Categories Tips

Expensive Home Repairs…and How to Avoid Them

 

Being a homeowner comes with a variety of benefits, including the pride of ownership, predictable costs (mortgage payment plus estimated bills and maintenance), greater privacy, an opportunity to build equity, tax breaks, and an overall sense of accomplishment!

Unfortunately, homeowners also face a few disadvantages – one particular barrier to happy homeownership tends to stick out to Americans: the burden of expensive repairs.

As the economy has improved in the United States, inflation has had a tremendous impact on the price of services for home repairs. Although many individuals appreciate a DIY project and may roll up their sleeves to complete their own repairs, renovations, and upgrades, plenty of others lack either the time or knowledge to execute the job successfully. They therefore must turn to hiring a professional. Let’s take a look at what the most expensive home repairs can cost:

  1. Fixing The Foundation: Average Repair – Roughly $7,000

A damaged foundation can necessitate a costly repair – sometimes it’s the most expensive project a homeowner is confronted with; therefore, it can create great financial strain on any family. Foundation damage often appears as cracks along the walls or uneven floors, and depending on the extent of the damage, costs of repairs can vary significantly. To determine the source of the problem, a homeowner must first hire an engineer to complete a structural report. The extent of the damage will determine the cost of repair – in some cases, homes may even be deemed unsafe if the foundation is particularly unstable. To address minor repairs like cracks, homeowners can anticipate paying around $500 for repairs. However, for extensive damage to the foundation, homeowners can expect to shell out an average of $4,000 – $10,000 for the repairs, depending on whether or not the repair requires the use of hydraulic piers (*Note: Some reports indicate damages can cost upwards of $100,000 in severe cases).

  1. New HVAC System: Average Repair – Roughly $11,000

The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system encompasses the network of systems, machines, and technologies used to regulate environmental features in the home. The variation in prices related to this repair typically depends on the quality of work that the user is looking for. For eco-friendly, high-end systems, homeowners could spend up to $50,000. However, for the average system, homeowners will spend between $6,500 – $15,500 for an entirely new system (central air conditioning, $3,000-$5,000; central furnace, $2,500-$7,500; ductwork, $1,000-$3,000). To save on this expense, homeowners should consider researching rebates and incentives that may be provided by their local community.

  1. New Roof: Average Repair – $6,200

The average price of a new roof can vary depending on the damages to the existing roof and the material used on the roof. Homeowners must ask themselves, Am I using steel or aluminum shingle? Tiles made of concrete or clay? However, so far in 2019 in Harris County, the average cost for homeowners has been $6,213, an estimate which includes material, labor, and equipment costs, as well as project costs and cleanup fees. This does not include fees for permits, inspections, taxes, and/or contractor fees.

As A Homeowner in Texas, Consider The Following:

  1. If you have had to make repairs to the foundation of your home, Texas law requires that you report it to the new homeowner. Unfortunately, this repair can negatively impact the value of your home.
  2. Today’s homebuyers are generally looking for homes with eco-friendly systems installed. Newer homes are typically constructed with these systems, which contractors are able to purchase in large quantities at discounted prices. Should you have to replace your system, you will want to bear in mind your future competition and consider installing a more upgraded system as an investment.
  3. Roofing is a major concern in Texas, specifically because of unfavorable weather patterns. Annual storms can decrease the number of years a roof can be expected to last; therefore, homeowners are highly sensitive to the construction and warranty on the roof.

Do You Want to Avoid These Repairs?

As you can see, the above repairs and projects can certainly be expensive and impact your ability to sell and market your home in the future. One promising alternative, which many community members are considering, is to sell their home without making the repairs – that is, selling their home as-is. Their choice is allowing them to avoid giving up the time and money it takes to address the issues with their homes. Instead, they’ll be able to move into a new home with appropriate upgrades.

There are two primary avenues for selling a home as-is:

  • Sell on the market as a fixer-upper
  • Sell to an all-cash investor. Scenario one often leaves money on the table in the sale, while scenario two, when executed correctly, gives homeowners an advantage the market will not offer them.

If you are confronted with unwanted home repairs and want to learn how you can sell your home and save money, contact us today!

Categories Tips

Why Selling Your Home On The Market Can Be Timely and Costly

Don’t be caught by surprise.

