Tim OLeary

Southwest Michigan
Investor, Builder, Broker
269-313-2330
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May 2019 Newsletter

May 2019 Newsletter
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Tim O'Leary Property Group
                                
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Condominium and PUD Ownership
By Tim O'Leary



 

Builders, in an effort to combat the dual problem of an increasing population and a declining availability of prime land, are increasingly turning to common interest developments (CIDs) as a means to maximize land use and offer homebuyers convenient, affordable housing.

The two most common forms of common interest developments in many states are Condominiums and Planned Unit Developments, often referred to as PUDs. The essential characteristics shared by these two forms of ownership are:

  1. Common ownership of private residential property
  2. Mandatory membership of all owners in an association which controls use of the common property
  3. Governing documents which establish the procedures for governing the association, the rules which the owners must follow in the use of their individual lots or units as well as the common properties
  4. A means by which owners are assessed to finance the operation of the association and maintenance of the common properties

Before continuing further, it may be helpful to clarify a common misconception about Condominiums and PUDs. The terms Condominium and PUD refer to types of interests in land, not to physical styles of dwellings. Therefore, when homebuyers say that they are buying a townhouse, it is not the same as saying that they are buying a condominium. When homebuyers say that they are buying a unit in a PUD, they are not necessarily buying a single-family detached home. A townhouse might legally be a condominium, a unit or lot in a Planned Unit Development, or a single-family detached residence. The terms Condominium or PUD will say a great deal about the ownership rights the buyer will receive in the unit and the interest they will acquire in the common properties or common areas of the development.

Common interest developments offer many advantages to homebuyers, such as low maintenance and access to attractive amenities. However, there are restrictions and duties which come with ownership of a Condominium or PUD that buyers should be aware of prior to purchase.

To acquaint you with various aspects of ownership in common interest developments, the Land Title Association has answered some of the questions most commonly asked about Condominiums and PUDs.

What are the basic differences between ownership of a Condominium and ownership of a PUD?

The owner(s) of a unit within a typical Condominium project owns 100% of the unit, as defined by a recorded Condominium Plan. As well, they will own a fractional or percentage interest in all common areas of the Condominium project.

The owner(s) of a lot within a PUD owns the lot which has been conveyed to them-as shown in the recorded Tract Map or Parcel Map-and the structure and improvements thereon. In addition, they receive rights and easements to use in common areas owned by another-frequently a Homeowner’s association-of which the individual lot owners are members.

The above are basic descriptions and should not be considered legal definitions.

Besides ownership of my unit, what other amenities (common areas) will I be acquiring use of and how will I own them?

Common interest areas may span the spectrum from the ordinary-buildings, roadways, walkways and utility rooms-to the extravagant-equestrian trails and golf courses-with more usual amenities including community swimming pools and clubhouse facilities.

Your ownership rights in common areas will be spelled out in your project’s Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC and R’s). The subject of CC and R’s will be expanded upon later in this brochure.

As we stated in the answer to the previous question, Condominium owners own a fractional or percentage interest in common with all other owners in the Condominium project, in all common areas. PUD owners receive rights and easements to use of common areas through their membership in a Homeowner’s association, which typically owns and controls the common areas. Some PUD projects, however, provide that the individual homeowners will own a fractional interest in the common areas. Again, in this case, a Homeowner’s association will have the right to regulate the use of the common areas and to assess for purposes of maintaining the common areas.

Check your CC and R’s and association Bylaws (basically, rules governing the management of the development) to insure that you understand your rights to use of your unit and common areas.

What services will my Homeowner’s assessments help to finance?

Your Homeowner’s assessments support not only the easily recognizable-building and swimming pool upkeep, landscape maintenance-but also the unseen-association management and legal fees and association insurance.

As well, reserves must be factored into your assessments, including reserves for replacement of such items as roadways and walkways. In the case of condominiums, where ownership is usually limited to airspace within the walls, floors and ceiling of the unit, reserves will frequently fund replacement of such items as roofs and plumbing.

