Terminating the Co-Ownership of Hawaii Real Property

There are times when co-owners of Hawaii real property are engaged in a dispute and no longer wish to continue co-ownership of such property, or one party is no longer making payments on the mortgage and the paying party wants to remove the non-paying party from title. The question that usually follows is what are the co-owners’ options if they wish to sever such relationship.

In the event that there is no prior written agreement among the co-owners setting forth each owner’s obligations and the procedures for resolving disputes, the co-owners are basically left with two options:

(1) work out some agreement to resolve the dispute or

(2) terminate the co-owner relationship through a court supervised partition action pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Chapter 668 (Hawaii’s Partition of Real Estate Statute).

The co-owners should first try to resolve their differences and come to some compromise. By reaching such a compromise, the co-owners would not need a Hawaii partition action which can be a very costly process. However, if seeking such an agreement proves to be a dead end, then a Hawaii partition action is necessary.

In a Hawaii partition action, one or more of the owners files a lawsuit against the remaining owner(s). The filing party is also required to join as a party every person having or claiming to have any legal or equitable right, title, or interest in the property described in the lawsuit.

Once a Hawaii partition action is filed, the court has the jurisdiction to partition the real property by (1) partition in kind or (2) partition by sale. A “partition in kind” occurs when the court physically divides the property and each owner ends up controlling an individual portion of the property. A “partition by sale” is accomplished by selling the entire property at a public auction and dividing the proceeds among the owners according to their respective interests in the property.

The courts tend to favor a partition in kind first, but if such a division is not feasible, then the court will proceed with a partition by sale. As you can see, terminating a co-ownership relationship of real property is not that simple and can be costly. Therefore, you should seek consultation with a Hawaii attorney experienced in resolving co-ownership disputes of Hawaii real property.…

Realtor Commission Fees

Many people wonder if their realtor should be paid their commission or give a credit back to them, well the answer is simple; do you want a junk car that is shiny and pretty on the outside or do you want a solid investment that won’t kill you in the end? Buyers agents get paid from the listing brokers. The listing brokers negotiate commission paid with the sellers at the time the listing is taken. Usually 6% of the total sale amount, that is split two ways between the agents.

Some sellers that want to keep all their profits and not get quality guidance from their agents could ask for a reduction in fee’s. However, agents do not get paid before a closing.They spend their own money on marketing, showing, detailed reports and it goes on. Now if a seller expects the agent to do all of this and not pay them what they deserve, the seller would be better off trying to sell their property in the dark with no guidance at all. A bad Realtor is just that… BAD. They can ruin a sale, give wrong advice, be selfish in pricing and not care about anyone but themselves. Those are the agents you want to steer clear of. Figure your boss telling you that your not getting paid that day because he wanted to save to buy a new car, what would you do? Yell, quit, report them? It is no different. After all, you go to work expecting to be paid what you agreed to when you got hired. Now why would sellers and buyers think any different with Realtors?

Agents may make more money at one time but there are several weeks and sometimes months of work and spending involved in a sale. Even more so for commercial sales so in reality they are getting paid as one would who gets a check every two weeks that has been held and held and held over a period of time and then released. What if your boss was to under pay you because they wanted a new car or something else? Would you allow that? Would you do the best you could? Then don’t under pay your agents! Agents that have their own proven success, not a team but an individual agent themselves, that is the one you should want to work with whether to list your property or to buy. This is a great time to sell and buy in real estate but be wise with your agent selections and pay them what they should be paid.…

Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Investing In An Apartment Building

An apartment building can still be a good investment today. Why? For starters, there are still a lot of people who are still looking for homes to rent. In addition, the units of an apartment building do not just have to be spaces for residence or homes for families and individuals. By getting the right permits, units in an apartment building can be rented out as commercial spaces.

First-time buyers of apartment buildings will certainly have high expectations regarding this particular investment. This is mainly because they will invest a significant amount of money for this venture. As such, if you want to make sure you will own the right apartment building that can help you find success in the field of property rentals, make sure you avoid these common (and costly) rookie mistakes:

Not looking into the history and reputation of the apartment building’s builder or developer.

As a first-time owner of an apartment building, the last thing you want to happen is to stumble upon some structural problems or system failures. As such, it is important to check the background, capability, and reputation of the company that constructed the whole property. Going online and asking companies or individuals that have worked with the property developer is a good way to get some ideas about their competency. If the property developer has a good reputation and has stellar reviews about the properties they built, chances are, it is quite safe to buy a building that they constructed.

