Saturday, December 29, 2012

Duties And Responsibilities Of A Survey Technician

Construction of an airport, industrial facility, residential building needs careful planning before the architect begins with the design of the edifice. The whole construction process starts by surveying the entire construction site. Land survey is a procedure in which the surveyors appraise the distance, directions and region on the Earth's surface on which the building or facility will be constructed. Survey technicians help land surveyors in carrying this task. Surveying technicians gather geographical data on a location and make estimates to present to people who are interested in a particular tract of land. The collected data may be used in legal documents such as deeds and leases. They should be proficient in using computer drafting programs and use modern technologies like Global Positioning System to find reference points. Below are the duties and responsibilities of a professional survey technician:

Make Calculations

Series of calculation is required to identify the actual size and outline of a parcel of land. A survey technician is tasked to make a precise and correct estimation of the land surveyed. The accuracy of their calculation is crucial in planning the structure that will be built on the site. City planners and real estate developers are the ones who usually request for land surveys.

Inspect Existing Structures

Apart from identifying the real size and possible utility of an undeveloped land, a survey technician is also in charge of doing surveys on estates have been developed and improved. Their job includes measuring and examining infrastructures such as roads, bridges and buildings.

Report Findings

After taking all the data on the site, survey technicians are required to prepare report of their findings. If the technician is employed by a government agency, the result of his work will be a public record. Although this does not indicate that he has to prepare his report according to the requests of the public, but this means that he will be accountable for contents of the report. He must be able to justify the accuracy of his data and how did he came up with his conclusions.

Keep Notes

Given that most of the data gathered from a survey will be included in a detailed report, it is essential that a technician maintain thorough and detailed notes while in the site to ensure the accuracy of his data. Field notes should be precise, orderly and comprehensible. The notes should be legible so the person responsible for recording the data will easily understand the notes you have taken.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Distinction Between A Lot and A Tract of Land

The terminologies "lot" and "tract" are often used to describe a certain area of land. Although they both refer to a part of land but these two terms are not synonymous at all. Lot is a word used to describe a legally defined portion of a property or real estate. Each lot does not have the same size of area. However, the word is used for describing a segment of land that will be owned and developed by a certain individual. On the other hand, a tract of land is a term that labels a few acres, square miles or big recognizable area of land.

A Tract of Land

A tract of land pertains to an identifiable portion of land. Basically, a land tract is bordered by geographical formations; this makes the tract easy to portray and discuss. For instance, if an identified land area is surrounded by a river on one side, have gently sloping hills before bounded by high mountains on the other side, the tract of land could be easily recognized by the local inhabitants as the tract of land between the river and steep mountains. Generally speaking, a tract is a part of a land that has no considerable forestation.

A Land Lot

A lot of land is legally classified piece of land or estate that has a legal owner, or separated by a public entity for the purpose of sale or vending the property. A lot of land is usually small enough for an individual or entity to procure and develop. A lot is registered in local government offices in order to record and protect its title deeds, measurements and ownership.

Separating Tracts

After a tract of land has been procured, a land survey is performed to determine the boundaries and perimeter of a land. After the measurements of the tract are taken, it is subdivided into lots when they are sold to private people or entities. A tract can be of any size. The subdivided lots will get an official, legal names and ownership is recorded in the local government office. Big lots can still be separated into smaller lots.


A lot and a tract can be publicly or privately owned. It can also be purchased and sold. A lot is a portion of an estate that can be bought and developed by the land owner consistent with local rules and regulations. A tract would have to be properly surveyed and subdivided before it could be put up for sale.

Buying Land on eBay

If you've every perused the Real Estate section of eBay, you will have noticed a Land section which is full of listings for raw or vacant land. Raw land is exactly what it sounds like, it has not been developed at all. It has no home, usually no well, no septic, etc and on eBay some of these listings appear to have land for a very affordable price. It is possible to get good deal on a plot of land from eBay but it is important to do your research first or you may end up regretting your purchase.

My first and only experience buying land on eBay came in December 2010. For years I had been browsing eBay's land listing, more out of curiosity than anything but as my search for local land became unrealistic due to high land prices, I turned to eBay for something more affordable. My intent to buy land on eBay has been solely for retirement. I currently live on a one acre lot and I would like to retire on a much larger lot. I thought that if I made my payments to own the land by the time i retire, then I would be able to build a home with savings or from selling my current house and live there rent and mortgage free. I had my plan, now I just needed to find a suitable tract of land.

For anyone looking to buy land, whether it's on eBay or from a realtor, it's important to look for a few things. First thing to look for is accessibility. Where is the land? Is it on a main paved road? Is that road maintained year round? Or is it a seasonal dirt road that is only maintained during the warm months and snowed over during the colder months? Making access to and from your property very difficult. Is it near amenities like stores, supermarkets, post office, etc. When you are looking for land do you want to maintain the convenience of life of where you are or are you really looking to rough it and be truly self-sufficient. There is also the issue of easements, some plot of land may be "land-locked" This means they have no direct access to a road. This also usually means that you will have to cross through someone else's land to get to a road. This can be a touchy situation. Imagine someone buying land adjacent to yours and having or needing an easement to cross your land to get to the road. This can sometimes lead to tension between neighbors. I recommend to avoid a plot of land that requires an easement to get to and from your property.

Another important thing to consider is access to clean water. Many land lots on eBay are far from utilities, not all but a good bit, in these cases you will need to drill a well for water. This is easier in the east than in the west. Many of the cheap plots of land in states like Arizona or Colorado, may not even have water since they are so dry. So water would have to be trucked onto your site and stored for your use. It is important to ask the seller if the water table is high enough for a well to be drilled. There are a lot of things you can live without but it's really hard to live without water, for yourself but especially if you plan on raising animals.Access to energy is another thing to look for. Sometimes buying land is a good opportunity to go off grid. When choosing you plot of land, explore which types of renewable energy would be feasible. Almost all lots are great for solar or wind as long as there is not too much tree cover. Many lots have electric at the street or nearby. You will also want a source of heat so it is best to choose what that source of heat will be before you buy your land. Will it be firewood you grow or buy, or propane, or solar? These are all things to consider when shopping for land.

What do you want to build on this lot of land? Some lots, even though they are in the middle of nowhere, will have certain requirements on what you can and can't build. This was one of my mistakes when shopping for land. I forgot to ask about these requirements. I was hoping I could build small efficient cabin-type home on the land I bought but when I finally received all my information, I came to find that the township requires a home of at least 1500 square feet. There go my tiny cabin plans. Many townships and counties will have similar require to please research that beforehand.Taxes, you will pay taxes wherever you go. The more services the local government supplies the more you will pay in taxes.! acre of land with taxes of $100 a year will probably consist of a plot of land near a seasonal dirt road, the same acre at $2000 a year will probably be on a paved year-round road with utilities, street lights, etc. We know that taxes always go up and they increase with the development of the land itself as well as the surrounding area so keep this in my when shopping.

There is also the fact that it is eBay and you have to protect yourself from scammers. If you can make a trip to see the lot, that is the best thing you can do because it will be your own fault if you buy something without actually seeing it. I have to admit, I bought my plot of land without actually seeing it first, in fact as of this post, I still have not visited it. My only view of it has been on Google Streetview and so far that has given me enough peace of mind to continue to make those payments but I also have a few other things that make me feel secure about my purchase. My land transaction came with a contract, as all land transactions should. Make sure both you and the seller sign this contract, that is notarized or has witnesses, and that both parties have a copy. This will help to protect you legally in case something goes wrong and there is a question as to who truly owns the land. This is just my experience with buying land on eBay but so far I do not regret my decision. I feel as though I did enough research on this particular plot and buying land in general that makes me confident in my decision. If you do the proper research, you can also find good quality tract of land for a good price.

Post-Holiday Clean Up - Getting It Done Quickly and Efficiently

The holidays have come and gone and you have turned the page on an old chapter and started a brand new one for 2013. You look around the house and all you see is the aftermath that is left from all the holiday entertaining and partying you have done over the past few weeks. You don't even know where to start. Here's an action plan that will help you be quick and efficient. Start by throwing out whatever need to be thrown out, then put away the big stuff, follow up with the small stuff and finish off with the vacuum and mop.

After the holidays, you probably have a lot of trash, recycling and even composting to do if it is available in your municipality. In the rush of the holidays, we often forget to take things out on the right day, or the service may not be available depending on the day Christmas and New Year happen to be. It's important to go through a good cleaning once the holidays are over. The easierst way to go about getting rid of your "trash" is to get yourself two or three plastic bins: one for garbage, one for recycling and one for composting if available. Go through each room of your house one by one placing items in the appropriate bin. Once you are done, empty the bins accordingly and move on to the next room.

Next you will need to pick up the stuff that has been lying around and that you simply have not found the energy to put away yet. Start with bigger items and finish off with smaller ones. I like to have my trusty plastic bins to put things in. One is for items that need to go to the second floor and the other for items that need to go to the basement. I always start with the main floor because that is where there is the most cleaning to be done. Put each item where it was originally and find a new place for all the gifts that Santa brought.

