Okaza Real Estate

Property Easements

WHAT IS AN EASEMENT?

Easements are one of those seldom thought-of items that when they do rear their ugly head can be a source of frustration and even litigation. The right of a third party-a person or entity-to access and/or use land that you own for a specific purpose, easements come in many varieties of scale and impact. Some are minor, such as a neighbor needing part of your driveway in order to gain entry to his yard; others, falling under the term “easement appurtenant,” could be as potentially disruptive as a beach access road or path open to the public crossing over your property.

UTILITY EASEMENTS

Among the most common property easements are those held by utilities and the Department of Transportation. Such easements allow power companies to install and maintain towers and power lines and entitle the DOT to expand a road and replace water pipes as the need arises. Property owners can still utilize this portion of the land as long as their use does not impede the easement holder’s ability to use its easement. Erecting a non-permanent fixture such as a fence is permissible, while putting in a garage or other type of permanent structure will be considered to unduly interfere with the rights of the easement holder.

THE BURDEN ON THE PROPERTY OWNER

Regardless of the type of easement, property values could suffer because of the potential for unsightliness and inconvenience. In addition, easements don’t typically come with expiration dates, so even as a new owner of a property you’re still inheriting the previous owner’s responsibility to observe the easement holder’s rights and privileges. It’s also important to note that no matter the percentage of land under an easement, property owners are still obligated to pay taxes on the entire parcel.

HOW TO FIND EASEMENT INFORMATION ON A PROPERTY

Given the potential headache an easement can become, it’s crucial that you’re fully aware of any restrictions and requirements tied to a property before proceeding with a sale. Thankfully, there are several options available to you in order to determine the number and type of existing easements.

If you are purchasing a home, typically you would obtain title insurance along with that purchase. As part of the title insurance process, a title company conducts a search to ensure that the title is legitimate and will also generate a report that details any and all issues associated with the property, including easements, outstanding mortgages, liens, judgments or unpaid taxes.

If there is a suspected issue concerning easements on your property you can hire a title insurance company, or private title searcher, to perform a search for easements on the property in question. Depending on the complexity of the search, they may charge a fee for their services, but a good title company will provide you with a comprehensive report.

The deed to the property is another source of information and will have the easements listed and defined as part of its legal description. If a copy of the deed isn’t readily accessible you can obtain one from the county clerk or recorder. Be sure to have the address, parcel number, and current property owner’s name when making the request.

Similarly, the county or city zoning/mapping department is often in charge of keeping records of surveys and plot maps. These documents will contain information on a specific property’s easements, including the exact measurements of the portion of the property considered the easement.

Lastly, you can also contact the utility company or public works department with equipment on the property and request easement information as well as the particular rights of the easement holder.

CONCLUSION

No matter how you do your research it’s well worth the time and effort to be informed of any easements or other issues related to the property you want to purchase, before a sale is finalized.

What Are Construction Home Loans

You’ve looked high and low and you can’t find a place you want to call home. So you decide maybe you’ll just have the perfect home built for you on a piece of property that you have either found or already own. When it comes time to finance the project, you can’t just take out a traditional mortgage. Instead, you need to obtain what are known as construction loans. The steps to obtaining these funds are a little more difficult than a traditional mortgage is.

Getting Construction Loans

When you buy a home, you put some money forward as a down payment and the bank uses the property as collateral on the note. However, if you are obtaining funds to build a home, there is no building in existence for your lender to use a collateral. In order to get one of these loans, you will have to have some sort of banking history. There are also special guidelines, that vary from lender to lender, that govern how these funds are released.

In one of the first steps in getting the funds to build your own home, you will need to present the project’s “story.” This is simply a set of detailed plans and a realistic budget that the lender can see. There should also be a timetable that shows how long it will take to build the residence and plan for payment dispersal.

If the request is approved, you will not receive a check for the total amount. Instead, you will be put on what is known as a bank draft. The draw schedule for the draft will follow the outline of the project’s timetable. A representative from the lender will also monitor the property closely to ensure that the home is being built as planned. The lender must approve withdrawal of funds from the draft by verifying progress has reached the point of the next disbursement.

After Construction

Typically, the original loan term is one year. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with the funds for your new home one year after it is built. It is simply a reasonable period to having the new property built.

When the contractors have signed their lien releases and a certificate-of-occupancy is issued, the borrower’s liability then rolls into a traditional mortgage. Usually, the lender combines the construction terms and the mortgage into one 30-year mortgage and you pay the closing costs. The good part is, because of the construction-to-permanent financing, you will only pay closing costs once instead of twice.

