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Monday, November 30, 2009

What IS? (Series) from Scott Larson "Title Insurance"

What is Title Insurance?

Owning Your Property free and clear involves more than having a deed in hand. A deed does not cancel certain "rights" and "claims" other people may have to your property - rights whose existence you never suspected; claims that may go back in time months or decades to the earliest owners of your newly acquired property.

Protecting Your Rights

"What Protection," you may ask, "do I have against such claims? How can I be sure my property is really mine?" The answer to both of those questions is real estate ownership insurance, commonly known as title insurance.

Title Insurance

Title Insurance is an insured statement of the condition of your "title" or ownership rights to a certain piece of property. A title insurance policy describes your property in detail and states what limitations, if any, there are to your ownership. (For liens or encumbrances. Or you may not own mineral rights. Or easements may have been granted to utility companies or adjacent property owners.)

Most importantly, a title insurance policy guarantees that the property you are purchasing is free of undisclosed liens, confusion in the rights of ownership and other clouds on the title. In short, it guarantees that you own the property for which you bargained.

Before A Policy is issued, the title company or one of its agents conducts a search of public records, maps and documents. The records trace back to colonial estates, pioneer homesteads or Spanish land grants and forward to the current owner. Only after collecting, examining and interpreting appropriate records is a policy issued insuring the condition of title.

Besides Describing your property and spelling out any recorded limitations on your ownership, a title insurance policy sets forth in clear terms what the title company will do in the event that a flaw in the title is discovered or your rights of ownership are challenged.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all, I wish everyone a safe and blessed holiday weekend. Even in tough economic times we can find something in our lives to be thankful for, so be close to those who matter most this Thanksgiving week and remember to focus on the positive. Now….go eat some Turkey!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scott Larson is a SRES
Who Are the Seniors Real Estate Specialists®?

Seniors Real Estate Specialists® are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers and sellers age 50+. The SRES® Council awards the SRES® Designation to those members who have successfully completed its education program.

By earning the SRES® designation, your REALTOR® has demonstrated necessary knowledge and expertise to counsel clients age 50-plus through major financial and lifestyle transitions involved in relocating, refinancing, or selling the family home. Your REALTOR® has received special training, gets regular updates, and is prepared to offer the options and information needed in making life changing decisions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things to Consider in making an Offer

This is what to consider when coming up with your offer:

1. The advice of your realtor. The realtor is a lot more familiar with the market and the process than you are. Even though they have a vested interest in the price being higher, carefully consider what they tell you.
2. How much the bank is willing to loan. You obviously can't offer more than you can afford, but you should have realized whether a particular house was out of your budget long before it came time to make an offer.
3. How much the house is worth. We all want to avoid paying more than something is worth, and this is especially true when buying a house that you might want to sell someday. But you might ignore this if #4 is more important to you....
4. How much you want the house. There is nothing wrong with paying more than a house is worth if you really want the house and you can afford it. If the seller is asking $200k, but your realtor and a market analysis suggest the house is worth only $180k, you can certainly pay the $200k anyway if the house is worth that much to you. Of course, even if you are willing to pay the $200k asking price, it usually won't hurt to offer less to try to get a better deal, unless it's a hot housing market where another buyer might outbid you.

Offering more than market value for a home you really want works best when you don't intend to sell the home any time soon. An overpriced home takes longer to appreciate, but if you're not selling it then what do you care?

by Michael Bluejay

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home Buyer Credit Questions Answered

NAR Frequently Asked Questions

Homebuyer Tax Credit Changes

National Association of REALTORS® Government Affairs Division

500 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington DC, 20001

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on the changes to the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Question: Existing homeowner credit: Must the new house cost more than the old house?

Answer: No. Thus, for example, individuals who move from a high cost area to a lower cost area who

meet all eligibility requirements will qualify for the $6500 credit.

Question: I am an existing homeowner. On October 25, 2009, I signed a contract to purchase a

new home. I have lived in my current home for more than 5 consecutive years and

am within the new income limits. I will go to settlement on November 20. If

President Obama has signed the bill by the time I go to settlement, will I qualify for

the new $6500 tax credit?

Answer: Yes. The existing homeowner credit goes into effect for purchases after the date of enactment

(when the bill is signed). There is no reference to the date of contract for the new credit. The

provision looks solely to the date of purchase, which is generally the date of settlement.

Question: I am a firsttime

homebuyer but was not within the prior income limits at the time I

entered into my contract to purchase on October 30, 2009. I will be covered,

however, by the new income limits. If the new rules have been signed into law by the

time I go to settlement, will I be eligible for a credit?

Answer: Yes. The new income limitations go into effect as soon as the President has signed the bill.

The income limit and other eligibility rules will look to your status as of the date of purchase,

which is the settlement date. So if the new rules have been signed when you go to settlement,

you should be eligible for the credit (or a portion of the credit if you're within the phaseout


Question: I am an eligible existing homeowner. I have a fair amount of equity in my home. I

have found a home with a nonnegotiable

price of $825,000. Will I be able to use any

of the $6500 tax credit?

Answer: No. The $800,000 cap on the cost of the purchased home is firm at $800,000. Any amount

above $800,000 makes the home ineligible for any portion of the credit. The $800,000 is an

absolute ceiling.

Question: I owned my home for 10 years, but sold it two years ago year and have been renting

since. If I purchase a home, will I be eligible for the $6500 tax credit if I meet all the

other eligibility tests?

Answer: Yes. Because you lived in the home for more than 5 consecutive years of the previous 8, you

will qualify for the $6500 credit. For example, Say John and his wife bought a home in 2000

and lived there until 2008 when he got a divorce. Whether John has been renting or bought in

the interim, he WOULD INDEED be eligible for the credit because he owned a home and

occupied it as his principal residence for 5 consecutive years out of the last 8 years. The

keyword here is "consecutive." As long as he lived in that house for 5 years straight what he

did since 3 years doesn't impact eligibility.

Question: I am an eligible firsttime

homebuyer. I entered into a contract to purchase on

November 1, 2009. Do I have to go to closing before December 1? How does the

extension date affect me?

Answer: You do not have to close before December 1. Once the legislation has been signed, it will be as

if the Nov 30 date had never existed. Therefore, so long as the contract settles before April 30

(or July 1, worst case), the purchaser will be eligible for the credit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The not so good news for South Central WI. home sale prices for the 3qtr. Home prices down; Green -5.6%, Rock -6.3%, Dane -5.7%, Lafayette -32.6%
Good news for home sales in South Central WI. WRA 3qtr home sale results. Green County +21.3%, Lafayette +7.1%, Rock +6.1%, Dane +5.3%

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just For Fun "It's really not this BAD"

Watch this funny animation about buying a bank owned home
On Wednesday we remember our brave serviceman, "Veterans Day"

I would like to extend a personal Thank You to all the men and women who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. Your service, dedication, and sacrifice are greatly appreciated, for we know that freedom isn't free. Also I extend a special note of sympathy to the families of Fort Hood. May God uphold you and comfort you in your time of grief.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I saw an ultra lite leading a flock of sandhill cranes on their migration today, Awesome!