What Should I Disclose to Potential Buyers?



Disclosures are a key part of selling your home. The prospective buyer should have some reasonable assurance that the home they are getting is a valuable one, with no ticking time bombs lurking that will land them with a lot of expensive repairs. 

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Most smart sellers will spruce up their home with a fresh coat of paint and perform any minor repairs before they put their home on the market. However, some unscrupulous people will make cosmetic changes with a view to hiding something more serious, in the hope of making the sale and tricking the buyer. 

This is short-sighted, because the house will need to be appraised, and any decent real estate appraiser knows all the tricks. The sale will fall through, and you as a seller will have your reputation dented in the eyes of the realtor trying to work with you to sell your home. Therefore, itís best to disclose and work out who will repair what, rather than trying to run a scam.

Real Estate Disclosures

Real estate disclosure statements are the buyerís opportunity to learn as much as they can about the property and the sellerís chance to give an idea of what it will be like to live in that house.

Potential seller disclosures range from knowledge of dry rot or leaky windows, to work done without a permit, to information about a major construction project nearby that might affect the price of housing and the quality of living in that area. 

Disclosure documents inform buyers and also protect sellers from future legal action. Disclosures are the chance for the seller to reveal anything that can negatively affect the value, usefulness or enjoyment of the home.

Varying Disclosure Laws

Disclosure laws vary from state to state, and in some cases, city and county. Some are stricter than others. In general, disclosure laws requires that sellers, and their agents, complete or sign off on a wide range of documents. These will include a Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement, Local and State Transfer Disclosure Statements, Advisories about Market Conditions and more.

These are usually boilerplate forms that have been written by the local or state real estate association and are most often a series of yes/no questions about the home the seller is putting on the market, and their experience of living there.

Sellers must also present any important documents between neighbors, previous owners, the seller or the agents in reference to any substantial defect or issue that might affect the value of the home.

It is important to be honest about these disclosures because depending on where the seller lives, they might liable for what they disclose, or fail to disclose, for as many as ten years after the sale. Trying to hide something can come back to haunt you long after the sale, and the last thing most sellers want is an expensive and complicated lawsuit.

Disclose previous improvements, renovations or upgrades, and whether the work was done with or without permits, and by which vendors. Other standard disclosures include termites, any history of property line disputes, and defects or malfunctions with major systems or appliances. 

Disclosure documents will also ask sellers if they are involved in bankruptcy proceedings, if there any liens on the property, and so on.





©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved   



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Land, Air and Sea: The Three Benefits of Natural Landscaping

Natural landscaping offers the environment many benefits, but the three most important are in the land, air, and in the water. Soil, the atmosphere, and bodies of water all benefit from natural landscaping without any intervention necessary from human beings.

The Benefits on Soil by Planting                Native Plants

Natural landscaping is significantly better than typical vegetation in that these types of grasses, plants, and shrubs stabilize soils that easily erode on a higher level. Native plants thrive well wherever you find a sloping area or a body of water such as a stream bank. 

Wherever there is flowing water and natural plants, you are bound to find successful natural landscaping. This is because the native plants or prairie plants are deeply rooted into the soil. By holding soil well, these plants can cope with over watering in areas that are prone to overflow and flooding. Regular grass typically does not have root systems that dig down that deep.

When vegetation is planted near a body of water, it can absorb the overflow of streams by absorbing that excess all the way down to the roots. This provides a benefit to those living in the area, as well as to the wildlife that may exist there.

The Benefits on the Air by Planting           Native Plants

Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides are both emissions that come from lawn equipment. These dangerous omissions do not only come from professional landscapersí equipment, but from homeowners' tools for gardening as well. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and weed whackers are all a culprit of emitting dangerous omissions into the air.

However, native plants require little to no weed pulling or mowing as in the case of natural grass. Therefore, native plants and natural landscaping provide a clean and fresh way of beautifying our landscape without adding extra pollution into the air. These plants also diminish and decrease the need for pesticides. 

There is less need for fossil fueled lawn and garden equipment when native and natural landscaping is put into place. Health risks due to air pollution are significantly decreased due to planting natural vegetation and native plants.

The Benefits on the Water by Planting      Native Plants

Natural vegetation near a body of water is beneficial to that body of water as natural vegetation and native plants do not need fertilizer or pesticides to keep them healthy. This keeps those bodies of water clean and free of all chemicals as the vegetation acts as a border to anything polluting the water. 

Native vegetation also acts as a buffer to any runoff from storm water that may be contaminated. This is especially important near any construction site that is by a body of water. Chemicals that could be potentially hazardous are somewhat filtered by natural vegetation.

Mother Nature certainly knew what she was doing by creating natural landscaping in the first place.











©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved   



Natural Landscaping and Getting the Kids Involved



When first approaching natural landscaping, it may seem overwhelming. Natural landscaping and native plants in the forms of fern, flowering shrubs, and even trees are so majestically and perfectly created by Mother Nature that it seems as though we could never recreate its beauty.

However, anyone can mimic the beauty of natural landscaping, especially if you make it a family affair. Natural landscaping is something that is enjoyed by families for generations. Not only is the planting of a natural landscape a possibility, but the design and upkeep is something that family members can take part in for generations to come as well.

How to Begin

The best way to begin getting the kids involved in natural landscaping is to educate them without specifically letting them know that you are educating them. 

A trip to the library to take out books related to natural landscaping is a great way to begin the adventure. Have younger children pick out books on the subject and make sure there are plenty of photos. The more photos of natural landscaping, the better off the project will come out. 

Gather some ideas and even use magazines as a cut and paste scrapbook of ideas of colors that would go well together.

Let Technology Be Your Friend

Use the kidsí electronic devices to download magazine articles, books, and even movies that have fields of natural landscaping in them. Let them save some of their most loved pictures into their favorites and visit them later to see what everyone elseís ideas are to compare and contrast.

The Planning Stage

Now is the most important part in the planning stage. You need to physically measure up your yard space to see what you can plant where. 

* First, do your research once you have decided on which plants and shrubs you will use, as well as tall grasses. 

* Then, prepare and plan your space accordingly. In the case of small children, if there is any dirt that needs turning over, they will be the first to volunteer.

* Next, seek out the advice and expertise of a garden expert before you purchase. Make sure any natural landscaping you are doing fits into the needs of the perennials, ferns, shrubs, trees or grasses that you are planting.

Keep a Journal

Make sure that you keep a journal along the way. Take photos of the kids as they look through their books and online searches. Take photos of digging up the yard, buying the plants, and finally planting them.

Taking photos and keeping a journal does not have to stop there. If you are fortunate enough to plant a natural landscape garden while the kids are still young, take photos of all the backyard barbeques and birthday parties as the years roll on by.



©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved