Louise Lingerman's Blog
A variety of complications can come into play for today's property owners. Many of these issues involve title — property rights conferring legal ownership. While title is often straightforward, it may prove difficult to establish in select circumstances. In such situations, a quiet title action may be the most effective solution available.
What Are Quiet Title Actions?
It is critical that homeowners be fully aware of their status as titleholders. In most cases, title is obtained through sole or shared ownership, although it can also sometimes be granted through trusts. Regardless of how it is obtained, title should ideally be clean and clear — completely free of liens, levies or any concerns that might call legal ownership into question.
In select cases, title may be secured via a civil process known as a quiet title action. This procedure is often initiated by the property owner. The goal? To officially establish a party's title to personal or real property in hopes of 'quieting' or essentially ending any challenges to the title in question.
Quiet title actions occur under a variety of circumstances. Many take place in the midst of disputes with mortgage lenders. Others may be prompted by cases of adverse possession, in which neighbors or even trespassers attempt to gain claim to property that they do not currently own. State regulations vary regarding who is allowed to pursue quiet title actions and how the process takes place.
Key Considerations For Pursuing Quiet Title Actions
The primary downside of quiet title actions is that they cannot always be relied upon to clear up all claim issues. Also, while quiet title actions may sometimes seem like a non-adversarial approach, they can quickly escalate disputes that might have otherwise been downplayed via alternative legal solutions. For this reason, they must be undertaken only when property owners and their legal counsel determine that other options will prove ineffective for clearing up title conflicts.
Those who choose to move forward with quiet title actions should closely examine the circumstances surrounding current disputes to determine how this approach can ultimately lead to clean and clear title. Likewise, regional differences should be analyzed, as the process can look dramatically different from one state to the next. Patience is critical; as with any legal action involving property, this process can prove time-consuming.
When title is called into question, it is critical that property owners respond in a proactive manner. Depending on the situation, this could mean pursuing a quiet title action. Weigh the risks and benefits carefully to determine whether this is the appropriate course of action. Depending on the situation, this approach could prove valuable both for legal purposes and for providing personal peace of mind.
The homebuying journey may seem long, complicated and time-consuming at first. Fortunately, there are lots of things a property buyer can do to streamline the process of finding his or her dream residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer navigate the property buying journey like a pro.
1. Narrow Your Home Search
If you know you want to buy a home, you should take the next step forward in your quest to find your dream residence by narrowing your property search. That way, you can hone your search to properties that meet specific criteria and are located in your preferred cities and towns.
Oftentimes, it helps to envision what your dream home looks like and what features it offers. You may want to consider where your dream house is located as well. By examining these factors, you should have no trouble crafting homebuying criteria that you can use to narrow your property search.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage generally is a must-have for homebuyers. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of banks and credit unions willing to provide mortgages to homebuyers across the United States. And if you meet with these financial institutions, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage and enter the housing market with a budget in hand.
Typically, it is beneficial for a homebuyer to pursue as many mortgage options as possible. This approach allows a homebuyer to search for the lowest interest rates and find a mortgage that complements his or her finances perfectly. Plus, if a homebuyer makes an informed mortgage decision, he or she may reap the benefits of this choice for years to come.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Even an expert homebuyer may need help as he or she navigates the property buying journey. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you search for your ideal residence.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at a budget-friendly price. He or she also is happy to share homebuying recommendations and suggestions with you to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.
In addition, a real estate agent will assist you at all stages of the homebuying process. He or she first will help you craft a homebuying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about houses that become available and meet your homebuying criteria. A real estate agent then will set up home showings and attend open house events with you. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer to purchase this home.
As you get set to kick off the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare as much as you can. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can plan ahead for the homebuying journey. As a result, you can navigate the property buying journey like a pro.
Of course, you want to stay within your budget when buying a house. You certainly want value for your dollar. But a buyer should never lose sight of the fact what they truly desire is getting the home they want and that fits their needs. To that end, potential buyers may put in a “low-ball” offer on a house they truly want. They may risk losing a home that meets all of their qualifications by placing an offer that is five or ten thousand dollars less than a price the seller is willing to accept. What can be even more frustrating is that even if a buyer's offer is accepted by a seller, the buyer may just waste that money, or more, on the mortgage they acquire.
Buyers may be surprised to learn how much even a half of one-percent difference in a mortgage rate can make.
In our first example, after a down payment, a buyer gets a mortgage for $250,000 over 30 years at 4.5% interest. The monthly payment would be about $1,267 monthly. Over the course of 30 years, those payments would total $456,120. The net cost of the loan is $206,120.
In our second example, we take that same $250,000 mortgage over 30 years, but the buyer compared mortgage rates and was able to find a lender offering that same loan at 4.0% interest, one-half of one-percent less. The monthly payment would now be $1,194, totaling $429,840. The net cost of this loan is $179,840. The difference between the two loans is $26,280. All because of a .5% interest rate difference.
