What documents do I need from the HOA when selling?

A: At the listing stage, your agent on your behalf prepares a form requesting homeowners’ association (HOA) documents. It is sent to the HOA
or management company to request their delivery of copies of the common interest development’s (CID’s) governing documents concerning the project’s use restrictions and HOA finances.

The HOA or management company will deliver the documents within 10 days of the request’s postmark or receipt of the hand-delivered request.

The HOA will charge a service fee to prepare and deliver the documents requested. This upfront fee is the same amount regardless of whether the documents are delivered by hand, by mail or electronically.

The HOA will also charge a transfer fee to change its internal records to reflect the new ownership of the unit. This fee is sometimes demanded to be paid up front with the HOA document request — before a buyer is even located.

Upon receiving the written request and appropriate fees, the HOA provides the governing documents you need concerning the project, which include:
• articles of incorporation;
• declaration of covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&Rs);
• bylaws;
• rules and regulations;
• operating budget, assessment and reserve funding;
• financial records covering at least one previous year; and
• HOA meeting minutes from at least one previous year.

Your agent makes the HOA documents available to prospective buyers for their review as part of the marketing package for your property. To avoid buyer disputes or cancellation, this information is handed to the buyer with disclosures, and before entering into a purchase agreement.

The buyer reviews the HOA documents along with other mandated property disclosures (such as the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS)) to determine the property’s value when preparing their offer to purchase.

Phil Spector’s Infamous SoCal Chateau Is This Week’s Most Popular Home

A striking French-style chateau with a very complicated past is this week’s most popular home.

Built in 1925 by a French immigrant, Sylvester Dupuy, who was inspired by the grand French chateaus of his youth, the “Pyrenees Castle” stayed in Dupuy’s family for decades. After changing hands a couple of times, the distinctive home on a hill overlooking Alhambra, CA, was purchased by the music producer Phil Spector in 1998 for $1.1 million.

After a night out in 2003, Spector met Lana Clarkson and brought her back to the estate, where she was shot and killed. The music legend was convicted of her murder. During his trial in 2006, Spector met and married Rachelle Spector, who until recently was devoted to updating the mansion until her husband’s release.

“I won’t rest until my husband comes home to this house, where he belongs,” she said during her 2012 testimony against the city of Alhambra over a nearby construction project.

But that was then. Now Rachelle and Phil are in the midst of acontentious divorce, so the chateau is being sold and the proceeds split between the couple.

Rounding out this week’s list are a variety of incredible home remodels and an over-the-top Las Vegas mansion worthy of a second look. There’s also an impeccably maintained 1960s time capsule in Sacramento and two notable properties in Reno—one with a custom “Haunted Mansion” theme—generating plenty of clicks.

See the 10 homes here

Roof Replacement

Whether you’re planning to sell or remain in your home for quite some time, a roof’s condition weighs significantly on the value of your home. A few simple criteria will help you determine if it’s time to repair or replace.

How old is your roof?
Depending on the material, a normal roof’s lifespan can range from 20 to 50+ years. Asphalt shingles generally last 20 to 30 years, wood shingles can remain intact for up to 40 years and newer synthetic materials usually have a life of 50 or more years. It is important to know the history of your home, when it was first built and when the roof was last replaced.

Has your neighborhood experienced any extreme weather conditions?
Heavy hail and powerful storms can rip a roof apart. Even if the shingles aren’t terribly damaged, it is wise to get an inspection. Sometimes only a few shingles need to be replaced, but the effort will save the roof from even greater damage in the future.

Have your neighbors started replacing their roofs?
Generally all roofs in a neighborhood will begin wearing out at the same time. If you notice your neighbors beginning to upgrade their roofs, it’s probably a good time to begin gathering quotes. Aside from replacing an old roof to better protect your home from the elements, it is important to keep up with the value of comparable properties. A new roof can return up to 65% of the cost as value added to the home, and priceless peace of mind from the risk of leaks.

Does your home need a cosmetic upgrade?
Even if a roof has yet to reach the end of its lifespan, an outdated style or original architectural error may warrant a replacement. On a home for sale, an unsightly exterior is a serious deterrent for buyers. New shingles emphasize a home’s soundness as shelter as well as its modernity.

Credit Freeze Basics

What is a credit freeze?

A credit freeze limits access to your credit report, making it more difficult for would-be identity thieves to open accounts in your name. You can still use your credit card normally, but you won’t be able to open new lines of credit.

How do I freeze my credit?

To place a freeze on your credit report, contact all three major credit reporting agencies:

Equifax: 800-349-9960

Experian: 888-397-3742

TransUnion: 888-909-8872

You’ll be asked to provide personal information to verify your identity, and may be a fee, depending on your age and where you live.

Are there drawbacks to a credit freeze?

The protection a credit freeze offers isn’t perfect. Credit freezes only prevent new lines of credit from being opened in your name — if an identity thief already has access to one of your accounts, a credit freeze is not an effective line of defense.

In addition, a credit freeze remains active until you decide to unfreeze it. To unfreeze your credit report and open a new line of credit, you’ll have to contact each credit reporting agency with the PIN number given to you at the time of the initial freeze. A fee may be charged for unfreezing your credit.

Mortgage Rates Inch Up

Rates moved up slightly this week while mortgage applications decreased following last week’s jump in rates – indicating borrower sensitivity to changing mortgage rates. Despite the recent rise, we expect mortgage rates to remain low, in line with the low 10-year treasury yields, boosting homebuyer demand in the next few months.

What are encumbrances on title?

A: An encumbrance is a claim or lien on a parcel of real estate and the ownership interests in the property.

A preliminary title report (prelim) issued by a title insurance company is intended to disclose the current vesting and all encumbrances reflected on the public record affecting a property’s title.

Encumbrances set out in a prelim include:
• general and special taxes;
• assessments and bonds;
• covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs);
• easements;
• rights of way;
• liens; and
• real estate interests held by others.

The buyer, their agent and escrow review the report for encumbrances on title inconsistent with the terms for the seller’s delivery of title set in the purchase agreement and escrow instructions.

However, both the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent review the prelim immediately for any reported conditions that may interfere with closing the

In practice, the buyer’s agent looks for title conditions which conflict with any intended use or change in the use of the property contemplated by the buyer. Interferences with use come in the form of unusual easements or use restrictions (CC&Rs) which obstruct known plans the buyer has to make improvements.

Ultimately, the escrow officer, on review of the prelim, advises the seller of any need to eliminate defects or encumbrances on title which interfere with closing the transaction as instructed.