This is default featured slide 1 title
This is default featured slide 2 title
 

Monthly Archives: November 2017

Stay Away From Real Estate Fraud

Getting trapped in a real estate fraud is among the worst ways to lose large sums of money, and you end up not getting what you had paid all that money for. Here’s what you need to do to keep yourself out of such trickery.

Identify Whose House It Is, Really

‘Title Fraud’, also known as identity theft, is a property owner’s worst nightmare. Tricksters forge documents by changing the property owner’s personal details to match theirs. Once the property and all the documents are transferred to their name, they procure a new mortgage against this property and seal the deal. Taking back your house after that is quite a hassle. In fact, what if they sell your property?

In addition to thoroughly verifying who the property belongs to, you can opt for a ‘title insurance’, which protects your property title against fraud. This also guards a new owner against existing claims, such as unpaid property taxes, unpaid utilities, and unpaid mortgages.

Don’t Opt For Loans Offered In Disguise

a) Foreclosure Fraud

Cash-strapped property owners that can’t afford to meet mortgage payments sometimes get taken for a ride. Deceitful people make an offer to pay the loan on the owner’s behalf, as if to help them out of the situation, but then leave without fulfilling the promises. The trickery usually requires immediate payment for the trickster’s services and an agreement to transfer the property title to him or her. Once this is done, the trickster flees, while you are left behind with piling amounts of debt and no property. This type of fraud is called foreclosure fraud.

b) Home-Equity Fraud

Watch out for those people who are eyeing your house equity. If you rely on your house equity to borrow money, you have to constantly be on the lookout for unscrupulous lenders so you can stay away from them.

When it comes to leveraging properties, there are huge risks involved. The risks must be carefully explained by your lender. Those who want to make extra bucks will embellish their application such that the income, down payment, and property assessment values are exaggerated, ultimately helping themselves to a huge loan amount.

Be Wary Of Money Laundering

Money laundering is another common method of deceit. Illegal money is made to seem like a clean asset. Stay wary of people who purchase a property with illegal proceedings and sell them to other people. On the face of it, the property might look legitimate to you, but only careful inspection and assessment can spell out the dirty secrets.

There’s only one way to prepare and protect yourself against fraud: constant vigilance! Do your homework, and stay cautious and smart about every investment decision you make.

Your Guide to Foundations

What are foundations? Foundations are an element of a building project that are unseen once the project is complete. It is the load-bearing part of a building that typically is situated below ground level. Does this mean that they don’t necessarily matter?

If foundations are incorrectly formed there is a varying scale of outcomes. These can range from minor issues to very severe consequences. Some of the minor issues can be resolved, however in the most severe case the extension or property may need to be demolished. It is genuinely that serious to get the foundations right.

This guide has been formed in order to offer a well-rounded insight into building foundations. When considering the project plan there are other elements that should be taken into account. These may include load-bearing walls, widths, depths and excavation challenges. Detail will need to be gathered about the land surrounding the planned foundations in order to gauge the best alternatives.

An imperative element of the plan is to ensure that the foundations are built on solid ground. If this is not the case there can be movement and other issues faced which will later cause problems. Plans may sometimes need to be altered slightly as some issues can only be identified once the process has started. Once digging the trenches for the foundations, different problems may need to be solved.

The best available advice is to ensure that your plans are over-cautious. To over-consider all elements of the building process can only lead to better preparation. Solutions can be identified at a faster rate and there is likely to be less surprises. Experience in the trade will also offer assurance as time-served builders will be well-versed in all aspects in relation to foundations.

Did you know there are different variations of foundations? These include simple foundations, engineered foundations, piled foundations and raft foundations. The best variation will be identified prior to the project commencing and will be dictated to by the proposed building project and the surrounding ground.

As the above information suggests, foundations can be complex. Their multi-faceted nature means that they are a challenge to get right. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a foundation specialist in order to successfully plan your project. Careful consideration, execution and support will lead to an exceptional finish. The foundations may be invisible once the project is complete, but with the above information you will be left with the assurance that you have done your best. Your building project will stand proudly and stand the test of time.

The Homeowners Association

Is this reputation deserved? It’s hard not to believe the rumors while being bombarded with news stories about Homeowners Associations (H.O.A.’s) that force residents to take down American flags, or those that take homes when residents are late paying their dues.

