Relevant Real Estate Issues

Water related damage causes millions of dollars of damage every year.  Homeowners insurance generally covers household water damage if the damage is sudden and accidental, such as damage caused by burst piping.  But there are steps that homeowners can take to prevent problems and insurance claims.  A water damage claim can be a red flag to insurers as well as future homebuyers.  It is better to take preventive action than face the risks of increased insurance costs and reduced home marketability.  Here are some ideas for you to consider.

1. Use copper tubing or braided stainless steel over rubber for ice maker supply lines,   dishwashers, toilets and faucets.  Plastic tubing can harden over time and crack.   

2. Install braided, no burst hoses on the

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Do you know how you currently hold title to your property?  Do you own it individually or jointly with another person?  If with another person, do you hold title as “joint tenants” or as “tenants in common”?  The difference could affect what happens to your property after you die.  Therefore, it is important to know and understand how you currently hold title to your property or how you want to take the title on your next purchase for estate planning purposes.

In Georgia, when a property is owned by more than one person (husband and wife for example), the title is typically held as either “Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship” (Joint Tenants) or as “Tenants in Common”.   The language in the warranty deed from the prior owner to the current owners

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I recently heard a story of one tough contractor.  He was apparently working off of a ladder in the home of a client, installing some framing at or near the wall and ceiling line.  As you might expect he was using his Paslode nailer to secure a 2x10 to the wall and the homeowner walks in.  It was at this split second that the nail left the Paslode gun and prior to entering the 2x10 entered the finger of the contractor; firmly securing his finger to the 2x10 and wall.  But this was one tough guy; he turns to the homeowner and listens to them while being nailed to the wall.  Once the homeowner finished talking the contractor removed his hammer and pulled the nail from the 2x10 and from his finger, and let a scream that could be heard from miles away.  This

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HomeOne mortgage is a new conventional 3% down payment option for qualified first-time home buyers. HomeOne mortgage serves borrowers without geographic or income restrictions.  The HomeOne mortgage will provide home buyers the flexibility they need to help buyers achieve the milestone of home ownership and overcome the common down payment resource hurdle.

Below are the highlights of the HomeOne Loan Program: 

  • Financing with just 3% down

  • Lower Mortgage Insurance requirements than standard rates

  • No Income Limits

  • Homeownership education course required for at least one borrower

  • Must be an owner-occupied property

  • Includes 1-unit single-family residences, condos and townhouses

  • Must be a

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HARP REFINANCE REPLACEMENT!  High Loan-to-Value Refinance Option

The High Loan-to-Value (LTV) Refinance loan option provides refinance opportunities to borrowers with existing Fannie Mae mortgages who are making their mortgage payments on time, but whose LTV ratio for a new mortgage exceeds the maximum allowed for standard limited cash-out refinance options.

The High LTV refi option replaces the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which ended Dec. 31, 2018.

Borrowers must benefit from the refinance in at least one of the following ways:

  1. Reduced monthly principal and interest payment

  2. Lower mortgage rate

  3. Shorter amortization term

  4. More stable mortgage product, such as moving from an adjustable-rate

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FILING FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION IN 2019

Homeowners may need to provide their Warranty Deed book and page, proof of residence, social security numbers, driver’s license and car tag info. In most counties, to be eligible for the current year, you must have owned and occupied the property as of January 1st.  If the property is located within city limits, the homeowner may be required to file with the city as well. 

Gwinnett County – deadline is April 1, 2019            770-822-8800 http://gwinnetttaxcommissioner.manatron.com/Tabs/Property/HomesteadExemption.aspx

Fulton County – deadline is April 1, 2019                 404-612-6440 http://www.qpublic.net/ga/fulton/basic_homestead.html

DeKalb County – deadline is April 1, 2019             

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Agent’s Fall into Two Groups

Many agents that get into the real estate business have little or no experience.  Their lack of experience will allow you to overprice a home.  I recently had a call from a friend who had a house in the Decatur area.  The home was listed for $469,000; my analysis suggested that it should be listed for $372,000.  It was listed for $100,000 over what it should have been. The process included routinely decreasing the price.

When you meet an agent that has years in the business, the agent will not allow for a home to be overpriced.  This will ensure that the agent is an advocate for you.

Overpriced Homes will Lead to Fewer Showings

When a home is listed, the buyers have options for searching for homes in

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Once a common practice at closings, buyers today rarely obtain a survey of the property they are purchasing.   Before, if a buyer needed a loan to purchase property, their lender required that a new survey is obtained in order to proceed with the closing.  However, some time ago, title insurance companies created a lenders title insurance policy that protected the lender against any claims that may result from any boundary line dispute or other matter that would be disclosed by a current survey. Since their collateral was already protected by this insurance policy, lenders no longer required buyers to obtain a survey. 

Thereafter, title insurance companies created a new owners title insurance policy that offered “some” protection to the buyer for

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The Worst Appraisal In 34 Years

There are things that the appraiser needs to do to have a good appraisal.  These all require more attention to the appraisal so that the appraisal is one that meets the appraisal standards.  There are numerous things that the appraiser needs to consider when appraising a property.  This is the worst appraisal that we have ever received.  I will define some of the items that the appraiser defaulted on.

Problem #1

This ranch was built with brick in 1971 with 2071 square feet.  The appraiser used 2 stories and neglected the ranches that were also built with brick.  A requirement of appraising a home is that they have to be similar in structure.  To be similar they have to have 10% greater or less in square

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Sellers and buyers will both benefit from having a better understanding of where a home fits into the overall pricing structure of a community. As a buyer by following these simple guidelines you can increase the likelihood that the offer you make will represent a good value to you, and if a seller you won't be inclined to turn down an offer that you should accept.

First- Have your agent provide you a list of all of the homes like the one you are considering, that is either under contract, or that have sold within the last 3-4 months. 

Second- Upon review, you will begin to notice that they can be arranged into three categories.  Let’s call these categories A, B, and C. Now separate each of the properties into one of the three categories. 

 

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