Finding the Right Neighborhood

3D Home 300x199 Finding the Right NeighborhoodHome buying during a seller’s market can cause you to overlook some otherwise highly considered factors such as finding the right neighborhood.  While the pace to place a winning bid on your dream home may be urgent for some, neglecting to focus on the neighborhood can make the win a sour victory in the end.

You not only want the best dwelling for your money but also to be surrounded by what you consider area perks.  This can be as important as the dwelling itself as it is seen as making the new residence manageable and more enjoyable.  When finding the right neighborhood, consider the importance of what is offered in your desired location and take time to look at what may be important ten to twenty years from now.  This is, if you plan to stay a while.

Here are a few things to consider:

Schools: Even if you do not have children of your own, homes located in top rated school districts do better at maintaining their value.  If you have or plan to have children, a good education may be at the forefront of desired provisions.

Transportation / Walkability:  Is it important to be close to major thoroughfares or to have ease of driving to and from work?  Perhaps you want to go against the flow of traffic or be near a bus route.  Considering the increased environmental friendly awareness we have today you may want the ability to ride your bike or even walk to work.  Many newer communities are built and focused on walkability to and from all elements of living, such as restaurants, retail and grocery stores as well as fitness centers and night life.  Think about your habits not only during the week but on the weekends as well.

Arts and Entertainment:  Edifying venues and local art scenes may be important to you.  Everything from museums, to film, to local bands and street markets and much more fall into this category.  As diverse as human culture, being close to what feeds your creative side may be at the top of your list.

Proximity to Fire/Police Stations:  Believe it or not, the location of your home can have an effect on what you pay for homeowners insurance.  While rates vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and even on the same street, you will pay based on the risk level your area is in.  A reduction in any emergency response time is likely a reduction in premiums.

Local Conveniences:  Dry-cleaners, coffee shops and even the local Walmart or Target can be considered conveniences by home dwellers.  If driving six miles into town for a gallon of milk or commuting to the next city over for some Ben & Jerry’s is not something you would look forward to then perhaps living in the suburbs or rural area is not your forte.  On the other hand your idea of convenience may be the alluring sound of night crickets, fields of blue, or miles of nature surrounding you.  We all must judge the importance of our individual family conveniences when finding the right neighborhood.

Area Sounds/Smells:  Fall is here and you have found the perfect home at a price that seems just right for you.  Did you take the time to look at what is located in the miles around you?  Once the summer sun shines down you may be shocked by the downwind whiff of the local plant tending to things not so desirable to your nasal perception?  Or you could be near a local bakery that sends you into a huger frenzy every time they kick the ovens on?  Get to know the local plants, factories, and even landfills or natural oddities located in the area.

Crime Rate:  This is usually one of the first things that home buyers look at when they are contemplating a neighborhood.  Take the time to look deeper though.  What type of crimes are they, will you have registered sex offenders nearby, is there a neighborhood watch program, is there a known home with repeated incidences, and how active are the police at patrolling through this area?  Surface reports may not tell the whole story.

Neighbors:  If you are able, take time to talk to the neighbors.  Drive the area both during the day and at night.  Do not neglect doing so both on a week day and weekend.  Do they seem to be active? Does everyone take pride in keeping their yard maintained?  Are there parks and places of desired worship nearby that may be important to you?  How about the traffic flow through the street?  Your neighbors will have some level of effect on your overall experience.

Demographics:  Consider the population of where you want to live.  What is the average residence age, household income level, education level, age of the home, vacancy rate, turn-over rate, commute times, average tax rates, and even how many people rent versus own their home. Some of these factors may be irrelevant to you and some may important to what you consider an appropriate long term comfort level.

What is important to you in finding a neighborhood will differ almost always from others around you.  Overall you will not find every desire met but if you list what is the most important and look at homes in the areas that fit closest to your parameters you should have an enjoyable residency with little to no regrets.

