Whether you’re an aspiring first-time homebuyer and about to make your first offer or you have just purchased your second or third home, you’re probably excited to enjoy your new space. But wait, is that a little critter by the backdoor? Maybe itâs just an antâ¦ nothing to worry about, right? Just to be sure there arenât any other pests lurking about your new house, you might want to consider getting a pest and termite inspection. Here are five reasons you should schedule a termite and pest inspection before any unwanted visitors wreak havoc on your dream home.
Why should you get a pest and termite inspection?
As a new homeowner, itâs always a good idea to cover all your bases and have a pest and termite inspection performed. Homes in more humid climates – think homes in Miami, FL or houses in Houston, TX – are more susceptible to termite infestations due to the increased moisture in the surrounding environment. If youâve seen any signs of a termite infestation, it might be a good idea to have a termite inspection. These signs can include buckling floorboards, creaky floors, or damaged wood.
For those still in the homebuying process, if you see signs of termite damage in the house, you should consider adding a termite contingency when making an offer on a home. A termite contingency may give you the option to back out of the sale if thereâs been significant damage found. Otherwise, you can try to negotiate with the seller to pay for the repairs.Â
What if youâre planning on just getting a regular home inspection? Your home inspector likely wonât look for specific types of pest or termite damage. However, if your home inspector does find damage, contacting a pest or termite inspector should be your next step. A pest or termite control specialist can help you determine what the best course of action is, likely scheduling an inspection to determine the extent of the damage.
Is a pest and termite inspection required before closing on a home?
If youâve already purchased your home, then you didnât miss out on any required inspections. For most homebuyers, termite and pest inspections are not required before closing on a home. However, certain types of loans such as FHA and VA loans may require you to pay for a pest inspection before your mortgage approval, so itâs best to check with your mortgage lender or real estate agent. Your real estate agent will also know if your particular state or county requires a pest inspection before purchasing a home.
5 benefits of having a termite or pest inspection
There are several benefits of having your home inspected for termites or pests.
1) Negotiating power. If the home youâre looking to buy ends up having damage from termites or pests, youâll likely have better negotiating power. Your real estate agent can help you decide what negotiations to make. These negotiations may include asking the seller to reduce the price so you can pay for pest control services or asking the seller to pay for any repairs or fumigation services before you close on the home.
2) Peace of mind. These inspections will be able to tell you if thereâs any structural damage from pests or termites. Your inspector will disclose any issues they find. Then youâll have an idea of what kind of maintenance you might need as the homeâs future owner.Â
3) Save money. Moving into a new home can feel like the dream, but itâs always a good idea to know what youâre getting yourself into. Without a pest or termite inspection, you may be foregoing a critical type of home inspection that may end up costing you more money down the road if a problem is left untreated.
4) Prepare for future expenses. If your pest or termite inspector finds certain types of pests in the home youâll have a better idea of what to look out for as a homeowner. That way, you will know if your new home or the area youâve moved to is susceptible to specific pests. It will also help you to plan ahead for any costs associated with keeping these pests away.
5) Find a local pest control company. Say your home is more susceptible to termites because youâre buying a house in a more humid area, or that spiders or mice are more common in your county. The good news is you’ve found a local pest control company to help you schedule regular maintenance. You’ll know just who to call for help if any critters start appearing in your house.
What to expect during a pest inspection
The inspection will take roughly 30 minutes but can vary based on the size of the home and whether thereâs a basement, crawl space, or any extra areas. The inspector will examine the interior and exterior of the home for any signs of damage, infestation, or specific areas that might be more susceptible to pests. Theyâll check for any signs of moisture. Damaged wood or buckled paint indicate the presence of wood-destroying insects like termites. They are more likely to be found in these areas vulnerable areas.
