Northern Virginia Real Estate: Looking At Seller’s Disclosure In Virginia

download (13)Unlike other states, Virginia’s main disclosure statute requires sellers to disclose very little about their houses. Virginia law requires sellers to disclose the following information:

  • Whether the property is in an area where military air installation is located
  • If the house has a defective drywall
  • If the property has previously been used as a meth lab and hasn’t been cleaned according to the state guidelines
  • Whether the property has a septic system that needs to be repaired, but the owner has obtained a waiver from the Virginia board of health. The seller should let the buyer know whether the waiver will apply to the buyer
  • Sellers may choose to disclose whether the property is in a designated tourism activity zone.
  • In Virginia, newly constructed homes are usually exempted from statute disclosure rules.
  • In addition to the state disclosures, sellers must also meet the federal disclosure requirements. Sellers with houses constructed before 1978 are required with federal Title X disclosures. These are disclosures regarding lead-based paint and hazards.
  • As the seller you should give EPA-approved information pamphlet to buyers. These pamphlets should give information relating to lead in your home. It’s also required that you give buyers the option of conducting lead-based paint assessment.

A seller disclosure is of great importance to you as a buyer as it gives you more details about the home that you are looking to buy.

If you are looking to buy a house in Virginia, you need to do the donkey work by yourself. You should inspect the house or hire a professional to help you out. When doing your own inspection you need to focus on the following areas:

Grounds: inspect septic tank, drainage systems, driveway, sidewalk and fence.

Electrical system: it’s impossible to do this by yourself thus you have to hire a professional to do it for you. The professional should ensure that the electrical system is up to code and the system is working perfectly.

Structural elements: you should go through the house and ensure that the construction is well done and there is no evidence of bowing or sagging.

Exterior surfaces: ensure that there is correct clearance between siding material and ground.

Roof: you should inspect the condition of the shingles, chimney, vents and gutters. As rule of thumb ensure that everything is perfect.

Interior plumbing: hire a professional plumber to help you identify any damaged or leaking pipes. Ensure that the toilets, sinks, showers and bathtubs are fully functioning.

Prohibitions put in place

While the seller’s disclosure obligations are minimal, Virginia law has standards that the seller must follow. The law requires that the seller shouldn’t do or say anything that distracts the buyer from finding a problem. The seller also shouldn’t cover up a known defect.

Conclusion

Virginia law requires that sellers disclose very little about a house. If you are interested in knowing more about the house, you should undertake private assessment. To buy the right house, work with a certified and experienced professional.

 

Should You Buy a Ready Possession Flat or Get a Home Constructed?

images (1)Living in your own flat or house provides you with the great feeling of security, independence and happiness. The ultimate dream of everyone is to own a place to live. When a person starts to earn, the first thing that comes into his mind is to own a house and starts to save a lot towards this purpose. When it comes to own a house, you have got two options, buy a ready possession flat for sale or buy your own land and build a house in it. Both these ideas have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s analyse some of them to decide between these two great options to own a living space for ourselves.

Building Your Own House

Every person has a dream to construct a house that suits to the needs and requirements of the family members. It gets fulfilled when you plan and construct a house for you. Here, your liking and preferences of interior decoration, a color of paint, types of tiles and marbles and a lot of other features of the house give preference. You can choose between costly and cheap materials of construction. You can supervise the laborers and technicians who work to construct your house. Meanwhile, you can save a lot of money. Again, you can construct your house part by part. It is not necessary for you to construct it at a stretch. You can complete the work as and when you have money. Hence, your house becomes a fulfillment of your wishes and dreams. At the same time, there are a lot of disadvantages too. Constructing a house by you takes away a lot of your time and energy. If your knowledge in the construction field is limited, you may make mistakes in choosing the right materials and laborers for the construction. These days labour is not easily available. In the case of a sudden financial crunch, your dream to construct your dream house may not get fulfilled.

Buy a Flat

When you buy ready possession flats for sale, you have a lot of advantages. The most appealing benefit of buying a flat is that you can move as soon as you complete the buying formalities. There are no worries and hurries of construction. You become the owner of a beautiful home overnight. Your confidence and self-esteem will shoot up and you will achieve the status of being the proud owner of a flat. When you choose a ready to possession flat for sale, you choose to live in a highly developed are in your society. The disadvantage of buying a flat is that you have to find a large amount of money to buy it. There are also options to meet these financial requirements. The quality of construction also may worry you a lot.

When we analyse both advantages and disadvantages of buying and constructing a home, we find a lot of unique features to both these options. At the same time, buying a flat would be a better idea as it is easy and is available for immediate possession.

 

The Chill in US Real Estate

download (12)You know things are starting to get dicey out there when even a multimillion-dollar penthouse in Manhattan can’t sell.

It seems a developer in SoHo, having just recently finished primary construction for his high-rise condo tower, realized the project’s focal point – a $45 million, 8,400-square-foot penthouse – was just a bit too much.

“The air is very thin up there in that buyer pool,” was the way the builder, Kevin Maloney, put it to Bloomberg.

You’ll love the Solomon-esque solution Maloney came up with.

The penthouse has a wonderfully grandiose name: the Summit of SoHo.

Sure, it has its own indoor pool. And yes, it has 23-foot living room ceilings. Plus, it has not one but two private elevators. One goes to the lobby; the other is so you don’t have to take the stairs to the penthouse’s upper levels (for entertaining, a spa and a rooftop kitchen and grill).

But the stock market cracked hard at the start of the year, with the S&P 500 down 11% at its lowest point in 2016, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped roughly 17%. In recent months, Chinese real estate buyers pulled a disappearing act from realtor offices all around the U.S. And after years of ultra low interest rates and easy lending policies, there’s now an excess of iconic luxury living quarters on the island of Manhattan.