Once the clutter is all cleaned up, you may feel that you have done a great job and that you can take a break from all the cleaning. However, it is important to make sure you take the time to vacuum the house and mop wherever necessary. During the holidays, things may get spilled or dropped and you don't want crubs lurking in your carpets or sticky drops of juice on your floors. If you were entertaining, there's a good chance that germs may have been spread over the surfaces of your home. Getting it all cleaned up and disinfected where there is no clutter will be quick and easy.

Holidays are always lots of fun, especially because we get to spend time with friends and family. There is nothing quite as nice as being with the ones you love. Cleaning up after the party is all together a different story. Being structured in the cleaning process will help get things done faster. Get rid of the trash first then put things away starting with bigger items. Finish off with the vacuum and mop and take the time to disinfect surfaces. Once you are done you will be glad you did it and will enjoy that clean home feeling.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How To Stage Your Pet-Friendly House

Pets bring so much joy to our homes. About half of today's Canadian households have at least one pet. Dogs and cats are the most common animal friends and companions, while other popular choices include birds, fish, and critters like hamsters and ferrets. Let's not forget those with a more adventurous side who prefer more exotic pets such as snakes, spiders and lizards (as long as they follow local laws, of course).

Our pets are a source of companionship, and also a form of protection against intruders, so are definitely considered genuine members of most families today. But let's be honest: not all homeowners are pet lovers, and not all potential home buyers would warm up to the idea of pets in the property. When it comes to staging the home for the buyer's market, several procedures and strategies have to be taken to make sure that the home is as welcoming and marketable as possible to broad market base, whether they like pets or not.

Below are a few pet-friendly suggestions to get your home prepped for potential buyers, while also ensuring that your animal friends are not neglected or forgotten while your house is up for sale:

Arrange alternative lodging for your pets in the meantime. This is not an easy or popular thing to do, especially if you are very attached to your pets. But the easiest way to keep your home in the best staged status is to keep them somewhere else for the meantime, especially if you are using rented furniture. Check with neighbors or extended family who may be able to accommodate them for a while; they may not even have to be that far from you, such as within the neighborhood or down the street. If you alternative lodging arrangements for your pets is not a possibility, just make sure pets are not in the property during showings or open house.

Get pet stuff out of the way. Those cat litter boxes, dog potty pads, bird cages, food or water bowls, pet toys, and other accessories should be out of view. Even if your pets are elsewhere during a showing, seeing pet accessories would turn off a client who is allergic to pets or not a fan of pets. By the way,remember to also remove photos of you and your animals tacked on to refrigerator doors or displayed on shelves and work desks. Also, avoid posting pictures of your pets posing in different areas of the house in online listings.

Clean, clean, clean. Stains should be removed from carpets and area rugs; stubborn stains and dirt may require the expert solutions of professional cleaners. Pet hair must not be found on beds, couches, and other furniture. Always remember that if you choose to still have the pets around while the house is up for sale, cleaning must be done regularly, perhaps even daily because pet hair and/or furs can easily accumulate.

Absolutely no pet odors. This is a major turn-off for potential home buyers, and signals neglect or poor maintenance of the house. The quickest way to start removing pet smells within the house is to open windows and allow fresh air in to circulate. If you are having your home cleaned professionally, ask about enzyme cleaners or other odor-removing solutions that can be used. Some people have allergic reactions to air fresheners, so it may be best to stay away from those; instead, air sanitizers or fresh-smelling scented candles may be better. To be sure your home is pet odor-free, have a neighbor or friend come in and do a whiff test.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Home Staging Is An Advantage for Home Sellers

Home owners that are struggling to sell their property are becoming more and more frustrated with the real estate market every day. Most home owners are so dependent upon the normal selling process that is provided to them by their Realtor, that they leave themselves with a small chance of a successful sale. Home owners leave all of the selling duties to their agent or broker, but fail to realize the important role that they play in the sale of their own home. Most sellers today live in their property that is being sold, and because of that, anything and everything that is wrong with that property needs to be handled by the home owner. Most agents will not push home owners towards doing what best to sell their home, even with the facts to prove that in most cases there are better ways to get your home sold besides waiting around.

Home staging, turns into a problem for many real estate agents and is a hassle to mention this highly important process to home owners. Home staging is an advantage in a competitive market and should be the beginning process when a home is listed, because it attracts more buyers through the design of the property and allows buyers to gain an attachment to the home. Potential buyers are looking for a home that fits their needs, offers the greatest quality for the amount of money that they are willing to spend, and has the cheapest price that they can get it for. A common trend that happens far too often in the real estate market is a price cut. This is used to show buyers that they are getting a killer deal, instead it only shows buyers that the original price of the property obviously was realistic, and in that case let's see how much lower we can get it for.

The process of home staging is to re-create your home into a marketable product that attracts a larger amount of potential buyers. This is an advantage to the seller in many ways; first, buyers love to see the potential of a home that they are considering buying. Second, a staged home separates itself from the rest of the homes because it is more appealing to buyers. Furthermore, if your asking price is really the price you are looking to pay for, then realistically you need to make buyers believe your home is worth more. Buyers want a bargain right? So instead of lowering your price, make the buyer believe that they are getting more that they are paying for.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Home Staging Is A Luxury

The art of staging a home is usually looked at as a service that only wealthy home owners choose for an option by real estate agents and sellers. And in most cases a Realtors and brokers won't even offer the idea of the service unless your home is worth over $300,000. The process of preparing a home to stage in itself is something that every seller needs to do, no matter what their home is worth. Cleaning, repairing, and upgrading are only some of the basic phases for home staging, but they are highly effective if you not looking to shell out a bunch of money. Home staging was brought to the market for one reason to get your home sold quickly and still till this day, the goal is exactly the same. Home staging can become costly, in which sense I believe most Realtors think that there clients can't afford to pay for it. Not staging your own home in today's market is like trying to pop a balloon with another balloon, it just does not make sense.

Why does staging a home cost so much? Well the answer to this question depends on the current condition of your home. If your home needs to be updated and needs costly repairs, the price would be much higher for that home owner. Staging a home is a step by step based system that resets each individual room in your home and creates a unified space that attracts buyers, but if you throw a fresh coat of paint on the walls and buy new bedding, it won't convince buyers it is a great place to live if you have a huge hole in the floor.

The big misconception that home staging isn't needed can be disproved over and over again just by taking a look at the homes listed in your area. Look at the quality of the rooms that you see for the properties listed online. When a staged home is compared to a non-staged home you can immediately tell the difference. And at a glance, which are all buyers will give you when they are searching for a new property; a home that doesn't appeal to buyers will struggle to get attention from enough buyers to sell quick enough. Staging your home is a necessity not a luxury if you're trying to sell your home as quickly as possible

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Home Staging Hints For Your Window Treatments And Fixtures

Your window treatments currently in your house would probably need some amount of updating or makeover when the rest of the home is prepped for professional home staging. Window treatments are used for different purposes in addition to beautification; they also provide privacy and control lighting into the home. For purposes of home staging, however, window decor and fixtures are generally kept as simple and lightweight as possible, so as to allow natural light into the house and to add the illusion of space to the interiors.

The good thing about updating or investing in new window fixtures during the home staging process is you can take these curtains, drapes or other fixtures with you to your new home if they complement the décor or theme there. Or, you can include the cost of the updates during negotiations. However, many home staging professionals would recommend that homeowners keep the cost of window treatments as affordable as possible to minimize the risk of not getting any returns.

Here are some home staging suggestions for your window treatments:

Choose light, airy treatments. Go for fabrics that are translucent, especially for shades or sheers. They maintain a level of privacy, without completely blocking out the natural light and the view from outside. If you have an excellent view of the backyard, or other natural scenery outside, you want to highlight that to potential buyers, so steer clear of opaque or dark curtains or blinds if you can.

Neutral and contemporary fixtures are a sure bet. In order to appeal to as many varied tastes and preferences of potential home buyers, you want to use window treatments that are modern and least distracting. Large thick curtain rods, or heavy cornices and valances look bulky and from a previous decade; clean lines, minimalist designs are fresher and more contemporary. Loud designs and prints, like animal type designs, zebra lines, polka dots, or floral prints are not recommended for home staging because they are only attractive to a few people but distracting to everyone else.

Pre-packaged window treatments are great options. Sewing or starting your own DIY projects for curtains and panels can be loads of fun, but you may not have enough time in between your daily responsibilities and other home staging and selling concerns. It is a more convenient option to visit your local home décor and improvement stores. such as Pier 1, Target, Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond. These retailers usually have packaged window treatments and décor in stock that you can purchase and install yourself quickly and conveniently.

Go with the general theme of the home décor. The right window treatments will blend into the overall theme or décor of the rest of your house, instead of hogging attention. If you are choosing subdued pastel hues for your living room, for instance, window treatments should be light and quiet also, because anything bright would be visually jarring and distract the viewer. Strike a balance between the colors and hues, and focus on it.

