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Consumers at risk with new requirements

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Consumers are at risk with added statutory requirements

I have always found it curious that area agents feel a need to be licensed in three state jurisdictions (Maryland, DC, and Virginia) as if there is never enough business in any one area. I get the idea that it potentially helps them make more money. But are they putting their clients at risk?

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The "Property Brothers" option

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If you’re looking for the perfect turn-key home, you may find that the already limited home inventory is further limited by the many homes with deferred maintenance and those that are in need of updates. If you’re like the many frustrated home buyers in today’s market, you may opt to take the “Property Brothers” route of buying a home.   

As you know, HGTV’s Property Brothers is one of the most popular real estate shows on cable. What makes the show work is the concept of transformation; creating a model home from one that is crying out for TLC. Of course, the magic of TV makes it seem easy; home buyers appearing on the show put their trust into the dynamic duo to find the right home and to make it perfect.  

A warning, however, this process is not for everyone. Undergoing this type of project is taking an already exasperating process and making it an emotional and financial challenge. It is also a time consuming, as you’re totally involved – from buying to rehabbing the home. Your experience may be similar to those on TV, nevertheless it is more likely to feel like the movie “The Money Pit” or somewhere in between. 

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Power lines and cell towers

 

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Anyone who has bought or rented a home has been told about lead paint, radon, and maybe even asbestos, as well as other potential hazards in the home. But what about potential hazards brought about by technology?  Many shirk away from homes that are close to power lines or cell towers because of health concerns; while some are repelled by the aesthetics. Regardless, there is some impact on your home’s value when in close proximity to power lines and cell towers proximity.

What is considered to be necessary for modern living, power lines and cell towers are fundamental to our lives. And although many are wary of the health effects from living nearby these devices; they will still have wi-fi, and a microwave oven in their home, and they probably also use a cell phone. All of which emit similar types of radiation.

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Considering every resale factor

 

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A common question, especially among savvy first time home buyers, is what will the resale value be like when they sell? Of course they are not asking for a specific price, but rather they question if the future home buyer will find the home just as desirable as they do.

That is a good question, since your home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make; and you want to make sure you’re making a sound investment.  Some things to keep in mind when buying a home and keeping an eye to the resale includes: focusing on current desirability; keeping the home complimentary to the neighborhood; considering added value; and not going overboard with updates and upgrades.

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New laws will affect home sales

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If your home has been listed for sale through the summer without procuring a buyer, don’t be surprised about the two new laws that will most likely affect your sale. Homeowners, who will be listing their home for sale in the fall, will most likely be advised by their real estate agents. Of course, I am talking about the increased county recordation tax and the new radon-testing requirement. 

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Knowing the future of home sales

 

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Everyone wants to know the future. Home sellers and buyers want to predict home prices. Home sellers want to know the best time to sell. Home buyers want to know if they’re getting a good price. And apparently there may be a fairly reliable predictor to home prices, however it’s not what you think it is.

Several empirical studies have attempted to provide a methodology for predicting the housing market. Of course, there is the familiar forecasting of real estate through divorce and premarital agreements. Back in 2013, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML.org) issued a press release citing the increase of prenuptial agreements as sign of the improving economy. The increase in prenuptial agreements meant that people felt there was value in their assets. And this was meant to be a good sign for the housing market.

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Signs beneficial to the community

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A special thanks to the Montgomery County Council whose proposed ordinance amendment will undoubtedly help local real estate agents.  Last week’s testimony about a zoning text amendment relating to signs and their location illuminated their place in the community as well as reminded us they are a form of free speech.

Of course the unintended consequences of a blanket ban of signs in the right of way is yet to be determined.  However, it would certainly make it more difficult for county residents to sell their home by owner (without an agent), as well as home buyers wanting to go it alone without an agent.  The resulting lack of information that is currently provided by these signs would certainly compel consumers to hire a local Realtor®. Thank you.

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Money laundering and real estate

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In the post financial crisis era, when anti-fraud units from various law enforcement agencies stepped up activity to prosecute real estate related crimes; real estate continues to be a vehicle for scammers and fraudsters. Although mortgage fraud and identity theft have been the mainstay, money laundering through real estate has not received the same attention. That is until this year, when a pilot program was initiated to identify money laundering in residential real estate. The program was ordered through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the US Department of the Treasury (FinCEN), which is tasked with the protection of our financial system by primarily combating money laundering (fincen.gov).

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How not to prepare for your home sale

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When preparing for a home sale, the devil is in the details. You probably already know about the “do’s,” de-cluttering, curb-appeal, staging, and making necessary repairs. But here are a few “don’ts” that often trap home sellers into making mistakes:

Don’t make a statement. Now is not the time to be bold with renovations and staging; but rather stay focused on getting your home sold. Stay away from trendy features, and bold designs. Although bright and dramatic colors seem tempting, stick with neutral color schemes. Besides making rooms feel awkward, making a statement with trendy fixtures and bold colors may turn off homebuyers. Your statement will have homebuyers fixated on the style, rather the space and potential of each room. 

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More property information to ponder

 

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Homebuyers should be happy to know there is a new resource that provides information about houses. In one report, buyers will be able to access information that is not always readily available or hard to find. A July 19 RealtyTrac (realtytrac.com) press release introduced Attom Data Solutions, their new parent company, and what it offers to the real estate industry and consumers. Attom Data Solutions’ (attomdata.com) self-stated mission is “to increase real estate transparency by arming businesses and consumers with the property and neighborhood data needed to make wise decisions.”

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