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March 27, 2023

How Much Should I Spend on a House? 5 Tips to Help You Make a Decision

How Much Should I Spend on a House? 5 Tips to Help You Make a Decision

Once you’ve decided to buy a house, the next step is to decide how much you can realistically afford. To help you get started and make the process easier, here are five tips to follow when deciding how much you should spend on a house.

1. Understand what percentage of your income should go toward your mortgage

To calculate how much you can afford to pay for a mortgage each month, start by adding up your gross annual income from all sources, including salary, wages, tips, and commissions. If you have a spouse or partner whose income will also contribute to the mortgage, make sure to include that as well. Divide the total by 12 to get your monthly income, and use that figure as the basis for your mortgage calculations.

Once you’ve determined your monthly income, it’s time to follow the 28/36 rule. According to this rule, you should not allocate more than 28% of your monthly income to housing and no more than 36% to all outstanding debts, including your mortgage. By staying within these parameters, you will have sufficient funds for groceries, fuel, holidays, and saving for your future.

Example: Let’s say you and your spouse are looking to buy a house in Anaheim and have a combined monthly income of $6,000. Applying the 28/36 rule, you wouldn’t want to spend more than $1,680 on house related expenses ($6,000 x .28) and $2,160 on total debt ($6,000 x .36).

2. Use an affordability calculator to calculate how much house you can afford

By inputting information such as your location, annual income, down payment savings, and current monthly expenses, our home affordability calculator can provide you with an overview of what kind of house you can afford to purchase.

Adding advanced filters such as monthly homeowners’ insurance, mortgage interest rate, private mortgage insurance (when applicable), loan type, and the property tax rate can further refine your calculations. The more data you enter, the closer you will be to finding out the ideal amount of house you can afford.

3. Consider current mortgage rates

The mortgage interest rate is the amount charged by a lender in exchange for loaning money to a buyer. It is expressed as a yearly percentage of the total loan amount but is calculated into the monthly mortgage payment.

The mortgage rate offered is a major factor in determining if you can afford to buy a home. It is important to note that even a small difference in the rate, such as one basis point (one-hundredth of a percentage point), could mean the difference between a home being affordable or unaffordable. Be sure to shop around and speak to numerous lenders to find the best rate.

4. Factor in additional costs of homebuying

It’s not all about your home’s purchase price. Below are the common costs associated with buying a house.

The largest initial expense is the down payment. When purchasing a home, a down payment is the cash you put towards the purchase price. Among the various loans available, you can find down payment requirements ranging from 3-20% of the home’s purchase price. If your down payment is less than 20%, you will likely need to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). This insurance is to protect the lender in the event of you defaulting on your mortgage payments. The cost of PMI is between 0.5% and 1% of your annual mortgage, and this amount is added to your monthly payment.

Remember to include closing costs. Closing costs typically consist of lender and escrow fees, insurance, and taxes—all of which are necessary to finalize the sale of the home and make it legally yours. Expect to pay between 3-6% of the home’s total purchase price for closing costs. If you are purchasing a $500,000 home in Austin, for example, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $15,000–$30,000 in closing costs.  These costs are due with your down payment when you close on the home.

5. Remember, being a homeowner comes with recurring expenses

When closing day is over, your responsibilities are not finished. Make sure to allocate enough funds in your budget to cover your monthly home expenses. Additionally, it is wise to save some money to make repairs and updates to your house in the future.

Utilities. If you have been renting in the past, you may not be familiar with the cost of utilities when owning a home. It can be difficult to estimate these expenses since some landlords cover sewer, water, and garbage in the rent. As the new homeowner, you should plan to pay for these utilities on top of your mortgage, as well as for internet, cable TV, natural gas, and electricity. 

Property taxes and insurance. When purchasing a home, at closing, you will be expected to pay an initial part of the property taxes and homeowners insurance. However, you will need to keep up with them as long as you own the house. Property taxes and homeowners insurance can vary depending on the worth of your home, its locality, and any changes that may arise annually.