Get Top Property Prices For Your Home With These Tips

It is an interesting question. Why are you the best agent for the client to use to promote the clients property today? Do you have an answer that is real and relevant to the situation? Or is the answer something generic like some of the following.

We know the property market
We have all the enquiry
We have sold (leased) property like this before
I have a buyer (tenant) right now that would like to see this property
We have good people to promote the property for you
We have offices all over the state (country) that will have your listing detail and can promote that to their buyers and prospects.
We have the contacts to reach the targets for you
Our costs are lower than any other agent
Our team is the best
We can get you the best price

So many times I have heard these phrases in the market. The reality is that they are all worth nothing to the listing presentation and pitch. Without the deeper facts, these phrases are worth 'zero' to you.

To win a listing today, you must be the best choice of agent. If you say any of the above statements in your presentation, be prepared to prove it with a lot more detail and facts. Facts, market knowledge, and results all have to be proven today before the client will see you and your agency as being relevant to them.

Take any of the above phrases to prove a point here. I will choose 'Our team is the best'. Without any supporting comment and proof, the phrase is quite irrelevant to the client. If I had made that statement, I would have to support it with a few more specific facts such as the following:

'Bill Smith on our team has sold 3 properties like this in the last 4 months. That activity has given us a database of 200 qualified people that we will be taking the new listing to personally.'
'Our team has tried a number of marketing systems and alternatives for this property type in the last 6 months. What we have found is that the tender process is the best to use here as it creates significant inquiry in the shortest time. Every time we have used this strategy the tender close date kept the prospects active and motivated to putting in an offer that was market relative.'

You can see from the above examples that you can be far more specific when you work with clients in listing their property. In this way you can prove your relevance to the client as the top agent for the job at hand.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The New York Real Estate Market Trends for 2013

New York is one of the most dynamic cities in the world and the New York real estate market is no exception to this rule. After the huge plunge of 2008, the market has been on the road to recovery, but experts are still cautious about predicting growth. Let us take a look at the major trends for 2013 and find out how they will affect buyers and sellers.

It is worth looking at the New York real estate market statistics first. In January 2013, the average price per square foot in the city is $1,339. The average listing price for homes is $2,316,317. There has been an increase in the price of some 10.6 per cent from the same period last year. The increase in the number of sales from December 2011 to December 2012 was 40.3 per cent.

The statistics reveal that the New York real estate market is experiencing a recovery with more homes being sold and the prices going up. However, the sales and prices do not reveal the whole picture. It is the demand and supply that play a major role in the market. There are other factors that buyers and sellers need to consider as well.

Experts agree that the increase in the New York real estate prices is primarily due to the fairly small inventory which is projected to shrink. The number of new developments in the city has dropped substantially since the recent market plunge. At the same time, fewer properties are listed because sellers are not happy with the current market prices, which remain fairly low, and prefer to wait for better times.

Hurricane Sandy is expected to have long-term consequences on the market inventory. It has destroyed or significantly damaged many properties. Many neighborhoods have been severely affected and their attractiveness has diminished considerably as a result.

The demand in the New York real estate market has not increased considerably over the past year despite the commotion in the summer of 2012. The predictions for 2013 are not particularly optimistic either. This is mainly because of the growing costs which owners of properties in the city have to incur.

The real estate taxes are projected to grow. This will be the case even for new buildings and ones which have been improved to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The property insurance premiums in the city are expected to increase as well. The growing costs will have a negative impact on home buyers and on investors. The increasing cost of mortgages will affect market demand adversely as well.

The predictions for the New York real estate market in 2013 are not particularly bright but this does not mean that the situation is desperate. New construction developments are in the way and more neighborhoods which were previously ignored by buyers such as Harlem are now gaining popularity.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Real Estate Marketing - Make Good Use of Your Business Card

How many real estate business cards did you hand out today?

Hopefully, a whole handful, but I've known agents who guarded those cards like they were gold - they'd only give one away if someone specifically asked for it! Really, I know agents who can make a box of 250 cards last a year or more. (They cost money, you know!)

Instead, you should be handing them to everyone you interact with during the day - even if you've given them one before. If they ask why, tell them it's so they'll have one handy when they want to give your name to someone. That's a subtle request for referrals and just might make people realize that you do appreciate it when they tell others about you. (When they do refer someone to you, remember to say Thank You!)

Photographs: It's become common practice in real estate now, so maybe I don't need to remind anyone, but be SURE to include a good picture of yourself.

Many of the people you talk with in your day to day travels either don't even know your name until you hand them your card, or won't remember your name later. But if your picture is there, they'll remember your face. More importantly, when they see you smiling at them, they'll remember that they liked you!

I'm talking about the waitress who brought your lunch or the checker at the grocery store - you might visit with them every time you go in, but do you introduce yourself by name?

Real estate is a unique business. While people "should" choose you for your experience and expertise, often they choose you on feelings alone. So smile, be pleasant, and cause people to get a good feeling when they see your face on a business card.

The picture on your card is also important when you attend networking events...

Think about how many people you might meet in a single day, and how little time you have to actually get acquainted with any of them. How can you keep track of which of them impressed you as someone you might want to do business with?

When you hear 50 or 100 names you have to have a darned good memory to remember what you thought about each of those people when you met them. But seeing their faces on a card will cause you to recall how you felt about them. You might see one face and think "She was sure friendly and informative," while another face will cause you to think "Boy was he an arrogant jerk!"

So hand out your card with a really good likeness of yourself (not some glamour photo!) - so other people can think "That's someone I want to do business with" every time they come across the card.

Be sure to actually use the cards you get at those events

Those cards can expand your sphere of influence! When you get home, put them in your contact database and send them a note within a day or two. If you can remember something you talked about, mention it - so they'll remember you.

You may have written a note on their card reminding yourself that you offered to send something, and if you did, do it right away.

Maybe you got permission to put them on your newsletter list. If so, do it. If not, write them and offer to put them on the list. Send a sample so they'll know your newsletter will be of value to them.

And then, provided you were favorably impressed by the person, make an effort to send a referral their way within the next few weeks.

here's no better way to ask for referrals (and get them) than to be the first to give one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Higher Conversion Marketing Tips for Commercial Real Estate Agents

When you have a commercial or retail property for sale or lease today, the marketing process is really important. The message about the property and its availability just has to reach the local area and the target market of buyers or tenants as the case may be.

The days of generic marketing in commercial real estate are well gone. We are the specialist local real estate agents to find the right people to buy or rent the listed property. All of that being said, it takes real effort on our part to do this; finding the right parties to inspect premises today is a skill. For this very reason your efforts of personal property marketing should be devoted only to the exclusive listings on your books. Open listings are a waste of time and if any of your open listings sell or rent, it is a factor of luck.

Top agents will walk away from 'open listings' on the basis that the client has not committed to the agent; you cannot trust clients in those circumstances. If a property owner wants to sell or lease their property, they should be serious and committed to the task.

One special note should be made here that all clients today on exclusive listings should commit to the marketing process by providing vendor marketing funds to the agent.

Here are some more ideas to help with this marketing effort:

Local area bias should occur with most of your listings. Over the years in most areas you will see that contracts and leases largely occur with local business owners and property investors. Yes, I know that there are exceptions to the rule with 'out of town' buyers or a tenants sometimes entering the area, but generally speaking it is easier to market locally to the people that know the area and the property.
Signboard placement on the property will remain a key component of property marketing. If you can get a special sign placed on the property then do so.
As soon as the sign is placed on the property, visit the other local businesses in the street and the neighbours that occupy nearby property. Every new listing is an excuse to talk to local people.
Internet and website listings are an important part of property marketing today. Most people and businesses that are looking for properties and premises will check out the internet. For this reason choose your property descriptions and advert layout with care. Get professional photographs taken to help the process of attracting the enquiry.

Simple strategies of marketing like these always work in commercial and retail real estate. You will find out more information and get more leads when you take the right property marketing steps.

Get Top Property Prices For Your Home With These Tips

How much your house is really worth depends on a lot of things, like the state of the economy, the kind of neighbours who live within the area, and the locale's potential for future development. However, making a successful sale does not depend solely on property prices; the design of the interiors and a few special perks can actually help secure a customer. After all, the convincing power of low house prices can never quite compare with the compelling force of love at first sight. If you want to make your house look a little more inviting to home buyers, then maybe you should consider a few (or all) of the tips listed below.

One of the quickest ways to make your house look more relaxing and appealing is by making it look brighter. The easiest way to do this is by opening up windows to let in the light; try removing curtains and see how that act alone can get rid of a room's heavy atmosphere. Whenever you are entertaining a potential buyer, remove or tie back curtains as this can help make the room much brighter. Letting in views from the outside also makes the room look bigger and much more spacious than it really is. If you really need to use curtains for privacy, try going with light fabrics or sheer lace that can obstruct views but still allow light to pass through. Avoid using thick fabrics and heavy drapery as these not only block light but also give rooms a stifling atmosphere.