Each member of the Homeowner’s association, upon purchasing their unit, must receive a pro forma operating budget from the association. Basically, this will be a financial statement of the income and obligations of the association, which must include an estimate of the life of the obligations covered under the assessments and how their replacement is being funded.

What happens if I fail to pay my Homeowner’s assessments?

Delinquency fees will be added onto the unpaid assessments.

Should your delinquency continue, the association has the right to place a lien upon your property. The lien may lead to a foreclosure if the delinquency is not paid.

Of what importance are CC and R’s and Bylaws?

CC and R’s and Bylaws are the rules and regulations of the community, meant to guide the use of individual properties and common areas. Buyers should be aware that CC and R’s and Bylaws may be written so as to restrict not only property use, but also to restrict owners’ lifestyles, for instance, spelling out hours during which entertainment, such as parties, may be hosted.

CC and R’s and Bylaws are highly important and should be thoroughly examined and understood prior to purchase. They bind all owners and their successors to the rules and regulations of the community. Failure to follow those rules and regulations can be considered a breach of contract. Legal action may be taken against the homeowner for any such breach.

At what point in the real estate transaction will I be allowed to review a copy of my CC and R’s and Bylaws?

Legally, it is the responsibility of the owner to provide the prospective purchaser with the governing documents of the development (CC and R’s and Bylaws), the most recent financial statement of the Homeowner’s association and notice of any dues delinquent on the unit.

The law states that these items should be delivered as soon as practicable; however, the prospective buyer should request to see them as early as possible. If you do not fully understand what is stated in these documents, consult a real property attorney.

Should I object to items included in the CC and R’s and/or Bylaws, will I have the opportunity to terminate those items prior to taking ownership?

No. The process required to terminate these restrictions is often complex and costly. Termination of restrictions will require, at least, a majority vote by members of the Homeowner’s association, and may require litigation.

What if I have further questions regarding Condominium and PUD ownership?

Ask any questions you may have before you buy! Don’t wait to take ownership to find out about restrictions and regulations affecting your Homeownership rights.

 


 

What is title insurance? Newspapers refer to it in the weekly real estate sections and you hear about it in conversations with real estate brokers. If you’ve purchased a home you may be familiar with the benefits of title insurance. However, if this is your first home, you may wonder, “Why do I need yet another insurance policy?” While a number of issues can be raised by that question, we will start with a general answer.

The purchase of a home is one of the most expensive and important purchases you will ever make. You and your mortgage lender will want to make sure the property is indeed yours and that no one else has any lien, claim or encumbrance on your property.

The Land Title Association, in the following pages, answers some questions frequently asked about an often misunderstood line of insurance - title insurance.

What is the difference between title insurance and casualty insurance?

Title insurers work to identify and eliminate risk before issuing a title insurance policy. Casualty insurers assume risks.

Casualty insurance companies realize that a certain number of losses will occur each year in a given category (auto, fire, etc.). The insurers collect premiums monthly or annually from the policy holders to establish reserve funds in order to pay for expected losses.

Title companies work in a very different manner. Title insurance will indemnify you against loss under the terms of your policy, but title companies work in advance of issuing your policy to identify and eliminate potential risks and therefore prevent losses caused by title defects that may have been created in the past.

Title insurance also differs from casualty insurance in that the greatest part of the title insurance premium dollar goes towards risk elimination. Title companies maintain title plants, which contain information regarding property transfers and liens reaching back many years. Maintaining these title plants, along with the searching and examining of title, is where most of your premium dollar goes.

Who needs title insurance?

Buyers and lenders in real estate transactions need title insurance. Both want to know that the property they are involved with is insured against certain title defects. Title companies provide this needed insurance coverage subject to the terms of the policy. The seller, buyer and lender all benefit from the insurance provided by title companies.

What does title insurance insure?

Title insurance offers protection against claims resulting from various defects (as set out in the policy) which may exist in the title to a specific parcel of real property, effective on the issue date of the policy. For example, a person might claim to have a deed or lease giving them ownership or the right to possess your property. Another person could claim to hold an easement giving them a right of access across your land. Yet another person may claim that they have a lien on your property securing the repayment of a debt. That property may be an empty lot or it may hold a 50-story office tower. Title companies work with all types of real property.

