Susan R. Benoit

Cybercriminals Target Home Buyers & Sellers Nationwide

If you've been reading the news lately, fraudsters and hackers are everywhere! They're hijacking business and personal computers across the globe demanding a ransom so you can gain access back to your computer. They're sending fake emails asking you to open a Word document, Dropbox link, or Google Drive link that could potentially scrape your personal information to be used for identity theft. They're emailing you "from" UPS and FedEx claiming an urgent, overnight package can't be delivered.

NC Sales Tax - Not Just Goods but Services, Too

While most of us are accustomed to paying sales tax at the grocery store and department store, most people are not used to paying taxes on services provided to the consumer. However, recent changes to North Carolina tax laws make it mandatory for service providers to tax those that benefit from some services. One particular area in which these new service contract sales tax laws may affect you concerns your home.

Two Tips to De-Stress Closing and Moving Day

You’ve put an offer on a home, but you still need to sell your house first. That’s ok. Your sellers have a closing date on Wednesday a few weeks away. Timing is everything, so you carefully calculate your own closing date for the day after you’ve sold your home. 

It’s an exciting time, and there’s lots to do: line up the moving vans, contact the utility companies so that power, cable and water can be switched out of their names and into yours, and time the key handoff precisely. 

Eclosings! You Can Buy and Pay for a House Online Today

You can buy anything online nowadays - groceries, flowers, make-up, homes, music, furniture, the list goes on and on.  Yes, I did say homes!  Many of us have bought and paid for something online, however, very few people have bought and paid for a house online.  Oh, sure, there are some that can say they found the home online, and they did all their paperwork to purchase the home remotely via email, fax and overnight mailings.  Those of us in the real estate transaction world are used to seeing this.

Up, Up, and Away: Recording Fees are Rising

UP - The recording fee for a deed of trust in North Carolina is going UP from $56.00 to $64.00 on October 1, 2016. 

UP - The number of pages that are included in the recording fee is going UP from 15 pages to 35 pages.

AWAY – The hope is that this will do AWAY with problems being created because of a change in a recording fee due to requirements of TILA-RESPA INTEGRATED DISCLOSURE (“TRID”).  

5 Tips for Buyers Shopping for Real Estate

If you grew up watching The Brady Bunch, you probably remember one of the most memorable episodes ever:  Episode 53 “The Wheeler Dealer.”  Greg is excited to buy his first set of wheels from his buddy Eddie. And, as we all know, Eddie isn’t always truthful.  A doe-eyed Greg gets taken in by Eddie’s pretty prose, and Greg gets stuck with a lemon, learning what in Americana is probably the most notable TV Latin lesson:  caveat emptor – or let the buyer beware.  

Selling Property: Disclosing Sex Offenders Who Live Nearby

Buyer, sellers, and real estate agents have a duty to disclose “material facts” regarding the property and transaction to all the parties involved.  Material facts include facts about the property, the ability of a party to complete the transaction, the ability for a party to use the property for a particular purpose and some facts that relate to the property or the neighborhood. Notice I said “some” facts that relate to the property or the neighborhood.

Important NC Title Insurance Rate Changes

NC Title Insurance Rate Changes Go into Effect April 1, 2016

Changes in North Carolina Title Insurances are effective April 1st of this year. If you are closing on a property, please make sure your lending partners are aware of these new rates so they can plan for it on the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure.

If you have any questions, contact one of the real estate attorneys at Hutchens Law Firm:

5 Tips When Considering Buying a Real Estate Owned Property

You are interested in buying property that your agent says is an REO.  What does that mean? 

REO is an abbreviation used by lenders, agents and attorneys that means “Real Estate Owned”.  Most banks and mortgage companies have an REO portfolio but they want as few properties in that portfolio as possible. This is because lenders do not make money on their REO portfolio. In fact, most of the time, lenders lose money when a property enters their REO portfolio.

Buying a House: I’m Packed and Ready to Move in

Buying a house, selling a house... all in the same day....today, tomorrow or maybe next week….

I have had four closings in the past two weeks that did not happen as scheduled. Two of them were delayed because the buyers’ loans are still in underwriting (this is the process the mortgage company goes through to determine if the borrower is a healthy risk for them), and the other two were delayed because the buyers have to sell their current house before they can buy the new one.

The Domino Effect

Shopping Around for Homeowner's Insurance

You've heard the saying, ‘the only two constants in life are death and taxes’. As we've seen in the local news, North Carolina insurance companies seek to add escalating homeowners' insurance rates to this list. Citing the estimated replacement costs for homes subject to future weather events and disasters is the justification the insurance companies use for the rate hike. The North Carolina Insurance Commission prudently denied the insurance companies’ request; however, the insurance companies won't take ‘no’ for an answer.