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Archive for December, 2013

Buying A Condo-Who’s Running The Show?

When buying a condo, we are all seduced by the decor, the ambiance, the view, and other visual effects, when we should really be checking something else that is not visual!

CONDOThe Home Owners Association (HOA) often plays a very nondescript part in the whole process of choosing a condo, – especially for first-time condo buyers. However, the HOA can play a very large part in using up your finances if you hit an unlucky situation after moving in.

In order to avoid a surprise, ask a few pertinent questions about the HOA. One of the important factors would be ‘who is running the show?’ In a very small condo complex it may be run by residents, but a professional management company is preferable, especially in a condo of any size.LOCATION

Professional management companies do charge for their services, but they can often save this fee by obtaining lower quotes for repairs, because they will use the same company many times. There is also less chance of the company using their influence on resident votes, so they may be construed as more fair. Finally, it is a business to them, and it the HOA will be run as such, instead of as a part-time rush before each meeting is due!

Always ask to see the rules of the HOA, the financial report, the by-laws and the minutes of the last several meetings. The conditions, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) will affect your AREAlifestyle, so make sure they ‘fit in’ with it.

The financial report will tell you if there are any big increases in the fees coming up, or if there are any ’emergency’ fees due soon. This raises the important question, what will happen if there is a big emergency? How is it paid and how much money is in the HOA kitty?

The maintenance reserves will be important; there will hopefully be approximately one-third of the gross annual fees charged to all residents in the reserves. A favorable minimum amount would be $4,000 per condo, although is manageable.

Another aspect that the HOA manages is the percentage of rental units allowable. Under 20% is BEACH possible, but any more and the re-sale of the condos becomes risky. Renters often do not have the same respect for property or neighbors, so they decrease desireability.Also mortgage companies are aware of this and are reluctant to give out mortgages to high-rental complexes.

Once you have ironed out all these questions, you can consider whether you would like to get a professional inspection done. These inspections include the common areas as well as the condo you are interested in. Once all these precautions are in place, you will feel more secure to go ahead and make an offer.


Use Local Market Forecasts and Location Analysis To Secure Maximum Profits When Selling A Home

Before listing a home for sale in the marketplace, you can discover the home’s true value by obtaining a location analysis and local market forecast. A home’s value can be much greater or FOR SALEless than the perceived value based on its location and other factors. It’s a good idea to find out the home’s true value beforehand so you’ll get the best possible price for your real estate.

Local Market Forecast Explained

A local market forecast bases a home’s value on changing local conditions, in the past and the projected future. There are many factors that are considered in a local market forecast. Some of these include local economy, employment levels and job growth, business development in the area, regional politics, schools, and many other factors. A local market forecast also includes price estimates in which pricing for single-family residences, townhouses, and condos are combined in a median price for the local area.HOME

No matter where you live in the United States, you can now obtain a local market forecast online for most cities. This allows you to protect your real estate investment by asking a realistic price when selling.

How a Location Analysis Works

A location analysis reveals how well your home for sale fares in its location. Homes may be located on a busy highway, a country road, or on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac. The home might be near a railroad track, factory, or near a company that releases certain chemicals into the air. It might be near a regular farm or turkey farms that cause unpleasant smells in the air. There are many factors to consider about a home’s location before determining its actual market value.

REALTORA location analysis looks at where your home is located and analyzes it according to other homes located in similar areas. For instance, if your home is located near a chemical plant, you can compare the market value to other homes in similar neighborhoods near chemical plants. The value of the home might be less even if it’s larger in size and better kept than other homes on neighboring streets.

Location matters greatly. Cities where the general value of real estate is going up will often contain neighborhoods where the value of homes is going down. There are hundreds of variables considered in a location analysis to come to an accurate and fair selling price when selling your home.

Other things that are considered in a real estate analysis include city and neighborhoodHOME population, sales trends, average household income, property vacancies, recent sales, and many other factors.

Obtaining a location analysis is easy online for many neighborhoods across the United States. It helps you analyze the past, present, and future of real estate in your area with the click of a mouse. Whether you’re a real estate agent or the home’s owner, you can be sure that your home is not overpriced or under priced using these two helpful tools.

Things To Keep In Mind While Buying A Timeshare

Timeshares, also known as fractional ownership, is something that has been around since the first extended family decided to save on the cost of their vacation by sharing the cost of renting a TIMESHAREScottage or vacation property.

An important thing to decide is whether you need fixed or floating timeshare? Actually, it depends on your lifestyle and job. If you always take your vacation the same time every year, then a fixed week is the best bet for you. Families with children who like to take their vacations during school breaks are the typical consumers for fixed week timeshares. People with more flexibility in their scheduling and those who don’t like being forced to schedule their vacation a year in advance will best benefit from the floating week timeshare.