Buying a property that is located in an unpopular area.

When purchasing an apartment building, keep in mind that aside from your budget, an important factor you have to consider is its location. Real estate experts say that it is a good idea to buy a property in an area that is improving since buying in a declining location will simply result in high vacancies and rent drops.

Not having sufficient cash flow and reserves.

As a newbie investor, if you are not confident with your reserved funds, you have to get into deals that will create a quick cash flow only. Avoid going into deals that won’t provide a cash flow from day one even if that transaction promises a huge potential profit since you may be put at risk of being unable to pay the bills.

In addition, make sure you have enough cash reserves. Failure to do so can get you involved in different complicated situations. As a property owner, keep in mind that a lot of unexpected issues can happen. As such, you need to have a reserve fund that is adequate to pay for these emergencies.…

Pros and Cons of Home Inspection

Millions of Real Estate transactions happen on daily basis and it is important for buyers to protect themselves in as many ways they can. One of the simplest is to hire a home inspector. Home inspection offers both the immediate and long term benefits to the buyer. It can also be beneficial for the seller as it can avoid deal-breakers. If the issues and problems can be resolved before being identified by a potential buyer the seller has more chances in getting their asking price. In general, it’s worthwhile to get the inspection done for both, sellers and buyers.

The buyer gets benefits in several ways.As the buyers invest a sizable chunk of money to buy a home it is important to identify any deficiencies that may cost extra money and stress, an inspection by a qualified third-party will disclose the facts. All the serious, major and minor defects are revealed. In some cases there may be some critical structural defects that may be as good as rebuilding the house. Or, the defects may eat away a lot of money and time to rectify them. They may not be able to use the house at all till those are taken care of. There can be some problems related to the safety of occupants, which are to be removed before moving in.

Another benefit inspection offers are that the buyer can get quotes for needed repairs and uses them to negotiate the price with the seller. Moreover, a home inspection eliminates buyer’s remorse about the problems later on.

The home inspector will check and report about ins and outs of the property, areas like basement, structural, construction and safety issues, condition of the roof, and electrical, water lines and heating, air conditioning or ventilation systems. That will ensure to the buyer what all needs attention to repair or replace and he can get the quotes for evaluating the costs involved and the buyers can plan what should be done when and make their budget.

When it comes to disadvantages of hiring an inspector, there isn’t really anything major, except incurring some expenses for inspection. The cost is small in comparison to saving that can be achieved. Of course a qualified and in-depth inspection is key here.

A seller also benefits from a home inspection as he/she can avoid problems later on. Before listing the house for sale, a home inspection will help the seller to recognize the potential problems with the home and they can be addressed before showing the property to buyers. Multiple quotes fir repairs can be obtained and a proper job done as oppose to making urgent repairs 2 weeks before closing. This cant cost a fortune.

Most importantly, all issues and problems resolved before the buyer shows up. If a seller is not ready to allow inspection, and is firm on the price as is, the likelihood of a fast sale or a sale at all is very small.

A home inspection gives confidence to both seller …

Making the Transition From an Apartment to Your First Home

Between myself and my real estate team, we have worked with several first time home buyers we have had several times where a first time homebuyer was moving from an apartment complex and into their first home.

We found that this transition in real terms is not that big of a deal, however it is the sentimental, emotional, and financial part of the transition that can have the biggest effect on a first time homebuyer. In other words, first time homebuyers that have been renting in the years leading up to the purchase of their first home have, on average, moved a half dozen times before the move into their first new home. The average age of a homebuyer is 32, and i can remember making at least 5 times before planting down in my first place. Point being, its not the actual move that causes the fear or the challenge in the moving transition; we have found that its all inside the buyer’s head.

