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Fountain Hills Condos and Townhomes

Today, there are 1410 townhomes and condominiums listed on the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). Forty-five are located in Fountain Hills along with 16 patio homes.

Many people do not know the difference between the various legal and marketing names attached to property types and real estate agents have listed properties in ways that don’t necessarily correlate with the true legal definitions. In fact, on the ARMLS, condominiums are listed under the heading of Townhome. That is just one good reason to have an experienced, licensed Realtor® working on your behalf and helping you understand the property type in the transaction.

An owner of a townhome owns the land below and the airspace above the unit as well as a percentage of ownership of common areas. Typically, townhomes share common walls on either side and are two or more stories in height, although that is not a requirement. A townhome can be mortgaged like any other parcel of real estate and real estate taxes are assessed and collected on each unit as an individual property.

An owner of a condominium owns the property from the exterior walls inward. There is no ownership of land below or airspace above the “condo” unit. Typically, the owner of the condo also holds a proportional share of the common area and while usually not attached to the owned property, there can be assigned parking that is outlined in the ownership documents. A condo unit, like a townhome, can be mortgaged and real estate taxes are assessed and collected on each unit as an individual property.

Patio homes are much like townhomes except they often are built as free-standing homes and do not share common walls with other units. They are usually built close together.

A single-family detached home is the description of structure usually occupied by just one household or family and consists of one dwelling unit. In some jurisdictions allowances are made for basement suites, “in-law quarters” or “casitas” without changing the description from “single family”. It does exclude, however, any short-term accommodations (hotel, motels, inns), large-scale rentals (apartments) or condominiums. Detached simply means that the building does not share an inside wall with any other dwelling.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to verify all details of a real estate transaction and for purposes of insurance coverage and other issues of significance, the buyer must understand exactly what property type is being purchased. The descriptions above are general, informational guidelines and a real estate attorney should be consulted if there are questions pertaining to a specific property or transaction. The legal definition of any property type varies depending on the location and the specific deed restrictions of the property.

 John Eberle is a licensed Realtor® with the Artisan Real Estate Group, focusing on home sales in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, call John at 602 550 1474.

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Real Estate Terms and Definitions, Part Three

Below are a few more terms important to buyers and sellers of homes in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Closing is the term many real estate professionals use referring to the closing of escrow or the consummation of the real estate transaction. Closing is complete when all documents have been recorded.

Cloud on Title is any condition that affects the clear title to real property.

Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) is a comparison of properties recently sold and currently on the market (see comparables) that are used to determine a range of value for a subject property. To be valid, the “comps” must be similar in location, size, age, style and amenities. A CMA is not an appraisal. Is sometimes called competitive market analysis.

Comparables (Comps) are properties used that a substantially equal to a subject property in determination of value.

Escrow is a method of closing in which a disinterested third party is authorized to act as escrow agent who will collect all pertinent documents and coordinate the closing activities in accordance with the contract.

HUD-1 or Uniform Settlement Statement is a financial accounting of all funds received or expended in a residential real estate transaction and is prepared by the escrow agent. This is the required document for any transaction financed by a federally related mortgage loan. Sometimes called Settlement Statement or Closing Statement.

Listing is an agreement for professional services between a seller of property (principal) and a real estate broker. The agreement spells out the authority of the broker to find a buyer for the property as well as the relationship and rights of both parties.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a service organization that real estate professionals belong in order to advertise or “list” properties for sale. The advantage to marketing a property on the MLS, for the seller, is exposure to a larger market of buyers.

Proration is the division of costs proportionally between the buyer and seller in a transaction. This usually refers to the costs of prepaid taxes, insurance(s), interest and homeowner’s association dues. In Arizona, the buyer assumes responsibility for costs on the day of closing.

Settlement Statement (also called Closing Statement and/or HUD-1) is a financial accounting of all funds received or expended in a residential real estate transaction and is prepared by the escrow agent.

Survey is the property’s legal description concerning the exact location and size of the property. It is usual for the survey to “spot” the location of buildings, driveways, fences and other improvements located on the property. A survey should note any existing easements and/or encroachments.

 

John Eberle is a licensed REALTOR® living and working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For more information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, AZ contact John by clicking on the Contact Me tab above this blog.

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Real Estate Terms and Definitions, Part II

Below are a few more Real Estate terms and definitions that buyers and sellers of real estate should know.

REALTOR®  Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly, and subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. REALTOR® is a registered trademark.

Agency is the relationship between a principle (buyer or seller / owner or renter) wherein a real estate agent is authorized to represent the principle in certain transactions.

Appraisal is an estimate of quantity, quality and/or value of a property. Also refers to the report that sets forth the estimation parameters and conclusion of value.

Commission is a fee usually based on a percentage of the final sales price, but can also be a flat fee. Commission is paid to the broker, who then pays the licensed agent. Commissions are negotiable.

Comparables are properties used that a substantially equal to a subject property in determination of value.

Earnest Money is money deposited by a buyer under the terms of a contract, to be forfeited to the seller should the buyer default, but applied to the sales price of the property should the sale close.

Equity is the interest or value an owner has in a property above any debt on that property.

Exclusive Right to Sell is a listing contract in which the owner of a property designates a real estate broker as exclusive agent for a determined period of time, to sell the property on the owner’s stated terms, and agrees to pay the broker a commission when the property is sold, whether by the broker, the owner or another broker.

John Eberle is a REALTOR® living and working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For more information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, AZ contact John by clicking on the Contact Me tab above this blog.

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Real Estate Terms and Definitions

REALTORS® are often asked to interpret the legalese in a home sales contract. It is important to note that REALTORS® are not lawyers.  Sellers and buyers of real estate should always consult professionals in law and accounting if there are questions of serious concern.

Below are some terms and definitions that are common to real estate transactions in Arizona.

Acceleration Clause is a clause in a mortgage or Deed of Trust that can be enforced, bringing the entire debt due immediately in the event of borrower default on installment payment or other covenant. Also called Due on Default clause.

Alienation Clause is a clause in a mortgage or Deed of Trust that states the entire balance of secured debt is due and payable immediately upon sale of the property by the borrower. This prevents the borrower from assigning the debt without the lender’s approval. Also called Due on Sale clause.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit expressed as a yearly rate. This is not the interest rate on a loan, but rather a measure of the total cost including the interest, loan discount (points), origination fees, transaction fees and any premiums for credit-guarantee insurance. APR is meant to provide a uniform measure for comparing the costs of similar credit transactions.

Amortized Loan is a loan where principle and interest is paid off over a period of time.

Beneficiary in a Deed of Trust transaction is the lender.

Deed of Trust (Trust Deed) is an instrument used to create a mortgage lien by which the borrower conveys title to a trustee, who holds it as security for the benefit of the lender.

Trustor is the borrower in a Deed of Trust transaction.

Trustee is a neutral third party that holds title in a Deed of Trust transaction.

 

John Eberle is a REALTOR® living and working in Fountain Hills, Arizona. For more information on buying a home or selling a home in Fountain Hills, AZ contact John by clicking on the Contact Me tab above this blog.

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