Home maintenance and emergency repairs. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to take action when something breaks down or is damaged. This could be due to a malfunctioning major appliance, a plumbing leak, a broken air conditioning system, or a storm causing damage like ripped off roof shingles or uprooted trees. Additionally, it is important to set aside money for tasks that need to be done periodically, like cleaning out gutters, carpets, and pressure-washing the deck. For a comprehensive list of home maintenance tasks, consult a home maintenance checklist.

How much should you spend on a house: the bottom line

Many factors influence how much you should spend on a house, and the answer is personal. However, becoming aware of the basic costs can help you determine if this is an opportune time to buy and even save you money when purchasing your new home.

 

Source: By Ryan Castillo https://www.redfin.com/blog/how-much-should-i-spend-on-a-house/

March 17, 2023

It’s All About Curb Appeal: The Simple Landscaping Task That Can Boost Your Home’s Value the Most

It’s All About Curb Appeal: The Simple Landscaping Task That Can Boost Your Home’s Value the Most

It’s All About Curb Appeal: The Simple Landscaping Task That Can Boost Your Home’s Value the Most

 By Clare Trapasso

 

March 13, 2023

What is a Listing Agreement?

You’re ready to sell your home. You found the perfect real estate agent, and you’re more prepared than ever to get your property on the market. But first, you’ll probably need to sign a listing agreement.

A listing agreement is a legally binding contract between the seller (you) and the real estate brokerage that helps you sell your home. It states that the seller is hiring the agent to handle their home sale and authorizes them to find a buyer. In exchange, the seller agrees to pay the agent a commission fee.

Only sellers need to sign a listing agreement. But potential buyers may need to sign a buyer’s agency agreement before an agent will represent them.

Signing any contract can be nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. Here’s what you need to know.

What to expect in a listing agreement

A real estate listing agreement lays out a framework of duties and expectations between you and your agent. They’re used almost everywhere, from homes in Miami, FL to Vancouver, BC, and in countless markets in between.

The agreement usually includes several essential details about the upcoming sale. You’ll want to look them over carefully to make sure everything checks out.

The listing agreement will include things like:

  • Contact information
  • Listing price
  • Agent fees
  • Agent duties
  • Property description
  • Items included in the property sale
  • Items that will be removed after closing
  • Agreement duration
  • Conflict resolution details
  • Protection periods
  • Type of agreement

Here’s what to expect from each one:

Contact information

This can include names, phone numbers, addresses, and other information for the seller and real estate broker or agent. Which contact details are included depends on how the agreement is written.

Listing price

This is the sales price your home will be listed at. You and your agent will talk about the listing price ahead of time, so make sure it matches your earlier conversations.

Agent fees

Real estate agent fees usually come as a percentage of the home’s final sale price. Total commissions tend to hover around 6%, split evenly between the buyer’s and seller’s realtors. The seller usually pays both.

For example, if a property sells for $250,000 and the agreed-upon commission is 6%, the seller would owe 3% to their agent ($7,500) and 3% to the buyer’s agent ($7,500). Real estate commissions are negotiable.

Agent duties

These are your expectations of the agent and what you give them permission to do. For example, if you want your agent to hold open houses or list your home on an MLS (multiple listing service), you’ll grant them formal permission in this section.

Understanding the agent’s responsibilities will give you a clear idea of what they will (and will not) do during the selling process.

Property description

Items included in the sale: Here you’ll find any personal property left behind after the property is sold. It often includes large appliances like washers, dryers, ovens, and refrigerators.

Items not included in the sale: Anything you’re taking with you or getting rid of before the buyer takes possession of the home.

Agreement duration

The amount of time the realtor will represent you before the agreement terminates. Most real estate listing agreements include a default duration, but this is negotiable.

Some agents prefer a longer term (six months), but you may decide a shorter period would be better (three months). An agent may be willing to change these details if you’d like them to.