The inspector will check for a variety of different bugs such as carpenter ants, fleas, mosquitos, and moths, among others. Where you are located may also play a role in the types of pests your inspector will look for. Some pests are more likely to be found in certain areas or are local to your region. If these types of local pests are found during the inspection, your pest inspector may recommend regular pest control to keep these critters at bay.Â
The post Should You Schedule a Pest and Termite Inspection for the Home Youâre Buying? appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A group of real-estate startups is aiming to cash in on the remote-work phenomenon.
With many corporate offices closed because of the pandemic, manyÂ young professionals have left citiesÂ like New York and San Francisco for warmer, cheaper places. A number still plan to return after their offices reopen, leaving them reluctant to buy homes or sign long-term apartment leases.
That situation is creating fresh demand for furnished housing on a short-term basis, a fast-growing niche that many property startups and their venture-capital backers are rushing to fill.
One of them is Landing, which runs a network of furnished apartments across the U.S. When it launched in 2019, the Birmingham, Ala., and San Francisco-based company initially planned to operate in about 30 cities last year. Instead, it expanded to 75, largely because demand grew much faster than expected, said Landing Chief Executive Bill Smith.
âCovid has taken a decade of change that I was thinking was going to happen between now and 2030 and kind of compressed it into a year,â he said.
Legions of remote workers also offer these firms a chance to make up for reduced tourist and corporate business. San Francisco-based Sonder, which rents out furnished apartments by the night, ramped up its marketing of extended stays during the pandemic, according to Chief Executive Francis Davidson. Stays of longer than 14 days now account for about 60% of the companyâs business, up from less than a quarter before the pandemic, he said.
Kulveer Taggar, CEO of corporate-housing operator Zeus Living, said his firm experienced a steep drop in demand as companiesÂ hit the pause button on employee travelÂ and relocations. But he was able to make up some ground by renting apartments to individuals. People working from home now account for about a quarter of the companyâs business, Mr. Taggar said, up from virtually nothing before the pandemic.
Unlike Sonder and Zeus, remote workers were a key part of Landingâs business before the pandemic. Its customers pay an annual membership fee, which gives them the right to rent furnished apartments in any city. The minimum length of stay varies from 30 to 60 days, and the company asks for a monthâs notice before a customer moves out.
The company is popular with college-educated young professionals who donât want to be tied to a single location. Since the start of the pandemic, it has seen a growing number of customers leave New York and San Francisco and move to cities like St. Petersburg, Fla., and Denver, Mr. Smith said.
In November, Landing raised $45 million in venture funding from a group of investors led by Foundry Group and including Greycroft and Maveron, along with $55 million in debt. Mr. Smith said he hopes to expand to 25,000 apartments by the end of this year, up from around 10,000 today.
That growth carries risk if demand from remote workers were to disappear again after the pandemic is over. Still, Chris Moody, a partner at Foundry Group, said the number of furnished apartments available under flexible terms is still so small that he doesnât worry about a lack of customers.
âEven at the end of 2021, we wonât really have scratched the surface,â he said.
The post Remote-Work Boom During Covid-19 Pandemic Draws Real-Estate Startups appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Typical values for Black and Latinx-owned homes still lag behind overall U.S. home values, but the gap is narrowing.
A new Zillow analysis shows homes owned by Black and Latinx households are worth 16.2% and 10.2% less, respectively, than the typical U.S. home. Homes owned by non-Hispanic white and Asian families, meanwhile, have typical values 2.9% and 3.7% higher than the typical U.S. home.
While inequity in home values continues to persist, the data show them steadily, albeit slowly, converging. Since homeownership is the single largest driver of wealth for many households, the value and appreciation of a home is extremely impactful for families.
Before the Great Recession, the gap between Black-owned home values and all home values was about 15%, but grew to 20% by March 2014. Similarly, Latinx-owned homes saw the largest home value gap in May 2012 at 14% — 2 percentage points larger than before the housing bubble. Now, nearly a decade later, home values for Black- and Latinx-owned homes are back at pre-bubble levels, and continue to narrow despite the current economic crisis.
