Archive for the ‘Nicole Borsey’ Category

The Truth About Security Deposits

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011




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Yesterday the Department Of Consumer Protection sent this out to the Realtors in Connecticut:

The Astonishing Truth About Security Deposits

The most frequently asked questions so far this year have been about security deposits. Many of you assume you know what the law is on security deposits, but because we have had so many calls about security deposits, we thought we’d clear up any misunderstandings.

Landlords frequently tell their listing agents they want their tenants to pay first month’s rent, last month’s rent, two months’ security deposit and a pet deposit, all at the beginning of a lease.

If that’s what your landlord thinks is legally correct, he is wrong. If that’s what you think is legally correct, you are wrong, too.

There’s actually a Connecticut statute that is just about security deposits. CGS §47a-21.

“Security deposit” is a defined term. It is “any advance rental payment other than first month’s rent and a deposit for a key or special equipment”. That’s any advance rental payment other than first month’s rent for a key or special equipment.

Notice there is no mention of a “pet deposit”.

Notice there’s no mention of “last month’s rent”.

First month’s rent is okay.

If the tenant is giving the landlord money that is not for the first month’s rent or a deposit for a key or special equipment, it is considered security deposit.

The statute tells us how much security deposit is allowed:
 If a tenant is under 62 years of age, the landlord may take an amount equal to two months’ rent.
 If a tenant is 62 years of age or older, the landlord may take only one month’s rent.

Adding it all up, the most a landlord can take up front is:
 first month’s rent,
 two month’s rent as security deposit, and
 a deposit for a key or special equipment.

That’s it. That’s all.

No pet deposit. No last month’s rent.

The landlord is required to deposit the security deposit money into an escrow account where it should remain until the tenancy ends when the landlord can use it to offset any damage to the premises caused by the tenant.

To read CAR’s Q&A on Security Deposits, go to www.ctrealtor.com, click on Legal/Forms, click on Q&As, scroll down the alphabetical list to Q & A on Security Deposits.

 

So if  you have been asked to provide anything more than what is allowed above, contact the Department of Consumer Protection.

 



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Stamford CT real estate…to list or not to list??? that is the question.

Monday, October 25th, 2010




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We all realize that it is not the ideal time to try and list your home, but if you are buying in the same area, say, Stamford CT for example icon wink Stamford CT real estate...to list or not to list??? that is the question. | CT Real Estate then your lowered house price will also be reflected when you buy your replacement house. Nothing is lost therefore – or is it?

Sometimes we can become aware of the fact that we really must move. Maybe the children are too big and we really need to move for that extra bedroom; perhaps there is a need for a bigger rec room, or an extra bathroom.

Many circumstances make house-moving come to mind, but have you worked out the cost of remodeling as opposed to the cost of moving? When we think about moving, we often think of all the irksome things about our home, but we do not remember all the conveniences that might not be available in the next home.

What about the qualities you really like about this home? Even small things like the sun shining into your kitchen in the morning are priceless to some people.

One of the first things to consider is your ‘gut feeling’. Do you want to move because you want to get away from something that is bugging you in that house? If so, think about including that in a remodeling project (as long as it is not an irritating neighbor!)

Write down all the things that are missing in the house you are in, that you know you can afford to buy in the next house. For instance, a third bedroom is one reason you must move, and you would like a big yard. But have you checked the prices of three-bed roomed homes with a big yard in your area?

Cost is really the biggest factor that we all have to takeinto account. Obviously the comparative costs of moving versus re-modeling may play a part.

It is easy enough to calculate the cost of remodeling, you simply ask a builder for a quote. (Use several builders.) If you are doing it yourself, then it will take longer to calculate everything you need to buy. Some hardware stores offer a quotation service. There are on line services for instance on the Home and Garden Web site, where you can pick out your kitchen or bathroom type, choose cabinets and colors of your choicer, one click and it all whizzes into place!

There are also short cuts you can take to get your dream kitchen, like just ordering new cabinet doors and drawers instead of refitting the whole kitchen. These replacement doors come in various price ranges starting from inexpensive white laminate up to classy dark cherry wood.

The cost of moving is harder to calculate, as it contains many hidden costs. For instance all the small costs like a day off work to move, the cost of moving boxes, the paint costs to touch up the outside of the house and those extra shrubs you will buy to make the yard look good.

The larger expenses are easier to spot, for instance: the fee to the realtor, the difference between the cost price of selling your home and buying the new home, the closing fees and legal fees for both houses.

Then there is the actual cost of the physical move, will it be by a removal company or do you plan to do it yourself? Once in the new home, what of drapes and any extras that will be required.

