Wednesday, June 29, 2005
DID YOU KNOW THAT….
The prestigious URBAN LAND INSTITUTE (ULI) membership collaborates with other stakeholders -- on
smart growth issues
educating high school students on land use and development issues
and other topics --?
The goal: To implement consensus-based solutions for better communities.
Community Outreach enables local ULI leaders to identify challenges to better development, feature best practices from across the country, and hammer out new solutions to improve land use patterns. Details: http://www.uli.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=My_Community&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=88&ContentID=8904
Friday, June 24, 2005
Mountain Homes and Land Legacies
~~Energy Efficiency Tips and Links~~
10 Questions to Ask a Home Inspectors Before You Hire Them...
INVESTORS NOTE: SALES STATISTICS IN THE GREATER ASHEVILLE AREA...
The importance of the partnership model in real estate transactions
5 TIPS for SUCCESS in Getting the Mortgage You Want...
just for FUN....A Quick BLUE RIDGE Quiz
Visitor Tip~ ADVENTURE in the Appalachians
WHY a 1031 Exchange Can Benefit YOU
1031 Like Kind Exchanges
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
Asheville 1031/Eco-Steward Realty...
"Creative Retirement" ~ Elderlings, Take Note!
~ weather bit...Get the "REAL" Scoop on Asheville's Weather
eHOMES.& $$$ REWARDS FOR YOU
Asheville Wins Quality of Life Awards
~1031 Exchange mini facts
Asheville = Herb Heaven
WHAT /WHO is an INTERNET Real Estate Professional?
Top Notch Medical Care & The Greater Asheville Area
~commercial Real Estate~ Asheville
~ eco BIT geo BIT ~
IMPORTANT NEWS: NC Healthy-Built Homes
1031 Brokers and Resources
NAR Teams with Habitat to Help Displaced Tsunami Victims
RETIREMENT/Second Home and HEALTHY, Too!
eco INFO bit~
The Mountains Near Asheville
Do You Qualify?
eco INFO bit~
~info bit ON HORSES and HORSE FARMS NEAR ASHEVILLE
~for Real Estate Investors~ Appreciation, Cluster Housing and Land Use in Asheville
Investment Real Estate
THE U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL
ASHEVILLE VIEWS CAMERA
INVESTMENTS IN and FOR THE FUTURE
OUTDOORS in Western North Carolina
Eco-Sensitive Real Estate
Real Estate Investing, Second/Vacation Homes & The STING OF THE BEE
"Clocks" and the 1031 Like Kind Exchange
TABLE OF CONTENTS/ Investments Quality of Life and Real Estate
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Replace regular (incandescent) light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
They use 3 to 4 times less energy, and last 8 to 10 times longer.
Install motion sensors or photocells on outdoor lights.
Heating & cooling
Make sure your home is well insulated.
Ceiling insulation is most important for year round comfort and savings.
Also consider adding floor or wall insulation.
Make sure that heating and cooling ducts are sealed and insulated.
Buy high efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment.
Install a programmable thermostat.
Select high performance windows designed to keep in heat during winter
and keep out heat in summer.
Plant shade trees to keep your home cool in the summer.
Stop leaks around doors and windows with weatherstripping and caulking.
Buy energy-efficient appliances.
Look for the Energy Star label.
Reduce hot water use by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets.
Lower your water heater's thermostat to 120ºF.
For more about energy efficiency
An informative site by the US EPA about how clean our local energy sources are in relation to the nation as a whole. For instance, it will tell you that 9% of our energy comes from renewable energy sources and 12% comes from coal (compared to 2% and 52% nationwide).
Information on energy efficiency and the quantities of nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide your energy usage produces.
Information on products that carry the Energy Star label.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Booklets on efficient appliances, lighting and more.
Alliance to Save Energy.
Tips on saving money and energy.
Home Energy Saver. Do it yourself energy audit.
US Department of Energy offers a range of information on Energy Efficiency including:
Building Technologies for Energy Efficiency
Building Energy Efficiency Basics
Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home
for Energy Efficient Residential Properties and GREEN BUILDERS in the Greater Asheville area
please contact natureWalker@janeAnne.com and visit the ECO-STEWARD REALTY web site
or janeAnne at www.janeAnne.com
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Home Inspections are an important factor in investing in real estate. Having a qualified home inspector and one with whom you can relate is a key element in the process, so be sure to interview inspectors before you select one.
Here are 10 handy interview questions:
1.How long have you been inspecting homes in the Greater Asheville area?
