Pandemics, Property Transfer Breakdowns… The Digital Real Estate Industry Is Coming

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The latest impetus to digitalize real estate might just turn out to be the tipping point. Practically overnight, COVID-19 is a defining element of our time. This hideous and deadly virus became a major challenge to the systems that carry us through our everyday transactions.

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First-Time Home Buyer Pro Tips

Image of a person's hand holding a set of house keys on a key chain in front of a door to a house. Captioned: First Time Home Buyers

Thinking of buying your first home? First-time buying is exciting. It’s filled with the dreamy pleasure of beholding perfect kitchens, bedrooms and baths, and the cliff-hanger phone calls about your loan approval. (“We’re nearly there! I just need one more document…”) You’ll peruse home inspection results, negotiate the home price so you can re-do that floor, and, ultimately, you’ll get to “yes” with the seller. By the time you finally sit down at the closing table, you’ll feel intense relief, and one of the biggest thrills of your life. Here are some tips to help make that day a resounding success.

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Buying Real Estate: Are the Generations Really Different?

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Are generations different in their approach to buying real estate? The fundamentals of buying real estate arguably haven’t changed, but financial and technological trends have. And with more people seeking houses than houses to be found, home prices have taken an upward path. Despite low mortgage rates, all first-time home buyers face a challenging market.

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Lien In: A Primer on Mechanic’s Liens

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In every state, contractors who do work on a home can place a mechanic’s lien (construction lien) on the title if they do not get paid. A mechanic’s lien is a claim filed for work done, materials supplied, or both. By operation of state law, this claim becomes a lien against the property’s title.

This is the contractor’s leverage to get paid. Depending on state law and the contract provisions between the general contractor and the client, subcontractors can also file liens. To protect these companies’ leverage, some states do not allow contractors to give up this right in exchange for payments, but there are plenty of exceptions in the state laws, so it’s a common practice for clients to avoid potential liens through lien waivers

But sometimes, mechanic’s liens do take hold. Because these liens attach to the property, not to the individual who ordered the work, an unpaid lien will haunt the next person in line to own the home. If you’d prefer not to live in a haunted house, here’s what you need to know.

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If You Inherit a House, Act. A Cautionary Tale About Putting Off Probate

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A Cautionary Tale About Putting Off Probate

Five years ago in Texas, John died, willing his house to a nephew, A.W.

Today, A.W. wants to get ready to sell the house, and pay off some debt.

Here’s the rub. The will never went through probate, and a different relative of John’s has been living in the home all this time.

Who gets the house?

A.W. was named as the next owner in the will, and never refused the deed. So, legally, A.W. owns it, right? Wrong. Procrastination is the thief of assets, as A.W. learned the hard way. A will does not enact itself. It has to be probated according to a timeline. 

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When a Spouse, Partner, or Relative Dies: What’s Next for the Home?

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Real Estate and Death

Homes are complicated assets. When a homeowner dies, this becomes obvious. When loved ones are experiencing grief and loss, the real estate details can border on overwhelming.

If someone in your life died holding an interest in real estate, here is some general guidance. You might have some actions to take, depending on the situation.

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Age-Restricted Communities: How They Affect Your Real Estate

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Looking at homes in a 55+ community? You might wonder: Will I be able to leave my age-restricted condo home to my children?  

Before buying your new home in an age-restricted community, check the homeowners’ association rules on inheritance. Your realtor might have mentioned two pertinent guidelines these communities follow: the nationwide 80/20 rule, and the property’s own minimum age rule. We’ll flesh out these guidelines here.

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