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Don DeHanas, Broker

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Important Estate Documents

by Don DeHanas, Broker

An estate plan is a collection of documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out because of death or incapacity to make decisions for yourself. Spouses, minor children, adult children, property and investments can all be factors that should motivate a person to undergo the process.

Will – this document specifies the way a person wants to manage and distribute his/her assets after their death. When a person dies without a will, the laws of the state where the person resided will determine the distribution of the property.

Durable Power of Attorney – this document grants to a designated person the authority to act on behalf of the principal in in legal affairs should the principal become incapacitated. Among other things, this would allow the attorney-in-fact to buy and sell property on the behalf of the principal.

Healthcare Proxy – this document grants that a designated person can legally make healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal when they are incapable of making and executing specific decisions stated in the proxy.

Living Will – this document directs physicians with respect to life-prolonging medical treatments in case they become unable to communicate their decisions.

Hippa Release – this document allows heath care providers to release your health care information to a designated person. Otherwise, they are required by federal law to protect the privacy of your health information.

Letter of Instruction – This document contains information and instructions about a person’s wishes upon death. It is intended to offer details on whom to contact and where to find important documents about personal and financial matters. Requirements of these documents can vary from state to state and legal advice should be obtained.

If you need a current estimate of value on real estate that may be involved, usually a price opinion from a licensed real estate professional will suffice. It would be our privilege to assist you with this at no cost or obligation. Call us at 301-870-1717.

Before You Pay Cash For A House

by Don DeHanas, Broker

The National Association of REALTORS® reports in its 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers that 12% of all buyers paid cash for their home. Before paying cash for a home, a buyer should decide if they might put a loan on the home in the near future. It may affect the ability to deduct the interest on a mortgage placed on the home at a later date.

Homeowners can currently deduct the interest on up to $1 million of acquisition debt which are the borrowed funds used to buy, build or improve a home. Paying cash for a home establishes acquisition debt at zero.

The only deductible interest to the owner would be home equity debt which is limited to $100,000 over acquisition debt. Paying cash certainly seems like a simple decision but it may limit a homeowner’s ability to deduct interest on a future mortgage.

You can get more information about this from IRS Publication 936 or from your tax professional.

6 Reasons to Consider Rental Properties

by Don DeHanas, Broker

Single-family homes offer an investor the ability to borrow large loan-to-value amounts at fixed interest rates for long terms on appreciating assets, tax advantages and reasonable control. Some of these characteristics are not available through other investments. 75-80% loan-to-value mortgages are available on most residential properties up to four units.

Comparatively, the stock market allows you to borrow up to 50% on a stock but if the price goes down, they will require additional cash to keep the ratio at or below 50%. If it isn’t available, your stock can be sold to satisfy the loan. Real estate investors call getting a long-term mortgage putting an investment to bed. The fixed-rate and the 20-30 year terms are exceptions to loans for most other investments, if they’re available at all.

Real estate tends to go up in value over time. There can be a lot of variables that affect the price like supply and demand, condition and available mortgage money, in addition to the general economy. Rental real estate has several different tax advantages. The profits are taxed at lower, long-term capital gains rates for investors who have owned the property for more than 12 months. While the property is being rented, investors are given a non-cash deduction based on cost recovery of the improvements.

Tax deferred exchanges can also be available if specific conditions are met which allow an investor to postpone paying the tax on the gain. It isn’t necessary to have a partner with most rental homes if the investor can qualify for the mortgage. This allows investor control to make all the decisions that an owner is entitled such as setting the rent, making improvements and determining when to sell.

Rental real estate can earn a much higher rate of return than other available investments while providing income during the holding period. It certainly is worth investigating the possibility with a real estate professional who understands and works with rental properties.

What Would You Give?

by Don DeHanas, Broker

Yogi Berra said he’d give his right arm to be ambidextrous. While most first-time home buyers are not going to that extreme, it is interesting to see what sacrifices are being made according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

• 43% - cut spending on luxury or non-essential items

• 34% - cut spending on entertainment

• 27% - cut spending on clothes

• 14% - canceled vacation plans

 9% - earned extra income through a second job

• 7% - sold or decided not to purchase a vehicle

• 44% - did not need to make any sacrifices

Forty-percent of first-time buyers experienced some difficulty during the mortgage application and approval process. Single, male buyers expressed a higher incidence of difficulty than single females and married or unmarried couples. Pre-approval from a qualified mortgage lender before the home search process begins is still considered the best advice for all buyers who will purchase with a mortgage. Your real estate professional can make recommendations for a loan officer that could help you avoid unnecessary aggravations. 

