Real Estate Terms Defined

terms

Both buying and selling a home can be intimidating experiences, especially if your Realtor® begins using terms with which you are not familiar, before really explaining them. Team Groesbeck’s goal as your Realtor® is to make the home buying or selling process as smooth as possible, beginning with defining a few terms for you!

Adjustable Rate Mortgage – An adjustable rate mortgage is one that has a fluctuating interest rate; they typically have a lower initial interest rate for a set time, then adjust according to an index.

Certificate of Title – This proves that the property is legally owned by the seller, and that no other party has any claims over it.

CMA – CMA’s (Comparative Market Analysis) are done by agents when you are looking to sell your home. They will put together a report to determine a fair asking price based on the current market and how other homes are doing in your area.

Comps – The term “comps” refers to properties that are comparable to your property. This takes into account the home’s size, close amenities and location, in addition to other factors.

Deed – The deed is a legal document proving transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.

Disclosures – Disclosures are details about the home that a seller must provide to a buyer. For example; if the basement often floods in heavy storms or if there is lead in the home, the seller would need to disclose this information.

Due Diligence – Due diligence refers to the buyers’ responsibility to research and verify details about the transaction. For example, it is the buyer’s responsibility to coordinate an inspection, and confirm that the information coming from the seller’s attorney and broker are legitimate.

Escrow – Escrow is the time period when purchase funds are released from one party to another and the transfer of the home is completed. The escrow company is a neutral third party who executes the transaction utilizing the purchase agreement and other documents.

Firm Commitment – A firm commitment is a promise from a lender that they will enter into an agreement with another entity (typically a buyer) within a certain period of time.

Fixture – Fixtures are items of value that are permanently attached or a part of a property. This can include lighting, carpeting, or landscaping; these items have the potential to cause disputes between the buyer and seller and are sometimes used as leverage for negotiations.

HOA Docs – Some homes fall under the jurisdiction of a Homeowner’s Association. In this case documents outlining the association’s regulations will be provided either by the association, or through your Realtor®.

Pre Qualification – Borrowers (home buyers) must go through a process where the lender confirms that the borrower qualifies for a loan, based on their credit history and current financial standing. This is done using only the information the buyer provides the lender. The amount for which one is pre-qualified is to be considered an estimate, and is not set in stone. This information does, however, show your Realtor® and the seller of the home in which you are interested that you are serious about the home buying process.

Pre Approval – Getting pre-approved is the next step, and is more involved than the pre-qualification process. The buyer will complete an official mortgage application with their chosen lender, and supply the lender with necessary documentation so an extensive check can be done on their financial background and current credit rating. You will be given an exact amount for which you are approved and completing both the pre-qualification and pre-approval process will allow you to know how much you can actually afford.

While these are only some of the many real estate terms, Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC will guide you along the way to ensure your transaction runs smoothly.  Located in Old Town Anacortes, Team Groesbeck is available daily to work for you and can be reached at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Move-In Ready, Single Level Home in Skagit County

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1803 E Fox Hill St. (MLS 1204699) in Mt. Vernon is a move-in ready and spotless one level home located on a quiet cul-de-sac, listed at $250,000.

Featuring 3 total bedrooms including a spacious master suite and 1.5 total baths, the home’s fully fenced yard has a shed for additional storage, as well as raised flower beds, compost box, patio, dog kennel on a concrete slab with dog house and plenty of room for an RV!

The attic was also configured to provide additional storage space.

1803 E Fox Hill St. is located just two blocks to College Way, which makes for easy access to I-5 and travel about Skagit County.

For additional information about this property or to schedule a showing, please contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, at 809 7th St. in Old Town Anacortes.  Team Groesbeck can be reached daily at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

Selling Your Home? Be Informed of the Seller’s Disclosure!

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The seller’s disclosure form is an important form that must be completed by everyone selling a home.  The form is comprised of various questions about your home that you may not have considered since you purchased the property yourself.

As it is one of the documents that the buyer will most closely look at, all questions need to be answered to the best of your knowledge. If they are not, it may delay the closing process and prompt even further questions from the buyer.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to put your mind at ease while completing this very detailed, legally-binding document!

  • Research your home. If you have recently moved into your home then you likely have much of the necessary information accessible, as it was made available to you when you purchased the home. If it has been a decade or so, you may have to do some digging through old paperwork to find information such as the make, model, and age of various components of your home (HVAC system, water heater, etc.). Buyers will want to note this information to see what kind of money, if any, will need to be spent upon moving in.
  • Be as accurate as possible. You hopefully had an inspection done when you moved into the home, which should be able to give you information on the roof, plumbing, electrical, etc. While doing your research, try to be as accurate as possible rather than guessing when something may have been installed or replaced.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Answer all questions to the best of your ability. If there is information to which you do not have access or a question is not applicable to your property, note that in the seller’s disclosure form. You do not want to appear ill-informed about your home and want to offer up as much information to the buyer as possible.

