This is one of those annoying tasks that no one thinks about doing ahead of time, but is crucial, especially if you want the TV and internet working the day you move in. Call now to hook up your utilities! Make sure to get the gas and electric changed into your name. Generally, in Athens you’ll call American Electric Power for the electricity and Columbia Gas of Ohio for gas service. Once you get to water and sewer and trash, then you’ll need to take account of what district you are in.

You’ll also want to call your TV and internet provider asap as most likely you’ll need to set up an appointment with them to come out and install service and it may take a couple of weeks to get the appointment. If you’re buying in a condo building, check with the HOA President or Property Management company to see if either cable or internet are included in your HOA fee. If not, find out if there is a certain provider you have to use or if you can use whomever you’d like.

If you’re buying a single family house you’ll also need to arrange for the water and trash bills to be changed into your name. Have all of the utilities start on the day of closing.

Here is a link to contact information for area utility providers

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email

If you’ve gotten this far it means you not only navigated both the home inspection contingency and appraisal contingency!!
…Now it’s time to start packing (or hire movers…)

Call now to get moving estimates and secure a mover as they often get booked up weeks in advance. Also, if you’re moving into a condo building check with the HOA President or Property Management Company to see if you need to pay any move in fees or if there are move-in restrictions, etc. Remember that you can’t move into your new place until closing is finished as that is when you’re given the keys.

Moving Supplies
Start gathering boxes and packing supplies. Often you can find free boxes around town…if you don’t mind sifting through the cardboard dumpsters behind retail stores… Otherwise, Uhaul, Uline, and even Lowes are all places to pick up moving supplies.

Moving can be incredibly stressful on pets so consider having them stay with a friend until you move and get settled into your new place.

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email

If you’ve gotten this far it means you’re under contract and you have successfully negotiated the home inspection contingency!!
…Now it’s time for the appraisal

What is the appraisal?
According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), “an appraisal is an opinion of value used for real-estate-related financial transactions. Appraisals are required by a state licensed or certified appraiser for most transactions above $250,000. An appraiser’s report will typically include the type of property inspection, approaches to value required, and any lender-specific requirements.” For more details, head over to the Appraisal & Valuation page at

Who orders the appraisal?
Your mortgage lender or loan officer orders the appraisal.

Tips about the appraisal:

  • You are not required to attend
  • It generally takes about a week or so after the appraisal is done on-site before report is ready
  • Once the report is written, it’s emailed to your mortgage lender. Your mortgage lender will then make it available to you and let you know whether the property appraised at the purchase price, below the purchase price, or above the purchase price.
  • If the property appraised at the purchase price, nothing further needs to be done and the closing process will proceed forward as planned.
  • If the property appraised for more than the purchase price, congratulations! That means we got you a great deal and you’ll have instant equity in your home on the day you move in!
  • If the property appraised for less than the purchase price, we have a problem. That means the bank will only give you a loan for the appraised value. In this case, we then go back and renegotiate the purchase price down with the sellers, ideally to the appraisal price. If they won’t come down to the appraisal price, then you can choose to either walk away or bring the additional funds to closing. For instance, if the purchase price is $500K, but the appraisal only came in at $475K and the sellers won’t go any lower than $480K you have to decide if you’re going to bring an extra $5K on top of your down payment and closing costs to closing or walk away from the deal.

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email

If you’re buying a condo in the area, you need to review the condominium documents. These documents generally include the Declarations and Bylaws, the Rules and Regulations, the current year budget, the meeting minutes, and a list of the current Association Board Members. NOTE: If you’re buying a single family home or a multi-unit building, this step won’t apply to you.

When you buy a condo, you’re not just buying a particular condo unit, you are actually buying into the common elements of the entire property as well. You need to figure out if the building/buldings are stable and the association is managing the property in a sustainable manner, financially and otherwise and/or if there could be potential problems, either with large upcoming maintenance issues (which would dramatically increase the HOA fees) or delinquent condo owners who aren’t paying their HOA fees, etc.

It’s also important to learn about the HOA’s rules such as:

  • Are there pet restrictions (number of pets, breeds, weights, etc.)?
  • What is the process, if I wanted to make improvements in landscaping, or changing windows/doors, etc.?
  • Can I lease out my condo unit and, if so, for how long?
  • How is parking handled? How is mail handled?
  • Is there a clubhouse, golf course, pool, etc.? Is there an extra fee for use or membership?

For the above reasons and more, we strongly urge you to read each condo document thoroughly. Write down any questions or issues you’d like to know more about as we can ask for clarification or further documentation. Pay particular attention to the meeting minutes as this is often where you’ll learn what’s really going on in the building and any future plans for large and potentially costly repairs.

After you’ve read the condo docs, email me any questions you have and whether you feel comfortable going forward, want to cancel the contract or would like additional information.

Interested in viewing currently available condo listings in our area?
Check available condos for sale in Athens County

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email

Once the inspection report comes back, review it thoroughly! Try not to be overwhelmed when it’s 30+ pages long with more than 25 defects that need to be repaired….this is typical. I’ve never seen an inspection report that didn’t have at least 5 items that needed repair. Remember, the home inspection is an informational report for you, the buyer. The home inspection report is NOT a to-do list for the seller. Therefore, we should really only be concerned about structural issues, safety defects, or appliances/mechanicals not working.

