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5 Things You Need to Know About Real Estate Disclosures

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

paperworkIt’s standard practice in real estate to give a home a fresh coat of paint before putting it on the market. Nine out of 10 times, the intention is to show the property at its best. But every so often, the seller paints the house in hopes of covering something up. In most parts of the country, sellers (and agents) are required to document any known defects, current or past, to potential buyers. But some sellers don’t play by the rules and will try to get one past a buyer.

Whether you’re a listing a home for sale or in the market to purchase, here are five things you should know about real estate disclosures.

 What is a disclosure?

Disclosure statements, which can come in a variety of forms, are the buyer’s opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the seller’s experience in it. Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of leaky windows to work done without the benefit of a permit, to information about a major construction or development project nearby. Not only do disclosure (more…)

4 Things to Know About Buying a ‘For Sale by Owner’ Home

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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During the home-buying process you’ll see tons of homes, mostly listed by real estate agents. But from time to time you might encounter a home listed for sale by owner (FSBO). You may even have a friend or relative who wants to sell you their home directly.

While it may seem that buying a FSBO home without involving real estate agents would simplify the process, this isn’t necessarily true. Here are some points to keep in mind when you’re looking at a home for sale by owner.

 Most sellers will work with your agent (more…)

The Legal Benefits of Using a Licensed Real Estate Agent

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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HOW

Licensed real estate agents have legal obligations formally called “fiduciary duties” to their clients.

Obedience

If you give an agent who is representing you an instruction with any financial implications they are obligated to follow it, even if they strongly disagree as long as it’s legal and doesn’t contradict a contractual agreement.

 Loyalty (more…)

Why You Should Buy Your Retirement Home Before You Retire

Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

Five reasons to buy a home for your twilight years while you’re still fully employed.

Planning to leave the workplace sometime in the next five to 10 years? Buying your retirement home now can pay off big in the long term, particularly if you’re going to get a mortgage.

By making your move ASAP, you’ll be able to capitalize on today’s record-low interest rates. Earlier this month, rates on 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to an average 3.41 percent — a hair above the historic low of 3.31 percent set in November 2012, according to a report by Freddie Mac. (You can thank Brexit for the dip.)

There are more financial benefits to purchasing your retirement home while you’re still working full time. Here are five reasons why you should buy now rather than wait until you retire.

Easier to get approved for a mortgage (more…)

Who Pays Closing Costs?

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Usually, the buyer faces more line-item expenses, but the seller pays the commission.

Rarely does a buyer or seller show up to the closing without knowing exactly what their costs of sale will be.

In fact, based on the mortgage loan amount of the purchase/sale price, it’s not hard to ballpark either side’s closing costs. Before you get too far along in the process, ask your real estate agent or mortgage professional for an estimate.

If you’re new to real estate or haven’t bought or sold in a while, here’s what you need to know about closing costs.

Buyers have a higher number of costs (more…)

Insurance FAQs for First-Time Home Buyers

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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You’ve just made a huge investment. Make sure you protect it.

Buying home insurance for the first time is overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to go it alone. Before shopping for coverage, review these common insurance questions to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge to find the best policy for your needs.

Do I need a policy before buying a home?

Technically, no.

Most states require drivers to possess auto insurance before taking the car off the dealer’s lot. But home insurance is different.

However, if you need a loan to buy your home, your lender will likely require you to purchase home insurance as a way to protect its investment.

What coverages are included? (more…)

How to Prepare Your Home for an Appraisal

Posted by on Jul 22, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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What you need to know about the process, from a veteran certified appraiser.

Getting your home appraised can often be a nerve-wracking experience. Your home and your handy work will be on display to be judged and valued so that you can move forward with selling your home.

But it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With the right tools, tricks and savvy, the appraisal process can not only go smoothly, it can also help you make a giant financial leap toward a future in a new home.

Do your homework

Ideally, your appraiser will be a local who knows the area well and who has been around long enough to see changes in the market. It’s also crucial to hire an appraiser who is state certified.

Check your maintenance (more…)

How to Ensure Your Pet Is a Good Rental Resident

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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There’s nothing worse than living next door to an incessant barker or yappy dog — even howling cats can be a nuisance. It’s important to make sure your pet isn’t the one your neighbors complain about.

While a growing number of rental properties specialize in pet-friendly apartments and homes, it’s understandable why both property owners and their leasing agents are skeptical about pets.

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure your pet is a good renter.

Backed by credentials (more…)

5 Ways Home Buyers Make Their Agent’s Job Harder

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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Buying a home can be a long and challenging process. It’s a big, expensive and infrequent transaction that can cause lots of stress and anxiety.

Some buyers take years to complete a purchase, and they require a lot of hand-holding and make lots of requests. Others are more self-sufficient, and only bring in the agent from time to time.

Good real estate agents can accommodate any buyer at any time — as they should. We’re in the service business, and I always say the customer is always right.

Here are five buyer behaviors that can make life tough for agents.

Planning a (secret) price swap (more…)

4 Tips for Buying a Fixer-Upper

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Real Estate | 0 comments

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So you’ve set your sights on a home that, to put it mildly, needs a little repair work. The stairs are creaky, and you’ve noticed a leak (or three).

Still, your mind is made up. What’s a love-struck home buyer to do?

If your heart is set on a fixer-upper, this advice from real estate experts can help you make that “needs-work” house a home.

Check the zoning

Knowing the zone is important because it will tell you what you can and cannot do to the home.

For instance, when interiors photographer Josh Gibson decided to renovate his 19th-century cottage in Beaufort, SC, he had to contend with the historic district landmarks commission, which required hours of research and visits downtown. Among the many requirements he had to adhere to were installing single-pane windows and maintaining the home’s unique brick-pier structure. (more…)

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