Category Archives: Real Estate Tips

03May/15

Real Estate Fundamentals Explained

To fully understand real estate and what it is, we have to go back to the basics and define the basic principles that define real estate. Although there are a lot of basic building blocks that we can talk about – real estate investing, various types of real estate investments etc., we will tackle the very basic of all the real estate fundamentals – the definition of real estate.

Real Estate Definition

In legal terms, real property is generally defined as land and things permanently attached to the land. Things that are permanently attached to the land which includes houses, garages, and buildings are often referred to as “improvements.” Substances that are beneath the land, such as gas, oil, and minerals are also considered permanently attached. Items that can be attached to the land, but are not necessarily permanent such as mobile homes and tool sheds are not considered real property.

Real Property vs Personal Property

Property is generally divided into real property and personal property. Real property includes things like the house and the land on which it lies, while personal property includes moveable goods – your car, clothes, and most of your personal possessions are considered personal property.

Ownership of Real Property

In the United States, there are special legal requirements controlling the ownership of real property. Under the Statute of Frauds, all contracts for the sale of real property must be done in writing. This holds true for all Scottsdale real estate, too, of course. In any event that the contract for real property is not in writing, it will not be enforced in a court of law. Furthermore, real property is not covered under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). This means that UCC warranties and regulations do not apply to the purchases or sale of real property.

Sale and Lease of Real Estate

The sale and lease of real estate in the United States are considered major economic activities and are heavily regulated by state and federal laws. The two major types of real estate are commercial and residential real estate. Commercial real estate is the sale and lease of property for business purposes, and residential real estate involves the sale and rental of land to people for daily living.

The sale of residential property is heavily regulated, and all states require real estate agents and brokers who earn a commission for selling property to be licenses. To get a license, a person must have a high school diploma, be at least eighteen years old and pass a written test on real estate principles and law.

We have now discussed the very basic fundamental building blocks of real estate, and this can be a good start in starting your journey with real estate!

23Apr/15

Five Oddball Tips on Real Estate

Real Estate is a tricky business and they say that only the toughest survive. There are a lot of tips about real estate from experts who have been in the business for a long time, some of them conventional and some of them are well, unconventional. Some call the advice weird, others ridiculous, only a few see the advice for what it really is – pure genius.

Tip 1: In areas with a large Chinese population, avoid ending your list prices in the number 4.
In Mandarin, the pronunciation of the word four is similar to the word death. End your list prices in the number 8 instead whose pronunciation sounds like wealth.

Tip 2: End your price with 900 when selling
This is a well-known psychological effect. As with consumer goods that are priced for $49.99 instead of $50, buyers of real estate are often searching for Scottsdale houses just less than a round number.

Research done by Zillow found out that with prices ending in a “900” for example $749,000 sold an average of 4.2 days faster and for $2175 more than houses listed for $1,000 more.

Tip 3: When selling your house, hire a female real estate agent.
This is not being sexist, but statistics show that female real estate agents sell houses faster and for higher prices. And, although the difference in terms of price is not high, it is statistically significant.

This happens because generally women agents set the starting prices high, but tend to be more flexible about lowering prices if their initial pricing doesn’t work. Men, tend to put the starting prices lower but are more stubborn in lowering prices.

Tip 4: Buy a house near a Starbucks
Apparently a Starbucks is a great indicator that a neighborhood is undergoing gentrification – which means rising housing prices. Zillow’s research looked at a decade’s worth of data and found out that properties adjacent to a Starbucks have appreciated 96%. Well, who knew that good coffee equates to rising housing prices.

Tip 5: Buy a house outside a hip new neighborhood
Another bit of unconventional advice is to scout neighborhoods that have recently been gentrified (the price of the house have appreciated) but don’t buy a house there. Buy a house in the next neighborhood instead. That neighborhood will have the halo effect of the gentrification effect of the neighborhood.

