Owning property, big or small, is part and parcel of the much-lauded American Dream.
Being able to stake out a piece of land and call it your own is a major life goal for many, and it may sometimes feel beyond your reach. However, when you finally make your way there and manage to buy a new home ranch, restaurant, or what have you, it feels like you can finally cross something vital off your bucket list.
Once you become a bona fide property owner, you will need to brush up on a few key facts, fast. If you’re not entirely sure about how to reorient your perspective about property ownership, then the following quick tips should help.
1. You Need to Maintain Excellent Credit
Of course, credit histories are more important than ever these days, especially since the housing crisis of 2008. It is virtually impossible to apply for a loan or receive a fair mortgage without excellent credit these days. And, in order to make sure that all your financial issues, especially with regards to your property remain in good shape, you will need to maintain a good credit report. Do not make huge unnecessary purchases, or apply for loans that cannot be paid back easily. Just because you managed to reign in the huge prize - a piece of property - does not mean that you should let yourself slip. Keep up the good work, and you will not be inviting trouble or extra fees that should be entirely avoidable if you remain on the correct path.
2. If You Need To Sell
Sometimes, you will have to make a difficult decision with your hard-won property. Whether it is because you need the extra cash to help pay for unexpected medical bills, or simply due to the sad fact that the property you invested in - perhaps an apartment building, or laundry mat - is not bringing in enough cash like you thought it would. If you need to sell rental property, then there are a few things you should keep in mind. For starters, study the local real estate market and ensure that you are selling off the property for a realistic sum of money. Then, it is probably best to secure the assistance of an experienced real estate agent in your area. You should also have an attorney specialized in deeds related to properties to help you read between the lines and ensure that the entire process moves along smoothly, till you are able to close the deal.
3. Finding Title Insurance
If, however, you just bought a property and you have no thought of selling it just yet, then you need to purchase title insurance for peace of mind. There are a few types out there, but the main ones are the owner’s title insurance which protects you as the buyer, and then the lender’s insurance which is meant to protect the lender. The owner’s policy helps to provide coverage that is equal to the amount you have paid for the property.
It will keep you protected if any problems arise, and you will even be provided with legal assistance in the event that you file a claim that is proven to be valid by the company. As a property owner, it is absolutely imperative that you purchase title insurance. It may seem like a fancy add on that you may not use, but the reality is that you never know, and it is best to be prepared.
4. Investigate History of Property
You should always be sure to hire an investigator to help you discover any hidden histories related to the property or title in question. Ideally, this is done right before you put your money down. The search performed will look into public records spanning at least a few decades, and you might be able to ascertain whether the previous owner failed to pay state or local taxes, if a contractor was left disgruntled because they did not receive payment for work completed or other legal issues such as conflicting heirs and different wills that throw matters into jeopardy. This will help you a great deal in making your decision, since you may not want to be tied to a property with a complicated back history for which you will ultimately have to bear the responsibility.
Becoming a property owner is a major accomplishment and a smart investment for your cash. At the same time, you should be sure that you know what you’re in for, and take the appropriate steps to secure your purchase and look into its history so that it does not end up becoming a liability.
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