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zhazhin_sergey/iStock; realtor.com – Written by Daniel Bortz

Which real estate documents should you keep after buying a home? After all, you don’t want to have to file all of it if you don’t have to; but you also don’t want to chuck something crucial. Your closing company is required by law to keep a record of your closing documents, so that’s a good fallback in case you misplace yours. Still, it’s smart for you to keep important documents on hand—particularly if, later on, you need to file a claim against the seller or your professional representation team (i.e., your real estate agent, home inspector, or mortgage lender). Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, but it’s wise to be prepared. Full disclosure: I’m a real estate agent, but I’m not a naturally organized person. In fact, until a few months ago, I kept the documents from my home purchase in a folder in my closet labeled “Keep Docs.” (I’m not joking!) But the important thing is, I know what forms I have to hold onto. So, of the hundreds of documents you’ll encounter during the home-buying process, here are the ones you should keep—and why.

1. Buyer’s agent agreement

When you choose a real estate agent, you sign a buyer’s agent agreement—a contract between you and the brokerage, stating that the agent represents you in the purchase of your home. This agreement outlines the terms of the relationship with your agent—including who pays the agent’s commission (in most cases, the seller), the length of the agreement (90 to 120 days is standard in most markets), and the terms for terminating the agreement. Why you should keep it: This contract spells out what services your agent agreed to provide you with—and it can come into play if you have an issue with your agent after the transaction closes.

2. Purchase agreement

Every home sale starts with a real estate purchase agreement—a legally binding contract signed by home buyers and sellers that confirms that they agree upon a certain purchase price, closing date, and other terms. Why you should keep it: The provisions stated in this contract must be followed to the letter. If you or the seller fails to fulfill these duties, there could be legal ramifications.

3. Addenda, amendments, or riders

These types of documents alter or amend the terms of your purchase contract. For example, if a survey reveals that there’s an encroaching fence built by a neighbor, and you’d like the fence removed, the sales contract has to be formally amended. Why you should keep them: Addenda, amendments, and riders are often related to home inspections or appraisals, and because they change the original terms of the signed contract, they’re worth holding onto. For instance, if both parties signed a repair addendum, where the seller agreed to make certain repairs based on the home inspection, you’ll need this addendum if you find issues with the repairs down the road.

4. Seller disclosures

Sellers are required by law to disclose certain problems with the home, both present and past, that they’re aware of that could affect its value. While laws vary by state, these disclosures might include lead-based paint, pest infestations, and renovations done without a permit. Why you should keep them: If major problems crop up with your home after you move in, these disclosures can be the basis for a future lawsuit against the seller. If you lose them, you might have trouble holding the seller accountable in a court of law.

5. Home inspection report

After your home inspection, your inspector should produce a report with detailed notes on the condition of the home and any potential problems. Why you should keep it: This document is an extremely detailed list of everything that the home inspector finds, and it typically includes photos of problem areas. By keeping this report, you’ll have a record of any repairs that you may need to make to the property in the future.

6. Closing disclosure

Mortgage lenders must provide borrowers with a closing disclosure (also called a CD) at least three business days before settlement. This document spells out things such as your loan term (typically 15 or 30 years), loan type (a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage), the interest rate, and closing costs, among other financials. Why you should keep it: Your CD is an itemized list of all the costs associated with closing and your mortgage, and it’s important to have for future reference. It’s also the document you’ll need when you go to file your taxes, since you can take deductions for things such as mortgage points.

7. Title insurance policy

Title insurance offers protection against any competing claims to a home. As part of the process, the insurer will run a title search of public records, seeking loose ends such as liens against the property or fraudulent signatures on ownership documents. Why you should keep it: You’ll need this document in the event another party, such as a previous owner, tries to claim the property. Note that there is separate title insurance to cover lenders versus buyers, and you would do well to get a policy for yourself.

8. Property deed

When you take title and become the sole owner of the property, you’ll receive a deed—a legal document that confirms or conveys the ownership rights to the home, says Anne Rizzo, associate vice president of Detroit-based title insurance company Amrock. “It must be a physical document signed by both the buyer and the seller,” Rizzo says. Typically, the property deed is mailed to you after the title transfer documents are recorded in your county’s public records office. Why you should keep it: Presenting a property deed is the only way to show someone you legally own the home you’re residing in. Because the deed is sent to you directly, neither your mortgage lender nor title company is required to keep a copy of it.