17Apr/15

Life, Death, and Real Estate

Death is a topic that makes a lot of people uncomfortable. It’s like the proverbial elephant in the room. Everybody knows that it’s there, but nobody wants to talk about it. But death is inevitable, and sooner or later, we will all find ourselves in the Grimm Reaper’s to do list. So if death is something that we can’t escape, it is probably best to discuss the practical side of death, for instance, what happens to your Scottsdale-based properties when you die?

Well, given that you left the property without debt, and that you left a will, then, your executor will follow the will after it goes through probate court. Probate is just fancy legal term for a process in making sure that your will is real. However, if you die without leaving a will, then your property(ies) will still go through probate, and the state will decide to whom your property will go to.

The above is an ideal scenario wherein you leave your property(ies) debt free, but what if you die and your property still has a mortgage, what happens then? Let’s discuss several scenarios that can happen and what can be done in those instances. Experts recommend that the heirs should contact the lender soon after a death to discuss the options that are available. While deciding what to do, experts recommend that you keep the loan current, so that you can avoid foreclosure.

Scenario 1: Your heirs take over your mortgage

In most situations, federal law allows for the transfer of the loan to a relative or other heir when you die. Your heirs will take over your mortgage with the same interest rate as you. Though, legal formalities will have to be followed, it shouldn’t be a problem to do this.

Scenario 2: Your heirs opt to refinance the loan

Your heirs can also choose to refinance the loan. This option is best if they can get a lower interest rate or reduced monthly payments.

Scenario 3: Your heirs cannot afford to make monthly payments

If your heirs don’t have the financial capability to carry the loan, then, experts suggest that they can either sell the house through someone who is always listing Scottsdale homes for sale, or in the worst case scenario, they can walk away from their home entirely.

If the loan cannot be salvaged, walking away might be the wisest move. However, if the property has a sentimental value, then, it might be a good idea to contact the lender and discuss the options that you have.

Although nobody wants to die, death is something that we can’t escape. While we will be in eternal slumber free from the cares of this world, there will be people that we will leave behind. It would be wise to make some provision for our loved ones who still have to live in this world. Don’t you think?

17Apr/15

5 Tips on Real Estate You Can Use Today

Whether you are selling your house or looking around to buy one, here are some few simple tips that you might want to keep in mind when it comes to real estate.

Tip 1 : For Those Who Are Selling – The Details Count

If you are going to sell your house in Scottsdale, remember that little details count. Don’t forget to wash the windows, trim the bushes ( if you have any), mow the lawn and change the welcome mats. Inside, arrange the closets, de-clutter rooms, make sure that the house is spotless. Clean the toilet and hide all the fantasy-killing labor tools (toilet scrubs and the like). Check your medicine cabinet and hide all your prescription medication, trust me, you don’t want them to know what’s in the cabinet. Yes, it takes a little bit of time and a lot of elbow grease, but trust me, it will be worth it in the end.

Tip 2: For buyers: Do Your Research

If you are looking into buying your dream house, it is best to do your homework and research the neighborhood. Try to scope the neighborhood at different times so that you can see how it is at different times of the day.

Tip 3: If you are looking into buying, buy a house outside of the hip new neighborhood.

If you are in love with a neighborhood that has a lot of cafe’s, restaurants, parks, and a shopping mall – don’t buy a house there. Buy a house in the next neighborhood over. The price will not be as expensive, and you still get the benefit of using all the facilities. This is called a halo effect and has been shown to work in a lot of cities in the US.

Tip 4: Take note of the words that you use when advertising your house

If you are advertising your house, avoid using the word “unique”, it’s a code word that means ‘this house requires a lot of work’. Save the word for describing Sarah Jessica Parker’s clothes. ;)

Also avoid using charming, quaint, and cute – they are all code words for small.

Tip 5: Honesty Is The Best Policy

Buyers appreciate if you are up front about what is going on in your house. It is best to be honest about the issues (if any) in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning. This will help to avoid disappointments, delays, and distrust in the long run.