One reason for the wide gap is that the housing bust hit communities of color especially hard. Subprime loans were targeted to take advantage of the most vulnerable communities, and the ensuing wave of foreclosures hurt homeownership and home values disproportionately for Black and Latinx homeowners. Fast forward 12 years, and homeownership rates and home values are still recovering for these communities. While home value growth turned positive for U.S. homes in August 2012, it took an additional two years for Black and Latinx homes to see this same growth.
“It has taken nearly a decade for the home value gap to return to pre-recession levels, but still, the gap remains very large,” says Zillow economist Treh Manhertz. “With Black and brown communities and jobs hit disproportionately hard in the pandemic, there has been reason to worry another dip may be on the horizon that could slow or stop the progress. However, this is not the case, as the same factors that widened the gap in the Great Recession are not surfacing this time. Thanks to rock bottom rates on the most secure mortgages, extended forbearance programs, and rising home prices, there are no signs of another widening of the gap coming this year. However, through these turbulent times, continued vigilance and targeted intervention by policymakers is crucial to keep the progress going for communities of color.”
Home value inequality varies greatly in different states and metropolitan areas. Large metros with the smallest spread between Black-owned home values are Riverside (1% value gap), San Antonio (3%), Las Vegas (3%), and Portland (4%). Among the most unequal are Detroit (46% value gap), Buffalo (43%) Birmingham (43%), St. Louis (41%), and Milwaukee (40%).
Black homeownership rates are also on the rise since the Great Recession, despite challenges for Black homebuyers to secure a mortgage. Telework has the ability to expand the opportunity for homeownership even further for Black and Latinx renters, providing the flexibility to own a home in a less-expensive area.
The post Zillow study illustrates home value disparity between races appeared first on RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News.
A recent Q & A we had with Adam Segal, CEO + Founder of Washington D.C. based Cove offers a picture window into the future of business. What was intended to be a real estate technology informative, turned out to be a glimpse of what the post-COVID world of real estate may look like. Initially focused on creating a network of co-working spaces to foster efficiency and productivity in the digital age, Segalâs companyâs ship may have just arrived in the form of a world cataclysm.Â
The coronavirus pandemic is forcing a paradigm shift for every business and institution on Earth. The world is turned upsidedown, and the only sure thing people can cling to, for the moment, is uncertainty. The daily grind, the 9-5, in contrast to the homogenization of the digital and the physical world, is creating catastrophes and vast opportunities for the future. And Cove sits smack in the middle of what most experts think will be the transition of transitions not just in real estate, but for business in general. I exchanged emails with the Cove CEO this past week, since catching up with him via phone proved impossible. Hereâs the brief interview, followed by some takeaway points.
RealtyBiz: How do you see commercial property marketing shaping up in the post-COVID era?
Adam Segal: At Cove, we believe commercial real estate will still have a place in a post-COVID era. In fact, it will transform from a place for your dedicated desk into an absolute key business resource to define culture and engagement. Traditionally, there has been a strong emphasis on your everyday desk or office. Moving forward, companies will consider where and how people are most productive, thereby enabling employees greater flexibility to choose when and where they work. The office will morph into a place to come together as opposed to being the required 9-5, everyday solution. For employees, this is an incredibly exciting future â as soon as you are no longer tied to a single desk or office, you have the freedom to design your life without your employerâs office location and long commutes as the deciding factor. At Cove, we provide the technology and service to support that future world for companies, while empowering office building owners a partner to create modern experiences integral to the future of work.
RealtyBiz: Some experts see the negative pricing trend for commercial property continuing to spiral downward. What is your view on this trend, and how can owners/developers prepare?
Adam Segal: When there is an increase in demand, differentiation becomes the absolute key. For those assets that are able to capture the future of work and unlock a differentiated experience, there will not be a downward spiral â in fact, just the opposite.
