Today's Current News, Opinion & Advice

HOA Board And Manager Authority

To achieve effective communications between homeowners and their homeowner association, it is important to understand the authority that belongs to the property management company, the board members individually and the board as a whole. For example, the management company may be able to solve a problem quickly while at other times, management may not have…

Rental Scams Target Tenants, Landlords

Earlier this year, a woman in Brantford, Ont. had several people come to her door to view her house, which they said they had arranged to rent. Problem was, the house wasn’t for rent and the homeowner knew nothing about it. In the Ottawa area, landlords who rent to international students were contacted by people…

Ethics Can Be Taught, But That’s Not All There Is To It

The current issue of California Real Estate, official magazine of the California Association of REALTORS® (CAR), contains a transcript of an interesting panel discussion titled, “Best Practices, Pet Peeves, and Challenges.” “Moderated by C.A.R. CEO Joel Singer, the panelists exchanged ideas about the market and shared their best practices as well as the pet peeves…

How to Keep Your Jewelry Safe While You Sell Your Home

It’s an unfortunate fact that thieves often target homes on the real estate market. Sometimes these thieves are serial offenders, but they can also be prospective buyers or real estate agents gone rogue. To minimize temptation, store your valuables, especially fine jewelry, in a safe and secure place whenever you have potential buyers or agents…

Five Tips For The Best Granite Countertops

The interior design industry has been trying for years to break homeowners’ addiction to granite counters. They’ve introduced stainless, concrete, glass, quartz, wood, marble and other ideas to wean people away, but the alternative surfaces just don’t have the luxury look that granite does. If you’re getting granite countertops for the first time, here are…

There Are Tax Benefits With Home Ownership

Homeownership has always been the “great American dream”. And Congress — with one exception — did not take it away when it passed the tax reform bill last December. To foster and encourage this dream, Congress has consistently enacted — or preserved — tax legislation which favors homeowners. Indeed, much has been written that our…

Home Buyer Assumptions Are Expensive

Based on what John and Lee (privacy protected) learned about real estate from friends and online searches, these first-time buyers believed that location is less important than price. Do they know what they’re talking about? John and Lee currently rent a spacious apartment in the city where they both work. They thoroughly enjoy their urban,…

REALTOR Duty To Cooperate Is A Narrow One

Real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are, for the most part, rightfully proud of NAR’s Code of Ethics. They have all agreed to abide by it, and when a fellow Realtor® appears to be acting contrary to the Code, most react with consternation. Article 3 of the Code enjoins…

Understanding the “Tax Free” Exchange

Residential homeowners have a number of tax benefits, the most important of which is the exclusion of up to $500,000 profit made on the sale of the principal residence. Fortunately, that was not impacted when Congress enacted the latest tax reform bill. But real estate investors — large and small — still have to pay…

How Much Do Home Alarm Systems Affect Resale?

Home alarm systems can be particularly hard to calculate into resale value or return on investment (ROI) because their job is to prevent loss rather than achieve gains. You purchase a home alarm system with the hope that you never need to use it. The reality is that a burglary is reported to police every…