Sue Revis' Blog
When you purchase a home, your lender charges you for a title insurance policy. You are also given the option to buy your own title insurance policy. Depending on your agreement with the seller, the seller might purchase the buyer’s title insurance policy. Before a seller can sell his or her property, it must have clear title. However, the title searchers could miss something. Title insurance protects the buyer and the mortgage company against financial problems that might come with a “dirty” title.
What Is a Title Search?
A title search looks at public records to determine the legal ownership of a property. The title search should uncover any liens against the property in addition to easements and other problems with the title. Building code violations, unpaid taxes and erroneous surveys are just some of the items that cause a title to be “dirty.” If a title has issues, the seller must rectify those issues before they are allowed to close on the deal.
What Is Title Insurance?
The title insurance protects the holder of the policy from any defects in the title. When you think of insurance, you generally think of being insured against things that will happen in the future. Title insurance protects you against things that happened to the title in the past. The insurance policy usually covers fraud concerning title documents, forgery on title documents, ownership by someone else, incorrect signatures, flawed record-keeping, flawed records, terms that reduce enjoyment (such as unrecorded easements) and encumbrances (such as liens and outstanding lawsuits).
The Cost and Types of Title Insurance
The cost depends on the title insurance company, but is usually around 1 percent of the purchase price of the property. The types of title insurance are owner’s insurance and lender’s insurance. As previously mentioned, the buyer buys the policy for the lender. The buyer or seller purchases the owner’s (buyer’s) policy.
The lender’s policy does not protect the buyer from loss – it protects only the lender. If you want to be covered against losses, you should always purchase your own policy if the seller doesn’t do it for you. Never rely on a title search, as it is easy enough to miss something that clouds the title.
For example, if the title search does not show that the seller has unpaid taxes and the closing goes through, the buyer is now responsible for those unpaid taxes. A title insurance policy protects the buyer against situations such as this.
If you are purchasing a home that was in foreclosure, the title is more likely to have issues because the sellers might not have more liens against the property in addition to the foreclosure. For example, if a seller does not pay a $20,000 hospital bill, the hospital could place a lien on the property. If the title search does not find that lien because someone erred in recording it, the buyer is responsible for that hospital bill once they close on the property. It is recommended that you always buy your own title insurance policy, whether you or the seller pays for it.
Adding square footage of living space to your home is always a sound investment. Not only does it give you and your family more space to play, but it adds resale value, too -- even if the square footage you add is outdoors. A well-designed and constructed pergola does both. It provides shade and shelter for guests; at the same time, it adds beauty and function to your backyard while boosting its value to potential buyers.
Benefits of Adding a Pergola
We've put together a checklist of reasons why you might want to consider upping your entertainment game with the addition of a backyard pergola:
Pergolas Ground Your Outdoor Space
A beautiful pergola is the perfect structure to section off a portion of your backyard for entertaining. Sit beneath it for hours, reading your favorite books. Or, host a friendly get-together for a dozen friends. A pergola delineates your entertainment space.
Pergolas Provide Shade and Shelter
Entertaining with a pergola means guests stay cooler and somewhat protected from the elements. Add a shade canopy made of canvas, lattice or natural, vining plants, and your pergola can help keep the area beneath it up to 15 degrees cooler on the hottest, summer day.
Pergolas Add Privacy
There are so many ways to perk up your pergola, including adding curtains, lattice, plants and more. All add beauty to your construction, but they all add privacy, too. Sit outside without the world staring back at you when you settle in under your pergola.
Constructing Your Pergola
Now that you've decided a pergola is the perfect home improvement, how do you go about building one? You have several options:
You can build your pergola from scratch if you have the know-how and tenacity. This is the most economic option, but make sure it's permitted and built to code if you're trying to up your resale value. You'll want to choose materials that are hardy against the elements, such as pressure-treated wood, cedar, vinyl or aluminum. You'll also need specific tools and supplies, such as a post-hole digger and quick-set concrete.
Pergola kits are readily available online and at your local home improvement store. They include everything you need to construct your pergola, including the wood, vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass posts, brackets and hardware. Upon delivery, your pergola is ready to assemble. This option is a little pricier than doing it yourself, but it's cheaper than calling in a pro.
The average cost of professional pergola construction is between $3,500 and $4,000, according to HomeAdvisor. This cost can change according to where you live, the materials used and the size of your pergola. But this option is also the one that will raise your resale value the most.
When it comes to living space, every square foot counts. This is especially true when it's time to list your home for potential buyers. Consider the addition of a pergola to enhance both the function and beauty of your backyard. Your family and the next one will love you for it.
Selling your home can be a very exciting experience. From house-hunting to packing up your stuff, it can all be a very fun and rewarding process. However, there are some steps that must be taken to ensure you sell your house for the right price. You must understand what your house is worth, then it's vital to make sure your home is ready to sell. To do this effectively, there are some tips to consider.
Spruce Up the Landscaping
While the inside of the home holds great importance, curb appeal also matters quite a bit for many home shoppers. That being said, sprucing up your landscaping can give your home curb appeal home seekers will love. To do this effectively, we recommend hiring a professional landscaping company. However, you can also do these tasks yourself. Be sure to trim the bushes, mow the lawn and pull those pesky weeds.
Clean the Exterior
As you’re making improvements to your landscaping, you should do some additional cleaning while you’re at it. If the exterior of your home appears dirty, then it may be pretty difficult to land the sale. To clean effectively, using a pressure washer is key. This is a great way to clean those hard to reach areas, and the powerful water blasts can wipe away dirt that has been stuck to your home for years. Also, be sure to clean the gutters and siding.
While a dirty exterior can look very bad, damages can look even worse. That being said, making repairs to your home is vital when looking to sell. While you may be hesitant to fix that costly dishwasher, doing so can go a long way as you’re trying to sell your home for its asking price. It's important to put your home in the best condition as possible to increase your chance of a sale.
Get Rid of Odors
If you have a strange stench inside or outside your home, then it’s best to take care of this as soon as possible. A strange odor can make the home seeker believe you have a mold, insect or pest issue, so you’ll want to ensure that these smells are taken care of right away. A good tip here is to invite your friends or neighbors over to do a walkthrough. Since you live in the home, you may be used to the odor; an outside source can fill you in if something smells off.
Make Things Tidy
A dirty home is a leading reason why many home seekers won’t follow through with a purchase. This is mostly due to the fact that clutter can make a space appear smaller than it really is. And when selling your home, you want to make sure that it looks as big as possible. Put away clothes, clean up the counter, and put things in storage if a certain area looks cluttered.
By following the tips outlined in this blog, you can do your best to inch closer and closer to selling your home!
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