RealtyBiz: How do you see your business at Cove changing to address this new landscape?
Adam Segal: Cove implements a modern consumer approach to the future of work for companies and owners of office buildings. Our focus is on building an experience around the office by building robust tools to bring everything online â from scheduling and coordinating your team to reduce capacity, unlocking onsite services and delivery, real-time updates â really a gateway to a modern work experience. The post-pandemic office will look nothing like the office of yesterday. In the future, the office will no longer be a home for your desk. Instead, the office will be a resource to bring people together for meaningful engagement. As a result, every company will need more intentional and coordinated office days for collaboration. The future of work for any company will include a mix of working remotely, in office, on travel â but now a real focus on productivity as opposed to a default 9-5, Monday through Friday culture.
According to Crunchbase, Cove is funded by Early Light Ventures. My takeaway on their investment, given the current state of transformation in business, is that those investors are smiling great big about now. $8.4 million in total funding could well turn into 100 times that figure. Here’s why.
Whatever benefits the remote office had before COVID-19, those benefits have been multiplied by 10,000 now. Furthermore, whichever businesses chose to optimize their buildings using Cove services before the pandemic, those clients are the leading edge of what physical office space will be in the future. Think about the whole situation like this. Once corporations and smaller entities make the adjustments for distancing, access assurance, safety measures, and added efficiency, how many do you think will switch back to business as usual? I should not have to spell out Cove’s potential here. From custom virtual events to building access management, Cove had a finger on the pulse of office buildings to start with. The next generation of office space will be all about remote work and managing a new kind of physical space. Who better to help transform the work at home corporate synergy? So, Cove has one of those rare opportunities brought about by the cosmos.
The post The Commercial Space Post-COVID – With Cove CEO Adam Segal appeared first on RealtyBizNews: Real Estate News.
A look at SARS data: What the coronavirus pandemic could mean for home prices and buying competition
While the coronavirus outbreak is certainly no good news, it appears there may be a silver lining to look forward to â at least for hopeful homebuyers.
George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The numbers:Â Sales of new single-family homes fell in September, but the housing market remains poised to buck seasonal trends nonetheless.
New home sales occurred at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 959,000, the U.S. Census BureauÂ reported Monday. That represents a 3.5% drop from an downwardly-revised pace of 994,000 homes in August. Compared with last year, new home sales are up 32%.
Last month, the government had reported that new-home sales had exceeded an annual rate of 1 million for the first time since 2006. The government uses a small sample size to produce the new-home sales report, which makes it prone to significant revisions like this.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected home sales to increase to a median pace of 1.033 million.
What happened:Â New home sales fell a staggering 28.9% in the Northeast, followed by much smaller declines in the Midwest and the South. Comparatively, the West was the only region to experience an increase in sales with a 3.8% jump.
The decline in September aside, year-to-date new home sales are running nearly 17% ahead of the pace set by this time last year.
The median sales price in July was $326,800, up from Augustâs median price. The inventory of new homes was 284,000, representing a 3.6-month supply at the current pace of sales. A 6-month supply is considered the benchmark for a balanced market.
The big picture:Â Although most economists anticipated sales to rise in September, that is an incredibly rare occurrence. An analysis of past sales data by Regions Financial Corp. chief economist Richard Moody found that since the government began tracking this data in 1963, new home sales have only increased between August and September on four occasions.
The number of homes sold but not yet started was up in September from the previous month, a sign that builders are struggling to keep pace with the demand for homes. The monthly decline aside, low mortgage rates continue to fuel demand among buyers. And with the inventory of existing homes for saleÂ dropping to record lows, many buyers will be forced to turn to the market for newly-constructed properties.
By that same token, though, interest rates could come to represent a headwind for the market, Moody said. âDespite the recent strength of sales, affordability is a growing concern, even more so should mortgage interest rates follow yields on longer-term Treasuries higher,â Moody wrote in a research note.
