J. Chris Huff

Rising Interest Rates May Be Good News For Sellers

If you've been keeping an eye on interest rates, you know they have risen in the past few months.  Believe it or not, for some sellers this could be good news and put them at an advantage over other sellers. 

Who are these lucky sellers and what am I talking about? I’m glad you asked. If you are a seller with an FHA or VA mortgage, those loans are assumable. An “Assumable Loan” is one that allows the payments and liability for the debt to be taken on by someone other than the original borrower.

The Last Inspection: Walk through, Don’t Just Walk by

In connection with every real estate closing there should always be a final inspection of the property by the buyer prior to closing. In industry terms this is called the “Final Walk Through”. The purpose of the Final Walk Through is for the buyer to make sure the seller has completely vacated the property and the property is being delivered in the condition that was contemplated by the contract.

Tale of Two Properties: Do I Have an Easement

I recently handled a closing that serves as an example of how important it is to have an attorney involved early in the real estate closing process. 

My client was purchasing a home and lot located across the street from the Intracoastal Waterway. Rumor was that there was also an easement for access to the waterway that crossed the property located directly across the street. 

Til Death or the IRS Do Us Part: Tenants by the Entirety

North Carolina General Statutes and N.C. case law provide for a special form of real property ownership for a husband and wife called "tenants by the entirety." 

Under this form of ownership, the property is owned by the marital unit, and each spouse does not own a separate interest. With this form of ownership interest come special protections:

Estate Contracts Bear Close Examination

The sale of estate property could have devastating results for Realtors and their clients if documents are not properly executed. Many times I will get a contract that deals with an estate signed by "Jane Doe as executrix of the estate of John Doe." 

At first glance, this appears correct. However, a quick review of North Carolina law regarding real property of a decedent reveals who has the authority to sign the Listing Agreement and Offer to Purchase. 

So, who has authority?  The executor/administrator?  The heirs?  Both? 

Watch as I Convert This 3BR into a 4BR Home

Converting a room to an additional bedroom may cause you pain 

In today’s economy it is especially important for a selling homeowner to squeeze as much value out of their property as possible. 

One of the ways an owner will seek to add value (especially with an older home) is to convert a formal living room, study, den or bonus room into a bedroom. 

Simply add a closet and voila—an additional bedroom. Now the home can be advertised and valued as a three or four bedroom home, right?   

Not so fast. 

Five Tips for Buyers Shopping for Real Estate

With the real estate market fluctuating as it has been the past several years, there is a lot of inventory for sale.  Some sounds like a bargain, but is it really? 

With properties that have been on the market awhile or if the seller is in a hurry to sell, they may feel the need to embellish, misrepresent or, quite frankly, lie about their property to make a sale. These tactics employed by desperate sellers are unethical, and the law will protect you, right? 

A review of North Carolina case law shows that the answer may surprise you. 

It's My Property. Why Does My Spouse Need to Sign?

I’m sure many of you have run into this situation and how uncomfortable it can be:  It is the day of closing, you show up at the attorney’s office, and the seller is asked “Are you married?” 

The answer is yes, and the seller is informed that their spouse will need to sign the deed. 

More often than not the seller’s response is, “It’s my property! Why does my spouse need to sign the Deed?” 

Knowing the reasons behind this requirement may help to ease this uncomfortable situation or prevent it all together.