When you sell your home on the traditional market you could end up paying up to 10% of the selling price in fees alone.

This is a list of the most common fees.

Real Estate Commissions

A licensed real estate agent can certainly help you sell the home. They market the home and represent you during the sale. 

Here in Texas, most agents ask for a 6% fee. 3% goes to the buyer’s agent and 3% goes to the seller’s agent. That means if you sell a $500,000 home you can expect to pay up to $30,000 in realtor fees alone.

Upgrading and Beautifying the Home

Unless you’re marketing your home as a fixer-upper (at which point you’ll have to sell it for a lot less) you’ll have to take the necessary steps to upgrade and beautify your home. That means making repairs and doing a great deal of maintenance. It may even mean upgrading the home. 

Landscaping and staging costs are necessary too. The truth is that many buyers won’t accept anything less than a picture-perfect, turnkey home, even in a tight market.

That’s about 2% of the sale price in most cases. So if you’re selling for $500,000, that’s another $10,000 you’ll have to give up.

Of course, some people are meticulous about home upkeep. If that’s you, then your investment will be minimal at this point. Those who have been neglecting their homes can expect to pay even more, though. Be careful!

Concessions

Potential buyers often negotiate by asking sellers to pay for closing costs. That means they’re asking you to pay escrow fees, inspection fees, transfer fees, and other costs.

Maybe your real estate agent will negotiate particularly well. If so, your closing costs may be just 3% of the sale price. 

That’s $15,000 more dollars on the sale of a $500,000 home.

If your agent doesn’t do such a good job of negotiating then you can expect to pay even more.

Moving Costs

Hiring a moving company. Renting a storage unit. Paying the deposit and first month’s on a rental, or paying to buy a new home. Moving is never cheap.

We always recommend assessing your moving costs so you can get a full understanding of what you’ll be getting into when it’s time to sell your home.

Want help avoiding these fees?

You can forgo all these unwanted fees and sell your home fast. We’re all-cash Homebuyers located in Houston, TX. We buy homes as-is and save you a lot of money doing it. No agent fees, no closing costs, no repair costs. 

We even help you with moving expenses.

Need to sell? Get a free, no-obligation offer from us so you can crunch the numbers and see what makes sense. 

Categories Tips

Top 3 Renovations for People Aging at Home

 

Baby boomers may be retiring, but their youthful attitudes are giving them a new perspective, which has translated into a shift in the housing market. Instead of selling their homes as their parents would have, boomers are making essential renovations and upgrades to ensure that their homes are ready to accommodate them in the aging process. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular changes this generation is making!

  1. Turning Downstairs Spaces into Living Areas. As the body ages, it undergoes changes that often make it difficult to go up and down stairs on a daily basis. Therefore, homeowners who are preparing their homes to accommodate them in their aging processes are renovating their downstairs spaces to become their new headquarters. Homeowners who used to have offices and bedrooms on the second story have undertaken renovations so that all their daily living can be done without the strain of climbing stairs.
  2. Installing Smart Home Devices. Many baby boomers, who make up the majority of the generation transitioning to old age, are installing smart home devices to simplify their lives. Contrary to how society often depicts the boomer population, they are quite tech-savvy and are major consumers of smart devices, such as virtual home assistants, such as Alexa, and self-monitored stoves. Virtual home assistants offer simplicity for these seniors when they are seeking information online. This home tech also connects to lighting systems, alarm systems, and the thermostat – now all of a home’s electronics can be controlled with a simple voice command. The installation of self-monitoring stoves also works to help improve safety – these stoves can sense whether or not they’ve been left on or if the temperature is getting too hot. If a self-monitoring stove senses an error, it can automatically shut itself off.
  3. Upgrading to Improve Energy Efficiency. Living in retirement often means living on a budget, so every saved penny is essential. Many homeowners entering this stage of life are upgrading various aspects of their home in hopes of reducing the costs of their day-to-day living. They’ve taken steps that include installing double-paned, energy efficient windows to reduce the amount of heat that escapes in the winter and the amount of cold air that escapes in the summer; exchanging old lights with new efficient ones – some which even run on timers to ensure that they are turned off during sunny and sleeping hours; replacing air conditioners and water heaters with new models that are designed to reduce environmental impact; and, of course, trading outdated kitchen appliances for eco-friendly ones. By making these investments, individuals aging at home are creating opportunities for long-term savings.

