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5 Tips for Overseas Vacation Home Buying Success

The dream of owning a vacation home in some sun-drenched overseas location is one the majority of us share, and because real estate proves itself time and again as a solid long-term investment commodity, many more people are committing to purchasing real estate abroad as an investment that they and their family can also enjoy and benefit from.

When buying a vacation home abroad there are a number of key considerations to bear in mind to avoid some of the traps and pitfalls sometimes associated with buying long distance and in an unfamiliar country.  With these 5 tips for overseas vacation home buying success you can quickly cut a swathe through the research process and move towards securing the dream swiftly and securely.

Tip One – Learn the Rules and Regulations

Different countries have different rules relating to the right or otherwise of foreign citizens to own the freehold title to immovable property.  Some widely publicised destinations don’t allow foreigners to directly own the land on which their property sits (Bulgaria) or more than one property (Cyprus) for example, and some countries are less economically or politically stable than your own which can mean that real estate related rules and regulations may change in the future.  Make sure you’re comfortable with the workings of the country you’re considering buying a vacation home in, and if in doubt seek professional advice about that country and the ambitions you hold for owning a holiday home in it.

Tip Two – Good Investment/Bad Investment

If you’re buying a vacation home with a hope that it will go up in value and be not only a family retreat but a great asset, know that real estate, just like any investment commodity, can go down in value as well as up.  Furthermore not all countries have a real estate economy the same as the one in your own country – a little research would be wise into the historic nature of the property market in your country of choice as well as predictions for its future.  While such data is not a direct indication of how well your investment will perform it will arm you with more data to hopefully make your decisions easier.

Tip Three – Title Deeds and Legalities

Legal systems and the title-deed registration process differ from country to country therefore know your legal rights and try to find out about the essential searches, surveys and title-deed checks that need to be conducted before you should commit to buying your overseas vacation home.  Never enter into any form of contractual agreement without the direct assistance of an independent lawyer and never accept someone’s word that a vacation home has its permissions and title deeds valid and up to date.  Insist on seeing and checking all important facts and data before signing on the dotted line.

Tip Four – Accessibility and Desirability

If you’re thinking about making an income from your vacation home or even hoping to holiday in it yourself regularly, one of the most important factors to bear in mind is the accessibility or otherwise of your vacation home.  If your real estate is difficult to reach, with many miles to traverse and complicated and expensive plane journeys to plan, then it will just become a less desirable commodity over time. While a vacation involves getting away from it all and escaping every day life, a vacation destination and home should be easy and affordable to reach.

Tip Five – Enlisting Assistance

Consider enlisting the help of a reputable real estate agent, an independent lawyer and if you want to make money from your vacation home, a property management service.  Such professionals can save you time, effort and money and they can make the whole process of buying and owning a vacation home that much simpler.  Make sure you take references, examine credentials and see qualifications before employing anyone to assist you however, and if at all possible seek recommendations because anyone who does a good job will always get good press!

Bank Foreclosures

Bank foreclosure real estate, also referred to as REOs (Real Estate Owned), is foreclosed real estate that is owned by the bank due to an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. There are several reasons the home may have not sold at the auction. The most common reason is negative equity the bank foreclosure real estate is worth less than the amount owed to the bank. Of course, the bank seeks to receive the outstanding balance of the original loan; therefore, the minimum bid for the bank foreclosure real estate is usually the amount of the outstanding balance of the original loan, plus interest and any additional fees. No smart investor or buyer will consider bidding on such a property.

Nevertheless, an unsuccessful sale will not stop the bank from trying to make an attempt to get the bank foreclosure real estate sold. The bank will consider removing some or all liens and fees on the bank foreclosure real estate in order to get it on the real estate market and resell it to the public. The resell process may be retrying an auction or working through a Realtor.

This is a hot market for real estate investors. Real Estate investors take an eager interest in bank foreclosure real estate property. The market of foreclosed homes may be large; but, not always suitable for some investors. The foreclosed property may not meet some important needs. Nowadays home buyers and investors alike are scrambling through the market of bank foreclosure real estate looking for better deals. Though, most bank foreclosure real estate property is in poor condition, the low sale price of the home highly compensates for the property poor condition.

Investing in bank foreclosure real estate property offers a great return for investors. Bank foreclosure real estate by far offers greater deals than typical foreclosed homes. As an investor you must consider all your options. Make sure you get the bank foreclosure real estate property at the best price. Hopefully, the bank foreclosure real estate that an investor chooses to invest in will give the investor rewards; such as a larger return in profit, either through renting the home out or through selling the home.

There are several ways to search for bank foreclosure real estate property.  You can search the Internet, magazines, and newspaper listings. The Internet can lead you to thousands maybe millions of connections. Here you can view listing by state, banks, county, and much more.

You should also invest time in finding a good real estate agent.  If they know what you are looking for, they can save you a lot of time and work.  They can also help you determine the true market value of the home you are considering investing in.

A Bit About Mold

There are a number of little things to look out for when purchasing a new home. Normally the things to consider includes such things as location, wiring, the condition of the house itself, and several other factors. One of these factors that the home buying public is becoming more concerned with is mold. There are many different types of mold that can occur in a home and lead not only to structural damage, but some health concerns as well. Mold is difficult to find in many homes as it grows exclusively in dark and moist areas that are usually hidden somewhere in the structural areas of the home such as attics and basements. By the time mold shows up in the actual living areas, chances are that it is all through the home.

One of the most likely places for mold to form is anywhere that moisture is improperly vented. Another area of concern is if a home has ever flooded and was not completely or properly cleaned and dried after. Leaky plumbing and basement crawlspaces are other likely candidates. Mold can be a difficult thing to completely get rid of as the only thing it needs to continue growth is an organic material such as wood, and moisture. Both of these items are usually abundant in any home. The most likely was that moisture finds its way into the home is through faulty or leaky roofs and foundations. Both of these areas should be checked over by an experienced mold inspector on a fairly regular basis if there is any worry of mold beginning to grow, or if these has been mold in the past. Mold can be an expensive problem to deal with so be pro-active about looking for it, it can save you money in the long run.

When Your Home Is Not Selling

As the real estate market returns to a normal pattern of buying and selling, some sellers are easily frustrated. If your home is not selling, here are a few practical tips.

When Your Home Isn’t Selling

Selling a home is similar to a job interview or a first date. Presentation tends to go a long way in determining the outcome. That might sound a bit shallow, but it is simply a fact of life in many endeavors including real estate. To this end, sellers have developed bad habits when it comes selling their home out of the recent hot seller’s market. A few basic tips can get you back on track. 

Most real estate comes with a garage. If you have lived in the property for any amount of time, you have undoubtedly stored numerous things in your garage. I have! When the time comes to sell your property, however, you need to give your garage the once over. Items you consider priceless heirlooms might be considered junk by buyers. A messy garage is also a negative. Remember, buyers expect you to have the home in pristine condition. Anything that does not reflect that will hurt you in the eyes of these individuals.

Undoubtedly, your home has some amazing interior features. Instead of just assuming the potential buyer understands the value of them, you should highlight the features. The best method for doing this is lighting. Make sure you have sufficient lighting in the relevant area by opening drapes or going with more powerful light bulbs. If you have beautiful marble flooring and counters in your kitchen, make sure there is sufficient lighting to make them stand out. 

Your lawn is the first thing a potential buyer is going to see when they pull up to the property. Keep it trimmed and cut back any jungles. Give some thought to the walkway to the front door. Planting flowers and such can go along way. 

Make sure the entrance is a positive aspect of your home, not a negative. Make sure the front door is in perfect shape. The entry area should also be focused on. Add plants, rugs and what have you to make a good impression. Next, walk in through the front door and take in the view. Is there anything that gives you pause and can be improved? If so, do it!

