Closing Day Surprises

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For many buyers, closing day can’t come fast enough. Once the offer is made and accepted, the time between can seem like eternity. For many, closing day goes smoothly. For others, there may be some unexpected surprises that pop up. While closing day problems are not usually anticipated by a buyer, they are not unheard of, and depending on what kind come up, some can be minor while others can impact the entire deal. Here are some of the most common closing day surprises.

unnamed 1 300x224 - Closing Day SurprisesWalk-Through Surprises

For many buyers, a final walk-through is a must before closing as it allows the buyer to ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since the last visit and that any agreed-upon repairs have been done per the contract. If moving furniture created a new hole in the wall, agreed-upon fixtures have been removed, or the property is in total disarray, the issues need to be addressed immediately. The buyer’s agent should work with the seller’s agent to resolve any surprises that have come up. Walk-through issues are generally not deal breakers, but they can be a thorn in a buyer’s side.

Document Surprises

A common surprise at closing is an error in the documents. Errors can include misspelled names, incorrect addresses, and even incorrect loan amounts or missing pages. Some issues can cause an hour or two delay, while others can result in a much longer delay. To avoid any document surprises, a buyer can request to see every document ahead of closing. Loan documents should be scrutinized prior to closing; by law, a buyer should receive a Loan Estimate form and Closing Disclosure form three days before closing. Once these forms are received, it’s up to the buyer to double-check the loan amount, down payment amount, interest rate, and all personal information, including spellings. If questions arise, the sooner they’re answered the better.

Title Surprises
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When buying a home, a title company will make sure the title to a property is legitimate by doing a title search, which is essentially a thorough examination of property records to make sure the title is clear of any liens or claims on the property. Title surprises can include: IRS tax liens, unpaid property taxes, judgments, contractor or mechanics liens, identity affidavit, and encroachments. Some of these surprises can be resolved on closing day; others may take a significant amount of time to resolve and will undoubtedly delay closing. Once escrow opens, the title company completes a preliminary title report and sends it to the lender and agents involved — a buyer can get a copy from his/her lender or from the title company and check if there are any preliminary issues. Many purchase agreements include a specific time period for the buyer to bring up any concerns regarding the title, so if there are issues w ith the title, get the ball rolling on resolutions as soon as possible.

Credit Surprises

For buyers applying for a mortgage loan, maintaining the same level of credit between being approved and the final closing is extremely important for a successful transaction. A person’s credit can be impacted by anything: changing jobs, getting a new credit card, closing a credit card, falling behind on payments, and even adding additional debt through large purchases. Surprises when it comes to a buyer’s credit can be a deal breaker for the lender; to prevent issues, a buyer can contact the lender ahead of closing to discuss any surprises that may have come up and come to a solution. The best way to prevent credit surprises: avoid making large financial decisions prior to closing.

unnamed 3 300x199 - Closing Day SurprisesMortgage Surprises

Credit surprises can impact a mortgage loan, but there are other mortgage surprises that can come up on closing day. In a hot real estate market, lenders can be incredibly busy and inundated with loan applications. Sometimes, a buyer’s loan file can find itself on the bottom of the pile, meaning there may be important items omitted, documents missing, or extra information needed to complete the file on time. For a buyer applying for a mortgage loan, asking the lender what documents will be required ahead of time can save time and prevent headaches on closing day. Buyers can also call or email the lender to make sure they have all the important documents, items, etc. to complete the loan file on time. Before closing, a closing agent will be assigned to the transaction (the closing agent coordinates the final steps of the transaction to make sure all documents and funds are in order and handled correctly) — the bu yer can contact the closing agent to make sure the lender has all the needed documents, and if there is still any doubt, copies of all the documents and anything else that may seem important or pertinent to the transaction can be brought to closing.

Remember, your real estate agent is working on your behalf. Keep your agent informed — your agent wants to help you as much as possible, and he or she can be a great resource when you have questions.

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View the Same Property Staged 3 Different Ways

By Saghar Setareh, CoContest guest contributor

How can you know the best style for staging a property? After all, you’ll need to satisfy home buyers’ various style tastes as well as make sure you’re showing the property in its best light.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, we wanted to see just how much the point of view in staging of properties can vary. We asked for designers to upload their take on one floorplan at the CoContest website. All designers staged the same room, but recreated it differently based on their own style and taste and interpretation of the client’s request in the contest.

The challenge: This modern apartment in Connecticut needed to be renovated, in a way to enjoy the artwork during the gatherings of family and friends.

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Design 1: Classic Vibe

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This room offered up a more classic appeal. The designer Decolite Design used a crystal chandelier for the main lighting, colonial furniture for the main living room, black chesterfield sofas with white armchairs, and a large, white rug. The artwork is also from the classic period. The pallet of colors is black and white, and a piano along the wall also helps to complete the look.

Design 2: Bold Artwork

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This designer Marta Valente above used bright and saturated colors in the artwork to compliment the two dark sofas and white and mustard color chairs. In order to add a more modern and industrial look to the space, a wooden table with metal legs was brought in. To complete this look, the wall has gray bricks and there’s a colorful buffet in stripes along one wall.