The Best Way to Save Money on a Home
Rather than chancing to lose a home you really like by making an offer that is too low, consider instead performing due diligence on mortgage rates. Seeking out a lower rate can be critical in saving you five, ten or twenty thousand dollars or more. That's a far better solution than losing a home you really wanted.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining loan rates for mortgages. These include the buyer's credit rating, work history, income to debt ratio and loan to value ratio. The bottom line is the better your credit the more options you will have in securing a mortgage loan.
One of the best ways to save money on buying a home is saving money on your mortgage rates. The best way to do that is by monitoring your credit rating and working to build it. When it comes time to buy a home, get pre-qualified and compare mortgage rates. You can even use an online calculator to compare rates on your own. Need further assistance in determining how to find the right mortgage for you? Feel free to reach out, and we can embark on your mortgage and home journey together.
When it comes to keeping a home cool in the summer months and keeping it warm during the winter, there's no more important unit than the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. But like every major home system, HVAC units have a shelf life, and this is usually in the neighborhood of 15-20 years before replacement is necessary. In fact, air conditioning units normally last anywhere from 10-15 years, while furnaces can last up to 20 years. It goes without saying, however, that proper maintenance can help extend the life and effectiveness of these components. Here's a look at how to care for your HVAC system:
Replace The Filter
This is the easiest and most affordable thing you can do to keep the HVAC system running well. While you should check the manufacturer recommendations, it's suggested to replace this every month during the summer and about every month and a half during the winter. Doing so not only helps enhance the indoor air quality in your home, but it can help the HVAC system run smoothly as well. A dirty filter isn't just going to lead to dirtier air circulating throughout your home, but it will also put more strain on the HVAC system.
Inspect Your AC Unit
Your air conditioning unit is likely located outside. Take the time to inspect it regularly, especially in the nicer weather, to ensure that vegetation is not growing too close to it. Also make sure to clean it and remove any yard debris that has fallen in it or around it so that airflow is not obstructed. Generally, you should aim to create about a 2-foot clearance on all sides of the AC unit.
Check The Drain Pan
One of the most common issues with AC units is a clogged drain line, as it can become clogged with algae or mold and inhibit proper flow. Check this at least once a year to make sure there are no blockages. Simply vacuuming it out with a wet/dry shop vac can normally resolve any issues.
Have It Professionally Maintained
While there are a number of things you can do yourself to ensure the HVAC system is working well, there's also a lot of value in investing in professional preventative maintenance. Having a licensed professional come to your home to inspect and tune up the HVAC system can help resolve any minor issues before they become big, expensive ones, and help your system run better for longer. Ideally, this is performed twice a year, with the AC unit getting checked in the spring and the furnace in the fall. Spending the money to prevent issues can end up saving a lot of money in breakdowns and emergency repair or even replacement costs in the long run.
Buying a home is a life-changing event. As such, the decision to purchase a residence should not be taken lightly.
For homebuyers, it is paramount to get as much help as possible so you can discover a terrific house at a price that matches your budget. With support from an expert real estate agent, you should have no trouble acquiring a residence that meets or surpasses your expectations.
But what does it take to find the right real estate agent to assist you during your search for the perfect home? Here are three tips that every homebuyer needs to know.
1. Ask Family Members and Friends for Guidance
If a family member or friend recently bought a home, he or she may be able to provide real estate agent recommendations. Family members and friends are trusted sources, and their real estate agent recommendations may help you speed up the process of finding your dream house.
Your neighbors also may be able to real estate agent suggestions. They should be able to provide details about what it was like to work with a particular real estate agent so you can plan accordingly.
Of course, you should still perform plenty of research into a real estate professional's background and expertise before you hire this individual. Be diligent during your search for a real estate agent, and you can employ a real estate professional who will go the extra mile to help you discover a great house.
2. Search the Web
A simple web search of a real estate agent's name may enable you to learn a lot about this individual. In fact, a web search often provides a great way to find out about local real estate agents quickly.
Although a web search may help you examine a variety of real estate agents in your city or town, it is essential to fully evaluate a real estate professional's credentials.
If possible, search for client feedback about a real estate agent. This may help you determine whether to move forward with a particular real estate agent or shy away from this housing market professional altogether.
3. Meet Directly with Several Real Estate Agents
When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, nothing beats a one-on-one meeting.
Set up meetings with several local real estate agents. By doing so, you can get a better idea about whether a real estate agent can help you accomplish your homebuying goals.
It often helps to make a list of questions to ask a real estate agent before you meet with him or her. That way, you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision.
If you feel comfortable with a real estate agent after a face-to-face meeting, don't hesitate to hire this professional. Remember, the sooner you start working with an expert real estate agent, the sooner you may be able to purchase your dream house.
Use these tips, and you can hire a first-rate real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey.