Thursday, February 28, 2008
During the home buying process you may be asked to provide an earnest money deposit. But what is an earnest money deposit exactly? After an offer has been made on the house and when buyers execute a purchase contract, the contract specifies how much money the buyer is initially putting up to secure the contract. It's a basically a good faith deposit, to show "good faith" and that you are serious in purchasing the house. It is money that you give to the home owner to insure an offer to buy the home. The earnest money will be applied to the final price of the house, but can be forfeited if you back out without legal cause. Earnest money deposits however should not to be confused with a down payment. How much earnest money do I need to deposit? The amount of the good faith deposit is usually dependent upon the agreed sale price of the real estate. Typically there is no set amount but deposits vary and typically can range anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the sales price. As a rule of general rule of thumb, you want your deposit to be large enough that your offer is taken seriously, but you do not want it to be so large that you put significant funds at risk. Who holds the money? The earnest money deposit should be made to a reputable third party agreeable to you and the seller such as a well known real estate brokerage, legal firm, escrow company or title company. As a buyer, be aware that if you allow earnest money to be held and deposited by a seller or by a builder or developer for use in construction, you risk that they will not be able to return it to you in the event the transaction does not close for whatever reason. Most buyers prefer to have real estate agents or attorneys hold the earnest money deposit as they are licensed by the state and required to deposit the money in a trust or escrow account, this reduces the risk that the monies will be improperly used. To avoid the loss of your deposit, follow these tips. • Never give an earnest money deposit to the seller. • Verify that the third party will deposit the funds into a separately maintained trust account. • Ask how the money will be returned if necessary. Do they hold the check until it clears or return it? • Do not authorize a release of your earnest money until your transaction closes. • Obtain a receipt. Is the deposit refundable? This will depend upon your real estate contract, so be sure to review this document very carefully. It is advisable that you consult a real estate attorney who can help ensure that your offer is written in a manner that protects your rights to the deposit. Do your research to get the facts about state law and even local customs on refunds of deposits before your earnest money leaves your hands. Even if your money is refunded, you may not receive the entire amount. Often, third party fees are paid out of earnest money deposits. For example, if an appraisal has been completed on the property then the appraisal fee is going to have to be paid before money can be released to either of the parties. Check the laws in your state as some states have laws requiring the buyer and the seller to agree on the disbursement of these funds before they are refunded, which can lead to further problems and legal action. A good faith deposit acts like an insurance option for a seller. Because the escrow process can take 30 to 60 days, their property is off the market. The good faith deposit essentially helps reassure the seller you are serious about buying their home.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
During the moving process you may find yourself needing a storage facility to store your belongings. You may need help storing items between leaving your old home and before you can move into your new one. If you are selling your home, you may need to store some items to help reduce clutter during the showing process. Whatever your situation, there are different options, read more below to find one that will work best for you. Self Storage Facilities These consist of mini-storage units that can be rented in a variety of sizes to accommodate your storage needs. If you are not sure of what size you may need, use this estimator to help determine the best size you may need. This option works best for items that you are likely to retrieve, but don't have available space at home. Depending on the facility, self storage is usually convenient and accessible and reasonably priced. Typically you move your items into the unit yourself, or if you have a couple of heavier items, check to see if the facility offers a pickup. Find a self storage facility near you. Container Storage This type of storage can be used for long-term, portable storage. Many people refer to this type of storage as Pods , the containers are delivered to your home where you pack them and then can be stored at a storage center, and once you move to your new home, delivered at your doorstep for your convenience. This can be a time and money saving solution because you only have to pack once, you don’t have to move your items to the storage facility and then again to your final destination. Moving/Storage Facilities Many moving companies offer storage as an extra service to their moving capabilities. This can be very convenient as they simply load up your possessions, take them back to their facility and store them for you rather than dropping them off at your new home. Then, when you're ready, they load them back up again and deliver them. Questions To Ask Before You Store Your Items • Do you have insurance for the items you will be storing? Check your homeowners or renters insurance policies to see if they will cover items kept in storage. Don’t assume the storage facility will cover your items if they are damaged or stolen. • Ask the facility, what kinds of security measures are in place? • Is your access restricted to certain hours and if so will it cost you extra or do you need to give notice? • Might your possessions be moved without your permission at any time? • How are your possessions stored? Do you need special accommodations such as climate control? • Do you have to give notice or can you extend your time in storage if necessary? It is important to do your research, just like choosing a moving company, you want to be sure your things are in safe hands. In addition to asking the above questions, be sure to tour the facility before signing any contract. Click here to obtain quotes and find a storage facility near you.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
