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Posts Tagged ‘tracy ca realtor’

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Saturday, August 23rd, 2014


Title Insurance and You: Do You Need to Pay for It?

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Many people who don’t completely understand the what title insurance actually is might question this item when the closing costs are added up. It is, however, a very important thing to have. As the name implies, the function of this kind of insurance is to ensure the integrity of the title to your home at the time its title legally passes to you as the buyer. Title insurance is designed to protect you in case there are problems or unknown legal complications tied to the title on the property which were caused by the actions or failures of previous owners.

In other words, title insurance ensures that that your ownership rights to your home are protected from any kind of liability arising time before you bought. This is an insurance policy which insures the “before” period of home ownership, unlike ordinary homeowner policies, which cover the “after” period.

After you complete the purchase of your home, if it were to come to light that there had been a tax or mechanic’s lien on it, title insurance would keep you from a disastrous financial loss from the circumstance.

It is all too common that someone will purchase a property and then discover that it has an encumbrance against it because of something that happened with a previous owner. You surely do not want to find yourself coping with such a situation without having the security of a good title insurance policy. Uninsured, you would have been exposed to a financial liability, which could amount to anything from a petty annoyance up to a big debt leading to loss of the property.

Title insurance covers homeowners against any disputes that come up from situations related to the title of your home before you purchased it. For example, if you buy a home that was sold to you in as part of a scam or swindle with illegal documents, the title insurance policy would cover you against any loss you might incur as a result. If any disputes were to arise regarding the chain of ownership of the property you have just bought, your title insurance policy would give you the coverage you need in that situation.

What Title Insurance Is Not

It is not protection against things you might do to jeopardize your ownership. It is strictly limited to ensuring that you have a clear title to the home at the time that title transfers. If you fail to pay the property taxes and a lien is filed, you will still have to take settle the debt yourself. Title insurance will not give you any protection that.

As one last reminder, title insurance does not cover anything related to the belongings or the structure of the property. You also need to take positive steps to insure your home against perils such as fire, theft, and natural disasters with a good homeowners policy. When you purchase your home, both title insurance and homeowners insurance provide different kinds of coverage, and you most certainly must have both of them.

If you have a need to look into Broomfield CO real estate for sale, it’s easy to Search for Colorado Homes at AutomatedHomefinder.com.

who pays for title insurance

Foreclosure Investment – The Pros and Cons

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Author: Karen

Opportunities and positives abound when considering investment in foreclosure homes. Competition in this field is fierce because all homes in this market are priced below their real value.

Instant riches is not what this type of vocation is about, however the long term results can make foreclosure investment worth the time and effort of entering the field. Foreclosure investment as a career requires learning the market and then checking market and sales reports on a daily basis so no changes are missed.

A career in foreclosure and real estate investment is filled with hard work. This area requires commitment because the investor’s return depends directly on how much effort they invest in opportunity and market condition research.

Part of the daily tasks is contact with property management firms as well as brokers who have current listings of foreclosure properties. Brokers in real estate are assets to the foreclosure investor because the have the resources to help locate foreclosure properties sooner. Even the local library can contain listings buried in various rooms which will help lead the dedicated researcher to foreclosure properties.

In some states in the US some individuals may be allowed to buy their property back or redeem it and until that stage is passed the investor is unable to make an offer or participate. Once the foreclosure property reaches a certain stage in the court proceedings the investor can step in and initiate the procedures required to make an offer and purchase.

Not all foreclosure investment properties are in top condition but even the shabby ones can be worth the effort spent in finding, purchasing and making them saleable. When a home is run-down it is often wise practice to repair it and put it in shape for a sale. Landscaping may need to be done and often major repairs must be initiated. These expenses can be difficult if it is not a home that the investor lives in, because no money can be realized until the house is sold.

The key to success in foreclosure investment is to assure that you; the buyer can maintain the mortgage on the investment property for a minimum of six months. Further the money should be available to repair the property, pay the taxes and maintain the house until a deal is negotiated with a buyer. If an investor fails to make the mortgage or maintain the taxes they could lose the house and all their investment to someone else.

These are difficult economic times and no one can predict when a home may go into foreclosure, emergencies occur, jobs are lost, or even a divorce can occur and the borrower can’t make their mortgage payment. When the foreclosure process begins the bank will take steps to repossess the home and begin the legal foreclosure process. At that point, they will begin the search for interested foreclosure investors.

Foreclosure investment carries risks with it which can be partially mitigated by understanding the market and there is always a demand for homes in any economic climate.


Traps To Watch Out For When You Sell A Home

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Putting a home up for sale can turn out to be a wrenching experience. Although it matter how ready you might be to move on, it still means giving up a part of your history. Selling is even harder if it is prompted by difficult or even tragic circumstances, such as the death of a spouse, the loss of a job, or any kind of shift in financial circumstances.

