Real Estate Professionals

Why Do You Need a Real Estate Professional?

In California, and elsewhere in the United States, real estate purchase and sale transactions are commonly conducted with assistance of professionals. The reason being the sales process, and rules and regulations governing real estate transactions are very complex. Experienced real estate professionals can help you select properties most suitable with your needs, obtain financing if you desire, manage property for you when you are away, and sell your property at an open market when you want to. With the help of professional real estate agents, investors would be able to complete transactions much easily and quickly and avoid many loopholes in the process.

What Is the Difference between an Agent and a Broker?

An agent is an employee (or independent contractor) of the broker. The broker is the manager or the employer of the agent. Typically, there is one managing broker in a brokerage firm. Unless otherwise specified, a broker associate works as an agent for a brokerage company, not the managing broker.



Important Real Estate Knowledge

Ownership Types

Real estate is also called real property. In California, and elsewhere in the United States, most properties are “fee simple” properties, which means ownership is absolute and forever. The owner can sell, gift or dispose the property however he wishes. There is no expiration date of the ownership. There are other types of ownership as well, such as leasehold property (ownership has an expiration date), or tenancy in common (fraction of ownership), etc. They are usually considered “lesser” ownership than fee simple, and are generally specified as so when being sold.

Metric v. Imperial System

In the U.S., the imperial system is used for measurement. Roughly:
1 square meter = 10.76 square feet
1 square foot = 0.092 square meter

Property Types

1. House

house

It is also called “single family home,” “single family detached home,” or “detached house,” is a freestanding residential building. Single-family houses are by far the most common form of housing in North America – ranging from 600 square foot bungalows to 6000 (or more) square foot sprawling mansions. The most important distinguishing factors that determine a single family dwelling are that it sits on its own piece of land (which is sold part and parcel with the home) and it is not attached to anyone else’s residence. Usually, there is no homeowner association (HOA) fee required, although many new development single family houses may charge HOA fees as well.


2. Townhouse

townhouse

The term townhouse can be used loosely. Townhouse, also sometimes called Townhomes, can be built as single or multi-storied structures. It can mean any home that shares a building with other units, particularly if there are no other units above or below. They can be attached to other houses with one or both sides sharing common walls, depending on whether the unit is in a center or end position. If your townhouse is located within one of the larger complexes, you may be required to pay fees (also called for the upkeep of common areas, as well as taking care of your own yard.

Some advantages to buying a townhouse include: less responsibility for maintenance because of reduced exterior areas; higher security with neighbors right next door; amenities such as swimming pools or tennis courts (available in larger complexes).


3. Condominium

condo

A condominium is a form of home ownership in which individual units of a larger complex are sold, not rented. They are similar to apartments but generally with more amenities, such as swimming pools, sauna or clubhouses, etc. Those who purchase units in a condominium technically own everything from their walls inward. All of the individual homeowners have shared rights to most common areas, such as the elevators, hallways, and pools, etc.

Maintenance of these areas is generally the responsibility of a condominium association. Every owner owns a share of interest in the condominium association, plus monthly dues (HOA fees).


4. Multiple Unit

A multiple unit refers to two or more properties that are located in one piece of land. It can be two or more houses, or one house with two or more separate units. An owner can stay in one unit and rent the other unit(s) out, the owner and his or her family can occupy all units or rent all units out. A multiple unit can be a good form of investment because it can bring in rental income. Generally, a property that contains four or less units is considered residential property, while five or more unit buildings are considered as commercial property.


5. Rental

A person who is renting a residential or commercial property is called tenant; and the owner who is making his or her property available for rent is called landlord. There are many properties that are available for rent. Rental terms can be from several days to several years. Rents can vary dramatically depending on the region, market, condition of the house and rent terms etc. There are many people in California who never own any real property and live in rental properties in their entire life. Landlord tenant laws and regulations are established in all states and they often vary from city to city.


6. Land

In the United States, individuals or organizations can own land directly and perpetually. Subject to the local zoning code, an owner may build any construction on the land. Generally, land doesn’t depreciate.


Property Purchase Procedure

flow chart


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