The developer’s solution? Chop his project’s expansive space into two smaller penthouses – an $11 million, 3,000-square-foot unit (though at that size, it hardly seems big enough for one’s collection of bespoke suits), and a second, 5,400-square-foot unit for a comparatively cheap $29.5 million.

I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if either gets a sale or not.

Red Hot Real Estate No More

These days, even the bond rating agencies, ever late to calling the turns in any market, are jumping on board…

Fitch Ratings noted last month that home prices in San Francisco have “risen to a level unsupportable by area income.” According to Fitch, that makes the local market overvalued by around 16% – which probably means that you’d need to double that figure to estimate a true “fair value” for this once white-hot luxury market.

Just in the last few days, the National Association of Realtors noted weakening demand among foreign buyers, blaming a strong dollar and rising U.S. home prices for pushing U.S. real estate beyond the bounds of affordability even for rich foreigners.

The crash of China’s Shanghai Composite stock index (down nearly 22% just since the start of 2016 with nary a bounce) forced many of the country’s wealthy elites to pull back on their property purchases. You can see the impact in regional news headlines around the country:

In San Francisco: “At High End, SF’s Housing Market Finally Cooling Off.”

From The Boston Globe: “High-end housing market cooling off.”

In Fort Lauderdale: “South Florida condo market cooling off.”

Will it get worse for premium real estate? I think we’re still in the early innings.

Uncle Sam’s War on Cash (Property Buyers)

The story didn’t get much media play back in January, but that’s when the U.S. Treasury Department and its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the issuance of “Geographic Targeting Orders” for New York City and Miami.

The “GTOs,” according to FinCEN’s press release, require “certain U.S. title insurance companies to identify the natural persons behind companies used to pay ‘all cash’ for high-end residential real estate.”

Basically, the folks at the Treasury are worried whether corrupt foreign officials or “transnational criminals” might be laundering piles of dirty money through these multimillion-dollar property purchases.

Or is Uncle Sam just worried about the flood of Chinese cash into the American real estate market? “All cash” is practically a synonym for rich Chinese property buyers.

At least, that used to be the case. As we’ve seen in the “cooling off” headlines around the country, the absence of this class of real estate purchaser is starting to be felt in markets around the country.

An article in The New York Times late last year really brings the impact of Chinese property buyers into focus. When it comes to purchasing a home in America, they pay an average price of $831,000 – nearly double what international buyers from India ($460,000), Britain ($455,000) and Canada ($380,000) pay for their homes in the U.S.

In coming quarters, I believe the FinCEN “targeting orders” will likely spell the end of the property-speculation craze among Chinese buyers. The government action may only be limited to New York City and Miami, but it will have a deep chilling effect everywhere. After all, it only takes another press release from FinCEN to announce an expansion into other American cities of its inquiry into the identities of those big-money, anonymous all-cash property buyers.

The trend will take time, with the data trickling onto economists’ spreadsheets. But as Chinese elites continue to pull back from American real estate, well, get ready for a “Wile E. Coyote” moment in high-end luxury home prices – and more pressure on the Federal Reserve to reverse its stance on interest rates.

A veteran investor and longtime financial journalist, JL Yastine is a contributor to Sovereign Investor Daily. He also serves as editorial director, focusing on creation and development of new products and editorial resources that will help the Society’s members “be Sovereign.” Read more at The Sovereign Investor Daily.

 

Corporate Real Estate Occupiers Are Aggressive on Expanding Offices in India

download (11)Recently, a popular property consultant firm conducted a research on mid-sized corporate real estate occupiers during the period June – July 2015, and gathered the responses of leading corporate firms headquartered in India and overseas. The research report says that, corporate real estate occupiers seem to be very aggressive in occupying office spaces across India.

Basically, the survey pointed to the choice of work space being progressively driven by the three main objectives; they are Talent (availability and cost), Infrastructure (social and physical) and Real Estate options. It has to be noted that the survey respondents included the corporates based across different industries and the representatives of typical Indian office space occupiers.

Below mentioned are a few key findings of the research:

  • The corporate occupiers in India are more likely to adopt the workplace strategies. The survey also revealed that the occupiers are being very efficient and are more inclined to adopt the efficient strategies, with most of the corporates mainly preferring to adopt open space workstation formats.
  • The leading corporate space occupiers continued to occupy the core locations and central business districts of major cities. The study also explored the preferences of the respondents across various occupation options, and the result indicated that, almost about 75% of the respondents preferred to lease, pre-lease or purchase the space within the prime locations of the cities.
  • IT/ITeS companies are planning to expand their operations across major cities in the southern part. The respondents of other key sectors like ecommerce firms, health care and others preferred Mumbai and Delhi NCR for their future expansions.
  • Office space occupiers across the leading industry segments were asked to chart out the direction in which they want to expand their office over the next two years. The results indicated that, most of the IT/ITeS firms (almost about 70%) of the respondents are more likely to expand their operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, while the ecommerce and media firms chose to expand in Mumbai and Delhi NCR in the next two years.
  • It’s expected that the headcount of corporate offices will increase in the next two years as most of the respondents seemed to be very aggressive on expanding their operations in India. Almost 80% of the respondents from the sectors like IT/ITeS, consulting, research, ecommerce are planning to increase the employee headcount in the next two years.

Many respondents were comfortable with the corporate real estate strategies of expanding their operations within the existing markets. The above mentioned key findings clearly indicate that the occupier sentiment is highly positive towards the business environment of India for the next two years.

Sahaana Jai, the author of the above article is working in a real estate concern offering corporate real estate in Bangalore. She is a blogger as well as a web enthusiast. She writes articles, posts based on the needs and future of commercial real estate in Metropolitan cities.