Kimberley Martin - Pelletier Realty Group



Posted by Kimberley Martin on 9/27/2020

Have you heard a lot about HUD homes, but arenít sure if you should buy one or what the process entails?  HUD stands for The Department Of Housing And Urban Development. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) is a part of HUD. The FHA is where federal mortgage insurance comes from. If a home is foreclosed on and insured by the FHA, the lender has a right to file a claim for the balance due on the mortgage. The FHA will pay this claim, and then transfer the ownership of the property to the HUD who will sell the home.


Will A HUD Home Provide A Price Break? 


The answer to this question is not necessarily. A HUD home is appraised just like any other home for sale. The price is based on the fair market value of the home. The prices may be adjusted according to any repairs that need to be made to the home. Itís a good idea to have your realtor look into comparable prices for HUD homes, as these properties arenít guaranteed to be a deal.


Know that HUD homes are sold as-is. There isnít much negotiating like that of a typical home purchase. As the new owner, youíll be responsible for all of the repairs. Itís a good idea to invest in a home inspection before you buy a HUD home for this reason. Youíll have a better understanding of what youíre getting into with this type of home purchase. 


How Do You Begin The Search For A HUD Home?


Housing and Urban Development homes are listed by state on the departmentís website. This is a good place to start your search. The site also lists brokers who are approved by the HUD. You can then contact local brokers to show you the HUD properties that youíre interested in.


The Process Of Making An Offer


Buying a HUD property can be very different than buying any other type of home in that the offer process is a bit different. These properties are sold through bids. You must hire a licensed real estate agent to assist you in this process, you canít just put a bid in on your own. Youíll need to be sure that your offer is placed during the designated offer period. Either the highest bid is accepted or the bid that came in first in order will be taken. Generally, the HUD wants to take the offer that will get them the most profit.


Careful With Financing


The HUD does not finance homes. Youíll need to apply for a mortgage just as you would in buying any other home. Before you can even make an offer on a home you must have approved financing. If for some reason you get through the process of having your offer accepted on the home and the financing falls through, thereís a chance that you could lose your earnest money deposit.     

     





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Posted by Kimberley Martin on 9/20/2020

Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

Zombie properties are homes that have been visibly abandoned but actual ownership has not. The term became popular in the housing industry during the 2007-08 housing crisis when people being unable to make their mortgage payments reached a catastrophic point.

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, a firm that tracks different types of real estate data, zombie properties made up about 3% of all foreclosures in the U.S. in October 2019. These homes can be a good buy, but there are some challenges you should be aware of before signing on the dotted line.

How Does a Property Become Classified as a Zombie Property?

A zombie property occurs when a homeowner is told they are being foreclosed upon, and they leave their home believing they must immediately vacate. The zombie scenario arises when a bank either abandons or inadvertently never completes the foreclosure process, and the house is left in limbo with no one caring for the property.

Zombie properties can be very lucrative investments because they are often able to be purchased at rock-bottom rates. The problem is there are some risks involved with buying this type of property because they’ve essentially been abandoned for often long periods of time which sets the condition for many unfortunate events to occur.

Homes Have Been Trashed

In many foreclosure situations, a home is already left in poor condition. In many cases, the homeowner couldn’t financially keep up with upkeep, or they’ve purposely destroyed the home before they left. Any of these problems or others are further exasperated in zombie situations because there is a high probability more destruction has been heaped up upon the original neglect or damage.

Squatters May Have Created Uninhabitable Conditions

Once a house is recognized as a zombie property, squatters or vandals often decide the property is fair game. They might simply come inside to be destructive, or they may use it for their own purposes.

  • House might be full of graffiti.
  • Trash is left behind, and some of it may be unsanitary or hazardous (i.e. dirty diapers or needles).
  • Space may have been used for illegal drug activity, including meth labs, which the latter can create serious health risks.
  • Open windows, doors, or busted plumbing may have created moist conditions and dangerous black mold.
  • Additionally, if vandals or squatters leave doors or windows open, animals, including feral cats might have taken up residence.

    Locating The Title Holder

    Once a homeowner has abandoned a property, they can be difficult to locate. Some may have gone off the grid or others have no clue they are still listed on the property deed. The name of the previous occupant who owned the home will need to be removed from the title so this will be a legal detail to address before a purchase can move forward.

    Purchasing a zombie property can be a very lucrative investment, but it’s essential to carefully evaluate the condition of the property before deciding to buy it. You might find the effort and expense involved in bringing it up to be habitable might be more than it’s worth.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kimberley Martin on 9/13/2020

    Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

    The regulations of real estate zoning have the potential to make or break a property, but not everyone is aware of these laws until they're confronted with the day-to-day realities of them. We'll look at the basics of zoning, and what investors and homeowners should keep in mind before making plans. 

    There Are Few Absolutes 

    When it comes to real estate zoning, there are very few assumptions you can make. Some neighborhoods give property owners near-total freedom to do whatever they like. Outside of breaking federal laws, owners are free to add, build and destroy at will. In other neighborhoods, there may be laws that govern practically any change you would ever want to make.

    You may need to apply for any number of permits before you can be approved to improve your own property. If you live in an HOA, the regulations will become even more stringent, impacting everything from the color of your home to the length of your grass blades. 

