Tag : getting-the-most-for-your-home
Tag : getting-the-most-for-your-home
Welcome friends to the next installment of Divorce and Real Estate, Don’t be Dumb! After posting the original blog, I had several requests to elaborate on the possible remedies to the property situation. To the rescue was one of my favorite guys and world class mortgage loan originator, Jim Barker. Jim suggested an article he often refers to written by Tracy Achen for Womensdivorce.com. Tracy’s advice is fantastic for both men and women, I’ve included excepts from her article below because let’s be honest, she is clearly smarter than I am. Don’t be dumb.
Retain the Original Mortgage
Unfortunately, this is the option that many people unknowingly make when they get a divorce. In essence one spouse agrees to keep the home, but the mortgage isn’t changed after the divorce is finalized. If this is your situation, realize that if your ex doesn’t make the mortgage payments, it can ruin your credit if your ex defaults on the loan.
Maybe you want to retain the co-ownership of the home and leave the original mortgage intact until the children are grown. Once the children are gone, the house can be sold and the proceeds can be split. To make this arrangement work, both you and your ex should be able to cooperate in such a way that the mortgage payments, taxes and upkeep are paid in a timely fashion.
Like I said earlier, this is a risky proposition. First of all, do you really want to keep that closely tied to your ex. Secondly, if your ex has any future liens filed against him, they can be attached to your house. This ties up the title and makes it harder to sell the house. And finally, having an existing mortgage can make it difficult to qualify for a new mortgage because it will increase your debt to income ratio. You’re better off trying some of the other divorce mortgage options below.
Sell the House
One of the easiest ways to remove your liability from the mortgage when getting divorced is by selling the marital home. The proceeds from the sale will first be used to pay off the existing mortgage, and anything that is left over after closing costs can then be split between you and your spouse. Generally, it’s a good idea to sell the house before your divorce is finalized to prevent future opportunities to fight over the sales price. Plus, neither of you will have to worry about the other not making mortgage payments, maintaining the house, or paying taxes and insurance.
One Spouse Keeps the Home and Refinances the Mortgage
This is a common strategy when one spouse wants to keep the home. In this situation, the spouse who wants the house generally buys out the other spouse’s equity share and refinances the mortgage into his or her own name. If you’ll be keeping the house, it is important to have your spouse sign a quit claim deed which relinquishes his ownership and rights to the property.
If your spouse is the one who will be keeping the home, it is very important that the mortgage be refinanced in his name only. As long as your name remains on the mortgage, you will continue to be liable for the mortgage payments should your ex default on the loan.
If your divorce is not yet finalized and your ex will be keeping the home, it’s a good idea to include language in your divorce decree that your spouse will refinance the home. Along with this, you should also have your spouse sign a Deed of Trust to Secure Assumption. This gives you the right to foreclose and take back ownership of the house if he fails to refinance and subsequently defaults on the mortgage. After your divorce papers are signed and everything is finalized, you need to notify the mortgage lender of your security interest and request that they notify you at your current address of any missed payments.
One Spouse Keeps the Home and Assumes the Mortgage
A divorce mortgage assumption can be a good option if your bank will approve it, but you should realize that not all mortgages are assumable. Therefore, the first thing to do is to contact your mortgage lender to see if they will allow you to assume the loan.
If the mortgage lender will let you assume the loan, you begin the process by filling out the assumption agreement and a release of liability. The lender will also need documentation to determine if you can pay the mortgage based solely on your own income. If you meet the lenders underwriting guidelines, you may also need to furnish a copy of the quit claim deed as well as a copy of your divorce decree. If the assumption is approved, the lender generally executes a release of liability to the other spouse.
This can be a good option if your bank will allow the assumption and you have good terms on your existing mortgage. Even though there are assumption fees, they are usually much less than what it would cost to refinance the mortgage.
Copied from WomansDivorce.com. Read more at: http://www.womansdivorce.com/divorce-mortgage.html#ixzz3xuOJ83nj
There you have it folks, a cheat sheet for your options when it comes to your divorce and real estate. I’d like to thank Jim Barker again for this information. If you’d like to contact Jim to learn more about your mortgage options, you can reach him at 602-686-1885, JBarker@spfcnet.com or click here for more information. As always you can reach me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com or through my website.
