At a time when you could be mourning a loss, you may instead be having to deal with accountants and a tangle of red tape. At TalkToAl.com the respected experts in inherited property sales, the can alleviate some of the stress by painlessly selling the real estate portion of the estate.
Other than an attorney, your most valuable resource will be a real estate team that is trained and experienced in the intricate details of probate and inherited property sales. We can help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks in the sale of your estate home. When it comes to these type of complications, not all REALTORS® are created equal.
From Clean Out To Closing
Unfortunately, many estate properties suffer from deferred maintenance, either because the late homeowner was ill or simply could not maintain it properly for other reasons. You can alleviate the anxiety of cleaning out, repairing or maintaining the probate property by leaving the details to my team of carefully vetted reliable hime professionals to bring the home up to marketable condition in order to be sold in a competitive market.
Our Team Can Also Facilitate The Sale Of Personal Possessions.
Over the course of a lifetime, people accumulate a wide variety of possessions, objects and belongings that reflect their lives. Disposing of these possessions in adignified, yet efficient manner, is often an obstacle in bringing the estate to a final settlement. If that’s the case, our team can help coordinate a successful estate sale or refer you to reliable appraisers and other professionals that will sell the belongings for top dollar.
You should also be aware that the estate can realize significant tax advantages by donating any unclaimed assets and possessions to charity, and we maintain strong personal relationships with numerous charities that would welcome these donations with open arms.
Contact us with any questions that you may have and let us help you get the Process under way! Fill in the contact information or simply call 727-418-1570
As you know homes that are vacant for more than 30 days are most likely not covered by standard home owner policies. This is a major issue and one that most Personal Representatives are not aware of. It has been found that families carry 80% of there wealth in real estate. To have that asset uninsured could be tragic. I have found a insurance agent that can solve this problem with a Vacant House policy – month to month.. I am passing this information along to you because I want to become your “go to” real estate agent for probate clients.
VACANT HOUSE POLICY AVAILABLE THROUGH ELISE KITTRELL – 727-399-1900
Why in the world would you use me over any other agent? Because this is what I do! I DO NOT need baby sitting and I understand the in’s and out’s of the process. I can prepare home sellers and answer many questions that they have, leaving you to do what you do and not worry about the sale of the home asset. I will prepare CMA’s, deliver by hand the listing contracts to your office when I get them and hold the customers hand through the process.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
As you know many PR’s live out of the area. When there is real estate in the probate, they usually come and take the family heirlooms but are left with an entire home full of contents that they have no idea what to do with. I call this “Probate Quicksand”. Here is where I come in…….
I or one of my team members will advertise and hold an estate sale, auction off the items and give the proceeds to the family. Our clean out crews will dispose of the rest – if that is the families wishes. If necessary we have contractors and handyman services to fix up any needed items, pressure wash and clean the home up in order to get the maximum dollars in the sale. A out of town P.R. could take days to find a responsible crew to do this work. Many of the people we help never even leave their home and we never meet them. We have a notary service that will deliver all of the documents at closing.
What if there are collector items in the estate the family wishes to sell. I have this situation now with a client who inherited a home full of collector dolls. One of the people we contact in this case is Dale Smrekar at 813-244-4160. He is a downsizing specialist and specializes in appraising, buying and selling these types of items.
What if one of the remaining family members needs to be relocated after the death of a loved one – We have associates that handle that, such as “House to Home Relocation” or Barbara Marshall – 727-385-4746.
What if you have a vehicle they would like to sell? We buy the car at fair market value or have one of our services give a cash price- “BuyAnyCarTruck.com” is one of our companies.
What if the heir does not have any money to care for the property and wants to sell it. In todays market I can sell a home as fast as they can wholesale it. There is no need to sell for .70 cents on the dollar. I’ll list it and sell it in the same amount of time for all the money.
Certified Personal Property Appraiser – Dale Smrekar – 813-244-4160
Auction Companies – InterbayEstateSales.com -Carol 727-481-8915 35% Provides everything
Clean out king 727-251-4540
Charity Pick up service – St.Justin Martin Catholic Church
Need a CMA – call me
Downsizing and relocation services available
Alex P Williams
Residential and Commercial Probate Specialist
The death of a loved is always difficult. Especially, when they leave you something in their will, it can be a little overwhelming. Inheritance laws differ from state to state. If you have to inherited a house in Florida and you want to sell it, there are a few things you should know about the inheritance law in Florida before you put the house up on the market.
Aside from a will, you can also inherit a house by way of a trust and by way of a deed. The way you inherit the house depends on how you will be able to sell.
If you inherit a house in a trust and the person who died has left spouse or children behind, you will have to go through Florida probate to clear title. If you inherit it in a will, you will have to go through probate court as well if you want to sell the house. In many cases, you will not be able to sell the house until 4-5 months after the probate proceedings to fully clear the legal title. In case you inherit the house by deed, you will not have to go through probate in Florida and the sale of the house will be easy.
PROBATE PROCESS IN FLORIDA
Probate is the process by which an estate of a deceased is settled under the supervision of the court. There is an executor or Personal Representative who in charge of the probate proceedings. This person is usually nominated by the deceased person’s will and is either the surviving spouse or an adult offspring. If there is no will, the person is appointed by the court. This Personal Representative is legally responsible to collect and value the assets of the deceased person. They have to pay the bills and taxes and then eventually distribute the assets to their respective heirs. Without probate, fraud would be a lot more common. Until the court can determine that the will is legal and valid, the assets are frozen to prevent anyone from taking something that they didn’t actually inherit. So if you have inherited a house in Florida in a will you have to attend these probate proceedings to get your inherited house through the proper procedures.