Here are a few sites that can assist you when finding the right neighborhood: Sperling’s Best Places, Find The Best, Crime Reports and Area Vibes.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Becoming RE Agent.jpg 150x150 Becoming a Real Estate AgentAfter a down turn in the real estate market when things start to look brighter you will see more interest in becoming a real estate agent.  There is a false conception sometimes that all you need to do in order to collect a commission check is to show a home and have the buyer sign on the dotted line.  There is a vast amount of education, dedication and hard work involved in becoming successful in this career.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, found on the U.S. Department of Labor web site, the basic duties of a real estate broker and a sales agent are:

  • Solicit potential clients to buy, sell, and rent properties
  • Advise clients on prices, mortgages, market conditions, and other related information
  • Compare properties to determine a competitive market price
  • Generate lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features
  • Promote properties through advertisements, open houses, and listing services
  • Take prospective buyers or renters to see properties
  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration
  • Mediate negotiations between the buyer and seller
  • Ensure all terms of purchase contracts are met
  • Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements, and deeds

Look closely at these, you will notice that under the high-level descriptions there is analysis, comparisons, communication skills, marketing, mathematics, geography, history, knowledge of current law and exceptions, continuing education, organization, attention to detail, proactive works, and the list goes on.  This job is one that takes a charismatic and knowledgeable person who is not afraid to work for success.  Often typical ‘office hours’ for agents or sales persons do not exist, especially if they are just starting out and building clientele.

After considering all this, if you feel it is the right career path for you, explore your state requirements.  Take time to explore all the career opportunities available, not every real estate worker is an agent.  A real estate career can be not only challenging but rewarding and lucrative when you are able to find your nitch.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Real Estate Terms – Guide to Understanding the Lingo

HomeInHand.Naypong 150x150 Real Estate Terms – Guide to Understanding the LingoBoth buyers and sellers of real estate can at times feel less than knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the lingo and following the use of real estate terms that occur during a real estate transaction.

From beginning to end a good agent will tell you that an informed client is one that is better adapted to the ever-changing course of purchasing or selling a home.  Knowing some of the key terms and lingo utilized by brokers and agents can help buyers and sellers of real estate be more informed about the process and ultimately help them feel more confident during their real estate transaction.

Below is a guide to understanding the lingo, which highlights commonly used real estate terms.  By no means is this an all-inclusive list, but helpful nonetheless.

Terms2 Real Estate Terms – Guide to Understanding the Lingo

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Part 4 of 4: Outdoor Planting Decor – Decorating with Style

PlantingDecor 200x300 Part 4 of 4: Outdoor Planting Decor – Decorating with StyleMost of us have or are thinking about decorating with style for that first lazy summer evening under the stars or perhaps for the first neighborhood barbecue by the grill.  This is the time of year when outdoor activity is heightened and gatherings ensue.  When it comes to updating your outdoor space, we tend to go about it in one of three ways, 1) become a DIY achiever and work to create an oasis that reflects our style, 2) hire a landscaping company, or 3) sporadically place gnomes around knowing that it is the go-to in an acceptable style for many.  Focusing on the first option following are some creative DIY achiever ideas that can make any gardener a decorator as well.

In part one of this series ‘Spring Gardening’ we discussed the necessity of pre-work.  A great way to make additional use of that work is to recycle anything that may be used for your new décor.  For instance, if you cut down a tree, convert it into stepping stones by cutting three to four inch cross sections and placing them in an area perhaps void of much grass.  If you have extra wood or poles, use those to create the base of wall art or area yard dividers.  Remember the climbing vine floral plant we discussed in part three of this series ‘Floral Gardening’?  Take your extra wood or metal material and create a large frame that can be placed above the planted vine.  Weave wire through the open areas to encourage the vine to attach and grow.  The resulting colorful walls of growth can be placed next to a wall or fence as art pictures or even placed as dividers in the yard.  Always try to imagine new ways to use old and discarded items.

Throughout your decorating with style process, step back to view the different areas of your yard.  Ask if they are complementing each other in theme or story told.  For instance, you would not have bold flowers and linear décor in one section and delicate shabby chic in another.  If you must have both, then find a way to blend them by giving each section its own identity along with acknowledgement of the other style by mixing in subtle tributes pulling in like-style from the opposite areas.  Your outdoors should seamlessly flow from one section to another.

