The Essential Guide to Your Search For an Accessible Home

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If you’re about to embark on the search for an accessible home, you may be worried about your chances of finding a property that suits your needs. It’s normal to feel nervous, but with a strategic approach, you’ll have no trouble putting down an offer on a home you can easily modify! These simple steps will provide you with a road map to buying an accessible home.


Considerations for First-Time Buyers

If you’re buying your first home, you’ll have quite a few important tasks on your to-do list! For instance, you’ll need to look up your credit score and start creating a house hunting budget. Additionally, you’ll have to start looking up local real estate agents, preparing necessary paperwork for your lender, and identify organizations that may be able to help you cover your down payments or the cost of home modifications. In the early stages of house hunting, you may want to create a checklist outlining these items so you don’t overlook anything important!


Financing Your Home Purchase

As a homebuyer with a disability, you might be eligible for financial assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program or Habitat for Humanity, but while you may qualify for certain forms of assistance, there’s a good chance that you will still have to take out a mortgage to buy a home. If this is the case, Money Under 30 notes that FHA loans can be a great option.

First-time homebuyers with short credit histories and who can only afford small down payments can qualify for FHA loans. However, it’s always important to research all of your loan options when applying for a mortgage.


Choose a Great Realtor


In your search for an accessible home, working with a reliable realtor will be essential. You’ll undoubtedly have some unique concerns and questions, and your realtor can help you find the perfect home without compromising on your needs. With the help of a group like Title First Agency, you can connect with a realtor who will look out for your best interests during the house hunting process and support you all the way through closing day.


Touring Properties


Once you’ve connected with a realtor, you’ll be ready to start visiting a few properties in person! This is where it’s important to be selective. While older, historic homes may be beautiful, they will also be harder to modify. Therefore, it’s crucial to check out homes that were built recently. Chances are, you’ll also prefer to tour single-story homes – while you could add a stair lift or elevator to a two-story home, those projects could prove to be quite expensive.


Find Reputable Movers


As soon as you close on a home that you love, it will be time to start packing and searching for a moving company. It’s best to start saving for moving costs well before closing day so that you’re not caught off guard! To find a trustworthy moving service, compare online reviews for a few different companies so you can make an informed choice.


Modifications


You may need to make certain modifications before and after you move in. Depending on your specific needs, 101Mobility recommends replacing entrance stairs with ramps, installing a safety frame around your toilet, and adding handrails along the walls where necessary. In order to move forward with these projects, you’ll need to bring a few contractors on board. Popular Mechanics states that you should make sure any contractor you hire is insured and officially licensed to work in your area.

When you’re on the lookout for an accessible home, it can be difficult to peruse local listings and identify properties that will fit your personal requirements. That’s why it’s important to work with a great realtor, seek out available assistance, and plan for modifications. If you’re proactive about this process, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you find a comfortable, accessible home.


Photo via Pixabay

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Selling Your Home with Video

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With today’s technology, house hunting has gotten easier. Buyers can view properties in great detail, without ever leaving the comfort and safety, especially in the current COVID-19 lockdown, of their home. Hiring a Realtor with the knowledge of video technology is in your best interest as a seller.

Tips for Selling Your Home with A Video

1. Research Other Videos – Do a comprehensive search on the internet for the best examples you can find of home-selling videos. Look at how they are produced. What did you like about them? What drew you in? Videos that are shorter, well lit, made with a stable (not shaky) camera, and have great content continue to sit at the top of the pile for buyers.

2. Focus on Strong Points – Why did you buy your home? What inspired you to buy it? Did you do renovations? Any new appliances? Custom features? These answers should be highlighted to sell the home. You don’t need to go through each room. Less is more. Tape the best features and grab that buyer’s attention and leave them wanting more.

3. Showcase Outside Features – Bring the video outside and focus on the updated features, if any. Show your landscaping, even scan around the neighborhood. Do you have an incredible view? Show it. Capture attractive blooming flowers, snow-covered features, healthy green lawns, and any other features that made you love your home.

4. Hire A Professional Videographer – It is possible with today’s technology to shoot your own videos with relatively simple video cameras and tripods – even smartphones – but do you have the skill to create and edit the video, as well as post it on social media and on a website and then to use a proper description and title to show up on search engines?

Hiring a professional for the video and then a Realtor for the selling process is the best avenue to take. Together they can both advise you on the best way to stage and prep your home for filming. If you search you will probably be able to find a Realtor with the skills to take beautiful videos.

5. Prepare Your Home –  Keep the filmed areas clean and uncluttered, with open arrangements and no personal effects. It is important for viewers to visualize themselves and all of their belongings in the home. With a well-done video, you are more likely to sell your home quickly and at the very best price.

The Bottom Line: If you really want to impress home buyers, you should enlist the power of visual storytelling. A compelling video not only immerses potential buyers into the experience of your home but also establishes an emotional connection by highlighting what makes it special. While photography will always be essential to the real estate marketing mix, a well-produced video can make a home come to life in ways that even the best photography can’t.

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Negotiating When Buying a Home

A great, seasoned Realtor is your best bet when you find the home of your dreams. Negotiation in real estate is an art that any seasoned Realtor will be able to find some common ground that satisfies all parties. Bad negotiations can kill a sale.

  1. If you offer too far below the market value it will damage your credibility as a buyer and is usually insulting to the seller who often has a price range in mind that they’ll accept. If you aren’t even close to the lower end of that range, the offer probably won’t be considered.
  2. Incremental negotiations. Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. Take it or leave it. When you make a firm offer the seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if you won’t negotiate, don’t show your hand.
  4. Being particular after an inspection. If a major issue is revealed, yes, that should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a standstill.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing.

