Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

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Build Your Business’s Email List

There is nothing like a solid, well-built email list – one that actually has people and businesses you want to reach.

Though some consider email “old-school” in the face of social media and text messaging, beautifully built content within your enewsletters and even within simple emails, can reach your audiences in ways social media platforms might not.

To that end, you need email addresses. You also need to not engage in spam (using email addresses you’re not entitled to). Here’s a great bit on how businesses can legitimately and effectively gain new email addresses, thereby continually growing their audience reach.

15 Proven Ways to Grow Your Email List

Real Estate Corner:

As technology continues to affect nearly every corner of our lives, real estate transactions are getting done with more technological influence than ever: How Technology Is Changing The Real Estate Market.

Metal survey peg with red flag on construction site

Land Surveys: Why You Need One (Part 1 of a Series)

The information provided by a land survey can make all the difference in ownership and use.

A land survey provides a visual reference to what your property looks like on the ground and who might make a claim to your ownership based upon their use or possession of part of your property.

There are many types of surveys, but to provide title insurance coverage, a  “Boundary Survey” is required.

The Boundary Survey locates the property on the globe and in relation to the property surrounding it. It also shows the improvements located on the property including fences and evidence of occupation or use.

The survey determines what is physically present on the land to be insured and locates that land in relation to other properties in the area.

Why should you care?

Because who is in possession of all or part of the land you’re buying, determines who may have a claim to it.

Possession may not be nine-tenths of the law, but it is very important. If someone possesses part of the land you’re buying, they may have a claim to ownership of that area.

Choosing a quality surveyor is a challenge just like choosing any other professional to do work for you. Possession may not be nine-tenths of the law, but it is very important. If someone possesses part of the land you’re buying, they may have a claim to ownership of that area.

There is no magic formula, but pay attention to his or her credentials,  reputation or even better, referrals from those you already know and trust.

The cost of a typical residential survey is minimal when compared with the investment in your home or property and cost ranges from a few hundred dollars to much more if dealing with commercial or large tracts.

I’ve personally spent $1,500 for a survey of ten acres by an excellent surveyor, and as little as $300 for a residential lot by an okay surveyor.

To better understand why a survey is important, there are two elements that affect ownership:

  1. The land records maintained by the local government; and
  2. The actual occupation of the property

For a title insurance policy to be issued, the insurer searches the land records. We don’t see the actual property, just paper describing it.

That search is examined to determine who owns the property and who has claims to it.

Since we cannot see the actual land, the title commitment and policy take exception for anything that would have been discovered with a visit to the property or with a proper survey done by a surveyor.

So, if you want coverage for what might not be in the records that could affect your ownership or rights, a survey is needed.

Parts II and III of our continuing discussion of land surveys will get further down in the weeds on land survey trip-ups and issues.

But a simple look-see at what a land survey can avoid is in this simple (yet very complicated) dilemma: A buyer agrees to buy Lot 3 – a 100-foot lot.  Research of the records shows the seller owns it. No survey was done.

Later it is discovered that the lot is only 90 feet to the neighbor’s fence.  The neighbor says that 10 feet is theirs. The exception in the title policy may prevent any claim under the policy.

(If a survey was done before closing, this issue could have been dealt with ahead of spending the money for the lot.)

Or you buy Lot 3 without a survey, but the house you were shown is really on Lot 2!  No survey, maybe no loss paid under the policy since you do own Lot 3.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III – where reliability, defendability and who owes whom what gets sorted out.

Road to the own house

5 Tips for Easier Real Estate Closings

The homebuying process is filled with excitement, joy, anxiety, stress and relief. There are so many moving parts between deciding to purchase a home and actually closing on a home. Here are excellent tips to help buyers navigate the closing process and ensure a smooth closing for all parties.

Don’t make big life changes or purchases during the home buying process. Don’t change jobs or make purchases that could change your credit score. Examples include financing new furniture or a new car, moving your money around in your accounts or paying for a vacation using your open credit. Don’t do anything that will send red flags when lenders check on your credit.

Assure the title is cleared. Your real estate attorney or title company is responsible for ordering a title report to assure everything is good before the closing. Stay in close contact with them to make sure there are no liens on the property. Liens may delay or cancel your closing.

Create and maintain a repair timeline.Assuming the seller is expected to make certain repairs on the property, make sure you document those repairs (and a deadline for their completion) and share a copy with the seller. Maintain the list and verify, at least several days before your scheduled closing, that the repairs are completed. Schedule a final walk-through the day before closing and verify again that all repairs are completed as agreed upon.

Secure proper homeowner’s insurance. Buyers should shop for and secure homeowners insurance well in advance of the closing. Be cognizant of the home’s location and know if you need to purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is costly, yet necessary, if you live in a flood zone. If you cannot afford flood insurance, do not purchase a home located in a flood zone.

Maintain close communication with your lender.Do not assume that “no news is good news” if you don’t hear from your lender or closing agent. Because lenders often ask for information at the last minute (i.e., insurance documents, current bank statements or pay stubs), contact your lender the day before and the day of closing to assure you bring all needed documents to the closing. You should also verify with your closing agent that he or she received all loan documents. Oftentimes, it is a case of one missing document, one verification or an email that has not been returned (or lost in a spam folder).

And, “it goes without saying,” yet we will say it: Buyers need to have all paperwork in order and present at closing, including a valid ID and most likely a cashier’s check for the down payment.

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Writing tips for inspiration

Do you consider yourself a good writer?

Do your coworkers frequently need to help you with polishing emails, letters and other critical business communications? Do you cringe when you think about writing any business communications pieces?

Writing is a crucial communications skill and so important to any businessperson. Here we offer three articles with tips for writing inspiration. Ready, set, write!

Real Estate Corner:

Increasing the supply of housing stock is the key to making housing affordable to a larger population of homebuyers, according to the lenders who responded to Fannie Mae’s Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey for the fourth quarter of 2018.

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The Independent Underwriter for the Independent Agent®