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                     Earnest Money Deposit -   What You Should Know

 

 

The earnest money deposit is an important part of the home buying process. It tells the seller you’re a committed   buyer  helps fund your down payment.

 Without earnest money, you could make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. Sellers rarely accept offers without deposits.

 Assuming that all goes well and your offer is accepted by the seller, the earnest money will go toward the down payment and closing costs. In many circumstances, you can get most of your deposit back if you discover something that you don’t like about the home.

 How Much Should You Put Down in the Earnest Money Deposit?

 The amount you’ll pay for the earnest money deposit will depend on a few factors, such as policies and limitations in your state, the current real estate market, and what the seller requires. On average, however, you can expect to hand over 1 to 2 percent of the total purchase price as earnest money.

 In some real estate markets you may end up putting down more or less than the average amount. In a real estate market where homes aren’t selling quickly, the seller may only require 1 percent or less for the earnest money deposit. In markets where demand is high, the seller may ask for a higher deposit, perhaps as much as 2 or 3 percent. You can sometimes win a bid if you give the seller a large deposit. In fact, the seller may be willing to come down in price a little if you make a bigger deposit.

 However, you may wind up having to do some paperwork for your mortgage lender, and the bank may want to verify the source of the funds for larger deposits. It won’t be a problem if you can show that you’ve had the money for at least 60 days.

 When Do You Pay the Earnest Money, and Who Holds It?

 In most cases, after your offer is accepted and you sign the purchase agreement, you give your earnest money deposit to the title company. In some states, the real estate broker holds the deposit.

 Always check the credentials of the firm or broker taking the deposit and verify that the funds will be held in escrow. Never give the earnest money to the seller; it could be difficult or impossible to get it back if something goes wrong.

 After turning over the deposit, the funds are held in an escrow account  until the home sale is in the final stages. Once everything is ready, the funds are released from escrow and applied to your down payment.

 Can You Get Your Earnest Money Back?

 If the deal falls through, a small cancellation fee is usually taken out of the deposit, but the remainder remains in escrow. Whoever holds the deposit determines whether you should get the money back under the terms of the purchase agreement. Make sure that the purchase agreement covers how a refund is handled.

 To be on the safe side, make sure the purchase agreement covers how a refund would be handled. Keep in mind that even if you are pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you can be declined when you apply for one. In such cases, standard contracts allow you to recover your earnest money deposit. You can also usually get your money back if you find problems with the property.


 

 

                              2014   Remodeling  Trends                             

 

 

Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley wood survey remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.

 

Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads come a bunch of  new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.

 

1. Modern Kitchens

 

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine  61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

 

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

 

2. Brass Accents

 

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to pick up in 2014. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.

 

Remodel

 

3. Updated Bathrooms

 

In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathrooms remodeled in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors, towel racks, and jetted bathtubs. For coloring and style, glass tiles will be a popular feature as well as neutral and cool colors like ash gray, light blue and off-white.

 

Remodel 2

 

4. Vibrant Colors

 

While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment next year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; in 2014, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red, according to Pantone, the international authority on color. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring throughout bedrooms and main living spaces.

 

5. Sustainable Materials

 

Going green, is nothing new, but sustainability may get easier in 2014 remodels. According to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, “Manufacturers and builders are constantly getting greener and greener in the way they source materials and put up homes.”  As a result, “Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on.” Next year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jimmy Wekselbaum, Bachelors of Science in Business Realtor ®
Grand Realty of America, Corp.
954-790-0929 Se Habla Español
19300 W. Dixie Hwy , Suite 12 , North Miami Beach , FL 33180
JTRFL77@GMAIL.COM
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