The real estate market has cooled to the extent that homes are not selling in three days anymore. Return to the basic fundamentals of selling a home is the key to getting the offer you need.

Skiing Vacations at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, in Whistler, British Columbia, is a gorgeous alpine resort in the shadow of Blackcomb Mountain.  Rated as the number one ski resort in both Canada and North America in recent years, the Whistler Blackcomb resort is one truly not to be missed.  British Columbia is home to many of the world’s best ski resorts, and Whistler Blackcomb certainly reaffirms this.  The impeccable reputation of the resort is only further bolstered by the eight thousand acres of pristine skiing, and over thirty-five feet of powder white snow which falls every single year, making Whistler Blackcomb the destination of choice for savvy ski enthusiasts the world over.

When it comes to skiing facilities, you’d naturally expect the Whistler Blackcomb resort to have it all.  Catering for a broad cross-section of skiing abilities and tastes, there are over one hundred different runs to keep you occupied on your stay.  The natural beauty of these resorts is obvious, and the facilities just add to the overall experience.  In the lap of luxury, you can experience world class skiing, indulging in connoisseur black diamond runs, and lightening fast ski lifts.  With an astonishing 57,000 skier per hour capacity, the Whistler Blackcomb resort is not only high quality, but also in high demand by those in the know across the world.  And after you’re active day, relax in the warmth and comfort of the resorts bars and restaurants, where you can share a joke or two over an open fire when it’s cold outside.   For most people, it really doesn’t get much better than that, and that’s why the resort has attracted such acclaim, on top of its excellent skiing and snowboarding facilities.

But don’t worry if you don’t know how to ski – the resort also boasts activities like golf, a health spa, gourmet restaurants, attractive walks and hiking.  There really is something for everyone at the resort.  Additionally, if you’d like to learn to ski, there really is nowhere better.  The Whistler Blackcomb resort also employs a one thousand-strong teaching staff, making it one of the biggest skiing and snowboarding schools in North America, and indeed in the world.  Whistler Blackcomb boasts an unparalleled number of world class instructors, which serve to ensure a high standard of training for all the school’s participants.  Additionally, with a range of training and tuition programmes available, the Whistler Blackcomb resort truly is one of the best locations in the world to improve your skiing skills.

The Fairmount Chateau Whistler is a truly unique skiing experience, making use of its beautiful natural resources, and a flair for quality and service.  Any vacation at the Chateau Whistler will be an experience not to be forgotten, and with a wrought-iron reputation, you’ll find many skiers choose to go back year on year for their annual vacation. 

If you’re looking for a good tip for vacations to the Chateau Whistler, you could do worse than to book direct through their website.  By cutting out the middle man you are paying only the hotel price and no commission, which means you can benefit from a much cheaper stay.  Additionally, on the Fairmount website, you will find last minute bargains and offers which are simply unbeatable anywhere else, so you might just find that your once in a lifetime skiing experience costs a lot less than you had anticipated.

Common International Air Travel Rules

Everyday, in the United States, a large number of individuals, couples, and families travel by way of an airplane.  Out of all of those travelers, a decent number of them are traveling overseas or to a foreign country. As international travel continues to increase in popularity, it is likely that the numbers will continue to rise. In fact, there is even a good chance that you may make the decision to travel to another country. If so, it is advised that you familiarize yourself with the international air travel rules. 

When it comes to international air travel rules, there are many travelers who automatically get confused.   This is because not many people know that the rules for international air travel are different from the rules for domestic air travel. In reality, they aren’t exactly the same, but they aren’t that much different either.  Despite the similarities, it is still advised that you place a focus on international air travel, especially since you will be traveling internationally. 

As previously mentioned, you will find that a number of the air travel rules are similar between domestic and international travel.  One of those rules is the airport screening process.  In all airports, even if they are not classified as an international airport, passengers will need to pass through the appropriate airport security checkpoints. This screening process includes the close examination of your checked baggage.  Unlike in the past, now almost all airlines thoroughly inspect checked baggage looking for explosive, flammable, or illegal items.

