Home Ownership

19 Terms that Scare Homeowners, but Shouldn't

from mibor.com's blog: My4Walls

1. Appraisal

An appraisal is the estimated value of a property. A property is appraised to know the amount of money that a lender is willing to lend for a buyer to buy a particular property.

If the appraised amount is less than the asking price for the property, then that piece of real estate might be overpriced. In this case, the lender will refuse to finance the purchase.

Appraisals are designed to protect both the lender and buyer. The lender will not get stuck with a property that is less than the money lent, and the buyer will avoid paying too much for the property.

2. Certificate of title

This document ensures that a particular property is legally owned by the seller and that no other individual owns it or can lay claim to it.

3. Closing

Closing happens when you meet up to close the deal. It’s also referred to as settlement. It involves the buyer and his or her attorney, the seller and his or her attorney, as well as the escrow agent.

4. Closing costs

This refers to the additional expenses spent in financing and purchasing the property. Costs usually include lawyer’s fees, loan origination fee, escrow impounds, appraisal, survey and title search fees. The closing costs usually amount to 6 percent of the sale price of the property.

5. Comparative market analysis (CMA)

The CMA is conducted to determine the market value of a property, which is needed to make a fair asking price. The analysis is done by comparing the property in question to other similar properties that have been sold recently in the area. It’s one of the ways to find out the salable factors of a property.


How to Wake up Your Home from a Winter’s Slumber

Content from mibor.com's blog -my4walls

It's sort of a tease, we know. There's snow on the ground and a quick glance at the weather tells use it’s a chilly 28 degrees. Dang it. But hope abounds, spring will arrive! When you live in south central Indiana, mid to late February is the time you start to think, “hey, this winter thing might actually end.” Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.

If you are contemplating selling your house this spring, preparations should be on your mind. Transitioning your home from the doldrums of winter to the new hope of spring is important if you want your home to show it’s very best. REALTORS® offer their best low-cost tips for getting your home ready for the spring market.

  • Clear all debris from the yard. Clean up flower beds. Even if they aren’t blooming, get a nice clean slate. Put some potted plants at our entry way. Use a hearty plant that can withstand some ups and downs in the weather. 
  • Step back and examine your curb appeal. Did ice, salt and snow do a number on your light fixtures, front door or mailbox? Replace, repair or repaint.
  • Inside, get your carpets cleaned. Your traffic areas likely took a beating with all those snowy boots.
  • #1 tip – wash your windows, inside and out. Your only cost is elbow grease and the impact is amazing. Let that natural light shine in!

  • Ask your REALTOR® for more tips. Chances are, they have seen it all and can guide you through the no and low cost options as well as the more extensive repairs that bring the best return. Happy selling and happy Spring!


Radon 101

EPA recommends homes be fixed if the radon level is 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or more. Because there is no known safe level of exposure to radon, EPA also recommends that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L. -epa.gov


What's my ROI?

Posted by: Claire Belby on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:00:00 pm on MIBOR's Blog: My 4 Walls

This time of year you might be thinking about which home improvements seem like a good idea for 2015. We all have the list swimming around in our brains. That little voice that says, “I love this house, I just wish we had a bigger master bath or I wish the basement was finished.” I wish, I wish, I wish.

As with any housing decision, determining needs vs. wants is really important, but when remodeling you have an extra question. What is the return on investment for this project? Sure you’ll enjoy it in the present, but what does it mean for future resale. Most Americans move every eight or nine years so even if moving isn’t on your mind right now, chances are you will move at some point therefore you should consider the best improvement investments.

REALTORS® intuitively know that kitchens, baths and basement remodels are great investments. Remodeling.com also has this cool widget that enables you to drill down to city. We took a look at Indy and here’s what we found.

According to the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report (www.costvsvalue.com), a steel entry door replacement tops the charts for return coming in at 105% of cost recouped. Garage door replacement is up there too at 86%. In the more “fun” category, an attic bedroom remodel will bring 85% back and a minor kitchen remodel will bring 76% in returned investment.

Your REALTOR® will tell you this is good research, but you should also consider the enjoyment you will gain from your completed project and not just the numbers. Also, when it comes to the...

5 Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating

Submitted by Nikos Phelps, president, Utopian Landscape, a member of The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), from realtormag.com

It’s that time of year where home owners are busy decorating their exteriors with holiday lights and making them for festival for the holidays. Many landscape and lawn care companies support their clients year-round by providing snow removal and holiday lighting in the winter. There are many safety concerns that home owners should take into consideration when putting up their own holiday lights, such as:

1. Inspect the lights and wires.

Inspect all lights, decorations and extension cords before using. Wires can become brittle.Throw lights away if there is exposed copper or broken sockets.

2. Don’t overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns.

Avoid connecting five or more strands end to end, otherwise the circuit can be overloaded. However, for many LEDs you can add more than five strands. Also, do not pull the strands too tight so they can reach an outlet. Other electrical concerns to watch for:

  • Tears in the wiring surface could result in electrocution.
  • When creating a lighting configuration on a lawn, make sure to keep connections out of depressions that could collect ground water.
  • Be sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walkways.

3. Read the labels carefully for outdoor use.

LED lights re more energy efficient and require less wattage than incandescent bulbs. But make sure the lights and extension cords are rated for indoor and outdoor use or specifically for outdoor use. Outdoor lights should...