The post New Home Sales Dip Slightly in September, but Remain Strong Going Into Fall appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.comÂ®.
Orchard announced Tuesday its immediate availability to consumers in Houston, as well as future expansion into Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, and the Washington, D.C. suburbs in the upcoming months.
Court Cunningham, chief executive officer and co-founder, said he’s excited for Orchard to help consumers in the new markets, where demand has outpaced inventory.
“Weâll make it easier for home buyers in these markets to secure their dream home as soon as they see it, while still selling their old home for top dollar,â he said.
Cunningham added that the Move First initiative, Orchard’s program allowing homeowners to buy their next home before selling their old one, proved popular during the COVID-19 pandemic because it let consumers avoid living in their old home while potential homebuyers toured it.
âBuying and selling homes the traditional way isnât sufficient in todayâs hyper-competitive market,” he said. “With demand at an all-time high, people need to make offers – ideally in cash – without contingencies.”
Houston, according to multiple listing service data, is selling homes above price at triple the rate of 2019, and Cunningham added that the number of homes going under contract within 30 days of listing has increased by 50%.
Orchard adds Houston to a service area that includes Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Denver, and Atlanta.
Originally called Perch, Orchard branched into the lending business in July. This followed the creation of a title and escrow unit, dubbed Orchard Title, in the fall of 2018. It also closed on a $69 million Series C round led by Revolution Growth in September.
In October, Orchard announced the launch of a digital platform that enables homeowners to manage the entire real estate transaction in one place.
The post Orchard expands to Houston, East Coast appeared first on HousingWire.
We kick off our 2021 real estate tech entrepreneur interview series with Annelies Powell from Dreamspace, a New Zealand based startup.
Let’s get to it!
Who are you and what do you do?
Iâm Annelies Powell, CEO and co-founder of DreamSpace, an accelerator of vertical housing through rapid, repeatable, permits.
Our startup is working on the crux of the supply and demand housing crisis. We focus on permits as these are the key to rapid scalability of what gets built and where, and ultimately the experience of the occupants.
What problem does your product/service solve?
The housing industry keeps giving us âsolutionsâ, but the reality is we all need to recalibrate our expectations on a home. Downgrade, downsize or move out of the city you love. The future of housing wonât be better than the past.
Or, at least that is what weâve all been told.
DreamSpace thinks differently.
Our B2B2C solution will not only fundamentally change the way we scale vertical housing in cities, but will also vastly improve the outcomes. Our repeatable design and permits give way to unparalleled efficiencies so that we can give all occupants an affordable, 2000ftÂ², spacious, private, home in the sky. Itâs the future you didnât imagine possible.
What are you most excited about right now?
Right now Iâm most excited about the sales leads coming in. New Zealand (our test market) has a property market which is booming right now. People want a more convenient life, which DreamSpace is all about. I talk directly to each lead which has been invaluable to hear what users want their dream homes to be all about, their pain points, and what has them looking in the first place.
Whatâs next for you?
Right now weâre focusing on an early-stage capital raise. This is for our first permit and partnership with a construction company to get things built. Itâs a steep learning curve and of course insanely satisfying to work on something weâre so passionate about.
Whatâs a cause youâre passionate about and why?
Without a doubt the prosperity of humanity working in harmony with this planet. To me, thereâs no priority. I try to read books that open up my world view of people whoâve implemented large scale change for both humanity and the environment. Education, technology and the climate are some obvious themes. Naturally, these themes slip into my work, which feels like a good way to have a practical channel in taking action on bigger causes for concern in the world too.
Thanks to Annelies for sharingÂ her story. If youâd like to connect,Â find her on LinkedIn here.
Weâre constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneursÂ to feature.Â If thatâs you,Â please read this postÂ â then drop us a lineÂ (Community @ geekestatelabs dot com).
The post Meet The Real Estate Tech Entrepreneur: Annelies Powell from DreamSpace appeared first on GeekEstate Blog.