Conflict resolution details

This legal-heavy part of the document lays out how any potential disputes are resolved between the property owner and agent. It will probably specify whether conflicts are settled using mediation (a third party helps the parties reach an agreement) or arbitration (a third party makes the decision).

Odds are you probably won’t have to deal with a formal dispute. But it always helps to understand this section, just in case you need it down the road.

Protection period

A protection period, sometimes called a tail period, helps protect the seller’s agent from losing their commission. It stays in effect for a certain amount of time after the listing agreement expires.

A protection period kicks in when the agent shows the house to someone during the listing agreement period, but that person doesn’t buy the home until after the listing agreement has expired. If there’s a protection period clause in the agreement, the seller would still pay the agent their full commission.

Type of agreement

Most agreements will specify one of four types of listings:

  1. Exclusive right-to-sell listing
  2. Exclusive agency listing
  3. Open listing
  4. Net listing

 

Read on to learn how each type changes your relationship with a real estate agent.

4 types of listing agreements

Listing agreements usually come in one of four types. Your agreement type is often listed at the top of the document itself.

These names can vary based on where you live, so read the listing agreement closely to understand the specific contract you have with your broker or agent.

  1. Exclusive right-to-sell listing agreement: The most common type of listing agreement. Exclusive right-to-sell listings give the listing agent and their brokerage exclusive rights to represent the seller’s home. The agent is entitled to their commission regardless of who sells the property, as long as the listing agreement is in effect.
  2. Exclusive agency listing agreement: This is similar to an exclusive right-to-sell listing. The only difference is that an exclusive agency listing gives the seller a way out of paying a commission: by selling the home themselves. If they successfully sell the property on their own, they don’t have to pay their agent.
  3. Open listing agreement: Think of an open listing as a “last agent standing” competition. This non-exclusive agreement allows the seller to use multiple real estate agents to sell their home. The agent who sells the home is the only one who gets a commission. It also gives sellers the power to try to sell the home themselves, even while other agents are trying to sell it too. If the property owner succeeds, the agents walk away empty-handed. For this reason, most real estate agents will be hesitant to sign an open listing agreement.
  4. Net listing agreement: With a net listing agreement, the seller agrees on an acceptable home sale price with their agent. If the agent sells the home for more than that price, they get to keep the proceeds. Net listings are uncommon, and actually illegal in some states.

5 easy things to double-check (and triple-check) before you sign a listing agreement

The entire listing agreement is important, but you can double-check five crucial details in a handful of seconds:

  1. The listing price
  2. The agreement’s expiration date
  3. The commission rate and how it’s divided with the buyer’s agent
  4. The type of listing agreement
  5. Your personal property that is or isn’t included with the transaction

 

These details are easy to verify, but they aren’t the only things you should look for in your listing agreement. Try to read it as many times as you need to completely understand what’s in it.

Listing agreement FAQs

When do you sign the listing agreement? 

You’ll sign the listing agreement after you and the agent have agreed on all the details of your real estate transaction. By signing, you’re stating that you’re ready for the agent to move forward with the steps needed to sell your home.

Do I have to sign the listing agreement?

Yes. The listing agreement is a legally binding document that outlines your preferences along with the agent’s duties. If you choose to sell your home yourself, you won’t need to sign a listing agreement since you’ll represent yourself.

Can I negotiate a listing agreement?

You can negotiate several parts of a listing agreement. These include:

  • Agent commission
  • Agent duties
  • List price
  • Agreement duration
  • Listing type

Most minor changes can be made right on the contract, but bigger changes might need to be added to an addendum at the end of the agreement.

How long does a listing agreement last?

In general, a listing agreement can last for any amount of time you and your agent agree on. Most listing agreements last three to six months.

Shorter time frames allow you to hire a new agent if you aren’t happy with your current agent. But if the duration is too short, an agent may not want to risk walking away without a commission.

If the agreement expires and you’re satisfied with your agent’s work, it’s easy to renew the contract.

How much does a listing agreement cost?