Since a large number of international airports not only offer international flights, but domestic flights as well, intentional passengers are not always separated from domestic ones. Essentially, this means that the passenger screening procedures, as well as the screening for all luggage will be the same.  All flyers are advised to remove any of their accessories, which may set of the metal detectors, as well as their shoes. Your shoes will be sent through the x-ray machine. This is done to ensure that there are not explosives or other dangerous materials hidden in them.

One of the few differences that you will see, between domestic air travel and international air travel, has to do with the first check-in.  When you first arrive at the airport, you will need to approach the airline counter to register yourself.  This is also where your checked luggage will be examined and processed for the trip.  On domestic flights, passengers only need to supply a picture id. This identification is usually a government issued identification card or a driver’s license.  If you are planning on traveling internationally, you will need to supply additional proof of identification.

The proofs of identification that you will need will all depend on the airport in which you are leaving from and the airport that you will be arriving at.  If you are required to show more than a picture id, you may need to bring your birth certificate, your passport, your visa, or your certificate of citizenship.  Although your first impulse may be to bring them all, just incase, you will want to refrain from doing so. Unless absolutely necessarily, you will want to keep these important personal documents safe at home.

The above mentioned international air travel rules and procedures are just a few of the many that you may be required to follow.  If and when you are unsure about a particular rule, it is advised that you seek professional assistance. That assistance should either come directly from an international airport or an international airline.

Termite Damage And Real Estate

Termite damage, no matter how small it may be, is never good for a home.  During a real estate inspection, if any termite damage is found, it will affect the outcome of the home.  In most cases, the buyer is told that the seller will fix the problem.  Although this may sound good to some buyers that the seller will treat for termites, other buyers often wonder.

Of course it’s nice that the seller will pay to have the termite problem treated, which will normally cost around $1,000 or so.  Even though the termites will be gone, you have to wonder about the damage to the structure.  In the more severe cases, damage to the structure can cost up to 50 times the cost of the treatment.  The last thing you want is to move into a home that you know has been treated for termites, only to find the structure to be in very bad shape.

If any type of damage was done to the wooden structure of the home, you may need to get immediate repairs.  While some damage may be visible, there are other types of damage that may seem invisible to the naked eye.  To find out just how bad the damage is, carpets and rugs will need to be lifted, furniture and appliances moved, walls and ceilings will need to be opened, and even some types of excavation may be needed.  This is the only way to tell the extent of the damages, especially in cases of termites.  If you don’t inspect every area of the home, you could be moving into a home that has severe structural damage – which can cost you thousands to repair.

There could also be latent damage present as well.  To determine this, you’ll need to have invasive and destructive testing performed on your home, which will performed by qualified contractors and specialists.  This will help to determine the extent of the damage and the cost of any needed repairs.  This can be very costly however, although it’s the only way to find and repair any latent damage.

Destructive and invasive testing can cost you an arm and a leg, although you’ll need to have it done if you suspect termites or know for a fact that the home was treated for them.  To protect yourself, you should always get a treatment and repair history before you purchase the home.  If you are renting the home, you’ll need get written documentation from the specialist that details the damage to the home and cost of repairs.

Before you buy a home, you should always have it checked for termites.  There are a lot of termite inspection companies out there, many of which go above and beyond to check the home for any type of termite damage.  You don’t want to buy a home only to find out that it has been infested with termites.  If you have the proper inspections performed before you make the purchase, you’ll know for a fact that you don’t have to worry about termites or termite damage.

If the inspector or contractor doesn’t find any termite damage, you should always have it documented.  This way, if termite damage does exist, you’ll have the documentation to back you up.  Termites can be very destructive to your home, especially if you are looking towards a log home.  Termites can destroy wood in little to no time at all, which is why you should always do what you can to have your home treated as soon as you suspect any type of damage.  If you know a home has been infested with termites before – you should really make sure that the structure isn’t damaged and the termites are gone before you commit to buying.