Perhaps the best part to any garden or outdoor space is the final touches, the little things outside of gnomes that add personality.  Tying in the furnishings with the set theme or reflected style can be done with smaller accents.  For instance, if it looks too perfect it may not have a welcoming feel.  Don’t be afraid to use items that have formed a patina coating.  Even repurposed porch lanterns, wine barrels and fun ceramics can liven up an area.  Finally, one of the most popular final touches in garden décor is a water feature. Better Homes and Gardens published a step-by-step guide to creating a Fountain in a Pot.  With the ease and simplicity of this project having several strategically placed fountains will add not only a talking point to your garden décor but a little relaxation ambiance as well.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog.  For information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Part 3 of 4: Floral Gardening – Planting Color

ColorfulChrysanthemumFlower.2 300x196 Part 3 of 4: Floral Gardening – Planting ColorThere are so many varieties of gardens that sometimes it is just fun to experiment with floral gardening and planting color.  From earth tones to bright sunshine day colors there is a large gamete of expressions that could emote from your own floral garden.  Just think of all the spaces around your yard that can benefit from a pop of color.  Don’t be shy about where you can add your floral arrays either.  From climbing vines, potted blooms, hanging baskets, shrub lining, to beds of flowers, there is really no area that would not be appropriate and since size and color is never ending, let your imagination run wild.

You can begin one of two ways; know what you want to plant or know where you want to plant.  Each decision has an effect on the other.  As noted before in ‘Vegetable Gardens That Satisfy’, there are basic steps to follow when deciding where and what to plant.  The amount of sunlight, soil preparedness, ample drainage, sufficient hydration, and heat tolerant levels are all things to consider.  Understanding your heat tolerant zone is easily done at USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, once you know your zone you will find it easier to choose the correct plants for your area as most soil tabs will state acceptable zone tolerance level.

Here are a few suggestions on different types of floral plants.  Your climbing vines would include Golden Trumpets, Wisteria sinensis, Morning Glory, Honey Suckle, and Pretty Passion Flowers to name just a few.  Examples of the better potted blooms would be Chrysanthemum, Pansy, Zinnia, and Calibrachoa.  Hanging baskets are very popular and include such flowers as Lobelia, Dracaena, Brachyscome, Bacopa, and Impatiens.  When highlighting an area with an outline of floral gardening try such plants as Dianthus Fire Star, Apple Blossom, Pink Creeping Phlox, Vinca Minor, and of course the ever popular Petunia.  Remember that with any of these you can mix in non-floral plants to add contrast and backgrounds.  The décor of your garden is like fashion, you want to make sure your colors complement one another.  An additional item to think about would be fragrance.  Many floral plants have great fragrance, but you should be mindful of the amount so as not to overwhelm or compete with plants in the local vicinity.  Mix and match, half the fun is in the experimentation.

When deciding what to plant, consider that there are two different types of flowers.  A way to try something new each season would be to select some annuals, those that have a life span of one growing season.  Otherwise you could consider perennials which typically return to life each spring.  Trying something new each season is a great way to incorporate trending colors of the season into your garden.  Bonnie Plants is a very thorough gardener’s website with great suggestions on planting color with annuals.

In part 4 of our series we will examine outdoor plant decor.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog.  For information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Part 2 of 4: Spring Gardening – Vegetable Gardens That Satisfy

SpringVegGarden.b 300x201 Part 2 of 4: Spring Gardening – Vegetable Gardens That SatisfyThere are vegetable gardens that satisfy people in ways other than just home grown nourishment.  Picking ripe and delicious produce can satisfy many for a job well done.  Now that you have done the pre-work for post-work success, let’s look at planting vegetables.  Choose your location wisely; tucking your bed of growth away in a corner may not be the greatest idea.  Keeping your garden away from large foliage will assist them in gaining the most nutrients.  For best results you will want to be able to maneuver around your plants for easy hands-on access, have them in direct sunlight for a good portion (up to 8 or 9 hours) of the day, and you will want the location to have adequate drainage as well as easy access to water.