We felt that his was a very helpful article and wanted our readers here to be more informed regarding keeping those important closing papers! Let us help you with your Real Estate needs today!
Posted by Cat Moe on June 7th, 2018 8:21 AM

Article by KCM Crew



If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount. Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home. The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000. But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first. In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do: “Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.” Bottom Line The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.
Posted by Cat Moe on April 6th, 2017 9:35 AM

by President Jamie Duran, Orange County, San Diego, and Desert Companies

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We want to Thank President Jamie Duran of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for this Presidents Message!  And we were honored to have been the ones that handled the Sells of these hallmark properties that were features in numerous books and received several architectural awards for its “timeless architecture.”  As quoted by us :These are stunning estates with rich history, remarkable design, and incredible vistas.  The transactions fell into place beautifully and we were fortunate to be involved with the sales”

tamarisk

346 Tamarisk Rd – Zanuck Estate – Sold /$4.9M

1136456-7010

64725 Acanto Drive – Pond Estate – Sold /$7.5M

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2212 Southridge Dr – Boat House – Sold /$1.75M

We Cat Moe & John Nelson of Nelson-Moe Properties Coldwell Banker Presidents Premier Properties would also be HONOREDif given the chance to SELL your “Timeless  Architecture” Estate as well!  Contact us TODAY!

Posted by Cat Moe on October 27th, 2016 1:33 PM
Stock Market swoon stalls luxury home sales
Article by Diana Olick

Rampant volatility in the U.S. stock market is showing up in the high-end housing market. But as with all things real estate, the impact depends entirely on location.

2016 started with a severe stock swoon, and that had an outsized impact on homebuyers with a higher net worth. Historically, high-end housing suffers most in a market downturn.

"As you go up the income quintile, into the top 10 percent, 5 percent, 1 percent by income, their stock exposure increases," said Sam Khater, chief economist at CoreLogic. "For the typical family, the bulk of their equity is tied up in home equity not stock equity. It's the reverse for high income."

0301 housing

Source: Sam Khater/CoreLogic

Khater compared the share of million-dollar home sales to the S&P 500 and found a distinct correlation. While the share of $1 million or more homes is very small, just 1.2 percent of all home sales historically, it can move dramatically depending on stock market gains or losses. From the worst of the financial crisis in 2008 to the peak of the equity markets in May 2015, the share of million dollar and more home sales nearly doubled, according to Khater.

Read More Homeowners and the Super Tuesday vote

"Since its peak in May 2015, the S&P index declined 10 percent as of mid-February. This decline in the S&P index was matched by a 30 basis point or 15 percent decline in the $1 million or more share," Khater said.

The correlation, however, is far more acute in certain locations.

In New York City and San Francisco, where the local economies are tied most to financial markets, sales of high-end homes have weakened, and supply is rising. That jump in inventory will likely affect prices down the road, as supply outstrips demand. Nationally there was a 9.3-month supply of homes listed at $1 million or above in December 2014, but that increased to 13 months by December 2015, according to CoreLogic.

"With more than a year's supply of inventory, prices, for the most part, won't be increasing," Khater said.

Read More House flipping: Deja vu all over again

In Washington, D.C., however, the stock effect is far more muted. Government, and the high-priced lawyers and lobbyists that surround it, are a steady denominator.

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"Demand is higher, even though the stock market has gotten in the way and the snowstorm has gotten in the way, but demand is there, people are feeling very good about the economy," said Nancy Taylor Bubes, a 30-year veteran of high-end D.C. real estate and currently an agent with Washington Fine Properties.

She was standing in a $5.75 million listing that received a solid offer in just 10 days. Taylor Bubes, who specializes in the area's high-end neighborhoods, says she has sold six million-dollar-plus listings year to date, three times what she did last year. Her buyers, mostly domestic and local, are not swayed by Wall Street.

"I actually think the stock market is good for my business. I think people are going to really think about divesting a little bit and putting it into something they would really enjoy," Taylor Bubes said.

In southwest Florida, however, where real estate is primarily driven by wealthy retirees from the Northeast and Midwest, the story is very different. Sales have slowed dramatically.

