Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/15/2021


 Photo by Mona Tootoonchinia via Pixabay

When you purchase a home, your lender charges you for a title insurance policy. You are also given the option to buy your own title insurance policy. Depending on your agreement with the seller, the seller might purchase the buyer’s title insurance policy. Before a seller can sell his or her property, it must have clear title. However, the title searchers could miss something. Title insurance protects the buyer and the mortgage company against financial problems that might come with a “dirty” title.

What Is a Title Search?

A title search looks at public records to determine the legal ownership of a property. The title search should uncover any liens against the property in addition to easements and other problems with the title. Building code violations, unpaid taxes and erroneous surveys are just some of the items that cause a title to be “dirty.” If a title has issues, the seller must rectify those issues before they are allowed to close on the deal.

What Is Title Insurance?

The title insurance protects the holder of the policy from any defects in the title. When you think of insurance, you generally think of being insured against things that will happen in the future. Title insurance protects you against things that happened to the title in the past. The insurance policy usually covers fraud concerning title documents, forgery on title documents, ownership by someone else, incorrect signatures, flawed record-keeping, flawed records, terms that reduce enjoyment (such as unrecorded easements) and encumbrances (such as liens and outstanding lawsuits).

The Cost and Types of Title Insurance

The cost depends on the title insurance company, but is usually around 1 percent of the purchase price of the property. The types of title insurance are owner’s insurance and lender’s insurance. As previously mentioned, the buyer buys the policy for the lender. The buyer or seller purchases the owner’s (buyer’s) policy.

The lender’s policy does not protect the buyer from loss – it protects only the lender. If you want to be covered against losses, you should always purchase your own policy if the seller doesn’t do it for you. Never rely on a title search, as it is easy enough to miss something that clouds the title.

For example, if the title search does not show that the seller has unpaid taxes and the closing goes through, the buyer is now responsible for those unpaid taxes. A title insurance policy protects the buyer against situations such as this.

If you are purchasing a home that was in foreclosure, the title is more likely to have issues because the sellers might not have more liens against the property in addition to the foreclosure. For example, if a seller does not pay a $20,000 hospital bill, the hospital could place a lien on the property. If the title search does not find that lien because someone erred in recording it, the buyer is responsible for that hospital bill once they close on the property. It is recommended that you always buy your own title insurance policy, whether you or the seller pays for it.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/8/2021

Image by Nancy Buron from Pixabay

If you're like many homeowners who prefer a natural landscape plan, your outdoor living space undoubtedly features lush vegetation and bright, blooming flowers. However, you might also have the sense that something is missing but can't quite put your finger on what it might be. If this describes you, the missing element is probably hardscaping. Hardscaping refers to elements of landscaping that aren't plants, such as water features, statuary, gazebos and garden paths.

At its best, hardscaping brings functionality to the table as well as enhances aesthetics. Few things do this better than a rustic stone walkway meandering over the property. Here's how to make it happen yourself over the course of an average weekend. 

Select Your Stones

Stones used for walkways should be flat, wide and thick enough to withstand foot traffic. Choosing stone that is found naturally in your area cuts down on retail and delivery costs. Avoid using polished stones because these present potential slip-and-fall issues due to their slick surfaces. Stones that are between two and three inches thick offer better stability than their thinner counterparts and often come with a more attractive price tag as well. 

Lay Out Your Walkway

The first step is to determine your walkway. Avoid straight lines -- stone walkaways are meant to meander. Garden hoses are ideal for marking garden paths that curve. Use a sod cutter and a flat spade to cut and remove the grass, and dig out the soil where you want to place the stones to about a depth of five inches and make sure it's firmly tamped down before placing landscape fabric and adding a two-inch layer of sand over it. 

After smoothing down the sand so it provides a flat surface, it's time to lay down the stones. This part is a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, so take your time to figure out the placement. Be sure to use a carpenter's level to make certain that the stones are at the same height, and add or remove sand as needed. However, if you live in an area that receives significant amounts of precipitation, slightly sloping the larger stones toward the outside of your walkaway helps prevent standing water issues.