Design 3: A Modern Touch

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Another designer BIVIO Architettura. Paula Godoy & Celia Cardona used very modern furniture from the late 20th Century, puffs, and large paintings to work as a separator. Texture is also used in the modern furniture and couches to match the abstract paintings on the wall. Low, coffee table and cushions are also part of this look. But the most distinctive feature of this project: The vertical bars that divide the living room in two separated parts.

 

These are only three design ideas from many, that present the property in three, completely different styles, made possible to imagine how the property would look like, with a convenient price.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Saghar Setareh is the Content Manager of CoContest, the first crowdsourcing platform for interior design and architecture online. She is an enthusiast about home decor and all forms of design.

Master Bathroom Remodels Are Going High-Tech

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Home owners are increasingly investing to create luxurious, modernized master baths, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Survey of more than 2,100 home owners who are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation project.

Of those surveyed, 20 percent say they are updating the toilet; 12 percent are updating a tub; and 9 percent are updating a shower with high-tech features.

High-tech toilet features home owners say they’re incorporating include self-cleaning functions, motion-activated seats, or built-in nightlights. Popular high-tech bathtub features are built-in lighting, heated backrests, and scented mist dispensers. The survey also showed the most popular high-tech shower updates are mood lighting, digital controls, and built-in sound.

Other popular luxury features that home owners say they’re spending on are rainfall showerheads (among 54 percent of those updating showers); bathtubs with room for two (20 percent of those upgrading tubs); adding chandeliers (17 percent of upgraded light fixtures); and bidet-equipped commodes (6percent of upgraded toilets).

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Home owners surveyed who recently completed a project say they most wish they had installed radiant heating, towel warmers, and super-sized showers during their bathroom renovations.

Of the remodeling home owners surveyed, two in five say they spent between $10,000 to $25,000 on master bathroom renovations. Another one-third surveyed said they spent more than $25,000.

5 Kitchen Design Trends to Take From Model Homes

The model homes of builders are known for showcasing the latest interior design trends in trying to appeal to home shoppers. So what’s trending when it comes to the kitchen?

PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team is merchandising about 425 model homes in 2016. The kitchen is a big area that gets a lot of the design team’s focus too.

“Today’s home buyers are willing to spend more in the kitchen – from energy-efficient appliances to quartz countertops,” says Janice Jones, PulteGroup’s national vice president of interior design. “We continuously conduct consumer focus groups to best understand what they want in their kitchens and are constantly refining our kitchen designs and its elements to ensure it delivers on functionality, creative design and easy maintenance across all our buyer groups.”

Jones cites five kitchen trends in 2016 that they are reflecting in many PulteGroup model homes lately. These trends also can serve as inspiration for home owners planning renovation projects or wanting ideas for easy updates, Jones notes.

1. Contrasting materials

Materials are getting mixed in the kitchen. Contrasting colors and styles are combined to create a more unique space. For example, mixed marbles and metals in a space can help highlight gray wood tones.

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2. Decorative lighting

Bold and oversized lighting choices are popular choices. “Decorative lighting is key in the kitchen and adds dramatic flair as well as functionality to the kitchen, especially over the kitchen island,” according to PulteGroup’s Interior Designs Team.

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3. Transparency

Switch out some cabinet doors with glass doors. It can help you extend visual boundaries while also allowing home owners to display some of their favorite things and add more personalization to a space.

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4. Storage

Home owners are always looking for more storage, especially in the kitchen. Double-stacked cabinets that extend to the ceiling can help maximize storage space.

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5. More drawers, less doors

Having plenty of kitchen drawers can add more functionality in storage. Home owners are showing preferences toward more drawers over extra cabinets. Bold hardware can then added to the drawers to add more design appeal, PulteGroup says.

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A Trendy Solution for Home Interiors: The Barn Door

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By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Sliding barn doors can add a modern twist to an interior space. Malte Strauss, broker and owner of Trust International Real Estate LLC in Deltona, Fla., says the barn door trend has caught on in central Florida.

“They are great for locations where a swinging door would infringe on the space and where there is not a conventional doorway,” Strauss says. “We use them all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub commode area.”

They can also be a great solution in modernizing the vanity area of homes from the 1970s and 1980s, which tended to have the vanity in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom. “Now we just close those off with a barn door and buyers love that solution,” Strauss says.

 

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Source:  Realtor.org

Home Design Trends to Watch: The Herringbone Pattern

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By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Herringbone is emerging as the pattern of choice in 2016. Herringbone is the arrangement of rectangles that is so named for its resemblance to the bones of fish.

This pattern is popping up on everything from hardwood floors, kitchen backsplashes and shower walls. It may be subtle or bold.

Mandie Maguire with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services says she’s noticed the herringbone pattern subtly appear on more kitchen marble backsplashes above a kitchen range. Also, in flooring, the herringbone pattern is being used with tile floors to give it a more rustic — even hardwood floor resemblance.

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