Another thing that can guarantee interest from buyers is including special details in your home that make it look all the more luxurious to live in. For instance, placing a basket filled with rolled towels tied with pretty ribbons and packets of scented soaps, creams, and lotions can make your bathroom seem more like a spa than a place for maintaining hygiene. A vase of fresh flowers waiting to greet prospective buyers with a sweet floral scent can make your house all the more inviting, and a collection of colourful cookbooks and bowls of shining, fresh fruit in the kitchen can help make your guests more enthusiastic about cooking meals there. These little tricks don't cost much but they can have great effects on the appeal of your house. Remember, it's all in the details.

Lastly, selling your house does not depend entirely on how it looks. It's also affected by how you present it. Make sure you exude a cheerful vibe when selling because talking about your favourite room in the house won't be as convincing when you're looking sullen, or worse, impatient. Be enthusiastic when showing prospective buyers why you love the house and you'll be sure to get great price for your property in a short amount of time.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Miami Investment Properties Improves Due To Condo Boom

Miami-Dade County is enjoying a steady rise in Miami investment properties as local and international investors bring out their portfolios in various condo projects in the state of Florida - flooding the market with high-end investments that many consumers would want to get their hands on.

According to Miami realtors, the success of St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences pushed many developers, local and international investors, and real estate firms to open up their avenues in the condo business.

As it stands, there has been news of ten new condo towers in the works with more on the way if the current market trend stands. One realtor commented that the condo boom would be here to stay for quite a while, ensuring that 2013 would be a boon to buyers and developers with the following years becoming more lucrative as real estate projects pour in.

Miami Following The Trend

Miami also benefited in the recent condo boom caused by the opening of St. Regis. Miami investment properties are seeing a large influx of developers and investors which many realtors are happy to see. Projection shows that late 2013 and early 2014 would reveal many construction projects due to the condo boom and would open to the public for acquisition sometimes early 2015.

Prices Going Up

Miami real estate is expected to see a semblance of growth as median prices of condo units rise spurned by the condo boom in Bal Harbour-Surfside. Statistic shows that resale of condo unit average at $230 to $260 per square foot before the condo boom arrived -- this was between 2005 and 2008. However, median prices rose to $270 to $300 per square foot when St. Regis opened its doors to the public.

Some realtors speculate that Miami investment properties on condominiums would see much larger growth if the current trend continues as local and international buyers joined in on the current fad.

Despite prices going up, Miami real estate saw a rise in acquisition - resale and foreclosures - that wouldn't be stopping anytime soon even if new condo towers appear out of the blue.

Wise Investment Opportunities

Property buyers who want to take advantage of the current trend would find a lucrative market in Miami investment properties. Despite prices being on the rise, it is still low enough for an affordable acquisition but not high enough to merit financial meltdown. Due to the influx of interested parties willing to put a hand in the acquisition of Miami condos - whether in Miami-Dade or South Florida in general; experts advise investors to keep an open mind in what they plan to buy in order to get the most out of the market.

William W. Teho, Jr.
Miami Investment Properties

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Making the Most of Living in a Condo

Most people, at some point in their lives, will find themselves living in a condo for a period of time. Sometimes this is due to cost concerns, and other times it's an option for individuals who want to live conveniently. While there are compromises that have to be made when living in a condo, there are advantages as well. Here are some of the best ways to live happily in a condo.

Decorate Mindfully

Because there is only a limited amount of space in a condo, you have to make the most out of what you have. Cluttering your apartment with too much furniture will make your space seem even smaller. Instead, you have to choose your furniture pieces mindfully. Only include items that are essential, such as a dining table, a couch, a bed, some chairs. In each individual room, place just a few pieces that add character and personality. You'll find that in a condo, less if definitely more.

Enjoy your Amenities

Condos usually come equipped with a gym, a pool, and other amenities. Make the most out of your building and take advantage of these perks. You are usually paying for these amenities via strata fees, so you might as well make the most of them. It will also get you out of the confined space of your apartment and out socializing with other people in your building.

Get Out Often

Most condos are located in busy or popular areas. Take advantage of this close proximity and enjoy your neighborhood. Go out for dinner often, go for long walks, window shop, and get to know the area. More often than not, you are paying for the area you are living in, not the specific apartment itself, so get out there and enjoy!

Look for Community Activities

Although condos are convenient and they house a lot of people, they also contribute to a lot of isolation. People tend to stay in their apartments and very rarely get to know their neighbors. Because of this, community centers often have social gatherings so that people can feel more connected. Look for activities around your neighborhood that you can attend. This is a great way to get to know people and to expand your existing group of friends.

Living in a condo comes with many advantages. In order to ensure that you make the most out of your experience, make sure that you decorate your apartment mindfully, enjoy your amenities, get out often, and get involved in the community. This will enhance your experience and make the most out of condo living.

Go South Young Man - A Manchester Landmark Takes the Next Step

In 2003, a group of investors took a collective breath and convinced themselves that the wave of the future in Downtown Richmond was... SOUTH.


"No right-minded Richmonder would want to live in Manchester" was the common thought. "We had to PAY SunTrust to stay" was the mindset among those 'in the know.' Residential development in Manchester would not work.

Flash forward to 2010 and you will find 1000 separate residences in the industrial Manchester. You will find one of the most amazing commercial offices in the city in the Commons at Plant Zero. You will find one of the most intriguing creative flexible office environments at The Corrugated Box Building. You will find apartments and condos and flats and lofts and studios and restaurants and bars.

You will also find the building that started it all, Warehouse 201.

What makes the W201 story so interesting is that it was literally the first building renovated using historic credits in industrial Manchester. It was also the first RESIDENTIAL option in industrial Manchester at the time. What was once a 5 story concrete warehouse building, while only steps from Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip, alone on its own, is now the gatekeeper to over 1000 residential units that have come to life in only the last 7 years. That is pretty incredible.

The development momentum that was initiated by Warehouse 201 in Manchester has now spread to much of the district smaller and mid-sized buildings. Dwarfing them all is the Reynold South Plant site which abuts the property to the south. 17 acres large with over 400,000 square feet of historic warehouse structure to renovate, South Plant is poised to change the landscape in Richmond.

While I doubt that Warehouse 201 will go down in the history of Richmond real estate, it probably should. In 2003, Richmond, Virginia, especially the Downtown market in Richmond Va was a lot different than it is today. Condo projects such as The Vistas on the James, Riverside on the James, The Reserve, The Emrick Flats, The Marshall Street Bakery, Old Manchester Lofts, 2C and Miller and Rhodes were not built. For the most part, these projects had not even been considered. Convincing a bank that building a bunch of flats in an area where no one lived, across the River that so divides our city was a risky endeavor, for sure. Building it in a minimalist industrial fashion was nuts. Or was it?

The successful re-positioning/vitalizing/development of Manchester had to begin somewhere. It began at 201 Hull Street in 2003 at Warehouse 201.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Essential Steps When Purchasing a Condo

Whether you're purchasing your first condo or your sixth, it's important to be mindful and to make informed choices. Open houses and apartment showings can be deceptive sometimes. The nice food spreads and the soothing voices of the real estate agents can cloud your vision when it comes to purchasing a condo. In order to make the most informed decision you can, follow these simple steps.

Narrow Down What You Want

Before you even start your search, make sure that you know exactly the type of condo you're looking for. Are you wanting a downtown unit in a trendy area or a larger apartment for a small family? Figure out what your priorities are and decide on what you need and what you can do without. The more specific you are in your choices, you better your prospects will be.

Find the Right Agent

The best agents are the ones that specialize in one or two types of properties. Once you know what kind of apartment you want, then you should start looking for an agent that deals specifically with this type of property. Ask your friends and colleagues for suggestions. Do an extensive search on the internet. Hold interviews with prospective agents. The more research you do, the better able you will be to find the perfect agent.

Ask for Many Options

Once you've found your agent, ask them to look for many properties. Don't let them just show you one or two units. Ask for at least five suitable options and remind them that quality is key. By looking at many properties, you can narrow down the units that best suit your needs.

Figure out a Condo's Reputation

An already existing condo is bound to have a reputation attached to it. If you think you've found your perfect unit, don't put down a quote immediately. Ask the residents what they think of the building they're living in. Note if most of the residents are long-term or short-term. If you notice that a lot of people come in and out of the building, there might be sometime questionable about it. However, if you notice that most of the people who live there have stayed there, then you might have a great apartment on your hands.

It can be very exciting to buy a condo, especially if it's your first one. But you have to make intelligent choices and not be swept away by the experience. Figure out what you want, find an agent that can give it to you, and find a suitable building. Taking the time to make the right choices will ensure that your unit will give you satisfaction for many years to come.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Condo Living: Five Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Those of us who live in areas where the winter weather is cold and snow covers the ground have at least some appreciation for the change of seasons. We may not love it, and we may get sick of it, but we might just find we miss it, even a little bit, if it were gone. At the same time, we have a couple words to describe what we sometimes feel during long strings of cold: winter blues. Following are five ways for condo owners to beat the winter blues.