2. How many inspections do you do in a year,anyway?.
(A good, active inspector will inspect at least two hundred homes a year.)
3. That must be a full-time job for you, right?
( Make sure that the inspectors work full-time doing home inspections.)
4. Do you do fixer-upper work, too?
(Make sure the Inspector is NOT also in the business of contracting to fix defects uncovered during an inspection.)
5. Are you licensed?.
(Listen to hear if the Inspector mentions the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) --it is a trade group association for home inspectors. Membership is restricted to applicants with experience, and while it doesn't guarantee that you will get a good inspection, you can know that this Inspector may have a level of professionalism that might not exist with a non-member inspector.)
6. What's the scope of the inspection?
( A home inspector should complete a thorough examination of all the major home components and systems: We advise our clients to opt for "The Works" when it comes to the inspection...
including items mentioned in #7.
To see what Greater Asheville Home Inspectors inspect go here:
WHAT THEY INSPECT:
7. Do you check roofs, the drainage system, radon, pest inspection, water bacteria, septic systems?
8. What's the cost?
( Find out what the inspector charges, but don't base your final decision solely on the fee. This is one area where you don't want to skimp. )
9. Do you have errors and omissions insurance which covers home inspections?
10. I plan to be at the home inspection, so how long should I plan for, and can you be flexible with my schedule?
(Let your home inspector know that you will be attending the general home inspection. This is a must. Schedule the inspection at a time when you/your trusted Real Estate professional can be available, and plan on devoting several hours to this endeavor.
SALES STATISTICS IN THE GREATER ASHEVILLE AREA
In 2004 the average selling price of homes, condos and townhomes increased by some 15 percent in the area served by the Western North Carolina Regional MLS, according to Regional MLS figures. The average sale price in 2004 rose to $166,398 from the 2003 average of $143,012.
The Regional MLS, which includes the counties of Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Transylvania....... recorded sales of 6918 residential units in 2004 at a total price tag of $82,200,505. MLS figures show homes sold in 2004 spent an average of about three weeks less on the market compared to the previous year.
Sales of existing homes in North Carolina were 22 percent higher in December than sales recorded in December 2003, capping off a record-breaking year that saw 12 months of double-digit growth.
According to statistics compiled by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, 112,188 residential units were sold in 2004 on an adjusted basis, surpassing the previous year’s figures by 21 percent. When combined with a 5 percent increase in the average sales price, total sales dollars for the year were up 27 percent to nearly $22 billion.
“The strong housing market continues to play a key role in the strength of our economy,” said NCAR executive vice president Tim Kent. “With mortgage interest rates expected to remain steady and an improving economy, we see a growing number of households getting into the real estate market this year.”With more than 32,000 members, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® is the voice of the real estate profession and one of the largest, most influential associations in North Carolina.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
TRANSACTION PROCESS/ COORDINATION~ THE CHECKLIST~
copyrighted material. do not copy or share without express permission
~from ASHEVILLE 1031
Eco-Steward Realty, inc.
Mountain Homes & Land Legacies in the Spirit of the Appalachians and
IT TAKES TEAMWORK TO CREATE A SMOOTH CLOSING EVENT
~ THE CHECKLIST~
on the part of THE BROKERAGE FIRM
1. Acts in a timely and effective manner as your liaison throughout the process.
2. Represents your best interests as we write and review any Offer to Purchase and Contract (OPC).
3. Immediately presents OPC to the seller with earnest money /or alternative 2 check, if appropriate. (When your offer is accepted, earnest monies are placed in the listing agency's escrow/trust account.)
4. Follows through on each step of the process in order to achieve a successful closing.
5. Assist in making the transaction(s) as smooth as possible.
on the part of THE BROKERAGE FIRM & YOU
Your lender orders appraisal (buyer or agent might order it for a cash purchase
Inspections are ordered after an acceptable appraisal is received (If time is a factor, and you are confident the home will appraise, inspections are ordered and completed as soon as possible.)
Any repair issues are negotiated with the seller and a Repair Agreement is signed.
Termite inspection is ordered and termite control in place/remedied and then this must be checked within 30days of closing if evidence of active termite infestation is present.
If desired, surveys are ordered after a successful appraisal and inspections--buyers don't want to invest too much into the property until assured that the closing can happen.
Buyer applies for hazard insurance and the information goes to the lender and closing attorney.
Nearing closing date, buyer arranges for utilities to be switched over to their name.