This article covers common mistakes that that are made by people who want to sell and, more importantly, how to avoid being trapped by them.

Asking Too High a Price

Often it seems that sellers think that they should start out asking for the highest price in the realm of possibility. If it doesn’t sell right away, after all, they can always lower the price by a little, right? Not right. Although it’s true that opening prices can always be lowered, by the time that happens, the house has gotten “old.” People who dismissed your home as being too expensive or above their range as they studied the new listings won’t easily find out so they can come back and give your property a second look now that the listed price has been reduced. Start off by asking a fair price, and you’re likely to sell much faster and without a lot of bother. Considering the value of your time and the monetary and personal expense of holding the home on the market, most likely the right price differential could make months of difference in the time on the market before the transaction is successfully concluded.

Not Being Thorough With Disclosures

Laws in every state require you to disclose any material facts and flaws that pertain to your home. Most Realtors agree that it is safer to disclose too much about flaws and material facts than too little. It can be a problem if the buyer becomes aware of flaws or facts that you knew about, they could cancel the transaction or even take you to court.

Not Keeping the Home “Visitor Ready”

It is essential when you want to sell a home that it has to always look clean, comfortable, and welcoming. You can never tell when a Realtor will call and say they’re around the corner with a client who is ready to view the home. The home has to highlight the prospective buyers’ highest self-image, the way they like to think of themselves living a simple, carefree life. It could ruin your chances if a prospective buyer should walk in on two weeks’ worth of dirty laundry, a dirty bathroom sink, or a messy, cluttered house that looks more appropriate for a garage sale than for the relaxed, uncomplicated everyday life that needs to be the ideal.

Not Completing Your Agreements

When you enter into the contract, you may agree as part of the contract to do a few things, such as do something to fix up the outside of the home or make needed repairs. Be sure to complete whatever you agreed to do before the closing date, or the buyer could walk away from the deal.

Having Restricted Hours

When it finally happens that a prospective buyer wants to view the home, they want to be there now, or very quickly. Making a buyer wait even 24 hours may well keep them from wanting to see your place at all, or lead to them finding another one that they like better. Since the real estate agent will not want you present while the home is being shown, it’s a good idea to have your own list of places you can go or things you can do on short notice. This could be a neighbor’s home, the library, a movie theater, grocery store, etc.

Avoiding these home seller mistakes will increase the chances that your home will sell successfully and easily.

This information was provided by Automated Homefinder, Colorado’s Longmont real estate specialists.

traps when selling

Do Housing Prices Have Further to Fall?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Author: Ryan Moeller

In many areas market stability has not been restored. High inventory, high unemployment and high home prices will lead to further declines in home values. However, we are very close to hitting bottom and in many markets we already have. Remember, real estate is regional and you have to research not the entire country but down to the zip code, neighborhood, street and specific property. The article below sheds some light on Obama’s efforts and home values, a very interesting read. For more information, check out our Market Stability Report for info on your market and our Guide on Where to Invest.

Despite Obama’s Best Efforts, Housing Prices Have Further to Fall, Says Glenn Tongue

Posted Mar 10, 2010 01:23pm EST by Peter Gorenstein

What a difference a year makes. This times last year, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and White House were scrambling to do whatever they could to prevent home prices from falling off a cliff and thereby dragging the banking system down with it.

Now the Obama administration is set to launch a program on April 5 to encourage short sales. The plan will give homeowners and banks money if they sell the house for less than the mortgage is worth. The homeowner gets $1,500 to leave the house quickly and the bank gets $1,000 for going through with the transaction.

Time will tell whether or not it will be more successful than the struggling $75 billion mortgage modification program. Regardless there are still fundamentals in the marketplace the government can’t solve. “The inventory is too high, prices are slightly too high and unemployment is really quite high,” say Glenn Tongue, Managing Partner of T2 Partners and co-author of More Mortgage Meltdown.

Tongue tells Aaron, in the accompanying clip, home prices still have another 5-10% to drop before hitting bottom. And, though he admits “a year ago the situation was a lot worse” he’s still wary of investing in housing and financial stocks related to housing. In fact, his hedge fund is still shorting several companies in that business, though he would not name names, citing compliance rules.

Unlike last year, Tongue no longer finds the big banks attractive and instead focused on only a few specialty financial companies including Fairfax Financial and Resource America.

Real Return Real Estate™ for years has bought property at extreme discounts, sells and rents with tremendous cash flow. We also provide FREE tips, articles, guides and Educational Webinars. Visit our site http://www.realreturnrealestate.com for all the helpful resources.

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Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth

Author: Trent

Determining Fair Market Value is an eternal struggle and major balancing act. That’s because buyers want a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the purchase price down. While sellers want the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price higher. And then you’ve got the owners of the house—who also want the appraisal to be on the low side, in order to keep the property taxes down.

