What is a preliminary title report?

A preliminary title report, also known as a prelim, is a revocable offer made by
a title insurer to issue a policy of title insurance on the terms and conditions set out in the report. The buyer, their agent and escrow use the prelim for an initial review of the vesting and encumbrances recorded on the title to a property.

The intent of obtaining a prelim is to ascertain the current vesting and encumbrances as reflected on public record which affects a property’s title.

Encumbrances set out in a prelim include:

• general and special taxes;
• assessments and bonds;
• covenants, conditions and restrictions
(CC&Rs);
• easements;
• rights of way;
• liens; and
• interests of others.

However, a prelim is not a representation of the conditions of title or a policy of title insurance.

Unlike an abstract of title, a prelim cannot be relied on and the title company incurs no liability when the content incorrectly states the conditions of a property’s title.

Thus, a prelim is merely a statement of terms and conditions on which the title company is willing to issue a policy — subject to any changes they may make prior to actually issuing the policy of title insurance.

Both the buyer’s agent and seller’s agent review the prelim immediately on its receipt by escrow, looking for any reported conditions that may interfere with the buyer’s expectations or closing the transaction

Thinking about selling or buying? Let me help make your home buying or sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

@stellabonin1

https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

I am licensed in California and Arizona and I have a great team to serve you with offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What is the MLS?

The multiple listing service (MLS) is a database of property held out for sale, pooled
and published by real estate agents. The MLS is different than online real estate websites like Zillow or Trulia. The information displayed on MLS listings is more extensive and up-to-date than that available on public real estate sites.

Real estate brokers and their agents pay fees to access their local MLS, which is heavily regulated, as designed by local real estate associations. At its most basic level, agents use the MLS to list properties sellers have retained them to sell and find properties for sale suitable for their buyers to acquire.

They also use data generated by closed sales and held by the MLS to help set seller asking prices or help buyers decide on a home’s fair market value (FMV). By comparing a specific property with similar properties sold or for sale in the area, agents are able
to develop an opinion of value.

Small and large brokerages access the same MLS to view and list properties in the area. Thus, a buyer or seller choosing to hire an agent from a small brokerage will receive the same visibility on the MLS as offered by a large brokerage.

For-sale-by-owner (FSBO) properties are not always listed on the MLS. A seller working without the assistance of a real estate agent does not have access to the MLS (unless they themselves are a licensed broker or active real estate agent). Accordingly, a FSBO cannot list their home for sale on the MLS, which limits their home’s visibility to buyers.

When a real estate brokerage offers some MLS access via the internet, they are able to display only a limited amount of MLS data on their brokerage websites for the public to see. However, licensed real estate brokers and their agents with membership in the MLS may access the full range of search options and property data in the MLS database.

Contact me today with questions about buying a home or listing your home!
I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Phoenix Association of REALTORS®

Burke Real Estate Consultants, Inc. (California)
Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®

480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

To DIY or not to DIY?

Feeling handy? You may be tempted to tackle home repairs or upgrades yourself. This do-it-yourself (DIY) attitude can serve you well — but some projects require a professional touch. How do you know when professional help is needed? Consider these DIY rules:

  1. Keep it safe — Does your project involve electricity, climbing to precarious heights, lead paint or asbestos? Professionals are best for these dangerous jobs because they have the right equipment and experience.
  2. Save money — The number one reason to tackle a DIY project is to save money. Be sure to do the math before you jump into a project, considering any equipment you’ll need to purchase and any time off of work you may need to take.
  3. Make it nice — Before you decide to DIY, be honest with yourself about your abilities. You may enjoy the challenges of installing a new backsplash, but if it doesn’t look professional, all your time, effort and materials will be wasted.

Does your project follow these three rules? Then give DIY a try! Some common DIY projects include installing hardware, painting, minor landscaping and installing shelves.

Thinking about selling? Contact me for more tips and information about getting your home ready to sell.

Stella Bonin

West USA Realty (Arizona)
Burke Real Estate Consultants (California)
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am licensed in California and Arizona and we have offices around the country.

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

@stellabonin1

https://www.facebook.com/groups/irealestate/

https://www.facebook.com/myrealestateservices/

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Why Is Homeowners Insurance Important?

