Matt Hurlburt Group
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Lead and the Buying/ Selling Process. Protecting you and your family.
There are a number of Vermont homes that were built or remodeled prior to 1978. Why 1978? In 1978, the federal government banned consumer uses of lead-containing paint, but some states banned it even earlier. Lead from paint, including lead-contaminated dust, is one of the most common causes of lead poisoning.
The exposure pathways for lead that is most concerning are ingestion and inhalation. Lead can effect anyone in a family, but children are at the greatest risk, due to developing nervous systems and smaller body mass. Small children also tend put everything in their mouths, which could include paint chips or chewing on windowsills. Lead actually has a sweet taste, which can encourage little ones to seek out places to chew when teething.
Source - US. EPA
As a Buyer/ Seller, what are your responsibilities?
One of the great mysteries of home buying, at least to those who have never been through the process, is closing costs. While nearly everyone has heard of them, few who haven’t had to pay them really understand them. Some people who have paid them aren’t sure what they spent all that money on. Knowing what these terms mean and what fees they consist of can help you be more prepared for them when the time comes.
Closing costs are the various fees that a home buyer must pay before the mortgage lender will finalize the mortgage. More generally speaking, these costs are about 3 to 6 percent of the amount borrowed. That is in addition to your down payment. This purpose of this blog entry is to identify and explain some of the components of your total closing costs.
The lender will charge an application fee to cover the costs of completing your mortgage application. This may or may not include the fee for your credit report. They will also charge a loan origination fee, also known as points. This covers the administrative costs of processing your mortgage. One point is equal to 1% of the total amount loaned.
Many lenders offer the option to purchase without points, but keep in mind that this will result in a higher interest rate. There are also lenders who will let you pay additional points to lower the interest rate on your loan.
Title insurance will be required by your lender. This protects you and the mortgage company in case the seller does not have the legal right to sell it. There could be unknown co-owners of the property, or it could have an unpaid lien (debt) against it that would prevent the seller from legally selling it.
An appraisal is also required by lenders. This is to ensure that the home is worth the amount loaned to you to purchase it. A home inspection is not usually required, but we recommend that you have one. The cost of the inspection could also be considered part of closing costs.
Homeowners insurance is a standard requirement of mortgage lenders. They will require proof of it and may require you to pay the first year’s premium before closing. Private mortgage insurance may also be required depending on the amount of your down payment, typically if your down payment is less than 20% of the loan amount, and part of the fee will be included in your closing costs.
Taxes associated with the transfer are usually the buyer’s responsibility, unless other arrangements are agreed upon. You may also have to pay for a survey of the property. You will likely be required to pay the interest accrued between the time your mortgage was originated and the due date of your first payment. Attorney and notary fees may also be a part of your closing costs.
Hopefully this begins to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding closing costs. Still confused? Contact us at the Matt Hurlburt Group to get your questions answered.
While many different inspections can be performed for a residential home, the most common inspections are:
Water Test (if private well)
The following is some general information regarding common issues that may arise during these inspections. Note that you are free to hire any inspection company with whom you feel comfortable. We can refer inspection companies who have served us and our clients for years, if you desire. In any case, we highly recommended that you attend the inspections in person. This is a great opportunity to you to learn about the house through the eyes of the inspector, and to ask questions about any of the findings and recommendations.
Structural/Building Inspections are a general inspection covering the various systems of the home. They will typically inspect the structural components of the home (foundation, crawl space, attic, exterior, doors and windows, and interior walls and surfaces), roof, electrical, plumbing, appliances, heating & air conditioning, smoke detectors, garage door, drainage, and water heater. They will look for conditions that are not up to code, or are not in compliance with current health and safety standards and codes. They will typically comment on maintenance and other repairs that you may expect over time.
Home inspections include an overview of the roof and chimney, and may raise concerns that would warrant a roofing or chimney expert to advise and provide estimates, if necessary. They also do not check for building permits.
Drainage is one area that is often a concern in this area, especially with older homes. It is not uncommon to get some dampness in the basement or around the home, especially in the spring. Large accumulation of water in a basement is not a desirable situation. If you buy an older home, pay particular attention to the drainage, and what improvements you might want to consider over time. Your building inspector can advise.
Cracking and settlement may be another area of concern. This is normally a matter of degree, as some cracking in the sheetrock and concrete surfaces is to be expected as the property settles, lumber shrinks, earthquakes occur, and so on. Extensive cracking, sticking doors and windows, and floors that are out of level can be a symptom of more serious settlement and/or foundation issues, so again care should be taken to understand and address these issues.
You should also determine the age of the major components of the home, such as water heaters, the furnace, and air conditioning units. Pay close attention to the age, and ask the home inspector what is a reasonable expectation for the remaining life of these components.
Unless the roof is brand new – a roof inspection by a licensed roofer is higher recommended for most transactions. They will usually issue a report detailing the condition of the roof, and any repairs that are recommended to keep the roof in good condition. It is important to ask the inspector how much life is left on the roof.
In general, wood shake roofs can normally be expected to last 20 to 25 years with periodic maintenance. Composition shingle roofs can be expected to last 20 to 30 years depending on the materials used. Coated metal roofs, tile roofs, and slate roofs can be expected to last well over 40 or 50 years. Once the recommended repairs are completed, the roofer will guarantee the roof against leaks for a period of one year.
If the property has a fireplace, a chimney inspection by a licensed chimney sweep is recommended, especially on masonry or brick fireplace. The biggest threat is broken flue tiles, which present a fire hazard and will require a $2000 to $3000 repair. On newer non-masonry fireplaces, the most common issues are related to separation of the panels or pre-mature aging of the refractory panels.
Depending on the situation, other inspections may be appropriate. Usually we start with the property, roof, and chimney inspections. Depending on the results of these inspections additional investigation or a more detailed inspection by a specialist may be warranted. Some other inspections might include:
Furnace inspections by your electric utility provider
Fall in Vermont means crisp nights, dazzling foliage, apple and pumpkin picking, fresh cider, and a great time for real estate? Read on to see the seven reasons that Fall may be the best time to think about hunting for that perfect property. Let the Matt Hurlburt Group be your best resource as you begin your Fall adventure!
Effective August 13th Vermont Housing Finance Agency will reintroduce the MOVE Program, which is a limited time 3.875% mortgage option that can be used for Conventional and Government loans. The MOVE Program interest rate is subject to change when the pool of funds is nearing completion.
Are you working with a VHFA Participating Lender so you can take advantage of this
opportunity? Visit www.vhfa.org/homeownership/lenders.php to search VHFA Participating Lenders.
Terms and Eligibility*:
Vermont Counties have no First-Time homebuyer Requirement.
More than a low rate, borrowers will also receive all of the traditional benefits of a VHFA Mortgage:
Do you need a down payment and closing cost assistance, or the long-term benefit of a Mortgage Credit
Certificate? Those benefits are still available through our Advantage and MOVE MCC programs!
For more information on the MOVE Program, and other VHFA Programs, contact one of our Participating Lenders, or
VHFA Outreach Coordinator Seth Leonard at 802-652-3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RE/MAX Associates donated $8.2 million dollars to Children’s Miracle Network last year! This brings the total donated to over $130 million since 1992 when the ‘partnership’ began. The Matt Hurlburt Group has committed to donating a portion of every transaction to Children's Miracle net work for the last three years and it's nice to know that the contribution we give goes right to our local Children’s Miracle Hospital at Fletcher Allen.
RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly told CNBC's Amanda Drury on March 14 that RE/MAX agents are reporting the busiest January and February they've seen in years.