Property Disclosure Statements

One of the documents that is required by the State of Alaska in any property transaction is a property disclosure statement. One more packet of paper, I can hear you moan, but this is a very important one for both buyer and seller.

As a seller, you should give as much detail as possible about repairs, remodels and age of mechanicals. Why? Quite simply so that you have a defense if something repeats itself. By disclosing a repair item, you are giving your buyer the opportunity to either accept it or not. Failure to disclose a material defect in a house is one of the most common (and costly!) causes of after sale lawsuit.

If you are buying a home, this should answer a lot of questions. Is the toilet prone to freeze ups? Does the roof leak? Does the boiler shut off in windstorms? Is the refrigerator or dishwasher included in the sale?

Failure to actually read these documents can be very costly. And waiving these documents are foolish for everyone involved.

If you are a seller and would like a blank disclosure statement I would be happy to provide you with one, even if you are trying to sell your home yourself. Give me a call at 907-304-2871!


“Owner Financed” why and how to

There are lots of reasons someone would offer to owner finance a property:

  • Owner collects the interest instead of the bank
  • No required appraisal or lender required repairs
  • Easier to ‘qualify’ for the buyer
  • It won’t pass lender health & safety issues

But there are some hidden dangers for the buyer, so if you are considering an owner finance do not buy anything that is done with ‘Quit Claim Deed’.  Make sure to use a reputable title company to ensure ‘Warranty Deed’ (call me, I can recommend one), a licensed escrow agency, and be sure that reconveyance documents are signed at the time of sale to be held by the title or escrow company.

A contract for sale where title is transferred at payoff leaves a buyer vulnerable, as liens can be attached to the property (think IRS or Child Support) or the owner could pass away before title is transferred.

I personally buy and sell using owner finance options, but I also have spent a lot of time clearing title on properties that were done incorrectly with Quit Claim Deeds.  Feel free to call me if you have any questions about owner financing your property, or buying an owner finance.


How to stop a toilet from overflowing

toilet-insideA toilet works by gravity: The water in the tank—just enough to fill  the bowl—drops down and pushes waste through the drain. The float drops, opening a valve that lets in water to refill the bowl and the tank simultaneously. The valve closes when the float rises far enough to shut off the water.

If the water from the tank can’t leave the bowl fast enough, then the refill will spill over. To stop the refill action, take off the top of the tank, grab the float, and pull it up to close the valve. That should give you time to reach down and shut off the water, or at least wait for some of the water in the bowl to drain.

A great book for homeowners is The Black & Decker Complete Guide to Plumbing for Homeowners, available on Amazon. It covers simple repairs like changing a faucet, Codes, how to install Pex, and is a wealth of information.


Nome Sweet Homes for pets

I recently stumbled upon an article discussing ways to build your house to be more suitable for your pets. The article discussed small features in homes to enable cats to better travel through the house. These types of modifications appear rather simple and fun.

Maybe architecturally changing a home to fit a pet is a step too far?
If so, how about other modifications to the home? I know I have seen the plywood ‘cover’ on parts of the step grates to make it more gentle on Rover’s paws.

I built my bed extremely high off the ground so my 80 pound husky would have a cozy ‘cubby’ for sleeping.

Have you tried any modifications that have failed? Succeeded? Would you consider architectural modifications to your home in order to make it more suitable for your pet?


Photographing your house for selling

I was going thru some of the photographs that folks have sent me over the years and I wanted to offer some tips on ways to make your photo’s showcase your house in the best possible light.

One really simple one is don’t shoot your outside photo’s from your car (and if you do at least crop the photo so your car isn’t showing!  Take exterior photos from all angles, including photographs of street, on blue-sky days.  While electrical lines are unattractive, trash cans, debris, dogs on chains, and random piles of toys/wood/vehicles/snow-gos are hideous.  Plus when prospective buyers come to actually see the house those things scream “I don’t take care of my house”

Inside, don’t be afraid to move things around; if there is a nice big window you want to highlight, clear out things on that side of the room.  Do make beds with pretty bedspreads and lots of comfy pillows, and pay attention to the curtains! Nothing makes me cringe more than a photo of damaged blinds!

Take your picture from a lower angle so that you get as much of the floor in the photo.  If the bedroom is tiny and seems like all that fits in there is a bed, add a small nightstand to show that there is room enough to make it comfortable.

Bathrooms are the most challenging area of the house to shoot.  There are some pretty important things in a bathroom that buyers will use daily, so don’t avoid it just because it’s challenging.

Try to use a very wide angle camera; if you don’t have a wide angle camera, you can use the pano setting on your phone, just don’t overdo it.   Move the plunger and trash can out of the room for the photo.  Make sure the toilet paper roll is full, the shower curtain is arranged nicely, and the deodorant/makeup/toothbrushes/etc are hidden or removed.

I’m just beginning to use video and interactive, once I’m proficient at that I’ll make sure to post some tips for those tools also!

 


So you want to be a landlord?

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So you want to buy an income property?

I recommend a book caled “What Every Real Estate Investor Should Know About Cashflow” before you start shopping. The only way to win the real estate investing game is by understanding the numbers.
This popular reference shows how to target the best investments in the present market. It answers many of your investment property questions, and provides definition and explaination of capital accumulation and internal
rate of return. This book’s basic formulas will help you measure critical aspects of real estate investments, and make you familiar with the terms that your banker will expect you to know as an investor!


Kiddie Condo Program

The FHA has a non-occupant co-borrow program available for college students. This can be a great way to help your college age child have safe affordable housing while they are at college.

The only other way for a parent to purchase a home for their college student (instead of throwing away money on rent) is with a conventional mortgage (20% down payment)

The purchased property must be a single unit dwelling (no duplex) but student can certainly have a roommate to help with the expenses. Student must be 18 years of age and have SOME type of credit history (both parents and students will undergo a credit check)

This helps the student build a strong credit history and parents can enjoy tax benefits! For more information contact your lender.

If your child is going to school in Anchorage or Fairbanks let me know, I can refer you to an agent who is familiar with this program and help you find something that fits your budget.


Boiler room blues?

Now this is what a boiler room should look like!

Now this is what a boiler room should look like!


“What is my home worth”

If I had a dollar every time someone asked me that!  The answer is simple….whatever someone will pay for it!

Now to get market value, that’s a whole different question (and probably what they mean, eh?)  Pricing a home correctly is not the easiest thing in the world to do, and takes a whole lot of general knowledge about the property and the recent sales, adjusting for the current market fluctuations.

Yes, there is a formula.

Yes, there is a form!

Yes, I can help you determine what the most likely appraised value for your property will be.

Yes you can call, email or text for more information 907-304-2871!


Open house Policy

I was talking with another broker the other day and they told me very proudly that they don’t do open houses. I was floored! Sure, it’s not often that you write a contract at an open house, but we have actually gotten several sales from that method. (This broker is NOT Nome based, but someone who had referred a listing to me.)  We have one ‘invitation only’ open house the day before the listing goes public, then one shortly after the ads go out.  It’s not uncommon for the invitation only open houses to result in a sale before the general public even knows about the home!

One of the Nome Sweet Homes agents, Pat Robinson, is the reigning Queen of the open house sale. She has closed one out of four open houses that she has hosted.

With odds like that, who can argue that an open house is a waste of time?

At Nome Sweet Homes we will do everything we can to market and sell your home. From superior Internet advertising to traditional advertising, from personal counseling on staging/repairs to hosting open houses, we put every resource we have into getting your house sold!

Call 443-7368 today for a free consultation!


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