William Raveis Real Estate and Home Services



Posted by Deborah Schilling on 7/13/2017

Once you've made the transition from renter to homeowner, life is never the same again! While new responsibilities like home repairs and paying property taxes may sometimes feel like a burden, there are plenty of benefits that should outweigh the costs.

For example, home ownership usually brings with it tax advantages and investment features that can work in your favor. Getting guidance from a licensed tax advisor and financial consultant can help make sure you're getting the maximum return on your real estate investment.

Tips For House Hunters

If you're in the process of buying or looking for a new house, an experienced real estate agent (and home inspector) can be a valuable resource when evaluating the condition of a home, estimating the current market value of the property, and predicting the growth potential of the neighborhood. As you may already know, the location of a property is one of the most important aspects of its current and future value.

Seller disclosure laws, which vary from one state to the next, can offer buyers some measure of protection against costly problems, health or safety hazards, or quality of life issues down the road.

There are two reasons that seller disclosure requirements don't always protect home buyers from property flaws and repair problems: seller dishonesty or hidden conditions sellers aren't aware of. They can't reveal issues they don't know about, and in some cases problems are hidden behind walls, ceilings, and other places.

As mentioned, a potential obstacle to getting the full story about a home's history, flaws, and weaknesses is the seller's unwillingness to be completely honest. Even though they're opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit if they fail to reveal known problems with the property, they may risk it if they think full disclosure may derail their chances to sell the house or get top dollar for it.

From the buyer's standpoint, the best advice to keep in mind is caveat emptor: "Let the buyer beware." Your real estate agent can fill you in on the details of exactly what a seller needs to disclose, in terms of flaws, defects, hazards, damage, repairs, infestations, and even bizarre things like paranormal activity, suicides or crimes that occurred in the house. You'll also want to know things like whether the property is in a designated flood plain, whether there are any boundary line disputes, and if there are known toxic substances on the premises or underground.

While there are many variations in seller disclosure forms (depending on state laws and local conditions), there are also standard questions in most forms. As a side note, some localities may require disclosure about hazards such as earthquakes, fires, or other potential natural disasters.

You can get an overall idea of what's included by doing an online search for property disclosure forms. Generally speaking, the most reliable sources of information are your real estate agent, a real estate attorney, or your state's Department of State.





Posted by Deborah Schilling on 1/12/2017

Do you have a home buying strategy? Buying a home can be a risky and expensive proposition so you will want to make sure you have a plan.  In order to put a plan in place you will want to ask ask the following questions: How long do I plan to live here? You will need to consider how long you plan to live in your home to determine if it makes financial sense. Consider what changes you might make during that time frame. Will you be starting a family? Will elderly parents need to move in with you? You may need a larger home or need to find a community with better amenities for children, and that will increase the likelihood of you moving. How is the local market? All real estate is local.  Find out all you can about the neighborhoods you're considering. Look at the inventory of homes, how have properties gone up or down in value, and how much homes are selling for compared to the listing price. What is my financial stability? Consider factors like the stability of your job. Will you still be there in five years? What kind of future does your industry have? Does climbing up the career ladder mean you might have to move elsewhere to get ahead? Look at your current debts and income, not your future salary, to determine whether you can afford to buy.







Deborah Schilling
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