Home & Leisure



The Four Critical Components of Homeowners Associations (HOAs)

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are considering buying a home in a homeowners association. The agent calls it an HOA. We have heard both positive and negative reviews about the concept. Are homeowners associations a good idea?

Monty's Answer: There are many homeowners associations. Estimates vary, but the U.S. Census Bureau has published data on the number of...Read more

Nine Reasons to Adopt Real Estate Technology

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: At some point in the next few years, we will sell our home. We have been here 25 years and raised our kids here. My wife and I have resisted modern technology. We get along fine with paper road maps. I have an old flip phone, but my work is outdoors, and my hobbies are hunting, fishing and collecting rocks. My family, friends and ...Read more

A Little-Known Fact About Earnest Money

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We want to make an offer on a home in Wisconsin. Our real estate agent wants us to put $10,000 down as earnest money. She said it would show the sellers how much we like the house and may be an influence if there is another buyer. While the advice could be accurate, we are still determining if the sellers will accept our offer or ...Read more

Three Ways to Make a Home Video Tour

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We will sell our home on our own in the spring. We want a video so people can preview the house first to see if it will work for them. It saves us from showing the house to someone that walks away because they didn't like the floor plan. We save time getting ready for the showing, and the buyer saves a trip to an unsuitable home. ...Read more

The Best Market Data When Buying or Selling a Home

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: I recently read that markets can change rapidly in neighborhoods. The term "hyperlocal markets" appeared in one of your recent columns. I am an experienced real estate agent and have yet to hear of this concept. I am not challenging the conclusion, but curious to know how you determined it. Do you have any research that supports ...Read more

Are Home Appraisals Obsolete?

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: I am indirectly involved in real estate transactions. I work for a title company. I witness real estate transactions regularly failing for a variety of reasons. Appraisals are one of the leading causes. There should be a better method. Will there be a better process in the future?

Monty's Answer: Your question requires a quick ...Read more

Five Factors to Consider Before Buying a Home in 2023

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are baby boomers that are considering a lifestyle change. We have raised our family here and our children have their own families. We are not scared, but the turmoil we've observed during the past two or three years is unsettling. Conflicting views on the economy, interest rate fluctuations, home values and inflation make it ...Read more

The Difference Between Mediation and Litigation

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We recently sold our home. Everything went smoothly from beginning to end. A week ago, we received a letter from the buyer. They want us to write a substantial check because they discovered a problem they claim we failed to disclose. The reason for contacting you is that they are requesting that we agree to mediation as opposed to ...Read more

How to Draft a Real Estate Contingency

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We are selling our home to a neighbor down the street. We didn't know them, but they knocked on our door a month ago and asked if we would be interested in selling. We got several opinions from agents and decided we could do this on our own. We have now agreed on a price, and I agreed to write up our agreement. They want a home ...Read more

The Pros and Cons of a Home Sale Contingency

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: Our home just went up for sale 10 days ago. We have had two showings. We just received an offer for our asking price, which is acceptable. We are hesitating because the buyer has a home to sell. We asked our agent about the buyer's home, but the offer came from another company. Our agent had no information about the house. What is ...Read more

Home Sellers and Buyers Beware!

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We will be selling our home in the spring. Our house was built in the early 1940s. It is a large three-story stone home in a historic district. The inspector did not mention two environmental-type items, asbestos and lead paint, which surprised me, as I suspect we have both. Do I have to disclose this to a buyer?

Monty's Answer: ...Read more

The 23 Construction Steps to Build a New Home

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: We have decided to build a new home. We have seen no existing home we like well enough to own. What are the actual steps in the construction process?

Monty's Answer: Assuming a poured concrete full basement and a 2,500-square-foot ranch home, without comment on cost, financing, timetable or builder variances in step order, here ...Read more

The Perfect Real Estate Transaction

Home & Leisure / Dear Monty /

Dear Monty: You describe your writing as advocacy for industry reform. You also stated that technology would replace real estate agents in the future. Others have similar thoughts, but I have yet to see any of them make a dent in the industry. I am a full-time real estate agent, and I am curious to know if you will share a more detailed ...Read more



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