4 Things You Should Know About Easements, Right Of Ways

4 Things You Should Know About Easements, Right Of Ways
Robert Frost once wrote that "Good fences make good neighbors." The poet was not referring to people bonding over the task of mending fences. Rather, defined boundaries are an important facet of neighborly relationships. Without clearly defined property lines and rights, otherwise good people too often become embroiled in land disputes. That's why ...
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Childproofing Your Home

Childproofing Your Home
The number one reason children under three years old visit the emergency room is accidental household injury. That's because children spend the majority of their time in the house. The best way to prevent injury is supervision, but it's important to "childproof" your home for the times when you can't be standing guard over your little ones. Follow ...
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Why I Love Montana? Helena Winter Culture

Although officially the Winter Solstice begins December 21, those of us who live in Big Sky Country know it can come much earlier. Winter can start knocking on our doors here in the Helena area as soon as mid-September. It's mother-natures way of alarming us of what's to come and reminding us to get prepared for our long winter season, if we've not...
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How Tech Can Change the Real Estate Process

How Tech Can Change the Real Estate Process
Virtual reality, artificial intelligence and drone video are just a few of the ways that technology is changing the real estate industry. If you are in the market for a property, understanding these new processes can help you in many ways. Using Artificial Intelligence Doing business with an AI-infused process helps you more quickly identify proper...
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4 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal

4 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal
You have about five minutes to impress (or not) prospective buyers at a showing. For curb appeal, you get about five seconds for buyers to decide whether they want to go inside. Here are four tips to help you get the wow factor from your home's street-facing views. Update Entryway Hardware A wall-mounted mailbox, chic house numbers and a pretty por...
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 17th, 2018

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 17th, 2018
Last week's economic reports included readings on inflation and retail sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. Retail Sales Grow , Inflation Unchanged in November November retail sales grew by 0.20 percent in November as compared to expectations of 0.10 percent and October's reading of 1.10 percent growth...
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How To Keep Your Pets Safe During Your Home Sale

How To Keep Your Pets Safe During Your Home Sale
If you have pet, you probably wonder what you can do to keep them safe after you decide to put your home up for sale. With all the disruption going on during a home sale, it's all too easy for pets to get lost, frightened or even injured. Learn how to keep your beloved pets safe during your home sale. Provide An Oasis During Repair Work Most home s...
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Newest Home Pricing Data Shows Homes Becoming More Attainable Across The Country

Newest Home Pricing Data Shows Homes Becoming More Attainable Across The Country
Case-Shiller's 20-city home price index for September reported the lowest pace of year-over-year home price growth in almost two years. Lower home prices balanced housing markets between sellers and buyers, but home prices continued to grow approximately two times faster than wage growth. Case-Shiller's 20 city home price index for September posted...
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3 Millennial Home-Buying Trends Sellers Should Know

3 Millennial Home-Buying Trends Sellers Should Know
After five consecutive years of Millennials outpacing all other home-buying demographics, sellers would be wise to wrap their thinking around what makes this generation tick. According to a 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends research study, Millennials purchased more than one-third of all homes in 2017. With home purchases totaling appr...
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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 3rd, 2018

What's ahead this week?

Last week’s economic news included readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, sales of new homes and pending home sales. FHFA increased maximum loan limits permitted for mortgages held or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Weekly readings for mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.

Case-Shiller Indicates Slow-Down in Home Price Growth

Home prices slowed their growth in September according to Case-Shiller. David Blitzer, CEO and Chairman of S & P Dow Jones Indices, said “Home prices plus data on house sales and construction confirm the slowdown in housing.

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NAHB Reports Lowest Builder Confidence Reading Since 2014

Obstacles facing home builders have caught up with high builder confidence according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for November. Builder confidence dropped eight points to an index reading of 60, which was the largest month-to-month drop in builder confidence since 2014. November’s decline in builder confidence was greater than the largest month-to-month decline during the housing crisis.  Housing Market Index readings over 50 are considered positive, but analysts said that long-standing headwinds caught up with home builders’ outlook on housing market conditions and sub-categories used to comprise the overall Housing Market Index reading.  Obstacles Impacted November Home Builder Confidence in Housing Market  Builders have long cited shortages of buildable lots, rising materials costs and labor shortages, but builder sentiment appeared strong until November. Recent tariffs on building materials and rising mortgage rates further added to builder concerns. Buyer traffic indicated that would-be home buyers may be waiting for home prices and mortgage rates to fall. Less demand for homes would increase inventories of homes for sale and potentially reduce extreme buyer competition that caused rapid price gains in high-demand metro areas.  Components of November’s NAHB HMI also declined in November. Builder confidence in current housing market conditions fell seven points to an index reading of 67. Builder confidence in housing market conditions within the next six months dropped ten points to 65. The reading for buyer traffic in housing developments dropped eight points to 45. Readings for buyer traffic seldom exceed the HMI index reading of 50.  NAHB Housing Market Index: Things to Know  Housing and mortgage industry pros view the HMI as an early indicator of construction pace and for measuring supplies of homes for sale. The National Association of Home Builders HMI is based on survey of NAHB members; the sample size varies according to the number of responses received from builders each month. Analysts noted that November’s reading was impacted by fewer builder responses in November; 315 responses were received in November as compared to 360 builder responses in October. Fewer responses increase the volatility of index readings.  Approaching winter weather typically reduces home construction and plans for new construction; 2018 has seen natural disasters and catastrophic wildfires that destroyed many homes. While these factors did not impact November’s home builder confidence, readings they will likely affect home builder confidence readings in the coming months.  Your trusted real estate agent can help you navigate the sales trends in your area.