With that said, the biggest change for a first time homebuyer will be the emotional and financial changes that occur through the process of buying one’s first home. Most notably, in most cases, a buyer’s monthly payment will go up compared to the rent that they were paying. Also, renters are used to calling the landlord when something breaks in the place that they are renting. For a first time homebuyer, something we do with our initial consultation is set expectations and try to ease the “sticker shock” for a first time homebuyer. We do this by encouraging the buyer to “pretend” to make his or her would-be payments so that they can get a feel for it and not get all stressed out the first month they move in. I’ve found that this fear of a higher monthly payment is all inside your head. Many buyers initially fear the higher payment, and sometimes it is a deterrent from buying a home in the first place, but I’ve found that all buyers get used to their new payment and make it a part of their lives and adapt and adjust their finances accordingly. A buyer gets qualified for a home loan, so the bank is taking a statistical bet that the buyer will be able to handle the payments, and i tend to agree with them on this as well.

However, a buyer can get over this financial concern by making the “pretend” payment; for example, if rent is $1500 a month, but the new mortgage is going to be around $2200 a month, then make the rental payment, and throw $700 into a savings account every month leading up to your home purchase. For some buyers who are buying a short sale, this may entail more than a few months of saving, which is even better and directly addresses the second most common concern about the home-purchase transition for a new buyer which is maintaining and taking care of the home they just bought.…

Protecting Your Homestead Property Against Liens & Judgments

Today, most residential homeowners do not realize that they do not have a “legal status” of homestead on their Home.

Some states have homestead exemption(s) and homestead benefits but very few people have failed to realize that they must first “proclaim” their home as their homestead in order to be entitled to such benefits.

Currently, the states that have the the best homestead protection limits are Florida and then Texas but few homeowners have failed to legally establish their homestead status and receive their entitled protection pursuant to that state’s constitution. HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION does NOT protect your home!

The one of the worst courses of action that any homeowner can do, is download one of those “cheap, cookie cutter” homestead forms online, without having an in-depth knowledge of the homestead laws and their limitations and/or how it may affect them, specifically.

Never, Never, Never buy a generic form over the internet unless you thoroughly understand the Homestead laws of your state and you can defend the meaning and purpose of that form, in a court of law. This is highly ill-advised and probably one of the Worse Action that you can possibly do. Buying a cheap and very in-expensive Homestead form “product” from the internet (normal cost: $25-50), instead of purchasing a valuable “service”. This is very poor form of asset protection and estate planning. Your residential Home is your greatest financial asset that you & your family own – Do not become “cheap and/or thrifty” when it coming to protecting your home. Remember, the old wise saying, “You get what you pay for !” – there is much truth in that

The biggest misconception is that homeowners “assumes” that Homestead exemption protects their residential home… IT DOES NOT!

You have to protect your greatest asset – Your home against any possible future litigation and claims that can be attached against your home unless several specific self-executing procedures are completed and filed in their entirely.

We are proud to announce the expansion Homestead Services of Florida to others states and launching of our website for our revolutionary home protection service.


What is exactly is “Homestead Services of Florida”?

What we do:

We offer Maximum Protection for your Florida Home against the all non-equity Judgments, Liens, Attachments, Lawsuits from lienors.

What liens or judgments are considered “non-equity”?

medical bills, credit cards, child support, nursing home,

judgement from lawsuits, etc.

What liens or judgments are considered “Equity”?

1) mortgage

2) Real Estate taxes

3) Assessment or maintenance fees (condo, villa, deed restricted)

4) construction or mechanics liens

Unfortunately most of us would agree, is that our legal system has run amuck and is out of control. With over 19,000,000 lawsuits filed annually generating over $135,000,000,000 billion dollars in court costs and legal fees, against individuals and companies. These numbers have consistently increased from year to year and continue to dramatically increase by surpassing the previous years totals.

Most consumers today feel that we are currently living in a “Sue-Crazy” society. Statistically …

Identifying Winning Real Estate KPIs

Balanced Scorecard for business is what the car instrument panel for a driver. However, instead of telling how fast you are going and how much fuel you have, the Scorecard will show you how well you are operating today and what can happen with your company tomorrow. Properly designed business evaluation framework gives an accurate picture of your business’s health and predicts possible difficulties and gives warning signs. In this article we are going to touch upon the importance of selecting proper Key Performance Indicators on example of real estate business.