It usually doesn’t cost anything to sign the listing agreement itself. You probably won’t pay anything upfront, but the contract will specify the broker or agent’s commission fee. This fee is paid at closing once the title company confirms a clear title and the property is formally signed over to the buyer.

What if my home doesn’t sell?

If your home doesn’t sell within the time frame outlined in the listing agreement, you have two options:

  1. Renew the agreement and keep your current agent
  2. Hire a different agent

If you choose to find a new agent, review the termination section of the agreement to make sure you won’t owe any fees for the expenses incurred during the listing period.

Can I make changes to the listing agreement after I sign it?

Yes, but only if all parties agree. Most modifications to a listing agreement are done in writing, either directly on the agreement itself or through a listing agreement addendum (more information added to the end of the document).

I have questions about my specific listing agreement. Who should I talk to?

 

A licensed, local attorney is the most qualified person to answer your questions. They’ll be able to address your concerns and point out any potential issues in the contract.

Feb. 27, 2023

Is It Time to Sell Your Second Home?

During the pandemic, second homes became popular because of the rise in work-from-home flexibility. That’s because owning a second home, especially in the luxury market, allowed those homeowners to spend more time in their favorite places or with different home features. Keep in mind, a luxury home isn’t only defined by price. In a recent articleInvestopedia shares additional factors that push a home into this category: location, such as a home on the water or in a desirable city, and features, the things that make the home itself feel luxurious.

A recent report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) explains just how much remote work impacted the demand for second and luxury homes:

 

“The unprecedented ten-fold increase towards remote work since the pandemic is an historic development that will continue to fuel second home demand for many years to come.”

 

But what if you bought a second home that you no longer use? If you’re now shifting back into the office or are seeing your priorities and needs change, you may find you’re not utilizing your second home as much. If so, it may be time to sell it.

 

And if you own what’s considered a luxury home, buyer demand for it may be even greater. In another report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing explains:

 

“. . . the last few years have left their legacy for the luxury market. While it might only represent a small percentage of the overall real estate market, luxury homeownership’s influence is growing. Not only has the purchase of homes valued over $1 million (a figure considered by the National Association of Realtors to be a benchmark for luxury) tripled from 2.6% to 6.5% since 2018, but demand for multiple luxury properties has soared over the last two years.

 

This phenomenal increase has been driven by a growing affluent demographic who consider owning a luxury property a necessity in their asset portfolio. All indications are that this trend is here to stay, albeit that demand is set to return to a more sustainable level.”

 

If you own a luxury second home that isn’t being used as much anymore, now’s the time to sell. There are still buyers in the market who are looking for a home like yours today.

Bottom Line

 

Let’s connect to explore the benefits of selling your second home this year.

 

 

Feb. 13, 2023

Mortgage Rate Drop Creates a Homebuying Window, but How Long Will It Last?

Mortgage rates have dropped yet again—could this spell an opportunity for homebuyers?

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan fell to 6.09% for the week ending Feb. 2, according to Freddie Mac. That’s down nearly a full percentage point from October’s 20-year high of 7.08%.

Meanwhile, the number of homes for sale is soaring, flying 71% higher for the week ending Jan. 28 compared with this same week a year earlier, according to a recent analysis by Realtor.com®.

This dip in mortgage rates, combined with plenty of homes on the market, adds up to a potential win for homebuyers.

“The less competitive market may have created chances for first-time homebuyers who are looking to become homeowners in 2023,” says Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale in her analysis.

We’ll break down what the latest real estate statistics mean, and how homebuyers can use them to their advantage, in this latest installment of “How’s the Housing Market This Week?”

Inventory is booming and homes are lingering

Not only are there more homes on the market, but buyers can take their sweet time checking them out. In January, homes typically sat on the market for 75 days. And for the week ending Jan. 28, listings lingered 17 days longer compared with that same week a year earlier. That’s 27 weeks straight of time on the market increasing.

