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How Important is the Home Inspection?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Almost inevitably, a home buyer’s agent will bring up the subject of home inspection during the buying process. Some buyers may be inclined to overlook the importance of the home inspection; there is so much else going at that time that the inspection may just seem like another task to check off the list. However, a professional home inspection is the perfect opportunity to gain insight on the condition of the home you are considering – an unbiased evaluation that can provide much-needed peace of mind at a stressful time. This information can prove extremely useful and help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

A professional home inspection includes a visual assessment of the home’s systems and structural components, including heating/cooling, plumbing, electrical, roof, foundation, walls, chimneys, doors, and windows. Appliance systems as well as heating/cooling and plumbing are tested to ensure proper operation. This evaluation is then included in the written inspection report, which should include detailed findings and identification of any potential concerns. The report should also indicate any recommended repairs based on the inspection results. At that time, your agent may recommend that the seller complete needed repairs, or if not, that the cost of doing the repairs be reflected in the selling price.

To get the most out of your home inspection, accompany the home inspector during the process. This allows you to ask questions on site and get any needed clarification about potential issues that come up along the way. It’s a great way to get to know the home and locate key items such as key shutoff valves, the breaker panel and more. Attending the inspection will also give you a better understanding of any repair recommendations.

The home inspection is truly a key part of a smooth transaction and a confident purchase. Not only that, the inspection report will serve as a reference for details about the home once the purchase is complete. They say a little knowledge goes a long way; a lot of knowledge can take you even further.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source: 28th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (May, 1st 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

Water Heating & Energy Use

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25% of household energy costs are for water heating. Given these costs, it makes sense to evaluate various types of water heating systems with an eye toward saving both energy and money. Here we take a look at some of the options currently available for homeowners to consider.

Storage Water Heaters – These are the most common type of water heater in the U.S. In these systems, cold water flows into a tank where it is heated by gas or electric power. Once the water in the tank reaches the desired temperature, the heater will cycle on and off to maintain the temperature of the water. As hot water gets used, more cold water will enter the tank to be heated. Most of us know the phenomenon of running out of hot water after family members take one shower after another; this will occur if the tank’s storage capacity is insufficient to meet the demand. At other times of the day when relatively little or even no hot water is being used, the heater must still fire on and off to keep the contents of the tank hot. Unfortunately, it is quite inefficient to keep a tank of water hot all day even when the water isn’t needed. Adding an insulated water heater wrap can boost efficiency and energy savings – these are inexpensive and can be installed by the homeowner. 

Tankless (Demand) Water Heaters – A newer type of water heater, tankless or demand water heaters are just that. Water is not stored in a tank, but is rapidly heated by gas or electricity once the faucet is turned on. For many homes, a tankless heater can be located close to the sink or shower to heat water on the spot. Because it reaches the desired temperature so quickly, much less water is wasted while waiting for hot water to flow through the faucet. Tankless heaters powered by gas are usually much more efficient than electric heaters – in fact, electricity costs can sometimes negate much of the savings a tankless system might otherwise provide. Tankless systems normally cost more than a conventional storage water heater, so homeowners will need to do some homework on what type, size, and location might make sense for them. 

Solar Water Heating – The basic concept of solar water heating is that the sun’s energy is used to pre-heat water for the home. The pre-heated water then flows into a solar tank that monitors temperature. Then it is piped into the regular hot water system, usually a storage water heater. If no water is turned on within a brief period of time, the water circulates through the system again, making it unnecessary to keep a large tank of water constantly hot. The pre-heating is done by one or two solar panels, usually installed on the roof. Solar water heating is becoming more and more popular in many areas of the U.S. as costs for the systems continue to decrease. By some accounts, including the California Energy Commission, a typical solar water heating system can pay for itself in as little as four to seven years.

No matter what type of water heating homeowners choose, it pays to do some research first to discover the ins and outs of various types for their specific situation. With efficiency and decreased energy use as a goal, the best choice of water heater depends on what pencils out in any given home.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy or sell a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source: 28th Edition of CRS Consumer Article (April, 15th 2013) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection

What buyers desire in 2011

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

If you’re selling a home, whether being in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, then you should know what the buyers in your area are looking for this year. Buyers today want it all. Having spaces that mix indoor and outdoor living, like patios and decks, and a little luxury with high quality appliances will help give buyers what they want. Buyers want to drive a hard bargain and get a great deal.

Buyers demand a home in well-maintain condition. Buyers don’t want an unknown expense hanging over them after they move in. They would rather spend more to move in at first. Very few people want fixer uppers anymore. Buyers today only have enough money to buy the house, not buy it and fix it up. Having a well maintained house will help you sell your house.

Buyers aren’t going to settle, because they known they don’t have to. They will negotiate to get a better deal. Repairs, updates, cleaning and staging will help you win over potential buyers. Kijner & Sons International Realty can give you a few other hints as well.

It can’t be stressed enough the buyers are very interested in outdoor living areas. Consider screened porches, outdoor kitchens and two way fireplaces. It’s a selling point if your house already has it.

Green features are on the top of buyers lists. Not only because it’s good for the environment but because it’s easy on the wallet. Having energy efficient appliances and triple glazed windows is a selling point.

Open kitchens interest buyers as well. Having an open kitchen in your home can appeal to a lot of buyers. The kitchen is becoming part of a gathering room, and blocking if off doesn’t appeal to new buyers.

Buyers are buying smaller homes and want to be able to use every inch of it. The formal rooms are disappearing. Buyers want rooms they will use all the time rather than a formal room used only a hand full of times a year.

Small touches of luxury are an affordable way to give buyers in Florida, Thailand or Costa Rica, the luxury they crave, without breaking the bank for you. Slightly more expense finishes give the feeling of luxury.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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