There is no rule that states you must grow your garden in the ground.  Raised beds are becoming more popular and are also easier to tend to from the outside.  Keep in mind that positioning your crop by heights also is essential in accessing them throughout their growth.  Raised beds can be far less complicated as you will be able to provide quality soil from the beginning and not have to adjust and rework current yard soil.  You can even ‘think outside the yard’ and place some vegetables in pots and/or large containers.  Being ambitious is admirable but if you are new to gardening, your first season should be simple and manageable.  If you do decide to work the earth with a yard garden, your nursery horticulturist that assisted with your weed-n-feed and pest control concerns from part 1 of this series can be instrumental in guiding you on how to prepare your soil for the garden’s success.  Vegetable gardens tend to produce more abundantly in soil that drains well and is mixed with compost or other organic matter.

According to Urban Farmer, a wonderful website for gardeners, April and May is a good time to plant beans, tomatoes, herbs, leafy greens, carrots, corn, peppers and a personal favorite, summer squash.  This site also does a great job helping you determine what should be planted in a garden bed versus a garden pot.  Another resource for consideration is your local social garden club.  Many cities and towns have groups that meet regularly and often host workshops for gardeners at all levels, as well as plant exchanges for those wanting to try their hand at a new species of vegetable.

Finding yourself in the midst of a vegetable garden that satisfies you is rewarding and some would say, therapeutic.  You will also find that friends may enjoy the benefits of your success and want to learn how you accomplished it!

In part 3 of our series we will examine floral gardening.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog.  For information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Part 1 of 4: Spring Gardening – Pre-Work Makes for Post-Work Success

As the cold weather has mostly faded and the nature around us begins budding, it beckons those of us with a hands-on desire to consider spring gardening.  Once again thoughts of a successful planting season have arrived.  Even in the south, it is not too late to start the process of producing a beautiful and productive garden.  Another reason to tackle your outdoor surroundings is to add to the beauty and visual appeal of your home.  Over the next few weeks BidSelect will examine different types of gardening and outline tips to help you succeed.  This week, we will look at the preparation of the garden itself and how pre-work makes for post-work success.

SpringGardening.b 300x200 Part 1 of 4: Spring Gardening – Pre Work Makes for Post Work SuccessTo start, always have a clean slate.  Never start the fun chores of planting and designing your garden until the hard chores of preparing the area have been completed.  The preparation of the garden is just as important as what you choose to plant.  First you will need to clear out all that has accumulated over the past season.  Trim back any overgrowth, including trees, large bushes, crawling vines, and prune plants like rose bushes, shrubs, and smaller trees until you see the outline of your garden area.  It may sound odd but also clear out your rain gutters and spouts, as well as check your lawn sprinkler system, your irrigation will be important throughout the season.  Remove any ground debris such as rocks, branches, and the lost ball from the neighbor’s yard.   Now that you have cleared the area, take time to mow and treat the lawn with a good weed-n-feed for your area.  Your local nursery horticulturist will be happy to help with this as well as identify the correct bug and pest control treatment.  They will also be able to assist you in any needed treatment for your planned garden beds as it relates to the soil and its nutrients.  For the most part you now have a clean slate to work from.

This is where the fun chores begin.  Now you can step back and design your creation to be.  Begin to plan out where you will plant as well as what you will plant.  Are you going to focus on larger items such as bushes and towering flowers to increase your curb appeal or will you focus on the backyard and plant vegetables, blooming fragrant arrangements, or just spruce up areas for the visual enjoyment of guests you may be entertaining.  Spring gardening involves a host of ideas but also includes decision making and keeping focused on achieving your goal so that you do not become frustrated and give up.

In part 2 of our series we will examine vegetable gardening.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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What to Look For in a Green Home

GreenHome 300x300 What to Look For in a Green HomeSearching for your next real estate purchase can have you asking what to look for in a green home.  Being environmentally conscious is a global responsibility that we are all increasingly aware of.  Moving beyond the basics of simple recycling and watering restrictions, home builders have begun to target the earth friendly segment of homebuyers by also, going green.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has an informative website on many aspects of building green.  They define this as, ‘… the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle…’.  Builders are starting to incorporate and look for ways to efficiently use water, energy, and building materials in new construction.  Some builders are even advertising green builds and energy efficiency as their specialty.

During your search for the right piece of real estate, consider what to look for in a green home.  Starting with small things such as recycled material for less waste consider everything from flooring, carpet, wood and organics, to countertops, glass tiles, and accent pieces.  Did you know that there is even recycled drywall material, plastic lumber, and fabric made from plastic bottles?  There have been remarkable improvements throughout the industry.  It no longer is just about low-flow toilets and solar panels.

