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The holiday season is possibly one of the most beautiful seasons of the year. Besides the fact that the year is winding down, there’s a simplistic joy that hovers in the air. If you’re wondering how to bring the magic of the holidays into your new home, here are a few easy tips to follow:
A Few Basics
The most iconic holiday decoration is the evergreen tree. From fir to spruce to pine, real to synthetic, green to multi-colored, there is no mistaking that it's time for the holidays when you see one. However, you’ll want to ensure that you choose a tree that is the right size for your space. Be sure to take into account the placement of the tree and any additions that you may have added to your walls and ceilings such as ceiling fans or crown molding to ensure your tree doesn’t get caught or misshapen by the extra features.
If you’re keeping decorations to a minimum, for that simplistic highlight, be sure to plan where you want the decorations to go. If you’re hanging lights, make sure that you have the right type of lights and a long enough cord to ensure ease of use. A cord that is pulled too taught could result in the lights being pulled from the hooks or pins holding them up.
Adding a few knickknacks? Try using bookshelf ledges, fireplace mantels or window sills to incorporate your figurines, small trees, candle holders or other holiday trinkets to add a little extra flair to your space. Be sure these areas are away from small hands or wagging tails if you have others living in the home with you. Likewise, if it’s a solitary affair or your housemates happen to be older, try to avoid placing these items anywhere that they may be kicked or stumbled over.
Entertaining this holiday season? Adding small pieces such as table runners or a nice centerpiece made from holly or other seasonal plants may be just the thing you need. If you fancy a more traditional spread, try using a tablecloth with small pieces of garland around the backs of the chairs to delight your guests.
Having a cozy get-together? A quick run to the craft store could give you just the right amount of oomph. Get a few white coasters, garnish them with small blue and silver tinsel and place them around your coffee table. You could use a small tree or gift wrap a small, empty box and use it as your centerpiece with the coasters around it. Add a few trays for warm drinks and a little added protection for your furniture.
No matter what your style is this holiday season, you’ll be able to enjoy it in the comfort of your home with these simple tricks.
When you purchase a home, your lender charges you for a title insurance policy. You are also given the option to buy your own title insurance policy. Depending on your agreement with the seller, the seller might purchase the buyer’s title insurance policy. Before a seller can sell his or her property, it must have clear title. However, the title searchers could miss something. Title insurance protects the buyer and the mortgage company against financial problems that might come with a “dirty” title.
What Is a Title Search?
A title search looks at public records to determine the legal ownership of a property. The title search should uncover any liens against the property in addition to easements and other problems with the title. Building code violations, unpaid taxes and erroneous surveys are just some of the items that cause a title to be “dirty.” If a title has issues, the seller must rectify those issues before they are allowed to close on the deal.
What Is Title Insurance?
The title insurance protects the holder of the policy from any defects in the title. When you think of insurance, you generally think of being insured against things that will happen in the future. Title insurance protects you against things that happened to the title in the past. The insurance policy usually covers fraud concerning title documents, forgery on title documents, ownership by someone else, incorrect signatures, flawed record-keeping, flawed records, terms that reduce enjoyment (such as unrecorded easements) and encumbrances (such as liens and outstanding lawsuits).
The Cost and Types of Title Insurance
The cost depends on the title insurance company, but is usually around 1 percent of the purchase price of the property. The types of title insurance are owner’s insurance and lender’s insurance. As previously mentioned, the buyer buys the policy for the lender. The buyer or seller purchases the owner’s (buyer’s) policy.
The lender’s policy does not protect the buyer from loss – it protects only the lender. If you want to be covered against losses, you should always purchase your own policy if the seller doesn’t do it for you. Never rely on a title search, as it is easy enough to miss something that clouds the title.
For example, if the title search does not show that the seller has unpaid taxes and the closing goes through, the buyer is now responsible for those unpaid taxes. A title insurance policy protects the buyer against situations such as this.
If you are purchasing a home that was in foreclosure, the title is more likely to have issues because the sellers might not have more liens against the property in addition to the foreclosure. For example, if a seller does not pay a $20,000 hospital bill, the hospital could place a lien on the property. If the title search does not find that lien because someone erred in recording it, the buyer is responsible for that hospital bill once they close on the property. It is recommended that you always buy your own title insurance policy, whether you or the seller pays for it.
Purchasing a house may prove to be a long, complex process, particularly for a first-time buyer. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.
1. Narrow Your Search for Your Dream Home
It often helps to enter the real estate market with a checklist of home must-haves and wants. With this checklist, you will be better equipped than ever before to perform a deep evaluation of any house, at any time.
Think about what you want to find in your dream home and include these criteria in your checklist. For instance, if you want to own a house near your office, you can search for houses that are just a few miles from your workplace. Or, if you want to purchase a house with a big backyard, you should look at houses that offer the space that you need.
2. Submit a Competitive Offer
If you find a house that you want to buy, there is no need to wait to submit an offer. However, it is important to differentiate between a "lowball" offer and a competitive one beforehand.
A lowball offer generally fails to account for the state of a house, as well as the current real estate market's conditions. It is likely to fall short of a home seller's expectations, and as a result, lead to an immediate "No."
Conversely, a competitive offer is based on housing market data, along with the condition and age of a house. And if you submit a competitive offer on a residence, you may receive an instant "Yes" from a home seller.
3. Conduct an In-Depth Home Inspection
After you and a home seller agree to terms, you will want to conduct a comprehensive home inspection. This will enable you to fully examine a house's interior and exterior and identify any potential home problems before you finalize your purchase.
When it comes to buying a home, there is no need to forego a home inspection. In fact, if you bypass a home inspection, you risk encountering costly, time-intensive home problems in the near future.
To hire an expert home inspector, perform a search of the available inspectors in your city or town. Then, meet with several home inspectors, ask for client referrals and allocate the necessary time and resources to perform an in-depth assessment. Because if you hire the right home inspector, you can get the support that you need to make an informed home purchase.
Lastly, if you need help finding a home inspector or completing other homebuying tasks, it usually is a good idea to employ a real estate agent. This housing market professional will learn about your homebuying goals and tailor your home search accordingly. As a result, working with a real estate agent will increase the likelihood that you can enjoy a quick, easy homebuying journey.