Remember, the seller’s disclosure form is a legally binding document that is required of all home sellers; however there is no reason to be intimidated by it! Just make sure you are aware of what has been done in your home and which things potential buyers may take issue with. This will help both the home selling and buying process go smoother than you can imagine!

Contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC daily for more information on what to take into consideration when buying or selling your home at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

First Mortgage Payment & Automatic Payment Set-Up

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

This article outlines making your first mortgage payment and how to setup automatic payments on your mortgage.

Congratulations! You have just purchase a home or completed a refinance of your current home, and you have a shiny, brand new mortgage that you will need to start making payments on.

What’s next?

Click here to learn more and to view the blog in its entirety.

Seller’s Guide to a Home Inspection

Improving Your Credit Score

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Content provided by Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

One of the biggest misconceptions about buying a home is that you need perfect credit in order to qualify. In fact, many programs allow much lower credit scores when qualifying a home buyer. But there are still certain minimums that you have to meet. So, how do you go about improving your credit scores?

Click here to view the blog in its entirety.

 

Cozy Anacortes Home Near Downtown, Shops & Schools

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Built in 1920, this cozy home at 2517 17th St. (MLS 1179750) is located in a fantastic neighborhood near downtown Anacortes, local shops and acclaimed Anacortes schools.

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Priced at $250,000 with 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths and approximately 1,236 sf, the home has an ample living room with a gas fireplace, great sized eat-in kitchen, utility/mud room, large fenced yard with fruit trees and raised garden beds on the side patio. There is also a detached outbuilding/studio in back with electricity.

Zoned R2, there is also room for improvements to be made by a savvy investor or it could make an excellent starter home.

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Located in Old Town Anacortes at 809 7th St., Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, is available daily for all of your real estate needs.  Contact Team Groesbeck at (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com today!

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For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC, Licensed under Coldwell Banker Bain, in Old Town Anacortes: (360) 941-3734 or Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.

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Homeownership: A savings lifeline

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Content from Dean Hayes, Bay Equity Home Loans

With home prices rising to all-time highs, many potential buyers may imagine drowning in a sea of monthly payments stretching across many years.

Naysayers bob to the surface with harrowing tales of home-buying gone wrong. If the down payment doesn’t get you – well the property taxes, maintenance and insurance surely will!

These so-called “savvy” investors say renters who dutifully put all money not spent on housing into stable investments – like mutual funds – may get a greater rate of return.

Criticism of home ownership as an instrument of wealth-building has understandably become louder in the last decade, after a Housing Bust that put more than 10 million homeowners upside-down, and 4 million more into foreclosure.

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What is Mold?

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Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different molds and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed from them – spores are capable of surviving in harsh conditions that otherwise prevent the normal mold growth.

Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments – easily created in the home. Molds are capable of growing on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper and wood.

Common indoor molds include:

  • Alternaria – found in damp places indoors, such as showers or under leaky sinks
  • Aspergillus – often found indoors growing on dust, powdery food items and building materials, such as drywall
  • Cladosporium – capable of growing in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is typically found on fabrics and wood surfaces
  • Penicillium – typically found on materials that have been damaged by water and often has a blue or green appearance.

Molds take a variety of forms and textures, appearing as white, black, yellow, blue or green and often looking like a discoloration or stain to a surface. They can also have a velvety, fuzzy or rough appearance, depending on the type of mold and where it is growing.

Spores make their way into the home either through the air or after attaching to objects or people. Open windows, doorways and ventilation systems are all gateways through which spores can enter. Clothing, shoes and pets can all facilitate the arrival of mold within the home.

Mold can often be found in areas where leakages and flooding have occurred and near windows where condensation builds up. Wet cellulose materials are most supportive of mold growth, including paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles and wood products. Wallpaper, insulation materials and upholstery are other typical launchpads for mold growth.

Mold allergies produce similar symptoms to other allergies to airborne substances affecting the upper respiratory tract, such as pollinosis. These include:

  • Blocked/runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Itchy throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

When dealing with mold, it is best to consult with a professional to ensure the mold is properly removed.  For all of your real estate needs, contact Jean Groesbeck & Assoc. LLC.  Located in Anacortes at 809 7th St., Team Groesbeck is available daily at (360) 941-3734 or via email at Jean@JeanGroesbeck.com.