal is to make sure they compensate you with just enough to cover your costs.

Therefore, if—for example—your insurance company pays for a new roof after damage from a massive storm, it’s possible for them to decide at a later date that they paid you too much money.  Should this happen, they will likely request a portion of their funds back, which means it’s extremely important to maintain control of your receipts and maintenance records in order to dispute their claims.

SETTING FUTURE BUDGETS: Following a set maintenance schedule is an important aspect of homeownership, especially if you’re looking to retain your property value.  While no one enjoys feeling like their constantly shelling out money for appliance checks and minor repairs, having an understanding of how much you’re spending each year can set the stage for the establishment of a yearly maintenance budget.

Instead of getting caught off-guard every time you’re forced to drop a couple hundred dollars on a maintenance issue, use your receipts to establish a yearly estimate of how much you spend on repairs so you never have to feel like your scraping to find the cash to cover them.

For more tips and tricks, please feel free to contact me.  Even if you’re not looking to sell your home or buy something new in the near future, I’m always here to offer advice.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Appraisers vs. Online Automated Valuation: Know the Difference

AVM-copyBig news came down the wire last week when it was announced that Zillow had acquired Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock options.  While a lot of people may not see how this merger will directly impact their life, for home buyers or sellers, it’s always a good idea to understand the difference between “zestimates”—home value estimates taken from Zillow—or Automated Valuation Models (AVM) and real people.

When it comes to AVM’s, they tend to work best on “cookie cutter” homes where most of the properties look relatively similar to one another.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that very few lenders rely solely on AVM’s for loan decisions since they can’t always accurately value unique properties such as those sitting on Lake Lanier, various upscale golf courses, and homes with a great deal of acreage.

Therefore, the following is a list of things that an automated or non-appraiser valuation (such as the kind you would find on Zillow) won’t tell you.  Before you consider purchasing a home based on these types of online valuations, it’s important to understand the difference.

1.)    IS THE PHYSICAL HOUSE STILL STANDING WITH ACCURATE SQUARE FOOTAGE?  Sites like Zillow obtain their information from courthouse and property data regarding location and square footage, which means it’s not based on an actual appraiser’s home measurement.  If you’re considering a house, you’ll obviously want to know for sure that it has things like four walls and a roof; therefore, it’s not always smart to assume that a computer is the best source for up-to-date data.

2.)    ARE THERE UNIQUE FEATURES WHICH MIGHT ADD OR DETRACT FROM THE PROPERTY VALUE?  Sure, the computer might value a property at $300,000; however, that number might be subject to extenuating circumstances such as the train tracks just down the road or the desirable parks right outside the neighborhood.

3.)    WHAT VARIABLES IMPACT COMPARABLE SALES?  While a computer might compare your property to similar, recently sold property a ¼ mile away, it doesn’t mean all of the other variables are in line.  The properties might be in a different school district, sit on different roads, be flood-prone, or have been sold under duress.

4.)    ARE THERE MARKET FLUCTUATIONS?  Since automated online systems utilize data from recent, nearby sales, they may not account for neighborhoods that are beginning to experience upturns or downturns.

5.)    IS YOUR APPRAISER QUALIFIED?  When you work with an appraiser, you’re generally aware of the person’s qualifications and whether they will complete your project with professionalism, solid ethics, and judgment; however, when it comes to free online services, you have no idea who is behind the values and either way, they will never compare to the work of a physical, on-site appraiser.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Specialist | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


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Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789