Can an H1B visa holder purchase a house?
My experience is from about 18 years ago, but I think it is still relevant. However, I did not enter the US with an H1B visa: I entered with an O1 visa, which is a different temporary employment visa. Although the conditions for getting an O1 visa are different, the result is much the same: permission to work with a specific employer for three years.I moved to the US with my wife and two of my children. We left behind our two oldest children, who had grown up, and took one who had just finished high school in Australia and one who was still in high school. So my wife and two children all got O3 visas, which did not allow hem to work in the US.From a previous job, I had received a redundancy payment. My wife and I owned a house in Australia, which was fully paid off, but which we did not want to sell. Therefore, I had about USD 50,000 to use as the deposit on a house. Where I was working, you could buy good 3-bedroom houses in a very good school district for around USD 150,000, so the deposit was more than adequate.The factors that influenced my wife and me to buy a house rather than renting were:the interest on the mortgage would be tax-deductiblethere was the possibility of a tax-free capital gain when we sold the house (although when we sold 12 years later we made a small capital loss, because of the housing crisis)I was intending to convert my temporary visa to a green card, and continue to work for the same employer for 10 to 12 years.What happened later was that I won the green-card lottery and converted to a green card 3 years later. (If I hadn’t won the lottery, my employer would have had to petitioned for a green card: winning the lottery made things easier.) Further on, as planned, I retired and returned to Australia, and sold the house at a small loss (which was actually a bigger loss, because over the 12 years the AUD/USD exchange rate had deteriorated). On the other hand, house prices in Australia had gone up considerably, so our decision to hang on to our house in Australia really paid off.Even though we made a loss when selling the house, I think our decision to buy rather than to rent was the right one.
Does a Homeowner's Association (HOA) have authority to restrict public street parking?
Note that in Colorado, most HOAs have separated the Policies & Procedures from the Rules & Regulations. In most other HOAs, they are all one document, generally called the Policies, Procedures, Rules & Regulations, or abbreviated PPR&R. In this answer, any reference to the Rules broadly refers to an HOA’s Governing Documents, which can include the Covenants and the PPR&R.In general, HOAs have broad latitude to control the areas within their jurisdictions. Courts have generally supported most HOA rules which are uniformly enforced. Despite what others may have said, an HOA can indeed restrict on-street parking, even when they do not own the street (i.e. it is a city-owned street).Essentially, when you sign the covenants, you are entering into a contract between yourself (the Homeowner) and the HOA. The contract (the Covenants) lays out ground rules for living in that community. The Covenants also state that the HOA Board can create Rules and Regulations, and they carry the same force and weight as the Covenants. Again, this is in general, and can vary by state, and even by HOA.With that understanding, then yes, the HOA Board can indeed add parking restrictions to those Rules.What will be different between an HOA which contains city streets and an HOA which is part of a gated community is what the HOA can do with parked cars in violation of the Rules. The difference turns on who owns the roads.In a gated community, the HOA has complete and total control over the roads. They can boot or tow improperly parked cars at their discretion, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations. They own the roads, they make the rules.In HOAs where the HOA does not own the streets, their only remedy for homeowners violating the Rules is whatever remedies are listed in the Covenants; usually this is limited to fines. The fines are levied based on the Schedule of Fines listed in the Governing Documents. They cannot boot or tow cars not following the Rules.If you believe that your HOA board is acting unlawfully, your only remedy as a homeowner is to hire an attorney after you are fined under the rule and challenge the legality of that rule.
If a house is condemned, does the home owner have to leave the property?
Except in cases of eminent domain, condemning a home is usually a last resort taken only when all other efforts have failed to improve the condition of the building.When a home is condemned, the owner (and tenants, if any) are notified in writing that the building must be vacated.A sign is attached to the building stating that the dwelling is not fit for human habitation, and that it cannot be occupied.In some areas, a condemned property may be winterized to protect against damage caused by frozen water pipes or improperly maintained utilities. The government may disconnect the gas, shut off the electric power, and drain plumbing fixtures and water pipes.The owner of the building may be ordered to repair or demolish the building.If you own a house that has been condemned, it’s important to respond to any complaints promptly, and seek legal advice about the best course of action to take next.Source: What Happens to a Condemned House? | We Buy Ugly Houses®Related Post: alliston realtors
Closing cost for selling a home?