Probate proceedings can either go really quick or really slow. If you probate a house and the previous owner has been dead for two or more years, the whole procedure can take just a week. If the owner is recently deceased and you want to sell the house soon, the probate could take around 6 months because the ownership in the property records needs to be fixed.
INHERITING A HOUSE IN FLORIDA WITH MORTGAGE
The main thing to remember here is that if you inherit a house with mortgage, you will have to pay it or the house will get foreclosed on. You will have no trouble with mortgage companies as long as you keep paying the deceased person’s mortgage. But if you inherit a house in Florida that has been paid off, then you don’t have to worry about mortgage or any other such debt issue.
When you talk about a homestead, it is the name for legal protection that is offered by state when it comes to the deceased person’s primary residence. The basic idea is that the deceased person’s homestead is protected from creditors for their spouse, children or anyone else who was legally dependent on the deceased person. After a short time of the deceased person’s passing away, the surviving can choose to receive one-half of the interest in the homestead property. When the house is sold, the second half of that money from the sale of the house goes to the descendants of the deceased person.
TAX IMPLICATIONS OF INHERITED PROPERTY IN FLORIDA
If you have inherited a house that is a homestead, there are certain tax related factors that you will need to deal with before you can sell off the house. First thing, if you already have your own homestead and you have inherited the homestead of the deceased person, there will be property taxes and those taxes will go up. If the person had owned that house for a very long time, then the property taxes will be quite high. This can happen when your parents have their own house and you have your own house and your parents leave you their homestead. The second important factor here is that of income tax. While the property tax may be high, the income tax from the sale of that inherited house will not be very high. There is an income tax concept that is called ‘step up in basis.’ Your parent’s basis would include the amount they paid for real estate and the capital gains. So instead of inheriting the house at this basis, you inherit the house at the fair market value of the house on the day of their death. This is especially good news for those children who have their own houses. Because if you didn’t already have a residence you would have to pay the income tax on the capital gain between the sale price and the book value basis.
SELLING HOUSE IN FLORIDA THAT MULTIPLE PEOPLE INHERITED
If you have inherited a house with more one person, things can get tricky. Even if they are your siblings and you are very close, these matters are not easy to deal with. Selling the house will take time so all of you will have to be very patient with each other. Under Florida’s law of inheritance, all of the co-inheritors are equally responsible for the liabilities, income tax, debts and mortgage that need to be paid off. No matter what the work is, whether it is property insurance, property taxes, property management fees, bills and utilities and so forth, they will all have to be equally split among the new co-owners. This situation can be quite a nightmare, especially for those families in which the siblings are not on very good terms with one another. Administratively speaking, the situation is a trying one. The more the co-owners, the more argument there generally is.
This is why, generally in such situations, it is the responsibility of one child to manage everything and do all the work while others sit back and let one person handle everything. This one person is like the ‘property manager’ of the inherited house. If he or she does do this, they should be paid or compensated for in some to avoid any resentment or fighting about dumping all the work on one person. If no one has the time or energy to become property manager, you can hire one to help you out. A person like Alex P Williams a Certified Probate Specialist would be the kind of professional with experience and knowledge, so in case of any argument or confusion, he might be able to mediate and help out should you need him/her to do so. If you all want to sell the house, you will also have to go through the probate process and that can take quite a few weeks. So it is a good option to hire a property manager in the meantime if neither of siblings can be property managers. This way everything will be handled smoothly for a few months.
Once you manage the debts and the taxes after inheriting the house and the probate process is in process, you can list the house to get it sold. Now, like every other house that needs to be sold, this house will also be in need of some repairs unless it was kept in very good condition by the deceased. You will either need to sell the things in house of divide them up as you see fit. The repairs of the house are also the financial responsibilities of all owners, equally. This is a good time to hire someone like Alex P Williams a Certified Probate Expert and a Real Estate Agent also.
Once a house with multiple owners has been sold, the process has to be split equally among the owners, as instructed by the will, trust or deed document. However, some problems may arise in the selling of the house. Sometimes, one of the siblings/ co-owners decides to move into the inherited house itself and refuse to leave. This can be a very big problem if that live-in owner doesn’t want to sell the house and the other owners want sell it. In this, the Florida law, like inheritance laws of other states, allows you to sell your share of the house to sibling who wants to keep the house. This way everyone gets what they want.
I CAN HELP WITH ALL OF THESE THINGS. CALL OR TEXT US TODAY SO WE CAN HELP RESOLVE THESE MATTERS!
and Alex P Williams (“Listing Broker”) agree to the following terms regarding the real property or business opportunity (collectively “Property”) described as:
340 AND 349 78TH AVENUE ST. PETE BEACH FL 33706
1. Confidentiality. Prospect and Prospect’s Broker acknowledge that all information and materials provided by Listing Broker regarding the above-referenced Property is confidential and may not be used for any purpose other than evaluation. Prospect’s and Prospect’s Broker’s dissemination of any information and materials provided by Listing Broker will be limited to attorneys, accountants, banking representatives, and business advisors directly involved with the above-referenced Property. In the event the transaction is not successful, Prospect and Prospect’s Broker will immediately return to Listing Broker any information and materials provided by Listing Broker.
2. Non-Disclosure. Listing Broker, Prospect, and Prospect’s Broker agree not to disclose to any other person the fact that any discussions or negotiations are taking place with regard to the Property, the actual or potential terms, conditions, or facts involved in any such discussions or negotiations.
3. Non-Circumvention. Prospect and Prospect’s Broker agree not to contact the Property owner, landlord, tenants, employees, or customers except through Listing Broker. Prospect and Prospect’s Broker further agree not to circumvent or interfere with Listing Broker’s contract with owner/landlord in any way.