1. Get some exercise. Clearing snow, whether via shovel or snowblower, is not that fun. But at least it is a way for single-family homeowners to get some exercise during the winter. Condo owners do not have that option. But exercise is a good way to stay in a positive frame of mind, so make it a point to climb the stairs, or take the long way when you walk home from work.

2. Plan a vacation. Sure, clearing the snow may get single-family homeowners some exercise, but it also ties them down. Condo owners do not have such obligations. They can pack up and get out of Dodge without worrying about how the mailman will get to the mailbox, or if the house will stay warm enough while they are gone. They can just pack up and go. And we all know how vacations, even short ones, to warm-weather spots really can do a person good.

3. Take advantage of your surroundings. By virtue of their urban locations, condo owners have access to a virtually unlimited supply of entertainment options. So even if you consider yourself a homebody, get out and see what the city has to offer. You may find a restaurant unlike any at which you have eaten before, or museum with an unforgettable exhibit. At the very least, you get out of your condo and get some fresh air.

4. Use your amenities. If your condo building has amenities like a pool and fitness room, take advantage of them. Not many people have such easy access to pools, fitness rooms, and other amenities that get your blood pumping. And the best part of all is you do not even have to go out into the cold to use them.

5. Take up a winter sport. Cross-country skiers love the winter because it is the only time they can partake in the activity. Same with downhill skiers. And ice-skaters. And those who like sledding. Sure, you probably will have to own some equipment, or rent it, but if you are willing to try new things, it is quite likely you can find a new winter activity very close to home.

Selling Your Condo Privately: Consider These Risks of For Sale by Owner

Are you thinking of selling your condo yourself to save money on a real estate broker's commission? I admit, saving money is a good idea. But not if doing so puts you at risk. There are multiple reasons you should not try to sell your condo on your own.

For one thing, you will likely not save much money. Condos for sale by their owners are known to attract low-ball offers from predatory investors. Even honest buyers will calculate the commission you would have paid a realtor at your current asking price, and will expect you to drop your price by that much. Plus, a 1992 study showed that real estate agents can get 9 1/2% more for a similar home in the same neighborhood than a For Sale by Owner.

Then there is the difficulty of attracting buyers. If your property is not listing on the Multiple Listing Service, the majority of people hunting for a condo like yours will never know it is for sale. Attracting buyers costs money and involves expertise. You must spend money advertising your property where buyers are looking (the MLS, local newspaper classifieds, real estate magazines, and more). And you must write your advertisement using the same level of skill that realtors take years to master. Not easy.

Another problem you face is screening buyers. When you do not have a realtor working for you, protecting your interests, you feel obliged to show your condo to every buyer who shows an interest. This is a huge waste of your time. Not all apparent buyers want to buy. Some tour open houses for a hobby. Not all buyers are qualified. Plenty of them either have not met with their banker, lack a down payment, have too many other debts to carry a mortgage on your property, have insufficient income to afford the monthly mortgage payments, property taxes and condo fees, or in other ways are not qualified to buy your unit. Competent realtors screen buyers before they show them any properties.

You may also put yourself at considerable legal risk by selling your condominium on your own. For example, a buyer may present an offer on your property using a home-made agreement of purchase and sale. This contract may contain terms and clauses that are against your interests. Terms and clauses that deal with such vital matters as who takes title, when the existing mortgage is paid in full, and who is liable for repairs after the sale closes can be worded in such a way that they leave you at risk, are unenforceable, favour the buyer rather than you, or render the contract void or voidable.

Finally, there is the matter of your personal safety. Selling your condo yourself requires you to open your home to strangers. That leaves you vulnerable to theft, burglary and home invasion. Even realtors have been attacked and murdered while showing homes. Identity theft is another risk, especially if you publish your name, address, phone number and email address in your advertisements.

My advice to you is to retain the services of a professional real estate agent to sell your condo. You will likely sell it faster, for more money, and with fewer headaches and hassles, than going it alone.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How to Choose a For Sale By Owner Real Estate Service

Maybe you don't have a lot of equity built up in your home and the thought of having to pay high real estate commissions to a broker just isn't possible. Or maybe you just like saving money when you can. What ever your reason for looking at for sale by owner real estate options you're not alone.

More and more people every year are looking for alternatives to full service real estate firms in order sell their homes. So what are you really giving up if you choose to sell your own house versus using a realtor? and what should you watch out for when choosing a company to list your home on your own? We'll answer these two questions in this article.

What Are You Losing by Going For Sale By Owner

The long and short of it is you need to handle everything when you're selling your own home. A good for sale by owner brokerage will get your house listed on MLS so that other buyers and potential buying agents can see find the house, however after that it's all you.

Where a full service selling agent would field phone calls, emails etc. from prospective buyers and agents that will fall on your shoulders. Arranging showings and negotiating a deal with a buyer will also be something you'll need to deal with when you do find a buyer.

What to Look For in a Company

The key to having a successful for sale by owner transaction is getting your home on the multiple listings service (MLS) in your province.

MLS is still the most used website by individuals when searching homes for sale and is the only site that licensed realtors use when seeking homes for their buying clients. In a nutshell if your home isn't listed on MLS then the majority of people searching for homes in your area isn't going to find it. So ensure that the company you choose includes a listing on MLS in your province.

Second, get a yard sign. People driving through neighborhoods they like will often see a sign and then note the address to search on MLS later. If you don't have a yard sign then people won't know your home is for sale.

Now these final points aren't a must but can be of great assistance.

If the brokerage you deal with offers assistance with the sales transaction for a fee that can be worth it. Selling can be tedious and making sure you cross your t's and dot your i's is essential.

Also having the option to flip to full service real estate probably isn't a bad thing either. Of course you always hope that your home sells using the sell your own home model, in some instances you might need the help of a full service agent to find a buyer.

For Sale By Owner

The "for sale by owner "terminology involves a process in real estate dealings where the property transaction is done by the buyer and the seller without any middle man. Usually, real estate deals whether outright sales or for rental purposes invariably have the middle man or the real estate agent or broker and it is he or she who swings the deal for a commission payout.

This payout could be either from the seller or from the buyer or from both. The commission structure and terms do vary from country to country and even within countries as the real estate market is not something that is highly regulated in most countries.

In the US, this commission can be as high as 6% of the selling price and that is quite a big amount. People therefore want to avoid incurring this expense and that is where the "for sale by owner" principle comes into play.

In a "for sale by owner" transaction, the seller typically makes use of a marketing company to do the marketing of the property and with the help of a lawyer; he ensures that the legal angle is well addressed.

Now we have talked about this arrangement from the seller's perspective. If a particular buyer who has engaged a real estate agent to help him wishes to take the "for sale by owner" route, the agent may still request the seller to pay him his commission. The seller though is under no obligation to make any commission to him and he has to do with what the buyer would pay him.

As an owner, if you want to take the "for sale by owner" approach, then you have to be prepared to do everything on your own. The advantages you get by selling your property yourself though is substantial as you get to keep the proceeds and you also get to deal directly with the buyer. There are many buyers who too are interested in taking the "for sale by owner" approach and therefore it is entirely up to you on how you want to sell your property.

The "for sale by owner" real estate transaction is definitely a good one if you and the buyer take the time and effort to get acquainted with yourselves with all the legal aspects and are willing to take on the responsibilities that are usually handled by real estate middlemen.

Changing Appraisals

Let's say that the lender your friend referred to you is, well, not living up to your high standards. Or any standard for that matter. No return phone calls. No communication whatsoever from your loan officer and your loan processor is just plain rude. So you decide to change lenders and call up your bank and tell them your sob story. They're happy to take your application and will send you some papers to sign that will start the mortgage process. But they don't want the appraisal from your old lender, even if you've already paid for it. What?

As part of the loan approval process a lender not only approves you, the borrower but also approves the property. Property approval is performed with an appraisal of the property. The appraisal is an independent evaluation of the current market value of the subject property. And you gave the lender $500 for the appraisal. You should be able to transfer still use that appraisal at your bank now, right? After all, you paid for it.

Even if you paid for an appraisal the appraisal doesn't belong to you. Yes, you get a copy but it's not yours. In fact, if you look on the front of your copy it will state that the appraisal was prepared for your old lender. And your new lender isn't obligated to use it.

A lender can have its own internal guidelines regarding appraisals and one of those guidelines might be that they don't accept appraisals performed for other lenders. In this case you may be on the hook paying for yet another appraisal.

Some lenders do accept an appraisal to be transferred under certain conditions. First, the old lender will prepare some paperwork authorizing the transfer and the new lender will want to review the transfer paperwork as well as the appraisal itself. If the lender accepts the new appraisal you may only encounter a negligible fee called a "retype fee" which is nothing more than replacing the name of the old lender with the name of the new lender on the appraisal. If you change lenders midstream, make sure you're clear on transferring an appraisal. It's completely up to the lender to accept or deny a transfer request.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Important Aspects of Property Inspections

Purchasing a new home is one of the single largest investments that most individuals ever make. It is a must that an individual is informed and educated well in advance about the property that he/she is going to purchase. This can be made possible only by getting the inspection of the property done by a professional home inspector.