“This slower market pace is a welcome relief to shoppers, particularly first-time homebuyers who need more time to think through their buying options,” says Hale.

But what homebuyers don’t have is fresh listings, which were down for the week ending Jan. 28, by 9% from a year ago. The number of new properties hitting the market has been on the decline for 13 consecutive weeks now.

“As mortgage rates remain high, homeowners looking to sell and buy at the same time—who are likely to have a good rate on their current mortgage—may be pausing their moving plans to see if the market improves before putting their home up for sale,” explains Hale.

Home prices are normalizing

In January, home prices clocked in at a median of $400,000, down from June’s peak of $449,000. Yet home prices for the week ending Jan. 28 are still up by 7.7% compared with this same week a year earlier.

So even though prices are still growing annually, they’re tapering off from the double-digit growth that characterized much of 2022.

“The overall price growth in January continued its downward trend as we move into 2023, suggesting that the normalization continues in price growth,” notes Hale.

The affordability factor still looms

Despite the trifecta of positive news in the housing market—more homes for sale, lower mortgage rates, and stabilizing prices—the affordability challenge remains a persistent issue for many prospective homebuyers.

Plus, Hale predicts, “The Fed’s determination to fight inflation may keep mortgage rates remaining at high levels in the short term.”

But she also notes that rates could fall in the second half of the year, so home shoppers who aren’t able to afford a home now can take heart that 2023 looks bright overall.

“For buyers looking at a housing market with a rising number of home inventories and retreating prices, there is hope that 2023 will offer more opportunities,” says Hale.

Source: By Margaret Heidenry  https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/mortgage-rate-drop-creates-a-homebuying-window-but-how-long-will-it-last/

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 16, 2023

Don’t Get Duped! 5 Common Real Estate Scams and How To Avoid Them

What’s one thing buyers, sellers, renters, and landlords all have in common? They can all fall victim to a real estate scam.

 

In fact, home-related hoaxes are on the rise. Losses from real estate cybercrimes have gone up nearly as fast as home prices—totaling more than $350.3 million last year, an increase of 64%, according to the FBI’s most recent Internet Crime Report.

 

Wire fraud is the most common kind of real estate scam. Other crimes include fake real estate transactions, business email compromise schemes, and criminal use of cryptocurrency.

 

Simply being aware and on the lookout for common fraud is essential if you want to hold on to your cash and your peace of mind. Read on for insight into the most common real estate frauds happening now, and advice on how to avoid them.

 

1. Rental scams

Rental scams come in many forms and can have far-reaching consequences for your financial future.

 

“More than 5.2 million renters in the U.S. lose money in a given year because of rental scams,” says Theresa Raymond, a real estate broker at Tennessee Smoky Mountain Realty.

 

Fake rental advertisements are on the rise. In this scenario, the con artist or a group posts a false rental ad and asks a potential tenant for a deposit or lease payment.

 

Be on the lookout for rental posts that seem suspiciously idyllic, or otherwise untethered to reality.

 

“It starts with an online listing for a rental property that is too good to be true,” says Shaun Martin, owner and CEO of Denver Real Estate Solutions in Colorado. “The rent is significantly lower than market value, and the photos look amazing. When you contact the ‘landlord,’ they will say they are out of town and unable to show the property in person. They will ask you to wire the deposit and first month’s rent sight unseen. Of course, once you send the money, you will never hear from them again.”

 

Raymond advises against working with any landlord or agent who requests money or wire transfers before you see a place.

 

2. Wire scams

Real estate wire scams come in many different forms, but most involve a fundamental fake-out.

 

“This is basically a scam where someone pretends to be your real estate agent by hacking into or copying their contact information and calling you to deposit good-faith money or an earnest deposit into a fake bank account,” says Ron Wysocarski, a real estate broker based in Port Orange, FL.

 

To avoid this, Wysocarski says you should always meet your real estate agent face to face to ensure everything is on the up and up before fulfilling any request for a money transfer.