Tips on Selecting Proper Metrics

It is not a secret that the indicators are the core of the entire framework. When a person designs a strategy evaluation framework he or she can either take a ready set of measures or make up own list of KPIs. Sure, using readymade templates is an easy, time- and effort-saving option, yet it is not always effective. Each business unit is a distinct entity that has it own unique internal processes that should be presented in the business strategy evaluation system. Of course, to save some time an executive may also take a readymade template and adjust it according to the specifics of his/her company. It is important to realize that identifying KPIs is a rather responsible task, and for this reason many executives simply hire experts to do this task. However, in case you have decided to create the scorecard yourself, take into consideration the following suggestions:

  • The number of indicators should not exceed standards. Too much metrics clutter the evaluation system, and distract workers (when it comes to data mining).
  • The indicators should be quantifiable measures. In case you need to use seemingly intangible indicators, you need to find a way to turn them into figures.
  • When you pick measures, simultaneously consider different ways to gather data (questionnaires, application forms, calls, reports, etc.).
  • Involve as many workers as possible.

Creating a business strategy evaluation framework may seem like a complicated task with a lot of aspects to track, but once you have made a system for it, you will get the holistic picture of your organization very soon.

Examples of Real Estate Performance Indicators

Because different real estate businesses may specialize in different spheres, you will find the most various sets of measures developed for this particular industry. So, let’s give a few examples of the most common real estate KPIs:

  1. Construction hours: actual hours versus planned hours.
  2. Defects remediation after construction.
  3. Average time needed to relet empty dwellings.
  4. Average time needed to sell property.
  5. Late rent payments (measured in percents).
  6. Percentage of houses in inappropriate condition.
  7. Percentage of purchase/rent cancellations.

When setting up metrics for your evaluation framework it is essential to encompass all the parts of your business that can be monitored, including independent customer ratings, monthly client referrals, etc. With properly identified indicators and wisely implemented Scorecard you will get a sense of control and confidence regarding the future of your firm.…

Referral Letter Marketing For Realtors & Agents – Prospects Who Trust You Before They Even Meet You!

What do you think of when you hear the marketing term “Referral Letter Marketing?” I’ll bet you $20 you think I’m talking about getting letters of recommendation and testimonials from your past clients, right? That’s a good marketing idea for Realtors too but I’m talking about getting a constant stream of client referrals from professionals like CPA’s, mortgage brokers, financial planners, attorneys and contractors; all with just a personal letter written by you, the world’s best Realtor.

Here’s the referral letter marketing idea for Realtors or agents in a nutshell: Generate a list of professionals that are likely to have clients that could potentially be your clients too. Put together a very personalized letter to mail to these professionals (regular mail, not email). Get creative on the envelope or package you send it in as well at some type of additional marketing piece, like a DVD you make using Animoto. Follow up with each professional by phone, if possible, and continue to mail/contact them once per month.

Many savvy Realtors and agents use this single marketing method to fuel their real estate businesses for their entire careers! There’s nothing wrong with following the leader.

First, let’s start a list of professionals that actually have the clients you could work with…

  • Certified Public Accountants
  • Mortgage Broker and Lenders (obviously)
  • Financial Planners and Advisors
  • Attorneys
  • General Contractors
  • Interior Designers
  • Real Estate Appraisers
  • Title and Escrow Officers
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Landscapers
  • Roofers
  • Tree Service Companies
  • Handymen
  • You get the idea…

That list should get you off and running but there’s many more you can add in the future.

So how do you generate this list of specific professionals to market to? Great question. You have a couple of options, depending on how much money you have in your marketing budget.

One option is to search the yellow pages online. You should already have a geographic area you stick to so you’ll want to stay within that region, for the most part. The time consuming part about this option is the manual labor. You have to go through each person listed and find their name, phone number and mailing address. It could take you a while but if you have more time than marketing dollars, this is the way to go.

Another option for building this marketing list of professionals is to simply buy a list. In the same way you’re probably on one or more Realtor or agent lists being sold out there, just about every profession has their own list for sale too.

This isn’t some kind of “black market” or illegal list, don’t worry. These types of professional lists are out there because professionals (like us Realtors or agents) will sign up for various publications, organizations, events, etc. and their information gets compiled and sold. Surprised? Well, now you know where all that junk mail and spam comes from.

There are quite a few list companies out there but one of the largest that I’d recommend would be InfoUSA. You should be …

Title Companies Vs Real Estate Lawyers

Is a real estate lawyer a better choice than a title company when it comes to selling your home? You can choose any one of the two but you should first be aware of the difference between real estate lawyers and title companies. Here is some information about both the entities and whose services can benefit you most.