Once all the figures are in, and you have done the math, you may find it easier to make a logical decision and you also feel better in knowing all the cost factors involved – so there will be no surprises. If you do decide to sell, i would love the opportunity to provide a FREE no- obligation market analysis for your Stamford, CT real estate! Just email: nicole@thepropnet.com for an appointment!! icon smile Stamford CT real estate...to list or not to list??? that is the question. | CT Real Estate



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Distressed Homeowners. Options for your Stamford Short Sale.

Monday, October 18th, 2010




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Real estate is not always an easy venture to be involved in. Mortgages are huge loans, and monthly payments can be extremely steep. Especially with the trend a few years back to give out sub-prime mortgages, there have been a lot of foreclosures lately. But foreclosure should be avoided at all costs.
So let’s assume for a moment that you are unable to make your mortgage payments. You become a defaulted owner. Now what? Well, typically, your lending institution will foreclose its mortgage. If this happens, not only will you lose your property when it goes back to the bank, you will lose all your equity. In addition, foreclosure reduces your credit rating, leaving a permanent stain on your credit account. This can be extremely hard to remove, and may prevent you from ever borrowing again. Finally, you may even have to pay taxes on the debt reduction amount. So in trying to save money, you’ve only added another expense to your list of bills. All in all, foreclosure is a bad deal for you.
There are two main types of foreclosure, foreclosure by judicial sale (the type we have here in Connecticut) and foreclosure by power of sale. In the former, the court supervises the sale of the property. In the latter, the bank or mortgage holder sells the home. In a strict foreclosure, not in use in all states, the bank would assume the deed of the defaulted mortgage, without the obligation to sell. This method is less popular as few banks want to become landlords. Usually, by whatever means, the foreclosure involves the sale of the property. In Stamford, CT Foreclosures are Judicial.
If you are unable to make the mortgage payments on your Stamford, CT home, or in any other way are unable to fulfill the obligations of your lending contract, it is best if you sell your real estate as soon as possible. This may mean selling at a much lower rate than market value, however as a homeowner, you may be able to retain some equity from your home, and you will definitely save your credit rating. This is very important for your future real estate purchases, and just about anything else in your life. By selling your home yourself, with or without the help of an agent, you are keeping the power in your hands. Even if you come out of it with no equity, the chances of losing money is slim unless your home has become totally derelict. Even then, you are still better off selling it yourself than allowing a foreclosure to go ahead.
While in a stressful situation such as mounting debt, it can seem like the easy thing to drop everything and run. But as I’ve outlined, it is never to your advantage to let a property foreclose. The key to saving yourself from this fate may be an honest analysis of your expenses. If you can see a problem coming, you have more time to act on it. Rather than waiting to the last minute, put your home up for sale as soon as you suspect you will have trouble making payments in the future. The more time you have to sell, the more likely you’ll walk away with a fair price for your property. You may even be able to find another, cheaper home, and nobody will have been the wiser that you narrowly escaped financial disaster.

Nicole Borsey is a Stamford Short Sale Expert.

Contact her for FREE advice. There ARE options!!!



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7 reasons to own your home

Friday, October 8th, 2010




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1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.

2. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.

4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.

6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.

7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Online resources: To calculate whether buying is the best financial option for you, use the “Buy vs. Rent” calculator at www.GinnieMae.gov.

*Reprinted from REALTOR magazine, with permission of the National Association of Realtors. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.



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What the heck is Hafa???

Friday, October 8th, 2010




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icon smile What the heck is Hafa??? | CT Real Estate Nicole Borsey – nicolehelps.com



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8 Tips to Guide You on Your Home Search

Thursday, October 7th, 2010




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1. Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.

2. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
 

3. Get your finances in order.Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.

4. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.

5. Decide your moving timeline. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.

6. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.

7. Insist on a home inspection. If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.

8. Get help from a REALTOR®. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.

*Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine, with permission of the National Association of Realtors.


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To Rent or To Buy??

Sunday, August 29th, 2010




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If you are wondering if you should rent or buy in Stamford, CT (or Beyond!) this video we found by the NAR® might help icon smile To Rent or To Buy?? | CT Real Estate

Source: Homes: Rent or Buy, (YouTube Video, Feb. 12, 2009).



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4/20/10

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010




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We made an offer on our first house!!!

-By your Staff Writer for the Property Network, Matt Giles

And than we pulled the offer the next day. We have been looking for a while now trying to find a nice compromise of the fixer upper I want and the condo living she would like. We found a nice 3 bedroom starter home that would require some work but wasn’t over whelming with the amount of work it would need.

The only down side of this house was there wasn’t much of a buffer zone. If you don’t know what a buffer zone is, it’s how close you live to your family. In this case it was close to her family. I love her family to death, but there are one or two uncles and aunts who would love to just drop by un-announced every chance they got. But that is not why we pulled our offer.