Costs
Homeowners insurance costs differ according to home size and location.

Will You Get a Mortgage if You Have Credit Problems?
Paying for homeowners insurance makes some people cringe. Shelling out money month after month for an intangible product can feel like pouring water into the sand. Insured owners living in prime locations such as the Berkeley Hills pay so that they can rebuild in case disaster strikes. Homeowners insurance could be the best thing you’ll buy–and hope you’ll never have to use.

Lenders and Insurance
Lenders require that homeowners obtain adequate insurance before funding a loan. Because banks and other lending institutions typically put up 80 per cent of a home’s value in cash, they insist that those receiving the money insure the investment. Insurance experts inspect properties for general upkeep before issuing policies and also help determine the level of coverage needed.

Types of Insurance
Basic homeowners policies cover damage to the house caused by fire, vandalism, hurricane, lightning, or other specifically covered events. Homeowners policies also cover loss or damage of personal property due to theft or other covered events. Expensive collections of jewellery or furs might need additional rider policy coverage. Losing possessions can be a shock if you never considered that possibility when opting against homeowners insurance. Policies also cover liability up to certain limits, protecting the insured in case someone injures himself on the property. They also pay for costs if someone sues the homeowner. Some people increase the amount of liability insurance they have with umbrella or extension coverage.

Exclusions
Basic homeowners insurance does not cover damage caused by earthquake and flood. Policies generally deny coverage of damage resulting from chronic and extreme neglect and faulty maintenance. There are limitations on mold-related situations and caveats for specific dog breeds kept on the property.

Alternative Insurance Options
California’s FAIR Plan coverage offers high-risk pool insurance for homeowners living in high-fire areas such as the Southern California foothills. Policies under FAIR, which stands for Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, are expensive and limited in scope. Wrap-around policies allow those with FAIR Plan coverage to supplement the policy with additional privately provided coverage. The state government in California also regulates earthquake policy availability for those who already have homeowners coverage. High deductibles and policy premiums dissuade some owners from purchasing earthquake coverage, betting that their home will never be involved in a significant quake.

Considerations
Some people drop coverage if they are not required to have it. In the event of damage, an uninsured homeowner might lose the building and a place to live. A home is the largest asset most people have, so losing yours could be ruinous. Even if fire or wind damage never occurs, a slip by an uninsured worker on a slippery tile staircase could cost a homeowner thousands for medical care and lost wages.

Let me help make your home buying or sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the buying or selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Walkability, Proximity and Home Values

If you’re able to walk instead of drive to the supermarket for a gallon of milk, you and your neighborhoods home values may benefit from the exercise. Homes in neighbourhoods with good walkability are preferred and more valuable by home buyers than similar homes in neighbourhoods where residents must drive to get to amenities.

Proximity to amenities as restaurants, coffee shops, schools, parks, stores, open spaces and libraries will raise the home value. The bigger, more urban the city (think San Diego or Phoenix), the bigger the boost in home prices walkability adds. Neighborhoods in cities with less dense populations like Julian, CA, or Maricopa, AZ, have the smallest boost in home prices from being walkable but still preferred by some home buyers on the decision time choosing a home.

The availability of public transportation also played a role. The higher home values tended to show up in walkable neighborhoods near good public transportation where people could live without an automobile or prefer to limit the use of an automobile.

The closer, the better when we are referring to the neighborhood’s “Walk Score,” which measures how close the homes were to amenities and homes within a quarter mile to one mile of the amenities earned the highest walk scores and had the highest values compared with similar homes with lower walk scores.

The walking also has important social benefits and having people walking around signals that an area is safe, friendly, convenient, lively, and interesting attracting buyers to that neighborhood.

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Good manners & Trick-Or-Treat!

Very important for your children to know and do before and during they trick-or-treat?

To plan for this festive day, we’re establishing some general ground rules for those on the “receiving” end.

Children stay on the walkway to the front door. You don’t want to mow down your neighbors’ prize mums.

Ring the doorbell twice, if it is not response do not insist,  go to the next home.

