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Choosing a School when Buying a Home

by Karen Picarello

Parents often spend a lot of time when choosing housing looking at schools in the area. Your children will be spending a considerable portion of their childhood there, and a good school will not only increase your child’s chances of getting into a good college, but will also help to teach them information and skills which will be useful for the rest of their lives. Choosing a good school can go a long way in ensuring that your children are well prepared for their adult lives. But how do you know if a school is “good”?

First, I would caution against focusing too much on test scores. The nation has put a lot of focus on standardized test scores in recent years, and while looking at the test scores from a particular school can be a useful metric, I would advise looking further. Passing a test is useful, but a good school can do much more than this. There are absolutely situations where I would recommend attending a school with slightly lower test scores if you have reason to believe that it will be a better fit for helping develop your child’s social and emotional intelligence as well.

When looking at a school, your two resources should be the internet, and face to face interactions. Online, you can often find quantitative information about the school. Looking up principle and superintendent turnover (high turnover= bad), tests scores, and other information can help to inform your decision about whether or not the school will likely be a good choice. However, you should also invest some of your time in meeting people involved with the school.

First, many people recommend that you meet with the principal of a school you are considering. This can be an opportunity to visit the campus as well. Use your intuition. How do the children and teachers look? Does the principal impress you? This face to face time can greatly help you form an understanding of the atmosphere and learning conditions at the school.

I would also recommend talking to parents of children at the school. Talking to a few parents who have children attending can help you get another view on the school. This personal experience will be invaluable for you, so go out of your way to meet with parents. If multiple parents have had bad experiences, I would stay away. 

Should You Repair Your Roof Before Selling Your House?

by Karen Picarello

One of the items which is often on the minds of home buyers and sellers is the condition of the roof. Most of us know at least one person who has moved into a home only to discover during the next rainy season, that the roof is leaking. Alternatively, there might be insulation or building code issues with the roof. Depending on how the inspection was done, and which clauses were included in the sale documents, how you proceed might be different. However, no matter the circumstances, a leaky or broken down roof will be a huge, possibly expensive, headache.

If you are selling a home, and you know that you have a broken-down roof, you should always disclose this to potential buyers. Honesty is necessary. And failure to disclose could lead to problems. If you do not disclose the problem, and it is later shown that you knew about it, you could be financial responsible for restitution. Additionally, a home inspection might discover the leaky roof. Even if there is no rain at the moment, a good home inspector might notice things like water damage in areas where there is a leak. Therefore, failing to disclose the roof problems could be discovered quickly or slowly, but either way: it will be discovered.

Now, as to the question of whether or not you should fix the roof before selling, the answer is complicated. It depends on the condition of the rest of your property, and the opinions of potential buyers. If the entire property is run down and in need of extensive repairs, it might be easier to sell it as is. A buyer committed to fixing up the property will be willing to incur the cost of repairs themselves, for a discount. Alternatively, some buyers will be looking to tear down the existing structure and rebuild it. Putting a new roof on a building about to be demolished would be a waste of money.

However, there are situations where you might want to do the roof before putting the house on the market. If the leaks are major, you will almost certainly need the roof repaired as soon as possible in order to stop water damage. Additionally, being able to show that the house is in great shape can help to woo potential buyers, letting them feel secure that the house will not cause them to incur large financial burdens, or deal with other unpleasant projects. 

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

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TeamPicarello
RE/MAX Fine Properties North Scottsdale
21000 N. Pima Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale AZ 85255
Office: (480)860-8733
888-548-8713
Fax: (480)860-8755