 

3. The bait and switch

The bait-and-switch trick is as old as time, but it is getting new legs as more inexperienced buyers try to sort out the ups and downs of the real estate market.

 

“This is one of the most common scams I’m seeing, especially in large metropolitan areas,” Martin says. “The scam artist will advertise a property for sale or rent at an unbeatable price. When you call or email to inquire about the property, they will say it has already been sold or rented, but they have others that are just as good. They will try to get you to tour the other properties, which are usually overpriced or in poor condition.”

 

To avoid this scam, Martin recommends researching the agents and making sure they have legitimate business experience before agreeing to see any listings.

 

4. Faking interest

Hyping up a property’s appeal is usually par for the course and relatively innocent, but there is a line that is increasingly being crossed by fraudsters intent on unloading less-than-loved homes.

 

“The overhyped or pressurized offer process is happening with more regularity for some properties,” says Doug Greene, owner of the Philadelphia-based Signature Properties Philly. “In fact, I sometimes even see this for homes that have been sitting on the market for months on end. I’ll call and ask about the listing and current situation only to find that apparently there’s tons of activity and offers being drafted from multiple buyers. How can that be? Why all of a sudden is it a popular property?”

 

If you get the feeling you’re being oversold, Greene says you should “stick to your gut. Don’t feel pressured by what you hear from a listing agent and don’t change your plan based on the stress of the ‘in the moment’ offer process.”

 

5. A lockout clause

Fraud involving a lockout clause is particularly pernicious because so much is on the line.

 

“Home sellers in financial straits are a common target of this con,” says Robin Antill, director at Leisure Buildings. “A buyer, aka the con artist, who seems to be in a hurry to close the deal may pressure you into a contract with a hold clause that bans you from selling your home to anybody else. The con artist gambles that you will pay any amount to get the deal done quickly, and uses that knowledge to his advantage by asking for admin fees or even a drop in the agreed-upon price. ”

 

To avoid the scam, read every contract carefully and realize that when you sign, you’re on the hook for anything in there. And if your buyer is impatient and demanding, consider that a big red flag.

 

If you do suspect you’re being targeted for fraud, let your bank know immediately. Then, contact your local FBI office.

 

By Kathleen Wilcox

 

Source: Realtor.com

 

Jan. 1, 2023

Happy New Year!

Posted in Community News
Dec. 19, 2022

Happy Holidays!

Posted in Community News
Dec. 5, 2022

8 Ways to Find Out Who Owns a Property

8 Ways to Find Out Who Owns a Property

 

 

There are many reasons one might want to find out who owns a property or piece of land. Suppose you’re on a walk in Nashville, TN, and you pass by a home that you instantly fall in love with and want to buy – perhaps an antique Victorian home or a beautiful abandoned carriage house. Or maybe you’re just curious about who owns a house in your neighborhood or a piece of land on the edge of town. Well, the good news is that you can usually track down this information pretty easily. 

 

In most cases, property ownership information is available for free online (just ensure the website you use is legitimate). If that doesn’t work, or if you’re looking in more rural areas, you’ll have to go to a local government agency, title company, or broker. 

 

We’ll break each of these methods down to help you find out who owns a property.

 

 

1. Try searching online

The easiest way to find out who owns a property or house is to search for the address or property number online. Websites like Whitepages offer reverse searching services, and brokerages like Redfin have ownership information at the bottom of most listings. Keep in mind that information may be incomplete and inaccurate. 

 

Another option is to go to your county’s website and look for a property that way. Many counties have online portals with all of this information in one easy place. If that doesn’t work or if you’re looking for more details, your next best option is to reach out to your county’s tax assessor. 

 

2. Check the local tax assessor’s office

A majority of people who own private property must pay property tax on it (often excluding churches, libraries, schools, and religious buildings, among others). They pay these taxes to their county, which are collected by the county treasurer (often called the collector’s office). The county assessor determines a property’s true and fair value and retains a record of them. 