Be careful with the homes that are dark, should not be approached. Perhaps they are either not at home but if they do not wish to participate in Halloween you need to respect their decision can be for religious believing.

Always carry a flashlight so cars can see you and you can see where you’re walking.

And parents can add reflective tape to costumes and candy containers.

Be courteous when someone answers the door, say “Trick-or-Treat” nicely.

Be sure to say, “Thank you” after receiving your treat. Only get one candy to be respectful with the homeowner and other children. They will be more children after you looking for candies too.

Never go into someone’s home. If anyone invites to go inside be polite but decline the invitation.

Only eat candy that is wrapped. Candy unwrapped can contains something that can damage your health.

Time to start Halloween is when it becomes dark outside and not past 9:00 p.m.

Don’t rifle through the candy to find your favorite treat.  Once again take one treat unless told otherwise.

California & Arizona

Times for Trick-or-Treating

Usually, there is no set schedule for trick-or-treating in California and Arizona. Check with your city in case that it is a time scheduled this year.  Most trick-or-treaters will arrive at homes between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., but there is no hard rule about it. Notwithstanding the fact that it is Halloween, city curfews are still enforced.

If Halloween falls on a school night, it is usually a good idea to wrap things up by 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. at the absolute latest.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

6 Tips For Your First Home Sale

Are you ready to sell your first home? Let me help! Here are some tips for easing you into the process and making your home sale a success.

  1. Property Disclosures. As a seller, you will need to disclose all known material facts. Take special note of health and safety conditions, such as missing smoke detectors or broken windows. Additionally, paying for an inspection and completing simple repairs upfront can save you money on buyer requests for repairs or a reduction in the sales price during negotiations.

  2. Pricing your home right. Price your home appropriately for its condition and your neighborhood — I can help you find the right price through a comparative market analysis.

  3. Home showings. You’ll need to make time for buyers to view your home. Ideal home showings are flexible for a buyer’s schedule and allow them to walk through your home with their real estate agent when you are not present.

  4. Staging and decluttering. Be prepared to remove personal items and tidy up before a home viewing. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home — depersonalizing and cleaning will help your home appeal to buyers.

  5. Reviewing offers. Consider all the offers you receive. Sellers have a tendency to ignore the first offer they receive from a buyer, expecting a better offer to come along. Don’t let a great offer slip by just because it’s the first offer you receive.

  6. Timing your sale. Expect your home sale to take at least three to four months to complete. This allows for proper marketing, home viewing, negotiations, and closing. Also, consider creating a timeline for when you aim to move out and complete the purchase of your next home.

Let me help make your first home sale a success. If you’re ready to begin the selling process, give me a call today!

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

What is a Homestead?

A homestead is the dollar amount of equity you have in your home that you qualify to exempt from creditor seizure.

The dollar amount of the homestead you hold in equity in your home has priority on the title over most judgment liens and some government liens, but not your mortgages.

Two types of homestead protections are available to California homeowners:

• the declaration of homestead, which is recorded;  and

• the automatic homestead also called a statutory homestead exemption, which is not recorded.

Both homestead arrangements provide the same dollar amount of home equity protection in California.

However, you need to record a declaration of the homestead to receive all the benefits available under the homestead laws. These benefits allow you the right to sell, receive the net sales proceeds up to the dollar amount of the homestead and reinvest the funds in another home.

As a homeowner, you qualify for one of three dollar amounts of net equity homestead protection:

• a $75,000 equity as an individual homeowner with no dependents;

• a $100,000 equity as a head of household; or

• a $1750,000 equity if you are:
◦ 65 years or older;
◦ disabled; or
◦ age 55 years or older with an annual income of no more than $25,000 or a combined gross annual income of no more than $35,000 if married.

The homestead declaration needs to be signed, notarized, and recorded to take effect.

Your recorded homestead does not affect your creditworthiness.

Anyone of several individuals may sign and record the homestead declaration, including:

• you as the owner of the homestead;

• your spouse; or

• the guardian, conservator, or a person otherwise authorized to act on your or your spouse’s behalf, such as an attorney-in-fact.