What types of policies are available?

Title companies routinely issue two types of policies: An “owner’s policy” which insures you, the Homebuyer, for as long as you and your heirs own the home; and a “lender’s” policy which insures the priority of the lender’s security interest over the claims that others may have in the property.

What protection am I obtaining with my title policy?

A title insurance policy contains provisions for the payment of the legal fees in defense of a claim against your property which is covered under your policy. It also contains provisions for indemnification against losses which result from a covered claim. A premium is paid at the close of a transaction. There are no continuing premiums due, as there are with other types of insurance.

What are my chances of ever using my title policy?

In essence, by acquiring your policy, you derive the important knowledge that recorded matters have been searched and examined so that title insurance covering your property can be issued. Because we are risk eliminators, the probability of exercising your right to make a claim is very low. However, claims against your property may not be valid, making the continuous protection of the policy all the more important. When a title company provides a legal defense against claims covered by your title insurance policy, the savings to you for that legal defense alone will greatly exceed the one-time premium.

What if I am buying property from someone I know?

You may not know the owner as well as you think you do. People undergo changes in their personal lives that may affect title to their property. People get divorced, change their wills, engage in transactions that limit the use of the property and have liens and judgments placed against them personally for various reasons.

There may also be matters affecting the property that are not obvious or known, even by the existing owner, which a title search and examination seeks to uncover as part of the process leading up to the issuance of the title insurance policy.

Just as you wouldn’t make an investment based on a phone call, you shouldn’t buy real property without assurances as to your title. Title insurance provides these assurances.

The process of risk identification and elimination performed by the title companies, prior to the issuance of a title policy, benefits all parties in the property transaction. It minimizes the chances that adverse claims might be raised, and by doing so reduces the number of claims that need to be defended or satisfied. This process keeps costs and expenses down for the title company and maintains the traditional low cost of title insurance.

Article by CLTA

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“Thank you for reading my Newsletter! If you are looking to buy a property or have a home to sell, please give us a call, we would love to help! We also work with Investors and Second Home Buyers”.
Tim O'Leary ABR, RSPS, PSA
Investor, Licensed Builder, Real Estate Broker

Tim O'Leary Property Group
Michigan Lake & Land Real Estate Company
5709 Red Arrow Highway,
Stevensville Michigan 49127

(269) 313-2334 Office
(269) 313-2330 Cell
Website: timolearypropertygroup.com
Email: tolearyrealestate@att.net
Community Events


 

Memorial Day Parade
Friday 24th of May 2019

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM



A parade to honor those veterans who have served this great country of ours and sacrificed their lives to keep our freedom. Parade starts at the intersection of Lake Blvd. and Park St. and travels down Lake Blvd. to the John E.N. Howard Bandshell. A short program at the bandshell will be held after the parade.


Saturday 25th of May 2019
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

 

Going to the downtown Farmers Market used to be limited to the treat of selecting your own ripe, succulent fruits and vegetables. Things have changed! Saturday morning at the Market now includes jams, honey, hearth-baked breads, and fine pastries, perennials, cut flowers, organic vegetables and so much more!

Take time to chat with vendors who will share their recipes, planting recommendations and cooking tips. Also, plan to visit with several friends since the number of people attending this weekly event has continued to grow over the last few years. It's a Saturday tradition!

Copyright © 2019 Tim O'Leary Property Group, All rights reserved.


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April 2019 Real Estate Newsletter

April 2019 Real Estate Newsletter
View this email in your browser
Tim O'Leary Property Group

Creative Financing


 

Creative financing: You’ve heard of it, and, as a seller, the idea sounds pretty attractive. But, do you know everything you need to know about carrying back a second; essentially, about becoming a lender? You better know the same things that financial institutions know - you better know about lender’s title insurance.

It’s time to sell your $150,000 home, a home that you have owned for fifteen years, a home in which you have substantial equity. The loan terms call for a $20,000 down payment from your buyer, a new $100,000 loan from a local savings and loan, and for you, the seller, to carry back a note for the remaining $30,000.