Categories: Real Estate
5 ways to get your relationship through your real estate transaction.
I am certainly not a therapist and don’t pretend to be one. In fact, I don’t want to know about your skeletons or deep dark secrets so keep that stuff to yourself, this is merely my observations in 15 years of practicing real estate. I have noticed a common trend amongst generally loving couples, at some point during the home buying and selling process, the snapping, eye rolling and loud sighs begin. A snide comment here, a sarcastic one there and all the sudden your real estate agent won’t make eye contact with either of you for fear you will think they are choosing sides. Relax, I am not singling you out, it happens to the best of us. Here are a few things I’ve found were helpful to remind my clients. If you are one of those perfect couples who never argues and always see eye to eye with your partner, congratulations, but I don’t believe you.
1. YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HATE YOUR PARTNER: You don’t. No, seriously, you don’t. One thing that always makes me laugh is when your partner doesn’t like the tile in your dream home and suddenly they can’t do any thing right. Chill out. You aren’t going to agree on everything and big life events are hard. When it comes to selling, I see a lot of stress on couples. I usually recommend sitting down together ahead of time and discussing your expectations before you list your house. One place you need to agree is price, I have often seen couples take opposing sides on price when an offer comes in. One thinks it’s too low, the other is ready to get the dang house sold. Sitting down ahead of time and agreeing on your strategy will make life easier on both of you.
2. SLEEP ON IT: How many times have you gotten this advice? Taking a little time is always a good idea. Your Husband loves the house you like the least? Don’t freak out in the driveway, in fact try to keep an open mind. Give it at least one night’s sleep before you absolutely put your foot down.
3. SEE IT THROUGH YOUR PARTNER’S EYES: Instead of saying no, because it just doesn’t suit you, try taking a few minutes to appreciate what your partner loves about a particular house. If you’re selling and your wife is having a mini breakdown because keeping the house clean for showings while trying to wrangle your twin toddlers is killing her, give her a minute to vent. I suggest never getting too close to an over stressed mother. Then try to come up with some options to make that an easier event. Giving the kids away is not an option, usually. When all else fails, even if you think she’s over reacting and being far too dramatic, a glass of wine and a little chocolate has saved many a night.
4. YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT: But as the Rolling Stones said, “if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need”. As in most life changing events you aren’t going to always agree on the details. The name of the game is compromise. It’s rare to find a house that has every single perfect element a couple ever wanted, so there is going to be some give and take. When it comes to your house search, I recommend coming up with a “Top 10” list as a couple, and then establish a few deal breakers on that list. Share this list with your agent so they are sure to keep things headed the right direction.
5. ZIP YOUR LIPS: This one is hard (read: nearly impossible) for me, as I speak fluent sarcasm. Here’s the deal, while looking at homes together, if you don’t have anything nice to say to your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend whatever, don’t say anything at all. That means no sarcastic comments about the yoga room your wife fell in love with, no eye rolling and deep sighs while your husband drools over the built in workshop with air conditioning and an extra 220 volt outlet. Give them their moment, it doesn’t mean you are suddenly throwing down an earnest deposit and riding off into the sunset to Home Depot. I often find that just because one person loves loves one item about the house, does not mean they are desperate to have the whole thing. Being disrespectful to each other will make for one heck of a long day, and an even longer real estate search. Now here is the caveat, if you both hate the green shag carpet and pink toilet, go to town, say whatever comes to mind, my client’s will tell you that I definitely will!
And now for the good news, once paperwork is signed and the stress of packing up and unpacking all of your earthly possessions subsides, you’ll like each other as much or as little as you did before.
If you’re looking to buy or sell your AZ home, and would like more information, please find me at my website or email me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com
Just want to share your real estate couple breakdown, I’m all ears, feel free to comment!
Categories: Real Estate
Obviously you are smarter than your Realtor! Isn’t everyone? I mean this simply must be the case, otherwise, why would you be ignoring the advice of the trained professional that you hired? Hmmm, but wait, doesn’t your agent do this like day in and day out? It’s almost like they buy and sell houses for a living.
Do you detect any sarcasm? If the answer is no, go ahead and close this blog out now. Save yourself.
