/thehomefax: follow the home fax weekly blog updating new posts on Monday and Wednesday from Nationwide Home Fax Home Fax Inspections is a MI licensed, bonded and insured home inspection company with professional residential and commercial property inspectors servicing the Metro-Detroit, Michigan area with professinoals inspections for Buyers, Sellers, Agents, Realtors and more with scheduling tools for local and non-local inspections by appointment in all Michigan cities within Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair and Genesee County, MI

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Targeting Peak Market Properties in Real Estate

Targeting Peak Market Properties in Real Estate

Attention! Must read for anyone buying or selling a home in a peak real estate market! http://thehomefax.blogspot.com/2016/05/targeting-properties-in-peak-real.html

Identifying Target Real Estate Markets, Cycles & Locations

Location, location, location…the real estate 101 catch phrase we’re all familiar with, if not engrossed in.

Why is location so important, though?

Practically every aspect of a home can be altered or changed with enough money, time and resources, except location. Even the most serious of home defects, such as foundations, structures, roofs or new electrical systems can be fortified, updated, replaced or repaired.

Then what determines a locations desirability?

If you’ve ever owned a home, you might understand how your neighbor’s home, the foreclosure down the street, city school systems, tax funding, and new development impact your home’s value. As many additional aspects also contribute to desirable locations and home values, these main components lead most people to avoid all properties in certain locations. Some people know so much about a location that they don’t even realize they missed a diamond in the rough because they failed to explore or reach outside of their single strategy.

Ready for one of the best kept secrets in the real estate market that the wisest investors don’t want you to know? You can make money in any location, through smart investments, by applying the correct strategy to the current market cycle.

What do you mean? What is a market cycle strategy?

Almost every aspect of investing (e.g. stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) have market cycles. Within the real estate market specifically, there are common cycle points, often referred to through different names, including: Peak, Early Downturn, Full Downturn, Bottom, Early Recovery, Early Stable, and Late Stable. Check out the graph from Creonline.com below for a visual of what these mean.

When viewing a historical market cycle via line graphs, you’ll generally notice that the market resembles a roller-coaster. That’s because the cycle is progressively advancing through each stage of the market over time. This is caused by various means, but often results in those who own real estate applying the incorrect strategy, not understanding that it is commonplace for a market to bottom out and peak, for instance.

Often times missing the correct point to apply a certain strategy will lead to selling at the time you should be holding, renting to a tenant when you should be selling, and overpaying purchase costs due to a lack of inventory or decision to follow the crowd.

So which strategy should I apply during each cycle?

The answer to this question is complex, but on a basic level real estate owners who generate wealth typically apply these general strategies during each respective point in the market cycle:

1) Peak: Sell

2) Early Downturn: Sell or Hold   

3) Full Downturn: Hold or Acquire

4) Bottom: Acquire

5) Early Recovery: Acquire, Develop and Explore Renting

6) Late Stable: Rent, Refinance, Improve, and Prepare for Selling

7) Peak: Sell

Next week we’ll check out more in depth information on each specific cycle and explore various strategies that can be applied to any location, as long as it’s the right time.

Until next time, make sure to Know the Home Before You Buy™ by obtaining your Home Fax™ Report and other real estate information from www.NationwideHomeFax.com and of course, all of your inspection needs from Home Fax™ Inspections!

Sellers Inspections: Benefits & Rewards

Home inspections are most often associated with buyers, but those who choose to have a sellers inspection completed prior to or after listing their home can benefit extraordinarily with their time, purchase price, and stress. 

In short, a sellers inspection is one of the best examples for the cliche saying: "It takes money to make money."

At Home Fax™ Inspections, you always get our 100% satisfaction guarantee, 24 hour report turnaround time, pre and post inspection record checks, innovative and easy to understand reports, as well as supplemental information to help anyone Know the Home Before You Buy™. We adhere to the ASHI Standards of Practice, provide convenient online scheduling and payment tools and are fully licensed, bonded and insured within the State of Michigan.

Here’s how a sellers inspection from Home Fax™ Inspections can help you maximize your sale price as a seller:

  • Schedule the inspection at your convenience and have the ability to assist the inspector during the inspection process, which is otherwise uncommon during a buyer’s inspection.
  • Be alerted to any items of immediate concern ahead of time, instead of during the buy and sell process, lightening last-minute problems and negotiations.
  • Pre-awareness allows you to correct issues beforehand, or price the home at a realistic asking price if problems do exist, helping you save time and money without risking a potential sale.
    • By correcting any issues beforehand, you can review the inspection report prior to being generated and have corrections made, which:
      • Ultimately may encourage buyers to waive the inspection contingency all together in your gesture of forthrightness 
      • Helps your home show better and sell at a higher price, especially when no major issues are identified during the inspection process.
      • Permits you to attach repair invoices to the report that may eliminate prospective buyer suspicions before they walk away without making an offer. 
      • Gives you more time to shop competitive bids and make repairs at the most reasonable price, all while eliminating over-inflated buyer estimates or demands.

