Surveys, Easements, Encroachments... OH MY!

Maybe its because I come at this Real Estate thing from a construction standpoint, but I would not personally buy a home or piece of property without a new survey. This is also what I advise my clients. Do they take that advice; usually not because they say its too expensive. Lets see some numbers:

 $200,000.00 Home price (actually lower than median for my area)
 $350.00 Survey price (so many variables, but I used an average)
 .175% of the home's value

 To add some perspective, how much would it cost to move a whole fence that is over the property line; even by an inch, it has to be moved.

 $1500.00 (average again) to remove and replace one side of a fence
.75% of the cost of the home.

 As a seller, you just lost out because you didn't use a survey before placing a fence. As a buyer, you have the right to walk away (during due diligence), ask the seller to get an encroachment agreement with the neighbor, or ask the seller to move the fence. A lender may not give you the mortgage with a fault like that on the land. Everyone loses.

Many lots have easements and there are restrictions around them, but not usually a burden to the buyer or seller, you just need to be aware.  An easement gives someone else a right to access a certain part of the property; such as the gas company or electric to maintain underground utilities.  An encroachment is where someone has built or utilized an area of a property they don't own; such as a fence that is built on or leaning into anothers property.  An agreement can be made between neighbors to allow the encroachment, but if the item encroaching wears out or needs replacing, it usually then must be moved so as not to continue the encroaching.  Encroachments are not forever, easements are.

 Out of six current pending sales I have, 3 of them have issues that would have been non-existent if surveys were done and done right. One fence, one shed, one carport, all wrongly located. Luckily all of these will be worked out in the end and we will close, but that's not always the case. Just last night I got a call from a past client who has a friend who discovered a lot issue and needs an attorney recommendation, and I did the same for someone else about 5 months ago.

 The moral of the story is, if you have any questions, you can start with a Real Estate Agent like me, and we can send you up the chain to the attorney if there is anything to worry about. If you are looking to buy or sell any Real Estate ask for, or pay for a survey.

A Home Inspection with Infrared Thermal Imaging is Fun and Fascinating

Today, I have a new guest in the house! Meet Matt Bartels, my preferred home inspector. Matt has a pretty cool tool that I've had the pleasure of having him use to source a possible leak in my own home and I wanted to introduce you to him and the tool.

Sure Sight Can See What Other Inspectors Can't

"Sure Sight Home Inspection is proud to be the first and only inspection firm in North Carolina's Triangle region to offer infrared thermal imaging scans as a complement to our array of home inspection services. Infrared scanning brings the home inspection to the next level, finding electrical defects, missing insulation, hidden moisture problems, and a host of other building defects. View our 30-second commercial to see what infrared can do for you." Here's Matt's link if you would like to reach out to him personally!

The IRS on Facebook? Twitter? YouTube?

In honor of this festive time of year when all of us self-employed folk hole up in our offices for a week without food, water or bathing... OK, maybe it's not that bad, but certainly not high on my list of things I like to do. So I went to the IRS website looking for a bit of info and I was not only amused, but pleased with their social media savvy. I have not started following the IRS, but the answers are so much easier to find now that I just had to be impressed. I thought I would toss in this little video from their YouTube site for you to get a one minute view of all the places you can use to help you get those taxes done and done right. Enjoy this helpful little nudge in the direction of tax season and don't forget that you can always reach out to me if you are looking to invest some of those refund dollars into a new home!