Tips for reading the inspection report:

  • Pay particular attention to issues relating to the electrical, plumbing, roof, foundation, or water intrusion issues as these can be costly items to repair.
  • If there are any costly items which are concerning to you, decide if you want to have additional inspections performed. For instance we can bring in a structural engineer, a sewer inspector, an electrician, a pest inspector, etc. If you want to bring in additional inspectors, you’ll be responsible for paying their fees.
  • Make a list of items you feel the seller must repair or you’re not willing to go through with the transaction.
  • Make a second list of items you’d like the seller to fix, but would be willing to still close on the house without the seller fixing.
  • Make a third list of the items you’re OK with fixing yourself or feel don’t really need to be fixed.
  • Once you’ve done this, email us your list and we’ll review it and suggest changes if you’re leaving out an expensive repair, not asking for enough, asking for too much, etc.

Once you’ve assessed how you would like to proceed, we can ask the sellers to repair items prior to closing, provide a credit at closing for you to fix the items after closing, or request a reduction in the purchase price. Note: credits offered at closing would go towards your closing costs, so this is the only true way for the seller to pass along the cash for the repair directly to the buyer. For instance, if we negotiate a $2,000 inspection credit that amount would come directly off your closing costs. Therefore, you’d bring to closing $2,000 less than originally expected. That way you have that $2,000 to do needed repairs after the closing.

Remember that the point of the inspection is to:

  • Discover safety issues
  • Check for structural issues
  • Discover any obvious issues with the mechanicals… are all of the appliances working? The furnace and AC units? The hot water heater? etc.

Once we’ve agreed on a strategy, we’ll negotiate the inspection repairs with the seller’s agent. If there are only a few minor issues which need to be fixed, the negotiation will probably go quickly. However, if contractors need to be brought in to provide estimates, expect the inspection negotiations to take longer. Unfortunately, this negotiation can be a deal-killer… If you feel strongly enough that the seller should fix certain items or provide money out of their proceeds to you at closing for the repair, than you should be prepared to walk away if the seller does not agree.

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email

Attending the home inspection is a critically important part of the home buying process!

Buying a home is a huge financial investment (possibly the largest investment that you will make) and you want to make sure the home you’re buying is in good shape. I feel strongly that buyers should personally attend the home inspection. Even though, you’ll get a written report after the inspection, it doesn’t give you nearly as clear of a picture of the condition of the house as being there to view defects for yourself and ask the inspector questions about what you are seeing. Plus, unless you’re extremely knowledgeable about home construction, it’s difficult to understand what in the inspection report is a big problem or defect and what is really a minor issue. Frankly, it’s easy to get worked up about the minor defects (e.g. cracked window glass), without realizing that the larger defects (e.g. bowed basement wall) are tremendously more expensive to fix AND may cause the appraisal and final loan approval to fail.

Here is our list of tips for attending the home inspection:

  • Inspections of condos/townhouses take approximately 2 hours and single family homes may take up to 3 hours. Plan to be there the entire time.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty as the inspector may ask you to crawl in the basement or get up on the attic to see any problems.
  • The inspector doesn’t have X-Ray vision… they can only see obvious defects and cannot see what is going on inside the walls with plumbing, electrical, etc. Therefore, having a clean inspection report does NOT guarantee that you won’t ever have a problem with the home. It just means what can be seen appears to be in satisfactory condition.
  • Ask questions of the inspector! …especially if you don’t understand what they are explaining to you. It’s crucial you understand each issue and whether it’s a minor issue or an expensive repair.
  • Bring a tape measure with you to take any needed room measurements as you may not be able to get back into the home until the walk-through just prior to closing. In addition, if you want family/friends to see the home, it’s best to bring them to the inspection as well.
  • Feel free to bring friends and family with you, especially if you want their input on inspection items, furniture placement, decorating, etc.
  • If you are planning on having any work done to the home after closing, it’s best to arrange for contractors, painters, floor refinishers, etc. to come by sometime during the inspection to give you estimates. If you need referrals for service providers, please let me know….I’ve worked with many different contractors in the area!
  • Bring your checkbook with you as most inspectors require payment at the end of the inspection.
  • Inspection reports are generally emailed to you within 2 days after the inspection. As soon as you get the inspection report be sure to email it to me so we can look it over. We’ll then set up a time to discuss any items we want to ask the seller to fix or give a closing cost credit to repair after closing.

Remember that the point of the inspection is to:

  • Discover safety issues
  • Check for structural issues
  • Discover any obvious issues with the mechanicals… are all of the appliances working? The furnace and AC units? The hot water heater? etc.

Remember, no home is going to be free of defects.
This is not the time to bombard the Seller with a request for concessions because we don’t like the paint colors, there is a dent in the fridge door, the furnace needs to be cleaned, the gutters need to be swept out, etc. Unless you are buying new construction, no home is going to be perfect. If you want a perfect home, buy new construction. If you aren’t buying new construction, then we need to accept the house with its cosmetic flaws or find a new house.

While the inspector is conducting the inspection… you’ll likely want to measure for furniture placement. Also, wouldn’t be a bad idea to photograph every room and closet in the property as you’ll want to refer to these photos later when planning where to put furniture, whether to update paint colors, add shelving in closets, etc. …It’ll give you something to think about while you are anxiously awaiting the closing…

Let us know by calling/texting Uptown Realty Group at (740) 590-4882 or email