Larger things also play a role in making a home green.  Remarkably a two story home is actually more energy efficient then a one story home by about 15 percent.  The facing direction of windows and how they correlate to the presence of the sun, as well as the airflow within a home makes a difference.  With any new home purchase, generally there is a home inspection, when doing this; consider including a certified home energy audit.  Take the time to walk the grounds around the home, making sure that native plants are being utilized.  A system to make use of rain water and permanent foundation drips are also green and incentives for the conscious minded buyer.

Being energy efficient also ties into having a green home.  A home certified as Energy Star Compliant provides energy efficient savings of up to 30 percent in comparison to a typical standard home.  You can find information on this and many other benefits of Energy Star at energystar.gov.  All appliances and windows should be Energy Star compliant and will be labeled as such.  Another certification that you can look for is that a home is LEED certified.  Directly from their website, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is internationally recognized as a green building certification program verifying ‘…that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance, increasing energy savings, water efficiency, and carbon emissions reduction, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts, and improving indoor environmental quality.

Take your time and investigate the use of not only green minded builders but real estate agents as well.  The demand for going green has increased and with the improvements being made in production of green material and sustainable items as well as more availability in the market, the affordability of going green is now more of an option for homebuyers then before.  You might also consider purchasing a HUD home using FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) to not only finance the purchase of a home, but also include the cost of energy-saving, cost-efficient improvements through a single mortgage.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current HUD homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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How to Move Smoothly

 

MakeYourMoveSmooth How to Move SmoothlyTo ensure the excitement of your new address remains, you must know how to move smoothly.  Happiness can quickly turn to frustration and disappointment when things go wrong.  The greatest asset to possibly enjoying your move is to plan ahead.  Planning should start at least two months ahead of the actual move date if not sooner.

Planning should start at least two months ahead of your actual move date if not sooner.  Allowing extra time in securing resources is a good idea, as well as starting conversations with those that have already been through this process, to researching options on the internet.  In addition, we’ve outlined a general timeline and a list of action items to consider. know how to move smoothly.  Happiness can quickly turn to frustration and disappointment when things go wrong.  The greatest asset to possibly enjoying your move is to plan ahead.

Once you know you will move

  • Create a binder to organize the event and store any contracts, receipts, ideas, checklists, follow-up reminders and confirmations.  Carry the binder with you so that you have it for reference when needed.

6-8 weeks before your move

  • Tasks and Involvement – Decide what and who
    • Major considerations include packing and transportation of your belongings
    • What will you do on your own and what will you hire a professional for
  • Budget – Create one and stick to it
    • Consider all costs both large and small, such as
    • Professional services, e.g. packing, transportation and cleaning
    • Supplies, e.g. boxes, bubble wrap, tape, rope and a dolly for appliances
    • Utility connections, e.g. charges for transfers, deposits, etc.
    • Allow for possible overages by including a contingency fund
  • Belongings – Decide what to keep and what to eliminate.
    • Now is a good time to eliminate the extras, unwanted, and unused items
    • Closets, basements, attics, and forgotten corners are great places to start
    • A garage sale would boost your move budget and also lighten the packing needs
  • Records – Arrange for transfers and updates
    • Medical records, school records, legal records, even your gym memberships
  • Perishable Items – Begin to thin out
    • Visit your pantry instead of the grocery store or local market
    • Find ways to create new menus with your produce and frozen products to reduce stock

- 4-5 weeks before your move

  • Boxes – Start collecting (strong and sturdy to withstand the travel)
  • Inventory – Document all valuables and determine the best way for them to arrive safely
  • Frequently Used Items – Create a package box, everything from scissors, tape, color coded labels, markers, box cutters, bubble wrap, even snack and sandwich bags for little items, as well as handy man tools such as a screw driver and hammer.  With extra people helping you pack, you may want two or more of some items.

