Q: My wife and I have been looking at houses with our Realtor. Our Realtor requested that we get pre-qualified for our mortgage before we started looking last month. Last weekend we bought a new SUV, and when our Realtor saw it, she suggested that we check with the company handling our mortgage to be sure we still qualified for the same price home. Can that really make a difference?
Yes, it definitely can! Realtors often suggest to clients that they don’t make any large purchases (including furniture for the new home) until after they close on the new home. Adding debt can affect your credit rating and therefore affect the amount you are now qualified to borrow. I’ve heard of more than one deal fall apart because of similar incidents. Check with your local mortgage advisor before you make any large purchases, move any money from one account to another, deposit money that you’ve had stashed, open a new credit card account, or anything else that might affect your financial standing.
Q: My house is under contract, and the buyers had an inspection. Now they want to do something called hydrostatic testing. Can they do that?
Only if you agree to it. You do not have to agree to hydrostatic testing (used by plumbers to detect leaks). Speaking to a licensed plumber about the procedure and possible consequences might help you make your decision. If you do agree to the testing, you will need to sign a separate document of authorization. There is a new form available to Realtors (Addendum for Authorizing Hydrostatic Testing).
Q: Our house goes on the market next week. Our water heater is old, rusty, and starting to make strange sounds. I’m going to replace it but wondering if I should put in a tankless water heater instead of just replacing it with the same type I have now.
In case you haven’t checked yet, there is quite a bit of difference in the cost (the heater itself as well as the installation). The type of water heater likely will not make or break a deal. The fact that it will be new and is the appropriate size is more important. You could probably see a higher return on investment for more ‘visible’ things (kitchen appliance, paint, flooring, curb appeal, etc.). Good for you for being proactive!
Send me your questions! *** Word on the street is that you can go ahead and trim off that brown, freeze damaged portion of your plants. I’ve been told to leave anything green… even if you have to trim again later. I guess that’s where that 5th grade word ‘photosynthesis’ comes into play. Let’s banish the brown and bring out the green for St. Patrick’s Day! ***
Tanya Jones, 2018 President of GAR, is a Realtor with The House Company and can be reached at Tanya@TheHouseCompany.com or 409 789 7222.