"The stock market volatility has definitely impacted the luxury homebuyer in Florida, particularly in Naples and Sarasota," said Kristine Smale, a senior consultant with John Burns Real Estate Consulting who is based in Florida. "Seasonal traffic is still strong, but would-be buyers are slow to commit this year due to the significant hits to their portfolios. Builders are disappointed, and some are increasing incentives to generate sales,"

Read MoreYours for $44M: Margaret Thatcher's London home

The direction of the luxury real estate market now depends entirely on both the trajectory of the stock market and on inventory levels. Supply of less-expensive homes is extremely tight, and homebuilders are leery of building to that market, as it is harder to meet margins at lower price points. Early last year, before the stock market began its fall, the CEO of Pulte Group, Richard Dugas, said the company would focus more on high-end product, because that is where the demand is.

If the stock market settles, the spring housing market could see a resurgence on the high end. If not, supply will surely increase, and prices will chill.

Posted by Cat Moe on March 3rd, 2016 8:51 AM


By Brian Honea On April 8, 2015 @ 7:59 am In Daily Dose,Featured,Market Studies,News 
An early look at the realtor.com  national monthly housing data, which is based on the first three weeks of March, showed that housing demand is surging and median list prices are rising faster.
The median age of inventory declined by 13 percent month-over-month in March despite a 2 percent increase in inventory for that same period, according to realtor.com. Meanwhile, the median list price for a home rose nationally by 3 percent month-over-month and 11 percent year-over-year up to $220,000 for March.
“It’s still a seller’s market,” said Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com chief economist. “Realtor.com data shows that supply is not keeping pace with surging demand.  We expect rising prices to persuade those who may be on the fence about listing their homes to do so in the coming months, leading to closer parity between supply and demand.”
The realtor.com data concurred with Fannie Mae's March 2015 Housing Survey [3] , which also showed signs of a seller's market. The percentage of respondents in Fannie Mae's survey who said they believe now is a good time to sell reached an all-time survey high of 46 percent while the percentage of people surveyed who said now is a good time to buy declined slightly to 20 percent, possibly indicating a move toward a more balanced housing market.
Smoke determined the 20 hottest housing markets in the nation based on the number of listing views relative to the number of listings when looking at March data and website traffic. Realtor.com said these markets should see plenty of activity in the next few months as homebuying season gets underway. The top 20 markets were: 1. Waco, Texas; 2. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana; 3. Ann Arbor, Michigan; 4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado; 5. Santa Rosa, California; 6. Fort Wayne, Indiana;  7. Vallejo-Fairfield, California; 8. San Diego-Carlsbad, California; 9. Columbus, Ohio; 10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan; 11. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire; 12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire; 13. Austin-Round Rock, Texas; 14. Boulder, Colorado; 15. Springfield, Illinois; 16. Charleston, West Virginia; 17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida; 19. College Station-Bryan, Texas; and 20. Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan.
Posted by Cat Moe on April 9th, 2015 12:11 PM

Selling in the winter offers at least two positives – less competition and new customers.  During the winter, most people have taken their listings off the market, but agents can help buyers who have been forced into sudden moves, like executives with job transfers who are looking to purchase a property quickly.

To take advantage of the season, make sure your home is properly staged for the winter. This can help your property receive a higher offer and get off the market sooner.

Start on the Outside

There is no question that curb appeal is one of the first things that attract a potential buyer, but more often than not, they are forgiving of a snow-covered property during the winter months. Most buyers understand that snow piles up in the yard and trees stay barren during cold weather.

What they will not tolerate however is the inability to get to your open house because of bad weather. If heavy snow threatens before the open house, you may need to provide alternative directions to visitors or move the showing to when the weather is more favorable.

If snow covers the ground, clear a safe path from the street to the front door. Spreading sand or salt on the walkway can improve footing. Do not forget to also clear a pathway to any outdoor areas that you want buyers to visit, such as a storage shed or guest house.

Make it Comfortable

Be sure to ask your client to turn on the heat in all the rooms for a warm walk-through. Before the open house begins, walk through the property and check the warmth level in each room. If any room or area feels chilly, buyers may assume that the home lacks adequate insulation or has heating issues.