Arizona’s homestead exemption laws protect up to $150,000 of a person’s equity in their dwelling from attachment, execution or forced sale. A person or married couple may only claim one homestead exemption and must reside in the dwelling for which the exemption is claimed.

33-1101. Homestead exemptions; persons entitled to hold homesteads

A. Any person the age of eighteen or over, married or single, who resides within the state may hold as a homestead exempt from attachment, execution and forced sale, not exceeding one hundred fifty thousand dollars in value, any one of the following:

1. The person’s interest in real property in one compact body upon which exists a dwelling house in which the person resides.

2. The person’s interest in one condominium or cooperative in which the person resides.

3. A mobile home in which the person resides.

4. A mobile home in which the person resides plus the land upon which that mobile home is located.

B. Only one homestead exemption may be held by a married couple or a single person under this section. The value as specified in this section refers to the equity of a single person or married couple. If a married couple lived together in a dwelling house, a condominium or cooperative, a mobile home or a mobile home plus land on which the mobile home is located and are then divorced, the total exemption allowed for that residence to either or both persons shall not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars in value.

C. The homestead exemption, not exceeding the value provided for in subsection A, automatically attaches to the person’s interest in identifiable cash proceeds from the voluntary or involuntary sale of the property. The homestead exemption in identifiable cash proceeds continues for eighteen months after the date of the sale of the property or until the person establishes a new homestead with the proceeds, whichever period is shorter. Only one homestead exemption at a time may be held by a person under this section.

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

 

What is a “due-on clause”?

The due-on clause is a trust deed provision which allows your lender to call the debt due and immediately payable on any transfer of legal or equitable ownership unless prohibited by law. The primary event triggering the lender’s due-on clause and a call for immediate the payoff of the debt is the sale of the property liened by the trust deed.

The due-on clause is not only triggered by a sale using a grant deed or quitclaim deed, but by other transfers of legal or equitable ownership of real estate to a buyer, recorded or not, including:

• land sales contracts;

• lease-option agreements; and

• wraparound carryback devices also are known as all-inclusive

trust deeds (AITDs).

The due-on clause, on any type of property, is also
triggered when leasing the property to a tenant for:

• a term over three years; or

• any term length when coupled with an option to buy.

An assignment or modification of an existing lease does not trigger the due-on clause, unless:

• the term of the lease is extended beyond three years; or

• a purchase option is granted to the tenant.

On owner-occupied, one-to-four unit residential property, transfers that do not trigger due-on enforcement include:

• the creation of a junior lien where the owner continues to occupy;

• a transfer to a spouse or child who occupies;

• a transfer into an inter vivos trust when the owner continues to occupy;

• the death of a joint tenant; or

• a transfer upon the owner’s death to a relative who occupies.

Thinking of buying or selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214

stella.bonin@yahoo.com

Our Team serves all Southern California and Maricopa & Pinal Counties (AZ).

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”

Be a good neighbor!

Whether you’re new to the neighborhood or have lived here for decades, it’s always a good idea to stay on your neighbors’ good sides. These relationships will help when there’s a disaster, you lock yourself out of your home, or when you go on long trips and need someone to keep an eye on your house.

Here is a list of actions to take that will help build positive relationships with your neighbors:

  • Introduce yourself — Bring a small housewarming gift to new neighbors and visit neighbors on your block with treats during the holidays.
  • Exchange phone numbers — Even though everything happens online today, it’s always a good idea to have the phone number of a neighbor in case of emergency.
  • Keep your yard tidy — No one wants to be that person who doesn’t maintain their yard, causing neighboring property values to diminish. Make exterior maintenance and landscaping a priority, and hopefully your neighbors will follow your lead.
  • Discuss big exterior changes — Before you build a fence or cut down a tree near the border of a neighbor’s yard, let them know. They will appreciate the courtesy and will likely return the favor.

Thinking of selling? I’m happy to help!

I am never too busy for your referrals.

Stella Bonin
Associate Broker
480.797.4884 / 619.250.6214
stella.bonin@yahoo.com

California Bureau of Real Estate Lic. # 01222569
Arizona Department of Real Estate Lic. # BR550696000

“Equal Housing Opportunity”