What Is Escrow?

31 Oct 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

What Is Escrow?

If you’re buying a Loft, you are going to come across this word many times during the process – escrow. If you’re a first time Loft buyer, you may have no idea what it means. Even if you have bought a Loft in the past, escrow may still be something you find confusing. Although it can be a scary-sounding word, it’s not nearly as worrisome as it sounds.

What is escrow?

First of all, let’s define what escrow actually is. To put it simply, escrow is a financial arrangement where an impartial third party holds something of value in a transaction between two other parties. In this case, the “something of value” is usually a buyer’s earnest money check, which would be written when an offer is placed on a Loft. The check remains in escrow while the terms of the deal are negotiated, and neither the buyer nor the seller can access it.

See? Not so scary.

Who manages escrow?

An escrow agent or officer is the person who maintains an escrow account. The agent can be a person from the closing company, a title company agent or even an attorney. Basically, the escrow agent acts like a gatekeeper, managing what comes in and goes out of the account. It is their job to make sure that all the instructions that were agreed upon between the buyer and seller are carried out.

How does escrow work?

The main purpose of escrow is to protect all parties by making sure that all conditions of an agreement have been met before any money or property changes hands. As each step of the closing process is completed, paperwork and documents are filed with the escrow agent. This could include documentation that repairs have been made, reports from the Loft inspection, and paperwork regarding other tasks that were agreed to by both parties. Once each step is completed, either the buyer or seller signs a contingency release form so that the transaction can move forward to the next step.

How does escrow protect both buyers and sellers?

Escrow is an arrangement that is created to protect both parties involved in the sale of a Loft. Escrow protects buyers by making sure sellers don’t receive any money until all aspects of the deal have been satisfied, including needed repairs that were agreed upon. On the flipside, escrow protects sellers in case buyers decide to back out of the deal without a legitimate reason. In this case, the sellers would be entitled to keep the earnest money check that comes from the buyers when the offer was made – typically, one to two percent of the purchase price.

What is “closing of escrow?”

At the end of the process, you will no doubt hear someone talk about “closing of escrow.” This happens when all of the conditions of the transaction are completed, the purchase of the Loft is finalized, and the money is properly disbursed. The escrow agent then clears or records the title, giving the buyers official ownership. Buyers and sellers will then receive a final closing statement in the mail. Check over any documents you receive to make sure they are correct, and contact your agent if you see any errors.

While buying a Loft can be a little scary – especially when you hear words or terms you’ve never heard before – don’t let the concept of escrow scare you. As you can see, it’s a straightforward process that protects all the parties involved with the sale of a Loft.

Best Places to Trick or Treat in LA

24 Oct 2016 · by ChrisSampaio

1. Cheviot Hills: This is an affluent community on L.A.’s tony West Side, just south of Fox Studios and Century City. It’s a very family-oriented neighborhood, known for being extremely safe. (When was the last time you heard about a crime being committed here?) A drive down Motor reveals numerous jack-o’-lanterns, bats and black cats smiling at you, inviting the little ones to stroll up the walk and enjoy.

2. Pacific Palisades: OK, you will encounter a few hills here and some of the streets may be narrow, but in most areas the houses are situated relatively close together, and the neighborhoods are extremely clean and family friendly. Your kids can fill their bags with healthy treats in a very short time. Believe it or not, this is the area where you’re most likely to see celebs trick-or-treating with their kids — if you can recognize them behind their masks.

3. Studio City: “The Valley” may not be perceived as upscale as L.A.’s West Side is, but consider the fact that a lot of set designers and makeup artists live here, and Halloween is their favorite holiday. Residents go all out creating professional-level spooky environs, and they come up with generous treats to go with them. The Colfax Meadows area is especially good.

4. Santa Monica: Stick with the posh houses north of Montana for the best (albeit healthy) treats. This is another extremely civic-minded, family-friendly area where there’s little crime, lots of luxury and the celebrities are as thick as thieves.

5. Hancock Park: This stately grand dame of a neighborhood near Hollywood has been an established Halloween mecca for generations. You’ll want to concentrate on Arden Boulevard, Rossmore Avenue and the Larchmont shopping district for the best Halloween spirit. Know, however, that the streets tend to get congested with traffic and pedestrians, so early evening is definitely the best time for the little ones here.

6. The Flats of Beverly Hills: This area between Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards draws thousands who come from miles around, and they’re never disappointed — unless they get a parking ticket, because it’s now illegal to park on a residential street after 6:00 unless you have a parking pass. This neighborhood is worth the drive alone just to knock on the door of the famous “Witch’s House” on Carmelita and Walden Drive.

Beverly Hills has been the long-standing Halloween favorite for years. The standing joke is that when you knock on a door in BH, the owner answers with a generous treat — maybe a full-sized candy bar, or even money. Then he says, “Wait … what did the neighbors give you?” Nobody likes to be outdone in that neck of the woods.

Happy Neighborhood, Happy Home

9 Oct 2016 · by Virtual Results PubSub

Having a good relationship with your neighbors can have a big impact on how happy you are in your Loft. If you get along and have an easy rapport, it can truly add to your good feelings. On the other hand, if your interactions with neighbors are tense or negative, it can make you uneasy and unable to truly relax.

Part of having a good relationship with your neighbors is being a good neighbor. Here are some ideas to help you build a feeling of community in your neighborhood.

Get outside

It’s hard to know your neighbors if you never step outside the front door. Say hello to people walking by when you collect the mail. Do a little gardening in the front yard or spend some time sitting on the front porch. Go for regular walks in your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised at how friendly people can be, and it’s a great way to get to know the people living in your neighborhood.

Welcome newcomers

Being the new guy can be tough. Make the transition a little easier for new neighbors by taking the initiative and introducing yourself. Bring them a little gift like some cookies, a plant or a favorite goodie from a neighborhood store.

Be aware of your behavior

Nobody wants to move next door to someone who throws loud parties, plays their TV at an obnoxious level, or blares music late into the night. Don’t be the one who does it. Keep noise levels low before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. – this goes for music, outside conversation, pool filters, lawn mowers and leaf blowers. If you’re throwing a party or planning some renovations, do your neighbors a favor and let them know about it in advance.

Keep pets in check

How people deal with their pets can be a real bone of contention for some. Bring barking dogs inside, keep dogs on a leash and always clean up after your dog when out on a walk. If you have more unusual pets, like chickens, let neighbors know about them and share some fresh eggs now and then. Let neighbors know they can come by if your pets are causing a problem, and be kind if you are approaching a neighbor about their pet.

Deal with problems in person

Do you like getting passive aggressive notes on your car’s windshield? No? Your neighbor probably doesn’t like getting them either. Instead of solving problems, handling an issue this way usually causes more. If you are having a problem with a neighbor, address it directly with them. It may make you feel uncomfortable or awkward, but it gives both parties a chance to be heard.

Respect common spaces

Be aware of shared walls and keep common spaces like hallways and lobbies clear of personal items.

By extending a little courtesy and friendliness, you can turn neighbors who were once strangers into friends. Living in a neighborhood where everyone is looking out for each other contributes greatly to your overall happiness, so it’s a good investment of your time and energy to nurture those relationships.