Vero Beach Real Estate News – May 2013

Vero Beach Real Estate News - May 2013

In this Issue:*

How To Do a Final Walkthrough

Signs of a New Housing Bubble?

Features Buyers Say They Will Pay Extra For


How To Do A Final Walkthrough

Doing a final walkthrough inspectionWhen the home buying process is nearly complete, many buyers start relaxing and focusing on other details, such as purchasing new furniture and looking at paint samples.

But there is one more crucial step to take before closing on the house: a final walkthrough. This is the last chance before closing to make sure everything is in working condition.

A final walkthrough can not only help you feel more confident about your purchase and avoid buyer's remorse, it can also pinpoint any last-minute problems that should be taken care of before settlement.

When to Schedule a Walkthrough
A house walkthrough should take roughly 30 minutes to complete, enough time for you to be extremely thorough. During this assessment, you should check for new issues that may have come up since the last time you viewed the home.

This is especially important if a major event, like a severe storm, occurred during that time period. Once you close on the home, previous owners are not obligated to fix new damages that may have occurred.

Be sure to schedule a timely walkthrough, about 24 hours before closing on a home, to address any potential problems.

What to Look For
You should check all major appliances to ensure they are in working condition. For example, consider turning on the dishwasher and washing machine, checking outlets and light switches and testing other basic operations. Don't forget to turn on water faucets and flush the toilets, providing water is on in the house. You might also request warranties and owners' manuals for appliances.

Look to see whether any fixtures the seller agreed to leave behind (a chandelier, for instance) are missing. Check to make sure any previously agreed-upon repairs have been made. Then, look over the general condition of the property, inside and out: Are there damages like scratched walls or floors that occurred when the homeowner moved out? Did they leave unwanted furniture or other things behind? Is the yard and overall property in good shape (or, rather, the condition it was when you last saw the home)?

Many industry professionals recommend buyers bring a home inspector with them to look for any problems, and to confirm that repairs were made as requested and to their satisfaction. For this kind of service, home inspectors will typically charge much less than their original inspection costs.

Take Action Quickly
If you do find problems, you have a few options. First, you could choose to walk away from the deal altogether. However, most professionals encourage buyers to consider how significant the problem is before walking away. Is avoiding a $500 fix worth losing your dream home?

You may choose to postpone the closing until the sellers fix the problem. If sellers balk at having the problem fixed, and the repair was agreed upon during negotiations, you do have legal recourse — although it is recommended the buyers and sellers try to reach an amicable agreement to make the closing go more smoothly.

Take your time during a final walkthrough to ensure there are no surprises after the closing. Once this important last step is complete, take a deep breath, relax and smile: You are about to be the proud owner of a new home!



Signs of a New Housing Bubble?

Are we facing another real estate bubble?In various parts of the country, people are starting to use terms to describe the real estate market such as "overheated" and "skyrocketing prices" and "buying frenzy".

The discussions are not all that isolated either. Housing has been a tricky industry to read, as economists fail to agree on where we are in the recovery process.

Home sales are up, inventory levels are tight, mortgage rates are low, housing starts and permits are up, and three in four major metros are considered improving markets. Various indicators imply that housing is improving as the crisis has come to an end and the nation is trying to catch its breath before it begins walking again.

The U.S. Census Bureau says housing starts have hit their highest level since 2008 (the year the economy crashed, by the way), and although construction of single-family homes fell slightly, total starts rose seven percent in March over February, rising 47 percent over March 2012.

Home values are rising faster than rent, and while national home values only rose 0.1 percent for the month in the most recent report, it still marks 17 consecutive months of home values increasing.

Home values took massive hits when the economy tanked, and many homeowners suddenly found themselves underwater on their mortgage.

While there are many indicators to take into consideration, this simply addresses the tip of the iceberg. The fact is that as a whole, housing is no longer plummeting into a hopeless abyss, rather is trying to climb its way out of one – but the industry is not out of the hole yet, and unless politicians interfere, the sector could see some substantial improvement (but not necessarily a full recovery) this year.



Features Buyers Say They Will Pay Extra For

Kitchen upgrades top the list of things people are willing to pay more forSome home shoppers say they are willing to spend thousands of dollars above the price of the home in order to have certain interior features.

The most coveted home features tend to center around the kitchen, such as stainless steel appliances and a kitchen island, says Errol Samuelson, president of

Here are eight features that made the list and how much extra, on average, buyers say they're willing to pay for having that feature in their home:

  • Central air conditioning: $2,520
  • New kitchen appliances: $1,840
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom: $1,350
  • Granite countertops: $1,620
  • Hardwood floors: $2,080
  • Ensuite master bath: $2,030
  • Kitchen island: $1,370
  • Stainless steel appliances: $1,850

The features described are not necessarily the most important deciding factor for potential home buyers. When looking at a house, the first things people consider are factors such as the neighborhood, the school district and the difficulty of the commute to work.

There is a difference in people's preference and what they are willing to pay for things. Many people seem to want the steak but are on a hamburger budget.