If the source of the cold air is a draft from a hole or a poorly sealed window, seal any gaps to eliminate the problem. Poor air circulation may also be an issue. You can remedy this by moving furniture away from vents wherever the room allows.

Show Warmth

What buyers see can affect their perception of warmth. Barren areas, solid colors, shine and reflective surfaces reinforce a “cool” aesthetic and are best reserved for summer staging. In the winter, ensure that warm fabrics, rugs, pillows, curtains, bed linens and tablecloths adorn the home for visual warmth. Layer throws and pillows on sofas and beds so visitors can envision cozy days spent on the couch. Use richly textured materials such as furry blankets and wooden accessories.

Bring in the promise of warmer times by putting containers filled with winter-blooming plants in strategic locations. Place a hanging plant near the entry, a winter bouquet on the dining room table or a bunch of small flowers on the side tables flanking the couch.

Staging your winter listings should not take any more time, effort or money than in the summer. Adequate preparation and a bit of attention to detail can make the difference between marketing a cozy home that buyers will bid on and a property that languishes on the market for months because it seems as cold as the weather outside.




Posted by Cat Moe on February 25th, 2015 2:04 PM



Posted by RE-Insider on 2/09/15 • Categorized as Industry News

While many aspects of the real estate market have seen encouraging changes in recent weeks, one new development could spell disaster in the near future. Recently, the total number of homes available nationwide fell for the first time in 16 months, while many Californian markets saw significant drops from previous months. Now, there is a growing concern that the tightening inventory could accelerate price gains – a change which could ultimately force many would-be buyers out of the market.

A new report from the National Association of Realtors recently stated that the number of homes available on the market dropped in the month of December, waning by a modest 1% from the year before but marking the first year over year decline in 16 months.

Although several metro areas throughout California saw improvements year-over-year, many still saw significant drops in inventory from previous months.

Orange County for example – which is already facing a housing shortage and believed to have a deficit of 30,000 to 60,000 homes – had a significant improvement of 43.9% year-over-year but still dropped 8.5% from the month before. San Francisco’s inventory, on the other hand, declined by 15% year-over-year and 40% from the month before. San Diego saw a more modest drop, with inventory sinking by 1.7% from the year before and 16.9% from the previous month.

Bakersfield was the only metro area which saw positive gains on both a yearly and monthly basis, increasing by a whopping 52.1% and 4.1% respectively, according to data collected by Redfin.

While sellers may at potentially increasing prices, it’s likely that buyers and their agents will start to feel the pressure of a tightening inventory.

“Months’ supply is already low at 4.4 months,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in an analysis of the trend. “More inventories are needed, not less. Or else, home prices could reaccelerate.”

It’s believed that a part of the drop was a result of declining foreclosure inventories, so agents and brokers who deal heavily in distressed properties should be aware that business opportunities could be shrinking as well.

Do you think the recent drop in available listings will price out new buyers? What are your thoughts?

Posted by Cat Moe on February 25th, 2015 1:43 PM

Article posted by RISMedia

2015 will show an economic improvement, according to the Economic Advisory, Committee of the American Bankers Association, who predicts that the U.S. economy will grow nearly 3 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis this year compared to 2.5 percent last year.

The committee, which includes 15 chief economists from among the largest banks in North America, sees an improved fundamental backdrop for growth.  Sectors that were severely damaged during the 2008-2009 crisis better health.  Household balance sheets have also improved, with strong gains in asset prices and a dramatic drop in debt service burden.

The fiscal and monetary policy environment is supportive of growth. Fiscal policy is no longer a headwind as budget brinkmanship battles abate and tax and spending polices stabilize.  The group forecasts the federal budget deficit will stabilize at $470 billion in fiscal year 2015.

The committee expects the Federal Reserve to maintain near-zero interest rates through mid-2015. Thereafter, the bank economists see a very gradual normalization of interest rates over the next several years.

"We expect the Fed to calibrate its policy to minimize any shock to growth," says Ethan Harris, chairman of the group and co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The group sees failing energy prices as a net positive for the economy.  Low prices will hurt the oil patch, cutting into mining employment and capital spending.  However, this will likely be more than offset by the boost of energy consumers.

"Gas at about $2 a gallon is like an across-the-board tax cut," says Harris. "Cash savings at the pump leave more money for consumers to save or spend elsewhere."