Inspection of property entails complete examination of the possession and is focused on informing and educating the client about the property. It helps in identifying the condition of the house and the need to do any type of maintenance that requires to be done before buying. This job is targeted more at providing an informative, detailed and objective evaluation of the property so that the buyers get a bigger picture of the property that he/she is intending to buy.

Main aspects of property inspections:

When examining the different areas of a property, the examining professional makes a quick circuit of the house size to measure the scope of the inspection. He/she would be inspecting all the visible areas and review all accessible items including:

Heating systems
Central air condition system
Doors and windows
Basement or crawl space and the foundation
Walls, ceilings and floors
Electrical systems
Termite inspection
Complete structural inspection

Out of all the above mentioned examinations done during the assessment of property, the ones that are of utmost importance are termite, plumbing and inspection of electrical systems.

Inspection of termites- This job is a visual examination of the readily accessible areas of home to find out whether there is evidence of termites and other wood destroying insects or not. The professional conducting this job will find out all the spaces including the basement and exteriors of a property to find out whether there are any traces of termites or not. If these insects are traced, they help their clients to get rid of them by using different termite prevention treatments.

Plumbing inspection- During this analysis, the appointed examining professional will check whether the interior plumbing system of the property is working properly or not. He/she will check the pipes, faucets and fixtures installed in the property. The home inspector will also check whether the pressure of water is good or not, If the examiner identifies that the pressure of water is poor, he/she would let his client know about it in advance. Apart from this, he/she would also check the entire drainage system to ensure that it is good running condition.

Inspection of the electrical systems- While inspecting the electrical system of a property, the property inspector will check whether all the electrical points are in good condition or not. He/she will check the main electrical service line and will make sure that the electrical wires used in the property are up to the mark or not.

Buying A Country Home

Things to consider when buying a home in the country moving to the country be prepared for some changes you may not be aware of. Here are some helpful insights to think about.

1. On site well and septic

Well water quality and quantity. Some dug wells will go dry in the summer.

Older septic. What is in the ground? Is it a concrete tank. What is the field bed? When was the tank pumped last?

2. Homes built longer than 17 or 18 years ago were 2"x4" framing R12 and R20 insulation. Newer homes are 2"x6" framing R20 and R40 insulation.

3. Things to note: Age of roof, windows, plumbing and wiring. Size of electrical service. Some older homes may have a 100 amp panel but still have a 60 amp service. Older toilets use 3 or 4 gallons per flush. Newer low flush toilets only use about ½ a gallon. Important with a dug well where there may be quantity issues.

4. Black flies and mosquitoes can be thick in some rural areas. Near a farm? Manure will be spread spring and fall.

5. Exposure to weather. Long driveways may drift in the winter. Some winters we can get a lot of snow. Don't under estimate the difficulty that comes with that. May be lovely in the summer but be pre-pared for winter.

6. Wood heat. Is the stove CSA approved and is the installation W.E.T.T.

Certified? Will be an issue with insurance. Most insurance companies have a 50% surcharge if you burn more than 2 chords of wood. Fire wood in the area averages $200 per chord delivered ready for the stove. The average home with a wood furnace will burn 3 to 6 chords a season.

7. Watch for formiculite insulation in older homes as it may contain asbestos.

8. Know where the schools are and where the school bus stops.

9. Allow extra time for traveling in the winter. 25 minutes to work in the summer could easily become 45 minutes on slippery roads.

10. Where is the closest church of your denomination? What is available for recreation and minor sports for the kids.

11. So you want to farm a little. Does the zoning allow for that. Make sure there are no restrictive covenants against it.

12. Horses your pleasure. Some municipal governments have specific by-laws like 1 1/2 acres for the first horse and 1/2 acre for each additional horse.

13. Secondary roads may not be plowed as quick as main roads.

14. Garbage and recyclable. Ask how they are handled and if pick ups are scheduled.

15. Lots of grass to mow? Don't expect that push mower and your back to handle it. You will need a ride on.

16. Be ready for any extended power outages. A home with a generator could be something to think about. If not have an emergency plan in place.With today's extreme weather don't be caught unprepared.

17. Last but not least. If you don't know ask. I love living in the country but even an old pro like me has been caught unprepared from time to time when I under estimated mother nature.

Just some tips based on my 38 years in the real estate business


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Gathering Your Stuff

As you consider refinancing your mortgage or you're shopping for a home and will need a home loan, time is really of the essence. Sales contracts have specific dates that require certain things to be done and refinance applications are subject to prevailing mortgage rates so anything you and your lender can do to speed up the mortgage process will help you sleep better at night. There are some things that borrowers can do at the time of the initial loan application that can "grease the wheels" and it all comes down to verification.

A lender will want to verify your income and asset documentation at the outset. Yes, your loan application will state how much money you make and how much money is in the bank but you will be asked for certain pieces of information so it's best to gather that information before you apply for a mortgage.

You'll need to provide your most recent paycheck stubs covering a 30 day period that also shows year-to-date income. That means most recent and it also means that if you get paid every other week you'll need to provide three paystubs instead of two. If during the approval process another payday has passed, keep that paycheck stub because a copy of that will need to be included in your loan file. You will also need to provide your two year most recent tax returns and W2 forms.

To document sufficient funds to close on your transaction, provide only the bank or investment statements from the accounts you'll be using in order to close on your application. This also means include all pages from your statements, even if some of those pages are blank. Finally, make sure that your application is 100% complete, with signatures where they need to be as well as places where your initial is required.

By having all your initial documentation along with your loan application, your loan will be processed much more quickly giving you plenty of time to close on your transaction.

Buy My Home As Is and Buy It Fast

A reselling of the home is mostly done in the as is condition. In the busy world, you hardly get time to sit for wholesale renovation. Buyers are all the time moving with the plea buy my house as is. In fact, it is strictly mentioned at the time of the deal that the property is sold without warranty and absolutely with no change in the status. At times, a property requires having an as is legal sanctioning for hassle free buying and selling. If you are buying an asset without any possible transformation, then you need to appoint an inspector. He would come and look into the details to ensure that the property does not have any major fault.

Looking for the Right Buyer
As is buying becomes applicable in cases when you need to get your home sold fast. A sudden change in the job, a plan to relocate due to professional and personal hassles and even cases of foreclosure can make you sell out the property at a fast rate. These are unfortunate cases. You have to approach a company with buy my house fast plea and see to the fact that the deal is closed in time. As is and fast buying are emergency selling conditions. Very few authentic companies would vote for such processes and give you money in hand in a week's time.

The Status of the Property
Before you decide to buy a property, there are things to make sure of. It is important for a company to decide whether it is in the state of paying attention to the call of buy my house as is. An as is property can be of any desired shape and size. There can be defects with the construction, and there can even be disputes in the manner of property claim. An as is home buyer takes account of nothing. He seems like a messiah as if trying to get you out of the chaos.

Getting Everything Out of the Property
There are opportunist home buyers who keep a link with as is home buying companies for lucrative leads. Properties with disputes and constructional flaws are bought and sold cheap. Thus, the third party buyer is benefitted in the process as they can buy a significantly big property at an attractive cost. Rather than renting, it is best to invest one-time money in home buying. It is undesirable spending unnecessarily every month. Being a part of buy my house as is transaction, you are open to buy a property cheap, and when taking a loan against the property you have chances to build equity and receive advantages in the form of tax benefits.

Check for a Good and Suitable Locality
It is always good to buy a property without renovation. You then have scopes to invest dreams and ideas in making the property applicable to life and desire. However, one thing which is important for you to check with is the standard of the locality. There should be good people living in the neighborhood. It is important for you to figure out that the buy my house as is seller is not selling out the property due to a misfit locality. Buy a house only when you know that it is the right property to invest in.

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Owning a Luxurious Apartment in Pune Is Considered Vogue

Pune is one of the favorite destinations of many people, for it offers good employment in IT sectors, excellent living spaces in premium residential locations and higher education in top educational institutes. Today, more and more people are locating in Pune for securing a better lifestyle.

The Trend of Real Estate in Pune:
The real estate in Pune comprises a gain of 40% of total investments. The latest trend of housing is the luxury villas and homes. There is a booming demand of sophisticated luxury homes and apartments in Pune. Owning a luxurious apartment in Pune is similar to having a new identity in the city. Such apartments in Pune are available in a variety of combinations coexisting with 2 bhk, 3 bhk, 4 bhk and 5 bhk configurations. These modern infrastructures are rapidly growing popularity mainly in the suburban areas like Kharadi, Wakad, Aundh and Hinjewadi. There was a historic time where these locations in Pune did not have trendier homes, solid foundations or any sort of a decent lifestyle. In present times, it is good news for the city to witness immense growth and development in every sector of real estate and groundwork. To gain a serene experience and real essence of luxurious living; residing amidst the beautiful natural bounties away from bustle and commotion of the city is favorable.

