Sometimes, sellers are forced to sell their residence quickly as a result of one or more of the following situations (that do not involve foreclosures): divorce, estate sale, having purchased another property and in need of selling a currently owned property, job transfers, and so forth. Therefore, those properties tend to sell at low prices in order to fasten the selling process and tender the transaction as soon as possible. Keep in mind that foreclosure properties and short sales are NOT necessarily better deals than other listings. They are more difficult to finalize though, since we are dealing with institutions, not private owners that are motivated to settle. Also most of them have a higher closing cost for the buyer since banks refuse to pay their share of real estate transfer tax making the buyer pay as much as 2% extra in closing fees. In many cases those kind of listings are not able to get financing either due to a poor condition or lack of cooperation in obtaining required certifications that are usually seller's responsibility. To search all available listings in your area or other areas, use MLS Search (that includes FORECLOSURES and short sales). Feel free to visit the "Buying" page of this web site by clicking the corresponding button on the Left. Be sure to explore all of the available options before making a decision.
If you would like to view any of the properties available for sale, foreclosures, short sales, private sales, or have any real estate related questions, contact me by e-mail [MonikaNosowski@remax.net] or phone [(215) 379-1100, ext. 1131 at my office, or my mobile# (267) 312-5512].
I am looking forward to be of service to you, so do not hesitate to contact me.
Associate Broker at Re/Max Millennium
What You Need to Know About Buying Short Sales
By John S. James
Photo: © Christopher Rawlins - Dreamstime
"Short Sales" has become the buzzword of success in today’s real estate market. In the prevailing economic slowdown, many homebuyers are failing to maintain their loan repayments. As a result, the lender has a choice between initiating a foreclosure proceeding, or letting the property be sold for an amount less than the mortgage against the property. Whenever the lender determines that it may be financially better for them to sell the property rather than opt for foreclosure proceedings, a short sale is in order.
However, buying short sales may not be a profitable proposition in all cases. Potential homebuyers should take note of the following points:
What is the true market value of the property in the current conditions?
Just because it is a short sale offer does not necessarily make it a lucrative real estate deal. It is important to conduct a proper appraisal of the property, its location and accessibility, and the future market prospects in that area.
Evaluate the condition of the property.
Many times, a property that is available on
short sale may not have been properly maintained. The truth is that the lenders who are enforcing the short sale are unlikely to invest more money in a property where they are already taking a loss. At the same time, the homeowners also know that they are going to lose the property, so they are not likely to spend on its upkeep either. Therefore, the new buyer must carefully assess the condition of the property before buying any short sale.
Factor in the closing costs of the deal.
In a normal real estate deal, the convention is that the home seller pays for the roof and construction inspections, pest control, and home warranty plans. But in a short sale, the lender is unlikely to absorb these costs.
Factor in the closing time for escrow.
A short sale will usually require a much longer time to close escrow because of the complex legal processes involved. Furthermore, if the property is under more than one lender, then there has to be agreement among all lending parties on the terms of the short sale, which can be time-consuming.
Hire the services of an experienced real estate agent.
Short sales are generally much more time-consuming than a regular real estate transaction. At the same time, they usually generate two or three times the paperwork too. Anyone who is considering buying short sales should get in touch with a real estate agent who has sufficient experience in handling such transactions. That will ensure better financial security for the investor, even though they may have to pay a higher commission to the agent than would be paid in a traditional sale.
Are You the Right Owner for an Old House?
By E. E. Kane
Photo: © Jana Lumley - Dreamstime
An old house can be tempting to prospective homeowners. Older homes were built with quality materials that withstood the test of time, and the neglected ones have so much potential. However, old houses are not for everyone. Do you make the cut?
Will it be a bargain in the long run? At some point during a deep renovation of an old house involving serious plumbing, wiring and structural work, it may occur to you that you could have bought a brand new house for the same amount of money. If the prospect of tearing it all up and making it your own is attractive, even if it drives you batty, then an old house is for you—and you might come out ahead of the game. Advice: hire an experienced home inspector before you sign.
Can you live with the eccentric side of a house with "character"? Old house character sets it apart from modern homes that look like they came off a factory conveyor belt. But face it; your home has had multiple former owners, all of whom improvised a repair or two, compounding your
frustration at every corner. Blame those former dwellers if it makes you feel better, but, inevitably, you will improvise a repair that is certain to make the next owner just as upset with you (consider it retribution).
Are you a creative thinker, an engineer, or rich enough to employ one? If you value energy efficiency, you will have to think outside the box to dress your old home's structure to modern comforts while maintaining the integrity of your home's character. Some features of your home will require custom work, because nobody manufactures that anymore. Check yes if these possibilities make you happy.
Are you in love with history? Every old house has a history. All you have to do is pull up a floor or tear down a wall and you'll see vestiges of the past, whether it's an odd trinket or evidence of old construction methods (horsehair plaster and heart pine so rich you can make furniture from torn-out studs). A deep love for restoring history qualifies you as the ideal owner of a home listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but be advised that your hands will be tied in what you can do with design, structure, and décor.