According to the annual study by Men's Fitness magazine Albuquerque has been ranked #3 on The Top 10 Fittest Cities in 2008. For the study, the magazine takes almost two dozen factors into account, such as a city's sports participation rates, time spent working out, number of parks, average commute time, television viewing rates and legislative health initiatives. Below are some of the positive facts the study noted about our town: • Our city's 361 parks are among the most in the nation on a per-capita basis. • Mayor Martin J. Chavez sets a positive example, exercising as much as 5 days per week and also participates in more fitness-related events than most mayors. • Albuquerque residents participate in sports much more than average - 8 percent more than average. • Albuquerque's park acreage per capita is 278 percent higher than average and the 2nd highest in their survey. Research has found a connection between access to parks and green space and reduced obesity rates. Although the study is not scientific, Men's Fitness magazine indicated they put out the fittest and fattest lists each year for one reason -- "to motivate folks to look at simple things in their lives they can do to be healthy." The study examines lifestyle factors in each city, including fast-food restaurants per capita and availability of gyms or bike paths. Congratulations Albuquerque! Click here for a link to BIKE PATHS IN ALBUQUERQUE http://www.realestateinabq.com/PDF/CABQBikeMap.pdf
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It's a maxim in real estate that the three most crucial factors in selecting a house are "location, location, location." It's also true! No matter how wonderful the house is, the location is key to how well you'll like living in it and how well it sells when you're ready to move on. Before you buy, carefully check the following factors to be sure the house you like is really the one you want to live in. Consider destinations Where will family members go most often from this new location? How easy is it to reach those places from the house? How accessible are schools, churches, grocery stores, medical care, public transportation, shopping malls and emergency services? Be sure rooms have a view What is the view from the house and yard? Is the yard right for your anticipated activities? What uses are possible for nearby undeveloped land? Is a new road or commercial development planned? Check around the clock Is rush hour traffic a problem? What will be the impact of special events such as local high-school games or church picnics? Crash test the driveway. How easy is it to get into and out of the driveway? Be service conscious What utilities serve the property? Are the rates competitive? Do you want an all-electric house, or do you want gas or oil heat? Where will you get your mail? Are there any easements? Dig below the surface Is the soil stable? Is part of the property on a flood plain? If so, what is the history of floods on the property and what would flood insurance cost? Visit the neighbors How will you fit in with the neighbors? Do people seem to be friendly? Are houses well-maintained? Read the fine print If the community has special by-laws or architectural controls over changes to a house, what are the pros and cons? Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of each property as you tour it. Assign priorities to important elements of the house's location. If you have questions about a home's location, we can help. Call 505-440-7200 or email us from our website and check out the cool stuff there - www.RealEstateInABQ.com
It's a maxim in real estate that the three most crucial factors in selecting a house are "location, location, location." It's also true! No matter how wonderful the house is, the location is key to how well you'll like living in it and how well it sells when you're ready to move on. Before you buy, carefully check the following factors to be sure the house you like is really the one you want to live in. Consider destinations Where will family members go most often from this new location? How easy is it to reach those places from the house? How accessible are schools, churches, grocery stores, medical care, public transportation, shopping malls and emergency services? Be sure rooms have a view What is the view from the house and yard? Is the yard right for your anticipated activities? What uses are possible for nearby undeveloped land? Is a new road or commercial development planned? Check around the clock Is rush hour traffic a problem? What will be the impact of special events such as local high-school games or church picnics? Crash test the driveway. How easy is it to get into and out of the driveway? Be service conscious What utilities serve the property? Are the rates competitive? Do you want an all-electric house, or do you want gas or oil heat? Where will you get your mail? Are there any easements? Dig below the surface Is the soil stable? Is part of the property on a flood plain? If so, what is the history of floods on the property and what would flood insurance cost? Visit the neighbors How will you fit in with the neighbors? Do people seem to be friendly? Are houses well-maintained? Read the fine print If the community has special by-laws or architectural controls over changes to a house, what are the pros and cons? Make a list of the positive and negative aspects of each property as you tour it. Assign priorities to important elements of the house's location. If you have questions about a home's location, we can help. Call or e-mail us now.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Albuquerque Real Estate PEG YOUR HOME PRICE TO MARKET TRENDS The asking price for a home is exactly that -- an asking price. It is usually determined by sales prices of comparable homes in the community. Depending on whether your market is hot or not, the right price may be set higher or lower than the last sales price of a similar home in your community. It's usually wise to lead the market. If prices are dropping, get in front of that curve and price slightly lower than the last sales price so the home doesn't linger. Conversely, if prices are rising, it's often a good idea to set your home's price near the top compared with other similar homes that have sold in your area. The key is to price your home so that it compares favorably with other homes that buyers are considering. We can help you determine how your home compares with other similar homes that have sold recently in your area. In addition, we can keep you up to date about current home values and home-sale forecasts, so your home-pricing strategy is perfectly tuned to market realities.