If you decide to finance your timeshare, you also need to consider the added cost of interest, HIGHRISEwhich can inflate your timeshare purchase by several thousand dollars if you are financing for 5-10 years. It is better to use cash for buying a timeshare, but if you do need to finance the purchase, try to minimize the cost by only financing for a couple of years.

Some things to watch out for in shopping for timeshares include being wary of prizes, especially prizes that ask that you only to pay the shipping and handling. Never pay for anything while you are just looking at timeshares. Purchasing a timeshare is not nearly the same as purchasing a house or even a condo. Some things are very similar but there are distinct differences that you need to be aware of, and you need to make sure that you have all the necessary details in front of you before you make any kind of decision.

Buy during a prime season- your timeshare will be worth more when you go to sell or exchange it. Never buy a timeshare on the spot. If it is a good deal, it will still be there tomorrow and the next SAILday. It certainly will be there after you’ve had an opportunity to do a little research online.

There is something quite wonderful about a timeshare especially if you are able to trade or swap your week with someone who holds a timeshare somewhere else in the world. This can make your timeshare a real, lifelong bargain.

The point of having a timeshare is to have fun, not to be fretting about dirty carpets caused by other owners of your timeshare or leaking windows or any other unpleasant maintenance issue. You don’t want to have to worry about getting basic maintenance done. You want peace of mind knowing that the timeshare is well kept, theVIEW furnishings and carpets are clean and in good repair, and utilities such as cable television, phone and electricity are up to date. So you have to choose the other owners of your timeshare well.

Finally you have to know that there are plenty of scam artist on the Internet willing to take your money for a property they don’t even own. Finding a timeshare deal is not hard but do your homework. Look at several websites on the Internet before making any decisions. Visit the resort you are interested in before buying a timeshare, new or used.

The Importance of Understanding All International Air Travel Rules

Are you planning on attending a business meeting or taking a vacation out of the country?  If so, you will need to book a seat on an international flight.  Have you ever been on an international flight before?  If not, there are a number of factors that you should first consider, such as the AIRPLANEinternational air travel rules.  In fact, it is not only recommended that you do, it is required that you do.  Not knowing all of the international air travel rules could land you in a boatload of trouble.

When it comes to air travel rules, many travelers, maybe even you, automatically think of being in-flight. While there are in-flight travel rules that you must abide by, there are also other rules. These other rules are ones that apply in all airports, including international airports. Since you will arrive at the airport first, before actually boarding your airplane, it is advised that you first familiarize yourself with these common air travel rules.

As previously mentioned, there are a number of airport rules that exist in all airports, regardless of whether those airports are international airports or domestic airports. These rules commonly include a list of prohibited items, the screening of all baggage, the removal of your shoes, and the screening of passengers. In addition to these airport travel rules, which can be found in almost allINSIDE airports in the United States, there are some air travel rules that only apply to international airports.

The number one rule that you must abide by at an international airport is identifying who you are.  Since airline officials and airport security cannot guarantee that you are who you claim to be, you will need to show proof of identification. Depending on where you are traveling to, this identification may need to be more than a simple government issued identification card or driver’s license.  In fact, you may also need to supply your birth certificate, a passport, a visa, or a certificate of citizenship. For additional information on which proofs of identification are required, you are advised to contact the international airport or airline that you will be using.

Once you have made it though all of the international airport security checkpoints, you should be able to begin boarding your plane.  When boarding your airplane, you are advised to do it in a calm, but timely matter.  As soon as your airplane is in the air, you need to follow all instructions given by the pilot or flight attendants. This includes staying in your seat until it is safe to get up.  In the event that you refuse to cooperate with the airline staff, you may be putting yourself and other passengers in danger.

FLYWhile it is important to understand all international air travel rules, there are many travelers who are unsure why those rules are so important.  They are important not only for your safety and well-being, but for the safety and well-being of others.  Although it may seem ridiculous at the time, but if you refuse to stay in your seat or you are caught arguing with airport security, you will find that you are automatically labeled a terror suspect. This is largely due in part to the fear of another terrorist attack.  Once this happens it is often difficult or impossible to go back to normal.

In the event that you violate international airport security rules, intentionally or not, it is likely LUGGAGEthat you will be pulled aside. Depending of the rule that you violated, you may only receive a warning, but you could also receive much more. Should you be labeled as a suspicious traveler, you may be detained by airport security or local authorities for an undetermined amount of time.  The same can be said for international air travel rule violations in the air.  Once your airplane is able to land, often at the nearest available airport, you will be held for questioning. 