When I bought my home 3 years ago in California, I paid the closing cost at that time. And now, I am selling it, but my agent said that I will have to pay for closing cost again, he said that whenever I sell or buy, this fee will apply to both seller and buyer. I thought that only buyer need to pay for closing cost unless the seller offer to pay for it? Is my agent correct?
How can the HOA kick you out of your house when you own it?
How can the HOA kick you out of your house when you own it?Your HOA cannot directly kick you out of your home. There is a bit of a legal process. The HOA can do this because while you own your home, the HOA owns the neighborhood in which your home lives. That means you are responsible to pay dues to the HOA which controls your neighborhood. If you break HOA rules, you may get fined. If you fail to pay fines or HOA dues, the HOA can put a lien on your house for the dues and fines and lawyers fees owed. You cannot sell or refinance your home until that lien is paid.And if the lien goes unpaid for long enough, the HOA can choose to foreclose on that lien, which means that the home will be sold to pay the outstanding liens against the house.You must, as a homeowner, maintain your financial obligations that you agreed to when you bought your home. Remember that stack of papers you spent an hour signing (and you never knew you could sign your name that many times)? One of those was the covenants on file with the City which says that you agree that the HOA runs the show in your neighborhood and you have to play along or face financial penalties. You also agreed that if you don’t pay, the HOA can take what you owe out of the cost of the home. You agreed that the HOA would be the primary non-mortgage lienholder, and could use your house as the collateral for unpaid HOA debts. The bank may be the mortgage lienholder, but the HOA is usually the first non-mortgage lienholder in line behind any mortgage liens. So even if you’re paying your mortgage on time but you fail to pay HOA dues or fines, you can still have a lien foreclosed, and you can be evicted and your house can be forcibly sold in a foreclosure sale to cover what you owe.I oversaw two foreclosures for failure to pay HOA dues and fines during my tenure on our Board of Directors. It’s a very lengthy process, but we worked as closely with the homeowner as they would allow. In one case, we worked out a payment plan with the homeowner which allowed him to stay in his house. In another, the homeowner simply wouldn’t play nice at all. Tangentially, he ended up going to jail on a DV charge. A real sweetheart, that one. We threatened to foreclose, and while we were preparing to file, the bank decided to foreclose which meant we got paid without paying for the foreclosure. Phew.
Is it cheaper to custom build a house on your own lot or buy the same house from a contractor who built it himself?
When a contractor builds a house himself for eventual re-sale we call that a “spec” house. It is not necessarily a good thing. In a down market if the house has sat there a while then yes of course you may get a good deal. But BEWARE of builders who have a constant flow of spec homes for sale. I live in Asheville NC and I see builders calling themselves “green builders” and they always have spec homes for sale. They really run up the price of housing in the community - which is not good for the home buyer - and really their primarily client is their investor - NOT the potential buyer. Investors fund these homes to make money - it’s a business - it’s not about the future homeowner at all. They want to build it as cheap as they can (to their certain “standard”) and get the maximum return for their investor, not the maximum house for the future owner. We know of one very popular “green builder” in Asheville that for a 1% premium for the home (about $3,500) they could have had a home that was about 100% more energy efficient in cold weather, it would have been significantly stronger and also safer in a fire situation, and the builder passed on our better system because - as he told me directly - “I got investors - that’s money in our pocket”. He knew that clients mostly look at finish details, kitchens & bathrooms and they don’t care about what’s in the walls.If you choose to build your house yourself, odds are you will get a better home for less money IF you can find a builder that will work with you. That’s kind of the key. There are lots of great builders out there who are open to working for the client, not their investor, you just have to find them.
The method to conserve water?
Shut off all taps and faucets. Repair all leaks. Don't allow it to drain away. Use water harvesting methods to collect rain water, which can be used to wash a car, flooring and for watering plants Use only as much as is required.
When you buy a house, do you automatically own all items the previous owner failed to remove from the property?
In your executed purchase agreement it states what items are excluded in the sales price. Examples are washer, dryer and refrigerator. At close one or all of these items may be left in the home. Per contract, these items were excluded. I would contact the previous owner or their real estate agent. State items were not included in sales price but seller has left in the home. Hard to believe but seller may have forgotten items. They are entitled to retrieve these items. You specifically know what has been left. I would still contact previous owner or their agent. State what has been left that were not included in sales price. Then there is awareness right after the close of escrow. Do not need problems months later about what legally belongs to the previous home seller. Hope information helpful.Gail Mercedes ColeThe Hills Premier RealtyLadera Heights Real Estate310.853.9933