Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Get Your Finances in Order: To-Do List

Get Your Finances in Order: To-Do List

1. Develop a household budget. Instead of creating a budget of what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget that reflects your actual spending habits over the last several months. This approach will factor in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, as well as predictable costs such as rent, utility bills, and groceries.

2. Reduce your debt. Lenders generally look for a total debt load of no more than 36 percent of income. This figure includes your mortgage, which typically ranges between 25 and 28 percent of your net household income. So you need to get monthly payments on the rest of your installment debt — car loans, student loans, and revolving balances on credit cards — down to between 8 and 10 percent of your net monthly income.

3. Look for ways to save. You probably know how much you spend on rent and utilities, but little expenses add up, too. Try writing down everything you spend for one month. You’ll probably spot some great ways to save, whether it’s cutting out that morning trip to Starbucks or eating dinner at home more often.

4. Increase your income. Now’s the time to ask for a raise! If that’s not an option, you may want to consider taking on a second job to get your income at a level high enough to qualify for the home you want.

5. Save for a down payment. Designate a certain amount of money each month to put away in your savings account. You can usually get a better rate if you put down a larger percentage of the total purchase. Aim for a 20 percent down payment.


6. Keep your job. While you don’t need to be in the same job forever to qualify for a home loan, having a job for less than two years may mean you have to pay a higher interest rate.

7. Establish a good credit history. Get a credit card and make payments by the due date. Do the same for all your other bills, too. Pay off the entire balance promptly.


Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.


Sue Lucas
Broker Associate
Re/Max Southern Shores
843-997-4595

Monday, July 29, 2013

In the Shade

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Sue Lucas
Broker Associate
Re/Max Southern Shores
843-997-4595

Friday, July 26, 2013

What I Learned About Portable Generators One Dark and Stormy Night

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Understand Agency Relationships

It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction. Ask what type of agency relationship your agent has with you:

Seller's representative (also known as a listing agent or seller's agent)
A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

Buyer's representative (also known as a buyer’s agent)
A buyer’s agent is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a real estate transaction. The buyer's rep works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer's rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.

Subagent
A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent's customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. In such a case, the subagent works with the buyer as a customer but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer-customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent. It is important that subagents fully explain their duties to buyers.

Disclosed dual agent
Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it's vital that all parties give their informed consent. In many states, this consent must be in writing. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in most states.

Designated agent (also called appointed agent)
This is a brokerage practice that allows the managing broker to designate which licensees in the brokerage will act as an agent of the seller and which will act as an agent of the buyer. Designated agency avoids the problem of creating a dual-agency relationship for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties. The broker still has the responsibility of supervising both groups of licensees.

Nonagency relationship (called, among other things, a transaction broker or facilitator)

Some states permit a real estate licensee to have a type of nonagency relationship with a consumer. These relationships vary considerably from state to state, both as to the duties owed to the consumer and the name used to describe them. Very generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.

Upon first substantative contact your agent should provide you with a copy of that State's Agency Disclosure Brochure.

You can view my Buyer Agency Services here.

Sue Lucas
Broker Associate
Re/Max Southern Shores
843-997-4595









Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's that time of year again - Time to plan for an evacuation if needed!!


                       

                       

                           
                           

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                                Home Evacuation Plan Home Evacuation Tips
                             
                             
                                 
                             
                           
                           

                           

    Create an Evacuation and Communication Plan


                           
    Having an evacuation and communication plan, and making sure everyone knows where to go in case of an emergency, can be the key to protecting your home and family. Read

                           

                           
                           
                           
                           

                           
    Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

                                   
    Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

                           
                         

    Friday, July 19, 2013

    Create a Home Emergency Preparedness Kit

    Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

    Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

    Wednesday, July 17, 2013

    Conway - one of the oldest towns

    Conway is one of the oldest towns in South Carolina. Conway serves as the government seat for Horry County.

     When visiting Conway one will enjoy the beautiful old time charm of the south with tree-lined streets running through the picturesque historic district of Conway.


     Be sure to take a stroll along the Riverwalk.




