Preparing to sell a home is no small task, particularly during a pandemic. For homeowners preparing to list this season, Randy Barfield offers insight from the home inspector perspective. Tune in for Randy’s top five recommendations and a few bonus tips on what you can do while staying at home to ensure your house is ready for a successful listing:
Often overlooked, your home’s foundation is its structural anchor. A good foundation keeps your home stable and level. Although far from the prettiest attribute of any home, foundation cracks are in fact quite common. From new construction to older homes, many exteriors show these signs of wear. Luckily, many vertical foundation cracks can be easily repaired, and some can even be prevented!
As Randy explained in our “Under the Roof” video series, foundation cracks that show up on your home’s floor commonly appear as the surface dries. However, you should contact us if you notice cracks larger than 1/8 of an inch wide or cracks that offset. Foundation experts may also need to shim a home to level the foundation to meet industry standards.
Like so many other home maintenance and improvement projects, keeping your home’s foundation dry is key. Moisture is your home’s consummate enemy. Here are a few ways you can keep your foundation dry and prevent exterior cracks:
- Clean your gutters. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Full gutters spill over, creating pools of water adjacent to the foundation.
- Refill spring soil. Take advantage of Texas spring, and fill in any low areas washed away by heavy rains with compacted soil. This will insulate your foundation and help to cradle it while absorbing moisture.
- Monitor your moisture. While getting too wet can be a problem, drying out is also dangerous for your foundation. Especially as we enter summer, keep an eye on the weather, your lawn and sprinkler system to ensure your yard isn’t getting too much or too little water.
- Act fast. As with many things, if you notice a foundation crack, contact the experts before the situation worsens. When addressed promptly, many cracks can be assessed and fixed inexpensively without further damage. Your home inspector or foundation expert can also make suggestions about your home and landscaping to prevent future problems.
While foundations are not a one-size-fits-all problem area, these are some of the biggest trends we see out in the field. If you need someone to take a look at your home, we’ve been telling it like it is since 2003 and we’d be happy to take a look. Just give us a call at 512-350-0123.
Daylight saving time kicks off this weekend, and although we aren’t excited about the loss of precious sleep, we are looking gratefully forward to longer days, bright sunshine and warm Texas spring weather. While you’re busy checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, this is also a great time for sellers in Austin’s competitive real estate market to ready their home for buyers. Although it’s still a bit early to plant flowers, here are a few tips to spring forward in your home sale:
- A clean, sparkling home will invite buyers and direct attention to all the right spaces. Start by cleaning your windows, inside and out, and wash your blinds to make an instant eye-opening difference. While you’re poking around the eyes of your home, be sure to inspect the weather stripping and caulking, which may be in need of repair.
- Showcase the exterior of your home by mowing the lawn. A fresh cut will help remove leaves and other debris, leaving your yard clean and fresh. This is also a great time to cut back hedges around your home to maximize bright sunshine indoors. Visit the Central Texas Gardener for specific tips and tricks that can help boost your home’s curb appeal this spring.
- Lower your gaze and take a long, hard look at your floors. The appearance of your floors can leave a lasting impression on prospective buyers, and you want to be sure it’s the right one! Start by vacuuming and mopping, but consider a professional cleaning or refinishing if needed.
In Austin’s hot market, buyers need to be as amply prepared as sellers. Here are a few tips for those looking to move into a new home this spring:
- Know your credit score and budget. Our friends in the mortgage lending business will tell you this is a crucial part of the process. If you need help finding a lender, give us a call – we know excellent professionals who would be delighted to help you along your home-buying journey. Be sure to factor in closing costs, property taxes and insurance.
- Once you are committed to buying in the upcoming months, contact your lender to get preapproved for a mortgage loan. While this is not a commitment or rate guarantee, getting preapproved will speed up the process down the road (which could give you the edge in a competitive market!).
- Know who you want to work with. The right real estate agent and mortgage lender can make the process much less stressful and more enjoyable. Be sure to work with individuals who understand your needs, wants and priorities. When you’re ready to purchase a home and need an inspector you can trust, call Randy Barfield and the Barfield Home Inspection team. We’ve been telling it like it is since 2003 and would love to help you into the home of your dreams.
For more home buying, selling, maintenance and inspection tips, follow us on Facebook and Instagram and tune into our new podcast “Under the Roof with Randy Barfield,” now streaming on Spotify and Stitcher!