So with all these different agendas and points of view, how is the fair market value of a real estate property actually determined?

Once a year, your county sends all area homeowners official notices that put a dollar value on their property. And property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notices get sent out, a long, detailed process usually takes place. First, the land is valued as if it’s vacant—an empty lot, in other words. Then any improvements are described and measured. Improvements consist of the house and any other structures, pools, sheds, garages, and so forth. Next, most counties check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for determining the value of the cost per square foot to build a building that fits the description of the improved property. Next, if the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is considered, as well as depreciation; the year the house was constructed and the condition of the property are factors here. Appraisers then must take the critical step of comparing the value of the house with recent selling prices of similar homes in the neighborhood. At this point, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be adjusted upward or downward.

Market Value is a theory, in other words—not an unchanging fact.

In a perfect world, you have to have willing buyer and a willing seller. Neither is under duress. Both are in a position to maximize gain and are trying to do this. But in the real world, things are rarely that simple and equally balanced. Which is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It really depends how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! He or she will tell you they’ve noticed that the fast-growing economird are attracting people from other areas who consider real estate here a bargain. That helps fuel increases in property values.

How about your schoold district, the look of other houses near you, and walkability? Yes to all. Understand you houses pluses to different buyers and make sure you let everyone know about them.

So—now you know where that Grand Total comes from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For instance, you can understand how two virtually identical houses that are in two different neighborhoods could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And why your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be worth a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

Real Estate Investing Mistake #2: Inspections and Repairs

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Real Estate Investing Mistake #2: Inspections and Repairs

Real Estate Investing Mistake #2: Inspections and Repairs

The only real solution for real estate investing mistakes is consistent action! You’ve got to stick with it and realize that part of learning process. You WILL make mistakes… and you will continue to make them for as long as you choose to invest.

The key is to learn from each and move on. Add it to a policy and procedure manual so to speak! And avoid that particular real estate investing mistake in the future!

When I first started in real estate, I would document every real estate deal in detail. I would be sure to document: (1) What went well, (2) What didn’t go well!, and (3) How to improve on the next deal.

In this article series, I’ve highlighted 17 mistakes that I made early on and share with you what you can do to avoid making the same real estate investing mistakes I made…

Real Estate Investing Mistake #2: Assuming the repairs and maintenance

This is a biggie early on for real estate investors. They assume that properties have been maintained and/or that the owner is telling them the “whole story” about everything. I know that some will tell you it’s a waste of time and money to have inspections done on all of your deals.

When I got started in real estate investing, I primarily rehabbed properties, and because I had ZERO construction knowledge going into it all, I had a formal inspection on every single property I purchase. And without fail, 100% of the time, I made the inspection costs back in renegotiations with the homeowner.

Think of your home inspection costs early on as a invaluable education! People will spend 10s of 1000s of dollars on home study courses, but will balk at $200 on a home inspector that will literally give you on the job training.

On my very first deal, I assumed that everything was in good working order because I knew the owners. They were related to my business partner! Well, needless to say, I was VERY wrong! Fortunately, things worked out in the end, but this “mistake” SHOULD have cost me nearly $5000. And it w

as something a home inspector would have easily caught! Sure the obvious stuff stood out on this real estate deal… things like the rotted wood siding and the “pond scum green” pool! But I didn’t know the first thing about what to look for in terms of plumbing, roof, electric, structure, etc.

How to Avoid Real Estate Investing Mistake #2

First and foremost, the key to avoiding this real estate mistake is to LEARN the majors of rehab!

These include:

1. Roof

2. Structure (Including the foundation)

3. Electrical

4. Plumbing

5. HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioner)

These are the items that can cost you (or your retail buyer) BIG dollars on a deal… and these are things that will make or break a deal in a matter of minutes. In some cases, they can take you right out of the real estate investing game (I’ve got lots of stories of deals – some good and others… a good learning lesson). These are things that can literally make or break a deal and you certainly don’t want to turn into a motivated seller yourself!

These items might seem scary when you’re first getting started in real estate, but in reality, a little education goes a long way. And the best type of education is hands-on. I asked questions and got involved. I also worked closely with my home inspector as I took on more and more rehabs in the beginning of my career.

After I negotiated the contract, I always got a professional inspection. This has earned me thousands and thousands of dollars in my real estate investing career. After simply having a third-party expert do the inspection, I found it’s virtually always possible to renegotiate the price of the contract and receive credit for repairs.

To Avoid Making the 17 Most Common Real Estate Investing Mistakes, Claim Your FREE eGuide Entitled: “17 Mistakes New Real Estate Investors Make” at http://www.RealEstateTrainingAcademy.com/Mistakes . Inside, you’ll learn the 17 most common mistakes and, more importantly, how to avoid them!