Closing takes place at the office of the buyer's attorney. The seller's attorney has forwarded signed deeds to the closing attorney.
Buyer gives attorney certified funds to pay for closing and signs loan papers and other required documents. DONE _____
Attorney records new deed at the courthouse and disperses funds due to all parties. DONE
YOUR PART IN A SMOOTH CLOSING PROCESS
1. Secure Financing
If you are not financing your investment with CASH, you will need a Letter of Commitment for a mortgage from the financial institution of your choice. . This can be a time-consuming process, so why not start the process even BEFORE making an Offer. Definitely, it IS to your advantage to establish a relationship with a bank and obtain a pre-qualification letter before you make an Offer. This not only can speed the lending process, but when a seller knows you are pre-qualified, it can make your Offer more attractive in the offer discussion.
2. Follow-up on Property Appraisal & Possibly Order Boundary Survey
If you seek a loan when buying property, the lender will order and appraisal. The property MUST appraise at the sale price or higher, or you will have to supply the difference, or get the seller to lower the price of the property. Check in with your lender regularly to make sure the appraisal has been ordered.
Make sure your Real Estate Transaction Coordinator is notified so that scheduling details can be coordinated and be sure to keep in touch with your lender and Transaction Coordinator at so that everyone involved knows when the appraisal comes, and that it DID “appraise”.
3. Decide to/not to Order a (new) Boundary Survey of the Property.
Buyers pay for surveys. Most lenders do NOT require a survey, but we recommend them especially if the one on file is old and there may be encroachments on the property since it was done, and/or if the property has acreage.
4. Secure Your Closing Attorney
Buyers and sellers contract with the attorney of their choice. Often, Real Estate professionals recommend that home buyers and sellers use different attorneys so that each party has unbiased representation if problems develop that require negotiation.
In the State of North Carolina, the closing event is facilitated by the buyers’ attorney (with seller opting for representation by the same attorney or another attorney.) The attorney does the title search, prepares the final documents, and acquires title insurance for buyers. Attorneys and real estate agents work with lenders to coordinate the closing, making sure everything is handled on time. Attorneys prepare deeds for sellers.
INFORM the Real Estate Transaction Coordinator of any questions/needs and please do keep everyone “in the loop.”
Transaction/Closing Coordinator Sets the Closing Date with Your Attorney
The closing date is mutually decided between buyer and seller in the Offer to Purchase and Contract. That’s when all final documents are signed, closing costs are paid and ownership of the home legally changed.
Property should have a General Warranty Deed for a clean exchange of ownership. The Closing Coordinator will do a preliminary search in county records to let you know if/if not your property has clear title, but your attorney is responsible to do the Title Search and to prepare the final documents.
*Closing ...a Note:
BE SURE to bring legal identification and a check for closing costs with you to the closing.
YOUR CREDIT SCORE will be checked again in the day or two before Closing. Be aware that charging large items like sub-zero refrigerators and riding mowers in the weeks before Closing might cause the Closing to fail!
All contingencies must be met by specified dates. DONE _____
Contract contingencies for some types of inspections, such as those for septic systems, are found in the Additional Provisions Addendum. DONE _____
Other contingencies, such as appraisal requirements, and financing are found in the main body of the Offer to Purchase and Contract. DONE _____
Special contingencies such as buyer possession before closing,
seller financing and more may also be added. DONE _____
5. Secure Inspector and Follow-up on Property Inspection: DONE _____
Residential Property Disclosure (in North Carolina, NC law requires that most sellers furnish a residential property disclosure that describes the condition of all systems in the home, this is NOT a guarantee of the condition of the home. )
Real Estate professionals strongly urge clients to order a professional Home Inspection by a licensed property inspector. It is important, because an inspection could reveal serious defects in the home and be grounds for nullifying the Offer to Purchase and Contract. (Inspections are typically paid for by the buyer.)
Ask about what is on a standard inspection, and what additional items may choose to have inspected.
Decide on your inspection list, and INFORM the Transaction Coordinator ASAP!
(In the State of North Carolina, contingencies for basic home inspections and pest inspections and radon inspections are part of the main body of the contract in North Carolina. Dates are inserted to indicate when buyers will complete inspections and when requests for repairs, if any, will be given to the seller.NOTE: If these contingencies, and others listed in the purchase contract, are not met, the deal can be nullified, so please keep your Closing Coordinator “in the loop” so that we can make sure all the “t’ s” are crossed and “i’s” dotted ...
