A peculiar situation arose a few weeks ago which greatly jeopardized one of our closings. I won’t tell you whether we represented the Seller or the Purchaser; from the point of view of this entry it doesn’t matter. Firstly, I would say there are two types of Sellers, those that take very good care of the property and maintain everything in great condition until they finally move out. The second type cut back on the landscaping and repairs, and do the minimal clean up needed when they move out. Most Sellers fall in the middle of these two extremes.
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.
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.
While this article is geared towards real estate agents, we feel it is helpful for others to be aware of. With the ever-increasing importance of the internet in our day-to-day lives, scams such as the one described below, and other email scams/solicitations, are becoming more and more common. The need to be cautious and confirm the legitimacy of any solicitation is more important than ever.
Our real estate department handles all types of real estate related matters, including foreclosures. This might be an unpleasant task, however the local lenders we represent are very understanding and sympathetic to their borrowers’ plights. I have had our banks agree to postpone actions and sales, and to work out payment plans, or allow a home to be sold for less than the loan amount very often. (Although this is not the point of this blog entry, I would like to state that this alone is a good reason to consider a local bank if you are re-financing, or borrower money to purchase a home.)
There has been a lot of publicity lately regarding the changes to the Real Estate Settlements Procedure Act which are designed to make it easier for borrowers to “shop” among lenders in order to obtain the very lowest cost loans. I would like to point out that cost should not be your only concern.
HoganWillig’s new building (and its interior office space) will be one of the first commercial LEED certified office buildings in Western New York. “LEED “stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The design and construction of the building will be rated in seven different categories: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, Innovation in Design, and Regional Priority.
I attended a meeting this morning where it was announced that there had been a significant rise in title insurance claims in New York State. These claims are made against title insurance policies issued to either the homeowner (if he/she purchased this optional policy at the time they bought their home) or the bank lending the money for their purchase or refinance (such a policy is always required by the bank).
A client recently shared with me an unsolicited offer he had received in the mail. The company offered to obtain (for a sizeable fee) a certified copy of the client’s deed of ownership to his property from the local county clerk. The offer stated that it was a good idea to have a copy of this valuable document, which is the single best indication that you own your own home. I agree with that statement, which is why all lawyersrecommend recording deeds in the county clerk’s office in the first place. The clerk records the deed by referencing it in an index of deed records (so it can be found by anyone, simply by looking up the seller/buyer’s name) and scanning the deed into the clerk’s computer files. The image of the deed is available for public inspection forever.