 

So, if you’re wondering who owns that property next door, the best place to start is by going to your local tax assessor’s office. Assessors provide free, easy, and comprehensive ownership data for every registered property in their county. You’ll also get to see any special assessments associated with the property, like loans and other financial information. However, the information may be outdated depending on when it was registered. 

 

Check with your local government office, call their information line, go to your city hall or meeting place, or email the office if you have any questions. 



3. Contact the county clerk 

Some properties aren’t listed with tax assessors for numerous reasons – perhaps it’s unregistered land, there was an administrative error, or nobody has ever paid taxes on it. If the county assessor couldn’t help, your next step is to contact the county clerk, sometimes called the register of deeds or recorder’s office.

 

The county clerk often has a record of property deeds. When you find the deed, it should have the signature of the property owner, as well as the address and contact information. Depending on how long ago the deed was recorded, it may be out of date. 

 

Most of the time, the information is available online but varies by location. 

 

Do research in the registry of deeds

Depending on your locality, you may be able to manually search through the local registry of deeds. This isn’t available everywhere, so contact your county if you have questions. 

 

4. Use a local title company

If the county can’t help you figure out who owns a property, your next step is to go to a local title company. “Title companies are experts at locating property information,” says Reid Hayton-Hull, Principle Counsel for Title Forward, a Redfin company. “They don’t typically become involved with a transaction until the property is under contract to be sold, at which point they search the property’s title and identify any issues with the current owner’s title. However, some companies may offer pre-contract searching services for a fee. Check with local title companies to see if they offer such services.”

 

5. Pay for an online service

If you’re committed to buying an abandoned property or empty lot, paid online property search services can be a great option for finding the owner. Many property data tools can pinpoint the current owner and even provide contact details and information about the land registry. You may also discover any existing liens or debts, which may help guide your next steps.

 

Online services can be expensive and are often complicated and full of jargon. If you take this route, prepare to invest a significant amount of time and money. 

 

Mailing list brokers

Mailing list brokers are an online information-gathering service that is ideal for bulk information gathering and outreach. People use them for various reasons, real estate being a common one. Mailing list brokers gather detailed contact information for homeowners, property owners, businesses, and more and send them to their clients. 

 

If you tell the broker what you’re looking for, you can have them look up property ownership for any number of properties or homes. They will provide you with lists containing every property’s information and contacts. Keep in mind that these services can be expensive and incomplete. 


6. Reach out to a real estate agent or real estate investor

Agents or real estate investors may already have access to informational lists you would otherwise have to pay for. If you have a friend or family member that is a real estate agent, ask for a favor. They also can provide advice if you’re navigating an online service. 

 

7. Talk to a real estate attorney

If the other options here haven’t worked yet, ask a real estate lawyer for help. They may have ideas for where else to look and might have contacts within the county. 

 

8. Walk by and leave a note

When all else fails, try knocking on the door of that perfect house you want or leave a note if nobody is home. You may end up face-to-face with the current owner or talk to someone who knows the owner. If nobody answers, consider leaving a message with your contact information. 

 

This can be the riskiest and most direct method, however, you may get your answer quickly and easily.

Final thoughts

It can be confusing to find out who owns a property, so let’s recap: 

 

Most of the time, you can easily find the information by searching online 

Many governments have resources that are free and easy to use 

If this doesn’t work, the next step is to contact your county clerk’s office; they often have tax, title, and deed records for as long as the house has been registered 

Counties can often be slow to respond to requests. If it’s taking a while, ask a brokerage, title company, or paid online service to find the information 

When you search for properties, always be cautious about misinformation and companies that use bad practices. Try not to be intrusive, and talk to the county if you have any questions. 

 

Discovering who owns a property is usually simple and has many advantages. You can guarantee that you’re talking with the legal owner of the property, and you may be able to convince them to sell even if it’s not on the market.

 

By Jamies Forbes

 

Source: Realtor.com

 

Nov. 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sending love and gratitude from the entire team at Full Circle Real Estate Group!

Posted in Community News