All posts tagged: Real Estate

A DEED AMONG FAMILY?

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Who needs deeds a deed among family members? The family members do!! Good deeds support good relations among kin, especially when inheritance gets involved.

When property changes hands from branch to branch on the family tree, keep the paperwork in order and maintain title insurance so that ownership rights can be properly recognized and defended should a dispute arise. Don’t take shortcuts just because it’s family—don’t take shortcuts because it IS family!!

A major source of title challenges is from family transactions in real estate.

Even if the old homestead has been in the family for fifty years, property disputes can happen at any time. Family disputes tend to be the biggest and most emotional. When there’s a lot of emotion, there’s no rational—and it’s costly! Want to help an attorney pay off his college loan, pay for litigation on a family dispute. When somebody says, “I’m fighting this for the principal of the matter,” they usually mean: “For all the principal in your bank account!”

It’s expensive to be totally right!! Have you hired a lawyer lately? Remember, if a person—family member or otherwise—files a claim against your property, YOU have to pay for the legal defense of your real estate rights. Title insurance covers those court costs and provides the legal representation.

Whether Uncle Elmer thought your daddy left the place to him, or Cousin Jesse claims your septic tank is on her side next door, a title insurance policy provides the financial and legal means to assert your ownership rights.

As of March 2001, a lot of companies started issuing the new and improved title insurance forms which allowed for those who inherit property to also inherit the title insurance. But any policy issued without the updated forms is not assumable to heirs; therefore, even though granddaddy had coverage, it doesn’t mean you do.

Don’t know if your inherited property came with title insurance? Land Title of America, Inc will be glad to check—it’s a free service—just stop by our office located on U.S.Highway 1 South in St. Augustine (in the Lewis Point Plaza) or give us a call:

Land Title of America, Inc
2495 U.S. Highway 1 South
St. Augustine, Florida
(904) 797-9600

Land Title of AmericaA DEED AMONG FAMILY?
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Great Deals in Real Estate, Especially Foreclosures

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If you haven’t noticed lately, there are some great deals in real estate! Look around—it’s a buyer’s bonanza! If you’ve got the finances, real estate is a great investment—take advantage of the low rates.

Holly Yelton recently reported that lending is loosening up.  She is doing quite a few loans on condos, FHA and VA loans, construction loans for both primary residence and second homes, and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers (yes, though the Federal program has ended, there are ongoing programs for first-time homebuyers). So that’s good news for real estate buyers.  Furthermore, there is a home fix loan, which is designed for a distressed property, such as a foreclosure.

The foreclosure properties out there are often great deals, but may need a little work. The home fix conventional loan product Holly mentioned is only available for a primary residence, but it is well-suited for buying a house that’s been foreclosed on, making a great deal even sweeter!

Stephen CollinsGreat Deals in Real Estate, Especially Foreclosures
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Money Pit

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When you’re buying a home, what you don’t know can cost you.

There are great deals on the market right now, especially through REO’s (Real Estate Owned), also known as Bank Owned Properties. Bank Owned Properties are pieces of real estate that has been repossessed by the lender or bank. In many cases, you can pay a low purchase price for an amazing potential on an REO. The drawback is that the bank doesn’t know what’s wrong with the property. The bank doesn’t live there, so it doesn’t know if the place needs a roof replaced or if it just needs a new doormat. The bank can’t give you guarantees.

You can avoid buying a money pit with a home inspection. Get a home inspection before buying a home, especially an REO, that way you have an idea of what repairs will be needed, and you can consider those costs in your budget.

You can avoid owning a money pit with an owner’s title insurance policy. Purchase title insurance at the real estate closing, that way you can focus on fixing up your home without financial concern about somebody else trying to claim ownership after you’ve paid for it and spent money on repairs.

Title insurance gives you peace of mind about your legal rights to real property. It’s a one-time fee at closing that protects you for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property. It pays valid claims and covers the cost of a legal defense of your ownership.

As a buyer, you should be aware of how good a deal you’re getting by having a home inspection done ahead of time, then as an owner, protect that deal with an owner’s title insurance policy.

Stephen CollinsMoney Pit
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