BEWARE OF WIRE FRAUD
Online banking fraud is on the rise. Be safe so you do not lose your money by wiring your funds to the wrong account. In this transaction, the buyer will be asked to wire funds into escrow, or the seller may be asked to provide wiring instructions to receive their net proceeds from the sale. Scammers and con artists can sometimes find out when a real estate transaction is pending and may send you a realistic-looking, but bogus email, disguised to make you think it came from the escrow company, your agent, mortgage broker, or a trusted related party to the transaction. The email may have a title such as: WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS and will instruct you to wire funds to an “escrow” account. The email may be bogus. Do NOT follow tbe instructions without verification. If you receive an email from anyone, instructing you to w refunds relating to your real estate transaction, call your escrow officer or real estate agent immediately to verify the information BEFORE you wire any funds. Do not call any telephone numbers listed on an email only call the phone number you know to be correct. For your security NEVER WIRE FUNDS to any account WITHOUT FIRST CALLING YOUR ESCROW OFFICER OR REAL ESTATE AGENT TO VERIFY.
OWNER'S TITLE INSURANCE
It is now “optional” for buyers to purchase an owner’s title insurance policy when buying real property. Nevertheless, We STRONGLY ADVISES buyers to always purchase title insurance. As a buyer, you must make sure that the property will indeed be yours when you close escrow and that no one else has any recorded right, lien, or claim to your property that you don’t know about. Before issuing a policy, the title company performs an extensive search of relevant public records to determine if anyone else has a recorded interest in the property and insures the buyer that none exists except those that are reported in the title insurance policy. Buyers should NEVER purchase property without title insurance.
NON-CONTINGENT PURCHASE OFFERS
In a ‘seller’s market when there are many buyers competing for the purchase of few properties, buyers are sometimes tempted to make a purchase offer without including the contingencies that are normally part of the contract, such as the inspection contingency, loan contingency, and appraisal contingency. These contingencies are for the buyer’s protection and WE strongly recommends that these contingencies be included in the purchase offer and that they not be waived by the buyer just to make the offer more attractive to the seller. If a non-contingent offer is made and accepted, then the buyer is legally obligated (with rare exception), to complete the purchase regardless of property defects that are discovered during escrow, regardless of whether the buyer qualifies for the intended purchase loan, and regardless of whether the property is appraised at the purchase price. If the buyer fails to complete the purchase of a non-contingent contract, the buyer will generally be In breach of contract, and the buyer’s deposit will beat nsk of loss. Deposit disputes often result in mediation, arbitration, attorney fees, costs, and delays. We recommend against non-contingent purchase offers.
Mortgage lenders may require buyers to purchase flood insurance in connection with your purchase of the property. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) providesfortheavailability of flood insurance but also establishes flood insurance policy premiums based on the risk of flooding in the area where properties are located. Due to recent amendments to federal law governing the NFIP, those premiums are increasing, and in some cases will rise by a substantial amount over the premiums previously charged for flood insurance for the property. You should not rely on the premiums previously paid for flood insurance on this property as an indication of the premiums that will apply after you complete your purchase. You should consult with several carriers of flood insurance for a better understanding of flood insurance coverage, the premiums that are likely to be required to purchase such insurance, and how those premiums may increase in the future.
WEED ABATEMENT AND ASSESSMENTS
Many counties have weed abatement programs that require property owners to control excess weeds and brush, so they don’t become a hazard to the properties around them. In most counties owners of vacant lots are contacted about the need to mow/abate the weeds and overgrowth. Property owners are given the option of either cutting the weeds themselves or having the city contractor abate the weeds for them (which is then billed to the current year’s property taxes and includes a $100 administrative fee.) Buyers are advised to research the county records to determine any assessments currently billed to the applicable
WOOD BURNING DEVICE COMPLIANCE
Residential wood burning is the leading source of wintertime air pollution in the Bay Area and studies have confirmed there are significant health impacts from exposure to fine particulate matter found in wood smoke. When the BAAQMD issues a Winter Spare the Air Alert during the winter season from November 1 through the end of February, it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs, pellets, or any solid fuels in fireplaces,wood stoves,or outdoorfire pits. To check whenawinter Spare the Air Alert is issued and it is illegal to burn wood, please visit www.baaqmd.gov or www.sparetheair.org.
We strongly recommends that you insist on written reports with respect to inspections or other investigations regarding the property you are acquiring. An oral statement reporting the results of an inspection cannot be relied upon in any future negotiations or disputes with. To identify existing or potential pests, dry rot, fungus & other structure threatening infestation or conditions. The initial inspection fee covers only those areas that are accessible areas to the inspector. Inspections of inaccessible areas cost more and are subject to an estimate by the inspe HOA DOCUMENTS AND DISCLOSURES.
Buyers are advised that the homeowner’s association for a property in an HOA is required by law and by the Purchase Agreement (CAR Par 10F) to provide the Buyer with certain documents. When a Seller submits to the HOA the CAR form HOA-IRthe HOA is to return the form including the completed CAR form HOA-RS and HOA-RN and the disclosure documents listed on those forms. If Buyer closes escrow without receiving these documents there might be information about the HOA that, If known by the Buyer, might negatively affect the Property or its value. If CAR forms HOA-IR, RS and RN are not provided, the Buyer will receive any substitute forms provided by the HOA
SEWER LATERAL INSPECTION AND REPAIR
Many cities and counties require sellers of real property located in their jurisdictions, to have the sewer lateral connection pipe inspected by a qualified inspector, repaired as necessary and certified prior to the sale of the property. Some exemptions apply. The requirements are different in each jurisdiction, so buyers and sellers must familiarize themselves with the ordinance applicable to their property. The cost of compliance can be significant and should be factored into the purchase price or otherwise allocated in the purchase contract if permitted by the local jurisdiction.