experts: real estate column Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't Be Trapped When Making An Offer

Your questions answered.

By Ozzie Jurock

During the last few weeks, I have received a number of questions.

I picked out a few of these because I thought they might be of general interest.

I have changed them a bit, taken out intros - and phrases such as "Ozzie, you are great" (but that was hard) - and have just given you the nuts and bolts.

Here goes:

Question: I want to buy a home that is being built in B.C., but I have not as yet sold my house in Edmonton, which is proving difficult during this downturn.

I am told I will lose the house that is under construction if I don't buy it now without a subject clause.

I was hoping to sell my current house at a price that would cover my new house.

If not, I feel trapped and may have to get an interim mortgage and then sell the B.C. house. Any suggestions of how I could proceed?

Answer: Please, whatever the pressures are, never write an offer without including a "subject to the sale" of your property -- particularly at the top of a market (as now).

In reversals, you could get seriously hurt.

Imagine making two mortgage/tax/hydro and so on payments.

In real estate, there is always another deal that you can make.

Sell your Edmonton house first, then with a firm offer on it, buy your B.C. house. If you can't get this house, so what -- next!

Question: I keep hearing that I could buy an assignment of a pre-sale from a buyer that tied up a pre-sale one year or more ago, but does not want to close.

I understand that could be a good deal. But where do I find these assignments?

Answer: Your realtor will have access to all that are listed.

For "by owners" and "realtor ads," go to www.craigslist.com. Click on real estate. Type in "assignment."

If only eight or so show, retype the keyword, "assignments" (yep, with the "s"). You will likely find hundreds.

They are also advertised in the Real Estate weeklies, and your realtor should also have access to most of them.

If you ever do buy a presale by way of assignment, do not pay the person their profit before the unit is finished. Pay it only upon closing with the developer.

Question: Where do I go find foreclosures in the United States?

Answer: There are a number of websites that purport to sell you foreclosure lists, or teach you how to buy foreclosures, in the U.S.

Some are real and some are just trying to get you to pay fees with questionable results.

In every troubled city, such as Stockton, Phoenix or Las Vegas, there are weekly auction/foreclosure sales.

Go to the city's website and take note on when the next one is - and go there. It will be an eye-opener - some are in terrible areas and are in awful shape.

Review the tips I wrote here a few weeks ago. Every state is different.

California wants you to declare world income, Florida charges Canadians three times the tax rate of a Floridian, and so on.

Published in the Calgary Herald, Saturday, May 03, 2008




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