What will happen after questioning will all depend on your actions and the preferences of local authorities or airport security.  Since you can never guarantee the outcome of your actions, it is important that you stay on your best behavior when at an international airport or aboard an international flight.

Selling Your Home – What Can Go Wrong With Title And Lenders

If you’re selling your home, there are going to be difficulties at some point in the transaction. Some problems can’t be fixed. It’s important to figure out whether yours are fixable or not. Then FOR SALEyou can either fix them or move on and find another buyer. If it’s priced appropriately, there’s a buyer out there for virtually every property.

Title Problems

You get a call from the person searching the title to your property saying your first cousin once removed is shown as having a ten percent interest in the property. I hope you (and not just your lender) have title insurance.

If you don’t, perhaps your cousin will sign a “quit claim deed” (or whatever similar term your jurisdiction uses) if her father was paid for his interest long ago, but nothing was recorded to that effect with the land records. If that doesn’t work, perhaps your cousin will agree to join in the sale and receive ten percent of the proceeds.MORTGAGE

Failing that, you’re probably looking at a court proceeding. The sale will fall apart, and you’ll have to start all over again once the problem of legal ownership has been resolved. Bummer. Before you put a property on the market, make sure your title is clear.

Lender Objections

Lenders can really punch holes in a home sale. Let’s look at a few examples.

Example One

The lender calls and says your garden shed is encroaching on your neighbor’s property, while their fence is on yours. The lender won’t fund the buyer’s loan until everything is moved to where it belongs. Typically, the lender isn’t going to back down. What are your options?

If you get along with your neighbor and can do the work yourself (or can afford to have it done), the problem can be quickly cured. I once saw a very creative resolution to this problem. The shed CONTRACTwas on a utility right-of-way. The seller got the county to write a letter to the lender saying that if a shed weren’t on a poured foundation (it wasn’t) and could be moved on notice, then it wasn’t considered an encroachment until/unless such a notice was sent.

Example Two

The lender says your property will appraise for the amount needed for the loan so long as the following repairs are made. The list of repairs upsets you. Time to take a deep breath and think. How can you get them taken care of before settlement? Can you do them? Have them done? Would the buyer be willing to help out? Is this a deal to walk away from? Regardless of the answer, the key is to make a logical decision not an emotional one.

Example Three

The lender’s appraiser comes in with an appraisal that is below your agreed sales price. The lender is willing to lend based on the appraisal, not the previously agreed price.

There are several options for fixing this problem.

1. You can reduce your price to the appraisal price.

2. If the buyer wants your property enough and has enough money, he can pay a larger down payment and leave the purchase price the same.

3. The two of you can split the difference; you come down some, and he increases his down EQUALpayment some.

4. Or, sadly, the deal can fall apart over this issue.

The real key to successfully dealing with problems is to stay calm, open-minded, flexible, bottom line oriented, and think win/win. Most of the problems that occur do have solutions. We just need to look for them persistently.

What Remodeling Your Kitchen Can Do For Your Home

Are you a homeowner?  If so, there is a good chance that you take great pride in your home.  Despite taking great pride in your home, there may come a time when you may want to spice it up a little bit.  When that is the case, a fairly large number of homeowners make the decision to KITCHENremodel their homes.  When it comes to home remodeling, one of the most common rooms remodeled is that of the kitchen.  Of course, remodeling your kitchen may make you happy, but did you also know that it can do things for your home?  The truth is that you are not the only one who can benefit from a little bit of kitchen remodeling, your home can also benefit.

Perhaps, the greatest way that your home can benefit from a kitchen remodeling project is with its value.  If you make the decision to have your home remodeled, you will likely find that the overall value of your home will increase.  Sometimes, the increase may be hard to notice, but it can also be quite noticeable.  Honestly, the increase in value will all depend on what type of remodeling was done and how it turned out. Professional kitchen remodeling jobs are the ones that tend to increase a home’s value the most.  Also, the more of your kitchen you remodel, the more the value of your home is likely to increase.  An increased home value can turn into a profit for you, if and when you decide to sell your home.BEAUTIFUL

In addition to an increase in value, you will also find that by remodeling your kitchen, the overall appearance of your home will better.  That will not only have an impact on your home, but you as well.  It is a known fact that when homeowners have a decent looking home, they not only feel more comfortable in it, but they also feel more comfortable inviting guests over. By remodeling your kitchen, your home may seem more welcoming and inviting.  Whether you just want to have your friends over for coffee or you want to host a large party, a kitchen remodeling project may be just what you need to get the ball rolling.

