Saturday, May 8, 2010

Grants to Purchase Real Estate - How To

How to write a Grant Proposal to purchase Real Estate

If you are an Investor, Business Person or just someone that wishes to better their own community, you may have thought about obtaining a grant from the Governement. Or maybe you were not aware of many programs available to persons just like you and me. These programs are not just for Non Profit orgs. They can be for profit but you need to think about helping out your local community in doing so.

Each year, the government gives away grants for real estate that individuals can use to purchase the home they've always wanted or to invest in real estate and make a profit. There are many different kinds of these grants and although they are not widely advertised, you can obtain them without paying for the information. Below, you'll learn how to obtain government real estate grants.

Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Step1
  2. look for suitable grants. Visit and use the keyword search tool available on the site. This tool allows you to search using keywords for the types of grants you're seeking. You'll be redirected to a list of grants that are relevant to your keywords. You can check each grant's details and obtain the application you need to fill out in order to receive the grant. Visit your local chapter of HUD as well, since they often receive information about real estate grants.

  3. Step2
  4. Fill out the grant application. When filling out the grant applications, there are a few very important things you should remember. First of all, go over the applications very carefully so that you don't miss anything. Be sure that any information you place on the application is correct and that there are no mistakes anywhere. Have a friend or family member go over the application and check for typographical or grammatical errors to ensure that the application is easy-to-read, neat and correct.

  5. Step3
  6. Write a grant proposal. For some grants, you will need to fill out a grant proposal. This is similar to an essay and helps the reviewers know which grant application they should choose or which individual needs the money more. In real estate cases, the reviewers may be more apt to choose individuals who will help the community with their actions, so consider different ways in which you can do this with the grant money. You can learn tricks and tips for writing a grant proposal by going to "How to write Grant Proposals"

  7. Step4
  8. Send off the application. Be sure to check the deadline of the grant so that you know when you must send off your application. Sending it off 2 weeks ahead of the due date is ideal and even sooner if possible. This will help you ensure its timely arrival. Do not fold the grant application, rather place it into a manila envelope and place enough postage on the envelope so that it will arrive safely. Before sealing the envelope, check to ensure that your cover letter (if needed) and all pages of the application are present.

    By following the steps above, you can have a better chance at obtaining a government grant for real estate.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Great Tips for Avoiding Surprise Defects in a Home

    Great Tips for Avoiding Surprise Defects in a Home.
    A homebuyer in the hills above Oakland, Calif., recently closed on a home that matched her wish list almost perfectly, which is as good as it gets. Before closing, the new home was inspected and no major defects were discovered.

    The buyer had plans for upgrading, starting with removing all the wall-to-wall carpets. But when the carpets were pulled up, the house began to smell of cat urine.

    The new owner called her agent, who recommended several people who have experience eradicating pet odor. Within a week, the odor was gone; the buyer was happy and continued renovating her new home.

    Another homebuyer was not so lucky. She also bought a house where cats had urinated in virtually every room. The sheetrock and flooring had to be replaced. The remediation cost was in excess of $250,000. She hired a lawyer, went to arbitration, and won.

    As hard as you try to discover all defects before buying, it's impossible to know everything even if the seller is honest and the house is thoroughly inspected. This doesn't just apply to older homes. New homes sometimes have construction defects that aren't readily apparent.

    What should you do to keep yourself from ending up in a situation like the two described above?

    HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Make sure that you are involved in the inspection phase of your purchase. This includes attending inspections and asking the inspector questions. If you don't know what to ask, talk to friends who bought recently. Find out if they discovered unexpected surprises after they moved in.

    Your real estate agent should be able to provide a list of red flags that could indicate serious problems. Ask your agent if he or she has been involved in any unpleasant after-closing situations, and if there could have been anything done before closing to prevent this.

    Home inspection, engineering, drainage and termite reports often include recommendations for further inspections. And they note items that won't be inspected, like a sauna or irrigation system.

    Real estate brokers often give buyers a disclosure document advising them to inspect the property carefully. The disclosure might also indicate important issues that agents will not be looking into, like checking the permit record.

    Don't be fooled into thinking you don't need to follow up on these issues because the house looks fine. You could get lucky, but I wouldn't count on it. In fact, disclaimers detailing the limits of inspectors' and agents' responsibilities make a strong case for taking charge of your due diligence investigations.

    Don't be shy about asking questions. For instance, if the sellers have pets, ask if there are, or have been, any odors or damage attributable to the pets. If you're concerned about drainage, ask the sellers if they've had any water problems. If so, what have they done to correct the situation?

    Find out if the house has recently been carpeted or painted. Document your conversations. Better still, ask the sellers to put any pertinent disclosure in writing, even if it's just an e-mail. Keep this documentation in your transaction file.

    The first thing to do if you discover a serious defect after closing is to review your transaction file and make sure this wasn't already discovered during inspections or disclosed to you by the sellers. If the documentation reveals nothing, make your agent aware of the problem and ask her to talk to the listing agent so that the sellers are aware of the situation. It will cost less time, money, and aggravation if you can resolve the issue without having to go to arbitration or court.

    THE CLOSING: If this doesn't work, consult with a knowledgeable residential real estate attorney about how to proceed.