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Home Inspection

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BUSINESS
March 25, 2011
A home inspection often means the difference between a sale and no sale, even if the deal that results isn't exactly what the owner expected. Buyers and sellers typically recognize the need for a home inspection. Still, it may put both sides of a sale on edge. Sellers fear the inspector will find something amiss that slashes the price. Buyers fear the house they want will have problems. Today, with so many houses for sale, inspections have become the chief tool for haggling over price.
REAL_ESTATE
January 13, 2008 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Buyers are getting pickier about the condition of the houses they'll consider, understandable given the number of possibilities available for them to choose from. But their concerns go much further than overgrown hedges or chipped paint on the front porch. Buyers are again asking about lead in the paint and water, asbestos, radon, indoor air quality, and mold - questions many appeared to put aside when competition for houses was the stuff of bidding wars. Avoiding things that might cause chronic illness doesn't always seem to be the prime motivation.
REAL_ESTATE
April 25, 1999 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Although many real estate agents continue to accuse them of "killing" deals, home inspectors have become an important ally in the buyer's search for quality housing. "You may not be able to negotiate with the seller to fix all the problems that are found, but at least you'll know the full extent of the home's trouble areas and what the financial impact of repairing them will be," said Donald Dugan, who recently traded up from a Northeast Philadelphia rowhouse to a detached single in Warminster.
REAL_ESTATE
September 19, 1999 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
Getting a home inspection has become standard operating procedure for buyers. Since 1980, the percentage of home sales that were contingent on a home inspection has increased from 5 percent to probably 75 percent nationally, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors. It is less a part of a home seller's repertoire, but there are signs that this may be changing. A growing number of sellers appear to be worried about hidden defects that could be serious enough to delay settlement or even kill a deal when the buyer's inspection uncovers it. "We've seen a large increase in the number of seller[-originated]
BUSINESS
September 11, 1992 | by Herb Drill, Special to the Daily News
Even though a home-warranty contract may be the best way to insure against unwanted surprises, a home inspection is the next best thing. "I tell them to get a home inspection for an 'out' if something goes wrong," Leonard A. Sloane, a Delaware County attorney, says, referring to both the buyers and the sellers who seek his representation. "Typically, there's a clause that the buyer will have a right to get a home inspection within 10 or 15 days of signing the agreement. "If the inspection finds things wrong, or in excess of usually $1,000, certain things are triggered.
NEWS
March 22, 1996 | by Earni Young, Daily News Staff Writer
Several major city banks are expected to bow to pressure from Mayor Rendell's administration to pay for home inspections on properties purchased by low-income buyers - but only if the city agrees to pay to fix any problems uncovered. The agreement would benefit thousands of lower-income homebuyers who receive $1,000 settlement assistance grants from the city, and help many avoid falling behind in mortgage payments because of unforseen repairs. The banks - PNC/Midlantic, CoreStates/Meridian, Mellon, Beneficial Savings, Commerce and First Union (formerly First Fidelity)
BUSINESS
July 8, 2012 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but borrowing terms are strict and home prices are still down. So selling a house requires strategy and, often, artistry. Let these Web resources assist you. Reader's Digest says to be sure to pick a real estate agent with an aggressive online presence for listed homes. In particular, that means providing online shoppers with more than six photos of a listed property. Owners should also "post a video love letter about your home on YouTube," Facebook your listing and invite neighbors to a block-party open house to get them to recommend your property to their friends who might be looking to move into the neighborhood.
NEWS
January 24, 2003
It's bad enough the city has to reverse decades of blight caused by abandonment, urban decay, bad schools, crime and economic hard times. The Street administration also must contend with another, growing contributor to neighborhood decay - mortgage scammers and predatory lenders. That group includes those who misuse low-interest federal loans to lure poor, often bad-risk buyers, into mortgages they cannot afford. The scammers buy houses at low prices reflecting their bad condition, and then sell them at inflated prices.
BUSINESS
December 11, 1998 | by Earni Young, Daily News Staff Writer
Who would believe a $1,000 city grant could buy so much? Maryetta Logan used the money to become a homeowner, which helped stabilize her life and the Frankford neighborhood where she now lives. Without the grant, Logan, who is recovering from alcohol and drug abuse, would probably still be renting, and the youngest of her five kids might still be in foster care. The dilapidated house she purchased and renovated for $50,000 would probably be an abandoned eyesore. Logan, 41, is one of about 9,000 people who have received $1,000 grants since the Philadelphia 500 program began five years ago. The original goal - 500 grants - was reached before the program's first year ended in 1993, according to founder John Kromer, director of the city's Office of Housing and Community Development.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 1991 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
There's only one good thing about today's depressed housing market - it has to pick up eventually. When it does, The Home Buyer's and Seller's Survival Kit (90 minutes, $29.95) from Fisher Education Co. would be a good investment for consumers seeking guidance. Residential real estate is a complex topic, and no single videotape can cover it all. Even the basic yet detailed information spread over 90 minutes here is too dense to master in a single viewing. The program is essentially a long lecture, and as such the producers faced a challenge in achieving enough visual interest.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
February 1, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
The home-improvement industry has fared much better than the broader housing market, according to a report Thursday from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. In fact, industry experts are predicting that 2015 could see record spending on home improvements. After years of declining revenue, the industry is reinventing itself, said Kermit Baker, director of the joint center's Remodeling Futures Program. The industry "is finding new ways to address emerging growth markets and rebuild its workforce for an evolving customer base," he said.