6. GOOD EYE! Buyers Work with Closing Coordinator to Tie-up Any “Loose Ends” DONE _____
Purchase HOME OWNERS INSURANCE ….required by the lender. Make sure you let your attorney and Transaction Coordinator know when insurance is purchased, and let each know the contact information for the agent/company.
Repairs Complete. Work with your Transaction/Closing Coordinator to make sure any repairs having to do with city /state regulations pertaining to property transfer are met.
Schedule final “walk-through” for the same day as closing event with your Closing Coordinator.
Complete the final property "walk-through" with/or by your REALTOR.
This walk-through, assures you that the property is in the condition contractually agreed upon.
For more information please contact 1031@janeAnne.com
and visit www.janeAnne.com
Saturday, June 18, 2005
5 TIPS for SUCCESS in Getting the Mortgage You Want
1. Current credit outstanding. Before you apply, pay off all credit cards, wipe out your outstanding bills or at least whittle them down, and then keep any balances very low.
2. Check your credit report. Check with all three (3) major credit bureaus to get copies of your credit report, then review these VERY carefully. Some researchers believe that forty (40) percent of credit reports contain errors! Don't let mistakes on your report raise the rate you will be charged for a mortgage, or worse, keep you from getting a mortgage at all!. Get the record straight and fix those discrepancies before applying for your mortgage.
AND, two more hints about your credit cards: 1) If you know you will be applying for a mortgage, simply do NOT apply for new cards and 2) do NOT close your current accounts. Either of these actions could cause a lender’s eyebrows to go up, and that’s NOT a good thing for you.
3. Money down. Figure out your debt-to-income ratio to get an idea of how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis. That will help you determine the amount you will put down when you invest in your new home. The more you can put down up front, the lower the loan, and the more likely you are to be approved.
Of course, if you have excellent credit, you're likely to be approved regardless of how much money you put down. But if your credit is less than perfect, the amount of your down payment may mean the difference between getting/not getting your Letter of Commitment.
4. Employment and Income and Funds Available. Steady source(s) of income make lenders smile. Better NOT quit or change jobs immediately before applying for a mortgage.
Remember, in addition to a down payment, you will need to have funds available for closing costs and to pay for points (if necessary). Don’t make major purchases and risk depleting your available funds just prior to buying a home. Lenders check your available funds and credit rating the day or so before Closing, and you can put yourself in a no-win situation if you just bought a sub-zero refrigerator or a riding mower for your new home.
5. Due Diligence. It’s up to you to ask lots of questions. Every lender is different. Talk to at least three (3) mortgage bankers. Ask about how many mortgage applications they approve and disapprove. (It's not a good sign if the lender denies 25 percent of the people who apply.) What is the history of the lending institution and what is their reputation in the community? Once you select the mortgage originator for you, be totally up front with your lender. If you secretly wonder if fiddling with/ altering information to increase your chances of getting a loan might shine a brighter light on your loan desirablity, stop wondering NOW. You risk being charged with fraud and may never find a lender who will work with you again.
for more information, please contact 1031@janeAnne.com
1.What the name of the longest river in North Carolina?
2.How long do you think the Blue Ridge Parkway is?
3.What town on the Appalachian Trail is said to be the “friendliest”?
4. Where’s the highest peak in North Carolina?
5.When searching for acreage for a land legacy, email WHO? :-)
Answers.. in no particular order
469,Mount Mitchell, Damascus, French Broad, TheLandLegacyLady@janeAnne.com
Thursday, June 16, 2005
ADVENTURE mild or sort of wild
When you come to the mountains, Asheville-area's many hiking trails, wild rapids, fishing streams, and mountainous rock-faces set the stage for thrill-seekers and dare-devils. Our adventurers' itinerary is your roadmap to exploring an amazingly wide landscape of summer excitement.
But not to worry....Asheville also offers less strenuous activities for folks just looking to enjoy the landscape in a leisurely fashion. Long known for its glorious blooms, the mountains of Western North Carolina are spectacular each summer when the vibrant greens of and pastel colors of local flora light up the highest peaks east of the Mississippi.http://www.ntarget.com/go/ct.asp?L=06150657gHaBrl8v&C=2108623831
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Collect peels from citrus fruits and keep them frozen in a plastic bag until you have collected about a half a pound of them. Boil the peels in one quart of water. Then allow the peels to sit until cool. Then strain the peels and pour the left over fluid into a spray bottle.
Mist your dog-pals before they goes outside.
Mosquitoes hate it, fleas die from it, and it is safe to use.