Despite the weakness in energy sector investment, the group sees business investment as a strong point for the economy. The consensus forecast is that business investment will rise 5 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis this year.

The Committee sees continued monthly job gains of 200,000 or higher through this year. However, the bank economists expressed concerns that job gains had not yet triggered healthy wage growth.

"Top earners have fared well since the last recession, but the same can't be says for middle and lower-income families," says Harris. "Wages have barely kept up with inflation over the last six years, straining household budgets."

Nonetheless, the Committee believes the ongoing drop in unemployment will start pushing wage growth higher.

"Solid job growth, improving wages and lower energy costs should encourage more families to spend," says Harris. The Committee expects 3 percent real consumption growth in 2015.

The group expects residential investment to be stronger this year with gains in single and multi-family starts and home sales. The EAC expects home prices nationally to rise 3.5 percent this year.

"With home prices on the rise, families are once again viewing homes as good investments," says Harris. "Even if mortgage interest rates rise some this year, more people are going to want to buy a first or larger home."

The group's consensus is that mortgage rates will rise only from about 4 percent now to 4.5 percent by year-end.

The group forecasts that consumer credit growth will be modest this year and business lending growth will be stronger, but will return to a more normal pace of growth.  In 2015 and 2016, loans to individuals are expected to grow about 6 percent and loans to businesses will grow about 10 percent.

"We're optimistic that business lending will grow at a double-digit rate this year to finance healthy business investment, "says Harris. "Stronger growth in business lending will be critical for the economy.  Banks are ready to meet demand as businesses take the next step forward."

The Committee sees low inflation resulting from failing energy prices, which will temporarily push year-over-year headline inflation into negative territory.

"Outside of energy, the improving domestic economy could put upward pressure on prices, but the weak global backdrop and a strong dollar should limit any inflation acceleration," says Harris.

The Committee believes the greatest near-term risks to the U.S. economy come from outside the country.

"Disappointing growth in Europe, China and Japan is a reminder that the global economy still faces major challenges, "says Harris.

The Committee also sees major long-run budget challenges.

"As the baby boom generation retires, the federal budget deficit will balloon again, posing a major challenge to future generations, "says Harris.

Nonetheless, the Committee sees a generally positive U.S. economic outlook for 2015 with above-trend growth, low inflation and a go-slow Fed.


Thought that is was a good article so wanted to post it for our readers.  Let us know what your thoughts are on this positive growth!  Contact us if you would be interested in getting an home evaluation or speaking to us about purchasing a home.

Posted by Cat Moe on January 21st, 2015 1:32 PM

By Michael Neal


A precious blog post illustrated that U.S house prices are recording a range of annual gains with some areas of the country rising faster than others.  Similarly, in the context of the global economy, annual house price growth in the U.S. has been faster than some countries while lagging in other countries.

The International Monetary Fund’s Global Housing Watch calculates a real seasonally adjusted house price index for 52 countries including the United States.  House prices in these countries are used to calculate two separate global house price indexes.  One global house price index assigns an equal weight to each country and the second global house price index is adjusted to account for the size of each country’s economic output (GDP).

Figure 1 below shows that the rate of growth recorded in the US places it in the 2nd quintile amongst countries for which house price data are available.  According to the International Monetary Fund, real and seasonally adjusted annual house price growth in the U.S. was estimated to be 3.6% between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, thereby contributing to the 1.3% increase in real seasonally adjusted global house prices.  The IMF comparison utilizes the Federal Housing Agency (FHFA) house price index.


Earlier blog posts have illustrated how typically, house prices in areas that fell the most remain farther from their peak level.

Similarly, in an international comparison, real seasonally adjusted house prices in the U.S. fell more than collective would house prices, but they are farther from returning to their peak level. As Figure 2 illustrates, house prices in the U.S reached their peak in the fourth quarter of 2006 and fell to 73% of that peak by the second quarter of 2011.  As of the second quarter of 2014, U.S. house prices peaked in the first quarter of 2008 and fell to 91% of that level in the second quarter of 2009.  However, as of the second quarter of 2014, global house prices are at 94% of their peak level.




Posted by Cat Moe on December 9th, 2014 3:00 PM

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