Posts tagged ‘Chesapeake real estate’

Tip for Non-Licensed Real Estate Investors

Note – I buy real estate in Virginia, and the references here refer to Virginia code.  The laws may be similar in other states, but refer to your state’s licensing department for your local requirements.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard investors say they have not become licensed agents because of the “conflict of interest.”  As an investor who is a licensed agent, I have never one time felt as if my license jeopardized a FSBO purchase, or that I was crossing any ethical lines.  Sellers who don’t want to “deal with Agents”, are avoiding the process, not the person.  Those of us who are licensed have to disclose that fact to our sellers.  I explain that as a licensed agent in the state of VA, I am held to a higher standard than a non-licensed purchaser.  This means that if I do anything illegal or unscrupulous, there is a regulatory board the seller can go to for restitution in addition to the regular court of law.  I think it is this “higher standard” that scares most investors from getting licensed.  The reality is that, licensed or not, most of the Disclosures and laws agents follow, are required to be followed to anyone selling a home, regardless of whether or not they are licensed.  Below are some of the common mistakes I’ve seen non-licensed investors make.  Be careful that you become educated about your legal requirements as a real estate seller, regardless of whether or not you ever become a licensed agent.

Using the REIN Contract – All the REIN forms are copyrighted and only REIN members are authorized to use these forms.  Personally, I only use the REIN contract when I’m purchasing through MLS and the listing agent requires it.  My own contract is easier for a buyer and seller to understand and is customized to provide me maximum protection.  If you don’t have your own contract, any local real estate attorney can provide you with one. Our own TRIG President, Steve Gunther, has a great forms CD available that contains every form you’ll ever need to be a real estate investor.

 

Not Providing the Required Disclosures – The Applicability paragraph of Chapter 27 of the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act says the Code applies “whether or not the transaction is with the assistance of a licensed real estate broker or salesperson.” While there are some exemptions, most all of the real estate transactions investors are involved in, are subject to this Code of Law.  There are some commonly overlooked Disclosures you need to be aware of if you are entering into contracts for the sale, exchange or lease with option to buy of residential property.

1)    Residential Property Disclosure Statement – This form can be obtained from the Real Estate Board and contains seven different paragraphs of required disclosures.  These Disclosures protect the seller, as they point out many different guidelines that may affect the buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property.  The Statement points out that it is the responsibility of the Buyer to investigate all the items disclosed before purchasing, as the seller offers no warranty regarding them.  If you have never read this form, you’d be surprised at some of the items you are required to warn your buyers about.  Each paragraph begins with “The owner makes no representations with respect to…” and then points out things such as warranties as to the condition of the real property, the restrictions of historical districts, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, and dam break inundation zones.  Start using the Residential Property Disclosure Statement today to offer you one more layer of protection in each transaction.

2)    Required Disclosures Pertaining to a Military Air Installation – Most people know that sellers are required to provide the noise and crash zone information about a property.  Did you know though, that if you accidently classify the noise zone of the property you are selling in a lower zone, and the property is in a noise zone higher than 65, the buyer has one year to seek recourse?  And case history shows the courts are likely to rule in favor of the buyer!

3)    Septic System Waivers – It used to be that if a property had a waiver for the current septic system, the waiver would transfer to a new owner.  This is no longer the case.  If you sell a property that has a septic waiver, the property becomes uninhabitable at closing, unless the reason for the waiver was addressed by the seller before closing.  Sometimes the property has a waiver because an addition surpasses the capacity of the current septic system.  Sometimes the waiver requires a new owner to get connected to the city sewer.  Surprisingly, we even have addresses in populated cities such as Virginia Beach that fall in this scenario.  If your property is not connected to the city sewer system, investigate whether or not a waiver is in place.

As you can see, licensed agent or not, all residential real estate sellers are bound to the Real Estate Code of Virginia, and it actually protects you as a seller to follow the guidelines.  You can review Chapter 27 of the Virginia Code, the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act at this web link.

http://leg1.state.va.us/000/cod/TOC55000000027000000000000.HTM

Happy investing!

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Our Latest Ugly House Rehab Goes Under Contract @ Full Price in 9 Hours!

 

Who says the real estate market in Hampton Roads, VA is stagnant?  This Virginia Beach house was our latest HomeVestors Ugly House rehab project.  Fully remodeled, this house went under contract at full price in only 9 houres on March 24, 2010!

See our before and afters on 801 Ole Towne Court in Virginia Beach, VA…

As you can see, this house wasn’t really Ugly on the outside.  The previous homeowner had updated the siding, windows, and roof in 2001.

 
On the outside of the house, we painted the trim and front door and did some landscaping to make buyers want to see what was inside.

 

Inside, we moved some walls around in the main living area to accomodate a bigger kitchen.  Here’s the origional small, dated, dingy kitchen.

We moved the kitchen from the garage wall to the place that was the eat-in area in the origional floor plan.  Because this house is on a crawl, this involved jack hammering up the floor to move the plumbing.  We layed tile floor on a diagonal, installed new cabinets and a granite counter top, hung pendant lights over the sink,  replaced the sliding glass door with french doors leading to the patio, opened up the wall so the cook can see into the living area, and topped it all off with shiny stainless appliances.  The results were stunning!