Spray pet's bedding
Spray all around the house for doggy odors as well!
Nuetralizes dog and cat urine odors.
The active ingredient in citrus peels is its' natural pesticide
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Did you kow that one of North Carolina's major products during the Colonial Era was tar? Back then, the folks in the Land of Sky State made tar by slowly burning the wood of a certain pine tree that lives here in North Carolina even today, the longleaf pine.
I don't know if it's true, but oldtimers here will tell you that their Great-Grandpas who came walking out of the woods with that sticky black stuff stuck on their shoes, got in BIG trouble with their Great-Grandmas when they tromped it into the kitchen at dinnertime. ..and that's why their Mamas STILL made them take their shoes off before they came in the door. Pretty good story, eh?
My Cousin, Patrick, who is a fine storyteller himself, and would be right at HOME here in the Asheville mountains, asked me about the derivation of the nickname, TAR HEEL the other day. I'd heard the stories, but curious to see if there were an "official "explanation concerning WHY North Carolina is called the Tar Heel State, I popped right on over to the state's official web site for its take on the matter.
If you go there, you will find that the nickname goes back to the Civil War, when it is said that retreating soldiers left a whole column of boys from North Carolina to battle ...all alone. Later, the North Carolinians met the fleeing troops and told them for the next battle ...:We'll put tar on your heels and you'll stick with us!" Gen. Robert E. Lee, on hearing the story, reportedly exclaimed, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."
Now, when you get home from your real estate investment trip to the TAR HEEL STATE, and you discover historic property to steward, or an old Appalachian Farm you will turn into an organic garden-find, and they ask you why North Carolina is the Tar Heel State, you can tell them a great story... or two..or more...
And if you want to hear more stories...be sure to contact me! I collect the lore from around these parts, and am happy to share it with you!
SPECIALIZING in land stewardship and conservation easement properties
you can LOVE right here in the Tar Heel State!
Did you know that the URBAN LAND INSTITUTE (ULI) membership collaborates with other stakeholders -- on
educating high school students on land use and development issues
and other topics --?
The goal: To implement consensus-based solutions for better communities.
Community Outreach enables local ULI leaders to identify challenges to better development, feature best practices from across the country, and hammer out new solutions to improve land use patterns. YES!
So...A 1031 Exchange is not a tax loophole. It is a section of the Internal Revenue Code, written by Congress, to allow anyone who meets all the requirements to sell their property and defer paying taxes on the gain. ...and you must reinvest all cash proceeds from the sale, and purchase a new property or properties of equal or greater value, in order to avoid taxation on the gains.
Also...You cannot have actual ("constructive") control of any of the proceeds received from the sale of the old property.
This means that....By law, all money is held by a Qualified Intermediary (also referred to as an Accommodator or Facilitator - (there's a PROFESSIONAL list waiting for you at my office)...
BTW...You cannot have an associate or employee, your attorney, broker or CPA hold the proceeds, nor can you leave the proceeds in escrow until the second property is purchased.
DETAILS?? Go here: http://www.janeanne.com/resources.asp
Asheville and environs....
"...a vague, lyrical yearning hovers over western North Carolina's mountain ranges so that the dreamy melancholy and outsized ambitions of the Appalachian Tar Heels make a kind of indigenous sense...."
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Do you own land that you would like to see remain free from development--for your lifetime and for future generations?
Doing nothing to protect your land may lead the way to development, despite your wishes. Why? Estate taxes are one reason. Federal taxes can be as high as 50% of a property's fair market value, virtually forcing your kids and grandkids to sell it. And, of course, future owners may be compelled by ever-increasing property values--or simply by a lack of appreciation for the land--to sell it for development.
As an environmentally-sensitive Real Estate professional, I am happy to connect you with other experts who can help you find ways to protect your land. Actually, quite few options are open to you. Here are links to follow that give you a bird's eye view of those possibilities:
Conservation easement A legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently protects land while the landowner continues to own it. Donating the easement can result in reduced income tax and estate tax.
Land Donation Donating conservation land to a land trust is a wonderful way to share its beauty with future generations. The donation can even be set up in a way that allows you to continue to live on the land or to receive a life income.
Bargain Sale of Land Selling land to the land trust at less than its fair market value can make it affordable for the land trust and provide tax benefits for the landowner.
Your Next Step? Please contact me so that we can talk. I am the Broker-in-Charge of a real estate practice that specializes in stewardship of land. I can put you in touch attorneys, appraisers, accountants, and land planners familiar with conservation techniques.