It’s a term we hear and see frequently – we see reference to it in the Sunday real estate section, in advertisements and in conversations with real estate brokers. If you’ve purchased a home before, you’re probably familiar with the benefits and procedures of title insurance. But if this is your first home, you may wonder, “Why do I need another insurance policy? It’s just one more bill to pay.”
The answer is simple: The purchase of a home is most likely one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. You, and your mortgage lender, want to make sure that the property is indeed yours – lock, stock and barrel – and that no individual or government entity has any right, lien, claim to your property.
YOU have the RIGHT to choose your own Title Company!
Because GCS Title is independently owned and locally operated, we have no ties to realtors or lenders, and no vested interest in transactions. We are not owned by lenders or realtors, and we serve our customers. (more…)
2017 was a very strong year for home remodeling, and it looks like 2018 will be even bigger. In fact, according a report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2018 could be a record year for home renovations.
If you’re planning to sell your home this year, or just want to make some needed upgrades, 2018 is the year to do so. While kitchen and bathroom remodeling will always top the list of projects homeowners want to do first, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what else is trending. These projects can really make your home stand out from the rest. Here are a few (and more) hot home remodeling trends in 2018:
- Accessibility Remodeling
- Master Bedroom Suites
- Mudroom Additions
- Eco-friendly Remodeling Materials
- Luxury Finished Basements
Your Listings on Zillow: How to Triple Your Views & Capture More Leads
While a great profile can be a powerful (and free) lead magnet, there is another even more powerful way to generate leads on Zillow: your listings. After all, the entire reason Zillow exists is to allow homebuyers to browse homes for sale. (more…)
Home is where the heart is, but do you know the definition of family? Apparently, it’s whatever we think it is – and the government, businesses and marketers are officially recognizing six different family types. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies families as: Traditional, multi-generational, single-parent, same sex, blended, older parent with young children and boomerang (families where adult children have returned home). When it comes to real estate, we need to think about how to help, serve and talk to these groups. At GCS Title, we partner with our Realtor and Loan Officer colleagues to help promote homeownership. These new officially-recognized family units all have different needs – that’s why I reach out to the public, even though title is really more of a like a “wholesale” aspect of a real estate transaction compared to Realtors and lenders being the “retail” parts. At GCS, we’ll answer any questions you have about buying or selling and help connect you with Realtors and Loan Officers who can address your specific needs.
~Charlie Lawson, GCS Title
Millennials…we hear this group mentioned so often, I’m starting to feel like Jan from the Brady Bunch – “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” But I can’t deny how important they are to the housing market and economy, so I’ll get over myself to share some important news: Using FHA loans (and other low down payment programs) to buy homes is up 23-percent from the first quarter of this year according to RealtyTrac and the interpretation is that more first time home buyers are getting into the market. That’s great because we need them! Millennials have been lukewarm about homeownership for the last few years, so the real estate community really needs to reach out and share the news that FHA made some changes that make payments more affordable. There’s also other low down payment programs – even down payment assistance – so we all need to make sure that we promote all the great options to help people buy homes – Millennials or not. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, I can put you in touch with great real estate and mortgage professionals who specialize in your area and situation. Message me!
Owner & President
Facebook: GCS Title – Global Closing & Title Services
I don’t usually run around urging people to write their Congressional representatives, but I do want to let Realtors, Loan Officers and consumers know about something that’s a bit odd so that you can decide for yourselves what you think about it. Back in 2011, Congress enacted guarantee fees (G Fees) that get reflected in the interest rates paid by borrowers who get loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. G Fees were supposed to expire in ten years, but Congress is thinking about extending them as part of – get this – a highway bill. Also interesting is that G Fees are charged on home loans but the money often goes to fund other federal programs like highways. The Association of Mortgage Professionals is opposing the extension of G Fees, with its president saying, “G Fees have essentially become a hidden tax on home buyers that can discourage home ownership and to price many more young and low to moderate income borrowers out of the market, which is especially alarming given that rental costs are also making it difficult for the less affluent to find a place to live.”
I didn’t write it, but I absolutely approve this message! ~Charlie Lawson
Realtors and Loan Officers: What do you think? We’d love to hear your feedback!