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Real Estate Title Search and What You Need to Know

Real Estate Title Search and What You Need to Know

By Ryan McNeill, Attorney The housing and real estate market has seen significant increases in sales since the start of the new year. Buyers are looking to take advantage of low-interest rates and sellers are enjoying historic high sales prices. This high volume of activity means Realtors, mortgage lenders, and real estate attorneys are all working hard to keep the buying/selling process moving. One of the necessary tasks that must be completed prior to closing is a title search. This search protects the buyer and lender. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions when it comes to real estate title searches. Q: What is the importance of a real estate title search? A: Real estate transactions involve large dollar amounts. As a buyer, you want to do everything possible to protect yourself and your investment. in these types of transactions. Here are five reasons you should have a title examination: Need to identify whether there are existing deeds of trust, judgment liens, tax liens, past due county taxes, or other liens of record that interfere with a purchaser getting a clear title for the property.Need to identify whether the seller is competent to transfer title or contract for the sale of the property.Need to identify whether there is a homeowners’ association and whether there are dues or potential obligations or restrictions that may arise with the ownership of the property.May assist in determining whether there is a need to get a new survey, for the property to be accurately identified in the purchaser’s deed.Determines who the parties are that need to join in the execution of a deed...
Four Things to Keep in Mind With eClosings

Four Things to Keep in Mind With eClosings

By Ryan McNeill, Attorney As eClosings become more and more routine, there are a few things you should keep in mind: Does my loan officer offer eClosings? As a first-time buyer or experienced buyer, you should ask if your lender offers eClosings as an option. There are three common types of eClosings: Hybrid eClosing – a combination of signing documents with the use of “wet” (pen) and digital signatures in the physical presence of a notary.Remote Online Notarization (RON) – signing documents electronically with the use of audio and video technology without the physical presence of a notary.In-Person Electronic Notarization (IPEN) – signing documents electronically in the physical presence of a notary. While the pandemic and social distancing have only heightened the need for eClosings, there are institutions that still require the traditional physical presence of a notary. Research what works best for you. 2. eNotary Solution Providers An electronic closing on a real estate transaction in North Carolina requires your signature be notarized. All signatures notarized must be done so through a North Carolina approved Electronic Notary Solution Provider. Before you start the closing process it is important to know which electronic notary platforms are approved in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s website, “All electronic notarization solutions including electronic signatures and seals may only be obtained from the Electronic Notary Solution Providers authorized by the N.C. Department of Secretary of State.” For a full list of eNotary solution providers authorized in North Carolina click here. 3. Showing Proof of Identity Positive identification is still required for all electronic certified acts. According to the...
Three Things You Should Know Before Buying A House

Three Things You Should Know Before Buying A House

Ryan V. McNeill Buying a home is exciting, but the process is not always easy. There are expected and unexpected issues that may arise before, during and after the home buying process starts. Is now the right time to buy a home? What is a good amount for a down payment?  Should I buy now or wait? These are questions to consider before you move forward. No matter where you are living in North Carolina understanding these  three things will help you during the home buying process: Know Your Credit Score First things first! Your credit score plays an essential role in determining how you approach buying a home.  It reveals a lot about your income, debt, and potential to repay the mortgage. In a perfect world everyone would have high credit scores and qualify for everything, but that is not the way the world works. USNews.com shows some approximate credit scores mortgage companies look for to decide if a buyer will be approved for a specific loan. In some cases, like with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, borrowers with low credit scores have higher down payments. While your credit score is an important part of the home buying process that are other factors that control when and where you purchase a home. 2. Know Your Budget Now that you have your credit in check its time talk about a budget. All home buyers need a budget. After you factor in down payments, inspections, homeowner’s insurance, closing costs and other expenses, everything starts to add up. Things to take into consideration for your budget Gross pay (what you take...
What You Need to Know When Buying Your First Home

What You Need to Know When Buying Your First Home

By E. Drew Nelson, Attorney Buying your first home can be an exciting (and sometimes scary) process. As you look at homes or floor plans, you are probably imagining what the house will look like once it becomes yours. Where will you put your furniture? What do you need to buy? What colors will you paint the rooms? Once you are ready to make an offer and become a homeowner, there are some things you should know before you sign on the dotted line. Here is a list of some of the more common things buyers need to know. This list is by no means all encompassing, so if you have questions about the process or the laws governing real estate transactions in North Carolina, you may wish to consult with an attorney: For most people, purchasing a first home will be the largest dollar transaction they have ever made. Your best bet is to get pre-approved by a reputable mortgage company before you begin house-hunting. It’s important to understand all the terms of the mortgage loan document before you sign. You are borrowing money from the bank and the property is being used to secure the loan. Should you default, you may lose your home and your credit will be damaged. When you make an offer on a home, you generally will provide earnest money to show your intent to purchase the home. These monies are typically held in escrow by the realtor and applied toward the purchase price at closing. Should you back out of the agreement, you will lose the earnest money. Many homes are part...
Buying & Selling Homes

Buying & Selling Homes

Expect a Busy Spring on the Real Estate Front Research shows May and June are the busiest months for home sales. If you plan to buy or sell in 2019, here’s what the market experts are predicting: Interest rates will edge up a little higher. For many buyers, this will not be a deciding factor, but for those on the edge, it may force them to lower their expectations or wait to buy.Buyers will have more inventory to choose from than they did in 2018, but homes may take longer to sell, and sellers may not get multiple offers.Millennials are expected to be the largest group of buyers, accounting for 45% of mortgages. Many, but not all, will be first time home buyers. Expect this group to start their home search online. If you are selling a home, the online presence (high quality photos or a video tour) will be very important. They may also prefer homes in walkable neighborhoods.Home prices last year increased faster than incomes. This, combined with the interest rate increase, means affordability will remain an issue, especially for first time home buyers. They may need to look at smaller homes, townhouses, or manufactured housing.The new tax laws related to real estate may impact some buy/sell decisions for those with bigger mortgages and people living in states with high tax rates. Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time for many people. Understand that the process can take a little time. Buyers may not find a home they love on their first outing, while sellers may expect their beloved home to prompt an immediate...
Should You Buy or Lease Space for Your Business?

Should You Buy or Lease Space for Your Business?

Whether you own or manage an existing business or are considering a new start-up, you will likely need to decide whether to buy or lease space for your business. Commercial property transactions can be complex, and there are a myriad of things to consider before you make this decision. The search process can be intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes oversimplified. One recommendation I often provide to clients at this stage is to consider hiring a licensed real estate broker (experienced in commercial sales and leases) to serve as your agent in the search to purchase or lease. Where to Start in the Buy or Lease Decision The size and type of business you operate will be your starting point. Many small businesses are home-based with no need for an office or store front. If you are starting small and all your employees can work virtually, you may be able to delay your buy/lease decision and save some money. Even if you need to rent space monthly or quarterly for face-to-face meetings, this may be less expensive than obtaining permanent space. If your business will have customers coming to you (retail, restaurants, etc.), or if you need specialized equipment (i.e., manufacturing space or an IT server farm), then you will need to decide the best options to meet the needs of your business today and in the near future. 5 Things to Consider Whether you buy or lease space, location is critical. This will differ by type of business; for example, if you are opening a restaurant, you will likely want a busy location, visible from the road, with easy parking...