4. Verification of Data. No representation is made by Listing Broker as to the accuracy of the information and materials provided. Prospect and Prospect’s Broker agree to thoroughly review and independently verify the information and materials provided. Listing Broker advises Prospect and Prospect’s Broker to consult appropriate professionals for legal, tax, environmental, and other specialized advice concerning matters affecting the Property and the transaction contemplated.
5. Disputes. This agreement will be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Florida. The Listing Broker will be entitled to all remedies provided by law, including but not limited to injunctive relief and damages. In any litigation arising out of this agreement, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover from the non-prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses.
6. Term. This agreement will terminate __________ (if blank, then 1 year) after the conclusion of any discussions or negotiations regarding the above-referenced Property.
All too often, the loss of a family member is complicated by the fact that no one in the family was prepared for it – including the deceased. Ideally, every adult would have at least a basic estate plan in place, comprised of a will, assignment of power of attorney, and a living will specifying which medical treatments should and should not be administered at the end of life. Unfortunately, according to a 2011 EZLaw Wills & Estate Planning survey, 56 percent of the American adult population does not have such an estate plan. Most families are left with a series of complex tax and legal problems, especially when real estate is involved.
If you recently lost a loved one who owned a home but did not have an estate plan in place, you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed right now, especially if you have been named the administrator of the estate by a probate court. At a time when you should be allowed to mourn your loss, you are probably instead having to deal with lawyers, accountants, and a tangle of red tape.
Please take a moment to read the following information about properties in probate, keeping in mind that the information is general in nature and that probate laws vary from state to state. It is important that you know the laws of your state and how they affect your specific rights and options.
What do I have to look forward to as administrator of an estate?
If you have been named the administrator of your loved one’s estate, you have a serious and potentially daunting responsibility ahead of you. Depending on the size of your family, you may be dealing with multiple heirs, each with his or her own interests and ideas as to how property should be divided. The actual probate process can take months or even years, depending on the size and worth of the estate and the complexity of the legal issues brought into play. If you are fortunate, your loved one owned his or her home outright. If there is a mortgage on the home, however, those payments will have to be made until such time the property is sold or the mortgage is paid in full. Probate and administrative fees will also accumulate over the span of the probate process.
The length of the probate process can be minimized through the timely liquidation of assets, with the most difficult asset to sell usually being the home and other real estate.
My loved one’s home is in terrible shape. How can I sell a house in disrepair?
Sadly, many homes in probate are in fairly poor shape, often because the late homeowner was elderly or ill and unable to maintain it properly. If you choose to sell the house through traditional channels, such as through a Realtor, you will be responsible for making any necessary repairs to the house and making sure that is clean and presentable to potential buyers.
If you choose to work with TalkToAl.com and we are able to make a cash offer on the home, we will buy the house “as-is.” You won’t have to worry about the condition of the house or whether it could eventually fall into foreclosure; you’ll simply be able to walk away from it with clean hands and a clear conscience. However, in the current real estate market homes are selling very fast and taking a wholesale offer may not be the best choice. If you decide to List the home for sale here are some services that you might take advantage of to ease the stress of fulfilling the Personal Representative Role.
Hire a Estate Sale Company to auction off all of the items that you do not keep
Hire a clean out crew to prepare the home to list for sale
Hire a handyman to repair items that would reduce the value of the home
Market and sell the residence for top dollar on the open market
TalkToAl.com provides all of these services. It may take you months to find the right people to do this work. This is how a experienced Probate real estate agent will take these duties off of your plate. We turn your mountains into molehills! In addition, any additional advice or questions you may have can be answered as the process unfolds.
You can accept an offer to buy a house while it is still in probate, if you strictly follow your state’s rules. The probate court will monitor all aspects of the sale. Be aware that the executor or administrator of the estate also must monitor and approve the terms of sale. Buyers must submit offers to the court and all parties must strictly follow the guidelines — and deadlines — of probate court rules. You must first retain a real estate agent experienced with the probate process to market the property. Here is a list of Qualified Probate Real Estate Agents.
Executors and Administrators
Per the Independent Administration of Estates Act (IAEA), executors will establish and/or approve the selling price for a house in probate. Usually, the executor will order a fair market value (FMV) appraisal to determine an appropriate selling price for the property. The executor will list the home for sale with a probate-experienced real estate agent. Executors will then work with the real estate agent to negotiate an acceptable sale to qualified prospective buyers.
Real Estate Agents
Experienced real estate agents understand that a probate sale typically attracts buyers seeking bargains. However, in most cases, they know to advise buyers that offers should be at least 90 percent or more of the listing price, as the selling price reflects the home’s fair market value. Once an acceptable buyer is found, the real estate agent works with the executor to negotiate acceptable terms.
Once you accept the offer and its terms, it mails a notice of proposed action, with the details of the sale to all heirs. These people, with a vested interest in probate proceedings, have 15 days to review the terms of sale and advise the court if they have objections to the sale or its conditions. If an heir has an objection, notice of the sale must be published in a well-distributed local newspaper in many jurisdictions. Much depends on the authority of the executor, who may have “full independent powers,” eliminating some publishing requirements in other jurisdictions.
A Qualified Real Estate Agent May Provide Simple Solution
A Qualified Real Estate Agent can speed up the process with the Probate Attorney in some cases within two weeks to get home where it can be sold by the Personal Representative of the Estate. Once this is done a normal sale of the property may take place where a Real Estate Agent simply list and markets the property for sale in the usual fashion. In the Pinellas County area TalkToAl.com provides this service.