Important Information You Should Know

Construction loans are not common; they make up a very small part of the percentage of mortgages. As this type of financing is a higher risk than a traditional mortgage, you will find that lenders often won’t cover the full cost. Usually, they only offer up to 80 percent of the total amount. You will have to come up with the additional funds yourself. Some will allow you to use land you own as equity to obtain the funds.

When planning your timetable you need to be realistic. Delays due to material availability and weather are common. Make sure you add extra time into your plans to cover these issues.

How to Get a Cash for Home Offer on the Sale of Your House

You may have plans to sell your house for many reasons such as moving to another city for better prospects, promotion, to start a family with your high school sweetheart who lives in another city, inherited property making one of the houses redundant, etc. In all these cases, you may want to sell your house fast, in the least possible time. Home buyers make a quick cash offer and help you realize your dreams.

Cash for home companies are the best alternatives to the traditional real estate agencies; as dealing with traditional realtors proved to be time consuming. Real estate agencies do not buy your house directly; they only list your property online or office, so that the prospective customers may show interest in your house. However, this takes a long time, firstly, for prospects to show interest in your house, you need to get everything fixed. The property you have inherited or the property you have been living so far that you looking to sell may have structural problems such as leaking roofs, stained walls, foreclosure, regulatory issues, etc.

Sell your House Easily to Cash for Home Companies:

Cash for home companies offer the best solution with your sell house As Is request. You consider the sale closed only if you realize the sale amount, and with an all cash payment for your house, they offer the perfect solution.

Right from the beginning, ‘We buy Homes’ companies offer you the most attractive way to sell your houses. Dealing with these companies, you do not have to go through a lengthy process of traditional realtors, as they help you sell your house fast in an easy and hassle-free manner:

• Sell House As Is: The major problems when dealing with the traditional realtor is that they want all the repairs or renovations done before listing the house, so that when you stage the house, the prospect does not have any complaints about the leaking roof or stains or clutter. Unfortunately, repairs and renovations cost a lot of time and money, which no house owner is willing to invest on a house that they intend to sell. On the other hand, with cash for homes companies, you can sell your house in an As Is condition, without having to repair or renovate, just sell the house as it is.

• Sell your House in 7 days: Once you contact the cash for home companies, they set up an appointment for a quick inspection of the house to verify the documents, evaluate the repairs or renovations that the house may need, and estimate the sale value. If the company is satisfied, they will make an offer within 10 minutes of such inspection, they may even make an offer over the phone. Such house buying companies make a reasonable cash offer and upon accepting the offer, you may sell the house in as little as 7 days’ time.

Secrets to Selling Your Home Above The Asking Price

Let’s face it! Every homeowner wants the best deal when they finally decide to sell their home. It’s every homeowner’s dream to see a bidding war ensue. Unfortunately, most homeowners end up settling for average or even below-average offers according to most real estate experts. What most home sellers fail to recognize is; getting a great deal isn’t a matter of luck, timing or even location. It has more to do with being equipped with the right knowledge concerning the psychology of a home buyer and showcasing the value to your home. Let’s get right into it and discuss the secrets to selling your home for more than the asking price.

1. Ask for less to get more

This is by far one of the best-kept secrets of selling a home for more than the asking price. Although this strategy appears to be counterproductive at first glance, it works wonders by creating the necessary attention required to create a fierce bidding war. It’s worth noting that bidding wars are created when there are multiple willing buyers and to get multiple willing buyers, the price has to be very attractive i.e. lower than the going market rate. When you price your home lower than the market rate (ideally, 5-10% lower), you are bound to attract more buyers who will be willing to offer better offers to outbid other interested buyers. You are also bound to get great offers since potential buyers will realize the true value of your home when they view it.

2. Don’t accept the first offer

This is another best kept secret for selling a home for more than the asking price. It doesn’t matter how good the first offer is, you should wait and see what other offers come your way. Ultimately you want to be able to cultivate fierce competition between interested buyers, which will ultimately increase your home’s final price. An interested buyer is always willing to offer more in the presence of competition.

3. Approach investors

Investors may not be the first people you think off when you want to sell your home, however, they are great because they are always ready to take on good deals and they also provide the much-needed incentive to force regular home buyers to part with some more cash. This strategy is great especially if you have a home with a great investment potential i.e. a home that can be easily remodeled to offer more rental space/fetch a higher price. Look for offers from investors just to motivate regular home buyers to offer more than the asking price.