    For information about properties in the Conway area:

    Sue Lucas
    Broker Associate
    Re/Max Southern Shores
    843-997-4595


    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate

    Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate

    When you sell a stock, you owe taxes on your gain — the difference between what you paid for the stock and what you sold it for. The same holds true when selling a home (or a second home), but there are some special considerations.

    How to Calculate Gain
    In real estate, capital gains are based not on what you paid for the home, but on its adjusted cost basis. To calculate, follow these steps:

    1. Purchase price: _______________________

    The purchase price of the home is the sale price, not the amount of money you actually contributed at closing.


    2. Total adjustments: _______________________

    To calculate this, add the following:
    • Cost of the purchase — including transfer fees, attorney fees, and inspections, but not points you paid on your mortgage.
    • Cost of sale — including inspections, attorney fees, real estate commission, and money you spent to fix up your home just prior to sale.
    • Cost of improvements — including room additions, deck, etc. Note here that improvements do not include repairing or replacing something already there, such as putting on a new roof or buying a new furnace.

    3. Your home’s adjusted cost basis: _______________________

    The total of your purchase price and adjustments is the adjusted cost basis of your home.

    4. Your capital gain:  _______________________

    Subtract the adjusted cost basis from the amount your home sells for to get your capital gain.


    A Special Real Estate Exemption for Capital Gains
    Since 1997, up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for a married couple) on the sale of a home is exempt from taxation if you meet the following criteria:

    ·         You have lived in the home as your principal residence for two out of the last five years.

    ·         You have not sold or exchanged another home during the two years preceding the sale.

    ·         You meet what the IRS calls “unforeseen circumstances,” such as job loss, divorce, or family medical emergency.

    Moving to South Carolina - check out the SC Page on Taxes 

    Sue Lucas
    Broker Associate
    Re/Max Southern Shores
    843-997-4595

    Reprinted from REALTOR® magazine (REALTOR.org/realtormag) with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
    Copyright 2008. All rights reserved


    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

    Getting ready for the Home Inspection

    Tips For Sellers Preparing For A Home Inspection 

    Move any smaller furniture that is blocking areas that the home inspector will need to get to (ex: outlets, electrical panels) 

    Clean out utility areas (ex: remove clothes from the washer/dryer) 

    Make sure all your bulbs are working, sounds silly but important (ex: attic, garage)

    Remove your pets to allow the inspectors to work thru the house without any distractions or potential issue

    THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: LEAVE 

    Tips For Sellers During The Home Inspection

    If you decide to stay during the home inspection try your best not to try and "explain" things in the house, something you may think is a big deal might not be and visa versa

    Do not try and cover up anything, the home inspectors are thorough and they will find whatever you may have tried to hide and than they will search more to make sure they didn't miss anything

    Do not negotiate on anything during the home inspection, again something that may be a red flag for you may not be for your buyers

    Keep your distance, do not hover over the home inspector stay available IF he has a question otherwise he is a professional allow him to do his job 

    Don't expect to have the report immediately - the first person to get a copy of your homes inspection will be the potential buyer who than can share it with you

      Tips for Buyers
    There are some great tips on the National Site (ASHI)
    American Society of Home Inspectors

    Below is the South Carolina Licensure Law governing Home Inspectors:
    South Carolina Licensure (Title 40, Chapter 59, Article 3) enacted in 1996. South Carolina law requires any person desiring to be a licensed home inspector to file with the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission. A home inspector must show to the satisfaction of the Commission that he is currently certified as a home inspector by an organization recognized by the Commission, that he has a minimum of one year of experience as a home inspector under the supervisi on of a licensed inspector, and that he has performed a minimum of fifty residential inspections.
    For more information, including Rules and Regulations, contact the
    Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation,
    Residential Builders Commission
    (803) 896-4621 main
    (803) 896-4696 for Home Inspectors
    www.llr.state.sc.us

    For questions about home inspections call or email me:
    Sue Lucas
    Broker Associate
    Re/Max Southern Shores
    843-997-4595