CLOSE IT! House of the week: A family-friendly Cleveland Park Home

We close out 2017 with our house of the week located in Cleveland Park.This large home welcomes you with a charming front porch that opens to over 2,000 square feet of space to include four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The home is fully equipped with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen, plus a full-sized washer and dryer. Even though the pad is virtually walking distance to shops and dining in the area, it also has a garage and driveway for commuters or guests to park comfortably. This is super important as you are likely to have family or friends over this summer to barbeque in your fenced-in backyard. The property is listed at $1,200,000 and is looking for new owners.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent, their cash-to-close would be $274,427 and monthly mortgage payments would be approximately $3,575. You’ll also receive a credit of $750 when you choose to use Federal Title & Escrow Company for settlement services when ordered online. For a complete picture of what your cash-to-close figures would be, including seller’s net proceeds from the sale and such, please view the Close It! Web version or download the free Close It! iOS app.

Maximum VA Loan County Limits for 2018

The Department of Veterans Affairs Loan Guaranty Program recently published county “limits” to be used for VA Loans effective January 1, 2018.

Please note, these limits do not reflect a maximum amount that an eligible veteran is permitted to borrow, but rather, reflects the VA’s maximum guaranty amount for a particular county.  The maximum VA guaranty amount for loans over $144,000 is twenty-five (25%) percent of the 2018 VA limit. 

The limits listed below are for some counties in Maryland and Virginia, as well as for the District of Columbia.  To get a complete list of the county limits for 2018, please view here. [Please note, if your county is not listed on the county limits chart on the VA website, the 2018 limit is $453,100.]

STATE

COUNTY

2018 VA LIMIT

DC

District of Columbia

$679,650

MD

Anne Arundel

$517,500

MD

Frederick

$679,650

MD

Howard

$517,500

MD

Montgomery

$679,650

MD

Prince George’s

$679,650

VA

Alexandria

$679,650

VA

Arlington

$679,650

VA

Fairfax

$679,650

VA

Falls Church

$679,650

VA

Fauquier

$679,650

VA

Loudoun

$679,650

VA

Manassas

$679,650

VA

Prince William

$679,650

Condominium By-Laws: Why are they so important?

If you are considering purchasing a condo, it is important that you read through all the condominium documents that have been provided by the seller for your review. You will be provided with what appears to be an overwhelming amount of paperwork, but reading through the information will assist you in making an immediate decision as to whether this is the right condo for you and it may also assist you down the road should any issues arise that impact you as the owner. 

The condominium package that you receive, often called the “resale package”, will contain an entire set of condominium governing docs that include the Declaration, By-laws, copies of financial records of the condo, plat and plans, and rules and regulations. The By-laws are perhaps the most important part of any condominium association documents. The By-laws are a contract between the condo association and the owners. The condo unit must be used only in accordance with the Bylaws of the association. They contain certain information such as the duties and authority of the Board, what parts of the condo you own, whether leasing is permitted, what responsibilities unit owners have, what kinds and sizes of pets are permitted, age restrictions, procedures for any special assessment and whether or not a special assessment requires the vote of the members (owners), procedures for setting and raising assessment amounts and whether there is a limit on annual assessment increases, insurance requirements, and the list goes on and on.

Taking the time to read through and familiarizing yourself with the terms of condominium documents will put you in a much better position to determine if the condo is the right one for you. 

A title report - What's That?

After receiving a title order, one of the first steps we take as a title company is to order a title search from a licensed abstractor.  Within a few days, that abstractor produces a title report (otherwise known as an abstract of title) for our review and determination as to the insurability of title.  See Sample Title Report – here.

A title report contains, but is not limited to, the following determinations:

  • Proper ownership by examining documents of conveyance in the chain of title
  • Outstanding mortgage lienholder interests
  • Outstanding judgment lienholder interests
  • Outstanding governmental tax lien interests
  • Pending court actions having the potential to impact property interests
  • Easements, covenants, or restrictions which may impact property use and marketability
  • Accurate legal description, including lot/block/square numbers and plat references

Some matters that are reported, such as unreleased mortgage liens (albeit having been paid in full), result in uninsurable title until the property owner can obtain a release from the mortgage lienholder.  This can cause a delay in meeting the agreed upon date of closing.  Similarly, other matters, such as unreleased judgments against prior owners, sometimes come as a surprise to the current owner and cause delays in closing. 

Based on the local land records, a title report also accurately determines who (or what entity) is vested with title; which is oftentimes not accurately reported in the tax records.  Unfortunately, it is the local property tax records (as opposed to the more accurate land records) that real estate agents rely upon for identifying the sellers within the contract.

By obtaining a title report in advance of closing or at the time of listing the property, a seller and his/her agent can mostly avoid closing delays by having the early opportunity to cure title if necessary.

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

    Learn more

  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

    Learn more

  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

    Learn more

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Our blog contains general information only, not intended to be relied upon as, nor a substitute for, specific professional advice. Rate tables and figures that appear on our blog are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For current rates & policies, refer to our Quick Quote and Consumer Guide. We accept no responsibility for loss occasioned to any purpose acting on or refraining from action as a result of any material on our blog.