The Challenges with These Upgrades

Many baby boomers live in the same homes they’ve occupied for decades, which means they are still using ancient appliances that demand an excess of both time and money to replace. On the plus side, this allows homeowners to make renovations specific to their wants and needs. However, on the downside, many homeowners cannot afford to commit an exuberant amount of money and time to making these changes – they’d often rather spend their resources on the vacations they’ve been saving for retirement!

Therefore, plenty of homeowners are taking a different approach and are selling their homes, hoping to move into one with upgraded appliances already installed. When purchasing a newer home, such upgrades are typically expected from contractors, and the mass production of new equipment is driving down costs, allowing homeowners to purchase homes at a lower rate. In addition, some boomers are moving into one-story homes in an effort to remove all the hassle that comes with maintaining a two-story home. Not only will the downsize reduce their costs, but it will save them the time spent doing the chores involved with keeping a second story clean.

Making The Move

Are you in search of an elegant, simple solution that will land you in a perfect one-story home with all of the essential upgrades for making life easy? Well, we have the answer: sell your home to an all-cash buyer and quickly earn the capital to make your move. By taking this route, you can avoid the hassle of selling on the market, which allows you to skip the stress of working with a real estate agent and making the essential upgrades needed to sell. You can sell your home – NOW – as-is and receive an-all cash offer. To learn more, contact us, and we can guide you through the process of getting out of your home and into a new one – one that is well-equipped to ease you into aging at home!

Categories Tips

Sell Your Home To Move Near Family

 

Throughout different phases in your life you have more than likely had different perspectives on the idea of living near family. For those who are eighteen and getting out on their own for the first time, they experience excitement when they take that first step away from their home town. However, as we age, our desire to live away from family tends to decline. We start to realize the benefits of living near family. If you currently live away from your family, it may be time to consider moving closer to them. Here’s why: 

For Families

If you have children or are interested in starting a family, then moving closer to family can reduce financial and emotion stress. Having family nearby can:

  • Provide families a sense of security: If there is an emergency there will always be someone nearby you can trust to call in those moments.
  • Assist when you are on vacation: If you have pets or plants, or just a home that you protect, then having family nearby to check in on the home when you are on vacation can both ease your mind and save you money. Especially if you own pets! Pet sitters or sending your animals to the kennel can be a costly expense – often more than the vacation itself!
  • Offer safe and cheap child care! If you have children and are working or are just looking for a Friday night sitter, finding a reliable individual to meet your expectations can be challenging. Plus, child care services can run over $20 per hour these days!

As for the kids, they always appreciate living near family. Children who grow up near extended family are provided the opportunity to:

  • Form a closer bond with their grandparents. This is a healthy relationship to allow your children to have – giving them the opportunity to spend time with grandparents provides them the chance to learn life lessons they may have otherwise missed.
  • Grow up with their cousins who often act as brothers and sisters.

For Single Individuals

If you are single, then you may be reading this article and thinking that living away from family does not impact you as much. This however is the opposite of the truth – as a single individual (at any age), moving near family can actually increase your sense of satisfaction and happiness in life. You can be a part of your family’s unique social network, attend family gatherings, and have never ending support on your life’s endeavors.

For Retirees

Now, what about those entering into retirement? Well, this is the best news of all – as your age, living near family in a social environment helps improve your health! When you stay connected, get to spend time with grandchildren, and experience a sense of purpose, you can actually reduce your risk of getting certain diseases and improve your energy.

In addition, retirees may experience some of the same benefits as families. Seniors who live near family can benefit from having family members nearby in case of an emergency and they can have assistance to care for their house when they are taking a vacation; again, these factors can help save money!

Are You Ready To Move Near Family?

You may have read this and identified that it could be beneficial to move near family, but then the daunting thought came to your mind – “If I move I have to go through the process of selling my home!” This process can be long, expensive and tedious. It involves finding a real estate agent, providing opportunities for your agent to prepare marketing materials and host open houses, participating in negotiations, and paying for inspections – to name a few.

