Buying Real Estate

By now, many property owners have received their county/state property tax assessment.  Read the notices and don’t be afraid to question the values reported by the assessor.  Because many areas of the US real estate market have had DRASTIC price increases in the past year or two, you may be paying much more than needed. Keep […]

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Transferring real (real estate) property to an heir or beneficiary can be accomplished many ways, including Power of Attorney, Probate, Wills and Trust Estates.  Power of Attorney (PoA) are instructions while living.  Wills are instructions upon death.  Deeds are devices to transfer property.  Trusts are holding entities for assets (including real estate). Power of Attorney […]

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When buying a property with a residential mortgage (loan), you may be bombarded with solicitations from various companies offering you “mortgage life insurance” that offers to pay-off your mortgage if you or your spouse dies.  These policies are usually much more expensive than a term-life policy and decline in value over the term of your […]

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Owners that manage rental property should learn about the various “Landlord-Tenant” laws.  There are many laws that must be followed or the resulting legal action and penalties can be severe. For example, security deposits must be handled properly when received, held and disbursed.  A final accounting is extremely important and failure to correctly account for […]

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There is plenty of news indicating that now is the time to get back into real estate… Careful, each market is different.  Unlike the stock market where the price of a stock is the same regardless of the location, real estate is highly variable depending on the location.  And even then, within each town, the […]

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Word on the street is that now may not be the best time to buy a home.  If the predictions are correct, a drop in housing values of 15% to 25% may be on the horizon.  Source:  CNN/Money Depending on your particular situation, it may be cheaper to buy now instead of renting.  If your […]

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Recent guidelines for FHA loans will make getting a FHA-backed loan on a meth (methamphetamine) contaminated (or remediated) property virtually impossible.  Since most new loans today for buyers are FHA loans, this will probably severely limit lending on any property that was once a “meth contaminated” property.  The net effect will most likely mean a […]

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If you are rehabbing an older building  (built before 1978), then new EPA rules are in place. It is suggested that you first test the property for lead based paint.  If the building tests positive for lead based paint, you need to follow the new RRP (Renovate, Repair or Paint) Rules. The basic rules state […]

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In Colorado real estate, there are several types of deeds, depending on the type/amount of protection given and received from the seller and buyer.  From the Colorado Real Estate Manual, Chapter 8: Types Of Deeds There are four major classifications of deeds: (1) General warranty deed, (2) Special warranty deed, (3) Bargain and sale deed, […]

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Most smoke alarms (smoke detectors) have a useful life of 7 to 10 years. After this time period, the detecting elements start to wear out. Newer smoke detectors are more sensitive and more reliable. Homeowners should consider changing their smoke detectors every 7 to 10 years. (Remember: Batteries should be changed at least yearly). Most […]

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When buying property in Colorado, there are many ways to visually represent the piece of land on a sheet of paper. The four popular methods used in Colorado are:  ILC, Land Survey Plat, Improvement Survey Plat and an Alta Survey. ILC – This is NOT a Survey!  This is a rendition of a visual inspection […]

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“ A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. [1] ” -Wikipedia Buyer’s/Seller’s Agent or Transaction Broker? To help you navigate the complicated path of buying or selling a home, you need […]

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Water Rights in Colorado can be as valuable as gold, sometime more valuable than gold!  In order to develop land or build upon it, an owner is required to supply water.  Due diligence should be exercised when buying a property with water rights, a well or municipal water.  Diverting or storing of water (catching rain […]

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Effective January 1, 2010,  the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) modified the RESPA (real estate settlement protection act) rules.  This is the first major change in 30 years.  It is designed to help consumers comparison shop for mortgage loans by “bundling” the fees that lenders and title companies charge consumers. Some highlights include: […]

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If you opened your year-end retirement account statement, you were probably surprised about the substantial loss in account value.  Many people are reporting account losses around 40% compared to the beginning of the year. Did you know that real estate has only lost about 30%-40% of value?  And not all areas of the country have […]

Continue reading about Buying Investment Real Estate with an IRA/Roth-IRA/401K/etc.

When offering a property for rent, you should have a “Meth Clause” and “crime-free addendum” in your lease. (here is a sample “Crime Free-Drug Free” addendum) This will let tenants know that you do not tolerate any type of illegal drug use or criminal activity on or in your property. Because methamphetamine is cheap and […]

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Renovation loans are a great way to purchase a property that requires rehabilitation or renovation prior to occupancy.  Buyer’s can use a renovation loan to update, rehabilitate or renovate a property. There are currently two types of loan programs:  FHA and Fannie Mae. The FHA program requires: Current seller on title for 90 days For […]

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Buying a home has its rewards and drawbacks.  One of the biggest drawbacks to home ownership is the regular home maintenance needed to keep a home operating at peak efficiency. Properly maintaining a home increases the homes value as well as minimized operating costs.  Deferring maintenance is not a good practice and may also be […]

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There are many properties available at a significant discount.  For the typical buyer that can tackle cosmetic repairs (paint, carpet, windows, doors, drywall and light remodeling) staying away from properties with structural defects/deficiencies is important. To help identify structural defects, buyers should have an agent that is familiar with the major systems of a property […]

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This week, Congress and the President passed the 2009 Stimulus Plan. If you are a first time buyer, there is an $8,000 tax credit available. To qualify, you must: Not owned a principle residence in past 3 years Buy a home (house, condo, duplex, triplex or 4-plex apartment) from Jan 1, 2009 through Dec 1, […]

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