- 2-3 weeks before your move

  • Packing – Start the process beginning with items rarely utilized and bulk belongings
  • Address Notifications – Consider not only the U. S. Postal Service but also your subscription suppliers, friends, work, creditors, banks, DMV, and any other establishment with whom you will maintain contact with or continue correspondence
  • Utility Services – Work with your utility, as well as phone/cable/internet providers to schedule the transfer of or discontinue and start service at your new address. It is usually good to overlap service in each location by one day of your expected occupancy.
  • Locksmith – If you purchased an existing home, plan to have all locks changed before you arrive

-  1 week before your move

  • Survival Box - Pack just enough personal items, prescriptions, clothing and household goods for the first few days of your stay
  • Departure/Arrival Checklist – Have a list ready of what all needs to be done upon leaving the old and arriving at your new location.  Consider backing up your computer.
  • Cash In Hand – Withdraw some pocket money for any last minute needs

-  Day of your move

  • Keep Eyes Open – Watch everything closely, walk through with the movers and reiterate any previously given directions and or expectations
  • Friends/Family - If possible have someone at the new location as well as at the current home to provide essential directions
  • Directions/Phone Numbers - Create a list for everyone involved

-  Last box unloaded

  • Relax, you made it! The hard part is over and now you’re able to begin the personalization of your new home.  Congratulations!

While the above is a general review of those things that need to take place, every situation will be different.  A starter home to a retirement dream home can come with unique challenges and specific needs prior to moving in.  Take the time to review your own situation and plan accordingly.  There are many sites available with recommendations, here are a few found to be very useful: www.listotic.com / www.mymove.com / as well as www.Pinterest.com

Whether you are moving up, moving down, moving in, or moving out, plan ahead and remember the tips on how to move smoothly!

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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What is Escrow?

What is Escrow?

When a seller and buyer have agreed to and sSale.Escrow.Sold  e1394565204611 What is Escrow?igned a real estate purchase agreement or contract, it is time to begin the escrow process, but what is escrow?  Unless you are a professional in the real estate or financial arena there is seldom talk of escrow except for when you decide to purchase or sell a home.  Escrow, as defined by the dictionary is ‘a bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party, taking effect when a specified condition has been fulfilled’.  Simplified for the business of real estate, escrow is when a third party becomes responsible for ensuring that all agreed upon terms and instructions of a signed real estate purchase contract are completed and or followed before the lender releases the home purchase money and the deed is transferred to the new owner.  The area of the United States that you are in will play a large part on who handles the escrow.  Sometimes it is the closing attorney and other times it is an escrow agent or even the title company.  Escrow is essentially a process and the protection of the fair transfer of property from the seller to the buyer.  Everyone’s goal is the get from ‘For Sale’ to ‘Sold’ as smoothly as possible and with little to no issues.  When a property is listed as ‘Pending’ it is going through and clearing the escrow process.

The third party guiding and ensuring the escrow process for the sale and purchase of a home works for both the lender/buyer and the seller.  The process to complete all the stipulations of the real estate purchase agreement can be arduous.   Both the buyer and seller will have their tasks to complete in order to process the escrow through to close.  It is the responsibility of the third party to hold and guard all funds or documents in their possession until close and to distribute monies and convey the title to the new owner once all provisions have been met by both parties.  Not only do they oversee but they also pay authorized bills and follow the principals (the buyer & the seller) instructions as well.

On average, typical closing costs are between 2 percent and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.  However, only a portion of this is part of your escrow.   Based on the negotiations and the written contract many escrow payments are split between the buyer and seller based on what is deemed ‘their costs’ of the escrow fees.  This amount generally totals to between 1 percent and 2 percent of the cost of the home.  At or shortly after closing the escrow will close and a new deed in the name of the buyer is recorded in the escrow office and the seller will obtain their payment for the home.  It is not unusual for some money to be held in escrow in order to pay contractors for work that has not yet been completed or invoiced.

Knowledge is always your best source for gaining the best outcome.  Having a reputable agent on your side is highly recommended.  If you are looking to purchase or sell a home and you are not currently working with a real estate agent, www.bidselect.com/FindAgent is a great source for trained professionals in your area.

For more interesting information and household tips, stay tuned to this blog. For more information about buying or selling your home, or to see current homes in your area, visit https://www.bidselect.com. Don’t forget to join our online community by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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