Real Estate Contract

Real Estate ContractThe conclusion of final agreement between a seller and a buyer is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale or also known as the real estate contract.

There are five mandatory requirements for a contract under contract law:

The name, address and contact data for the seller(s) and buyer(s).

A clear description of the property. We prefer the tax map and parcel number but a street address, or other clear description will do. The final description on the deed at settlement will contain the Book and Page number where it was purchased, a survey description and tax map ID. For the contract any clear description that could ONLY be the property being sold is sufficient. This can be the Tax I.D. number.

The price and terms of payment. For instance: cash at settlement in thirty days from the date of this contract. Here should also be noted the deposit or consideration which may be as little as one dollar BUT is normally 10% of the purchase price.

The date of the contract.

Signatures of all sellers and buyers.

Although the contract need not be written on the form provided by the Realtor, it is customary to do so. On larger properties a simple note is often written which include the above 5 items and says that a full contract will follow. Then, the short contract is followed by another formalized contract drawn up by the attorney for the buyer or the seller. That is then reviewed and usually changed to some degree by the attorneys for the other side of the transaction.

On larger and more complicated properties the contract can go to dozens or even hundreds of pages. The five items here must be included but hundreds or thousands of other items may need to be included for some properties.

Most contracts today, for residential homes, are written on the standard contract form authorized by the County Board of Realtors and provided by the purchaser’s Realtor. The deposit money, or earnest money as it is sometimes called, is usually deposited in the escrow account of the selling Realtor.

Until all of the items above are included and ratified by all parties there is not a contract but only a “contract in progress” or an “offer” as we call it. This can be an offer to sell or an offer to buy and there may be several counter offers going back and forth as negotiations continue.

When everything is finalized the fully written and agreed upon document is said to be ratified. Even then the contract is not fully enforceable until it is conveyed, and received, in writing to all parties. THEN and only then can it be said to be a full and complete and enforceable contract.

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Dishwashers, Brings More Convenience in Your Kitchen

DishwashersModern dishwashers have all kinds of features today that allow you to customize your wash. Do you have bone china you want to machine wash? Put the machine on a gentle setting. Do you have a couple of huge pots caked with cooked-on food? Put it on a tougher setting.

And now, when you can have a solid dishwasher for anywhere from $200 to $1800, what reason do have for not buying a dishwasher? Some people say that space is at a premium. Well, with smaller units, and even portable units, your kitchen can afford to provide some extra space.

You can buy dishwashers at Sears, Menards, Target, ABC Warehouse, or at any number of large appliance outlets. You can also buy online.

Most quality dishwashers come with a 3-year warranty for most key parts, and a 20-year warranty for the casing and tub. Often you can buy a 5-year warranty, which is highly recommended. You never know which machines will break down; reviews always vary. A specific dishwasher brand can be a lemon to one person, but be a savior to another.

When shopping for a dishwasher, keep water efficiency in mind. Up to 80% of a dishwasher’s power goes to heating the water via the heating elements. Older models used to use 10 gallons of water per wash. Now the standard is about 8 gallons. Check the size of the holes on the spray arms: the smaller they are, the more powerfully they spray.

This will save you money on your electricity bill. Also ask for the energy efficiency rating. It should appear on the label. Thicker insulation around the dishwasher tub will make the unit quieter.

Most dishwashers range from $350 to $600. You can also get one for as little as $200, or as much as $1800. Just remember that inexpensive doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, and expensive doesn’t necessarily denote quality. More economical units tend to have fewer whistles and bells, and fewer dish washing options. Many people like these for their simplicity and easy serviceability.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some dishwashers can cost $1000 to $2000. Usually, these more expensive models simply have a greater number of features, such as timers, antibacterial cycles, delicate and tough settings, etc. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you want to look at it. It’s your choice.

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Outdoor Kitchen Furniture for Outdoors Cooking Fans

Outdoor Kitchen FurnitureFor many years, outdoor cooking has remained an American passion. They just love cooking outdoors! What changed are the now high-end outdoor kitchen amenities such as refrigerators, space heaters, high-tech gas-fueled grills, and stylish furniture.

Nowadays, you should not find it surprising if outdoor kitchens have become one of the favorite segments in the industry of home improvement. Thus, it is hardly debatable that an outdoor kitchen adds to a home’s functionality, value and pleasure for homeowners.

