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Home Buying in Baldwin County : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info1
  • Home Buying5
  • Home Selling0
  • Market Conditions0

Activity 173
Mary McNair, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Tue Dec 4, 2012
Mary McNair answered:
The advantage of a 30-day rental verses something longer is that it is at that point it is considered a long-term instead of a short-term rental. Lodging taxes have to be collected on short-term rentals owned or managed by a business. However, lodging taxes are exempt from long-term leases. The savings in taxes can often cover the costs of several days lodging, making it more cost effective for the renter.

The reason I know this is because I used to run a B&B with my husband, at which we had to collect lodging taxes on any reservations lasting less than 30 days.
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Mary McNair, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Tue Oct 30, 2012
Mary McNair answered:
I see your question about attorneys, but also your additional comments below. I'll attempt to address what I'm understanding to be your two primary questions as best I can.

As Barbara pointed out, Realtors cannot give legal advice. However, our areas of expertise are many.

First, we help sellers to price their home correctly when listing a property for sale or help buyers looking for property to weed through the vast choices and determine a fair offer when the right property has been located.

Second, once a deal as been struck, it's our job to make sure the details of the contract are fulfilled by coordinating with the other Realtor, when applicable, the title company handling the closing and issuing the title insurance, the bankers issuing and closing out loans, making sure inspections have been conducted, surveys secured, termite bonds issued, etc.

When using a title company to handle a closing, they don't have to have lawyers as part of their company. However, I'm yet to work a closing that doesn't have attorneys reviewing the contract prior to securing the title insurance. Although these attorneys have to remain neutral, it is helpful to have those extra sets of eyes reviewing the documents and knowing to recommend that one or both sides seek independent counsel if issues need to be ironed out legally in order for clear title to be conveyed.

It is also helpful to use an attorney if the transaction of selling real estate goes hand in hand with selling a business that uses that property, especially if the need for the real estate is only necessary if also buying the business.

As for prices per square foot, there is no "average." The location issue can change within one or two blocks based on the obvious issues that make one location more desirable over another. You also have to look at the houses being used as comps in light of age, condition, amenities and style. When doing a thorough comparative market analysis, adjustments are made for those things that add or take away from specific properties so as to make the properties as equal as possible. Price per square foot is only one small part of the equation. You also can't use foreclosed properties as comps unless the property being considered is also a foreclosure; to do so skews the fair market value.

I hope this helps to answer your questions. If you aren't already being assisted by a Realtor, I would be please to be of further assistance as you consider your options. In such a case, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.
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Mary McNair, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Wed Oct 3, 2012
Mary McNair answered:
Thanks, Larry, for emphasizing the importance of working a real estate deal through a Realtor. There are so many details to be figured out, with issues related to financing being the biggest.

Having someone to coordinate efforts with the lender of your choice is key. The more professionals you have working on your behalf, the better.

I would obviously love to be that Realtor. As you can see from the recommendations under my profile, I work tirelessly to help a deal happen if possible. In fact, my newest recommendation is from a local loan manager with whom I worked very closely to pull together a deal that had several obstacles, but we worked as a team and closed last week.
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Trevor Curran, Real Estate Pro in Great Neck, NY
Wed Oct 3, 2012
Trevor Curran answered:
Good afternoon,

While loan programs such as the FHA allows for you to provide a Lender with an "alternate" credit profile---reference letters from utilities, cellphone providers, furniture stores and such---the reality of today's market is that Lenders want a credit score and a credit history containing at least 2 accounts open and active for twelve months or longer.

In short, you'll need to build a credit profile and obtain a credit score so you can buy a home in the future.

I have found that CONSUMER ACTION is an excellent resource for objective advice on all things credit related. You'll find free and sincere advice on everything from settling collection accounts to rebuilding credit to building credit from scratch on their website.

You can also find great information about building a credit history and obtaining a credit score at

The best way to buy a home is to have a decent credit history combined with sufficient Income and Assets for a home purchase.

