Top 4 Mistakes Homebuyers Always Do – Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE — Getting excited about the home buying process and wanting to jump in immediately is a common reaction to most people says, Local Records Office. Having the realtor chauffeur you around to look at beautiful homes and neighborhoods, holding the door for you, etc. I mean, it feels like you’re a celebrity for a day. However most buyers make common mistakes which always cost them time and money.

Here are 4 mistakes buyers make when shopping for a new home:

  1. Not Having Their Financials In Order

It’s OK to have fun during the process, but not coming prepared can quickly turn the excitement phase into a panic phase if you don’t have your financials in order. A pre-approval for your home loan and/or proof of funds letter for the down payment is one of those golden things that sellers look for to let them know you are serious and not wasting their time.

Always have several versions of your proof-of-funds letter and your pre-approval handy at all times. This will put you above the competition when you find a home that you want to go after.

  1. Not Researching The Neighborhood

Knowing a neighborhood by only listening to what your realtor is telling you, as opposed to actually researching the neighborhood, are night-and-day differences says, Local Records Office. It’s important for you to actually speak to the locals at “Mom-and-Pop” stores, cafes, restaurants, markets, etc. Immersing yourself into the neighborhood as a “local” will allow you to catch information that will not be disclosed by your realtor. This will give you a clearer picture of your surroundings. Always, go back to the neighborhood at nighttime. It amazes me how one neighborhood can be in the daytime vs. night. Loud music, parties, etc. can sometimes be observed only at night. So it’s a good idea to drive by a few times to see what’s going on after the sunsets.

  1. Not Mentally Preparing To Deal In “Large” Numbers

Your home is (for most of us) the largest purchase you will make in your life says, Local Records Office. Now consider how you live your daily life – shopping at the market, buying gas for your car, shopping for clothing, etc. Your mind is constantly dealing with “smaller” amounts of money; i.e., “how can I save $10 on this shirt/blouse” or “Wow, the price of avocados really go up”.

Also, if you are getting a mortgage, think in terms of how much your monthly payment will be instead of thinking always in terms of the sticker price of the home. Sometimes adding another $20,000 on to the purchase price of the home, really doesn’t amount to much of a change in your monthly payment.

  1. Not Doing Proper Research On Their Realtor

Local Records Office says, “Seeing a working real estate agent can be deceptive”. From the surface, it looks pretty easy – I mean, showing a home and talking about the view, the kitchen, etc. while wearing some fancy shoes and expensive car lease – How hard can it be??

The truth is agent’s deal with enormous amounts of stress and complications. Many of them are expert problem solvers, have “insider” information about properties/areas and can get you a great price on your home from their negotiation skills. Just like in any profession though, there are the good and the bad. An inexperienced agent can cost you time, money and can actually minimize your chances of finding the property you really want.

Always research your agent, thoroughly. I’m not talking about looking about their rave reviews on their own website, but actually speak to their past clients says, Local Records Office. If they’ve sold a home in the neighborhood, don’t be afraid to knock on the door and say that you’re thinking of moving there. Ask the owner about the agent and how their experience was with them.

To learn more about homebuyers and real estate go to www.LocalRecordsOffice.co

Landlord From Hell – Local Records Office

Local Records Office – For 12 years, I’ve lived in the same apartment in an Olympia, Washington. In the last year, it seems like my elderly landlord has developed dementia. He began leaving me notices, claiming I owed him back rent. I showed him and his lawyer 24 months of canceled checks, but they began eviction proceedings against me anyway. Then my landlord became violent, punching my roommate before pushing his way into our apartment, where he menaced and threatened us, swinging a chair at me. When the police finally showed up, my roommate declined to press charges, but asked that the landlord be evaluated at a hospital. He was back home within two hours, cursing at me again. His daughter, who also lives in the building, has done nothing. My roommate moved out and I’m considering moving out, but I want to know what my next steps should be. My rent is a fraction of what apartments rent for in the neighborhood, and I suspect the apartment is rent regulated, but I am not certain. Should I cut my losses and get out? Sue for harassment? Or, knowing he’s a danger to the other tenants, try and get him removed from running the building?

Local Records Office says, “Your landlord may or may not have dementia, but he is certainly harassing you and your roommate, a practice that has become increasingly common as some landlords attempt to drive out longtime tenants in the quest for higher rent. Just consider his lawyer’s behavior: The lawyer is willing to begin eviction proceedings against a tenant who he knows has paid the rent. Dementia or not, those are some pretty aggressive tactics”.

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First, consider your immediate safety. Regardless of the type of lease you hold, you can seek an order of protection, commonly known as a restraining order, against your landlord in Thurston County criminal court, according to Shawn Carter, a real estate lawyer. This would protect you from continued harassment. Ultimately, you need to decide if you want to stay, despite the stress of living there. If your apartment is rent regulated — which is certainly possible — and you leave, you will be relinquishing a valuable asset, and your next apartment will undoubtedly be more expensive.

Consult with a lawyer who is well versed in rent regulation rules to figure out the status of the apartment, as it can be difficult to determine. If your apartment is, in fact, market rate, moving might be your only option. And although you could theoretically still sue your landlord for harassment after you leave, your damages would be minimal. “It would probably not be worth the effort,” Mr. Carter said

But if your lease is rent regulated, you have some tools at your disposal. File a harassment complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, which oversees rent-regulated apartments. At the same time, file a harassment claim and what is known as an Article 7a proceeding in housing court. The court could ultimately remove the landlord from managing the building — even if he owns it — and replace him with a court-appointed administrator. But in order to bring the 7a proceeding against the landlord, you would need at least one-third of the tenants to sign onto the case. So start talking to other tenants in the building about your experiences and see if they have stories of harassment, too.

Becoming Active in a Co-op

As a longtime resident and shareholder, I have been asked to run for my building’s co-op board. What would be my duties and responsibilities?

There are many thankless jobs in this world, and being a member of a co-op board often makes the list. It is an unpaid — and frequently time-consuming — position. When things go awry, your neighbors blame you. But it has upsides. You get to know the inner workings of your building and help decide its future.

Just how much work is involved depends on the culture of your board and building. Before you launch your campaign, go on a fact-finding mission. Find out what issues are facing the building and the expectations for board members. Ask other board members about their own experience: Did they like the job? What did they do? Did it consume all their time?

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“It has been quite the learning experience,” said John Smith, who joined the board of her Olympia, WA co-op four months ago. “From figuring out the process of obtaining a new boiler for the building, to looking at — literally — 50 shades of gray for paint, I am constantly learning.”

Some boards are very hands-on, while others rely on managing agents to do the heavy lifting. However, all board members must satisfy their fiduciary duty.

“This means a board member cannot do whatever he or she pleases,” said Peter Franton, a Olympia, WA real estate lawyer who was previously the president of his building’s co-op board. “Board members must act in good faith, with undivided loyalty to the cooperative and in accordance with the governing documents of the co-op and the law.

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