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Real Estate Articles

What is Eminent Domain? Do I have to hand my property over to the government?

The government has the power to seize private property for public use under the authority of eminent domain. However, this doesn’t mean the government can take your land without compensating you for it. In fact, not only does the government have to provide you with “just compensation” you are also given an opportunity to object. The legal process of eminent domain is known as condemnation and is only used when private property is needed for the

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Disagreeable neighbors? Legal options vary

It’s one of the facts of community living: Where you have neighbors, you can have problems. There are some things you can do about annoying neighbors and some things that could land you in legal trouble. Start by talking to your neighbor. Share what’s bothering you. Keep your composure and try to approach the conversation from a place of kindness and curiosity. You could even help rectify the situation if you’re willing. For example, if you’re

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Blockchain, cryptocurrencies and real estate: the basics

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are evolving technologies that could transform the financial industry and, by extension, the real estate industry. Only time will tell how significant the impact will be. But as you’re probably hearing these terms more and more in the media, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of the basics. Technology fundamentals A cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or ethereum, is a digital currency exchanged over the internet. These currencies provide a secure way

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Smart lock technology enables keyless home entry

Smart lock technology is changing the way realtors show your home. These Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled locks allow users to lock and unlock their door remotely, using a mobile app. As a homeowner, you can use a smart lock system to manage guest access, giving people digital power to unlock your door for a single entry or an extended period of time. Similar technology has been designed for the real estate industry. The Prempoint mobile app

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iBuyers: How technology is changing real estate

iBuyers are investors who use technology to make a fast offer on your home, sight unseen, based on a proprietary valuation model. iBuyers, such as OfferPad, Opendoor, and Zillow Instant Offers, provide an alternate sales model for people who want to sell their home fast, sometimes in as little as three days. How it works iBuyers operate in select major markets. Sellers request a home offer, and then these investors use public information, seller-supplied information, and

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With bump clauses, sellers can keep shopping for better buyers

Keep your bird in the hand while continuing to search for others in the bush. That’s what you get with a bump clause. In home sales, a bump or “kick out” clause lets sellers enter into a contract while continuing to seek out alternate buyers. If the sellers get a better deal, they can bypass the original buyer. Typically, bump clauses are used when the buyer has a home-sale contingency. Buyers sign a contract and submit

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Know when to consult a real estate attorney

It’s generally wise to seek the advice of a real estate attorney any time you buy or sell a property.  Common sale scenarios pose specialized legal risk, and you should consult an experienced attorney if any of the following apply to your sale: Judgements or liens: If there’s a lien on your property, retain an attorney to evaluate the validity of the lien and how to remove it before it holds up a sale. Heir to

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Getting a mortgage with frozen credit

Remember the Equifax data breach last summer? Roughly 145 million Americans had their personal information and credit data compromised, leaving them open to identity fraud and theft. As a result, U.S. credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) saw a surge in consumers signing up to freeze their accounts. Now some would-be homebuyers are running into a hurdle in the mortgage application process: frozen credit. Fortunately, you can request a temporary “thaw” that allows lenders to access

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Buyers increasing down payments to gain edge

Buyers are facing heavy competition in certain U.S. housing markets, and many are increasing their down payment to gain the competitive edge. In purchase situations with multiple offers, the buyer with the larger down payment is likely to win out. In part, that’s because larger down payments suggest less risk that financing could fall through. More importantly, a higher down payment can effectively bridge any financing gaps should the home appraisal come in at less than

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Home values could decline, thanks to tax changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in late December, will affect millions of Americans in different ways. When it comes to real estate, legal experts suggest that the massive tax overhaul could have some unintended consequences, including discouraging homeownership and slowing the pace of home appreciation. Here’s how the new law affects homeowners: Lower limits on mortgage interest deductions: Under the new law, homeowners can deduct interest on mortgages up to $750,000, down

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