This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Travelers Insurance. The opinions and text are all mine.
The Big Secret
Ok, it’s time I let you in on a little secret.
For a while now, I have been thinking I needed a new project. There has been a lot of discussion around our house about my need for more projects. And our hundred-year-old home is “project’d out”. (Ok, I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean.) Everything in our home is kind of done, other than seasonal changes.
So the big secret is that we are in the market to buy a small house. As in a fixer-upper house. We are NOT moving. Instead, I am going to remodel the home and likely rent it out for a while (on a short-term rental basis). Oh my gosh! Now that is what I call a project! As I type this, I am getting nervous. And excited. Actually, I can’t tell if it’s nerves or excitement. Either way, I know it’s a good plan. And I can’t wait to share with you a really cool online tool I am using to help with my home search!
So for the past couple of months, we have been looking for very well priced, small, one-hundred-year-old homes. We found a few, and maybe one that we will make an offer on soon.
Tools to Help When Shopping for Homes
Can I just say how much fun it is to shop for homes? I have been using a really cool and free online tool from Travelers Insurance called Home Central. The Home Central site encompasses everything about home buying and selling, moving, renovating, maintaining and more. It includes tips for first-time homebuyers, suggestions on how to stage a house when you are ready to sell, guides, lists and other information on caring for a home.
I have been using the feature called OpenHouse. Travelers teamed up with BuildFax to help a potential buyer, like me, find permitted updates and repairs that have been done on a prospective home. OpenHouse is an innovative search tool where consumers enter an address and view permits associated with a house they may be considering buying. Major roof repairs, heating and cooling work and significant plumbing and/or electrical repairs often require permits like the ones that can be found on OpenHouse.
The first address I typed into the site was our hundred-year-old home. Since I am aware of all of the renovations we did on our home, I thought it would be smart to check the site for accuracy. The site found 18 building permits were issued on our home between the years 2000 and 2018. The permits were categorized by areas, such as roof, electrical, plumbing heating and air and building permits. Everything looked absolutely accurate to me! I loved that if you want you can get a summary report (free for a limited time!), which I thought went into a lot of detail about some of the permits that were issued for our home.
I also searched all of the homes we used to live in and the permit information looked accurate based on our knowledge of those past properties. I think it is really important to use this free tool any time you are looking at purchasing a new home. Two of the homes I was looking at in Texas had newer work on the home but no permits were issued. It is so important to know this because structural, plumbing or electrical work completed without permits can be very expensive to fix. And none of us want surprises when it
comes to buying a new home! (If you are serious about a home and come across this situation, give the seller a chance to prove that they have proper permits. Sometimes, municipalities fail to report a permit here and there when providing their data, so there may not be coverage available in certain areas.)
Hopefully, soon I will be able to share the news that we bought a house. In the meantime, I will be on the Travelers OpenHouse site checking out some of the building permits issued on the potential homes for sale!