Landscape the Walkway

Some people prefer the clean, austere aesthetic of pebble or oyster shell mulch in the gaps between the stones, while others like the rustic, tousled look provided by low-growing herbaceous plants. Corsican mint is an excellent choice because it has a bright green color all year round and releases a divine, minty aroma. Other choices include creeping thyme, rock cress, artemisia and sedum. You can also mix it up with a variety of ground covers for a classic, cottage garden look. 




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 6/1/2021

Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If youíve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you donít.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, youíre still in the game.

In this article, weíre going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Donít sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if theyíre not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Donít spend too much time scrutinizing the sellerís decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isnít personal. You simply havenít met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now itís time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didnít respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what youíre comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure youíre pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bankís approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. Itís a sellerís market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just canít make it up to the sellerís price point. Other times the seller just canít come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, donít waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/25/2021

The home selling process should be quick, particularly for those who offer great houses at competitive prices. However, problems may arise that prevent an individual from enjoying a seamless home selling experience.

When it comes to selling a house as quickly as possible, it generally is a good idea to be proactive. That way, you can resolve any potential home problems before you add your house to the real estate market. A proactive approach to selling a house also may enable you to minimize the risk of encountering time-intensive problems throughout the home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you avoid delays as you sell your house.

1. Perform a House Inspection

A home inspection typically is requested by a homebuyer after his or her offer is accepted on a house. Conversely, a home seller can perform an inspection prior to listing a residence to identify home issues and fix these problems right away.

During a house inspection, a property expert will examine a residence both inside and out. He or she then will provide an inspection report that offers comprehensive insights into a residence's condition.

A home seller should assess the results of an inspection report closely. By doing so, a seller can prioritize myriad home repairs and alleviate these issues. And as a result, a seller can prevent such problems from potentially stopping a home sale at a later time.

2. Establish an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

The price that a seller sets for his or her house can have a major impact on how quickly the home selling journey progresses. If a seller establishes an aggressive initial asking price for his or her residence, this individual may boost the likelihood of a fast home selling journey.

Remember, homebuyers are searching for residences that deliver the ideal mix of quality and affordability. If you price your residence competitively based on the current housing market's conditions, homebuyers may choose to pursue your house over others that are available. Then, it may be only a matter of time before you receive multiple offers on your house that are at or above your residence's initial asking price.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you're worried about encountering time-intensive problems during the house selling journey, there is no need to stress. For those who hire a real estate agent, you can get the support you need to address any potential home selling problems.

A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the home selling journey. He or she is happy to provide expert recommendations as you proceed along this journey. And if you ever have concerns or questions about selling your house, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Want to accelerate the home selling journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can limit the risk of encountering potential hurdles that otherwise could slow you down as you sell your house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 5/18/2021

Image by Chinnapong from Shutterstock

The ďsimple lifeĒ is a common phrase but is there such a thing? When defining the words, itís easy to understand the challenge that comes with pairing them together. Simple (easily understood and presenting no difficulty) + life (existence, being, living). Let's rephrase the quote to say, "The simpler life." Creating a simpler life is a more attainable and worthy goal.

The day ahead

For example, the morning routine of waking up and preparing for each day. It might not be easy, but preparing the night before by selecting clothes, setting up the coffee maker and having breakfast or lunch ready to go, the basics start to fall into place. Consider setting the alarm for 15 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins.

Mealtimes and more

Plan for meals. Create a shopping list based on meals that can be pulled together easily. Consider preparing meal components that can be brought together in different ways throughout the week. This approach often requires some preparation once the groceries are purchased. You may bake or saute some chicken or chop and roast vegetables in large batches. The benefit is that you wonít have to start from scratch with each meal. Set up a crockpot meal and let it cook all day or utilize an air fryer or pressure cooker to prepare a meal quickly. Cook double portions so that you have leftovers or components to in stock the freezer.

Introducing organizational habits and weekly plans takes time and dedication but developing ways to make life simpler is worth the time investment.




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