The origional living wasn’t terrible.

We installed new engineered wood flooring throughout the living areas and bedrooms.   We replastered all the walls and ceilings, which made this old house look new again.  The entire house got  coat of paint in the shade “Beach Comber” along with some high gloss white trim. Staging the area with homey touches like a magazine and coffee cup really help buyers see themselves in the space.

This is the old eat-in area of the kitchen.  Notice that the pass through you see here to the bedroom hallway is gone in the new kitchen remodel above.  We also moved that left hand wall in a few feet to make the wall that runs through the center of the house one long line.  This clean line helped this little house feel bigger.  

Here’s the new eat-in area that is in the place where the old kitchen sat.  We added an opening in the wall that looks into the foyer area.

The worst part about the old bathroom was the narrow doorway entrance.  It certainly didn’t meet current code and would have been a turn off to larger potential buyers.

In the main bath we widened the door, installed double sinks, retiled and painted.  The previous owner did a nice tile job in the tub area that we were able to salvage. 

This master bedroom only had a half bath.  The room ended to the right of the sink you see.  Up against that wall was the bedroom closet.  To the right of closet was the old furnace that was accessed from a door in the hallway.

Making room for a full bath in the master was a must.  Because we installed new HVAC, we removed the furnace from the hall closet freeing up that space.  Then we took out the master closet, freeing up enough space to add a tiled shower.  This glass door was a last minute decision, but I think it really dresses up the room.

The origional master bedroom had just one small closet for two people to share.  This room needed a ceiling repair from an old roof leak that was never repaired.

Voila!  We bumped out the back of the house to create two huge walk-in closets in the master bedroom.  We were able to tie into the existing roofline, so from the outside, it looks like this closet was always there.

The two other bedrooms just needed minor sprucing up.

The bedrooms popped after the wood floor addition, crisp paint, and new mirrored closet doors to make the room feel bigger.

To see what houses we have for sale for your latest rehab project, visit our website at www.ptr.homevestors.com or call me at 757-472-2547. 
If you don’t have a HomeVestors franchisee in your market, find an investor friendly Realtor to help you through the REO process.  Becoming a real estate investor is as simple as taking the plung and buying your first house. 
Happy Real Esate Investing!
Patti Robertson
HomeVestors Franchisee & Licensed Agent
757-472-2547 (cell)
757-HOM-VEST (office)
       
       

To Be Licensed or Not To Be Licensed, That is the Question…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard investors say they have not become licensed agents because of the “conflict of interest.”  As an investor who is a licensed agent, I have never one time felt as if my license jeopardized a FSBO purchase, or that I was crossing any ethical lines.  Sellers who don’t want to “deal with Agents”, are avoiding the process, not the person.  Those of us who are licensed have to disclose that fact to our Buyers and Sellers.  I explain that as a licensed agent in the state of VA, I am held to a higher standard than a non-licensed investor.  This means that if I do anything illegal or unscrupulous, there is a regulatory board the seller can go to for restitution in addition to the regular court of law.  I think it is this “higher standard” that scares most investors from getting licensed.  The reality is that, licensed or not, most of the disclosures and laws agents must follow are required to be followed to anyone selling a home, regardless of whether or not they are licensed.  Below are some of the common mistakes I’ve seen non-licensed investors make. 

Using the Copy Written Forms– The forms created by the agent associations are copyrighted and only paid members are authorized to use them.  Personally, I only use the standard copy written contract when I’m purchasing through MLS and the listing broker requires it.  My own contract is easier for a seller to understand and is customized to provide me maximum protection.  If you don’t have your own contract, any local real estate attorney can provide you with one.

Not Providing the Required Disclosures – Each state has a list of items Sellers are required to disclose to a potential Buyer.  A few disclosures are federally mandated, such as the Lead Paint Disclosure for any property built prior to 1978 and ASCUZ Military Crash and Noise Zone Disclosure for any properties located within a city that contains a military air base.  These disclosures are required of any Seller, whether or not they are represented by a licensed agent, and they actually protect the Seller. 

The risk of not providing the required disclosures can be great.  For instance, failure to provide a potential Buyer with the Lead Paint Disclosure for a property built prior to 1978 prior to ratifying the contract can allow your buyer to cancel the transaction.  If you live in an area that contains a Military Air Installation, most people know that sellers are required to provide the noise and crash zone information about a property.  Most don’t know though, that if you accidently classify the noise zone of the property you are selling in a lower zone, and the property is in a noise zone higher than 65, the buyer has one year to seek recourse.  And case history shows the courts are likely to rule in favor of the buyer!

As you can see, licensed agent or not, all residential real estate sellers are bound to the Real Estate Code in your state and the federal government, and it actually protects you as a seller to follow the guidelines.  Be careful that you become educated about the legal requirements in your state as a real estate seller, regardless of whether or not you ever become a licensed agent.

Happy investing!

 Patti Robertson

HomeVestors Franchisee and Agent with CoastalVA Realty, Inc.

Virginia Beach, VA

757-472-2547

patti.robertson@homevestors.com