Five Questions to Ask a Home Inspector, by V.C. Higuera


Before finalizing a real estate deal and moving into a new home, some mortgage lenders suggest home buyers have the property inspected. Home inspection prices vary. Therefore, many  buyers skip the inspection and move into the property with “blind faith.”  buyers skip the inspection and move into the property with “blind faith.”

However, a home inspection is extremely valuable. Simply looking at a home from outside does not reveal its deepest and darkest secrets such as mold, termites, or rotten wood. Home maintenance is expensive. If a home needs several thousands of dollars in repairs, wouldn’t you want to know? In many cases, you can negotiate that the seller pay for repairs, or reduce the sale price.

Here are five important questions to ask a home inspector.

1. How Long Have You Been an Inspector?

Since home buyers are able to choose their own home inspector, it helps to find a qualified inspector. A good inspector knows where to look, and how to identify potential problems. Some inspectors do not provide a thorough analysis of the property, or sugar coat problems.

2. Do You Offer Repairs?

Some home inspection companies can complete the home repairs. Once the inspection concludes, ask the inspector for a rough estimate. Next, your real estate agent will show the estimate to the seller’s agent. Since many home contracts are contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, sellers are usually willing to pay for all repairs, especially if they need to move quickly. If the seller cannot or refuses to pay the repair costs, don’t feel obligated to purchase the home.

3. How Long is the Home Inspection?

The home inspection time varies depending on the size of the property. An average sized single family home may take two or three hours. A townhouse or condominium might take 1 ½ hours, whereas a large home could take up to five hours.

4. How Much Does an Inspection Costs?

Before making an offer on a property, buyers should take into account the cost of a home inspection. Factors that affect home inspection price include property size, location, depth of inspection, etc. The average home inspection cost between $300 and $500.

5. Can I Be Present at the Home Inspection?

Actually, the home inspector and real estate agent prefer that home buyers are present at the inspection. This way, you can ask questions. If you like, follow the home   inspector throughout the property. Some inspectors are extremely personable and eagerly explain every aspect of the inspection.

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Jumbo Mortgages Easier to Come By, Thetruthaboutmortgage.com


Jumbo mortgages, which seemed to go the way of the buffalo once the mortgage crisis set in, are starting to make a comeback, per data parsed by the Wall Street Journal.
The publication said jumbo mortgage lenders originated $18 billion during the second quarter, up roughly 20 percent from the second quarter, using data from Inside Mortgage Finance.
That might explain all those recent OneWest Bank (formerly Indymac) billboards touting “jumbo loans without the mumbo jumbo.”
Chase Home Lending increased its jumbo loan lending by 146.2 percent in the first half of 2010, compared to last year.
Wells Fargo increased its jumbo fundings by 47.5 percent, and PHH Corp. saw jumbo loan origination volume soar 64.6 percent during the same period.
Of course, jumbo lending remains far below levels seen pre-boom and even early-crisis.
Jumbo mortgages accounted for just five percent of total mortgage originations in 2009 and so far in 2010, down from about 20 percent during 2004-2007.
Historically, jumbo loans capture about 18 percent of the market, according to Inside Mortgage Finance CEO Guy Cecala.
Jumbo loans are those that exceed the conforming loan limit, which is currently set at $417,000, though it’s temporarily as high as $729,750, thanks to fairly recent legislation changes that created so-called jumbo-conforming mortgages.
If you’re in the market for a jumbo loan, understand that underwriting guideline are still very tight, meaning full documentation is typically required, along with a hefty down payment.