Title Insurance

Title Insurance

Title insurance is a frequent topic of conversation that comes up during real estate transactions.  Insurance can always be a touchy subject because as we all know, everything we do, whether it be drive a car, break a leg, or even sit on our living room sofa, has some type of insurance attached to it.  As necessary as insurance is, it can become costly.  In this blog, I’d like to share with you why I highly recommend purchasing title insurance when you buy a new home or property.  I think you will be pleased to learn how well you’ll be protected, at a minimal one-time fee.  It will be well worth the investment.

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Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions & Common Misconceptions when Closing on a Home

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions & Common Misconceptions when Closing on a Home

I am happy to get back to blogging this year and sharing real estate information.  I hope you find this information helpful as you pursue your real estate endeavors.  I want to start the year off by addressing some of the frequently asked questions and common misconceptions both clients and real estate agents have in the process of buying and selling property.  I realize how stressful buying and selling a house can be.  It can be an emotionally draining process.  Here are some tips to help you through the closing process.

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Buying Property? Make Sure the Land Has Been Surveyed Within the Last Two Years (Don’t Trust Fences)

Buying Property? Make Sure the Land Has Been Surveyed Within the Last Two Years (Don’t Trust Fences)

You should always make sure that a new survey is on file with the Register of Deeds before purchasing any home or piece of land. People often assume they know where a property’s boundaries are, but fences can be deceiving. The location of a fence or driveway or hedge or line of trees—these features cannot be counted on as reliable boundary markers. There is no way to know exactly what you are buying unless a survey has been conducted recently. If a piece of property has not been surveyed in the last two years, then you cannot assume you know exactly where its boundaries lie. 

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What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do For a Buyer?

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do For a Buyer?

Any real estate transaction made today may require the involvement of a wide variety of professionals including brokers, bankers, inspectors, appraisers, surveyors, insurance agents, and attorneys. There are so many moving parts that many buyers and sellers have confusion about the part played by each figure. The role of the real estate attorney is often one of the most critical for buyers, and yet also one of the least understood. Here is some general information about the services that a real estate attorney will typically provide for a buyer in the state of North Carolina.

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What is Title Insurance? Why Do You Need It?

What is Title Insurance? Why Do You Need It?

When you buy a piece of real estate you receive “title” to that property. The term title refers both to legal ownership and the right to use the property. Unfortunately, certain types of mistakes, or “title defects” can leave the new owner in a situation in which another party also has a valid legal claim to the real estate they purchased. Because of the risks associated with title defects, title insurance has become a mandatory part of the process of acquiring funds from a lender for a residential real estate transaction.

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Estate Planning Without Having an Estate

Estate Planning Without Having an Estate

The term “estate planning” is often misunderstood. For many people, the word “estate” conjures up mansions and lands owned by wealthy families (think Downton Abbey or Asheville’s own Biltmore Estate). In simplest legal terms though, your estate is the sum total of all the assets (including money and property) that you own at the time of your death. Whether you own a stately home in Biltmore Forest or a trailer in Leicester—you have an estate. In part, estate planning involves making decisions during your life about what you want done with your money, property, and other assets after you are gone.

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Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in NC - Should You Update Your Estate Planning Documents?

Same-Sex Marriage is Now Legal in NC -  Should You Update Your Estate Planning Documents?

Registry of Deeds offices in Western North Carolina began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples on October 13, 2014, after U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr.’s ruling that “North Carolina's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are unconstitutional as a matter of law." 

Many same-sex couples that are now legally married have asked how this change in status affects their estate planning documents. 

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Update on Same-Sex Marriage Tax Status

Update on Same-Sex Marriage Tax Status

In response to recent updates on the legal status of same-sex marriage, the NC Department of Revenue has issued a Directive. This Directive replaces the last one on this topic, which advised same-sex couples to file jointly federally and as single for NC State. The new Directive allows for same-sex couples that are legally married in any state by December 31, 2014 to file a North Carolina tax return using the same filing status claimed on the federal income tax return.

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Additional Estate Planning Concerns

Additional Estate Planning Concerns

You have a will and other estate planning documents. You have stored these documents in a safe location, and your executor knows where they are and how to access them. If this is you, you are to be congratulated for taking care of your family by being prepared. But, there may be a little more work for you to do to make sure that your affairs are handled the way you want them to be. 

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Update on Same Sex Marriage in the 4th Circuit

Update on Same Sex Marriage in the 4th Circuit

The Supreme Court announced today that they would not hear any same-sex marriage cases in the 2015 term. While this may seem surprising, I think that it is a good strategic move. This decision means that bans on same-sex marriage will be immediately lifted in Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Virginia. There are 7 other states that this ruling will effect because they lie in the same federal districts.  In response to the Supreme Court announcement, the 4th Circuit, which contains North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, issued a mandate that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages will be lifted as of 1:00 pm today. Hopefully North Carolina will soon follow suit. 

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Independent Contractors – 1099 vs. W2

Independent Contractors – 1099 vs. W2

Today’s employers are classifying more and more workers as independent contractors instead of employees. Small business owners in particular need to research this decision carefully, and take steps to make sure you are complying with all tax rules and regulations. The IRS expects you to know the difference between employees and independent contractors and there are penalties for incorrectly classifying your workers

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