Selling Your Home? Here’s What Your Home Inspector Will Be Looking For

how to pass home inspectionAre you thinking about selling your home?

If you’re at that stage of homeownership, you are probably busy contacting the right people, straightening up your rooms, and de-cluttering your home from piles that you might otherwise not have ever touched.

But do you really know what’s necessary to help your home get a passing grade for potential homebuyers?

If you’re unsure of what your home needs to look like in order to sell (or to sell for the amount you would like), don’t fret! Just look at our checklist below to see what your home inspector will be looking for during your home inspection!

Your Yard

One of the very first things that potential buyers will notice about your home is your yard, so be sure that you ready it properly! The inspector will check for proper grading drainage and for any evidence of standing water or leaks. Your trees and bushes should be in good condition, and your landscaping should be well-kept. Remember to double-check that your driveways, sidewalks, patios, and railings on your stairs are in good condition as well!

Exterior Surfaces

Next move to your surfaces outside! Make sure that your paint or stain on your home has no stains or flaking and that your vinyl or aluminum siding has no dents or damage. Your professional inspector will be able to locate any large cracks in your stucco or masonry veneers as well.

Windows and Doors

When it comes to your doors and windows, you will want to make sure you did your seasonal homework! Doors and windows will need to be secured, have no cracks or decay, and be caulked and weather-stripped. Remember, damaged screens, broken windows, and visibly neglected features are a major turnoff to potential buyers!

Your Roof

Take a look at your roof! Do you see any broken, damaged, or missing shingles? Does your roof have any cracks or splits? That could be evidence that you need to get it repaired! Your inspector will also check for decay and stains on your soffits and fascia, your gutters, and much more! Don’t forget to check your chimney, if you have one, for any damaged bricks or cracked joints!

The Attic

When your inspector checks out your attic, he or she will be looking for evidence of decay or damage to the structure and stains on the underside of your roofing. He or she will also be checking for sufficient insulation that is functional and properly installed, along with proper ventilation, and any plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents ending in the attic.

Interior Rooms

To make sure that you’re the bedrooms, offices, and family rooms of your home are ready for potential buyers to see, make sure that you don’t have any stains or significant cracks in your walls and ceilings and that your doors latch properly and easily. Check your paint for cracks and that your flooring is in good condition, too. Your inspector will also check for adequate heating and cooling in each room and that all electrical outlets work properly.

The Kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen, your inspector will check that there are no leaks in the pipes under the sink, that your water flow in the sink is adequate, and that your cabinets are in good condition and that the doors and drawers open and close properly. You will also need to ensure that your dishwasher drains properly, has no leaks, and that it operates correctly.

Your Bathroom(s)

Whether you have one or multiple bathrooms, you will need to be prepared to impress your inspector. He or she will be looking for a working exhaust fan that doesn’t end in your attic space, adequate water flow and pressure in all of your fixtures, proper drainage in your shower, tub, and sink, and that your toilet operates properly, too. Be aware of any and all leaks; if there are any leaks present, please contact a plumber beforehand to correct the issue.

The Basement

If you’re not a fan of basements or not in your basement often, you will need to take extra care of it before the inspector comes! Make sure that your basement shows no evidence of moisture, has no exposed foundation or stains or major cracks, and has no damage from insects. Your insulation and rim and band joints will be checked as well.

Please remember that this checklist shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a home inspection report and that you shouldn’t consider it as a substitute for a professional home inspection. This list is also not a complete list, so please be sure to contact a professional home inspector for a proper inspection!

If you’re ready to sell your home in search of your dream home, then what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone right now and call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. We will find you your dream home and help you sell the home you have now!

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Your Dream Home Is Right Within Reach – See It Here!

Allen house frontImagine this – you’re looking for the house of your dreams, and you’ve been relentlessly searching for longer than you’d like. You’re about to give up all hope when something catches your eye. You turn to see what caught your attention, and you gasp in amazement, eyes dilated to let in all the radiance.

Before you stands your dream home, a place of infinite beauty and wonder that is guarded behind a robust but ornate and welcoming gate. It’s as if the house of your dreams simply plucked itself out of your mind and presented itself to you in your time in need, as if to say, “I’ve been here for you all along.”

