Real Estate Information Archive


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Successful Negotiation Tips

by The Pilgrim Team

Having a successful negotiation and sale is what ever homebuyer and homeseller wants to achieve during the real estate transaction.. The negotiation process can be both complex and confusing for both sides. Bot the seller and the buyer want to have a fair transaction and achieve the best deal. Even if you have been thru the negotiation process before, below are some tips to help you get the most from the  transaction and walk away with what you want.

1. Time the market right. At this time, we are in a "buyers" market, where most sellers are very motivated to sell, this can give a buyer the upper hand. On the other side,  a "sellers" market, or a market where housing supply and demand are roughly equal might give the seller an advantage. If possible, you want to be in the market at a time when it favors your position as a buyer or seller.

2. Pay attention to the details. Buyers and seller pay a lot of attention to the transaction price. It is a good idea to consider other perks or benefits that can add to the overall worth. For example, if you negotiate that the roof be replaced or perhaps having the seller pay some of the closing costs this can sweeten the deal. Don't be stuck with the idea that the purchase prince is the only financial gain to the transaction.

3. Don't forget about financing. Keep in mind that there are several factors that can impact the final sale:

• Has the buyer been pre-qualified or pre-approved by a lender?  Having buyers that are "pre-qualified" or "pre-approved" are more likely to pose less risk than a buyer who has never met with a lender. This also shows the seller that they are serious about the offer and will give the seller more confidence. that they are a qualified buyer.

•If there is a low interest rate, then there will be a larger selection of potential buyers. More buyers equal more potential demand, which is good news for sellers. On the downside, high interest rates will cause buyers to be more selective or cause them to withdrawal from the market all together.

•The traditional 20% downpayment is not standard anymore. If the buyer has good credit, loans with 5 percent down or less are now widely available. Many loans where 100 percent financing are still available, although not as much as a few years back.

Negotiation is an important tool of the real estate transaction. To be a successful home seller or buyer you should have a basic understanding of negotiation methods, knowing the motivation of the other party and adapting to their style.



Piggyback Loans

by The Pilgrim Team

A piggyback loan may have a strange name but it is a home financing option in which a property is purchased using more than one Home Financing from two or more lenders. This type of financing is also called an 80/20 loan. There are many variations of this loan such as an 80-10-10 loan, which can typically be defined as a 10 percent second mortgage coupled with a traditional 80 percent first lien and a 10 percent down payment. There can also be different variations to make up the difference between a conventional loan and almost any amount of down payment, such as an 80-5-15 loan. 

These types of loans have advantages and disadvantages. The good news is that this type of a loan allows the home buyer to acquire or refinance a home with less than a 20 percent down payment or equity. In addition, another benefit is that the homebuyer does not need to carry private Home Financing insurance (PMI). 

One downside of these types of loans is they typically have higher interest rates than standard loans, mainly because lenders are assuming a higher risk. Also many piggyback loans attach a large balloon payment at the end of a loan. For homeowners who don't plan appropriately, this large payment can be a large financial strain. Homebuyers who assume these types of Home Loans should be aware that if they ever need an additional Home Financing or home equity loan in the future it will be difficult to obtain.

Homebuyers can also use piggyback loans as a source of funding for making a bigger downpayment on the new home. Homeowners who don't have the funds to make the 20 percent downpayment can use this loan to their advantage because private Home Financing insurance can be expensive and is not tax deductible. 

When considering these types of loans it is important to do the math on  how much money you have available for down payment. It is important to meet with your lender so that you clearly understand your budget before looking for a new home. Be sure to keep in mind that you'll likely need to cover expenses like earnest money, Home Financing insurance and closing costs for the transaction.

The Importance of Title Insurance

by The Pilgrim Team

Once you purchase a home and obtain a Home Financing, you will be required to obtain homeowners insurance. However, many potential homebuyers may not be familiar with another type of insurance, title insurance. So what is title insurance and why do you need it? Once you buy a home you are given a title, it then the owner's right to possess and use the property. It may be the homeowner who is selling the home or bank with a Home Financing on the property that has the title. It is also a possibility that a third party such as a homeowners association if the dues have not been paid or even the government may also have liens against the property for unpaid taxes.

Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as bring financial loss. It is vital to not only obtain title insurance but to also have a  title search done to protect your interest. By doing a search, it will reveal if someone other than the owner of the property owns the title. This search can be done by examining public records to look up the history of property ownership. While you can easily do your own title search, if you are obtaining a loan to purchase the property, the lender will require that a qualified third party do the title search. The title search shows not only limitations on the use of the property and rights others may have in the property, but also liens or monetary obligations that are outstanding against the property. 

Title insurance is different than the standard insurance where you are covered in case of a future event. For example, if you get car insurance you are insured in case you have an accident, you buy health insurance in case you get sick.  Title insurance is different as it covers events relating to the title that have already happened. It does not cover anything that happens to the title after the date of issuance. For example if you have liens filed against the property for taxes that you have not paid, your title insurance policy is not going to help you. But, if the lien is for taxes not paid by someone who owned the house before you, then you may have coverage under your title policy.

A title company will do a title search on the property before issuing the policy to see if there are any problems with the title. This search is done in an effort to minimize the risks of offering insurance.  Problems such as deeds, wills, outstanding Home Loans, judgements, and tax liens can be located from the search and can typically be cleared up before the closing on the property. When these problems are not cleared they will often be listed as exceptions to the policy's coverage. You would then need to decide whether the property is still something you want to purchase given the known problems with the title.


Organic Gardening

by The Pilgrim Team

Now that Spring is finally here, it is time to get out in the garden. Whether you are a gardening newbie or if you have plant a garden each year, organic gardening is a great way to grow your own vegetables in a way that is safe for you, your family and the environment. By switching to organic gardening, it is a healthier choice. Organic gardeners use compost, companion planting,  biological controls, and organically acceptable sprays to grow plants without harmful chemicals. When used correctly, organic gardening methods can exceed the efficacy of conventional chemicals in your vegetable, flower, or herb garden. 

Organic gardening differs from "conventional" gardening mainly in the areas of fertilization and pest control. The organic gardener prefers to use natural and organic materials and methods, and avoids using practices and synthetic chemicals that may be detrimental to his health or environment.

A major basis for organic gardening is the use of abundant quantities of organic material applied to the soil. Usually, it is in the form of animal manures, plant manures, cover crops, compost, or mixed organic fertilizer. Using this type of fertilizer offers many benefits, such as improving the ability to hold water and nutrients as well as improving the condition and structure of the soil.

Suitable materials for growing vegetables the organic way are not always easy to locate. The "conventional" garden supply centers carry many products, especially seeds and equipment, which may be used by the organic enthusiast. However, for the difficult-to-find items, the gardener may have to order from specialty businesses dealing in organic gardening supplies.

Organic gardening is more than just a trend, it is a way of gardening that offers many benefits to both the homeowner and the environment. Learn about the basics of organic gardening, from what an "organic garden" is to what the benefits are of gardening organically. 

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Contact Information

Photo of The Pilgrim Team Real Estate
The Pilgrim Team
Professional Realty Associates
16 Leader Heights Road
York PA 17403
Office: 717-757-5955
Fax: 717-757-2887