When it comes to real estate in Central Kentucky, both the buyer and seller have their own interest's in mind. I'm often consulted by clients on advice and tips for selling or buying their home.
There are many considerations for the buyer such as information on schools, commuting routes, construction quality and future developments.
For the seller, it usually involves ways to improve their home's appearance, renovations, market reports and staging requirements.
The one commonality that apply to both is the quality of a home's construction.
Recently I had the chance to interview Brad Pagel. He is the owner of Lexington Blue, which is a local roofing contractor in Lexington, KY. The also specialize in siding, windows, gutters and other home improvement projects.
The following interview includes home buying and selling tips on construction in Lexington, KY by a local contractor.
Q & A: Construction Tips for Home Buyers
Q: What types of construction related advice can you give to a home buyer?
A: My first suggestion would be to research the builder. Are they still in business? If so, do they have a good or bad reputation? The next step would be to hire a 3rd party inspector who specializes in their own niche. For example we specifically inspect roofs. By hiring an inspector who specializes in one specific field, you're likely to get a more thorough and detailed opinion.
Q: How can a home buyer determine the quality of a home's roof and shingles?
A: It's best to leave climbing a roof to the professionals, but a few ground level suggestions include looking for shingles that are missing or those that are not laying flat on the roof's surface. Another simple task includes inspecting interior walls and ceilings for water spots. These can sometimes be faint, but it's usually a sign that the roof is leaking.
Q: What tips can you offer a home buyer when it comes to the windows?
A: First, I recommend checking the mechanics of the windows. Do they open and shut easily? Next you can visually inspect them for retained moisture. If you find any water spots, this can be a sign that it needs replacing. Another tip would be to check for air flow that is incoming and outgoing. In the winter, you can feel for cold air entering the home. During the summer, you can check for cold air exiting the home. These are some simple steps a home buyer can take to determine the quality of their windows.
Q: What should a home buyer consider about the gutters?
A: The buyer can look for signs of wear on gutters. To begin with check to see if the gutters are pulling away from the house or sagging below the roof line. This can be a sign of the gutters not functioning properly caused by debris and build up. Next I would recommend to check for rust spots and dripping or leaking at the mitered seams and corners. This is an early warning sign that you're going to have to replace them soon.
Q: When it comes to buying a home, what can be done to determine if the siding is in good shape?
A: When buying real estate, I recommend hiring a professional inspector. On the other hand, when it comes to simply getting a feel for what shape the siding is in yourself, you can do the following. Check for warping, dry rot, holes and cracks. Try to view the siding parallel to the home. This can give you a better view on warping. A home buyer can also check inside the home for loose wallpaper or peeling paint. This can be a sign that the siding is retaining moisture, which is a sure sign it's time to replace it.
Q: What are some of the best quality brands for shingles, windows, gutters and siding?
A: There are many great manufacturer's on the market offering quality products. For shingles we recommend Owens Corning. When it comes to windows, a few I recommend are Aslide, Simonton and Thermal Industries. With one of the industries longest available warranties, GutterRX is our choice of brand for gutters. Crane, Certainteed, Mastic and Norandex are all quality brands of siding.
Q: How can a buyer determine the brand of the shingles, windows, gutters and siding?
A: A home buyer can determine the brand of siding by viewing the manufacturer's label behind the product. Windows generally have the brand etched in one of the corners. This may include the brand or model number. Gutters can be difficult to determine. It's probably best left to a professional to assist you with the brand. For shingles, the best method to determine their brand is to ask the homeowner, builder or roofer who did the installation. Most roofers will usually only use one or two types of brands and this can help narrow it down.
Q: In summary: What steps should someone take when they are buying real estate pertaining to the construction?
- Research the builder
- Hire an inspector who specializes in their own niche
- Research the quality of the branded materials
Q & A: Construction Advice for Sellers of Real Estate
Q: What construction related advice can you give to homeowners that are selling their home?
A: The first thing I would suggest for a homeowner is to gather any and all info they have that the builder provided. Create a checklist of sorts that includes the age, brands and even possibly the process of installation that was used for the home's materials. Next, I recommend having their home inspected by a professional who can determine what repairs are required. By ensuring that everything is in top physical shape, it may prevent them from missing out on that one potential buyer.
Q: Do you recommend that a seller replace the shingles on their roof if it's older?
A: Well, not factoring in curb appeal it's a matter of choice. Most roofs can last up 20-30 years, but there's also the consideration of the expense. On average a new roof can cost as much as $10,000 up to $20k plus. What we have found however, is that most homes in Kentucky have damage from past storms. If this is the case then the homeowner who is selling their home could literally have a new roof put on for only the cost of their deductible. Now that's a value that should be heavily weighed! This could save the buyer thousands of dollars as well as help the seller limit out of pocket home improvement costs while improving their home's curb appeal and value.
Q: What can a seller do to make their home more energy efficient for the buyer?
A: That's a great question! By enhancing the home's energy efficiency it can save the potential buyer hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the long run. This should obviously make the home more appealing to the buyer. Our first recommendation would be to ensure the home is properly insulated. Next, the seller can install the latest energy efficient windows to limit energy costs. Next, I would recommend that their attic has proper ventilation fixtures that equalize the temperature. Every tiny detail can be considered for improving the home's energy efficiency. If the seller wants to enhance their home's appeal then the costs must be weighed.
Q: If the seller makes home improvements, do they qualify for tax benefits?
A: Although, I can't offer legal or tax advice, there are many of our clients who do receive tax benefits for new windows, new roof installations, insulation improvements and more. The best thing for the real estate seller is to advise a tax consultant to determine what they would actually qualify for.
Q: What are some affordable solutions for enhancing a home's curb appeal?
A: Although we don't offer this service, the first thing that comes to mind is landscaping improvements. Based on budget, someone who's selling their home can improve their home's curb appeal by adding lighting, plants, flowers and even fixtures. Another affordable option to visually improve the exterior of the home is by adding window trim and new vibrant colored window shutters.
Q: If a homeowner who is selling their home makes improvements are the available warranties transferable?
A: The products we work with that carry warranties are all fully transferable to the new owner. If you're selling your home it's best to acquire and provide all documentation on your home's warranty info.
Q: In summary: Can you provide a checklist of construction recommendations for a homeowner who is selling their home?
- Gather the builder's data including information on the age of materials, brand of materials and installation methods if available
- Consider optional home improvements such as a new roof, energy efficient improvements and make all necessary repairs
- Provide all warranty information pertaining to the home's products and materials
Jody: Brad, thank you for taking the time to cover a much needed topic of discussion. I'm sure my clients will appreciate your advice on real estate construction by considering these tips.
Brad: It was my pleasure.
Choose the Best Real Estate Agent in Lexington for Tips on Buying and Selling Homes
I hope this information has been useful to you. As a realtor, I am committed to providing you with valuable resources like these to aid in your buying or selling decisions. I look forward to assisting you with all of your real estate needs. For more tips on buying and selling homes in Lexington, KY you can contact me: Jody Lee Moore @ 859.553.3613