If this sounds like your dream home, then you’re in luck! We have such a house for you for sale right now, and we know you’re going to love it!

allen house 2Located on 5502 State Route 159 in Edwardsville, Illinois and built in 2004, this gorgeous home boasts 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 14,632 square feet. But don’t feel daunted by its large size! Despite how large the home might be, it has truly retained that warm home feel that makes a house a home.

When you see the house for the first time, you will be greeted by a large driveway surrounded by lush green grass, a gorgeous lake, and ornately beautiful bronze doors.

allen house pic 3You will be delighted to entertain family and friends alike in this home’s spacious yet cozy features. Take guests in to chit-chat in the home’s warm living room. Cook a meal to remember together in the well-equipped, sparklingly clean kitchen and serve them in the marble-floored dining room, lit by a radiant chandelier.

You can also enjoy a stunning walkout basement complete with 6 basement rooms, 7 luxurious and spacious bedrooms, and several appliances such as a built in microwave and oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and many more!

allen house pic 4Don’t forget to take the fun outside with your friends and family (or by yourself, even)! This custom-crafted brick and stone chateau also comes complete with a heated outdoor pool, spa, and a boat lift! You can also host parties and get-togethers on the stately patios that encircle the estate.

allen house pic 5Oh, and horse lovers – if you have a horse or wish that you could have one prancing and racing about majestically near your home, this home is definitely for you. Horses are welcomed here!

With this home, there are simply too many fantastic amenities to list! The possibilities are unlimited.

If you’re ready to check out this dream home, just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even view this listing online here!

First-Time Home Buyer? 10 Must-Know Tips to Buying Your First Home

tips for new homeownersAre you getting ready to stop renting and to buy a home for the first time? That’s fantastic news! You will no doubt love being a homeowner and enjoying all the freedom that comes with owning your own property; however, you definitely need to do your homework before you just pick a house.

Think about your dream home for a minute. What does it look like? Where is it located? What about your dream community? What is it like? These are actually very serious questions to consider before you go out there and try to find a home. But where do you start?

Below are 10 tips outlined to help you get started and help you along your way to finding your very first home!

1. Know Your Credit Score – Before you do anything else, check your credit score! This is the most important factor in getting your mortgage qualifications assessed. Lenders will connect your credit score to the interest rate you will have to pay, so ideally a score between 720 and 800 is what you should aspire to have in order to pay the lowest mortgage rates. If your score is 620 or below, you might not even qualify for mortgage at all until you improve your score.

2. Set a Budget – When it comes to buying a home, a budget is essential. It will be your guideline to what you can and cannot afford, and it will help keep your searches in check. Create an easy budget for yourself with income and spending to figure out how much you want to spend on house payments, and definitely set it before you go house hunting. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house that’s way out of your budget range.

3. Stop Spending and Start Saving – As soon as you set your budget and have figured out how much your potential mortgage payments will be, start saving the difference between that payment and your current rent every month. This will help you save money and will help you get more accommodated with paying higher payment amounts.

4. Find a Lender – Before you start looking at houses, get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan! Make sure that you ask your lender about all the different loan options and figure out an idea of how much money you’d need for a down payment and for closing costs.

5. Find a Trustworthy Realtor – There’s nothing more vital to buying your first home than finding a reputable realtor. This realtor should be experienced, knowledgeable, and familiar with where you want to live. You will need someone who will be reliable in representing your interests during times of negotiation – and that’s what we do!

6. Nail Down Your Top Priorities – We know that there are a lot of things on your first house wish list, but sometimes you won’t be able to afford or find all that you want with your first home. Time to make some compromises! Ask yourself, “Is it more important to live in a particular type of home or in a particular section of town?” You will need to hone in on your top priorities before you can discern for yourself what you truly want.

7. Select Your Desired Neighborhood – Remember in your house searches that some neighborhoods hold onto their value more than others if the housing market is rocky. You should work with your realtor to find a neighborhood that meets your needs and that will keep you happy and make you feel safe. Your safety is of utmost importance, so please choose wisely before settling!

8. Make an Offer – Found a home you love and adore and simply can’t live without? Time to make an offer! Don’t place your offer at too low of an amount, though; many sellers are willing to negotiate, but many others simply won’t. Have your realtor walk you through the process so that you can be assured that you will receive fair treatment.

9. Get It Inspected – This is one of the most important items on this list. Never, ever, EVER buy a home without an inspection! A professional home inspection will help identify the weak spots and flaws in the home and will help identify which systems and appliances will need to be replaced.