Mortgage loans from relatives

by Don DeHanas, Broker

Occasionally, when dealing with close relatives who might also become heirs, signing a note and handling the paperwork properly may seem like a needless effort but it could mean the difference in being able to take a legitimate interest deduction. Home mortgage interest is deductible only if the loan is a secured debt which involves the buyer signing an instrument like a mortgage or deed of trust that makes the ownership of the home security for the debt. That instrument must then be recorded or otherwise perfected according to state or local law and the home, in case of default, must be able to satisfy the debt.

In a family situation, a parent, grandparent or other relative may decide to loan a buyer the money to purchase a home because they have it available and it isn’t earning much in certificates of deposit. They offer to loan it for a rate equal to what a conventional lender is charging but without the fees. While it may appear to be a win-win situation, there could be problems if things are not done correctly.

Even if the borrower makes the payments, they are not entitled to an interest deduction unless three criteria are met: 1) sign a debt instrument specifying the terms 2) securing and record the debt properly and 3) the home is sufficient collateral for the loan. It would be prudent to consult with an attorney before you sign the final settlement papers to be comfortable that both buyer and the lender-relative are complying with IRS regulations. For more information, see IRS Publication 936 – Home Mortgage Interest.

Baby Boomers Staying in Place

by Don DeHanas, Broker

There seems to have been an accepted progression for homeowners going from starter home, to gradually moving into one’s dream home, then, downsizing after becoming an empty nester and finally, into a retirement home. However, Marianne Cusato’s 2016 Aging-in-Place Report indicates that many older Americans don’t plan on following that pattern.

61% of homeowners above the age of 55 intend on staying in their homes indefinitely. 2/3 of them believe that the home’s layout will serve their needs without having to make aging-related improvements. Some of the reasons being cited for staying in place are:

66% say their home is conveniently located

38% say they live close to their family

68% say they feel independent in their home

54% say they are familiar with their neighborhood

66% say the feel safe in their home Typical renovations that might be considered for their current home are things like grab bars in the tub or shower, shower seats, taller toilets, handheld showerheads and additional handrails on stairways.

It seems that the report’s conclusion is that regardless of a homeowner’s age, they want to thrive in their home. The same emotional reasons that causes a person to want to buy a home are the things that cause them to hold onto them if is practical.

How to Attract Home Buyers

by Don DeHanas, Broker

There is a common body of knowledge among real estate professionals that indicates that the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price will be. Many sellers discount this belief in the beginning because they feel confident their home will sell quickly. Lowering the price is the most obvious thing that can be done to encourage buyers but it might be good to look at what builders do. Builders offer a variety of incentives such as upgrades, seller-paid closing costs, interest rate buy downs, washers, dryers, refrigerators or big screen TVs. Interestingly, much of the resale market doesn’t employ these techniques.

According to the latest NAR Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, 64% of sellers did not offer any incentives at all. 21% of sellers offer a home warranty. 16% of sellers offered assistance with closing costs and 6% offered credit toward remodeling or repairs.  The attached chart indicates that while 80% of sellers were not willing to offer incentives in the beginning of their marketing period, as weeks passes and their home hasn’t sold, closer to half did add incentives. The ideal outcome is to maximize proceeds in the shortest time possible with the fewest unexpected issues. This involves having a firm understanding of current, local market conditions and crafting a marketing plan that will insure results.

There is so much at stake, the value of a trusted real estate professional is essential. Call DeHanas Real Estate for all of your residental property sales and property management needs at 301-870-1717.

DeHanas Team Welcomes Tonga Turner

by Don DeHanas, Broker

Don DeHanas, Broker/owner of DeHanas Real Estate Services in Waldorf, recently announced the affiliation of Tonga Turner to the team. "Tonga is highly enthusiastic and detail oriented making her the perfect well-rounded real estate professional" says DeHanas. "We are excited she has joined our family team"!

Integrity, honesty and partnership are the three major foundations on which Tonga Turner’s real estate career has been built on. "Real estate is more than just, renting, selling or buying a home, it’s an important decision. Even if you are a seasoned homebuyer or seller, or looking to make your very first purchase", says Turner, who adds, "and I'll be here to guide you every step of the way".

From working with 3 major fortune 500 companies as a top business executive, to brokering major corporate deals in the private sector, Tonga’s job has always been to put the client first. If you are looking for a seasoned negotiator that is always working to achieve the best possible result for you and your family, then give Tonga Turner a call. Providing superior, quality real estate concierge services for today’s professionals.  Tonga truely is working to make real estate dreams come true.

DeHanas Real Estate Services is locally owned and operated, specializing in residential property sales, Bank-owned home sales, short sales, investment property and Property Management.

