Monday, June 22, 2015

It is a Shame how some Condo Associations treat Elderly People

For many people condo associations boards especially in 55+ communities are a pain in the neck. These association boards often behave as if they are the sole owner of the whole complex. They execute their rights like little kings and queens and oppress their members. Many of the elderly members are so afraid of them, that they do not defend themselves even, when they are discriminated by the association board.

I made numerous experiences with these association boards and I tried to motivate my customers to take action and report the abuse to the authorities, but sadly they did not.

When Hispanic cash buyers try to get an approval for a unit purchase from the association board, my buyer was treated like a criminal and financial problems that happened ten years ago were used as an excuse for the approval denial. Even when this buyer brought his daughter as in additional sponsors into the picture, my buyer was denied by the association board.  

After these two difficult attempts, my cash buyer gave up and the association board won.

The newest court decision in connection with the discrimination law may help in the future. Now even an unintentional discrimination is a violation of the Fair Housing Act and can be reported to the responsible authorities.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Should You sell Your Home, When You age?

Many homeowners asked themselves this question, because they fear that their today’s home might not fit for their later life. How can you find a better way to enjoy your home even when you age? Is the better question and you might like the answer to this question even more.

Many adjustment can be made in your home, that will simplify your life. Think about what challenges you might have in the future. For example when you might need a walker or a wheelchair, the widening of doorways will be a good idea. You also should look into options to make your kitchen and bathrooms better usable and easy to access for your later needs.

When your bedroom is on the second floor, evaluate your options either to move your bedroom to the ground floor or install an elevator. Option one is easier and cheaper than option two. However, when you are an anxious person, you will be more comfortable with option two. For option two – elevator – you have to spend more money in the installation process and you might need a loan for the successful realization.

These are only a few ideas for your home alteration for your retirement and you should always think about what you need and what it may cost you. Before you start with such a project you should always seek the advice of a professional, so that you get best available option for your needs.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The International Buyers are still strong in Market

Over the last months the US dollar strengthened against other foreign currency, however the international buyer are still coming and purchase real estate in the US. The volume amount of these real estate transactions have even increased, while the number of the purchased units have decreased. That means there are less international buyers that buy, but these buyer are buying more expensive units. That results in an overall plus of these international real estate transactions.

There are five countries worldwide, who are responsible for 51 % of the real estate transactions. China is on the top nations with 28.6 billion and they bought the most expensive homes. The average home price for the international buyers was slightly below half a million, while the home prices of the Chinese buyers were beyond the $800,000 mark.

Second on this list are the Canadians with 11.2 billion, on position three, four and five come India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

There are four states in the US, that are the preferred target areas for these international real estate buyers: Florida, California, Texas and Arizona according to the market data of the NAR.

These positive numbers show that Florida is still a very attractive spot for international real estate investors despite of the US dollar strength.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Lies on the Loan Application can backfire

Some borrowers seems to think, that they are smarter than the lenders. They should be very careful, because the lenders have learnt from their losses during the last finance crisis. They are much more vigilant when it comes to mortgage applications and look for facts that are not logical like a very long commute between their potential new home and their workplace.

When a borrower is in the purchase process and applies for a mortgage he/she has to provide evidence of income payments. Such evidence are paychecks from the employer. With this information the lender has a lead, whether the borrower is truthful or not. It is very unlikely to buy a property far away from the workplace and claim that the property is a primary residence only to get a better interest rate and lower down payment requirements.

The difference in the down payment amount is significant, when a primary residence is purchased. The lowest down payment for a primary residence is 3 % of the purchase price and for a non-primary residence the down payment is at least 15 %.

Let's make an example: when the purchase price of a home is $100,000, the difference in the down payment amount is $12,000. The lower down payment on a home rises also the risk for the lender, because borrower that want a mortgage for a non-primary residence are more likely to sneak out of their repayment obligation than primary residence owners. The banks do not want to assume that higher risk and try to protect the loans better.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How to get rid of a Squatter in your Home

Some people have no respect for other people’s property and break into vacant homes. They live in your home without your permission and therefore they don’t pay rent and don’t even intend to pay rent. How can you get them out of your property? You ask yourself.

There are a few details to take into consideration, so that you don’t get into trouble yourself. Even when you have the legal right to vacate your property, it is always better to go not alone. Before you go, check with the sheriff or the police department which law enforcement department is responsible for this kind of issue and who will be the appropriate officer to take with you.

Based on the trespassing laws, you have the right to get squatters out of your premises, however you always should get an officer in uniform with you. This is not only for your own protection, but also because these officer has to verify some information about the ownership of the property first. Then you both go to your property with the squatters and give the squatters the trespass warning and demand the immediate eviction of the house.

Don’t give the squatters longer period for the eviction then 30 minutes, because a longer time period can be misunderstood by the squatters as a permission to stay in your home.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

A Condo owner Association got in Trouble with the Fair Housing Act

Often it is really hard to deal with the condo associations, when you would like to move into a condo community. The condo associations try to use their own regulations, when it comes to the approval of new residents in their community and these regulations not always comply with the Fair Housing Act.

My experience in the real estate show that many associations violate the Fair Housing Regulation based on their rules and regulations and they often go away with it.

During a sales transaction, it was a cash deal for a condo in a nice area, the buyer was denied with flimsy excuses. His daughter and son-in-law even offered to go with the father on the deed and take financial responsibility. That is more that a association could asked for and they still denied the approval.

That specific association had already some violations with the HUD regulation, but nobody seems to care. However, a broker in such a transaction has only limited options to intervene and can only encourage the discriminated person to raise his/her voice and go after such associations.

In my specific case the buyer and his family who have a Hispanic background were so badly mistreated that they let this perfect condo go. That is not only sad for the buyer, but it encouraged the condo association to stick to their behavior and do it again the next time.

Every homeowner in a condo community deserves a respectful and fair treatment, but this often only exists in the words that are spoken and not lived. There are only a few people that speak up. When we would like to have change in this condo association behavior, all affected people should speak up and complaint. When there are enough complaints, these condo associations will have to listen and comply, otherwise they will risk government fines.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

How desperate do you want your new home?

You are ready to become a new home owner? You did your homework and have a pre-approval letter from your lender in the pocket? You are excited to go on the house hunt and see your dream homes from the inside? In your dreams you already have moved into your home and you picture yourself in your new domicile. However, are ready for the next step too?

The next step is to make an offer for your new home and it is important how you make that offer. You need to ask yourself, how much your potential new home means to you and that is the base for your offer to the seller.

The seller is the owner of your new home and he/she decides which offer is the best for them. Your agent should do his/her best to find out the seller’s motivation and why he/she sells. However, that is a tough issue for your buyer agent and often the seller will not share his/her sale motivation with anybody than himself/herself.

Therefore you should sit down with your buyer agent and draft the most desirable offer you can afford. That means it should be your highest possible price bit, however do not ignore the remaining contract terms like flexible closing date or the earnest money amount. These two can be strong arguments too and work in your favor. Take your time and make it right and you will be successful. 

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