Will you, the seller, need title insurance?

Yes, you will. Everyone who retains an interest in the property needs title insurance. When you took on the role of lender, you retained a record title interest which you will want to protect for the term of the loan.

But, why would you need lender’s title insurance when the repayment of your loan is assured by a lien in the form of a recorded deed of trust against the property? What could possibly go wrong?

You must insure yourself for the same reason that financial institutions obtain title insurance - for the protection of your investment. You must be assured that your lien on the property cannot be defeated by a prior lien or other interest in the property, which, if exercised, would wipe out your security.

Anything that involves the new buyer’s ownership rights to the property is of direct interest to you because you are holding the second mortgage. If such ownership rights are in question or defective, you may have trouble collecting your monthly mortgage payments. But, you say, there is nothing in your property’s history that could cause problems: no problems with easements, no problems with boundaries, no problems with rights-of-way.

Contrary to what may be popular belief, these matters are not the only source of title problems; a large proportion of title problems arise out of man’s interaction with man. The fact of a marriage, a divorce, a death, a forgery, a judgment for money damages, a failure to pay state or federal taxes - these occurrences can and usually will affect your rights as a mortgage lender.

As an example of what can befall the lender, did you know that a federal tax lien recorded against your buyer before the loan transaction is concluded may result in the loss of security in your home? Sophisticated mortgage lenders are aware of this possibility as well as many others which could jeopardize their loan security and seek the protection afforded by a lender’s title insurance policy.

If you are considering carrying back a second, be sure to get all the facts regarding the benefits of lender’s title insurance. Your local title insurance company should be happy to provide the information you need.

Article by CLTA

Millennials Will Continue To Drive Homeownership Growth In 2019

The millennial generation (which is defined as people between the ages of 19 and 35) is the largest in US history, and currently, they’re also the largest in driving homeownership growth.

According to a recent report from financial services company First American, the millennial generation had a huge impact on the housing market in 2018. While millennials still have lower homeownership rates than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, millennial homeownership rose 1.2 percentage points year over year in Q3 2018—which made households under the age of 35 a larger contributor to homeownership growth than any other generation. And as more millennials approach their thirties and start marrying and starting families, that trend will only grow (according to the report, aging millennials will purchase a whopping 10 million new homes over the next decade).

The takeaway 

If you’re a millennial and have been thinking about buying a home, you’re not the only one. 2019 is a great time to join your peers and make your dream of homeownership a reality.


                                                                                  ~Tim O'Leary ABR, PSA,RSPS
 

Making Real Estate Easy
“Thank you for reading my Newsletter! If you are looking to buy a property or have a home to sell, please give us a call, we would love to help! We also work with Investors and Second Home Buyers”.
Tim O'Leary ABR, RSPS, PSA
Investor, Licensed Builder, Real Estate Broker

Tim O'Leary Property Group
Michigan Lake & Land Real Estate Company
5709 Red Arrow Highway,
Stevensville Michigan 49127

(269) 313-2334 Office
(269) 313-2330 Cell
Website: timolearypropertygroup.com
Email: tolearyrealestate@att.net
Community Events


Easter 2019

 

Services At 
My First Church of God



Below its surface, The Gospel is beautifully-nuanced with many facets and hidden parts. In our Easter series, The Authentic Gospel, we’ll look at the Good News with a fresh set of eyes and come away with a deeper understanding of its transformational truth.



St. Joseph Campus

2627 Niles Ave.

8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am

 

Stevensville Campus

5767 Red Arrow Hwy.

8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am

 

Benton Heights Campus

990 E Euclid Ave.

9:30am, 11:00am

 

Copyright © 2019 Tim O'Leary Property Group, All rights reserved.


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March 2019 Real Estate News

March 2019 Real Estate News
View this email in your browser
Tim O'Leary Property Group



 

Home Values Projected To Increase 6.3% In 2019

Buying a home is an investment. And, like any investment, you want to make sure it’s going to deliver a healthy return.

According to recent projections, it looks like real estate is going to pay off in a major way in 2019.