10. Seal the Deal – Congratulations! The contract is signed! After the contract is signed, be sure to be in frequent contact with your realtor and your lender to make sure your financing is taken care of. A good realtor will keep a checklist handy to ensure that everything is completed in time for settlement.

Are you ready to find your first home? Then give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find the best house out there for you! Visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see all of the services we provide!

Do You Have Bad Neighbors? Or Are YOU a Bad Neighbor?

bad neighborsAh, neighbors. You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. If you’re lucky enough, you are surrounded by good neighbors (or, if you yourself aren’t a people person, you’re surrounded by no neighbors at all!). But every now and then we are “blessed” with challenging neighbors. Slowly, we begin to find ourselves at the edge of tearing our own hair out or even packing up and moving away just to get away from them.

But what if it’s not YOUR neighbors who are bad, but rather it’s YOU? Then what do you do? How can you tell if YOU are the good neighbor or the bad neighbor?

That’s why we here at The Massey Team have compiled a list containing all the traits and actions an annoying or bad neighbor has or does. See if you’re a bad neighbor or a good one!

Lawn Woes – Does your yard look like a jungle? Do you feel like you need to invest in a machete to cut through the grass so you can find your way from the driveway to your front door? If your yard frequently looks untended or overgrown or if you simply hardly ever mow your lawn, then you may very well be considered a bad neighbor, especially if your surrounding neighbors keep well-manicured lawns complete with plants and mulch.

Party Animal – It’s not such a bad thing if you frequently have people over at your home for a casual get-together or even a mild party. But when your guests are parking in others’ driveways or all over the street so no one else can park, or if they are blocking your neighbors’ driveways, you could be receiving some animosity from your neighbors soon. Also, if you’re always blaring your music or being obnoxiously loud, you could be considered a nuisance. So tone it down and make sure your guests know where they need to park.

Bad Communication – Here’s a hint. If you plan on building a fence, be sure to talk to your neighbors first about property lines and potential issues the future fence could cause. For example, if your neighbor plants roses on the edge of her yard, you might want to ask her if she’d be okay with your fence being there, especially if it could possibly rob her roses of light and cause them to droop. Trust us – your neighbors will appreciate your consideration!

Noisy Pets – Nearly everyone loves dogs. They’re soft, cute, cuddly, fun to play with, and they make great companions. No one, however, likes a noisy dog that barks and howls, especially if said barking occurs in the wee morning hours and wakes the neighbors. If you have outside pets, consider training or figure out the cause of their barking behavior. If you let your inside pets out to do their business daily, be sure to not leave them outside for a long time unsupervised.

Nosey Neighbor – Nobody likes someone who sticks their nose in others’ business. Don’t be the person who sits inside the house all day long staring sneakily through the blinds, watching your neighbors. And don’t come out only to complain about your neighbors’ activities or to say, “Sooooo, what are YOU up to?” That will win you zero friends.

Enchanting Ghost – Charm and annoyance are part of being a neighbor. It comes with the turf – familiarity tends to breed contempt. Maybe one time you thought that your neighbors’ kids running through the sprinkler was cute but now you complain that your neighbors can’t control their kids.

But in all reality, the worst sort of neighbor isn’t the one who parties too hard or doesn’t care about the lawn at all or has zero interest in landscaping. The worst sort of neighbor is the type that keeps to him or herself a bit TOO much. This neighbor lives at the gym, work, maybe another’s home – anywhere but his or her own home.

A typical neighbor can be seen walking the dog, raking the yard, painting a door, or tending the flowers. They come out and offer comfort to other neighbors when another neighbor has been taken to the hospital or to the grave. They celebrate the birth of a new neighbor’s life with cake and balloons. The share gossip –both the bad and the good.

The bottom line – neighbors aren’t mysterious ghosts who occasionally haunt their own houses. They are real, live beings who take a part in the community and neighborhood.

So all in all, how should you be a better neighbor? Take pride in your home and lawn by caring for it frequently. Be friendly with your neighbors. Make your house a home. And don’t simply reside in your neighborhood – LIVE in your neighborhood.

If you’re happening to look for a home to call your own in a good neighborhood, don’t hesitate to call us right away here at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. Visit us also at our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see available homes in a neighborhood you want to join!