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Philadelphia Property Tax Overhaul Continues

Philadelphia Property Taxes

Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessments (OPA) has mailed out all new tax assessments under the greatly anticipated Actual Value Initiative (AVI) earlier this month. The information mailed by OPA includes the new assessed value, and instructions on the opportunity to dispute the new assessments. It is still unknown how successful a homeowner will be in protesting their new assessment but it does seem that the city is providing easy explanation and instructions on how to protest. Appraisals, BPO’s, CMA’s and comps from local … [Read more...]

Switching Real Estate Offices – What Question Every Real Estate Agent Should Ask

People change locations and jump ship in their work places all the time. Real estate agents are no exception. It seems there are always realtors as well as bankers deciding to change locations on a whim. It happens A-Lot. I always get asked what do you think of xyz broker? Do you know them? You think I would be a good fit there? In the housing boom of 2005 – 2006 it wasn’t uncommon to be asked 3 to 4 times a week! Whether you are new to real estate or a seasoned PRO you are familiar with it. It is the inevitable change from one … [Read more...]

A Shift in Risk Retention or a Further Shift Down for Real Estate?

Anyone have any thoughts on the 20% down payment rule?  Are things not bad enough?  Historically low interest rates and a 30% cut in housing prices have not created much of a buying season this spring as expected.  Foreclosures, short sales and the incredible oversupply of new homes still sitting on the market coupled with a extremely weak unemployment number all are keeping the housing market from showing any sign of true recovery.  Yet regulators want to make the process more difficult?  The recently proposed risk retention … [Read more...]

What Is Title Insurance?

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From our experience, title insurance is like most other insurances - you hardly ever need to use it, but when you do it saves your pocketbook - and in this case - it can save your house and your financial investment. Let's look more at what is title insurance and why do you need title insurance. Title insurance is directly related to the plot of land in Philadelphia that you are either looking to purchase or looking to refinance. Home owners insurance (also known as fire insurance or hazard insurance) covers the physical aspects … [Read more...]

Obtaining Mechanics Lien Coverage for New Construction in Pennsylvania

This is long overdue.  It seems I get a call or email weekly about a proposed purchaser looking to buy a New Construction Condo with Mechanics Lien Coverage. The process of insuring such a transaction has become more and more complicated in the last 3 years and for good reason. Title Insurance companies used to insure against the possibility of mechanics liens without too much of a problem.  However, the financial markets collapse and concerns over contractors' solvency has caused title underwriters to reconsider such risks and … [Read more...]

The Foreclosure Mess As It Relates to Title Insurance

Is it just me or is the US Foreclosure mess just out of control? It is now January 2011 and the stimulus has all but been exhausted and the housing market doesn’t seem the least bit recovered.  Where is all of this recovery talk coming from? What was actually “stimulated” besides the Economic Experts that see better days ahead? In regards to housing I hate to say but all I see is a dismal reality still clouding the months ahead. According to RealtyTrac there were 2.9 million foreclosure notices filed during 2010. This … [Read more...]