4. Make your home stand out

You also need to make your home stand out for you to get more than the asking price. You have to carry out all the necessary renovations to make your home perfect. It is, however, important to invest in renovations that add value to your home as opposed to eating away your profit. Examples of renovations that will increase your home’s value include; repainting, landscaping, roof, attic and basement renovations. Such renovations boost the value of homes by approximately 10% or more as well as make homes stand out. To cut cost without compromising the outcome, you can consider doing some renovations yourself i.e. repainting and landscaping.

5. Highlight what makes your home divine/stand out from similar homes

Every home has a key selling point that may not necessarily be related to the features. It could be anything really from some extra garden space to a rare tree species in the backyard or a famous tenant who once lived in the house. You need to find out the most unique aspects of your home and highlight them to potential buyers to make them comfortable about offering more than the asking price. You shouldn’t settle for the average asking price for homes like yours. Find the most unique features of you home and highlight them.

The above information highlights the top secrets to selling a home for more than the asking price. You don’t get the best deal for your home because of sheer luck, the location or selling your home at the perfect time. It’s more about understanding what makes a potential home buyer consider paying more. Creating bidding wars is a great way of getting more than the asking price. You should also focus on making your home outstanding as well as highlighting your home’s uniqueness.

Home Not Selling

Nothing is more disappointing to a homeowner than when their property sits on the market without receiving any offer. This can be a worrying situation. However, worrying too much is not going to fix a thing. Rather, it is all about finding the solution to that problem.

The solution is to identify the cause of your home sitting on the market for so long. Is there anything wrong with the home? Is it something you have done, or haven’t done that is affecting the home on the market? You should be worrying about how to fix all this and dig deeper to learn the real reason for the home sitting on the market for so long. To help you crack the code, here are some reasons that could prevent your home from selling.

The listing photos are not appealing

Most of the potential home buyers will go through the listing pictures of the home before they can decide to view the house physically. That is why photography is a vital aspect that enhances the first impression of the home. You might find it helpful to hire a professional photographer. Ideally, go for a real estate photographer, who will have an idea of the best photos to take. Improving the online presence via the photos will make the buyer want to pay a physical visit to your home.

A problem with the home touch-ups

Your home might look nice, and all appealing, but have you noticed the extremely classic-themed kitchen? What about the cracks in the driveway? These are some of the things that might seem minor, but they will chase away the potential buyers. Carry out all the appropriate renovations around the house, and get all the necessary help from a professional to make the entire process easy. You can spend less than $700 for an average home renovation, which is an investment worth trying.

The home is extremely personal

It is okay to customize your home according to your preference. Some people paint their bedrooms black, others paint their porches pink, among other customization’s. All these are great for you and your comfort, but what about the buyer? If possible, use neutral paints and other customization’s to make the home default enough for anyone to purchase it. If the home is too you, it could be a reason for it staying on the market for long without receiving any offer.

The price is too high

Everyone wants to make a profit whenever they put their home on the market. However, some tend to be too greedy, and they over-price their home. When the price is too high, buyers will try to avoid your property like a plague. Even if you want to profit from your home sale, you still need to be reasonable and friendly enough with your pricing.

You are too nosy during inspections

Before any home can be officially placed on the market or sold to a potential buyer, it must undergo proper inspection by a professional. During the inspection, the buyer will be taken round to be sure that everything is in shape. To some home owners, they stick around during the inspection, walking from one room to another with the agent and the buyer. It might be an innocent gesture, but it could also be a wrong impression to the buyer. Any home seller should allow the buyer to speak freely with the agent. If you can, let the agent handle your property, and you will be updated whenever.

Hiring the wrong real estate agent

It could be that you did not hire the perfect real estate agent, or you didn’t hire any at all. While some try to avoid this fact, the real estate agent has enough experience and skills in the field. For that, they will help you make the right choices as you intend to sell the home. The real estate agent can also assist you in placing the right price that will benefit you and not scares away the buyers.
Also, hiring the wrong agent can lead you to more trouble. Some are only after the homeowner’s money, so you might not end up selling your home as you expected. For that, ensure that you do your homework and find a reputable and reliable real estate agent.

These are some of the factors that might be affecting your home listing on the market. Ensure that each of them is checked and that you get the necessary help from a professional real estate agent. With that observed, you can be confident in selling your home without much difficulty.

Luxury Real Estate Curb Appeal Ideas

Luxury Real Estate Curb Appeal IdeasWhen talking about luxury real estate homes cost above five hundred thousand dollars, which is not pocket change and not affordable to the middle or lower class of homeowners. If you want to sell your home you want to make sure that it makes a lasting impression on the potential buyer. There is a saying that “your first impression is always the last.” What this basically means is that when you take one look at the home something inside tells you if you want to look at the home or skip it and move on to another home.