The Bottom Line: Before beginning any negotiations, studies have shown that whoever has the most information has the most success on what they are bidding on as opposed to walking into something completely blind. If you have hired a good Realtor, he will be adept at understanding both the big picture and the little details of the home you want to buy. He should be able to read the market the home is in and know if the home you want is one that can be negotiated.

 

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Overpricing Your Home to Put on the Market is A Mistake

When you’re deciding how much to list your home for, don’t make the common mistake of overpricing your home!

If you price your home too high the right buyers won’t even give it a look. Buyers are savvy now, they are able to do homework and find out what a home is worth. They’ve hired skilled Realtors that have gathered all the comps for the neighborhood. Price it too high and your home will sit on the market without interest or traffic and the longer it sits the more of a negative association will come with your home. Buyers automatically assume homes on the market a long time mean that there is something wrong. 

Look for a skilled Realtor that has been in the business a few years and that sells homes quickly. Basically, find a Realtor that does not need your business. You will find these are the agents that will give advice that will work, not advice that the seller wants to hear and fill you with false hope.

The Bottom Line: An overpriced home:

  • Gets fewer showings.
  • Attracts the wrong buyers. You’ve listed your home in a certain bracket now. Buyers looking in that bracket expect more and your home won’t have what they want, leaving your home to sit on the market.
  • Helps your competition. Your neighbor’s home, priced right, will look that much better sitting next door to yours with a bigger price tag.
  • Will have a negative perception. When you eventually lower the price it won’t have the same impact because it has been sitting on the market too long.
  • Will have online search problems. Screening homes online involves putting in certain criteria into a search to screen out unwanted homes. It may seem a small thing, but when you price your home too far above the comps, you remove yourself out of these searches.
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NATIONAL REACH. LOCAL TOUCH

Title companies offer one of the most important types of insurance that one can buy. For most people, a residence or commercial property may be the most expensive asset they own. Title insurance in a real estate transaction has great value to the average consumer.

Think about it this way, what is the first thing you do when you go buy a car? You probably (hopefully!) pick up the phone and call your insurance agent to insure the vehicle. So naturally, insuring your real estate would be more pressing, since the value of it can be quite substantial.

So what should a good title company offer? Since the Ohio Department of Insurance regulates title insurance in the state of Ohio, and the Ohio Title Insurance Rating Bureau dictates all premiums, a title company can set itself apart by the customer service they offer along with the partner networks they share. Working with a large title company that does business on a national level has many advantages.

Title companies with the ability to write on multiple underwriter paper have the ability to provide more options and flexibility to their clients. For instance, Title First Agency is licensed in 33 states and can conduct business in all 50 states through its partner network and affiliations. Title First utilizes five of the leading title insurance underwriters in the business to issue title insurance policies to end consumers. (Check them out at https://titlefirst.com/underwriters/) This benefits the consumer in many ways, especially when a potential title issue arises and one underwriter is willing to take the risk while another may not be so willing.

Another benefit of a national title company is the increased level of protection of private information of both clients and consumers. There is a vast amount of private information necessary in conducting a real estate transaction. Some title companies have specific protocols as well as various checks and balances in place to ensure consumer privacy, which is paramount in today’s world. At Title First, we pride ourselves on achieving the highest certification for cyber security audits, without exception, known as SSAE 18. In addition, Title First is Best Practices Certified by the American Land Title Association. In order to obtain these certifications, Title First has participated in rigorous, outside, third party audits that test our systems and ensures the company maintains privacy at every level. What does this mean for you and your clients? It means that you can rest easy knowing your client’s information and financials are safe within our company.

Larger, national title companies, such as Title First, have a strong network of contacts in the real estate industry. Whether it be lenders, national vendors, realtors, or private attorneys – national title companies have access to all of these partners and more, which provides consumers and clients with access to any resources they may need during their transaction. This access creates the best overall experience at the closing table for the consumer and their realtors! Some lenders will only work with certain title companies – some have a “preferred vendors” list. Title First has built these affiliations and relationships over more than 60 years in the business. A trusted partner can provide you with peace of mind so you can make it to your next listing appointment or showing, on time and without a worry.

Why not use a company with a proven history, and a large network of providers to ensure you get the most for your client? Title First does just that – “National Reach, Local Touch” – at every step of the way.


By: Angie W. Sherry, Esq.

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Mechanic’s Lien

The financial crisis of 2007-2008, also known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Since then and because of the losses, title insurance underwriters tightened their guidelines when working with residential properties to prevent further loss.

During the time of the financial crisis, title insurance underwriters often suffered loss due to mechanic’s lien claims.  A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property. The claim is issued when the work performed was not paid for.

The lien gives the debt holder the right to the property until the debt is paid in full and the property.  This could be an expensive situation for new homeowners, so it is important to ensure a property is lien-free before purchasing a home. This can be confirmed with a lien waiver or a paid receipt for any work completed on the property. A lien waiver is a document issued by the service provider that states they have received payment and waive the right to issue a lien against the property in the future.

Title First Agency will protect all property buyers by providing a clear title of the property. If there is a lien, the title won’t be clear and we will coordinate the activity and documentation from the participants and pull each piece together, including paid receipt of any improvements or repairs to the property.

If you’re planning to purchase a home, make sure you know the full status of the property and any lien claims.  Buying a home may be the single, largest financial purchase in your life and can signify a much-anticipated milestone. That’s why Title First offers a host of resources to help you understand this important personal transaction.

 

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