H.O.A.’s are like “little governments,” according to Jackie Faye of NBC News. Like all governments, they exercise the power granted to them in one of two ways: with benevolence or authority. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln foresaw the rise of the H.O.A. when he claimed that “… if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

So, who are these people?

A H.O.A. is actually a legal entity whose purpose is to manage a group of housing units, or a common interest development, as they are known in some regions of the country. These developments may be single-family dwellings or condominiums. The decision-making body of this entity is typically known as “the Board,” and there may be committees as well. The association board is composed of homeowners who act as volunteers, and are generally chosen in annual elections open to all homeowners within the community.

The reasons for volunteering to sit on a homeowners association board are varied. Some homeowners want more of a say in how the money is spent, others are concerned with maintaining home values.

Duties and responsibilities

Although it seems as if their boards have unlimited power to do as the members wish, most states have laws that govern what they can and cannot do. Yes, they sometimes overstep these laws. While duties and responsibilities vary across the country, here are some that are common to most:

• Paying taxes on the common areas
• The enforcement of the association’s rules, such as the bylaws and the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)
• Creating the association’s budget
• Creating rules for the use of the common areas
• Disciplining homeowners for violations of H.O.A. rules

Buying a home in a H.O.A.-governed community

They must supply the homeowner with certain documents when there is an offer to purchase the property. The seller then gives these documents to the buyer. There is usually a charge for the copies and the seller typically pays this fee.
The doc packages are usually quite thick and may be extremely complex and boring. It is essential, though, that you read and understand everything in them. If you need help, contact an attorney. Once you own the home, you are obliged to follow the rules.

Some items to pay close attention to in the CC&Rs include:

• Pet policies, if you have pets
• Parking rules, for yourself and guests
• The rules and restrictions for the use of on-site amenities
• Landscaping rules
• House color, exterior decorations allowed
• Restrictions on the construction of outbuildings, such as sheds and gazebos
• The rules regarding leasing your home

Look at the H.O.A.’s budget:
• Does the income cover the costs? If not, why?
• How is the money spent?
• Does the reserve account hold enough money for emergencies?

Check out the board’s meeting minutes:
• What type of issues does the board typically face?
• What type of actions have they taken against homeowners?
• Have they talked about increasing fees or any upcoming special assessments?

North Lincolnshire History

Due to its location, several rivers and North Sea access, the northeast area of England known as the Humber – which includes North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire – has a history of invaders from all sides. Conquest and pillage were the goals of those foreign parties, however today those people from those same countries are more likely to be trading partners in this economically vibrant area.

The Humber, one should note, appears to be a river but is in fact an estuary, the point at which fresh water drains into salty seawater. Flowing into the Humber are the rivers Ancholme, Hull, Ouse and Trent. Today, environmentalists value the area for its wetlands habitat. But the conquerors came for other resources, beginning with the Romans and followed later by Danish armies, William the Conqueror (the first Norman King of England) and his successors.

Contemporary investors of land take note: Ancient conquests may have been about property, but what kept that land valuable was the produce thereof. Specifically, sheep farming and wool filled the ships that sailed to points north, east and south. The great, elaborate churches of the area (St. Botolph’s Church in Boston, St. Wulfarm’s church in Grantham and Lincoln Cathedral among them) were built upon the fortunes generated by the wool trade. Agribusiness and food remain important industries in the 21st century, as do manufacturing, engineering and tourism. But a low-carbon economy (wind farms in the North Sea), healthcare and the ports and logistics industries are what UK land investing focuses on now.

Lincolnshire has many castles – Tatter shall, Burghley and the thatch-roofed Alford Manor House (now a museum) – evidence of the wealth of the region then and a draw to tourists today.

Indeed, the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) strategic plan calls for the construction of 100,000 houses in the near future. While that means fewer sheep farms in the region than 1,000 years ago, this is because room is made for local residents (and those who are expected to migrate here for work) to engage in technology, shipping and other contemporary industries. Investment from the central Government of £3 billion in the South Humber Gateway project will build the largest deep-water port in the UK. Another major project, a 219 MW wind farm under development by Humber Wind, involves a £1.17 billion investment of private funds. The same winds that blew invaders to the area a long time ago brings clean, renewable energy to a vibrant, growing north England district.