Tag Archives: inspection

Cost of Flood Insurance Rises

MIAMI — Sharp increases in federal flood insurance rates are distressing coastal homeowners from Hawaii to New England and are starting to hurt property values and housing sales in areas just beginning to recover from the recession, according to residents and legislators.

In recent weeks, the hefty flood insurance rate increases brought about by a 2012 law have stoked widespread alarm and uncertainty, prompting rallies, petitions and concern among state governors. Mississippi has sued the federal government to try to block the law. The issue has even garnered the attention of lawmakers, otherwise mired in the acrimonious government shutdown. A bipartisan group of senators and House members from Gulf Coast states are pressing for significant adjustments to the law once the Capitol returns to normal.

Have questions about FEMA?  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com; their appraisers are certified FEMA inspectors.

The law, officially known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, is being rolled out in stages, with a major part having gone into effect on Oct 1. It removes subsidies that keep federal flood insurance premiums artificially low for more than a million policy holders around the country — a discount that was applied to properties that existed before the drawing of flood insurance rate maps.

An estimated 20 percent of the property owners with federal flood insurance received these subsidies as the new law went into effect, and their premiums will rise, in some cases precipitously, either now, over the next several years or whenever they sell their properties. The exact amount of the increase depends on the home’s elevation above flood level.

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/cost-of-flood-insurance-rises-along-with-worries.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&ref=realestate&adxnnlx=1381844596-C0CoHaVCbZn+kKpdUYcOvQ

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Don’t Overlook These Home Buying Details

You did your due diligence, inspecting every inch of your future home. The home inspector found no major problems.

You can sign on the dotted line now, right? Not so fast.

Remember your appraiser is not a home inspector.  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your home appraisal questions.

Real estate pros say you have more detective work to do because overlooked details lurk in the fine print or are intangible. Here’s a homebuyer’s checklist:

Noise factor. Check the neighborhood’s noise level at various times of day. Is it on the path of low-flying airplanes? On an ambulance route? Near trains with blaring horns?

“Walk the neighborhood, day and night, weekday and weekend,” said T.J. Rubin, broker at Fulton Grace Realty in Chicago. “You’ll see the restaurant with nighttime deliveries.”

Question the neighbors about frequent neighborhood noises.

If the house is in a homeowners association, you might find clues about noise and disturbances by reading between the lines of board meeting minutes.

“If the (association) has a lot of legal or security service bills, there’s a problem,” said Rubin.

The fine print. A real estate lawyer can be invaluable when it comes time to review the terms of a transaction. Many homebuyers have gotten into trouble because they don’t understand the documents they are about to sign.

Read more at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/buy/ct-home-0621-homebuying-details-20130621,0,7742170.story

A Tool Kit for Home Buyers to Help Avoid Potential Pitfalls

So you’re house shopping and you’ve fallen hard for a sweet little gem that seems, well, perfect. The photos are lovely, the walk-through revealed a number of amenities you’ve been seeking, the location is ideal.

This is it, right?

Not necessarily. A house — even a brand-new one — comes with a history and literally thousands of diverse components, some of which could be defective and cost big bucks to fix. A buyer’s ability to diagnose potential problems during a short visit? Limited at best.

Does the appraiser inspect for health and safety?  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for your appraisal questions.

As a result, shopping for a home, like any potential relationship, can include elements of uncertainty, surprise and trepidation.

“I’m super paranoid,” says Jacob Moschler, a Hyattsville resident who’s been gradually moving toward homeownership with his wife, Thuan Do, but is nervous about choosing a home that winds up having a host of problems. “That’s one of the reasons we haven’t bought a house yet.”

A buyer, though, doesn’t have to jump wholly unaware into the unknown. There are a number of ways to gain information about the property — both its physical condition as well as its past — before buying.

There are several tools and sources to help you feel a little more secure before signing on that dotted line. Some are mandated by law, while others simply require a little extra legwork.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/a-tool-kit-for-home-buyers-to-help-avoid-potential-pitfalls/2012/11/08/fdda5b98-22c3-11e2-8448-81b1ce7d6978_story.html?hpid=z9

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only