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Important Steps in Buying a Home

“Stressful and exciting at the same time,” said one home buyer.  “Like going through a pregnancy,” said another. Though buying a house has long been considered an integral part of the American Dream, it can be frustrating, fatiguing, scary, and wonderfully exciting at the same time.  This article presents some important steps in buying a home. Hopefully, it will prepare you a little and make the process of buying your house a bit easier.

Step One:

Decide if you really want to buy a house and why.  If you’re married or in a long-term, committed relationship, be sure your partner agrees that home ownership will meet your goals better than renting.  If your spouse believes long-term renting is better, ask for the reasons. This conversation may be eye-opening to your spouse’s real plans and desires.

Your partner may not be aware of the benefits of home ownership: building equity, tax savings, raising credit score, making the place your own to suit your fancy, your hobbies, family gatherings, etc.  When you own a home, you can make it a refuge from the distractions and stresses of the world. You can turn it into a soft place to fall for your children. Granted, an atmosphere of love and acceptance is more important than how comfortable your couches and chairs are.

Certainly, there are times when renting is advisable over purchasing, such as during an unstable real estate market, unsure job situation, where you want to grow roots, money savings, interest rates, and level of commitments to the relationship.  So, if you like your job, want to put down some roots, have some money saved, and are committed to your partner no matter what, then set the goal to buy a house together.

Step Two:

Once you’ve decided that buying a house is right for you, determine your price range, and start looking.  Look in areas where you want your kids to go to school and play with neighbors. Check the distance and safety of the commute to work.  Does it bother you to drive 40 minutes through lots of intersections? Is it important for your health that your commute can be a walk or bicycle ride?   Can you take public transit to and from work? Buses and trains remove the stress of driving and many of the risks, too. Expenses? Yeah, public transportation will save you money.

Step Three:

 After setting your price range and areas where you’d like to live, choose a real estate agent, or use online resources to look for Fisbos.  “For Sale By Owner” houses may save you the commission fees, but they transfer more of the headache of negotiation and paperwork to you. Not everyone is up to that, so asking a real estate agent to help you is recommended.  Talk to a few agents, and ask them how long they’ve been in the profession. Ask what type of houses they have sold. If they’ve sold only million-dollar homes, and you want one that costs $100,000, you’re better off with another agent.  You want someone who considers your business important and worth their time. Ask what their commission rates are and how they look for houses for you.

Step Four:

A very important step in buying a home is making an offer.  When you and spouse have agreed on a good house for you, ask your agent for input.  You don’t have to offer what the agent says; you can “low-ball” it if you want. If the seller replies with, “No way!” you can always come back with a stronger offer.  If the seller is motivated to sell, they’ll counter with a price they’re comfortable with. At this point, it’s a game of who wants it more. Do you want that house so badly that you’re willing to pay top dollar for it, or do you have two or three houses in mind that you’d be happy with? Does your seller want to sell the house so badly that they’ll discount it?   If you convey that you don’t want that house THAT BAD, you’ll get a lower price. Your agent will help you with negotiation.

Step Five:

Choose a reputable title company which has your interests in mind.  A title company protects you during the purchase transaction. A good company will insure the money transactions are correctly done, and they’ll make sure there are no outstanding liens on the property.  You don’t want to buy a house, only to find out later that someone else has a claim to part of its value. This is critical in the important steps in buying a home. Happy Hunting!

Important Steps in Buying a Home

St. George Real Estate

Article By: Clear Content Marketing

 

What Is a PR or Title Commitment?

When you buy a home, there is a lot of paperwork to review before all is said and done. One of those documents is called the title commitment, also known as the preliminary title report (PR for short), title work, or title binder. In simplest terms, the St George title commitment is one of the most important documents that you’ll review before closing because it is the document that explains the title rights guarantee to your new property. It also represents the assurance that there are no defects in the property title and that you have the green light to obtain title insurance.

A St George title commitment is typically issued in the following way. First, the buyer chooses a property. Next, a title commitment is ordered by the realtor. Once the St George title commitment is complete and it is confirmed that there are no defects in the property title, the title company (via regular mail) sends the buyer a copy prior to closing. Any exclusions, conditions, and terms found in a St George title commitment will also be reflected on the title insurance policy that the buyer will review prior to closing.

Something important to remember about a St George title commitment is that, in most cases, you won’t have very much time to review it; probably a few days at most. Because it is time-sensitive in nature, it’s best to acquire some additional knowledge about it before you put your signature on it. Here are some things to consider.

-A St George title commitment has five parts: what is not insured, specific title insurance requirements, what is being insured, the amount of insurance, and who is being insured (buyer and/or lender). Remember that the amount of insurance needs to cover the sales price and loan amount.

-A St George title commitment, in addition to having the five parts mentioned above, is also broken down into two additional sections: Schedule A and Schedule B. Schedule A contains the loan amount, property price, seller/buyer information, and the commitment date – basically everything that the escrow officer receives from the title company. Schedule B contains the exceptions (CC&Rs) and is the most important part of a St George title commitment for buyers to read.

