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Minimizing Out-of-Pocket Closing Costs

Scott Lukes - Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Instead of offering $97,000 for a property, offer “$100,000 with $3,000 in Seller closing costs and/or prepaids.” This allows you a ‘free’ way to finance your closing costs, and not pay for closing costs with expensive post-tax dollars.

Not only will this maintain higher property values for the area, but it really makes no difference to the Seller (they get $97k regardless… likely tax free).

Contesting County Property Assessments – 60 percent of All Assessed Property is Over-Assessed

Scott Lukes - Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Statistically, 60% of all assessed property is over-assessed, and over half of homeowners who appeal are granted some form of concession. Fewer than 2% of taxpayers appeal, though. Especially if you have property in depressed areas (such as Aurora), you are likely giving free money to your local government.

  • Find your county assessor at
  • Write to your county assessors office and show your assessment is higher that recent comps in your neighborhood (found at and other sites).
  • If possible, have a professional Realtor (such as yours truly) prepare an official assessment… this will hold more weight with the assessor
  • National taxpayers union has a booklet on how to fight property taxes as well

Did You Pull a Permit for That?

Scott Lukes - Wednesday, November 01, 2017
You are touring through a nice home and are admiring the custom enclosed porch, which has been included as a part of the properties square footage. Any time a properties structure has been modified (or even a new furnace installed), make sure that the Seller has pulled the appropriate permits and has performed all necessary inspections before making an offer.

Why is this important? Let’s say a fire starts in the wiring junction box of an addition that was built without permits. In most cases, your insurance company will not cover losses to any part of the property if they are caused by the addition. Also, if a fire breaks out in the main part of the home, damages to the non-permitted addition will also likely not be covered.

When you ask, make sure they deliver the actual signed permit paperwork. As a sanity check, visit county records to make sure any additions have been properly recorded. This is a good signs that the appropriate permits have been pulled.

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