The number of VA-guaranteed loans reached a record high in the year 2013, with no signs of slowing down. The steady increase represents an upward trajectory since the collapse of the housing market. The Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed approximately 630,000 mortgage loans in fiscal year 2013, about half of which were borrowed with the purpose of refinancing.
Homeowners should be aware of the important regulations regarding flood insurance. Any loan that is federally guaranteed for a residential property located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) must have flood insurance coverage.
For the past two years, the number one post closing issue relating to home sales has been septic system failures. Many septic systems in Western New York seem to have reached the age of around 50 years, which seems also to be about the end of life for many of its parts – tank, leach field, filters.
In order to continue to receive a Basic STAR Exception, homeowners in New York State must register with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance by the end of this year. Senior Citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR Exemption are not affected by this new requirement to register.
Clients should beware of a recent scam in which companies are recommending that all homeowners obtain a copy of their current Grant Deed. Contrary to this advice, securing a copy of the deed is not necessary once the original has been recorded (having a copy of the deed is not necessary to prove ownership as long as the deed is recorded in the county clerk’s office). The companies involved in this scam have been contacting property owners via letters and emails, offering to provide a copy of the deed for a fee that ranges anywhere from $50 to $80. Though not required, if a homeowner does wish to obtain a certified copy of the deed, this can be done through the county clerk’s office for a smaller fee, usually between $4 and $10 depending on the length of the original document.
For many divorcing persons one of their most important assets, oftentimes the most significant one, is their house. Significant not only financially, but frequently emotionally as well.
Many commercial landlords often find themselves litigating the terms of a lease agreement to obtain a recovery against a tenant that has defaulted. To increase the likelihood of succeeding against a tenant that has defaulted, the following three provisions should be included in the lease agreement:
With the New Year on its way, and in addition to the “fiscal cliff” issues, there are a few changes that will or may arise from the Legislature that affect individual homeowners and potential buyers of real estate, and the real estate market as a whole.
There has been a dramatic increase recently in the number of septic system problems in home sales in Western New York. I believe this is occurring due to the aging of the systems, as well as changes over the years in technology and building department requirements. The houses too, have changed over the years and, for example, a homeowner may have converted a basement or den into a bedroom, or installed a shower in the basement or elsewhere. This may not have been done in connection with a building permit and an inspection from the Town. The septic system may not have been enlarged to accommodate these changes.
Before a landlord can reclaim possession of leased property, he or she must terminate the tenancy. First, there must be a notice of default given, depending on the nature of the default. For example, the law requires three days notice for unpaid rent or 30 days notice to terminate a tenancy in the event of a month-to-month tenancy. In no event should a lease contain time frames greater than those that are required by the law.