-The exceptions found in Schedule B are extremely important for the buyer to be aware of. These include but are not limited to easements not shown in public records, encroachments, boundary issues, and right of parties in possession. Consider getting OEC as part of your title insurance policy as it will  alleviate many standard exceptions.

-Be meticulous about understanding the conditions. CC&Rs, for example can be bundled in to a St George title commitment. This should be of particular interest to buyers purchasing property in a subdivision or gated community. Be sure you are okay with all conditions that you will be required to adhere to.

-Getting things in writing is not just a suggestion, it’s a necessity. Any problems or concerns that you have about the property, the St George title commitment, or anything else needs to given to your realtor and presented in writing immediately. That way the realtor can efficiently give this information to the seller. The seller will have a contractually obligated amount of time to review and respond. When the buyer is organized and has everything in writing, the process leading toward the completion of a St George title commitment will be much smoother.

If you have any additional questions about St George title commitments, contact a representative at Eagle Gate Title and we would be happy to help you  no matter what your circumstance may be.


What Is a PR or Title Commitment?

St George Title Commitment

Article by Clear Content Marketing

Real Estate Markets of Saint George, Orem, Riverton, and Murray Utah

The real estate markets of Saint George, Orem, Riverton, and Murray vary slightly because of climate, room for urban and suburban sprawl, and factors of economy.

Having recovered from the burst real estate bubble of 2008, Utah housing is strong again, especially in areas of rapid population growth.  For example, the formerly quiet, little town of Saint George, Utah is now widely considered the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan area in the USA.  The roughly 100,000 residents will likely burgeon toward 200,000 in the next several years, especially during the winters when mild temperatures beckon to the snowbirds and visitors.

Saint George

Washington County’s rustic beauty and warm winter climate continue to attract people from all states and Mexico.  The St. George Municipal Airport, opened in 2012, has improved access to business travelers, and companies are building in Washington County, partly because of the abundance of good, young workers.  Dixie State University adds culture, people, and education to this desert oasis, as well as plenty of ambitious and good-natured young people for companies to employ. St. George’s surrounding acreage of frontier provides plenty of space for developers to build new housing communities and industrial parks.

Beginning with the real estate trends of Saint George, there was little change in house prices from June to July of 2018.  The median list price is just under $400,000, and the price per square foot is about $171, which is a small increase from the previous two months.  The inventory of homes for sale stands at 135. The ratio of foreclosures and short sales to the total real estate market in St. George did not change.

Orem

In Orem, Utah, the median price for a house is $449,000, which dropped about 5% from June 2018.  The number of houses for resale in Orem is 163. This is slightly higher than in June. Per square foot, the price of a home in Orem is the same in June and July:  $131. The percentage of distressed properties to total houses for sale stayed the same in June and July. The real estate market of Orem, Utah has been quite stable in the last several years.

Riverton

Riverton saw a small increase in list prices of homes from June to July 2018 by 4% to about $510,000.  The inventory for home resale in Riverton is 59, and $140 is the median price per square foot, which was the same in June.

Murray

The number of homes for sale in Murray, Utah in July 2018 is 71, and their median list price is just under $350,000.  The list price per square foot is $172, down from the June price of $166.

Utah is known for its fiscal responsibility and low unemployment rate, which is commonly the lowest of the 50 states.  If Utah’s government continues to apply sound legislation to support economic growth, public education, and conservation of natural resources, the real estate markets of cities like Saint George, Orem, Riverton, and Murray, Utah should see only minor fluctuations in market statistics to enjoy some stability and modest appreciation in house values.

Utah in general is seeing some of the fastest population growth in the country, though some areas like Uintah County are shrinking.  Pam Perlich, director of demographics at the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute said that some of the population of the declining rural counties of Utah is probably moving into the urban core that is doing quite well.  She added, “Growth is uneven across the state, and that the St. George area attracts many retirees and “snowbirds,” and that immigration exceeds the “natural growth” of more births than deaths. Real estate markets of Saint George, Orem, Riverton, and Murray should continue an upward swing.

Real Estate Markets of Saint George, Orem, Riverton, and Murray Utah

Utah Real Estate

Article By: Clear Content Marketing

 

What Is Escrow?

No matter what kind of transaction is being made, whether it be in real estate or not, there is always a level of risk involved centered around the amount of trust both parties have in each other. The concept of an escrow was created to alleviate a large degree of this concern as it pertains to real estate transactions, allowing both parties to have greater levels of comfort regarding the safety of the deal. So what exactly is a St George escrow?

Real Estate Escrow

It is an arrangement that ensures that obligations are met by both parties (buyer and lender) entering into a real estate transaction, accomplishing this by initiating third party involvement who safeguards the asset, acting as a referee, of sorts. The third party is neutral toward both parties and makes sure that their respective responsibilities are met. Often, those responsibilities are more complicated than the seller providing the asset and the buyer paying on time. For example, the buyer may want an inspection performed, or the seller may want additional assurance that payment will be received, or perhaps the asset isn’t a product but rather a service. Because of the sensitive nature of the information involved and the costly nature of land and property, a trusted and recommended St George escrow provider is necessary. Often, real estate agents will recommend an escrow provider to the buyer.