According to recent data from Zillow, the US Median Home Value is projected to grow a healthy 6.3% in 2019. So, if you were to purchase a home for $250,000 at the beginning of 2019 (in other words, now), that same home is projected to be worth $265,750—an increase of $15,750.

The Take Away 
  Real estate is projected to provide some healthy returns in 2019, so if you’ve been thinking about investing in a new home, now is a great time to make a move.

What is a FICO® Score?

FICO® stands for Fair Isaac & Company and is the name for the most well known credit scoring system, used by Experian. The credit bureau’s computer evaluates a complete credit profile and assigns a score, which is used to estimate credit worthiness. Each of the three bureaus (Experian, Trans Union, Equifax) employs its own scoring system, so a given person will usually have 3 separate scores. Someone with a higher score will be viewed as a better risk than someone with a lower score. Typically, scores will range from about 600 to 700 or above, although some cases will be outside this range.

What Kind of Score Do I Need for a Home Loan?

There are as many answers to this question as there are loan programs available. Most lenders will take the average of all 3 scores to evaluate an application. Niche loans, such as Easy Qualifier and low down payment loans will have higher FICO® requirements.

How is My Score Determined?

The FICO® model has 5 main elements:

  1. Past payment history (about 35% of score) The fewer the late payments the better. Recent late payments will have a much greater impact than a very old Bankruptcy with perfect credit since.
    Myth - paying off cards with recent late payments will fix things. Payoffs do not affect payment history.
  2. Credit use (about 30% of score) Low balances across several cards is better than the same balance concentrated on a few cards used closer to maximums. Too many cards can bring down the score, but closing accounts can often do more harm than good if the entire profile is not considered. BE CAREFUL WHEN CLOSING ACCOUNTS!
  3. Length of credit history (15% of score) The longer accounts have been open the better for the score. Opening new accounts and closing seasoned accounts can bring down a score a great deal.
  4. Types of credit used (10% of score) Finance company accounts score lower than bank or department store accounts.
  5. Inquiries (10% of score) Multiple inquiries can be a risk if several cards are applied for or other accounts are close to maxed out. Multiple mortgage or car inquiries within a 14 day period are counted as one inquiry.

How Can I Raise My Score

Your score can only be changed by the way that item is reported directly to the credit bureaus (Experian, TU, Equifax). Written confirmation from the creditor is required. It is best to make these corrections before you try to purchase a home, because you can never be sure the exact impact a change will have on your score.

What Does This Mean to Me?

You should have your credit reviewed BEFORE you look for a home, and work with a PROFESSIONAL loan officer to make sure your loan is based on the most accurate information.

Tim O'Leary Facebook Live Interview
Making Real Estate Easy
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“Thank you for reading my Newsletter! If you are looking to buy a property or have a home to sell, please give us a call, we would love to help! We also work with Investors and Second Home Buyers”.
Tim O'Leary ABR, RSPS, PSA
Investor, Licensed Builder, Real Estate Broker

Tim O'Leary Property Group
Michigan Lake & Land Real Estate Company
5709 Red Arrow Highway,
Stevensville Michigan 49127

(269) 313-2334 Office
(269) 313-2330 Cell
Website: timolearypropertygroup.com
Email: tolearyrealestate@att.net
Community Events

Wolf's Marine Spring Open House

 

Saturday 16th of March 2019 - Sunday 17th of March 2019 
9am-5pm


250 West Main, Benton Harbor, MI

 Wolf's Marine Spring Open House Bring your friends to stock up on all your boating and diving needs to help launch the 2019 Boating Season.

Copyright © 2019 Tim O'Leary Property Group, All rights reserved.


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Tim O'Leary
Investor, Builder, Broker
Stevensville, Michigan 49127
tolearyrealestate@att.net
(269) 313-2330 Cell

Testimonials

Tim is incredibly knowledgeable of the real estate process and market. He does what he says he'll do, goes the extra mile every time, and is a true professional every step of the way. He's the person who I want to handle my property transactions and I'd highly recommend him for yours. David Grossens, Coloma Michigan
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