Real estate lawyers

Real estate lawyers specialize in laws relating to real estate and make sure that your interests as a seller are met in the transaction. These lawyers can act as escrow agents as they can hold your earnest money, down payments as well as help you with the requisite documentation. These attorneys can also help you understand the legalities involved in the sale transaction, the offer made by the buyer and your rights as a seller.

An attorney can also handle a closing in case the lender’s lawyer doesn’t do that. Every real estate lawyer has two most important responsibilities.

• To advise on the documentation process of the transaction

• To represent you at a closing

Besides these two important services, an attorney also negotiates any modifications in the purchase contract that the seller wants to incorporate. Preparing the seller’s deed, another crucial aspect, is also taken care of by the attorney. The attorney you hire will also accompany you on your meeting with the client/buyer at the time of settlement. He/she will also advise you on the tax implications involved in your home or property sale.

Title companies

Title companies are insurance agencies that represent title insurance companies. Such companies insure titles to lenders and buyers by ensuring that a title is free from any encumbrance that can cause financial loss.

The title company assures the buyer that he/she can get his/her title on the home or property with no liens against it. The availability of a title on the particular home/property is made clear and vouched for by a title company. In the process, such an entity protects the rights and interests of both parties in question.

Usually, most title companies insure a closing with the help of a lawyer to fulfill certain requirements. Closings also depend on the area you are living in. Toronto natives can hire the services of a real estate lawyer for sale closings.

Keep the following things in mind when you sell your property:

Title companies can hold the down payment and close your home without additional costs. Also, there is a possibility that title companies may give you a discount on your title insurance if you had previously used their services to either refinance or buy your home or property. Lawyers can also close your home/property sale and hold your down payment but may charge an additional fee.

A lawyer can charge a higher fee to write a contract. In cases of simple transactions, this can complicate negotiations. But in most other property sale transactions, the services of a real estate lawyer can prove invaluable.…

The Construction of Floors For Residential Homes

A floor is a horizontal structure which carries both dead and live loads in a building and divides the building into stories. Some buildings may have one, two, three or even four stories. These are important considerations when you are looking for an apartment to buy in Jamaica.

Floor is classified into two main categories, the ground floors and upper floors. There are two types of ground floor:

1. Solid Ground Floor

2. Suspended Ground Floor

The functions of the ground floor are:

i. To withstand the loads that will be imposed on them

ii. To prevent damp penetrating the building

iii. To be reasonably durable so as to reduce the amount of maintenance or replacement work to a minimum

iv. To provide an acceptable surface finish which will meet the needs of users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety, cleanliness and associated matter.

The functions of the upper floors are:

i. To support their own weight, ceiling and imposed loads

ii. To restrict the passage of fire

iii. To restrict the transmission of sound from one floor to another, particularly where this may seriously interfere with activities being undertaken.

iv. To possess an adequate standard of durability

v. To be capable of fairly quick erection

vi. To accommodate services readily

vii. To provide an adequate surface finish which will meet the needs of the users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety cleanliness and associated matters.

The principal materials for a floor are concrete, timber and steel.

The Floor Construction

To build a solid ground floor, the construction is essentially comprised of a combination of some of the following: plain or reinforced concrete bed, hardcore, blinding, selected marl fill and sand bed.

The concrete bed can be either reinforced or plain in-situ concrete, four or six inches thick. The concrete mix batching, mixing, transporting and pouring require careful observation so as to ensure good quality concrete. The reinforcement can be a fabric of welded mild steel or mild steel reinforcing bar. Reinforcement must be free from rust; wire brush to remove any scales. The water for the concrete must be clean. Though this principle is not always followed and a Jamaica real estate investor must be cognizant of this when searching for cheap apartments for sale in Jamaica.

The purpose of the hardcore ground floor is to make up the levels under the floor, to provide a firm working surface, prevent contamination of the lower part of the wet concrete during placing and compaction and reducing the amount of rising ground moisture.

Hardcore materials are rock waste, gravels, coarse sands, river shingles, block rubble, stone rubble and tile rubble. These materials should be hard, durable, must not react with any other materials, drain easily, consolidate quickly, be free from harmful substances and not attack concrete or block work mortar.

The blinding ground floor is needed to even off the surface of hardcore and provide a true surface from which reinforcement can be positioned. The composition of blinding floor generally consists …