How does one build a practical outdoor kitchen? This article has five simple steps for you:

Plan

Like any other endeavor, creating an outdoor kitchen needs critical planning regarding two elements:

Location

Normally, outdoor kitchen are built adjacent to the inside kitchen or off the rear of the house. An outdoor kitchen should have a pleasing location and have an easy access to the interior of the house.

For example, you can build an outdoor kitchen on a pre-existing patio or deck and build a combination kitchen patio and/or kitchen deck.

Another thing, you should consider the frequency and nature of usage, that is if for entertainment and/or for recreation, of outdoor kitchen so that the whole layout will make all areas accessible and functional.

Imagination and appropriate layout are the only limits to this element.

Budget

Of course, budget accommodation is another crucial element in the planning process. You have to consider that even a modest set-up, which consists of a kitchen island and a pro quality grill, will need an estimate cost of 5,000 dollars.

A helpful tip then is to gradually build your outdoor kitchen. You can spend 7,000 dollars to buy chairs and tables and a grill for this year and then spend the same amount for deck lighting, patio heaters, and refrigerators for next year. It takes long before you finish your dream outdoor kitchen but you can be sure that the project will be higher in quality.

In other words, you should figure out how you can best afford a quality outdoor kitchen before getting so excited.

The grill

Every modern outdoor kitchen should have a grill. Normally, a grill uses natural or propane gas. The things that make a grill different from the other are size, budget, and features. Depending on the configuration of the kitchen, you can choose a portable grill on wheels or a grill that is mounted permanently.

Also, you need to pay close attention to the following features:

Total cooking surface

The more square inches the cooking surface has, the merrier you will be. In this case, you have enough space to grill your favorite poultry, meat, vegetables and/or fish.

Quantity and size of size burners

If you have more and bigger side burners, you can accommodate large meals. You can also consider the presence of a rotisserie or a warming rack.

Size of storage space

It is more advantageous if you have plenty of storage beneath your grill. Also, you have to check if your grill provides you with enough room to work around and cook. Ideally, there should be at least three feet of space on each side of the grill.

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Protecting Your Log Homes from Insects

Protecting Your Log Homes from InsectsOne of the first questions people ask about log homes is how much termite damage do they get? Well, rest assured: log homes are no more susceptible to termites than a traditional framed house. In some ways, it would be easier to spot possible infestation in a stick-framed house, you could have a problem for years without even knowing it.

The termites would be hidden behind your sheetrock, happily gnawing away at structural members, and would attack your walls from the inside-out. With a log, they would most likely start on the outside and work their way in, leaving an obvious trail of sawdust or mud foraging tubes.

Termites thrive in a damp environment; they dehydrate when exposed to the air for too long. If your logs are kept dry, they won’t be a tempting target for wood-boring insects. On the other hand, if you have a spot where a gutter is leaking onto the logs, or your door frame leaks, watch out! That damp spot is the point of entry for insects and wood rot. Also, keep your air conditioner from dripping near the foundation; this is another potential trouble source.

In new construction, there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of termite damage. First of all, make sure your contractor does not bury any wooden construction debris under the topsoil. This is very common on job sites, and the decomposing wood creates a great environment for new termite colonies.

Secondly, make sure they install a termite shield below the sill plate; this is a bent piece of metal that creates a barrier between the foundation and the wooden sill. Many townships require this by code.

Before you apply the stain, it would be wise to spray the logs with a borate treatment; when added to water, this powdered insecticide is designed to soak into the logs and protect them against insects and wood rot. After the borate treatment has dried (and before the rain washes it off), apply your stain which is toxic and will also protect your logs from insects. To be extra sure, there are additives you can add to the stain that contain insecticides.

Carpenter bees do not like to chew through treated, painted, or stained wood and will probably find more tasty surfaces to attack. Keep an eye on your porches and fascia boards; after a few years, when the stain no longer looks fresh, the bees may revisit your house and start making those perfectly round 1/2″ holes. Luckily, they are easy to treat and once you spray and plug those holes, that particular bee should be taken care of.

Caulking between the log courses is another good way to seal out the insects. I’ve actually watched a fly drag a tiny leaf into a small split in our log ends. You just don’t know what critter wants to live in your logs. Also, do not stack firewood against your house. Chances are very good the cured wood already has insects in it, and you don’t want to transfer them to your pristine logs.

The most important thing to do is make an occasional investigation of your corners, eaves, window frames, foundation. Many infestations are easily dealt with if caught early enough. Don’t assume your house will take care of itself; you, the owner, will be the first line of defense.

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