This is no ordinary article or time in history. If you haven’t heard some rumblings about a new technology called “blockchain” and how people are almost printing money with “bitcoin,” you’ve probably been living under a rock the last few months.
I think we will all look back and marvel at the change and growth in a world that we’ve only started to scratch the surface of understanding.
A few notes before we start:
The focus of this article isn’t to give an exhaustive explanation of blockchain technology or bitcoin. Many others have done a remarkable job explaining this in better detail than I ever could. Here is a good place to start.
My interest in this technological tangent was first sparked by observing the insane gains made by people who had simply purchased bitcoin at the right time and held it. No value created, no improvements made, just pure timing. At its core, this doesn’t fit within the the model of a real estate investor or developer. My success is built on identifying needs and creating tangible value that solves those needs. This inconsistency led me to dig deeper and realize that bitcoin was the tip of a much larger and more interesting technological revolution called blockchain. Today, I seek to lay out a few reasons why I think this technology will have a profound impact on the real estate industry.
The words below are simply my thoughts, musings, and ideas. I am by no means an expert in any of this and am not espousing you invest in cryptocurrency, bitcoin, or anything else that you have not adequately researched and understand. Find your niche and stick to it. This has worked well for me in real estate, and I intend to continue this philosophy in all future investing. Caveat emptor!
I’m a real estate investor and developer; I’m completely self-made and have devoted the majority of my professional life to learning about the nuances of this incredible industry and wealth-generating tool. You and I probably ended up in real estate for many of the same reasons: It’s stable, it’s tangible, and it produces cashflow (something we all need to live and function in modern society). Thankfully, I don’t think we are going to innovate ourselves out of the undeniable power that comes with investing, owning, and developing real estate. But every now and then, something pushes an entire industry, generation, and even world forward (think the electric light, modern medicine, the internet, etc.).
I’m taking what some would consider to be a risky stance: I consider blockchain technology to be one of those innovations.
Right now, while the majority of the world is caught up in the hype of bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin that just in the last year has gone up 6,072% (talk about a solid annual ROI!), many are missing the truly world-changing shift that could take place if this technology is correctly shepherded.
4 Reasons Bitcoin & Blockchain Technology Will Transform Real Estate
1. Our monetary system is broken, and cryptocurrencies could be the fix.
We as real estate investors understand this better than pretty much anyone else. I have never trusted or invested in centralized banking, fiat currency, and the stock market. I want to control the assets I’ve worked so hard to build. Real estate to a large degree allows me to do this. Nobody can create more land right next to mine and cause the value of my property to tank. That can and does happen with centralized banking and government controlled currency. The amount of trust we are forced to exercise when depositing money into our local banks is a little bit terrifying.
We have been off the gold standard for decades, fractional reserve banking has led to economic meltdown more than once, and the Federal Reserve that’s supposed to guarantee our deposits only keeps enough cash on hand to satisfy 1% of these transactions. Talk about disconcerting.
The fundamental concept behind blockchain and bitcoin is we now don’t have to blindly trust. All cryptocurrencies are built on a decentralized network that is made up of each individual who owns any piece of the digital currency. There is no single point where an individual, organization, or government can manipulate the system for their gain.
Why does this matter to real estate?
We real estate investors already enjoy a hedge of protection that most other types of investments don’t. Theoretically, our property would go up in value at a similar rate to even out hyperinflation. We also have the added benefit of being able to utilize a property to provide basic needs (namely shelter or food) if we reached a level of economic instability that took us back to bartering and trade. Related:Bitcoin or Real Estate: Which is the Better Investment?
I, for one, though, don’t relish the fact that the currency I use to purchase, invest, and improve my real estate is always teetering on the brink of a large-scale meltdown. A stable, decentralized currency WILL benefit all real estate investors and developers.
2. Blockchain technology provides an easy way to transact money and data safely.
Now, here’s where things get really interesting. The way the decentralized network of bitcoin works is on something called a blockchain. This is essentially a way of creating a transparent ledger that is next to impossible to fraudulently manipulate. When information is entered on this blockchain and spread out to a network of millions, tens of millions, or billions of people, hacking into and manipulating the data inside becomes extremely difficult. (For the sake of brevity, I’m glossing over a TON of details.) So you’ve basically created a very secure way to transfer money, data, etc.
In real estate, what types of data are important to transfer without risk of manipulation or fraud?
Contracts! Deeds! Titles! Heck, every building block of our entire industry!
Why does this matter to real estate?
The amount of red tape, fees, and wasted time this type of network could eliminate is staggering. How many of you have lost deals, had deals massively delayed, purchased something that didn’t have a clear title, etc.? (And if it hasn’t happened to you yet, just stay in real estate a little longer.)
Imagine being able to purchase a piece of property without needing a title company or title insurance, while feeling 100 percent confident you were buying exactly what you thought you were. Sounds pretty good to me!
3. Blockchain allows for smart contracts.
Yet another powerful tool blockchain allows us to harness is something called “smart contracts.” When data, a process, or workflow is entered on a blockchain, it becomes impossible to deviate from this agreed upon path.
Why does this matter to real estate?
The real estate industry uses contracts all the time. My journey into investing first involved becoming a licensed sales agent. Visualize with me a world where you could spell out the terms of your purchase, sale, lease, on a smart contract and feel completely confident these terms would not be deviated from.
It’s happened to me more than once that a buyer has not performed on a contract and then has tried to hold up the earnest money that was now rightfully mine for months with stupid arguments and legal games. This could be a thing of the past. Deposits would be held inside the smart contracts and paid out exactly as the contract states. No deviation.
4. This new technology could create transparency and immutable records of title.
Once we as investors purchase a piece of real estate, there isn’t much worry that someone will dispute our ownership stake.