However – what if there was a way to move near family and avoid selling your home on the market? Good news, there is! You can sell to us, Gulf State Homebuyers.

We here at Gulf State Homebuyers are all-cash home buyers located in Baytown, Texas. We buy homes all around the Houston area at competitive prices. We provide clients the opportunity to close on their home within five days of our initial offer. We buy homes as-is – this means that you do not need to waste time or money on inspections and upgrades. We also help with some financial assistance with our clients – there are no closing costs or agent fees acquired by our clients and we help with their moving expenses.

Move near family today! Contact us for a free consultation on how we can help you.

Categories Foreclosure

Don’t Give Your Home Back To The Bank!

 

FORECLOSURE! It is the dreaded word that no homeowner wants to hear. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans are faced with foreclosure every year.  According to recent statistics, 1 in every 2471 homeowners lose their homes to foreclosure annually. Thankfully, foreclosure rates appear to be on the decline – here is the distribution of foreclosures based on the number of homes in active foreclosure in the U.S. as of February 2019:

  • Pre-Foreclosures were up 4.8% compared to January 2018; however, they were down 9.9% compared to the year prior.
  • Auction homes were down 5.9% compared to January 2018 and down 11.1% compared to the year prior.
  • Bank owned homes were down 6.8% compared to January 2018 and down 11.8% compared to the year prior.

In Texas however, statistics are drastically different. It is estimated that 1 in every 2840 homeowners in the state lose their home each year. As of February 2019, homes in auction were up 17.7% compared to the month prior and up 9.3% compared to the year prior; homes that were actively bank owned were down 25.9% compared to the month prior but up 11.7% compared to the year prior.

In Baytown, 1 in every 1917 homes are foreclosed annually. Unfortunately, these rates have increased a staggering amount in the last year. Homes in auction have increased 275% in the past year and homes that are bank owned have increased 250%.

What has contributed to the increase in foreclosed homes in Baytown?

In recent years Baytown has experienced an economic downturn; unemployment rates have lingered between 8% and 10% since 2015 – this is more than 5% higher than the average U.S. unemployment rate (as of March 2019 the U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8%). Two major factors have been identified as the contributors to this decline – a collapse in oil prices and the decline in construction rates.

The good news is that the future is bright for Houston and the surrounding areas. In fact, Consvestro, a company from Germany, is planning to construct a $1.7 billion petrochemical plant in Baytown.

What to do if you are facing foreclosure?

Contrary to the good news projected by economists, many community members in Baytown are still facing a horrible situation – foreclosure! You may have fallen so far behind on your payments that you need a quick solution.

Unfortunately, if you go through a foreclosure you will face a multitude of consequences:

  • Your credit score can be expected to decrease between 250-280 points – this will take at least 3 years to bring back up.
  • You may be faced with unexpected tax problems and might be required to pay federal capital gains tax. Thankfully however Texas does not impose capital gains taxes so you most likely will not face consequences with the state.
  • In most cases you will be unable to buy a new home for another 5-7 years.

There is however a way to avoid foreclosure and get out of your situation without the consequences listed above. You can sell to an all-cash buyer.

Why sell to an all-cash buyer?

If you are facing foreclosure you can choose to sell to an all-cash buyer, such as ourselves – Gulf State Homebuyers. By selling to us you can avoid giving your home back to the bank. When you sell to us, we provide you with an easy solution to a big problem.

Here is what we can do for you:

  • We can help you get out of your home quickly. After our initial offer we can close on your home within five days.
  • We can provide you with a competitive offer. We do not take advantage of your difficult situation but instead try to help you get ahead.
  • We can accommodate your moving date and even help you pay for moving expenses.

The best part – our process is very simple. Once you contact us about your situation we will have one of our qualified staff visit you at your home. There will be no need for additional contractors or appraisals – we have bought plenty of homes and are confident in giving you an on the spot offer. Once our staff visits your home and assesses its value, they will provide you an offer the same day. If you chose to sell, we will complete all the necessary paperwork. You will be responsible for zero closing costs and no agent fees. The price we offer is the amount you get.

If you are facing foreclosure and would like to learn more about receiving your all-cash offer, contact us today for your free consultation.