Do you love the idea of pouring yourself into an old house? Are you passionate about restoring an older home and living within walls that breathe history? If so, you are the perfect candidate to own and renovate an old house.
What is the Function of a Home Inspection Contingency Clause?
By Ellen Russell
Photo: © Ernest Prim - iStockphoto
Once you have found the home you want to buy, the next step is to make an offer. As part of the purchase offer, you have the option of entering a home inspection contingency clause. A home inspection is an optional clause on an offer, but one worth serious consideration.
A home inspection contingency clause states that you have the right to withdraw from the sale if, upon completion of a home inspection, serious repairs are needed. It is important to note that a home inspection is not a home showing. A home inspection is usually done, and in many states may be required to be done, by a certified home inspector, at the purchaser's expense. A thorough home inspection looks at every detail of a home or piece of real estate, from foundation condition, to proper plumbing, wiring, roof condition, and much more. Besides letting you know what kind of repair situation you may be getting yourself into, the home inspection contingency clause affords you a good level of financial protection both during the purchase period and for a time beyond the completed sale.
Who should do a home inspection?
A certified home inspector is the most qualified person to complete a home inspection.
Although you may know a lot about home repair or have a friend or family member that is knowledgeable in construction and home maintenance, there is one significant reason to have a certified home inspector inspect your real estate investment: insurance. A certified, insured inspector certifies the results of the inspection. If, during a contract-specified time period, a critical flaw in your home was overlooked and the inspector is determined to have been negligent, the home inspector's insurance will be responsible for the cost of repairs.
What if the inspection uncovers defects?
During a home inspection, if a previously undisclosed problem is found, a home inspection contingency clause allows you three courses of action. First, you have the right to withdraw from the contract; you do not have to complete the purchase of the home or real estate and all monies deposited are returned to you.
If you are still interested in buying the property, you have two options. You can request that the sellers complete necessary repairs at their own cost before closing. If the repairs are not completed, again, the contract can be considered void and you are not responsible.
The last option available to you when your home inspection reveals trouble is to renegotiate the purchase price. You and your agent can offer to complete the purchase of the home at a new, lower price; you will be responsible for the repairs and agree to buy the property "as is."
A Simple Faux Finishing Technique: Color Washing
By T. Hillukka
Photo: © Richard Foreman - iStockphoto
Of all the faux finishing techniques, color washing is among the easiest to do. A color wash consists of simply covering a wall in paint, mixing a glazing liquid with another paint color, and brushing it on over the base coat. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it?
It is. If you would like to spruce up your home a little, but do not consider yourself the creative type, color washing may be the way to go. You do not need to be artistic to do a color wash. In just a few easy steps, you will be able to give your walls a whole new look with a soft and stylish appeal.
Materials you will need: at least 2 colors of latex paint, glazing liquid, brushes/rollers, trays, and a bucket for mixing the glaze in. Other materials may be used in preparation and cleanup. All of these materials can be found at a local paint store, such as Sherwin-Williams.
Step 1: Buy paint in a satin finish. Select at least two paint colors—they can be two different colors on the same strip, two complementary colors, or two of your favorite colors. A third color can be chosen to create extra dimension on the walls. A sales associate should be able to help you determine how much you will need of each product. Be sure to purchase any other materials you will need at the same time.
Step 2: Prepare the area by wiping the walls down, taping off adjacent walls, and laying down
drop cloths where needed. Open a can of paint (usually the lightest color you have chosen) and pour some paint into a roller tray. Roll the paint onto the wall. Optional: If the paint does not cover very well, apply a second coat.
Step 3: Once the base coat has dried (check the label on the can for drying times), open the second can of paint. In a clean bucket, mix one part paint to four parts glaze. It is usually helpful to practice somewhere else before applying the mixture to the wall—either on an extra piece of sheetrock or on an inconspicuous area of the wall. If it is not translucent enough for your taste, add some more glazing liquid. One part paint to eight parts glaze often creates a pleasing effect. Play around with it for a bit. But remember that it is extremely important to keep track of the exact amounts of paint and glaze you have mixed together, in case you need to make more.
Step 4: Dip a brush into the glaze mixture and apply it over the base coat in random, curved brush strokes. The more times you go over one area, the darker it will turn out. Do not let anyone else help apply the glaze coat. It will be obvious which walls each person has painted, as everyone has different styles of painting.
Step 5: If a third color is desired, repeat steps 3 and 4. If not, clean up and allow the paint to dry.
You have just successfully completed a color wash. Of all the faux finishing techniques, color washing is one of the easiest to do. It is not possible to ruin a color wash; all you have to do is paint, mix the glazing solution, and then paint some more. If you do not consider yourself very artistic, but would like to freshen up your walls with a faux finishing technique, color washing may be just the thing for you.
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