No matter your position, there’s no better option than HomeFax™ Inspections! Visit www.HomeFaxInspect.com today to schedule your home inspection or check out our nationwide services at www.NationwideHomeFax.com.

Home Staging & Decorating Impact for Buyers & Sellers

Buying a new home not only gives you the chance to make a sizable investment into your life & family, but also provides the chance to express your personal style through decorating. However, did you know that what seems like a great decorating choice may actually cause the room to look smaller than it is? Even the flow of the home may feel off.

This may not be costly to a new buyer, but every seller wants their home to sell fast and bring top dollar. No brainer, right? Well, did you know the way your home is decorated & staged may have a tremendous impact on the time and price point of the sale?

Don’t fall victim to home décor mistakes or poor staging -- watch this slide show to learn the top 10 home décor mistakes that make professional designers cringe & this how to stage a house article to increase your chance of success!

Resources like these help you put your best foot forward! 

Lighting & Decoration Safety Tips for around the home

Lighting & Decoration Safety Tips for around the home

Christmas is upon us with such wonderful celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! As the days seem to fly by, keep your family safe with these lighting and decoration safety tips as you prepare for the seasonal festivities around the home:


  • Be sure to use Indoor or Outdoor Lights in the correct environment. Most are identifiable by the label. 
  • After checking Outdoor Lights for loose connections, frayed or bare wire, and broken sockets to avoid any fires, secure all strands safely to trees or the house as a preventative measure against wind damage. 
  • No more than three sets of standard size lights should be used with any single extension cord. Check and compare amp and voltage capacities in the breaker if you’re unsure of how much capacity the outlet can handle.

Christmas Trees

  • Most artificial Christmas trees are fire resistant (see label), while real pine trees have more fire hazard risk as they become dry. 
  • When purchasing a real tree, check that it is green, has fresh needles which are hard to pull or shake off, bendable needles that do not break, and a sticky resin present upon the trunk. 
  • Place the real or artificial tree away from radiators or fireplaces, and away from high-traffic areas, including doors. 
  • Never use real lighted candles on any tree, and be sure to keep matches, lighters, and candles away from children’s reach.

Hopefully these quick lighting and decorations safety tips for around the home will make your Christmas holiday brighter and merry! Find more holiday safety tips from The Home Fax™ by checking out these 4 Holiday Safety Tips & Touch-ups for Around the Home.

Please remember the reason for the season:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV) 

Merry Christmas to all!

4 Holiday Safety Tips & Touch-ups for Around the Home

Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other holidays bring families together for many reasons. Use these holiday safety tips and touch ups for around the home as you prepare for your special get-together.

#1: Test smoke detectors (or add if missing)

We all hear about the most common safety issue every year during each holiday, stove and gas fires. Check all existing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (especially in the kitchen) on each floor of the home, replace any batteries, and add any alarms/detectors where not present already. If you have not already, consider replacing traditional smoke detectors with a smoke and carbon monoxide combination alarm.

#2: Fix or replace broken electrical outlet covers

Replacing any broken electrical outlets is a simple, cheap, and effective way to help keep your family safe. GFCI outlets should be present in all kitchens and bathrooms for over current protection and to help reduce the chance of shock hazards. 

Check along each interior room for any broken outlet plates, especially low areas in the home that are accessible to children. Having a screwdriver handy, tighten any loose plates, make note of which need to be replaced, and head out to your local hardware store!

#3: Clear any tripping hazards & add safety guards along fireplaces

As family and guests arrive, it’s easy to get caught up in all of your obligations that may result in overlooking simple safety risks, such as tripping hazards. By planning ahead, clearing space, adding safety guards along fireplace masonry, and even temporarily re-organizing high traffic areas, your home will become instantly safer. 

Add a shoe rack (permanently or temporarily) near the entrance door, pick up any electrical cords, Christmas lights or other items which may be tripping hazards. You never know, it may prevent an unnecessary trip to the emergency room.

#4: Check water and gas connections

The last thing any of us want to deal with on a busy holiday is fix broken items, or even worse, schedule an emergency repair. Leaks, backups, and clogs are more susceptible with higher traffic in areas, such as the restroom. 

Check and tighten any fixture connections, clear the P-trap, and scan your water heater and furnace. Don’t forget the basement connections...when’s the last time you checked those anyway?

Until next time, check out www.HomeFaxInspect.com and www.NationwideHomeFax.com and be sure to always Know the Home Before You Buy™

ThanksGivingBack at Home Fax Inspections & Nationwide Home Fax

The holidays are among us, and what a wonderful time they are! Many of us are fortunate enough to spend time with our families, celebrate the festivities, and have a warm home with a roof over our heads.

Unfortunately for some though, these times are filled with grief, disappointment, and a feelings of isolation. Residents of Flint, Michigan, for example, are just starting to receive clean drinking water, as their water has been contaminated with lead, yet these residents still pay for their water just as you or I do. 

The number of homeless individuals continues to rise in many areas and states, such as Detroit, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and New York City. Many others face constant persecution, hunger, poverty and more. Some are unemployed and not able to enjoy the time and festivities because of financial burdens, even forced to work through such times just to put food on the table for their family. The list goes on-and-on, people are in need all over the country and world.

