Understanding Title Insurance Hiring The Right Property Manager For Your Rental Income Property Lancaster Cebu Condotels In The Philippines Selling Real Estate 1st Impressions Ten Keys To Maximizing Profit

Title to a property is a record detailing the owners of the property and rights associated with the ownership. Title typically shows a progression of ownership from the first owner to the current one. Title is a fairly simple concept, but when it goes wrong it is a nightmare.

That is where title insurance comes in.

Title Insurance

Title insurance guarantees that the title on a property is marketable when you purchase the home, condo, land, etc. You should always pay for title insurance. It typically costs a few hundred dollars and will save you a bundle if problems arise.

When you buy title insurance, a title insurance company researches the title for the property. The insurance company will look to see if the title is clear. “Clear” simply means that the seller is truly transferring title to you and no other person can claim ownership. While this sounds fairly simple, rest assured that title problems arise all of the time.

Title Problems

You might be wondering how you could possibly have title problems. Here are a few examples:

1. Divorcing Couples – Divorce is unpleasant and sometime very ugly. In particularly nasty situations, one spouse may attempt to sell a home without telling the other. To gain clear title, you need both spouses to sign off on the sale. If you don’t, you are going to become a party of the divorce proceedings. Now, wouldn’t that be fun?

2. Estate Sales – If you are purchasing a house as part of an estate sale, there can be real problems. The heirs may not be getting along and in an effort to “get what’s mine”, may try to sell the residence without including all the heirs in the transaction. If you buy this home, you could end up involved in a lawsuit filed by an heir left out of the transaction.

3. Ingress and Egress Issues – Title to a property can have technical issues related to egress and ingress. Occasionally, one finds title to a property that is so messed up that the owner doesn’t have the right to enter or leave the land because to do so would require crossing another person’s property. In short, the property is landlocked and something must be worked out with the neighbors. Typically, a solution comes in the form of hard, cold cash…lots of it.

These are just a few issues that can arise with title. With real estate, unique issues can arise all the time.

If you buy title insurance, you don’t have to worry about problems with title. If a problem arises, you calmly pick up the phone and call the title insurance company. The insurance company will come up with a solution, even if it means paying you for bad title.

I’m often asked what to look for when picking a property manager. Its a great question, and I’ll try to cover a few important points. Although they can sometimes be expensive, they can also save you from many headaches that go along with being a landlord. I’m going to ask more questions then I’ll answer, but these are questions you’ll want to keep in mind when interviewing managers.

1 – Cost: Managers generally charge a monthly fee to watch and maintain your property. Those fees can range from as low as 5% or so, to upwards of 20%. Obviously, you should look for a company that charges less and provides more services.

2 – Communication: For me, communication with a manager is of the utmost importance. I need someone who uses email, and is responsive to both the telephone and email. If I don’t get a response back in a timely manner, it is time to walk. In addition, you need someone who can deal with you and your idiosynchricies. Some of us are needier then others. You want to let companies know up front where you stand, and make sure they’re willing to be flexible for you.

3 – Termination of your Agreement: In the event that your “relationship” does not work out, you want to know up front what exactly it will take to terminate your agreement. Is there a charge for breaking your contract? Penalties?

4 – Repairs and Maintenance: Does the company have their own maintenance crew, or do they contract out to a handyman? How much do they bill out at? Can they handle all kinds of repairs? What happens if they can’t do something? Do they have other contractors that they work with?

In addition, you probably want to have a maximum that the company can spend without contacting you. Generally, I will allow my managers to do what they need to as long as it is for something under $100. I must confirm any expenses over that.

If you are a bit more of a control person, you can also request invoices/reciepts for expenses.

5 – Monthly Statements: Does the company send out monthly or quarterly statements. I wouldn’t deal with anyone that does not provide monthly income/expense statements.

6 – Evictions: How does the company handle evictions? What are the costs to evict?

7 – Yard Work: How much do they bill yard work out at? Landscaping? Do they handle snow removal? Mow lawns? How much does each cost?

8 – Reserves: What kind of reserve does the company require? The reserves are used in case anything comes up. Most managers will require a certain amount.

9 – Accounting: When will the manager mail your check to you? Beginning of the month? State laws usually dictate accounting rules for managers, but you wo want to know all of this up front. Tenant Deposits: How do they handle deposits? Are they comingled, or simply put together with all other income for your account?

10 – Vacancies: I’ve actually interviewed companies that will charge you 1/2 a month’s rent to fill vacancies in your property. I quickly ended my interview with these people. There is no reason to pay this fee, since many managers don’t need to charge it. You will need to fill your vacancies, so you will need some advertising done . . .

