Crowdfunding is becoming more and more popular in the United States and it is even showing up as an option for real estate developers. As appealing as crowdfunding can sound, it is not always the best option for your needs. Every real estate developer, whether they intend to use crowdfunding or not, should become familiar with the challenges of crowdfunding in case they ever decide to give the finance option a try.
Crowdfunding is a sort of direct opposite option to standard project funding. Under normal circumstances, an investor would get the entire amount of the project done by one lender using one agreement.
With crowdfunding, your real estate investment opportunity becomes a security that is offered to an entire investment community. People buy shares in your opportunity and then you use that money to fund your project.
Crowdfunding adds a layer of regulatory demands that utilizing one funding source does not. As the real estate developer offering the investment opportunity, you would have to file the standard regulation D filings as required by the SEC for each state where you have investors based. These forms are simple enough to fill out, but they can become a burden if you have investors located all over the country.
One thing that many real estate developers agree on is that crowdfunding provides major challenges when it comes to timing. In some cases, a developer only has a couple of months to get their funding together to get a project off the ground. With crowdfunding, there is no urgency for investors to respond to your project, so it can be difficult to get the funding you need in time.
While there have not been a string of scandals that have threatened to undermine the integrity of crowdfunding, there is also not a long history of large projects being funded by the process either. The lack of stories about the SEC shutting down crowdfunding websites should help lend to its credibility, but the fact is that many developers want a history of success that crowdfunding is still in the process of developing.
Crowdfunding does have the reputation of being a bit unpredictable, and that makes it difficult for developers to feel comfortable using crowdfunding as a consistent financing option. While crowdfunding can sound convenient, you may find that it does not fit your needs with every project. At best, it will probably wind up being an option you try when all other options fail.
Many developers who use crowdfunding for the first time jump into the process thinking that the crowdfunding website accredits every investor. In crowdfunding, it is the developer's responsibility to accredit every investor and make sure that investors are who and what they say they are. This is another layer added in by crowdfunding that can slow the process down and become a headache for developers.
As an alternative financing source, crowdfunding is there for real estate developers to use. But the entire crowdfunding industry is still evolving and it might not be in a developer's best interests to consider crowdfunding a reliable and first-line source of project funding.
If you ask most people about the closing process on their residential real estate property, they may tell you that they let their attorney worry about those details. While you do hire an experienced attorney for the purpose of giving you advice and guidance on the closing process, the buyer or seller still has plenty of responsibilities when it comes to making the closing as smooth as possible.
At least one week before closing, you should make a meeting with your attorney to discuss the details. Even though you rightfully put your trust in your attorney, you still need to know what is required of you at closing if you want to avoid surprises and get the process done properly.
Most buyers know they will have closing costs and that those closing costs can usually be rolled into the mortgage for convenience. But it pays to know what your closing costs are, be prepared to negotiate some of those costs, and perhaps even consider paying for the costs out of your pocket.
Some of the fees that most people never expect include document preparation fees, courier fees, and a subject simply called miscellaneous fees. Ask your attorney for those fees in advance, and then see if you can do anything about getting them lowered. You should also learn exactly how much your fees will be and try to pay them out of your pocket at closing to lower the overall cost of your mortgage.
Each state deals with property taxes different at real estate closings, and you need to know what you are paying to make sure you are not getting overcharged. Once again, the real estate taxes you owe are often lumped in with your mortgage and increase your overall cost of ownership. If you can pay your property tax bill out of your own pocket, then that would be preferable to allowing those taxes to gain interest over the term of your loan.
The transitioning of utilities from seller to buyer is not really a part of the closing, but it is still a critical part of taking ownership of a property. You may want to work out an agreement with the seller to transfer utilities to your name a day or two prior to the closing date to make sure that the heat is on when you walk into your new home for the first time.
Your attorney will make sure that all of the official loan and title paperwork is ready to go, but that is not the only concern you will have. Are there any papers you need to bring to closing that you have not accumulated yet? Does the bank want to see one more income statement before releasing the check just to be sure? When you meet with your attorney, be sure to discuss every detail and every piece of paper that will be required at closing to make sure everything is in order.
