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Archive for August, 2012

On Choosing Homes : Don’t Just Settle

August 31st, 2012 Comments off

We all dream of one day being able to find the perfect home. Sometimes, this idea of the perfect home can be condensed or simplified to fit what can be found in reality; but most of the time, we do not settle for less than what we have imagined. This is why when we search for the perfect home, we tend to take either a very, very short time, or take a very, very long time to find what we want.

Now, if you are just driving around and having a look-see on the Provo homes for sale (for example, you’re in Provo) here are some quick amateur steps in getting the feel of Provo real estate and whether it is worth it to invest or not.

First, see if the house has a very good first impression on you. The real estate people term it as the “curb appeal”. If you like how the house looks from the street, then that is the first step towards actually liking a house. And yes, people STILL judge the book by its cover. If it doesn’t pass this test, then move on.

Second, upon entering a house to see its interior, you should have a speedy inspection of the entire house. Try going through every room and visualize yourself living there. Does the house meet your standards? Does the house fit your needs? Also, try seeing if the elements of the house require major or minor changes regarding wallpapers, flooring, windows, etc. If you think you can manage easily enough turning the house into your dream home, then talk to your agent about your thoughts. If you think it’s too much hassle or there are too many things that you do not like, move on to another house.

Lastly, remember that choosing a home is never easy, but when talking about the perfect home, it wouldn’t do to just settle-so don’t be afraid to take your time. It’s your dream home, after all.

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What Happens to a Trust in the Case of Divorce?

August 31st, 2012 Comments off

When financial woes hit a married couple the unfortunate outcome is often a divorce. Of course, this means the division of assets, along with the usual amount of bickering over that division. But if those assets are in a trust, what happens?

The Creation of the Trust

For the property investor or any other type of investor, a trust is always recommended for placing assets. Do take some care, however, before creating the trust. An individual’s rights to the assets are affected by this legal structure, so it is a good idea to consult a lawyer.

Property Relationship Agreement

In the case of a married couple, the two parties should also enter into a Property Relationship Agreement (PRA). This component is essential for laying out exactly what happens to the property in the future, particularly in the case of separation. The PRA prevents the parties from having to go to court and argue the disposition of assets.

The PRA covers such matters as who owns what assets before they are placed in the trust. Additionally, the disposition of those assets upon separation is laid out in exact terms, such as provisions for sale of property and using the assets to repay outstanding loans.

The agreement is implemented by lawyers if the necessity arises. Any amounts outstanding after payment of liabilities and proceeds from sale are divided between the parties, who each now have their own private trusts.

Two Trusts Are Better Than One

Another option for the married couple is to create two individual trusts right away, one for each spouse. This allows each spouse to transfer property that was owned before the marriage into a private trust, such as family heirlooms or inherited property.

Often, the couple will each get half the value of the family home added to their private assets. The trust should also include a PRA that specifies disposition of the home upon separation.

Any additions to the trust do not have to have the spouse’s approval, provided that they are not named co-trustee. Property that is inherited during the marriage can be added to the recipient’s private trust. As well, each spouse can designate the assets they bequeath to beneficiaries – a great option for couples who have children outside of the current relationship.

Paul Easton works in marketing for Mathew Gilligan – an accountant and partner at Gilligan Rowe & Associates Ltd (GRA). GRA is a Chartered accountant firm specialising in property in New Zealand. Search Engine Optimisation by Digitalawol.com

How Life Changing Events Can Affect Home Ownership

August 30th, 2012 Comments off

Trying to save money by not hiring a real estate agent is not always a good idea. Sometimes things happen in life that just makes more sense to get some help with the sale of the home.

These life changing events may require you sell your home but due to emotional or physical reasons just make more sense to hire an agent.

Divorce – So you and your spouse have separated and you need to sell the house. Divorce is very emotional and takes a toll on both parties involved. Trying to sell on your home could just cause more problems and cause more problems and disagreements.

Death – If you just lost a spouse or parent, trying to sell on your own will likely be stressful. You will have a lot of things to do with the estate, life insurance, banks, bills, etc and to add trying to sell the family home could be very burdensome.

