With Terry Story, 26-year Veteran Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker in Boca Raton, FL
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Here’s a long but attention grabbing headline from the world of residential real estate… Couple arrested after ‘pocketing $153,000 of insurance money and selling house without telling the new owners about a secret sinkhole that splits the living room in two’.
A Florida couple could face up to 20 years in prison each after allegedly taking insurance money to fix a sinkhole but failing to fix the problem before they sold the property to another owner. The couple face federal charges for wire fraud after supposedly receiving a $153,000 settlement but leaving a sinkhole and collecting an additional $60,000 from a family with five children. Terry’s advice – honesty is always the best policy when you’re selling a home so you don’t have to face a lawsuit down the road, and for obvious moral reasons.
In addition, there’s some good news for low income home buyers – with laws that let income from household members – grandma and grandpa – potentially count towards income to pay off a mortgage. That’s great news for folks that tend to live in joint families – it’s a win all around provided home buyers do not lie or take unfair advantage of those who live with them.
Terry also cautions people against over-estimating their home values as they go into a sale – because price is a key factor in home sales. If you over-price your home, savvy buyers that do their homework over the Internet will not even come and look at your home – because buyers typically do way more research than sellers.
Experts think the housing market should remain strong through 2017 – so this is still an okay time to be investing in property – especially with the U.S. economy mostly picking up across all states.
Finally, Terry answers a listener’s question about protecting yourself and your property while wanting to help out a loved one… her advice, treat it like a business transaction and protect yourself.