Residential Benefits of Living in Kharadi:
Kharadi is one of those handpicked locations in the city that has developed estimable name in the real estate market. It is a prime location in the city where one can conveniently seek out for good configured apartments at affordable prices. Flats in Kharadi promisingly offer good facilities, spectacular landscapes and abundant greenery. Moreover, other modern specifications such as modular aluminum sliding windows, granite kitchens, vitrified tiles for every room, and earthquake resistant RCC structures are offered in these elegant and luxurious apartments in Pune. The 3 bhk, 4 bhk and 5 bhk apartments are large in sizes and render satisfactory, spacious living areas for big joint families. So, if you plan to buy 2/3/4 bhk in Kharadi, the aforementioned housing perks are sure to tag along.

The residential flats in Kharadi are economical and luxurious. They are an absolute combination of apartment configuration and semi-luxurious villas. There are many well established and quality real estate developers who have built premium projects in Kharadi. The apartments in such uber-luxurious projects are poised to cater exclusive designs in infrastructure and modern lifestyle. Also, children's play area, intercom security systems, fitness clubs are features real estate buyers wish to receive in such premium projects. Speaking of other factors like sense of peace, security and pleasure are involved and entrusted. They are an absolute delight at sight. When one can benefit a wide range of prestigious amenities for healthy and holistic living, planning to buy 2/3/4 bhk in Kharadi can appear to be a sensible option for such individuals.

After reading through the above content, the benefit of investing in a luxurious apartment in Pune is worth the value. Along with decent amenities and facilities, one is ameliorated with a sophisticated and serene lifestyle.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

What Is a Ransom Strip?

A Ransom Strip is a small piece of land retained by the Seller of the land when the land is sold. The Seller retains the small piece of land as a mechanism for retaining control over the use and/or development of the land.

Why Have a Ransom Strip?
The most common form is a small strip of land (it may be no more than 150mm wide, sufficient only to be able to show up on a plan) that is retained by a previous owner of the land or by the previous owner of adjoining land. The piece of land is commonly between the boundaries of a property and the highway.
In most cases the intention behind keeping it is to prevent the further development of the property. It may be used to secure an Overage payment by preventing the property owner from having unfettered access to their property. The difficulty comes when the property owner finds an alternative route of access or acquires a right of access over the land by prescription or 'long use'.

An additional purpose is to enable the previous landowner to be able to enforce restrictive covenants (imposed by them) by retaining ownership of land abutting the property sufficient to show loss of amenity in the event that the owner of the property breaches a restrictive covenant.

Developers may use the mechanism of a Ransom Strip when building an estate next to undeveloped land, for example on the edge of 'Green Belt' or 'Agricultural Land'. A prudent developer will always take in to consideration the likelihood of the future development of the adjoining land; even if the land where it is cannot currently be built on due to planning restrictions - that may change in the future. Having installed all of the roads, sewers and other infrastructure for the estate, they need to guard against the future developers of the adjoining land getting free benefit of their hard work and funding. Once the housing estate is developed it is likely that the roads and sewers will be adopted and therefore out of the control of the developer; however if the developer retains a strip of land between the highway and the adjoining land, all future developers will have to obtain the original developer's consent to gain access to the highway and to connect into the infrastructure. Any consents sought, would of course come at a price.

The Value of Ransom Strips
If the Ransom Strip lies between the property and the highway, the owner of the property will need to cross it to gain access to their property. If the property owner does not have the right to cross the Ransom Strip - their property is effectively land-locked and the value of property is negligible.- as there is no way to access it. The property owner then has to turn to the developer (or whoever owns it) in order to obtain the grant of a right of way or to purchase thei strip of land from them.

Ransom Strips are often a cause of litigation, especially in more recent housing estates. Generally it has been held by the Court that the value of a Ransom Strip is one third of the increase in value of the property achieved by the release of the Ransom Strip (either by the property owner buying the strip of land or achieving the necessary grant of a right of way).

An illustration would be a house with a large garden at the rear backing on to a Ransom Strip. With the Ransom Strip being present between the boundary and the highway, there is no way that access can be legally obtained to the property either pedestrian or vehicular. In its original state the land is therefore only good for use as a garden peripheral to the original house. The value of the garden is thus only a few thousand as it cannot be used on its own. Take away the Ransom Strip, and there is scope for pedestrian and vehicular access; the land now has potential for development - a house and a driveway; the value of the property immediately rises to several hundreds of thousands of pounds. The owner of the Ransom Strip can therefore, charge a hefty sum for that strip of land.

In order for a Ransom Strip to be effective, the developer or other owner of the strip of land must keep a vigilant eye on their property. If the owner of the property is able to access their property over the Ransom Strip by claiming a right of way by prescription ('long use') - the value of that strip of land (ransom strip) will be greatly diminished.

How can you avoid a Ransom Strip?
The short answer is by taking great care when purchasing the property. A competent Conveyancer will always check the boundaries and will note if for example there is a piece of land between the boundaries of the property and the highway or neighbouring property, which is not accounted for and may possibly be a ransom strip. If the title to the Property is registered, at the HM Land Registry, this is generally achieved by careful examination of the filed plan.

With land where the title is not registered at HM Land Registry, this can be more problematic - as the Conveyancer will have to rely on old deeds with plans that are generally not drawn to scale. A competent Conveyancer will always obtain an up to date plan of the property from the Ordinance Survey and carry out a Search of the Index Map to check for amongst other things, whether there is any part of the land that has been registered. However, in the case of unregistered land determining the boundaries of the property is not an exact science, and may involve surveyors from the HM Land Registry having to determine the boundaries by visiting the property. With registered land, the matter is more straight forward as the boundaries have already been defined by the HM Land Registry and compensation may be payable if there is any loss due to their error.

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4 Green Building Features That You Should Consider

As they say, there's really no stopping progress. It's evident today how fast this progress is taking place. Buildings are constructed every now and then. There's an increase demand for quality homes. Unfortunately, construction will always have an impact on the environment.

The good news, however, is that we could always choose to have a "positive" impact by the correct use of natural resources, materials, designs, by using environmentally sound construction methods and choosing locations carefully.

When considering green building, take note of the following important points.

Find the proper location and maximize its potentials.
This is the first consideration of sustainable building. Your home's location will have an impact on your energy consumption, transportation needs, home design and materials. It should be developed to correspond to the principles of "sustainable design," which aims to build functional infrastructures while benefiting both humans and environment.

Make use of renewable resources.
One of the issues that the United States faces today is the depletion of fossil fuel supply. That's why it's more important to look for renewable resources, decrease energy consumption and increase efficiency of your building's structure to minimize dependence on fossil fuel, which is non-renewable.
Look into how you can integrate renewable resources, like solar, wind and water, to your home design. A renewable resource refers to resources that are easily grown, replaced and is found locally.

Practice the reuse-recycle concept.
If you're buying a property with an existing structure, maybe you could salvage some of its materials to include in your new structure. In that way, you can save on costs and minimize wastage. Fortunately, there are specialty stores and manufacturers that offer green or recycled construction materials.

Improve the air quality of your home interior environment.
A green building should facilitate proper ventilation, prevents moisture buildup, use non-toxic materials and fixtures and proper temperature control. Your home interior environment could quickly determine your comfort level and health. Be sure to use the proper air conditioning systems, materials, installation techniques and home design to enhance your indoor air quality.

In some cases, especially if you already have a home, there's no need to make drastic changes to your its structure. You just have to observe the proper "green" practices. For instance, you could plant trees at specific points on your home, like on the north or south side, to give shade during warm seasons.
Of course, there are other aspects of green building, so it's important to seek the advice of experts. They could help you figure out designs that can balance costs, efficiency and environmental benefits that will meet your goals.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Explaing Buyer Brokerage To A Buyer

Many real estate agents are having issues explaining buyer representation to perspective clients. I'm referring to what is typically known as buyer brokerage. The problem is generally a result of the buyer not grasping the concept, combined with the real estate agent not using the suitable words and phrases to fully explain exactly how beneficial it is for buyers to use it.

The very first thing a real estate agent must do is to get them to understand the big difference between a conventional agent and a buyer's agent. To do this goal effectively he or she must cover the points that give them an advantage when using buyer brokerage. For instance here are several ideas you can use in your presentation.

• The buyer's agent will have a fiduciary relationship with the buyer and not the seller.
• The agent is representing the buyer and not the seller
• He or she will negotiate in behalf of the buyer and not the seller
• He or she will negotiate the lowest price for the buyer
• The agent will point out both the good and the bad aspects of the property.
• The agent will be able to show the buyers more properties than a conventional agent can.
• They can show them properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service, expired listings, withdrawn listings, for sale by owner, other company's exclusive listings and new construction.
• The buyer pays the commission whether an agent is representing them or not.
• At the request of the buyers the offer to the seller will include a provision to include the real estate fee and that the fee will come out of the proceeds just as it does with a regular deal.
• They will have the agent's strict confidentiality.
• The agent will keep them informed.
• The agent can give advice, counsel and judgment.
• They will be the buyer's professional shopper always looking at properties with their interest in mind.
• Buyers can also go shopping on their own and have the buyer's agent review it later.