It's doing nicely, thank you! Lots of questions lately about how the market is doing. It is following exactly the same pattern as it always does. Location is essential. Staging and preparation is essential, and pricing is TOPS. Resist the tempation to "chase" the market with your pricing. Don't start out high to leave room for negotiation. Don't leave this up to chance. Price right NOW. Negotiations will take alot of difference faces, and price sometimes isn't one of the elements. If you are priced right, a quick sale will happen - and I don't mean overnight..sometimes days...but you will see the results quickly. The Days on the Market has increased slightly, but only by a number of days. This can be attributed to the holiday period, so now is the time to dust off the THINGS TO DO and get your home ready to sell. Request a free on-line copy of my seller's preparation booklet - http://www.realestateinabq.com/free_seller_tips.html
Saturday, February 09, 2008
We have seen a decline of Single family home listing inventory – the number dropped from 6,131 in Oct of 2007 to 5,523 for Dec 2007.” The Average Sales Price for the same period has decreased from $246,522 to $240,602, so with those numbers, you can see that now is a perfect time to take advantage of the slight drop in prices. While inventory is slightly down, the sellers are more anxious to sell and more open to offers that meet both buyer and seller needs. Because the average Days on Market has increased from 51 Days in Oct to 60 Days in Dec. the sellers are anxious to see you! Ask for a free copy of my book "Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home", Albuquerque Edition - call or email me today! Linda DeVlieg 505-440-7200 www.RealEstateInABQ.com
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Most people take electrical power for granted, never thinking about whether it will be there when they need it. While a power outage can mostly be a temporary inconvenience, if prolonged it can pose some hazards. You can minimize the problems and safety hazards of an outage by following these suggestions to protect your family and home. Plan Ahead Don’t wait for a power outage to buy emergency supplies, be prepared and have everything you need on hand. If your power goes out, it’s likely you could find the store shelves raided and empty during a power outage. It is a good idea to purchase emergency home kits and store them in a general area in your home so you won’t be searching for needed supplies in the dark in an emergency. While most power outages are short-lived, but some may last days. Here are some things to consider for a long-term outage. Stock up on: • Matches and disposable lighters. • Flashlights and extra batteries. It is recommended you not use candles unless necessary to avoid fire risks. • Battery operated radio and extra batteries • Canned goods and dry food mixes. Water and juices. Don’t forget the hand-operated can opener • Special items for infants, the elderly or family members with special needs and prescription medications • Paper plates, cups and plastic utensils. • First-aid kit • Fire Extinguisher What to do during an outage • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary "surges" or "spikes" that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer, or furnace. • Make sure the oven and stove are off; this will prevent fires if the power comes back on while you’re away. Do not set dishes, towels, or paper on the stove; these may catch on fire if a burner is on when the power comes on. • Never touch downed power lines or attempt to remove trees from power lines. Contact with power lines may result in serious injury or death. Report any downed lines to your power company and leave the clean up and repair work to the professionals •Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage. See the Red Cross brochure called, "Help The Power Is Out" for more information on food safety during an outage. •Use the phone for emergencies only. Listening to a portable radio can provide the latest information. Do not call 9-1-1 for information -- only call to report a life-threatening emergency. Top Safety Tips for A Blackout • Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles! • Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out. • Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. • If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system. • Listen to local radio and television for updated information. Additional Preparedness Tips • If you use electrically powered life-support equipment, ask your doctor about emergency battery backup systems. • Protect sensitive electronic equipment, such as computers, televisions and other devices, with surge suppressors. • Make sure you know how to safely reset your circuit breaker or change fuses. Keep extra fuses on hand. • If a well is your source for water, plan ahead to determine how you will get drinking water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing. • If you have an electric garage door opener, find out where the manual release lever is located and learn how to operate it. Sometimes garage doors can be heavy, so get help to lift it. If you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home upon return from work, be sure to keep a key to your house with you, in case the garage door will not open. Power outages are one of the most common emergencies that occur. They can be caused by storms, accidents in which power lines are knocked down, circuit overloads, etc. Power failures can last for an extended period of time or for a brief moment, but no matter the length of time, they cause a disruption in everyday life. Take the time to prepare for a power outage and to gain the knowledge needed to respond safely and effectively during the emergency. A few simple preparations can greatly reduce the inconveniences caused by a power outage. For a list of more safety tips from Albuquerque's local power/utility suppliers, call or email me today Linda DeVlieg 505-440-7200 www.RealEstateInABQ.com
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