Bank of America Corp. Cutting More Loan Balances

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

In an attempt to avoid more foreclosures, the Bank of America Corporation said it will be offering more borrowers reductions in their mortgage-loan balances.

This move enhances an agreement Bank of America reached 18 months ago with state attorney generals and is the mortgage industry’s boldest move yet in addressing the dilemma facing millions of homeowners across the country who owe more on their house than it’s currently worth.

The relief is available only to those Bank of America customers who are at least 60 days overdue on payments, whose loan balance is at least 120% of the estimated home value, can prove a financial hardship is preventing them from affording payments. The bank is estimating that 45,000 customers will qualify for the program.

Reductions of as much as 30% in loan principal will be offered to struggling borrowers who have subprime or so-called option adjustable-rate mortgages, known as option ARMs. (Option ARMs, no longer available, allow borrowers to start with minimal monthly payments and face steep increases later.) Also included will be certain loans that have a fixed interest rate for the first two years before starting to adjust annually.

…banks are finding that many deeply underwater borrowers aren’t willing to keep making even reduced payments because they believe they have little hope of ever having equity in their homes and would be better off renting and perhaps buying a cheaper home later. The Bank of America program is aimed to give such borrowers more hope by reducing their loan balances to current estimated home values.

Full Article Bank of America to Cut More Loan Balances By James R. Hagerty, Wall Street Journal

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Forensic Loan Audits – A Cautionary Tale

Friday, March 19th, 2010

In desperate times, people take desperate measures – and often times it’s the kind hearted and well intentioned people who get burned.

Please read the story below as a cautionary tale. It’s yet another reminder of the creeps out there chomping at the bit to take advantage of those in most need of honest help.

Keith Tinney, along with 15 other Stockton, CA residents just wanted a little help modifying their home loans. They met with Paul Killmar who said he would conduct a “forensic loan audit” and find where the banks violated mortgage agreements, thus providing the borrower with ammunition when trying to obtain a loan modification.

There are good people out there who can actually help, but there are so many bad people sometimes it’s hard to tell them apart. Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The 66-year-old Tinney took Killmar on his word, and was ultimately milked out of $2,900.

… Tinney leads a list of 15 Stockton residents who allege a Southern California man named Paul Killmar bilked them for more than a combined $50,000 by charging upfront fees for forensic loan audits on their mortgages. There could be others, too.

So-called forensic loan audits promise to find where banks have violated their end of mortgage agreements, with providers saying they scour the fine print on the loan documents. Struggling homeowners are told they can use that information to pressure their lender into some type of loan modification.

In late February, state Attorney General Jerry Brown called forensic loan audits “phony mortgage relief services,” and warned against the scam.

Upfront fees for mortgage relief help have also been outlawed.

Those warnings came too late for Tinney and at least 14 other Stockton residents who were referred to Killmar through Stockton businessman Claes Carlsson, who runs the financial services company Asset Invest.

Carlsson says he was as shocked by the scam as his clients and cut off his referrals after receiving complaints. But he did convince some of his clients they could find help through Killmar.

Finish Reading SCAM WARNING TOO LATE FOR MANY by Keith Reid -Record Staff Writer; March 18, 2010 12:00 AM

Contact reporter Keith Reid at (209) 546-8257 or kreid@recordnet.com.

Ensure Your Remodeling Project Pays Off

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

You might not be selling your home anytime soon, but you could in the future, and what you’re doing now will have a definite have an effect on on that.

Repairs get the biggest returns

You may think it’s the big things like a updated kitchen or a hot tub that will bring in the buyers, but often times it’s the lack of general repairs that need to be done that really catches their eye.

Austin, TX real estate appraiser Jim Amorin says, “If a property is known to have issues, today’s buyers won’t even look at it.”

He goes on to point out that asking sellers to not only pay for the repairs as part of the agreement, but also pay a penalty to compensate the buyer for the inconvenience is now common practice., and that $20,000 roof repair you never did because you wanted to save money, could very well turn into a $30,000 credit to the buyer.

Remodel instead of adding on

The desire for a large and spacious home is dwindling. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add value to your home.

Instead of adding on to your house, remodel the existing areas to better suit the needs and wants of today’s buyers.

Eco-friendly upgrades can save money

Green-living is huge right now. Why not make your house part of the environment-friendly trend?

Think energy-efficient – with such features as EnergyStar appliances and extra wall insulation.

Perhaps the best way to go green is make the changes while you’re there anyway. For example, when it’s time to replace your furnace, upgrade to a super-efficient model – it could very well save you, and your future buyers, $150 or more in annual heating costs.

Get more tips on how remodeling your home can pay off at Money.Cnn.Com.

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