Obstacles facing home builders have caught up with high builder confidence according to the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index for November. Builder confidence dropped eight points to an index reading of 60, which was the largest month-to-month drop in builder confidence since 2014. November’s decline in builder confidence was greater than the largest month-to-month decline during the housing crisis.

Housing Market Index readings over 50 are considered positive, but analysts said that long-standing headwinds caught up with home builders’ outlook on housing market conditions and sub-categories used to comprise the overall Housing Market Index reading.

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5 Creative Ways To Buy A Foreclosure

5 Creative Ways To Buy A Foreclosure.

Buying a foreclosed home is easy, right? After all, they sell for pennies on the dollar, right? Well, that could be a false assumption. Buying a foreclosed property appears easy on TV, but in reality, it can be overwhelming. 

Foreclosure sales continue to decline in the market from 38.6 percent in 2011 to 14 percent in 2017 but ticking up a bit in 2018 according to Attom Data Solutions, a national property data company. As foreclosure sales drop, competition for these properties become stiffer and more complex. And as home prices increase in most cities, buyers often turn to foreclosures as affordable alternatives for landing their dream home.

Foreclosures usually occur when homeowners can no longer pay their mortgages and the mortgagees seize the properties. Once former owners vacate the properties, lenders typically put it on sale at discounted price or auction to the highest bidder. 

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How To Stage A House For A Faster Sale At A Higher Price

How To Stage A House For A Faster Sale At A Higher Price
"Staging" a house means to prepare it for sale in ways that make it more attractive to potential buyers. Homeowners can do much of this staging work themselves and should get suggestions from their real estate agent. They can also hire a professional to do the staging work for them. Value-Added Staging A study of 4,200 sold homes, conducted by Home...
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4 Top Sustainable Home Trends

cartoon house. The emergence of sustainable energy and products have solidified the go-green movement. Solar energy and electric cars are just the tip of the iceberg.

The impact of products on the environment has become a significant measure about their value. Those same principles are also being applied to homes. Smart homes and energy efficiency have a direct correlation to home values and listing prices. That’s why homeowners and home builders alike have an eye toward sustainable trends. These are some of the top-ranked home trends.

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How To Choose Between Laminate And Hardwood Flooring

How To Choose Between Laminate And Hardwood Flooring
Picking out a new flooring can be exciting. After all, as anyone knows, new flooring in a home or business property can completely change the entire atmosphere. A common question asked by commercial and residential property owners is "Should I go with laminate or hardwood flooring?" If you have found yourself asking this question, understand that b...
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Family Matters: The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home to a Family Member

It can be a stressful experience to put your home on the market and wait for offers in the hope that you've priced it right. However, for those who are considering selling to family members, the sale of a home can be fraught with just as much stress before and after sealing the deal. If you're wondering if it's a good idea to sell to a family member, here are some things to consider beforehand.

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Something You Should Know Before Looking At A New Construction Model Home

new construction.  Picture yourself out for a drive one weekend. You see a sign that says:

New Construction Homes! Models Starting At $XXX,XXX Next Right!

Maybe you’re actively looking for a house, or maybe it’s just a spur of the moment urge, but you follow the signs to the model home. You park. You walk into the model home. The builder’s sales rep asks you to please sign in. You sign in. Ouch. You may have just made a costly mistake...

It’s Not Like I’m Buying One...

Most people don’t think twice about signing in when they visit a model home. They figure, what’s the harm? It isn’t like I’m signing something to actually buy one. I just want to take a look, and it’s not like they’re asking me to sign my life away. But sometimes you do end up buying one. You get the bug. You fall in love. You picture yourself in this lifestyle. Next thing you know, you’re making an offer on the spot. Or, maybe you leave, but you can’t stop thinking about it the whole ride home so you decide you’re going to buy one. Either way, if you decide to buy one, having signed in with the builder, you may have signed away your right to involve your own real estate agent represent and advise you.

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What is a title insurance policy?

What is title insurance?

Under Montana law 33-25-105 & 111, “Title insurance policy” means a contract by which, subject to its stated terms and conditions, a title insurer insures or indemnifies the insured against loss or damage sustained by reason of:

  • defects in or liens or encumbrances on the title to the stated property:
  • Unmarketability of the title to the stated property; or
  • Invalidity or unenforceability of liens or encumbrances on the stated property.

A title insurance policy is not an abstract of title or representation as to the condition of title to the stated property.

Common terms and definitions:

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Millennials Doubling Down To Save For Down Payment On Homes

Doubling down. According to the NerdWallet's Home Buyer Report, 82% of millennials say buying a home is a priority—but saving for a down payment can be a challenge. According to a recent article from Redfin, the top concern among first-time millennial home buyers is saving for a down payment. Instead of delaying the process though, this younger generation is just doubling down on their saving efforts.

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4 Things To Know About Homestead Exemptions

signing paperwork. Homeowners are well aware that peripheral costs swell over time and can put a strain on incomes. Utility bills increase, home insurance creeps up annually and taxes rise with the cost of schools and road repair.

That’s why many communities have enacted homestead exemptions that can help stabilize and even lower tax bills in some cases. Although these exemptions are not well publicized, knowing how they work and how to apply could save you a good deal of money.

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