Porcupine Real Estate


Posted by Mark Warden on 10/29/2018

 

Guest post by Viviana Figueroa

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Posted by Mark Warden on 10/22/2018

What is Radon? Should I test for it?

Guest post by Dustin Dodge of Working Dog Home Inspections

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States and is a known problem in New Hampshire. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and it gets into the air you breathe. Whether or not a home has radon is dependent on the geology beneath the structure. 

Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air in your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Since a basement is a pocket in the ground, radon can build up & cause unhealthy levels of gas. There is no way of knowing if a home has high levels of radon without testing.

What does radon do?

Radon decays quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles. When inhaled, these radioactive particles can damage the cells that line the lung. Long-term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer, the only cancer proven to be associated with inhaling radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking.

How is it measured?

Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter, or pCi/L. Levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered hazardous. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced, although it is difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L. Radon mitigation systems are common and a great way to bring the gas to a more acceptable level.

If you have questions on radon testing, contact Dustin at Working Dog Home Inspections




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Posted by Mark Warden on 9/20/2018

 

Renting is a great short-term housing solution for millions of Americans each year. And, for those who don’t want the responsibilities of home ownership, it can also serve as a long-term lifestyle for those uninterested in buying a home. However, if you do hope to someday purchase a home, there are several reasons it is one of the best financial decisions in the long run.

Finding out when is the right time to buy a home is difficult. You’ll have to consider your current budget and future financial goals, your employment situation, and personal lifestyle preferences.

Mortgage rates through history

One of the features of home buying that is largely out of your control is the historical average mortgage interest rates. While your specific rate will be based on things like your income and credit score, as well as the type of mortgage you choose, real estate trends will also have an impact on the rate that lenders use.

Rates are, on average, lower in the last five years than they were throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s. With rates under 4%, these levels are unprecedented in the last 3 decades. However, last year did see a slight increase to just over 4%.

What are your long and short-term plans?

Many people who are considering buying their first home are more concerned with whether it’s  financially feasible than if it fits into their life and career goals. Before you start shopping for houses and contacting lenders, it’s a good idea to sit down with your family or significant other and start thinking about your timeline. Are you prepared to live in your next home for 5-7 years? This a good baseline for the amount of time you need to stay in a home to make it worth the expenses. 

Are you prepared for the extra workload?

Homeownership is work. Aside from just having to mow the lawn and take out the garbage, you’ll also be responsible for repairs and maintenance that your landlord was required to do when you rented. Some repairs can be costly and require calling in a professional. Just like owning a car, homeownership has it’s associated upkeep expenses. However, with that added responsibility comes independence. You can paint and change your home how you see fit without worrying about losing a security deposit.





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Posted by Mark Warden on 9/17/2018

 

Home insurance can be one of the more significant expenses when you’re a homeowner. You may feel that you’ll be stuck in the same monthly premium month after month, but there’s plenty of ways that you can save on your home insurance by making a few cuts here and there. 

Get A Higher Deductible

Just like any kind of insurance, the higher your deductible is, the lower your premiums. The main problem with this is that when you need to make a smaller claim, the insurance may not cover any of the cost. Compare the risk of paying for expenses out of pocket to the benefits of a lower insurance premium. 

Get An Alarm System

Having an alarm system can help you to save money on your home insurance. The types of alarm systems that are directly connected to police departments or a central monitoring place will save you more money. You’ll need proof of this in order to get a discount. 

Other alarm systems like CO2 detectors and smoke alarms are generally required by law in a home, but check with your insurance company. You could save a little extra for your efforts to protect your family and home. 

Use One Insurance Company For Everything

Most insurance companies offer more than one type of insurance. This means that they love customers who bundle their policies. Bundling your home, auto and life insurance with one company can help to save you some cash.

Own Your Home

Yes, paying your mortgage off completely sounds like a feat. Once the mortgage is paid off, however, you’ll have lower insurance premiums. This is for the simple reason that insurance companies feel that once you own the home, you’ll be more mindful of taking care of it. 

Think Before You Build

Building an addition on a home or putting in a swimming pool may sound like a great idea at first, but you’ll need to think of how these construction projects will affect your premiums. A swimming pool raises your liability risk. Wood structures are considered highly flammable and cost more to insure. Many things that you put in your home can drive up the cost of your policy.  

Review Your Policy Often

You always have the right to do some comparison shopping once you get an insurance quote from one company. The place you work for may even offer some sort of group rate for insurance. Associations that you belong to may also be able to help save you some money. Do a little ground work and you may be able to save big just by comparing policies and levels of coverage.                  

Assess Your Valuables

The whole point of insurance is for you to be able to replace your valuables if damaged or stolen. If items in your home have changed, you may want to reassess the contents of your home and just how much coverage you need. If you have less to replace, you’ll save on your insurance premiums because the value of your policy will go down.





Posted by Mark Warden on 8/7/2018

 

A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.

1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.

Your real estate agent can recommend inspectors that have been helpful to other buyers. 

2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.

A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.

Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.

In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well. For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete property repairs and the urgency of these repairs. 

3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.

After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Your real estate agent should also receive a copy of the report so they can make suggestions and advise on the immediate repairs and how to formulate an inspection response.