The appearance of your home, particularly your kitchen, and the increase in your home’s value are two of the greatest ways that your home can benefit from a kitchen remodeling project.  OPENAlthough your home can benefit from a kitchen remodeling project, it is important to note that the results are not all the same. As previously mentioned, the end result, of a kitchen remodeling project, makes all of the difference in the world. Although you may have better results using a professional contractor, you may not want to.  If you want to perform your own kitchen remodeling, you can, but it is best that you first know exactly what you are doing. 

If you do not have experience with home improvement projects, it may be a good idea to take a kitchen remodeling course, class, or seminar.  Depending on where you live, you should have access to a number of these courses. In fact, you may find that one of your home improvement SPACIOUSstores offers these classes for free or for a reasonable fee.  If you are unable to attend a kitchen remodeling class, course, or seminar, you should at least obtain a copy of a kitchen remodeling guide or how-to book.  Many of these books are available for sale online or in book stores.  Depending on the size of your library, you may also be able to find a few remodeling books there.

Although it is not required that you use a guide or attend a remodeling seminar, you may want to. Since the overall value of your home, as well as its appearance depends on the outcome of your kitchen remodeling projects, you may want to make sure that your remodeling is done right.

Property Taxes, A Must Known Facts About Tax Liens.

A tax lien is a legal claim filed in court by a government agency against a person or business owing taxes. Tax liens normally attach to money or property to pay the taxes. A list of tax liens TAXproperties on which the taxes has not been paid are kept at the county courthouse along with the proper and complete documentation to avoid any legal problems afterward.
Every year properties are taxed for their value and every year plenty of people fail to pay their taxes on time, incurring taxes and plenty on themselves either due to the financial issue or they just misplaced the tax bills. If you are late to pay your dues then the government seeks investors to balance their budget. Tax Liens can be filed for income taxes, unemployment taxes, sales taxes, real estate excise taxes, Social Security or disability taxes. Once the tax lien is paid, papers are filed with the courts, affirming the discharge of the property.FORECLOSURE
Many investors invest their assets in the hope that they will be getting huge profit through it but in spite there lies some awful fact which must be known especially (if you are a investor) in order to avoid any complication, one disaster discussion of investment can wipe out your whole capital and your enthusiasm from all this kind of investment.   
The first step should be of building a profitable portfolio of tax liens to your self only to decide the basic purpose of your tax lien investment. Developing a portfolio will surely answer your most critical question like why do I want to invest in tax liens in BUILDINGthe first place? Also your reason for investing will determine what type of investment will be best for you.
With the passage of time the tax lien auctions business got huge popularity, most probably because of the abrupt turning of the real estate market and worst jumping down of the stock market which has remained unstable for some time thus compel investor to see some other ways through which they can get a healthy positive outcome with huge benefit. Although profit in tax liens is slow but still it is a hidden secret to the investors. EASYInvesting in tax liens assures that your capital will go towards something that is profitable and with a set time period where you can anticipate realizing your profit. Only you have to learn the fundamental principles which are golden and yet very essential to acquire hefty profit. Also try to get more and more knowledge to strengthen your foundation in tax lien business, which could be done through the acquaintance with the property laws, ordinance and so on.

Are You Considering To Purchase An Existing Home?

You should be on the look out for any major problems which may cause you significant problems and money later on down the line! It’s a good idea to do your homework when you’re looking to VIEWpurchase an existing home or any home you may be considering.  You want to know what you should be looking for? Well consider some of these tips and information while you’re shopping for an existing home:

1) Consider having a home inspection done on the property you’re thinking about purchasing.  This is very important! By having a home inspection, you will be provided with valuable information about the condition of the home you want to purchase by an independent expert.  You can find a certified home inspector via the American Society of Home Inspectors(ASHI) www.ashi.org.  You’ll be glad that you hired an independent inspector to go over the home you may want to purchase.  It may save you major headaches in the long run! Make sure to make the home inspection a contingency of the prospective purchase agreement of the HOMEhome you’re considering.

2) Look at the price the existing home is being sold for.  In most cases you’re able to get a better price for an existing home than you would for a new one.  The existing home is usually in a neighborhood which is already established.  In addition, the home will probably have upgrades already done.  If you have children, schools are usually already established for the neighborhood that you may be planning to live in.

3) Try to steer away from existing homes which have some form of preexisting structural and roof damage.  If you don’t, this could cost you thousands of dollars in the long run!

FOR SALE4) If you decide to purchase an exiting home, you may want to establish  a home maintenance account for any potential repair problems in the future.