For billions of others, unfortunately, this isn’t true. Can you imagine purchasing a piece of real estate, making years of payments on it, and then a government official coming in and saying you don’t have legal ownership? It sounded crazy to me the first time I heard about this, but 78% of the land in Ghana is unregistered! The property records that date back decades in the United States just don’t exist there.
Would you be willing to build a store, apartment complex, or restaurant if you knew that someone could come in out of the blue and say you didn’t own the land anymore? Experts estimate that there are literally trillions of dollars locked away and not used for development and infrastructure projects.
Why does this matter to real estate?
Perhaps this won’t affect your business tomorrow, but the overall economic impact of smart contracts to keep accurate land records in developing countries is huge.
We would see third world countries making leaps into the modern age! What has taken decades or hundreds of years in other countries could be accomplished in just a few years by harnessing the power of blockchain and smart contracts.
This is Only the Beginning
You could equate it to internet in the late 1990s. Nobody really knew what it was, how to use it, or what the long-term benefits would be. I think we all can agree on the critical role the internet now plays in our daily lives and businesses. We can also observe the career-defining effect it had on early adopters who took risks and began applying internet technology to different industries and businesses.
Here’s what I’d encourage you to do.
First, do NOT go liquidate your real estate portfolio and dump it into cryptocurrency. I know I didn’t have to say that because if you’re reading this you, aren’t manipulated by hype and FOMO. But realize and accept you will undoubtedly hear the stories of the few who got lucky, took massive risk, and made insane returns overnight. Money quickly earned is usually quickly lost, and you probably won’t hear the stories of those who lost everything. The ratio of failure to success in this and in real estate is probably less than 10:1 or worse.
Second, don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend everything will go on as usual. The cat is out of the bag; there’s no going back. It’s time to get to work. This is the next area of real estate you need to become familiar with. I know every time I’ve pushed myself into a new aspect of real estate investing, it’s been a hard, exciting, but ultimately very rewarding experience. From flipping to rentals, wholesaling to commercial, growth and change is never easy.
Third, unless you want to invest directly in companies developing blockchain applications for real estate, you do have some time; adoption of new technology takes years. However, the time to prepare, strategize, and plan is now.
You’ve been given a peak behind the curtain of the future. What you do with this information is up to you.
“…the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today’s work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.”
Everyone’s Talking About Cryptocurrencies. Should You Invest?
Absolutely everyone is talking about bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, and any other cryptocurrency. So I thought, hey, I might as well share my zero point two Australian cents with you guys.
It’s still very early on with this technology. A lot of people have no clue what they are doing, me included. I don’t really know what I am doing, but I have invested. I have invested for the reason that I want to learn what all of this is about. Plus, I have a big intuition telling me this is the wave of the future. This is the second internet, right? So I want to be a part of it. I want to be a part of it at ground level because I want to learn.
Which Cryptocurrencies Are Best for Investment?
I have invested quite a bit of money but have not touched the likes of bitcoin. Every John and his dog is investing in bitcoin, and I’m a black sheep. I don’t want to be like everyone else. After doing a lot of research and speaking to a lot of other successful entrepreneurs and business partners, I’ve heard that bitcoin is not a technology that has been built as well as some of the others.
For example, ethereum has been built in a much better way than Bitcoin has. What’s so cool about ethereum is other cryptos can build their own blockchain or expand on ethereum’s blockchain to start their own cryptocurrency. So think of it as an app store. Other companies can go in there, build their own apps, and make money from those apps that they build. Ethereum is a really popular one right now. Another one that is really big is ripple. I’m not a big fan of ripple just because the founders of it have created huge wealth for themselves from launching this cryptocurrency, and I just don’t agree with their philosophy. Related:4 Reasons Cryptocurrencies & Blockchain Technology Are Poised to Transform Real Estate
So I have invested in a few not-so-hot cryptocurrencies based on the advice that I have received from a lot of my colleagues. The tech behind these particular blockchains is awesome, and the team behind these particular blockchains is even better. Their vision for the future just makes a lot of sense to me. So I thought I would put some money in to test it out, get my feet wet, and learn the process.
Proceed With Caution
My advice to you is don’t go all in. Don’t sell your house to invest in bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, and all these other cryptocurrencies. If you are going to invest, invest small and learn what the hell it is that they are doing. I truly believe we are at the beginning of something great. But I also believe that there is going to be a huge crash somehow. Maybe there will be only a few survivors like in the dot-com boom. Will that be bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, or stellar lumens? I don’t know. I do believe someone will survive and they will thrive.
Thinking of buying or selling Residential or Commercial property? TalkToAl.com Today!
Interested in getting OFF MARKET PROPERTIES BEFORE THEY HIT THE MARKET? You are a click away from getting help from a experienced real estate team. Simply fill in the contact form and we will be with you STAT! Or Call or text 727-418-1570
It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of buying a home. You’ve got it all planned out: a five-bedroom home in your favorite neighborhood with a manicured lawn and—why not?—a nice pool.
Well, if you really want to land that dream home, you’d better get started now!
Step 1 is to clean up your credit score, also called a FICO score—a simplified calculation of your history of paying back debts and making regular payments on loans. If you’re borrowing money to buy a home (as most do), lenders want to know you’ll pay them back in a timely manner, and a credit score is an easy estimate of those odds.
Here’s your crash course on this all-important little number, and how to whip it into the best home-buying shape possible.
Pull your credit report
There are three major U.S. credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), and each releases its own credit scores and reports (a more detailed history that’s used to determine your score). Their scores should be roughly equivalent, although they do pull from different sources. For example, Experian considers on-time rent payments while TransUnion has detailed information about previous employers.