The best way to have a decent credit history is to settle negative outstanding obligations and pay all your bills on time for at least two years.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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Nicole  Boot…, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Mon Oct 1, 2012
Nicole Boothe answered:
Yes they seem to be using higher quality materials in these homes and we are seeing more of these homes here
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Carlton Spin…,  in Fairhope, AL
Sun Sep 30, 2012
Carlton Spinks answered:
I would, but I would require a $10K deposit and purchase within 2 years.

9671 Silverwood Fairhope, AL ... more
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Peter Mohyls…, Real Estate Pro in Destin, FL
Wed Sep 12, 2012
Peter Mohylsky answered:
The construction market is down in the Destin area because of the inventory. I am surprised they are still building over in Orange Beach. I am glad the problems with the oil spill has been overcome ... more
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rstokesneeson,  in Fairhope, AL
Sat Aug 25, 2012
rstokesneeson answered:
The Alabama Redemption Law is possibly the most misunderstood law in Alabama. Foreclosed properties or property bought on the courthouse steps can be an exellent investment with downsides that can be minimized by prior research. The fear of redemption is grossly exagerated. Out of 1118 foreclosure deeds issued in 2010, there were NO redemption deeds issued on these properties that I could find. If you would like a detailed explanation of why foreclosures can be an excellent investment vehicle, email me at or call me at 251 591 2568. I'm not an attorney, but I do understand foreclosures.

Roland Neeson
Keller Williams Realty
Fairhope, Alabama
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Beverly Mich…, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Sun Aug 19, 2012
Beverly Michie answered:
Yes there are some available. Are you talking short term vacation rental orang term?

Beverly Michie
Better Homes and Land
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
The Lance St…, Real Estate Pro in Orange Beach, AL
Sat Jul 28, 2012
The Lance Steffek Team answered:
In Baldwin County we have the appraised value which is based on recent sales. The assessed value is what you pay taxes on but here if it is a non-rental it is 10% of the appraised and 20% if you rent the property. Assessed means nothing to you as the buyer. If you have serious interest in a property you should contact a realtor to get a current reflection of past sales to get an idea of value. ... more
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Mary McNair, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Wed Jul 11, 2012
Mary McNair answered:
I definitely agree with the comments about not assuming foreclosures are where you can get a "deal." Depending on the property and motivation for being on the market, some standard resales and new properties are great bargains. Keep your focus on what you can afford to spend and what you want in a home, then grab the best match for you.

Don't wait too long to get with a Realtor to help you in reviewing options. Property is starting to move like crazy, with there being several occasions recently when properties were under contract before getting a chance to get my people in. You need to have your financing in place and be ready to pounce with your best offer!
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Mary McNair, Real Estate Pro in Fairhope, AL
Mon Jul 9, 2012
Mary McNair answered:
It doesn't show as being listed with a Realtor. What has you asking?

Are you working with a Realtor yet to help you find something that is available that would be a good match for you? If not, I'd appreciate being considered to represent you at no cost to you. Read the recommendations posted to my provide to determine if I sound like the right agent for you.

Please give me a call to tell me what you are looking for and I'll get some listing details e-mailed for your consideration.
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Vince Helton, Other/Just Looking in Gulf Shores, AL
Mon Jul 2, 2012
Vince Helton answered:
Geo, Home Buyer in Illinois
Sat Jun 30, 2012
Geo answered:
I suggest Dottie Leech or Terry Cunningham ( Mom and Son ) at ERA in Foley, excellant to work with when I visited there in mid jun, I think I got the home I wanted ( short sale ). Good luck ! ... more
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V.p. Sales T…,  in Gulf Shores, AL
Wed Jun 6, 2012
V.p. Sales Team answered:
This unit is at Island Winds West the condo fees are $574 per month. This unit is a foreclosure and Under Contract. They go very rapidly.
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gedeckt8, Both Buyer and Seller in Silverhill, AL
Fri May 25, 2012
gedeckt8 asked:
Anna, Home Buyer in Atmore, AL
Fri May 18, 2012
Anna asked:
Moving to the area within a month, never been there but am wondering if any of the listed properties may have an owner financing option. Rent to own or with option to buy even...?
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