In a real estate transaction, the escrow process begins once an escrow officer has received a signed agreement. They review the contract to make sure everything is in order, such as the timely completion and resolution of objections, disclosures, and inspections. Once the ownership of the property of officially transferred to the buyer, St George escrow closes. Typically, the buyer will first be aware that a St George escrow has been initiated when the earnest money deposit is made. This is because these deposits will likely be written to the escrow holder. This alleviates the natural risk involved with writing a check to the seller who could then cash the check and disappear if they so desired. Making these checks payable to the escrow holder provides a safe and neutral place for “valuables” to be held.

Escrow Account

A St George escrow account is similar in many ways to the escrow process that has been described in that it still represents a third party holding money for the purpose of making sure that obligations are met, but different in that it is an actual account overseen by the lender to ensure that all monthly and yearly payments associated with owning a property are met by the buyer. How does a St George escrow account accomplish this?

First of all, a mortgage payment isn’t the only cost associated with owning a home. There are also property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. Lenders have to have some kind of assurance that the buyer will comply with his/her agreement to pay these necessary, particularly in the light of the fact that property taxes and insurance premiums are almost always expenses that are incurred annually and the large majority of people do not and would not budget monthly for these expenses. A St George escrow account alleviates this risk for the lender and makes sure these expenses get paid by adding a monthly fraction of these annual expenses and making them part of the mortgage payment. This money is kept in a separate account, a St George escrow account, so that when the time comes to pay property tax and insurance the money is available.

Conclusion

For further questions about escrow, please contact a representative at Eagle Gate Title. We are happy to help you in any way that we can.


What Is Escrow?

St George Escrow

Article by Clear Content Marketing

The Top Four Reasons To Move To Utah

After recent reports that some Utah cities are not only among the fastest growing in the USA, but also are ranking among the best overall places to live, there are some compelling motives for moving to Utah.  This article discusses the top four reasons to move to Utah.

First

Utah’s financial health is quite solid, as evidenced by strong business growth, low unemployment, a skilled and abundant workforce, and legislative investments in Utah’s future.

Truth in Accounting, a company based in Chicago, analyzes financial reporting in the 50 United States.  It stated that Utah has the fourth strongest financial position. Utah has $10.5 billion in assets to pay $6.6 billion in bills, which means a surplus of taxpayer money to the tune of $4,600 per taxpayer.  The only states with higher taxpayer surpluses are Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming. The study also pointed out that 41 states lack enough money to pay their bills.

Second

Utah’s unemployment rate has hovered around 3% for several years now, compared to an average rate of 4% in the rest of the USA.  Utah ranks 11th best in unemployment among the 50 states, and Hawaii is best at about 2%.  Utah’s job creation rate is three times faster than the national average. The job situation is certainly one of the top reasons to move to Utah.

Third

Utah’s public schools are among the country’s best; sure they don’t stack up well to schools in Finland, but Utah gets more bang for its buck than any other state.  Besides the fine public schools, many private and charter schools offer alternatives (and uniforms) to parents and their youngsters.

Fourth

The quality of life in Utah is excellent, beginning with public transportation, another of the top four reasons to move to Utah.  The UTA (Utah Transit Authority) has won awards for its ability to safely, and conveniently transport residents along the picturesque Wasatch front from home to work and back.  Prices are cheap to free, depending on the occupation of the bus or train riders.

Because of the emphasis placed on education within the historically predominant religion of Utah’s residents, several fine state institutions of higher education exist.  Utah turns out more college graduates per capita than any other state. The University of Utah is the state’s flagship state-funded university, and Brigham Young University, sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is one of the largest and most prestigious private institutions in the world.  The six state universities and five state junior colleges attract ambitious young people to Utah, and many of them stay there to work and raise their families.

Beautiful Sights

Utah features a dynamic geography and geology to delight people of many persuasions.  From some of world’s best ski mountains to the beautiful red rock desert of Southern Utah, the states diverse topography has it all, in terms of outdoor recreation.  Hunting, camping, fishing, boating, hiking, you name it. And climate varies with the state’s regions. If you don’t like cold winters, go to Utah’s Dixie (Southern Utah), where winter temperatures average about 60 degrees during the day and 45 at night.  Scenic beauty is everywhere. One of this writer’s favorite views is of the vibrant colors of autumn leaves, near Utah’s mountains and canyons in October. Humidity is not a problem in Utah, whether you’re along the populated Wasatch Front of the Rockies or down south in the desert; dry air is the norm.  Your choice of weather is certainly one of the top reasons to move to Utah.

Utah has five spectacular national parks which attract millions of tourists every year.  Zion National Park, near Saint George, is the third most visited national park in the country.

It’s hard to argue that newcomers to Utah won’t encounter an abundance of good, friendly people, willing to lend a helping hand. Granted, most of them (about 65%) are Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but objectively and relatively speaking, that’s a plus and becomes another one of the top reasons to move to Utah.

The Top Four Reasons To Move To Utah

Southern Utah Real Estate

Article By: Clear Content Marketing

 

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