    Professionals May Have to Get Involved

    Zoning laws may prevent owners from doing their own repairs, instead requiring them to contact a pre-approved contractor to complete the job. Or they may allow you to complete the job, only on the condition that you schedule an inspector to certify that the safety of the property. These laws are put in place because one owner's plumbing fiasco can quickly spread to a neighbor's yard, and one electrical miswiring can extinguish the power on the whole block. The good news is that even the most stringent neighborhoods will typically allow property owners to do their own prep work before professionals arrive. 

    Zoning Laws Change 

    Zoning laws are not static, which can make them confusing to adhere to. There's plenty of unpermitted work all over the nation, and it can cause a lot of headaches for owners if they're challenged to prove when and how work was completed. Because of this, you're encouraged to do a little research before making changes to the property. In addition, keep track of all receipts and documents that show the dates of the changes. And if you're planning to buy a home, consider how future laws might impact the property. For example, if your land comes under environmental protection status, it may severely impact its value and functionality. 

    The zoning laws aren't there to impede property owners (although it may feel that way at times). These regulations were created to keep everyone in the area protected from serious property fiascos. Knowing the rules before you buy and following them after is a good way to keep yourself out of trouble. 




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kimberley Martin on 9/6/2020

    If you work from home part or all of the time, chances are you have a specific place in your house where you go to work to be free from distraction.

    Many people spend a lot of time thinking about the decor of their home office. They decide how much light they want to let in, what they need on their desk, and which distractions to keep out of the room entirely.

    Surprisingly few people, however, consider the ergonomics of their home office.

    What is ergonomics?

    Simply stated, ergonomics is the study of peopleís efficiency in the workplace. When it comes to office work or working at home, that means studying things like posture, desk height, eye strain, and much more.

    In this article, weíll talk about some ways you can improve the ergonomics of your home office to prevent injury and to make your office a more productive and less stressful place to work.

    Choosing a desk chair

    Letís begin with one of the most common complaints in offices and home offices around the world: chairs.

    You could spend several hundred dollars on an ergonomic office chair. But in reality it only needs to meet a few criteria that you can often find in inexpensive computer chairs. When buying a chair, look for the following:

    • Lower back support what will help you keep a straight spine

    • Adjustable heights for the chair, the backrest, and the arm rests

    • A firm, but comfortable cushion that you wonít slide down on

    Picking the right desk

    The most important ergonomic factor of a desk is that you can easily fit your legs under it and donít have to crane over it to write.

    Regardless of where you keep your keyboard, it will help if your arms can fall on it naturally and at a close to ninety-degree angle.

    Screen height and distance

    The vast majority of work performed at home is done with the use of a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet.

    Ideally, the height of your screen should be adjusted so that you can view it straight on, and not have to look down or up at it. This will help protect your neck from strain.

    For eye strain, itís a good idea to keep the monitor a couple feet from your eyes and to adjust the brightness so that itís easy to read but not too bright.

    The best thing you can do to avoid headaches and eye strain is to set reminders for yourself to look away from the screen every twenty minutes or so or get up and go for a walk.

    Take more breaks

    Speaking of taking breaks; sitting in one position for too long can contribute to muscle and joint pain. If youíre working at home, it should be easy to get up and stretch or move around every half hour or so.

    You donít have to take a long break; even a minute or two is sufficient enough to help take the strain off of your tired eyes and stiff back and neck.




    Tags: home office   ergonomics  
    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Kimberley Martin on 8/30/2020

    Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

    If you're like many Americans, your home is your biggest asset. And if you're thinking of selling your home to use the profits for a new home, sending the kids off to college or simply adding it to a retirement fund, there are a few things you may want to avoid to make sure your home sells. 

     Setting the Price too High

    Some sellers make the mistake of thinking their home is worth more than comparable properties. A lot of times, living in the home and becoming attached to it may cause an overestimation of the value of upgrades or dismissal of the lower price tag of similar homes with similar features.

    When you price a house too high, though, the property may stay longer on the market and go through several price reductions before it finally attracts interested buyers. And if you happen to be in a new home already, you might be paying two mortgage payments while waiting for a buyer to place an offer. Putting the right price on your home helps ensure buyer interest and a quick sale.

    Neglecting to Order a Pre-inspection

    Some buyers are open to fixing problems, but your cost during the negotiation phase may be significantly higher than it would have been if you hired a contractor to fix any preexisting issues.

    A way to solve this problem is to order your own inspection before you put your house on the market. This is also a great way to establish buyer trust, showing that you are transparent about the house's issues when you give them the report or show the report of the issues being fixed.

    Going Overboard on Presale Renovations

    You love your home, and you want to prove to the buyer that it is a gem. But sinking too much money into presale renovations can mean spending money that you may not get back during the negotiations. You also want to be careful that you're not spending your renovation budget on cosmetic enhancement when the house needs structural improvements. That is another excellent reason to invest in a home inspection prior to putting your house on the market. 

    Failing to Choose the Right Agent

    The real estate agent you choose to sell your home makes all the difference -- and with buyers' agents requesting up to 6 percent in closing fees, it's important to make sure you find someone who will work hard for you.

    What should you look for? Good chemistry tops the chart, since you need to be able to trust your agent to act in your best interest. Other important factors are familiarity with the local market, experience selling houses in your price range, access to good marketing databases, and evidence of a strong network.

    Ready to get started with the home selling process? Contact me, and we'll get the ball rolling!




    Tags: home seller   selling  
    Categories: Uncategorized  




    Kimberley Martin
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