To help a potential buyer want to look at the home inside usually the first thing that they notice is the appearance of the yard, often referred to as curb appeal. This does not mean that you have to have a curb in front of your home because most of these luxury real estate homes do not have curb but a long drive to their front door. In this situation you would improve the value of the home by using gardens, landscapes, lighting, architectural symmetry, and external painting. The job of improving the “curb appeal” of the home is done by the homeowner but the promotion is done by the real estate agent.

One of the biggest assets of selling a luxury real estate home is to make it look impressive to the buyer and to do that add colors to your garden. A very effective selling tool is to landscape the front or backyard. Around the landscape you can add some architectural symmetry with a bench under a tree, a patio, tiles in the lawn that could lead to that bench, to a patio, or it could also surround a small plot, or garden of various flowers. You could even have a small fountain by the bench, which could be sitting on a small stone or tile patio. This would speak to the potential buyer that here was a quiet place to read, feed the birds, or just relax. Most of these luxury real estate homes also have a swimming pool, which you want to make sure is free of leaves and other debris. You could have a small patio table with an umbrella and chairs. At the edge of the pool you could have some ornamental or potted plants.

You also want to make sure that if the potential buyer comes in the evening that the house is not in total darkness. Strategically place solar powered lights around your flower gardens and on the sides of your sidewalk and have a light on the front porch.

How To Sell A House And Lot

There are times you think you are incompetent doing some things that are not your field or expertise. On this venture you come to prove something to yourself. Selling a property is crucial but if done with proper documentation, legitimacy, good faith and consent of both parties buyer and seller, transaction will complete in due time.

In my own venture, it took around ten months more or less to sell a house and lot of the transfer of property from parents to heirs of a clean title. You can seek the assistance of a broker, a lawyer, or a realty firm, among others, to help you with the processing of papers. Each office takes two, three or a month to stamp approval or release.

In the process of documentation, you need a set of photocopies of applications, receipts, affidavits, claim stubs, and other certificates. Label them in safe folders and keep in a bag so any time an office requires a copy, you have one available. Should a file be lost, certified true copies could be sought from the proper government offices.

Here are three steps from Attorney Glicerio Alarkon Jr. (San Beda College of Law), of whom I sought help for my papers.

“1 Settle the estate tax where the property of the decedent is located at the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

2 Secure a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds or Land Registration Authority.

Before securing a new title under the heirs at the Registry of Deeds, you have to pay the transfer tax at the City Hall.

3 After all these steps, the property is now ready for sale!”

So after the lawyer’s advise, here is how the papers got processed selling a property. To save on brokers fees, I worked on my own selling a house and lot.

Initially, before step one, real property taxes must be paid every year, but if taxes have accrued and the interest charges are onerous, owners can claim and wait for a tax amnesty or pay in installment. Keep real property tax receipts.

In step one, once the estate tax have been paid, the Bureau of Internal Revenue will issue a certificate authorizing registration. From here, you can go step two.

Other documents you may need are publishers affidavit, an extrajudicial settlement of estate, tax account numbers, government identification cards, valid identification cards, and a special power of attorney from the Consulate General of the country where the other heirs reside if the heirs are living abroad. For example, our extrajudicial is from the Consulate General of the Philippines in San Francisco, California, USA. Also, death certificates of parents, and sometimes, birth certificates of heirs from the National Statistics Office have to be prepared. Save some money for notary fees and transportation, among others.

The last step is the Deed of Sale. With this, the seller should pay the capital gains tax. Payment of the property can be made in cash or check. However, verification from the bank is necessary, if payment is in check. You will need a lawyer to help you during this transaction. Also, you will need the bank’s assistance for safety. Should the money be of material amount seek the help of a police officer. Truly, the help of good workers!

How to Use a Reverse Mortgage for Purchase of a Second Home

Reverse mortgages are seen as a way for seniors to tap into their current homes as a source of income. By drawing from the equity they already have, they can pay off bills, make improvements to their current residence, or even take a well-earned vacation. There is one option that most do not even consider: using a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a newer property.

Understanding a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

In order to see how using a reverse mortgage for purchase of a newer property works, you first must understand the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). The HECM is still relatively new, but it provides a way for those who are 62 years or older to borrow against the value of the home. With approval, the borrower gains access to funds without having to make monthly payments. Repayment of the loan does not occur until the borrower either passes away or sells the property.

This loan is not an option for everyone. In fact, the guidelines stipulate a minimum age of 62 years old. The borrower must also either own their home outright or have a large amount of equity built up.

