Archive for March, 2017


7 Shortcuts to Internet Home Buying

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Searching for a home is becoming easier every day with more access to web sites across the country Realtor.com is the king of real estate listings. There are real estate company sites such as ColdwellBanker.com and Remax.com where you can access the local affiliates and all their listings in the US, Canada, or International. Or a little back door play is to go to the state board of realtors where they list all the local realtor boards and the local MLS sites.

1.Realtor.com – The number 1 real estate web site bar none. It is comprised of all the local MLS realtor board listings. It has all the visual and virtual tours and more photos than the local MLS systems allow. Local real estate agents will pay to get good positioning on the webpages for advertising when their local area is requested you see them first or at least in the top six. You can also request information about any of the listings on the site and you will normally receive a response within 24 to 48 hours from the better agents. One draw back is that realtor.com is sometimes 3 to 5 days behind the actual listing date.

2.ColdwellBanker.com – The number 2 real estate web site. Has easy access to its real estate listings around the world. The “Personal Retriever” feature allows you to enter in your criteria and will notify you of any updates or new listing you can select to have the emails sent daily or weekly. Coldwell Bankers “Lead Router” system is state of the art in high tech features when you request information on any of their listings your request goes one stop and then directly to the agent’s phone who listed the home. During normal business hours you should get a return call within minutes with all the up to date information directly from the listing agent. No other real estate company or lead source has anything that approaches this system.

3.Remax.com – The number 3 real estate web site behind ColdwellBanker.com. Still has a long way to go your basic site allows you to search listings has local information available from the local franchise sites. Doesn’t approach anything like the “Lead Router” or “Personal Retriever” of ColdwellBanker.com. You can get easy access to their Remax listings.

4.Realtor Pay for Leads Sites –These companies sell you to real estate agents and mortgage brokers. You log on to the web site select the city and the zip code where you want to buy or sell a house and enter all your required personal information. The agents who have paid for you at $200, $400, $600 per month or $40 to $80 per lead decide based on your zip code and price range if they want to work with you in buying or selling a home. The pitch to you is that you pick the agent and there is a little truth to that because you do get to chose between 2 or 3 agents. The fact is that many people filling out all this personal information don’t get to choose an agent at all. The agents don’t take the leads because you are either buying or selling in the wrong price range or zip code. Its one of those little steering or redlining things that slips under the federal and state government’s radar.

5.Realtor Association and MLS – Searching local realtor associations by entering a search by state for realtor association this will bring up the state association and all the local associations within the state. Then you will have access to the public side of the local MLS. Some are now directing you to Realtor.com to see the listings.

6.All the Other Sites – Miscellaneous sites, sale by owner sites, agent sites, smaller real estate company sites, local company sites all have useful features but can’t give you everything you are looking for.

7.Your Real Estate Agent – When you get down to working with an agent, the internet savvy agent will have all you need. They will set you up on a VIP Buyer or Seller program very similar to Coldwell Banker’s “Personal Retriever” and your access to your agent will be better than “Lead Router” because you will have all of the agents contact numbers.

Searching for your home on the internet can be easy if you take your time and don’t get sucked into any on-line site that sells you and your information to the highest bidder. Remember local Chambers of Commerce, School Districts, and City web sites have great information about the local area. Keep a file in your favorites of all the websites you find useful.

PS. Now you can Search right from FACEBOOK too. https://www.facebook.com/cthouseninja/app/359757034094851/

 

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Estate Planning

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Estate planning involves distributing your assets after death to such people or causes according to your wish with minimum legal complications and the least tax incidence. And estate planning is not just for the wealthy; nor is it something to be contemplated when you reach the ripe old age of eighty.

Anybody, irrespective of age, with considerable assets and the desire to provide for dear ones even after death would be doing a great service by planning one’s estate. And the best time to plan your estate is now when you are still alive and have the requisite mental health to make rational decisions. An estate plan made during an illness affecting contracting capacity can be challenged, complicating matters for beneficiaries. Remember, death or a debilitating illness affecting your legal capacity to contract might strike you any day; therefore, you should prepare for that eventuality beforehand. ¿da

The first step in planning your estate is to take stock of all your material possessions (technically referred to as ‘estate’), and then determine their value. Typical items comprising the estate include: house(s) and land; bikes, cars, planes and boats; cash-in-hand; savings accounts, pension accounts; certificates of deposits; stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; insurance and annuities; employee benefits; jewelry, furniture, art collections; ownership rights/interests in businesses; and claims against others. Mind you, the list is not exhaustive and your debts and obligations to others are also a part of your estate.

Next, line up the details of your beneficiaries – names, addresses, and ages. In addition, you should determine who should be the trustees/guardians in case the beneficiaries are minors at the time of planning the estate. Also, you must identify an executor of the estate. It would be easy if you line up pre and post nuptial agreements, divorce decrees, previous wills, deeds of real estate property, and latest tax returns before you consult a professional estate planner.

Though small estates might be easy to plan, it is advisable to take the help of professional estate planners, including attorneys and CPAs, to explore all the possibilities to reduce tax incidence.

Remember, estate planning is not a one-time affair. Any change in your marital status, death of beneficiaries, a birth of a child, or changes in the law will require a review of the plan.

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Renters Insurance??

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

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Buying A Second Home in Myrtle Beach

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

In an age where investment is possibly the most secure investment available, the process of trying to identify the perfect area in which to invest has become more and more important. There are certain areas in this country that have become synonymous with real estate fortunes, Florida, California, Las Vegas to name a few. But as these markets become more and more saturated, smart investors are looking to other areas as they have seen the focus switching away from these overloaded markets.

As the focus has moved away from these markets there are a few different areas that have started to emerge as areas of potential growth. One such area is Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach is an extremely popular resort destination and along with such a designation comes the opportunity for real estate investment. Like many other destination areas, Myrtle Beach has a booming vacation rentals industry that is only showing signs of growth in past years. This has presented a great chance for real estate investors to get in on the ground floor of this booming area.

If vacation rentals are not to your liking and you prefer the stability of long-term renters then you need not worry as Myrtle Beach is also a great place to live and work. The solid industrial core and diverse economy have created a environment of economic growth and prosperity that bodes well for the future of this area. There is also a great system of education here that includes both public and private schooling and a variety of post-educational options including Webster University.

The future is looking bright for Myrtle Beach. With a thriving vacation industry and the emergence of a strong business sector, this area will continue to see growth for many years to come. This is a great time to invest in Myrtle Beach as getting in on real estate in this area will show a great ROI no matter what vein of real estate you choose to place your money in.

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