REAL_ESTATE
April 21, 2014 | By Christine Bahls, For The Inquirer
You know confusion looms large when Google offers more than three dozen pages on a search of this topic: Appraisal vs. home inspection . An appraisal determines how much a home is worth, which in turn will determine how much someone can borrow to purchase it. If a buyer needs a mortgage, an appraisal is inevitable. "It's an appraiser's job to offer an unbiased opinion" on monetary value, said Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University near Richmond, Va. A home inspector issues an unbiased evaluation of condition.
REAL_ESTATE
February 16, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Although many buyers these days avoid properties that require major renovation, that doesn't mean they're shunning first-year projects designed primarily to make the houses they do purchase their own. Even during the real-estate boom, when buyers often had some money left over after down-payment and closing costs, wisdom dictated that you didn't embark right away on anything too extensive. That wisdom still prevails. If you've owned a house before, you have a sense of how to proceed.
REAL_ESTATE
August 19, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Susan Graves of Century 21 Alliance in West Chester responded to a recent column about fixer-uppers with a video of one of her listings in Modena, a tiny borough (535 people) in Chester County. I don't usually write about properties under $20 million, but I was curious to see what constitutes a $45,000 listing these days in horse country, as Graves focused much of the video's first three minutes on location. The house is actually a twin, built in 1910, and the owner did most of the interior demolition work and installed new windows.
BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
A group representing suburban real estate agents and brokers says a proposal in eastern Delaware County for inspection and repair of sewer laterals as a condition of a home sale would make transactions more complicated and expensive. While the Malvern-based Suburban Realtors Alliance understands the situation facing the Delaware County Regional Water Quality Control Authority, the Realtor group's president and CEO, Jamie Ridge, said, the draft ordinance would violate Pennsylvania law by delaying real estate transactions indefinitely to correct building-code infractions.
REAL_ESTATE
February 10, 2013 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
A colleague was glued to her computer screen during a recent lunch hour, scrolling real estate websites. To be exact, foreclosure websites. Though foreclosure search engine RealtyTrac has determined that the numbers have been declining since 2010, distressed housing seems in evidence in many of the places I visit each week to write "Town by Town" for the Sunday Business section. There are enough short sales - in which a lender agrees to accept less than is owed on the mortgage - that they are mentioned in my conversations with real estate agents.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
South Jersey home builder Bruce Paparone is taking no chances. His crews began preparing work sites to keep damage to a minimum as early as Friday, as Hurricane Sandy's direct hit on the region became evident on computer models. To remove anything that could blow around, Paparone said, "all loose items were removed or covered. Portable toilets were tied to Dumpsters, and all loose lumber loaded into garages. Forklifts were put on top of open lumber piles. " On Monday, he said, contractors and other employees were told to stay home.
NEWS
October 30, 2012 | By Alan J. Heavens, INQUIRER REAL ESTATE WRITER
South Jersey home builder Bruce Paparone is taking no chances. His crews began preparing work sites to keep damage to a minimum as early as Friday, as Hurricane Sandy's direct hit on the region became evident on the computer models. To remove anything that could blow around, Paparone said, "all loose items were removed or covered. Portable toilets were tied to dumpsters, and all loose lumber loaded into garages. Forklifts were put on top of open lumber piles. " Monday, he said, contractors and other employees were told to stay home.
REAL_ESTATE
October 8, 2012 | By Catherine Laughlin, For The Inquirer
A wrong set of keys unintentionally led Greg and Mary Berzinsky to their beloved home. Transplants from Johnstown, Pa. (him), and Leonia, N.J. (her), Greg and Mary found their way to Philadelphia separately and adopted the city as their own. They met at a party and decided to buy a house after getting engaged in February 1992. But costs at the time kept them from buying in the heart of the city. A friend mentioned that the eclectic neighborhood of Spruce Hill, a pocket within University City and at the time a more affordable option, might interest them.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2012 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but borrowing terms are strict and home prices are still down. So selling a house requires strategy and, often, artistry. Let these Web resources assist you. Reader's Digest says to be sure to pick a real estate agent with an aggressive online presence for listed homes. In particular, that means providing online shoppers with more than six photos of a listed property. Owners should also "post a video love letter about your home on YouTube," Facebook your listing and invite neighbors to a block-party open house to get them to recommend your property to their friends who might be looking to move into the neighborhood.
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