Using Reverse Mortgage for Purchase

For some older Americans, the idea of living closer to family members is ideal, but they do not necessarily want to give up their existing home. If this is the case, they may apply for a reverse mortgage. The borrower must occupy this second home for a set portion of the calendar, and the original residence, which the loan is against, must be the borrower’s primary residence.

When using a reverse mortgage for purchase, there are some limitations. For example, this type of loan only covers 47 to 52 percent of the purchase price. It is the borrower’s responsibility to make up the difference. This money can come from a retirement account, savings, or a gift. The actual amount borrowed depends on the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rate, mortgage insurance premium, and the home’s value at appraisal.

Additionally, only certain types of residences qualify for a reverse mortgage. These include single-family homes and two to four unit homes where the borrower occupies one of the units. For condominiums, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires preapproval. In addition, manufactured homes must also have FHA preapproval. The borrower must also obtain a certificate of occupancy for any new construction.

A reverse mortgage is a great way for seniors to get a second home closer to family. As with a traditional HECM, there are no monthly payments due. A single, balloon payment, is due at the sale of the home, when the last borrower moves out or passes away. This payment is a total of the principle plus interest. If the home sells for more than this amount, the borrower, heirs, or the estate retains the remaining equity. Should the home appraise and sell for less than the amount owed, there is a guarantee of no personal liability. Lenders are insured against this type of loss.

What Is the Home Affordable Refinance Program

Because of the crash millions of home owners were now upside down on their home mortgage making them ineligible for a new home loan. To add to the damage many home owners had adjustable mortgage rates (ARMS) loans that were going to reset to a higher interest rate causing a payment to sometimes triple.

Many home owners were now unable to make their monthly mortgage payment or owed much more on their home loans than what their house was worth.

The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a relief program for people who continued to make their payments even though their homes where under water. Because their homes were worth less than what they owed they often encountered difficulties with trying to refinance their loans. Typical loan standards would usually not allow a new home refinance unless the house was worth more than the amount of the loan being received.

The HARP program helps to enable a new home loan if the applicant owes more than what their house was worth. A few key guidelines include the loan be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie May and sold on or before May 31, 2009. The home owner has must current on their payment and have a good payment history for the last 12 months.

This program will end December 31, 2016 so it is very important to speak with a mortgage lender to see if you may qualify for a new home loan before the deadline passes. By learning if you qualify you could be eligible to save thousands of dollars a year with a new home refinance.

It is also wise to compare rates from trusted lenders to find out the right loan program for you. These lenders can answer all of your questions as well as give you the options on all the loans you may qualify so that you can make an educated choice on the new home loan. Usually these lenders can give you a good idea of what loans you would qualify for without any obligations or hidden fees.

Understanding Different Options for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

Seniors, 65 years or older, who own their home may be able to get the equity out of their residence without selling it. Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, or HECM, allows you to tap into what your home is worth and still be able to live in the residence. There are a couple of different types of reverse loan options. The one you choose will determine how your loan is disbursed.

Line of Credit

This first type of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages is a line of credit. Instead of getting a lump sum single disbursement, many borrowers choose to open a line of credit. This allows them to access funds as they need them. In order to get the money, the borrower has to submit a written request to the company servicing the loan.

One of the best things about this is that the line of credit can grow over time. It doesn’t earn interest. Instead, the line of credit takes into account that the home appreciates in value and that the borrower has grown yet another year older.

Single Disbursement Lump Sum

Not everyone is interested in having to present a written request for funds every time they need to tap into their funds. Others would rather get a single disbursement. The only problem is that if the borrower wants more money later, he or she will need to refinance later.

Of course, the borrower can choose to preserve some of their home equity by taking less than what he or she qualifies. An example of this is the borrower is eligible for $150,000 but only needs $25,000 to fix their roof. He or she could take the smaller amount instead.

Term Monthly Payments

Some choose to gain access to their funds by receiving monthly payments instead of a line of credit or lump sum. One option is the term payments. This allows borrowers to receive monthly payments for a set amount of time. For example, if the borrower is 65 and he or she wants to defer social security until age 72 in order to receive maximum benefits. This person could choose to take term payments on their Home Equity Conversion Mortgage for seven years. Each month he or she will receive the same amount, even if the value of the home diminishes during that time.

Tenure Monthly Payments

While term payments can help borrowers bridge the gap between retirement and the beginning of social security, others choose to receive monthly payments for as long as they live in the house. Again as with the term payments, the borrow will receive the same monthly payments. The payments will only cease when the borrower permanently leaves the home or passes away.

Most Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, no matter what payment option is chosen, don’t require repayment as long as the borrower remains in the house. With the line of credit and term payment options, monthly payments may be required sooner. The loan specialist should explain the terms and conditions prior to closing.

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