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John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup | CityScape News Blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2017   /   by John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage and Leaks?

Whether you're dealing with a slow leak in the basement or a steady drip from a hole in the roof, water can wreak havoc on your home—and your bank account. Once the water recedes, one of the first questions you'll have is whether your homeowners insurance covers water damage and roof leaks. Well, we have you covered with the answers below.

Is water damage covered?

In a word, yes! A standard homeowners insurance policy will cover water damage and roof leaks unless they're the result of gross negligence on your part. Even if the roof leak is caused by a windstorm or a tree crashing through the shingles, you're covered.
Roof leaks are typically covered if a windstorm damages a home and creates an “opening” in the roof, says Stacey A. Giulianti, a lawyer in Boca Raton, FL. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover any “preventable” damage to a property, so the key here is determining if7 ...

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Monday, April 17, 2017   /   by John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup

Real Estate Commission: Who gets what and who pays who?

Selling a house involves a trinity: buyer, seller, and Realtor®. The buyer gets a new home, the seller gets to cash a big check, but what does the Realtor get? A commission, of course! (As well as the satisfaction of a job well-done.) There's an awful lot of confusion about this all-important fee, from who pays it to exactly how much it is. Here's everything you need to know, plus how to negotiate a Realtor commission. Yes, it's possible!

What is a typical Realtor commission?

A common misconception when it comes to Realtor commissions is that there is a standard percentage within the real estate industry. In truth, there is no common price. That would be price-fixing, which is illegal in most industries, says Maryland Realtor Malcolm Lawson.
In many states, however, there is an average prevailing fee of about 6% of a home's final sales price. If a Realtor sells a vacant lot, the commission is usually higher—anywhere from 10% to 27 ...

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Thursday, March 16, 2017   /   by John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup

"Realtor Talk" What do these words mean?!

Call it what you will—jargon, shorthand, lingo—but every industry has its own language, a collection of terms that are essential to understand if you hope to play ball. And the real estate business is no different. In fact, there are probably more terms in the housing biz than just about anything short of neurosurgery. That’s why when you read a real estate listing, you may end up scratching your head over a whole bunch of puzzling terms. Allow us to clear things up, by explaining what these things really mean in plain old English.
This means that a property is currently on the market and available for sale. It may have received offers, but none have yet been accepted, which means that the opportunity is wide open for you to make a proposal.
Closed (CL)
The property is sold and no longer available.
Active with contract (AWC)
This means that even though there’s an accepted offer on the home, t7 ...

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Thursday, March 9, 2017   /   by John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup

7 Things to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Home decor is all about reflecting your own personal style. It’s an opportunity to use your home as a blank canvas and paint a masterpiece that is decidedly you. And that style is never more apparent than in your living room—the spot where your guests gather and your personality is most on display.
We’ll never tell you to betray your decor desires in this room (or the rest of your home). But if you’ve gone nuts painting your living room in wild colors or spent thousands laying down Moroccan tile, bear in mind how potential buyers might perceive your choices.
Buyers need to picture themselves living and loving that space: throwing parties, entertaining guests, enjoying a lazy Saturday with a book. If your favorite living room design looks are dated or divisive, buyers might give your home a pass. So ditch these seven polarizing decor choices while you still can—before they sink your chance of a sale.

1. TV looming ove7 ...

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Thursday, February 23, 2017   /   by John Murdock -- CityScapeMetroGroup

Is Now the Best Time to Buy?

You know you should buy a home. Eventually. But timing matters when it comes to such an enormous and potentially life-changing purchase. Which begs the question: When is the best time to buy a house? Does such a moment exist when all lights turn green, guaranteeing this is a decision you won’t regret?
While there’s no crystal ball in real estate, there are some fairly easy-to-read signs that a home purchase is something you should consider. Let’s dive into some of the factors that can influence whether the time is right for you to pull the trigger.

Your finances

For many people, knowing when to buy a home all comes down to the numbers. Here are the biggest pieces of that equation.

You have a down payment: If you need a mortgage to buy a home, you should know that most lenders will want you to show them the money—that is, have a sizable down payment. For most conventional loans, you’ll need to scrape together 20% of a home’s price, or $60,00 ...

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