These are just some of the tips you can use when you are doing a buyer's presentation. In case you are having problems convincing them to enlist your services as their agent you must go over these pointers and practice them by yourself when in front of a mirror or perhaps along with another agent that will practice with you.

An additional technique I've discovered that is very beneficial would be to practice speaking into a tape recorder and listening to your presentation played back and doing it over and over. Keep practicing your speech until your presentation sounds good. This works exceptionally well. Good luck!

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Choosing the Right Estate Agent in Surrey

Surrey is probably the most sought after county in the United Kingdom, not only because of its natural beauty but also because of its very close proximity to London and the major airports in the South of the country.

Surrey property ranges from small apartments all the way up to big and expensive mansions. Especially the Virginia Water and the Wentworth Estate area host some world renowned sports people and multi millionaires, such as Ernie Els, a former world number one golfer.

As a result, the property transactions are much more different in nature compared to the rest of the country. It is for this reason that the services of a credible estate agent are a highly recommended.

These property professionals have the necessary in depth knowledge that sets them apart from any layman regarding property ventures. Whether you are buying, selling or renting, you can be sure that a credible agent will be able to offer the valuable advice.

However just like any other field there are different levels of expertise for those who consider themselves professionals. So, anyone seeking property consultancy in Surrey should gather some background knowledge about the individual or company that they will transact with. The reason for this is that the bottom line for each agent is to make a profit and the profit factor may override the essence of customer satisfaction for some agents. Prior to signing any documentation, you should be sure that the Surrey estate agent you are dealing with is fully licensed and provides the best possible services. Getting into a contract with an unlicensed entity will surely bring about plenty of legal issues somewhere along the line.

So, how you can tell if a Surrey estate agent is legitimate? Well, just by asking a few locals you will be able to establish a few credible names in the property circles. Definitely a few names will stand out. You can also do a simple online search which will enable you to zero in on several potential agents. If you have the time you can visit specific agents to gather more in-depth information.

Once you have settled on a specific estate agent it is time to get down to business. You will need to acquire additional information that will be helpful in your future transaction. This will include the following:
  • "What are the current trends in the Surrey property market at the moment and in the near future?" By knowing this you will be able to know whether it is the best time to transact or not.
  • "Which areas of Surrey offer good return on investment with so many expensive and exclusive properties?" - the property market often has great bargains and this will be an opportunity to know if Surrey has any great offerings as far as property is concerned.
  • "What are the expected commission fees for the agency?" - this will give you the chance to estimate your expenditure for the entire transaction.
Most importantly though, they need to be able to understand the pitfalls of the old Georgian and Victorian properties, which are very prominent in the area. Also, they need understand why Virginia Water, for example, is a really good place to invest in while Egham is cheaper compared to its neighbours.
It is essential to have a trusted estate agent on board when buying or selling property in Surrey as this will smoothen an otherwise rigorous process in the property business.

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Tips for Becoming an Effective Real Estate Agent

The real estate game is a very competitive one. If you do not man up, you can easily get blown away by the competition. There are 1000's of agents all over the country fighting for pole position, trying to represent the interests of potential clients every day. These clients want the best of the best. They are always on the lookout for agents who are effective and who offer a wide array of great services. Here are some tips that can help you become an effective real estate agent.

Negotiating Skills
Negotiating skills are a crucial component for any serious-minded agent. Negotiation includes bagging the best price for your deal and also ensuring your commission part works out as well. Sterling negotiation skills aligned with effective communication abilities are important. And this actually begins when your first potential client steps on the scene.

It is vital that you sell yourself as an effective agent first to the people that you want to do business with. Then you can continue the negotiations with potential sellers over the phone, by email or in person. Getting a buyer to sign a contract is a daunting task, one that only a good negotiating agent can win.

Ask for Referrals
Never take it for granted that your clients would automatically refer people to you. You might have done a good job. But they need to be reminded. Do not think that this is awkward. Most clients would do this for you without too much thought if your reputation is a good one.
If you are avoiding this, it means that you want to spend 1ooo's of dollars in advertising and marketing instead. And with that there is no guarantee that it would be as effective as asking for new clients from previous ones.

Get on the Internet
Never believe the old-timers and think you can make this business work without leveraging on the Internet. The world has gone digital and you need the Internet to compete favorably in today's real estate market. You will need to build a website, use social media, learn how to upload attractive pictures of your listings and get a hang of SEO optimization as well.
There would come a time when it would be hard to get your marketing out the door because you are occupied with other things. So you need a virtual assistant working for you overtime, without pay 24-7 and 365.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Introducing the Road Safety Audit Checklist

Stage 1 of the road safety audit takes place after the preliminary design has been completed and ideally before the planning permission is granted for the development scheme. If it is a major construction project then it is also necessary to determine the amount of land required to meet all the safety requirements.

It is essential to check any elements of horizontal and vertical alignments in order to minimize any hazards caused by reduced sight-lines. This is particularly important where the scheme departs from normal standards. With regards to sight-lines consider all other obstructions that may be caused by such things as parapets, bridge abutments, structures and street furniture (eg. signs, bollards, seating, cycle parking).

Junctions are places of high risk which are often a cause for delay and where collisions tend to happen. Therefore, it is essential to review all conflict points at junctions (especially private access points) in order to minimize hazards. Check the visibility of the actual junction upon approach including sight-lines from minor roads and private access points. All things considered, it is important to control approach speed to the junction and review the layout of the approach roads. It is also good practice to consider any provision for turning traffic as well as location and access of lay-bys. With regards to lay-bys, it is important to remember the impact that parked vehicles may have on sight lines.

What else needs to be reviewed within the preliminary design?

1. The impact of landscaping
2. Perceptions of road users towards road markings and signage
3. Provision of safety aids on steep hill such as crawler lanes
4. Considerations on visibility regarding crests and bends
5. Provision of facilities for other highway users such as pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders
6. Potential for flooding due to inadequate drainage
7. Issues around lighting including positioning of lighting columns
8. Any maintenance arrangements (street cleansing, security, footways)
9. Impact on the safe use of adjacent land
10. Provisions for vulnerable users such as the elderly, disabled and children

With all these concerns about safety and capacity, the 'sense of place' is often overlooked. It is important to remember that junctions (especially in urban areas) are places that people actually live around. Therefore, it is critical to find a happy balance between the practicalities of enabling all users to be able to easily get around safely and the actual aesthetics of the place that make it a positive experience for all highway users.
Peter Jessop Price is a director at Modal Group Ltd in the UK and has many years experience as a transport planning consultant. As transport planning consultants, Modal Group provides road safety audits and traffic surveys as part of both residential and commercial development schemes.

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Four Real Property Selling Tips

When selling real property, many people make very basic mistakes that can deny them access to potential buyers, or cause the to sell for thousands of dollars below what they could have received. It is important to approach the sale of a property carefully and methodically. Here a few tips that can help you get the most out of your property.

Don't advertise if you don't intend to sell yet. There was a time when sellers could "test the market" by putting up a property for sale, just to see what kind of offers come in. Nowadays, however, technology has created very easy ways for buyers to look up the history of a property; property that has been available for a long time without a sale conveys to potential buyers that the property is stale. This can be harmful to your objective of obtaining the best possible selling price.

Consult with real estate brokers. If you wish to get a rough idea of how much your property can go for, consult with a few real estate brokers in your area. Good brokers will be up-to-date on market trends and pricing, and will be able to give you valuable insights such as the speed at which properties are selling, and the price they usually go for.

Put your property's best face on. Although this should go without saying, some people actually neglect this step when selling property. Do everything you can to make your property sparkle. You don't have to spend a fortune in repairs and remodeling; just don't leave anything ugly out for potential buyers to see. You can't expect to sell a home if you constantly have to come up with statements like:

"...she doesn't look good now, but with a fresh coat of paint..."
"...has a lot of potential..."
"...was really beautiful when it was brand new..."

Although some buyers may be insightful, it much easier to sell something that already looks good, compared to something that has the potential to look good. Spending a hundred dollars sprucing up a property can drive its selling price up by thousands of dollars.

Be realistic in your expectations. Although it is certainly possible that waiting for a few more weeks or months will be just enough time for your property to catch the attention of someone willing to purchase it at a higher price, you have to remember that the world does not revolve around you and your sale. If you have a buyer with a great offer and money in his hand, don't leave him or her on hanging while you wait on what might be nothing but a fantasy.

Nephi Malit is a passionate writer who loves discussing just about anything. He is most interested in politics, health, law, and religion.
If you are looking to sell or purchase a home or real property in California, a real estate agent in Irvine can help you get the best deal possible.

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