Real Estate Agent with Solid Source Realty Georgia 282203
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Solid Source Realty GA
10900 Crabapple Rd
Roswell, GA 30075

Embracing Your "New" Old Home

The charm, the character, the cracks in the foundation? Older homes offer unique beauty and personality, but some buyers hesitate to consider them due to a fear of problems associated with old construction. Sidestep surprises with a thorough inspection so your "new" old house can become the home you've always wanted. Here are common issues to look for before purchasing.

Lead Paint
If built before 1978, a house may have lead paint. It's usually found on floors, window frames, doors, and trim. A certified inspector can detect this type of paint and recommend approved resources for its safe removal.

Inefficient Windows
Older properties often have windows with wood rot and leaky single-pane glass. Today, you can find new windows with faux leaded glass and beautiful beveled designs that uphold your home's aesthetic integrity. This is great news for those who love the vintage look.

Outdated HVAC Units
Problems with the HVAC system can pose a serious fire hazard, especially if it hasn't been maintained properly. Surprisingly, replacing your old equipment with an energy-efficient HVAC unit isn't necessarily a budget-breaker. Plus, it can help you save on utility bills for years to come.

Foundation and Structural Issues
The older the home, the more closely you should scrutinize its foundation and structure. Over time, even the most solidly built houses can form cracks. Always check for other telltale signs of structural issues, such as doors and windows that jam easily, visible wall cracks, cracked tile, and uneven floors.

Bottom line: If you've done your homework and hired the right inspectors, purchasing an older house can be a dream come true as well as a wise investment.

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Also in this issue...
What Can Be Negotiated When Buying a Home?
Apps To Help Newcomers Feel at Home
Homeownership Rate Is Increasing
Home Size Trending Downward

What Can Be Negotiated When Buying a Home?

During the process of purchasing a house, the proven negotiating skills of a real estate professional will save you time, money and aggravation. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

First, shop for the most competitive mortgage rates. Ask brokers how they calculate their offer and discuss ways to reduce closing costs. Choose the best deal and get pre-approved.

Prioritize what you want in a house. Once you find a few you like, fine-tune that list of priorities.

Make a note of anything you want to buy from the seller, like an outdoor playscape, lawn mower or oversized plant. You can also negotiate a home warranty, deep-cleaning or any number of inspections.

Timing can be a valuable negotiating tool. Work out the best dates for your closing and occupancy. Sellers who need to move quickly will favor offers from buyers with a more flexible move-in date.

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Apps To Help Newcomers Feel at Home

Finding your way around a new neighborhood takes time. Thankfully, smartphone apps make adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings a faster and less intimidating endeavor. Here are some that can smooth your transition so you'll feel right at home in no time. These and many others are available for free on iOS and Android.

Try AroundMe for quick answers on where to find the cheapest gas, nearest post office or best grocery stores.

Patch connects you to "everything local." Get breaking news and reviews of local shops and restaurants. Patch is available in over 1,000 communities, with new ones joining every month.

Connect with your neighbors on Nextdoor. Introduce yourself and ask for advice on local businesses, services and events. You'll have to verify your identity before joining, and once you're a member, you'll have an option to send messages to other members.

 focuses on interest-based networking. Easily connect with people in your area who have similar interests either virtually or in person.

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Homeownership Rate Is Increasing

The U.S. homeownership rate is 65.5%, the highest since 2012, according to Census.gov. This rate reflects the percentage of properties that are occupied by the owners. First-time buyers made up 34% of home purchases in 2021, up 3% from the previous year.

Homeownership peaked at 69.2% in 2004. It bottomed out in 2016 at 63.4%, the lowest it had been since 1965 (63%).

A National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) report on 2021 buying trends said that Gen Xers purchased the most expensive houses, with a median price of $320,000. Conversely, younger millennials bought the least expensive homes, with a median price of $250,000. NAR reported 15% of all buyers purchased newly built houses, compared to 85% who bought resale homes.

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Home Size Trending Downward

Is it just your imagination, or are houses in the U.S. getting smaller? As a matter of fact, the average size of a single-family home has decreased. Based on U.S. Census data, the average size of a single-family home has decreased from 2,700 square feet in 2015 to 2,500 in 2022.

According to EyeOnHousing.org, "Home size rose from 2009 to 2015 as entry-level new construction was constrained." In 2016, starter home construction began to increase, resulting in lower average square footage.

While Americans still want space to work and study from home, a smaller house with a space-maximizing floor plan might be a wise choice. And despite the recent decline in home size, today's average newly built property is close to 1,000 square feet larger than its 1970s-built counterpart.

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Comments (1)

George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Melanie Gurley older homes have a lot of charm, but the charm also comes with challenges.  ☺️

Dec 07, 2022 10:06 AM