Join Home Fax™ Inspections and Nationwide Home Fax™ in the 2nd annual ThanksGivingBack promotion to help families in need. Treat others the way you wish to be treated as Christ himself emphasizes, share the blessings you’ve received to help those in need, and keep these people and families in your thoughts and prayers.

As we journey into the holiday season and beyond, take time enjoying all that the holidays have in store for us, but let us remember our true purpose for why we’re here and help those who are not as fortunate to have the necessities we often take for granted. 

Join us next week as we discuss Holiday safety tips & touch ups for around the home! 

Who’s controlling the inspection process?

During the last segment we discussed some impact examples of a Seller’s Inspection process. In case you missed it, check it out here.

Here’s a real example of how controlling the inspection process effects everyone involved:

A buyer’s inspection was completed on a $160,000 home. ¾” separation gaps were observed along the foundation tuck point where the landscaping grade continuously directed water into the basement windows (which were not insulated and exposed). A broken downspout drainage extension in the same location was directing more water into the same area, causing mold to spread into the basement while penetrating the electrical wires for the control valve box.

Using the inspection report from Home Fax Inspections, the buyers negotiated $25,000 off the price, purchasing the home for $135,000. The buyers resolved the issue for less than $2,000 before taking possession of the home, 2 months later, saving them $23,000. 

Pretty good return on investment for the buyers who paid a $400 inspection price, wouldn’t you say?

Now as a seller or agent, you may be cringing. Why?

Not only did the seller lose out on $23,000 from the purchase price, since they could have made the same repairs for $2,000, but the time it took to close increased the sellers process by around 6 weeks. Since they were relocating, this increased their expense for temporary housing and travel, consumed enormous amounts of their time, and had no positive outcome for the seller who thought they were too busy, and wanted to save money, instead of having the same repairs completed themselves. 

If that was the end of the atrocity, it would be enough. But it wasn’t…

With a 3% commission, the buyer and seller agent each lost approximately $1,000 (or 25% of their total commission percentage) and invested hours, days, and weeks of additional time, potentially leading to the loss of additional sales or clients as a result.

Needless to say, a seller’s inspection would have saved enormous amounts of time, money, and hassle. Don’t wait until it’s too late to control the inspection process. Work smarter, not harder.

3 Uncommon Home Inspection Benefits

Although a home inspection is always a smart investment, many home inspectors facilitate a bland, checklist style report. Hard to read and engage in, sometimes with unclear explanations and photos that provide little clarity. Eventually it’s filed and forgotten about, with education and impact opportunities fallen by the wayside. 

An industry with relatively no change or adaption requires changing, at least a new perspective or unique way of presenting the information. Inspection companies, such as Home Fax™ Inspections, utilize creative ways to enhance and change the way inspection reports are viewed.

#1: No home is perfect. Every home requires continuous maintenance.

One of the most important purposes of an inspection is to show a buyer what’s truly impacting their safety, well-being, and investment. People perceive differently, but consistency and clarity help avoid confusion and misunderstanding.  The way many reports are presented and communicated often determine a buyer’s perspective.

A checklist with multiple ‘defects’ running down a seemingly never ending list has a different effect than a consistent set of impact ratings that change “Satisfactory” comments (which is the most positive expression used by most inspectors) into Low Impact ratings that show a buyer, ‘this is a positive aspect’, not a defect or deterrent.

#2: Every home has a story

Streamlined processes and organized flow of observations tell the story about your home, instead of checklists that fail to paint a picture because they’re disorganized to readers. Understand how a missing downspout extension affects the vapor barrier that led to mold and water penetration in the basement windows through a process of organized steps, for instance. 

#3: Limitations on reports  

Many inspectors are restricted and prohibited from fully inspecting the property and gathering additional information that reaches beyond the scope of the inspection. As a result, many buyers do not receive supplemental records, such as Environmental Records and Hazards Reports, which may have a serious effect on their family’s well-being, health and safety.

True story: Home Fax Inspections viewed a 1,200 sq. ft. single story residence that was 20 years old, built in 1994, on 3 acres of land. Vertical cracks were present on the interior kitchen floor, with small staircase cracks along the wall facing the exterior. The outside corner, near the same exterior wall, had a 2” separation along the foundation. Environmental records showed that an underground river was running directly through that same section of the homes foundation; the home was destined to crumble from the moment it was constructed.

If you’re thinking everyone, or at least everyone you hired would know that, why was a house constructed on a 3 acre parcel in the only small area that had an underground river? They didn’t know. 

Even more, a standard inspection report would only tell you that 1) a structural crack was observed, and 2) staircase cracks were observed along the wall. 

Which example paints the true picture? Know the Home Before You Buy

Home Fax Inspections is a MI licensed, bonded and insured home inspection company with professional residential and commercial property inspectors servicing the Metro-Detroit, Michigan area with house inspections and home inspections for Buyers, Sellers, Agents, Realtors and more for local and non-local requests by appointment in all Michigan cities within Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair and Genesee County, Michigan