To access these scores and reports, financial planner Bob Forrest of Mutual of Omaha recommends using AnnualCreditReport.com, where you can get a free copy of your report every 12 months from each credit-reporting company. It doesn’t include your credit score, though—you’ll have to go to each company for that, and pay a small fee.
Or check with your credit card company: Some, including Discover and Capital One, offer free access to scores and reports, says Michael Chadwick, owner of Chadwick Financial Advisors in Unionville, CT. Once you’ve got your report, thoroughly review it page by page, particularly the “adverse accounts” section that details late payments and other slip-ups.
Assess where you stand
It’s simple: The better your credit history, the higher your score—and the better your opportunities for a home loan. The Federal Housing Administration requires a minimum credit score of 580 to permit a 3.5% down payment, and major lenders often require at least 620, if not more. So what can you do if your credit report is in less than shipshape? Don’t panic, there are ways to clean it up.
Dispute any errors
A 2013 Federal Trade Commission study found that 5% of credit reports contain errors that can erroneously ding your score. So if you spot any, start by sending a dispute letter to the bureau, providing as much documentation as possible, per FTC guidelines. You’ll also need to contact the organization that provided the bad intel, such as a bank or medical provider, and ask it to update the info with the bureau. This may take a while, and you may need documentation to make your case. But once the bad info is removed, you should see a bump in your score.
Erase one-time mistakes
So you’ve made a late payment or two—who hasn’t? Call the company that registered the late payment and ask that it be removed from your record. “If you had an oopsy and missed just a payment or two, most companies will indeed tell their reporting division to remove this from your credit report,” says Forrest. Granted, this won’t work if you have a history of late payments, but for accidents and small errors, it’s an easy boost for your score.
Increase your limits
One no-brainer way to increase your credit standing is to simply pay off your debt. Not an option right now? Here’s a cool loophole: Ask your credit card companies to increase your credit limit instead. This improves your debt-to-credit ratio, which compares how much you owe to how much you can borrow.
“Having $1,000 of credit card debt is bad if you have a limit of $1,500. It isn’t nearly as bad if your limit is $5,000,” Forrest says. The simple math: Although you owe the same amount, you’re using a much smaller percentage of your available credit, which shines well on your borrowing practices.
Pay on time
If you’re often late with payments, now’s the time to change. Commit to always paying your bills on time; consider signing up for automatic payments so it’s guaranteed to get done.
Give yourself time
Unfortunately, negative items (such as those habitually late or nonexistent payments) can stay on your report for up to seven years. The good news? Changing your habits makes a big difference in the “payment history” segment of your report, which accounts for 35% of your score. That’s why it’s essential to start early so that you’re sitting pretty once you’re shopping for homes and find one that makes you swoon.
Once you’ve set your credit on a better path, it’s time to tackle the next major hurdle: saving for a down payment.
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1. You Can Do Anything You Want With the Property
Owning your home means you can paint your kid’s room any color you want, you can change your floors from carpet to wood, and you can put a new chandelier in the dining room without asking a landlord for permission. And sometimes, making these home improvements will increase the value of your property.
2. Appreciation Benefits, Including Leverage of Cash Invested
Owning a home is an investment many people can understand better than buying stocks, because they get the tangible daily lifestyle benefit of living in the home. But the financial benefits are also significant, and can be more substantial than stock investing. As a home appreciates, it accrues faster than a stock might because you get the appreciation on the entire home’s value, not just the gain your down payment cash invested.
For example, if you bought $30,000 in stock and it appreciated 3 percent per year for three years, you’ve gained $2,782 on top of your $30,000 invested — and if you sold, you’d pay taxes on that money gained. If you buy a $300,000 primary residence with a $30,000 down payment (representing 10 percent down) and it appreciated 3 percent per year for three years, you’ve gained $27,818 on top of your $30,000 invested — and if you sold, you’d be exempt from paying any taxes on that money gained.
3. Tax Benefits
Homeowners are allowed to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes when they file tax returns each year. Using the same example of $300,000 home purchase with 10 percent down, a mortgage calculator shows a total monthly housing cost of about $1,731, with $1,231 in principal and interest (using a rate of 3.625 percent), $300 in property taxes, insurance of $67, and mortgage insurance (required when putting less than 20 percent down) of $133. The tax deductions homeowners get for mortgage interest and property taxes save $335 per month in taxes, so subtract this from total monthly housing cost of $1,731 to get an after-tax housing cost of $1,396. This significant savings from tax benefits can often make owning the same as, or cheaper than, renting
4. Mortgage Costs Stay the Same as Rents Rise
If you get a fixed-rate mortgage on a home purchase, your mortgage payment can never change. Unless a renter is in a rent-controlled building or neighborhood, their rent is at risk of rising every year. Since the mortgage payment is the bulk of the owner’s housing payment, this creates a lot of budget stability. As for the other costs, both owners and renters have insurance (though insurance isn’t required for renters like it is for owners), and that fee can change very slightly year over year. And while owners have property taxes that renters don’t, and property taxes can rise as the home appreciates, this fee is tax deductible.
5. Forced Savings
When a homeowner is making a mortgage payment, a portion of that payment is paying the loan down each month, giving the owner more equity in their home. Using the example of a $300,000 home purchase with 10 percent down, the average pay-down per month in the first year is $423, and the average in the second year is $438, and the average pay-down per month keeps rising each year. This loan pay-down each month is required as part of the mortgage payment, but it’s the owner being required to invest in their own home, so it’s like forced savings that benefits the owner — whereas the entire portion of a renter’s monthly payment is going to a landlord.