11 – Advertising: Where do they advertise properties? Are for rent signs put on the property’s lawn? Do they advertise in the paper? Online? There are quite a few effective places to advertise properties for free, online. Do they use these? In addition, you want your property advertised effectively. Do they have the basic HTML skills to add images to their for rent ads online? This makes a huge difference, trust me.

12 – Section 8: Do they have experience dealing with section 8 properties / tenants? Do they know what is entailed with such properties?

I also like to know how many properties they manage, how many managers work at the company, what specific areas they focus on, how long they have been in the business, and other questions about their experience. This should be a good start to get you going.

Beth Collingz, International Marketing Director of PLC Global Pinoy, an internet based sales and marketing company and lead marketing partners for the Lancaster Brand of Condotels in the Philippines, said guests can now choose to stay in the condotel’s well appointed executive studio suites and two-bedroom loft rooms complete with air-conditioning, queen-sized bed, television, toilet and bath, a living room set, and a kitchen and dining area, which comes complete with a set of cookware and dinnerware. The bathrooms are equipped with a bathtub, retractable clothesline, hairdryer and water heater.

Located in Lapu Lapu City, 3 minutes from Cebu-Mactan International Airport, LCRR is about 2 minutes away from Marina Mall, about 15 minutes away from the historic Lapu Lapu Shrine and Mactan Shangri-La Resort Hotel. Other resorts, Cebu White Sands, Tambuli Beach, Maribago Blue Waters and Plantation Bay Resort are all within 20-25 minutes drive.

For the soft launch, LHLPI has prepared special promotional room rates aimed at budget travelers. Guests can check-in to any of the executive studio suites for as low as $35 a night or to any of the two-bedroom loft rooms at $65 a night plus Government Tax whilst longer term discounted rates for monthly and yearly lease rentals are also available said Collingz.

For Lancaster Cebu inquiries and reservations, please call our 24/7 International Reservations Center on +63 32 340 0721

Now that you have decided to sell your home, how will you turn your home into the most valuable asset it can be?

Selling Real Estate – The Ten Keys to Maximizing Profit is essential reading before you list your home. No matter if you are selling your home yourself, using a discount commissioned broker, or a fully-commissioned one, brush up on these common sense, low cost tips and you will increase the overall monetary return when you sell your house.

How do we know? After twenty years of being a buyer’s agent and broker, we know that most houses would either sell more quickly or for more money if the homeowners had followed some common sense, time-tested real estate tips. First of all, it makes the buyer’s agent job much easier if a house is showcase ready. While a particular buyer may not like your home for many different reasons, a buyer’s agent is much more likely to bring other buyers back to a home that shows well. In the small community of real estate agents, word does get out pretty quickly when a home on the market is showcase ready.

First Impressions – What I’m about to tell you may seem minor and easily overlooked, but this advice goes hand-in-hand with the very well known concept of Curb Appeal. Whereas curb appeal is the very first gut feeling a potential buyer has about your house, the buyer’s first impression lasts as they walk up to the front door to the point when the door first opens. With this in mind, the front door should be especially sharp, since it is the entryway into the house. Polish the door fixture so it gleams. If the door needs refinishing or repainting, make sure to get that done.

If you have a cute, little plaque or shingle with your family name on it, remove it. Even if it is just on the mailbox. You can always put it up again once you move. It is important to make your house anonymous as if the house already belongs to the next owner. Buy a new, plush door mat, too. This is something else you can take with you once you move.

Make sure the lock works easily and the key fits properly. When a homebuyer comes to visit your home, the agent uses the key from the lock box to unlock the door. If there is trouble working the lock while everyone else stands around waiting, this sends a negative first impression to prospective home buyers. If the lock is sticky, sometimes a shot of graphite in the keyhole is all that is needed.

Then, there is the entry way. Are there shoes or other clutter in the foyer, does the first impression of the inside of your home impress a buyer of things to come set them up for a polite, but quick tour of your home?

In any housing market, but especially in a buyer’s market, your house is in competition with all the other houses on sale in your neighborhood. How your home competes is key to turning a prospective buyer in to a buyer with an offer.

A first impression will not last, if the rest of your home is not presentable. Many home sellers wonder what trade-offs to make, how much budget to allocate to get their home ready to list and sell. The starting place is to think like a buyer, put yourself in your buyers shoes, walk across the street from your house and walk up to the front door, make notes of all the things that you’d want to see fixed if you were going to buy your own house. Then, step-by-step, work through the other ten keys to selling real estate and maximizing your profits.

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