Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 4/9/2018

In a high competition market, you may be tempted to do whatever you can to entice the seller to accept your offer. Buyers write offer letters, provide large down payments, or waive the inspection. Sometimes, this strategy includes removing contingencies from your contract. 


Beware. Removing contingencies can easily become a nightmare for you as a buyer. Certain contingencies should be kept no matter how much you think you should waive them for enticement. 


The Home Inspection Contingency


This contingency is basically universally recommended by realtors everywhere. This contingency allows you to get a licensed home inspector who will check the property. The inspection typically should be done about 7 days from the time you sign the purchase agreement for the home. 


Following the inspection, you as the buyer can request that the seller make certain repairs. The seller can either make the repairs or provide a counter offer. If you’re not satisfied or cannot reach an agreement, you can back out of the deal and still get your money back. 


Without this contingency, you’ll never know what’s wrong with the home until you move in it. It’s a huge risk to take to move into a home without understanding all of its moving parts. Is the roof stable? Has the basement flooded? Will the appliances last? There are plenty of questions that you might have about a home that can be answered simply through an inspection. 


Financing Contingency


This is an important contingency. Your offer on the property will depend on being able to get the financing you need to purchase the home. With this protection in place, in the event that you can’t get a loan, you’ll get your deposit on the home back. Be sure that the clause specifies the number of days that would be recommended by your lender to have the mortgage approved.   


Appraisal Contingency


This could be the most important contingency of all. This protection could possibly save you thousands of dollars of a headache. Once an offer is accepted on a home, you’re far from done. The lender will typically order an appraisal. If the appraisal comes in lower than the offer you made on the home and agreed to pay, you may have some problems. 


The lender will only lend you what the house is worth. If the appraisal comes in lower, you’ll need to make up for tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket. Make sure you have an appraisal contingency included in your contracts!  


As you buy a home, remember how important contingencies can be in the process.            




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 11/13/2017

For some home buyers, a home older than a certain date is automatically off the table. But for others the more history a home has the more interested they become in placing a bid. If you are in the latter camp, this article is for you. Owning a historic home isn’t for everyone and there are a few things you should know before beginning your search.  

One disappointment for potential homebuyers can be the limitations historic districts or easements put in place. They can limit what you can and cannot do aesthetically to your home such as paint colors and architectural changes, especially to the front of the house. If you find yourself dreaming of new siding colors, tearing down walls or building additions to make the house “just right”, you may find yourself disappointed. These are common changes that don’t go beyond the drawing board due to limitations in place and can even bring down the value of your home.   

On the plus side, because of these rules in place, the area probably has an active neighborhood association. You can expect well taken care of homes on your street that stay authentic to the historical charm you so love. You’ll have a community to turn to when you’re looking to gain knowledge on renovating and repairing your home. Chances are pretty high they have had to make similar repairs and know the best contractors in the area or where to source materials you’ll need.

And this is great because you’ll want to be prepared for repairs throughout the years to maintain your home. When renovating it’s important that you use the right materials as not doing so could damage your home in the long run if they don’t play well with your home’s existing infrastructure. For this reason, you’ll want to hire historic home specialists and preservationists when it comes time to make repairs.

In historic homes, repair bills can add up especially if you’ve taken on a “project” home. Take your current and projected income into consideration and if you’ll have the ability to keep up with costs. No one wants to live in a permanent construction zone and this can very well be the case if you run out of funds. You may want to consider an FHA 203k loan, aka a rehab mortgage, to help cover these costs especially any large ones you’ll need in the beginning. Some states also offer grants and tax deductions for repairs and maintenance on historic homes.

For each home you consider, hire an inspector that specializes in historical houses and therefore well versed on what to look out for and what the common (and uncommon) warning signs are. Be on the alert for asbestos, mold and lead paint especially if you have or plan to have small children. And know when to walk away, homes with structural issues are usually not worth their while and the issues you’re sure to have with time.

Purchasing a historical home is more than just a buying a house. It’s buying a piece of history with memories imprinted into its floors and walls. It is for this reason you also want to ensure those memories are not toxic or unsafe for your family. This house buying, perhaps more than any other, is one best-given plenty of time to find “The One” that’s perfect for you.  





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 2/3/2014

Buying a home can be an exciting time and there is no better time to buy and take advantage of low mortgage rates and prices. Buyer beware, just because it is a good deal you still need to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line. Here are some potential purchase pitfalls to look for: Do-it-yourself anything Does the home you are purchasing have a great finished basement, new deck or three season addition? Check with city or town hall to make sure the work was done to code and the proper permits were pulled. Things not done to code can be expensive to fix and can ultimately lower the home's value. Structural problems Structural problems are a big red flag. Have a professional home inspection and if need be have a structural inspection on the home. Things to look for include doors and windows that don’t open and close properly and cracks along the foundation. Some cracks may be harmless and normal settling but typically the bigger the crack, the bigger the problem. Structural problems are usually a deal killer as they can be very costly to fix. Insect damage can be part of a much bigger problem. Signs of excessive termite or pest damage does not tell the whole story and often there is unseen damage inside the walls. This may require a special pest inspection to determine if the home's studs have been compromised thus affecting the home's structure. Water damage Another potential problem is water damage. Water damage can cause the failure of the foundation. Water needs to be always draining away from the house. Look for moisture or water stains in the basement. This may indicate a drainage issue. Also be sure to check if the home is in a flood zone. Water in the home can also cause mold. Mold can lead to many serious health issues and is expensive and time consuming to remove. Mold should always be removed by a professional specializing in mold mitigation. Electrical work Do-it-yourself electrical work or antiquated electrical can be a recipe for disaster. When looking at homes be wary of electrical work that has been added on over the years. If the home has an addition make sure to ask if the current electrical system is enough to handle the additional square footage. Be wary of older knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring this can be very expensive to replace. A professional home inspector should always be able to help point out potential pitfalls in a home before you purchase it. Never skimp on peace of mind. To find a qualified home inspector you can check with the National Association of Home Inspectors.