Let’s continue our discussion about the steps of buying a home.

Today I’m joined once again by Ryan Shammam and Desirae Morris to talk about two more critical steps of the home-buying process: scheduling an appraisal and ordering homeowners insurance and the home warranty. 

What is an appraisal? An appraisal is when a third-party appraiser visits a home to determine its value and whether or not comparable sold homes can support the purchase price. The appraiser already has a copy of the purchase contract, so they know how much you’re buying the home for and they typically try to meet that target price. 

In addition to evaluating the home, the appraiser is there to ensure the home has no obvious health and safety issues. From the lender’s standpoint, they want to ensure that the property is in a condition to be financed and doesn’t need any immediate work. About 95% of the time, the appraisal comes back without any issues. 

Now, onto ordering homeowners insurance and the home warranty. More often than not, the seller pays for the home warranty. Desirae’s go-to home warranty company, Home Warranty of America, offers a 13-month warranty program, and they always negotiate for the upgraded plan for their buyers. That way, you can take advantage of a low service call fee and potentially get your appliances replaced if need be—appliances that would cost a lot for you alone to replace if they broke down.

“In addition to evaluating the home, the appraiser is there to ensure the home has no obvious health and safety issues.”

If you work with Desirae’s team, you’ll work with their transaction coordinator who’ll handle all the fine details of the transaction, ensure the home warranty is ordered, and provide all of that warranty’s information prior to the close of escrow. 

They’ll also guide you as far as your homeowners insurance goes, which can vary depending on whether you’re buying a townhome, single-family home, or condo. It helps to check with your car insurance company to see if they can get you a good bundle rate. That will cover everything on the interior of your property if it’s a condo because usually the condo association covers everything on the outside. If it’s a home, your policy will cover everything inside and out. 

Remember that from the time you send an initial escrow deposit to the contingency removal phase, you can simply cancel the contract and get your earnest money back if there’s a problem. 

As always, if you have questions about buying a home or have any other real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.