How can I sell my home without using a real estate agent? If I sell it on my own and the buyer has a real estate agent, will they still get the same commission of 6 percent?
Most buyers out there start their search for a home using the Internet. One of the most important things you can do when trying to sell your home is to make sure your prospective buyers can find your home online.
Years ago, real estate brokers had a lock on the distribution of information for homes. Back in the day, real estate brokers had huge books the size of phone books that came out weekly or monthly with the listing of all properties in a certain area. Those books were proprietary to the real estate brokers and not shared with the public. If you were looking for a home, you could drive around neighborhoods looking for signs to see whether homes were being sold or you could talk to a real estate agent and get a list from them.
Now you can simply go online and view the homes that are available for sale in your area from quite a number of sites. Most of the information will be the same from site to site, coming as it does from real estate companies’ listings. In some cases, homeowners selling without real estate agents can list their homes on some of the sites, but that information may not make it into the sites that are used by Realtors.
When you list a home for sale with a real estate broker, you expect them to place the home on their multiple listing service (MSL) immediately. Once a home is on the MLS, other Web sites out there pick up that information.
So the real question is whether you can get your listing out there on the MLS and the Web (among other necessary tasks) without the assistance of a real estate agent. There is no easy answer. If you are willing to put the time and effort into selling your home, you certainly can try. When a seller sells his own home, it’s called a “for sale by owner” or FSBO. FSBOs in some situations can backfire and hurt a seller.
Whether your home is free of debt is not really relevant to whether and how you should market and sell your home.
Let’s walk through some of the issues you will face in a FSBO. The first challenge is to market your property properly. That includes getting your home listed in a MLS. If you are lucky enough to live in a development or neighborhood where the demand for homes is so high that all you have to do is put out a sign and sell your home, you may not need to do too much. But for the vast majority of homeowners, much more is necessary to market a home.
To get your home listed in an MLS, you will probably have to engage the services of a discount broker. That broker will charge a fixed fee for listing your home on the MLS for a certain time. You will also need to list your home on sites that cater to FSBO sellers, including Zillow and several others. Just know going in that you will only receive a small fraction of the leads from people who see your house on Zillow and the others. Real estate agents pay to be on these services and when a potential buyer fills out the form to get more information on the home he see’s on Zillow, that information goes to real estate agents and not you. Guess what, those agent point the potential buyer to a home that is already listed on MLS because that is how he is guaranteed to be paid for his or her efforts.
Keep in mind that many people would love to own a home. However many simply cannot due to credit history, down payment limitations and not being able to afford the monthly loan installments. You may spend several hours showing and then negotiating the sale of you home with someone who simply cannot purchase it. You will need to find a way to identify who can and cannot buy before wasting all that time with them.
In any event, once you’ve done that, you will probably want to put up a good-looking sign on your property to give notice to the neighborhood and others that may drive by that your home is for sale.
You will have to make sure you have the ability to show the home at times that will be convenient to potential buyers. In addition, you may get calls from real estate agents requesting times to show your home. You’ll need to decide whether you’re willing to cooperate with those real estate brokers and their clients. If you are willing to work with them, you’ll have to decide what you are willing to pay them. Keep in mind they will likely show homes only listed on MLS because there is already a process and agreement in place that assures them of payment in the event of a closing. With you it’s all up in the air and uncertain.
As you noted in your question, many real estate agents work off a 6 percent commission, which is usually shared between the buyer’s and the seller’s brokers. The commission amount can vary. In hard-to-sell situations, we’ve seen commissions higher than 6 percent, and in quick-moving markets or higher priced homes we’ve seen commissions as low as 4 percent.
Given that difference, you’ll have to determine what most real estate agents receive for commissions on homes like yours. If the commission is 6 percent, you might consider giving the broker that brings you a buyer 3 percent or so.
As you can see, if you have to show the home, market it, pay to list it and handle other aspects of the sale, including paying 3 percent to a broker that brings you a buyer and handling all information distributions required by law, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the time and expense to handle the transaction yourself.
Keep in mind, to get top dollar for your home you need to have the maximum amount of buyers looking at your home- exposure. The more people who are looking the better chance for you to get your asking price. When a Real Estate Agent puts the home on MLS many times he also places it on multiple websites that are seen locally and around the world. This is called Syndication. This can sometimes create a bidding war on your home because multiple buyers desire to purchase it.
Some sellers decide the savings are worth it. However, we have heard from readers that many try to sell on their own for a while, find it quite difficult and give up and list their home with a real estate agent. Somewhere around 88 percent of homes are sold with real estate agents, according to the National Association of Realtors. So some people have success selling on their own. Although they frequently sell for much less money.
If you choose to go that route, we’d encourage you to do your homework. You should understand the real estate market in your area, what your home is worth and what you need to do to list your home for sale. You also need to think about how your home shows and what things you should do to improve the appearance. This is something many Realtors can advise extensively on.
It’s important to know where your potential buyers might be and use your resources effectively to market to them. You should also know who the better and busier real estate agents are in your area and market your home to them. Finally, know what paperwork and documentation you need to have handy for your showings and to sell your home.
We hope that helps. Tell us how things work out.
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When buying or selling a house, the appraisal value plays a huge role. Appraisals help sellers determine the market price of their home. Additionally, buyers sometimes call in appraisers to assess a property before making an offer. According TalkToAl.Com, appraisers do not inspect the physical condition of the house. Instead, appraisers simply compare the overall features and amenities of the house with other similarly valued houses in the area. To maximize the appraisal value of your home, there are a few tips that every home seller should follow.