Most people step aside for a real estate closing and let their attorney do the work. While this is a smart approach, it can also be an incomplete method as well. Work with your attorney to make sure that all of your paperwork is in order and that you do understand what is expected of you at closing.
After months of hunting and negotiations, it is finally time to close on your house. You have done everything the seller, bank, and both lawyers have asked you to do and now you are ready to take the keys to your new house, right? Not so fast. The closing on a residential home can be a painful process if you do not take the proper precautions. But if you are sure to take some extra steps, then you can take away the pain that sometimes comes with closing on your new home.
If you have a good lawyer, then they will be in touch with you throughout the process to make sure everything is ready to go. But just in case your lawyer forgot to call about something or you were unaware of some papers you needed to sign, it is a good idea to meet with your lawyer one week before closing to tie up any loose ends.
A week in advance will give your attorney enough time to tackle any issues or correct any problems that may come up in your meeting. If you wait too long to have a meeting with your attorney, then you may have to go through the nasty process of trying to reschedule your closing.
If you are responsible for bringing any money to the closing, then make sure you have your cashier's check in hand before the transaction takes place. If you are unsure as to how much money you need to bring to closing or what form that money should take, then ask your real estate agent and your attorney for any clarification.
Yes, you have an attorney helping you with your closing, but sometimes there winds up being paperwork you are responsible for bringing to closing that your attorney does not get involved with. If there is any paperwork required of you at closing, then spend some time a day or two before closing to make sure that paperwork is filled out and ready to go.
The best way to ensure that your lender has everything together for closing is to work with a lender that has plenty of experience. But even if your lender is experienced, you should still give them a call a few days before closing to make sure everything is in order. It is usually a this point where the lender reminds you of a form you need to bring that you had forgotten, or may even find a form you forgot to sign and will ask you to come in to take care of it before closing.
At closing, any contingency plans you put together with the seller to have parts of the house repaired prior to closing will come up. You need to know exactly what is expected of the seller, and be prepared to sign off on every contingency with the confidence that comes from completely understanding your sales agreement.
Closing day on a residential real estate transaction is a big deal. If you want that big day to go smoothly, then you need to do your part in making sure that everything in your scope of influence is prepared and ready to go.
In the world of real estate, the contract is king and there are a lot of kings to keep track of. One of the most misunderstood types of agreements in real estate law is the quitclaim deed. While you may have heard of a quitclaim deed, there is a good chance that you do not understand what it does and what it is for. Before you start demanding that your attorney draft a quitclaim deed, you should spend some time researching whether or not you really need one.
A quitclaim deed is a document that can transfer ownership from one party to the next, but it is not used during a real estate sale. It is most commonly used when:
The deed transfers ownership of the land to another party as part of a legal process. A sales contract transfers ownership of the land and its contents to a new owner after a legal transaction. The deed and the sales contract often work hand-in-hand. The sales contract is the promise to transfer ownership of a property after some type of transaction is finalized, and the deed is the actual transfer.
There are two common types of deeds; quitclaim and warranty. The warranty deed is the one that is used to transfer ownership of a property after a transaction has taken place, and a quitclaim deed transfers ownership of a property without the need for a transaction. When you buy a house, you get a warranty deed. When you add or remove your spouse from the title to the property, you use a quitclaim deed.
Title insurance companies and attorneys use deeds to determine property ownership, and liability during property disputes. When it comes to determining which type of deed is appropriate in which situation, that is something best left to an attorney. While there are concrete rules surrounding the use of each type of deed, sometimes those rules get gray when they are applied. That is why it is always best to have an attorney handle the deed process to any property issue.
As we mentioned, a quitclaim deed is used to transfer property from party to the next, such as when a property owner passes on and the property ownership is transferred to next of kin. Other instances where quitclaim deeds become important include:
If you feel like you need to address an ownership issue with your property, then it is time to talk to an attorney about a quitclaim deed. In many instances, a quitclaim deed can ensure that your family property stays within the family if something should ever happen to you.