5) Make sure you check out the landscaping of the home which of course includes the lawn, plants, flowers, bushes and trees! If there is a potential problem with the landscaping, you can put in your contingency agreement that this problem must be corrected by the seller, prior to you purchasing the home.  This could save you money in the long run.

6) Research and investigate any easements on the property you’re planning on purchasing.  You want to make sure if there are any easements, that this will not create a problem for you in the SOLDlong run.

7) Purchase title insurance! This will protect you from any potential problems that may come up about the legal owner of the property that you have purchased.

The purchase of an existing home can be a good thing if you do your homework before and during your prospective purchase. There are some great deals on existing homes if you do your research.  Just keep in mind some of the tips and information that you’ve learned, while you’re planning to make your purchase.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Having The Pleasure Of Enjoying Your Pool Year Round

The beauty and relaxation provided by a swimming pool is nothing short of spectacular.  On a hot day, a pool can be a blessing.  On the other hand, a swimming pool can also be a headache if it isn’t COVEREDcared for properly.  Swimming pools require a lot of maintenance, including time and money.  No matter what type of pool you have, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance on it.

By owning a swimming pool, you assume the task of keeping your pool clean and safe for yourself and anyone who swims in it.  Maintaining your pool doesn’t have to be a hard task or consume a lot of time, if you know what you are doing.  If you follow the advice of a professional and perform regular maintenance on your pool, you’ll keep it healthy year round.

To put it bluntly, you should check on your chemical balance from time to time, and make sure OUTDOORthat the water is safe for swimming.  You’ll need to ensure that you keep debris out of your pool, and that the water remains healthy.  If you filter your water on a frequent basis, you can keep the chemicals moving about and keep the water safe for swimming.

The weather outside and how often you use your pool will greatly contribute to the condition of your water.  If you don’t have your chemicals balanced properly, the sun can quickly turn your water to a green, musty color.  If you live in an area that is known for hot weather, you’ll need to make sure that you keep your chemicals properly balanced at all times.

ENJOYA swimming pool will naturally attract leaves, insects, dust, hair, and other forms of debris.  No matter what you do about it, you can never prevent things from getting in your water.  If you don’t clean your pool on a regular basis, the pollutants that get in the water can lead to bacteria and algae, which will quickly destroy your water.  If you sanitize and clean your pool on a regular basis, you’ll help to keep it clean and free from bacteria and algae buildup.

If you don’t have the time to clean your pool yourself, you can always leave it to a professional.FUN  Professional pool cleaners don’t come cheap, although they will clean your water and your pool, and ensure that your chemicals are properly balanced.  You can schedule a time for a cleaner to do his job, normally once a week or so.  Once you have started using a professional, you may find his services great and never want to go back to cleaning your pool yourself.  With the help of a professional – you can rest assured that your pool will stay clean year round.

Tips On Showing Your Home To Potential Buyers

KITCHENAfter you’ve primped and prettified your home for the purpose of making it look more attractive to potential buyers, the next logical step you will have to take is to actually make these buyers feel welcome in your abode.

Whether or not you’re selling your home on your own or through the assistance of real estate agents, the basic tips for successful home showing remain the same.

The first is that you should always be ready to show your home to potential buyers. Naturally this does not mean that you should entertain guests who come knocking in the middle of the night. It simply means that you should be flexible with your availability. Always be ready to show off your home and greet your guests with a smile even if your guest comes in 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late. Don’t worry; clients who know that they are running a bit late usually call to advise you.

Unless you’re selling your home by yourself, it is also ideal if you discreetly remove yourself from the premises when the agents are showing off your property. Although it is understandable that you would want to see the reaction of the buyer, buyers may feel uncomfortable when you’re FINISHED BATHaround. They many not be able to ask the agent questions about your home, nor feel free to open doors, windows, even lights. If you’re doing the selling, you may open and close doors yourself and naturally, answer their questions. However, try to keep your distance. Give your guests privacy and let them explore the place on their own.

As a home seller, it is also important that you remain slightly impersonal in your dealings with clients. This does not mean that you would act like a robot to your guests. It simply means that you should avoid bringing up your opinion on controversial topics such as religion or politics.

It is also advisable that you keep your pets away from the guests as they may be frightened by DREAMyour friendly Labrador or may find the distinct animal aroma your pet emits offending.

Finally, for your own safety, try to know as much about the potential buyer before you allow them inside your home. You can verify the details they have provided (phone number, email, etc), by making a return call or sending them an electronic message. It is also ideal if you could have another person on site when you are showing off your home. If this is not possible then make your guests enter the home (and the interior rooms) first and situate yourself by the door at all times. This way, you can easily run off if something goes wrong.