Make a list of any updates. Some home items are difficult to “date” simply by looking at them. According to TalkToAl.com, a home seller should always provide the appraiser with a list of updated items. If the furnace, air conditioner, appliances or other amenities are new, the appraiser may factor these new items into his overall estimate. Without a list of updates, however, some of these new items might be overlooked.
Fix cosmetic blemishes. While it is important to get your home’s physical structure up to code before selling, an appraiser will not be specifically looking for structural problems. Structural and functional issues can be addressed later on, prior to an inspection. If a major problem is obvious, you’ll need to fix it for the appraisal, but otherwise your primary concern will be cosmetics. Make sure you repaint any rooms with chipped or faded paint. Clean the carpets and the kitchen. When your home is in pristine condition, it will likely receive a higher appraisal value.
Update your fixtures, but don’t overspend. Small changes can make a big difference. Light switches, faucets and other nominal items can make your home seem dated. Newer fixtures are inexpensive but can help add to your appraisal value.
Attend to the exterior of the property. When preparing for an appraisal, some people focus entirely on the interior. However, power-washing the siding can help make the home look newer and cleaner. Additionally, a well-landscaped yard can make your home more comparable to high-value properties in the area.
Remove pets, litter boxes, chew toys and ashtrays before the appraisal. A few candles or some fresh-baked cookies can mask the smell of smoke and pet dander while an appraiser values your home, but visible signs of pets and cigarettes can clue the appraiser into potential odor issues, which might lower the value of your home.
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If you’ve been sitting on the fence about selling your home, it might just be time to hop off. Now. To put it in other terms: 2018 is poised to be the year of the home seller, real estate experts say. So what are you waiting for?
“Sellers have been in the driver’s seat for the last two years, but this year is shaping up to be even better for several reasons,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. “Nothing is bad for sellers today.”
A combination of factors is coming together to make 2017 a prime seller’s market for most of the nation. Here’s what’s driving it:
It’s all about rates, baby. Low mortgage rates translate to lower monthly costs. Lower costs entice buyers, which is good for sellers.
Although mortgage rates have been ticking up since mid-October to slightly over 4%, the rates for a 30-year fixed mortgage—the most popular home loan—are still hovering near 30-year lows. For now.
“We expect them to hold at this (4%) level for a while and continue to adjust up,” says Danielle Hale, managing director of housing research for the National Association of Realtors®. “Mortgage rates rarely move in a straight line. They could be in the 4.6% to 4.8% range by the end of the year.”
What does that have to do with home sellers? Well, potential buyers who are armed with that knowledge might hustle to close on a home before a rate hike.
What if you’re nowhere near ready to put your house on the market? That’s OK. Even if rates nudge up by the end of 2018, they’re still expected to be low enough to seduce buyers. The tipping point is when rates reach 5%, experts say. That’s when they could put the brakes on the robust real estate market.
“If they go above 5%, we’re going to see home prices come down,” says Trevor Levin, a real estate agent with Nourmand & Associates in Los Angeles.
Reason No. 2: Inventory is shrinking
Remember in Econ 101, when you learned that low supply and high demand lead to rising prices? The same is true—in spades—for residential real estate. When inventory shrinks, available homes become more valuable. As Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing for sellers.
Let’s put it in perspective: In 2007, just before the housing crash, existing home inventory peaked at 4.04 million homes for sale, according to NAR data. Fast-forward to November 2016: There were only 1.85 million homes for sale, 9.3% lower than the year before—and a whopping 54% lower than the 2007 peak.
“Quite simply, sellers this year have the least competition,” Smoke says.
And get this: Not only are there fewer homes for sale, but the time those homes have spent on the market has decreased year over year as well. If priced correctly, the typical home should move quickly, Smoke says. And that’s another boon for sellers.
“Many potential sellers don’t want to think about having to prep a home for showings and deal with an indefinite period of having to keep things in perfect shape,” he says. “Fast-moving inventory limits that pain.”
Reason No. 3: Home prices are rising
Lower inventory and greater demand have pushed up home prices. The median existing-home price in November 2016 was $234,900, up 6.8% from November 2015, when it was $220,000, according to the NAR. And that’s no fluke. That was the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Higher prices particularly benefit the seller whose property value plunged during the recession, sometimes to less than he owed. Thanks to rising prices, many homeowners whose property was underwater can now sell without suffering a big loss.
“2018 will be a rare ‘balanced market’ for buyers, because even though mortgage rates are edging up, many sellers have recovered enough equity to be able to afford to sell,” says Colby Sambrotto, president and CEO of USRealty.com.
Reason No. 4: Job markets are strengthening
As unemployment decreases and wages (finally) increase, consumer confidence will climb. Increased confidence will spur buyers to jump into the market—which is, you guessed it—more good news for sellers.
These pieces of the puzzle create a “virtuous cycle,” Smoke says. It’s not a term he coined, but it’s one he hasn’t had a chance to use in many years.
“These things are all connected,” Smoke says. “If people are confident, they’re more likely to buy big-ticket items like houses and cars. And then they spend more money on other things. It reinforces the economy, creating a virtuous cycle.”
The only ‘bad’ news for sellers
If you sell your home today, you mostly likely will buy another. Then, all the economic factors that worked in your favor as a seller will work against you as a buyer.
Sellers have a few options. You can rent for a while, and hope that prices come down in the future. But whatever you save on the price of a house you could surrender when mortgage rates climb to 6%—as predicted for 2019 and 2020, Smoke says.
The take-home lesson: Don’t wait, because mortgage rates won’t.
“There are opportunities for a seller-turned-buyer who wants to downsize in this market,” Smoke says. “You can lock in financing rates that you’ll never see again, and very likely make the trade-off work.”