Real Estate document organization tips

We all struggle with document organization, either our electronic or hardcopy files.  I hope this information helps in your next Anna Maria Island real estate transaction or for that matter any real estate transaction.  Having real estate documents handy for insurance, income taxes, property taxes and many other requirements makes life easier.  After all seems like Murphy’s law always takes effect.  Someone needs information as an emergency and taking an hour or two finding proper documents is time you just dont have at the moment.

Tip #1)  I find that real estate surveys, elevation certificates, insurance and banking paperwork are the most used files after the purchase of a property.  Create three folders; A) Surveys & Elevation, B) Insurance C) Banking Information.Anna Maria Island property
Tip #2)  At the very least scan your survey, elevation certificates, banking information and all insurance declaration pages associated with the property.  Be sure the information is electronically stored outside the home in the case of a fire or 50 year weather event.  If you can scan in the entire closing package that is the best yet.
Tip #3) The rest of the documents can go in one folder.  Warranty, deed, title insurance, etc can all be placed in one folder labeled as such.  I find the rest of the real property documents are rarely pulled out for later reference.
Tip #4) If you rent the property create two folders each  year.  {Year} Income and {Year} Expenses.  If you are lucky enough to have a property manager send you montly statements create a third folder, {Year} Statements.

When you sell that Anna Maria Island property for a nice profit don’t pitch those real property documents too soon.  Document organization records must be maintained for three years after selling the home.  More specifically, three years from the filing date or the date the income taxes were due.  Be careful, if you use your property for business income and you self employ yourself to manage the property all information as it relates to the real property should be maintained for six years.  This can be tricky and I would always suggest you consult your CPA or the Internal Revenue Service if you believe you may fall into this category.  Of course most suggest you hold on to your tax returns indefinitely.

I hope my document organization tips help for your next real property purchase.

Larry Chatt

Larry Chatt

Choose the right Anna Maria Island real estate professional

Anna Maria Island real estate is very complicated.  Three cities with different zoning as well as rules and regulations is a strong start.  Not to mention vacation rental registration requirements vary in each city as well as their inspection criteria.  Follow that up with Coastal Construction lines to be concerned with, riparian rights as well as rentability and it creates an equation for a disaster if a buyer tries to go it alone.  An Anna Maria Island property is too large of an asset to risk not finding the right real estate professional to help with your once in a lifetime purchase.  Of course this is where I would provide a “plug” for Island Real Estate sales professionals as we only have full time sales professionals in our office.  While the rest of Anna Maria Island in recent years has doubled their sales staff.  Over the last decade Island Real Estate has only added two full time sales professionals that combined have sold real estate ON Anna Maria Island for more than 40 years.  I have heard too many horror stories of buyers using a friend or friend of a friend that truly is a weekend warrior.  A Sarasota or Tampa real estate professional will be hard pressed to understand the zoning and rentability requirements for Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach as well as Bradenton Beach.  It is just next to impossible to keep up with multiple areas and city rules and regulations.  I do however recognize there are great real estate professionals in other organizations on Anna Maria Island.  For real estate professionals outside of Island Real Estate be sure to use my supplied questions below to help you make sure you have found one of the “good one’s.”  Check out below.

A)  Is their office located on Anna Maria Island?  If the answer is “no” then move on and there are no further questions to be asked.  There are way too many changes occuring and the office HAS to be local to keep up with all three cities.
B)  How many Anna Maria Island listings does the individual have currently or in the past?  If in the last two-three years you cannot find at least 10 listings ON Anna Maria Island then MOVE ON.
C)  Use some of the zoning information I have provided in my Holmes Beach or Anna Maria City rental posts and ask the real estate sales professional specific questions on rentability of zones in the City you plan to purchase in.  All FULL TIME local sales professionals should be aware of at least two of the three zones you ask about.
D)  Ask if there are any occupancy restrictions in Anna Maria or Holmes Beach?  If you wanted to rent out to 16 people is that allowed?  If the sales person answers “no problem” without caveats then RUN and run FAST, that is away.

I am always happy to help answer questions you may have about Anna Maria Island real estate.  Feel free to email or give me a call on my direct line.  (Larry@IslandReal.com) or (941) 345-1288.  I pre-apologize it can sometimes take 48 hours to return calls as well as emails but I am happy to help with questions you may have.

I hope the questions above help to find the right sales professional for your Anna Maria Island real estate search.  Anna Maria Island real property can be extremely complicated and don’t leave your large asset purchase up for chance.  Good luck and happy hunting!

  Larry Chatt

Steps to make Anna Maria Island – HOME

So, you’ve fallen in love with Anna Maria Island and want to call it home…we can’t blame you, that’s how most of us ended up here too! But what’s your next step in making our paradise your new home?

Step 1: Start with Island Real Estate. As soon as you can, call Island Real Estate and one of our professional local Realtors will share with you island market trends and current listings. 

 

 

Step 2: Determine the budget of your investment. Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt. But you should make this determination based on your own financial situation. Each listing has a mortgage calculator on IslandReal.com to help you!

Step 3: Unless you are paying Cash or have a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, get Prequalified for Your Mortgage. Island Real Estate can introduce you to proven successful lenders in our area so you can get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. They will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you.

Step 4: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer You and your Island Real Estate Realtor will start touring homes in your price range. You may see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home. Your Realtor will also provide details on each listing.

Step 5: Get a Home Inspection Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your Island Real Estate agent will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage.  Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.

Step 6: Have the Home Appraised. Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.

Step 7: Purchase required Insurances. Every area has their own unique set of required insurances. Your local Island Real Estate Realtor is very knowledgeable with the flood and wind insurance needs for our island.

Step 8: Coordinate the Title Insurance. As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your Island Real Estate Realtor will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.

Step 9: Close the Sale – Congratulations!  At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. Island Real Estate will be with you and ensure everything goes according to plan and to make sure you receive all the necessary keys, etc. needed so you can celebrate your new purchase!

Anna Maria City trash guidelines

Trash Pile up
Trash Pile up

Anna Maria City has always had code regarding the time and placement of trash cans at an owners curb.  Anna Maria City is beginning to see trash cans sitting out at the curb for days.  The city has focused on short term rentals as well as absentee property owners that come out to Anna Maria Island and leave their cans out for the week.

The city of Anna Maria says no more.  The Islander newspaper reported on this topic in August and quoted code enforcement officer Gerry Rathvon, “These containers sit there for days.  They often get blown over by storms, and I go out and pick up the trash.”   It’s an ugly situation, trash cans sitting out everywhere for days.

The city on Anna Maria Island is compiling a list of repeat offenders.  Code allows fines of up to $250 per day.  There is an easy solution, Waste Management offers a back door pickup service for $3 per month.  Waste Management employees will retrieve your trash at the back door on the assigned trash days.  Seems like a no-brainer.  One fine could be $250, that is 80 months of back door pick ups to pay for one fine.  Wow, what a pay back.

From the Islander, “City code states: Residential containers and garden trash shall be placed out for collection no earlier than 5 PM of the day prior to the scheduled collection and shall be removed from curbside not later than 9 PM of the day of collection.”  All residential containers, garden trash and recycle containers must be on the owners property.

Currently for 2009 the Anna Maria City the trash pick up days are

Monday – Trash/Garbage and recyclables
Wednesday – yard waste
Thursday – Trash/Garbage

Not sure why everyone does not sign up for back door service with Waste Management? One thing is for sure, if an Anna Maria Island property owner is renting their home out seasonally with or without property management the back door service is a no-brainer.

Garbage Schedule Changes for Holmes Beach, Florida residents

Garbage days changing in Holmes Beach, FloridaAttention owners in Holmes Beach, Florida, the garbage pick up days have changed to Tuesday and Friday’s.  Unfortunately, recycling continues to be on Monday’s and organic waste pickup remains on Wednesday’s.  Looks like the only day Holmes Beach residents on Anna Maria Island leave their trash alone will be Thursday’s.

Due to the Manatee avenue drawbridge closing for repairs your trash, recycling, and organic waste pickup should be curbside by 6 AM.  Once the bridge is open and back up running the normal pick up time of 7:30 AM should resume.