Folks, seriously, stop ignoring the advice of your Realtor. When they tell you the price you want for your house is too high, it is. The single biggest factor in a home spending more days on market than necessary is price. Think your agent wants to price the house too low to get it sold? Think again. The more your home sells for, the more money your agent makes, it’s a little thing we like to call commission based sales. Next, I am telling you, your agent wants to get more business in the neighborhood. You know what really irks the neighbors? Undercutting the value of their home by selling the neighbor’s house for next to nothing. Hire a good agent and they are going to work to get you as much for your home as they can, but they can’t magically wish the value of your home higher, so help them, help you.
A great agent (me, me) will walk you through your home and make suggestions for reasonable repairs and updates. There’s a chance they know what they are talking about. Just a chance. Maybe consider NOT blowing off their suggestions. I know you love your house and think everyone else will too. They won’t. Listen to your agent.
When your agent brings you feedback from other agents who have shown your home, put your giant house ego away and listen! Showing feedback is like gold! This is the feedback from potential buyers who have been through your home. It’s good stuff and can be a very useful tool if you can handle the truth. If the feedback is consistently that your collection of fuzzy bunnies with googly eyes is creepy and makes people want to run screaming, go ahead and store them for later. If you hear that your life size bozo the clown statue is too distracting for buyers, go ahead and send bozo on a holiday. You can bring him back in your new home. (Or never again). Don’t ignore the agent feedback, they are simply the messenger, and the message is worth your time.
I get it, you can beat your real estate agent in chess, you school them at monopoly and you could open a can of Trivial Pursuit whoop ass at any moment, but I am willing to bet your agent has bought and sold many more houses than you have. I will also bet that in a given week, they have been in and out of more strange houses than you have all year, So consider this, they might, just might have the experience here to get the job done. If you hire them, trust them, you’ll save yourself some aggravation in the long run.
For more unsolicited opinions and general bossing around, feel free to visit my website, or contact me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com. Looking for a GREAT realtor in the Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley area, check me out, I consider myself pretty great. (Someone has to)
This amazing remodel will make you want to reevaluate your life, or at least your kitchen. Brought to you by the talented designers at Denovo Fine Cabinetry, this gorgeous project is too good not to share.
While performing my usual critical daily activity of scrolling through my facebook news feed I stumbled across a post from my friend Julie Carns, a designer at Denovo, sharing a recent remodel project she’d designed the cabinetry for. It was love at first sight. The homeowners chose their own fixtures, flooring etc, and the final product doesn’t suck.
To see more, visit their facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DenovoFineCabinetry
To get a quote to remodel or create your own spectacular space, you can contact the the designer directly:
Julie Carns, Allied ASID Designer with Denovo Fine Cabinetry
1868 E 6th St.
Tempe, Arizona 85281
I often tell my clients, if you’re going to spend the time and money to remodel your home, don’t do it to sell it, do it to live in it and enjoy it for a while. I’d like to add to that, if you’re going to remodel, use quality contractors and materials, the final product will be worth the cost. Buyers can spot a crappy remodel a mile away. If you’ve got questions on which updates will pay you back with your home, dont hesitate to contact me at Caily@CailySellsAZ.com or 480-577-4317.
Treating your home purchase like online dating? You could be wasting you time!
I know what you’re doing. I’ve seen it before. You’re sitting at work, you’ve got a few minutes, and you’re surfing the web to find “the one”. Be honest, we both know you’re looking at the pictures first, maybe you’ll skim the description and you’ll decide whether you want to explore this possibility within a minute or two. Maybe you have a friend who sends you options they like for you, and I know your realtor does. Your Realtor? Yea, your realtor, because we are talking about looking for houses here. Sound suspiciously like the way people cruise Match.com and other dating sites? It does to me.
Has anyone you know ever gone on a date with someone who’s profile they were positively a fan of, only to find out that the real thing wasn’t quite what they thought it was (In some cases not at all what they thought it was)? Well, I’ve got news for you. The same is true with houses.
As a Realtor, I often get the call from a client espousing their love for a home they found on the MLS through my website or other searches like Realtor.com and Trulia. They love it, it’s the one. We must see it today, and so we do. Bad news, when we get there, more often than not, we marvel at the magic of photo shop as opposed to the house itself. Online tools are great for checking houses out, but don’t declare love or hate based on that alone. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when online stalking your house.