Employment Change – As your career progresses, you may be offered a promotion that will require you to move. If your spouse is planning to stay behind until the home sells that’s great, but do you really want to put all that pressure on them as they are packing and trying to get moved? Hire a real estate agent to make things go smoothly.

Work Hours – If you have a high pressure job that requires you to work long hours, leave at a moments notice due to being on call, or are routinely on business trips it will just be easier to hire a real estate agent.

Illness – You will likely need to hire a real estate agent if you or your spouse has been diagnosed with a severe illness or is out of work due to a career threatening injury and you need to move to a smaller home.

Secondary Home – If the home you are selling is a secondary home and is located in an area where you do not normally live. You should hire a real estate agent to sell the home in your absence.

In Closing

These are just a few of the major life events that would make it beneficial to hire a real estate agent. There are others and you should really evaluate your situation when you go to sell.

Hubert Miles is the founder of Waterfront Houses USA, an online marketing service that provides Beach Homes in the US and Canada. Find Maine Beach Homes.

Important Changes To Make In Your Investment Properties!

August 30th, 2012 Comments off

Getting the ball rolling on any project often takes more energy than it should. When you do get things rolling you really want to be organized enough to keep up the pace. In the home rehabbing business, this seems to be common difficulty. Many times the most glaring issue that is wrong with a home is not easily discovered.

Finding a good place to start will help you keep your rehab project proceeding in the right direction. Just to help you get started on developing your own rehab manifest, here is a short list of places you may consider starting from.

Now you can start the demo. This is the phase that you remove all the old, antiquated parts or materials in the home. This can be as extensive as removing a wall or completely gutting a kitchen. This can be as simple as carpets and padding to removing lathe and plaster.

Now, it is time for the demolition. This is the stage where you clean the property. This can be as extensive as removing a wall or completely gutting a kitchen. This can be as simple as carpets and padding to removing lathe and plaster. You may even want to update the furnace or air conditioner. If these are still working, you can sell them to surplus shops or neighbors. The money can always go toward something in your own project. If the old paint needs to be scraped, then it will go as well.

Next you can address more important facets. Remember, rehabbing houses means you are operating with a tight budget. That means you must prioritize repairs that will eat up most of your money. Always remember to pull building permits while fixing anything structural. Then you take care of the superficial things. Structural repairs can be anything that is directly tied to the structure or support of the home and doesn’t necessarily remain visible after completion.

It is also important to make any changes to the ventilation system in your next steps. Followed by any necessary electrical and plumbing changes you plan on implementing. Making changes to the appearance is next. Installing new lighting fixtures, applying paint, and replacing doorknobs are examples of cosmetic repairs.

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Things To Know Before Buying A House

August 29th, 2012 Comments off

No one but you is going to make sure you are fully prepared for your adventure in home buying. Your home will be the biggest single purchase of your life (this is certainly true for the vast majority of people reading this anyway).You don’t learn at school or college how to buy a house, there is no “home buying 101” course that you have to study before you go looking.

As long as you have already spoken to your bank,credit union or mortgage company and done some sort of liason with them you should have no trouble getting a preapproval letter reasonably quickly. You can still start looking at houses before you have your letter, but once you have it and the time comes to make an offer the seller will take you a lot more seriously.

A pre-approval letter is given to you by your bank or mortgage lender to show that they have done preliminary checks and feel that in principle they can lend you $xxx,xxxx. It doesn’t mean that the loan is a sure thing, the lender will still want to look at the house, check your details more thoroughly and look at your deposit money.

While a letter of pre-approval is not a sure thing, having one will give you the ability to elbow anyone without one out of the way if you get into a situation where there are multiple interested parties all hoping to buy the same house. This may sound like a small benefit to have but in some negotiations that is all you need to win the home of your dreams.

You should also look into the services of a real estate agent. Representation is very important in a real estate contract process. You want someone on your side will do a lot of legwork for you and explain the process as you go along. Remember real estate guidelines and regulations are different from area to area. Laws change from year to year so it is important to have an experienced real estate agent on your side who will be able to explain the ins and outs of the contract. Ask friends and family for recommendations if they have worked with a real estate agent in the past.

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