When we first went to see the house, it was me, my girl, her mother, and of course the only realtor you could every want to use (wink, wink).  We walked through the house and I did not notice anything major going on as far as needs to fix up. In the description they said it was a newer roof, which I think either they lied or they did not vent the roof properly because of the bubbling of the shingles.

Roof doesn’t scare me, I could handle that. They never tiled the kitchen and again it may be killer on my knees but still I can handle it. Of course we would have to paint every room and my girl would want to change out the counter top because it is an ugly blue that matches nothing in the kitchen. All things I was fine with.

So we decided to make the offer. We went and signed what felt like a thousand copies of everything. My hand started cramping up but it’s all part of the process (so I am told).

The next day I wanted to have my brother who is in construction, her brother who is in construction, my dad who is in construction and her brother’s business partner (guess what he does???? Yup construction) come and look at the house.

With all of us walking through the kitchen at one time we started to notice a bit of a bounce in the floor. It almost felt like we were on a boat with the bounce and sway of the floor. This drew a lot of suspicion, so we ventured downstairs to the basement.

What we found was old framing, which I was fine with. But what did bother me was the columns they used to support the house were the temporary columns you use until you get the cement filled lally columns, they never got the lally columns and cemented the temporary columns into the floor. Than as we looked down the floor joist they were all rolling away from the house. That is why there was such a bounce in the floor with the more weight in kitchen.

The reason they never tiled the floor was because with that kind of bounce in the floor the tiles could pop up and break. What was supposed to be a non-fixer upper was going to need some major work to get the structure sound. Nothing was going to be a quick fix and because it was an old house a lot of headaches.

So I called my girl and she gave permission to pull the offer. So now we are back to the drawing board and looking for our first home. The process is not fun, but I am sure well worth it in the end.

-Matt Giles, Staff Writer for the Property Network, Freelance writer for hire. For more info visit www.mdgcopywriting.com



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Norwalk Homes for Sale | Way Below Market Value

Friday, March 19th, 2010




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The Hazards of Asbestos

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010




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The home buying process is an exciting time, but one that may bring additional responsibilities into your life. Having the assistance of an experienced and honest Connecticut real estate agent will make this process smooth and stress free. While the process of choosing a home is an exciting and rewarding time, additional repairs or renovations may be needed upon purchase. It is also a time where additional responsibilities will enter ones life.

Many older homes built prior to 1980 may still harvest obsolete and corrosive building materials which can create health concerns. Environmental efficiency is on the rise throughout the state because of technology and green building methods progressing rapidly.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was utilized throughout the 20th century as an ideal form of insulation and piping in construction applications. Asbestos is often in old fireproofing, roofing, vinyl flooring, pipe and boiler insulation, and some roads and cement pipe and cement sheet products. Exposure to asbestos is easily avoidable by taking simple precautions.

Tips & Advice

It is not always an easy process to determine whether or not a particular insulation contains asbestos. If asbestos is located, it must be left un-touched until a professional can provide a course of action. In many situations, the best action is no action. Leaving it undisturbed is advisable as this will prevent its fibers from becoming airborne.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health administers an asbestos program that aims to reduce potential exposure to asbestos, including asbestos abatement and removal. This process should be undertaken by a licensed asbestos abatement contractor.

Asbestos exposure can lead to the development of a rare, but severe form of asbestos lung cancer known as mesothelioma. Current research indicates it can take as much as 20 to 50 years for this illness to develop. This makes accurate diagnosis a difficult task for physicians. Mesothelioma compensation has become tough to predict for victims and their families because diagnosis can take 20-50 years. For this reason, many people refer to it as a silent killer.

Going Green!

Green methods of building and construction have become a prominent aspect of Connecticut’s communities. Implementing green methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include: Conservation of natural resources, enhance air quality, protect Eco systems, energy sustainability, increase property value, improve quality of life, improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health, Reduction of waste.

Green building is the consequence of a design that will increase energy efficiency, water and have a direct impact on your health and the environment. In a recent article published by Reuters, the green building movement has been steadily increasing. However, home owners feeling the financial crunch have been un-decided about going green because of fiscal reasons. Going green can and will have several positive economic benefits.

Cotton fiber, cellulose and lcynene, water based spray polyurethane foam are all viable replacements to asbestos. Cotton fiber is quickly becoming a favorite for home builders and renovators. Made from recycled batted material, it is also treated to be fireproof. Research has demonstrated that the use of Eco-friendly insulation alternatives can reduce annual energy costs by 25 percent. These green options have the same beneficial qualities as asbestos, minus the health deteriorating and toxic components.



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