* The pictures can be manipulated. I so often hear, “wow the rooms looked so much bigger in the pictures”, and after I push all the inappropriate jokes that came to mind out, I use words like “Wide Angle lens” and “Photoshop”. There are plenty of ways to take a great picture, and if they do a good job you only see what they want you to see. I also often see outdated pictures. Like when the realtor uses pics from before the house became a crime scene. (A bit dramatic, but seriously, some houses make you wonder). Conversely, don’t chuck a house based on pics alone. It’s a shame, but some people don’t put enough emphasis on the pictures and end up using photos that just don’t do the house justice.
* Almost everything you need to know, can’t be found in a picture. There are a whole bunch of important factors that can not come from a picture. First, because it’s my favorite, Smell. A house that became a meeting place for the stray cats of the city or one that’s been smoked in like a chimney may look great but oh my, the smell. The home’s layout will matter to you, even a virtual tour can’t give you the real feel. How about neighbors and the neighborhood in general? Sure there is google earth, but that picture isn’t from today.
Check out this Handy Dandy Graphic, from Great Colorado Homes.com, use it as your guide. As always, a great realtor will advise you of these pitfalls. I like to preview homes for my clients when they think they are in love, I find it saves their time and their feelings.
Online presence is important and it’s not going away. It is key to make sure your home shows beautifully online, and I can show you how. If you are in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and surrounding areas, give me a call when you are ready to hire an agent to help you navigate your home’s online presence and get you in to something you love! Visit me at my website anytime at www.CailySellsAZ.com!
Categories: Real Estate
No one likes to be told what to do, I get it, but if you want to get top dollar for your home, let me be the boss of you for just a few minutes.
First thing’s first, get a good realtor. I am not talking about the realtor who constantly sends you mail, or has his/her face on your grocery cart, this is a mistake I see people make all the time. When you hire the big name realtor, all too often, you end up with their associate, not the big shot you wanted to hire. Get a referral, ask your friends, see what their experiences were like. If you happen to be in the greater phoenix area, I would like to refer myself! I want to interview for the job. Once you find your agent, for the love of god, LISTEN to them. if you chose a great agent, they know what they are talking about, staging experience is a must.
Moving on, whether you took my first advice or not, take the rest…
1. Curb Appeal – You have mere seconds to make a first impression, and that’s the one that sticks. Get in your car, drive up to your own home and be brutally honest with yourself. If your trim is peeling fix it, if your front door is blah, paint it. Add flowers, a bench, potted plants, a wreath to the door. These are small things that go a long way. Remove any unnecessary items such as hoses, toys, gnomes (that’s right, I said it). Don’t skip this step, this is your first chance to show your buyer that your home is “worth it”
2. Get your crap out, no one wants to see it. I know that the porcelain clown collection from your great aunt Thelma is worth a bundle and you really love it, but it needs to go. Take anything and everything that you can live without out of the house. I recommend getting a storage unit. Yes this step is a hassle, but de-cluttering your home will not only make it feel more open, it will allow buyers to picture their own stuff there.
3. You’re the only one that likes that color scheme. Once the crap is out, it’s time to neutralize! I totally get that your walls coordinated beautifully with your tastes and your furniture, but we are trying to sell your house to someone else. That means we want a neutral canvas. Once you’ve taken your home to a neutral place, add pops of color here and there to brighten things up and add interest.
4. Staging, live with it. Occasionally people don’t want to stage their homes, because they don’t like the idea of changes being made to the way they live. I usually suggest that moving out will also be a pretty big change, and well, lets make that easier to do. I stage my client’s homes, it adds space, and helps buyer’s to visualize possibilities. It’s an important step.
5. Smell, smell, smell. It’s hard to tell what your home smells like because you live there. I assure you it has a smell, good or bad, it has one. Give your house a deep top to bottom clean, and then give your house a subtle scent. My favorite is the clean cotton collection from Yankee candle. It’s a subtle fresh laundry smell, I love it. A light lemon scent is also nice. You can do this using candles (one or two, don’t go crazy) scent warmers, plug in’s whatever you prefer.
I find that my clients often “name” the homes we look at. Don’t let your house be, “The house that smells like salmon” or “The house with the Sprite can color scheme”. This of course is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have questions, shoot me a note, I am always happy to give advice.
Categories: Real Estate