Real Estate Fact or Myth

by Don DeHanas, Broker

• “It’s impossible to get low down payment loans.” – FACT! FHA down payments are 3.5% and VA is 0%. In some areas, there may be some 0% down payment USDA loans available. FNMA and Freddie Mac have 3% down payment programs.

• “It takes perfect credit to get a loan.” - FACT! There is a relationship of better rates to better credit but many issues on a credit report can be explained or corrected. The way to know for sure is to speak to a reliable lender.

• “If I’ve had a bankruptcy or Foreclosure, I can’t qualify.” - FACT! Credit history following a bankruptcy or foreclosure is very important and there can be extenuating circumstances. It only takes a few moments with a reliable lending professional to find out if your individual situation will allow you to qualify for a new mortgage. Will I Ever Be Able to Buy a House After Bankruptcy?

• “Getting pre-approved is expensive.” - FACT! Usually, the only expense to getting pre-approved is the cost of the credit report which could be around $35. The advantage is that you will know that you qualify for a particular mortgage amount.

• “I should wait to qualify until I find a home.” - FACT! It can take weeks to qualify for a mortgage especially if there are issues that need to be corrected. The best interest rates are only available for the highest credit scores. It is to your advantage to start the qualifying process early in your home search.

• “All lenders are the same.” - FACT! Reliable lending professionals will explain the entire process before collecting fees, quote fees up-front, have competitive products, do what is necessary to get the loan approved and close at the locked rate and terms. Ask for recommendations from recent borrowers.

• “Adjustable Rate Mortgages are more expensive than fixed rate mortgages.” - FACT! Adjustable Rate Mortgages can be less expensive than fixed rate mortgages if the buyer’s circumstances warrant it. If a buyer is only going to be in a home for a few years before selling, it can be determined if an ARM loan will result in the lowest way to finance the property. There are many variables and you need to be aware of them before deciding which type of loan to finance your home purchase.

Buyers and Sellers need solid information to make good decisions. Call us with your questions or to get a recommendation of a reliable lender who can give you the real facts.

Holly Huseman Joins DeHanas Real Estate

by Don DeHanas, Broker

DeHanas Real Estate Announces the affiliation of Holly Huseman!

Holly has been a Charles County Native for 32+ years! Seventeen of those years have been in Real Estate exclusively Property Management and as a Realtor with Southern Maryland Association of Realtors (SMAR). Before arriving with the DeHanas Team, she helped expand and grow another Real Estate Company. Now she looks forward to this new adventure approaching! Aside from work, Holly is a mother of two, a fifteen year old daughter and an eleven year old son. "I look forward to helping my County, your families and working with my new family at DeHanas Real Estate!" says Holly.

DeHanas Real Estate is locally owned and operated specializing in all aspects of residential home sales and Property Management. Their office is conveniently located in St Charles Town Plaza in Waldorf. 

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The DeHanas Team
DeHanas Real Estate Services
1218 Smallwood Drive
Waldorf MD 20603
Office: 301-870-1717
1-800-842-0190
Fax: 240-754-7867

Servicing all Anne Arundel County, Calvert County, Charles County, and Prince George's County as well as Annapolis, Bowie, Chesapeake Beach, Crofton, Dunkirk, Edgewater, Ft. Meade, Huntingtown, La Plata, North Beach, Odenton, Owings, Pasadena, Severn, Waldorf, and the Upper Marlboro areas of Maryland, all of Washington DC, and Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Arlington, and King George County real estate advertised in this website are subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap and familial status, or national origin, or any intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination. DeHanas Real Estate Services will not knowingly accept any listing agreement for real estate sales in Anne Arundel County, Calvert County, Charles County, and Prince George's County as well as Annapolis, Bowie, Chesapeake Beach, Crofton, Dunkirk, Edgewater MD, Ft. Meade, Huntingtown, La Plata, North Beach, Odenton, Owings, Pasadena, Severn, Waldorf, and the Upper Marlboro, all of Washington DC, and Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Arlington, and King George County areas which are in violation of the law. Our clients and customers are informed that all dwellings advertised on our website in Anne Arundel County, Calvert County, Charles County, and Prince George's County as well as Annapolis, Bowie, Chesapeake Beach, Crofton, Dunkirk, Edgewater MD, Ft. Meade, Huntingtown, La Plata, North Beach, Odenton, Owings, Pasadena, Severn, Waldorf, and the Upper Marlboro, all of Washington DC, and Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Arlington, and King George County areas are available on an equal opportunity basis. All prices and finance claims appearing in this site are subject to change without notice.