River Cruising Down the Rhine Or Danube Or Beyond

The Rhine and Danube River systems are the most traveled in Europe. Deciding on which river to explore is a tough decision as they flow in different directions through two completely different regions.

The Rhine begins in the mountains of Switzerland, touches Austria and Leichtenstein on its way to Basel, where it becomes river cruise compatible. From their, it forms the border between France and Germany for a while, then swings northward through the heart of Germany and finally ends up split into several smaller rivers in the Netherlands.

The Rhine carries the most traffic of any other major river.

The Danube (Donau) is the second longest river in Europe; only the Volga is longer. It rises in Germany’s Black Forest near Ulm and flows eastward to the Black Sea, passing along or through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova.

The tributaries of these 2 rivers make this river system the most traveled in Europe. The Rhine has the Mosel, Main, and Neckar; the Danube tributaries include the Drave, Tisza and Sava.

The river cruises on these waters generally last a week or more. Rhine cruises are shorter, as the distance covered is shorter, and there are also 2 and 3 day taster cruises based in Strasbourg offered by CroisiEurope. They go down the river through the most scenic areas and then return.

Other Rhine river cruises detour briefly into the Mosel, Neckar, or Main, all of which are worthy of their own separate cruise.

The lure of ancient castles is part of the Rhine’s appeal. Including several along the French border, the area between Rudeshiem and Koblenz is heavily infested with former castles, now ruins or sometimes hotels or just plain tourist attractions.

Back in the old days each castle guarded a small section of the river and collected tolls to pass by. If you didn’t pay, it often meant several uncomfortable nights (weeks?) in a dungeon or jail.

A map locating each of these castles is found at Roll International.

A sharp turn at Koblenz onto and down the Mosel will bring you to Trier, which is one of my favorite small cities. More Roman ruins there than you can ever imagine, including a basilica and intact city gate, the Porta Nigra. Another turn at Wiesbaden will bring you to Frankfurt, while yet another turn at Mannheim takes you to Heidelberg on the Neckar.

The Rhine, notwithstanding castles, offers a look at many of Germany’s major cities. Depending upon the cruise, each stop at one city or the other will offer a chance to explore.

How To Germany is an entire web site dedicated to information on Germany, from river cruises to maternity matters, jobs, to living in Germany to education. And beyond. Pretty much covers everything.

Travels Through Germany is full of info about various river cruises and other tidbits of traveling through Germany.

The Danube (Donau) is the second longest river in Europe; only the Volga is longer. It offers serious river cruises as it rises in Germany’s Black Forest near Ulm and flows eastward to the Black Sea, passing along or through Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova.

Of the two rivers, river cruising on the Rhine is probably the most picturesque and it offers more interesting cities to visit. The Danube, however, is no slouch in scenic beauty and adds some spectacular vistas that previously were unattainable due to the political situation.

Some of the many interesting cities on the Danube include Nuremberg, (actually on the Main-Danube Canal), Passau, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Izmail (Ukraine), where most of the river cruises end their journey.

The eastern reaches of the river are more rural in nature, with more small villages than large cities. If the river cruise continues on to the Black Sea (Constanta, or Sulina Romania) It’s theoretically possible to transfer ships and continue on a Danube river cruise through the Black Sea and ending up in the Greek isles – or Spain.

In addition, within the area spanned by these two major rivers, in regions some may consider off the beaten path, there are also several other smaller rivers that provide stunning scenic views and interesting city stops.

Not to be forgotten is the Elbe, which flows from the Czech Republic to Hamburg. It passes through some pretty rugged territory before it hits the German border. Most Elbe river cruises start with a short bus ride from Prague to the river.

The Elbe also has short cruises originating in Dresden, which should be a mandatory stop. These cruises, which can last an hour or an entire day, travel downriver to the outskirts of Dresden or upstream into the Czech Republic. Usually, the day tours provide a bus ride back to Dresden.

Canals connect the Elbe to Berlin, although most boats will dock in Potsdam, on the Berlin outskirts.

One river cruise typically overlooked is on the Vistula, in Poland. This is an area that is not over-run with tourists, but has a wealth of castles and natural beauty. Much of the time on these tours may be through canals or on a bus. It’s a fascinating and still undeveloped area for river cruises with much to offer.

The Peter Deilmann Company offers cruises up the Oder River from Potsdam through Poland. While you’re in Poland, Gdansk and Warsaw must be on any itinerary.

If you’re going on the Danube or Vistula, remember that a visa will be necessary.

To find out more about the terrain and cities on any cruise, I suggest a trip to Google Maps to find out more about any area. Simply type in the address, including the city and country and you will be able to zoom in on most areas on the earth. Choose satellite, map, or terrain and move around with the directional button in the upper left.

With practice you will be able to follow the entire course of a river or road. Pictures, street views or videos are often available, as well. While you’re there, check out your own home address. For more fun of discovery, I also suggest downloading Google Earth and traveling from the comfort of home.

Whether going on a virtual cruise or one in reality, a vacation on the Rhine, Danube, Elbe, Vistula or anything in between is sure to provide for a memorable and educational experience.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Don E Johnson

Flaming Tar Barrels – Bonfire Night at Ottery St Mary in Devon

Imagine a crisp November night.  It’s cold and dark, but you’re out in the town square and it’s so full of people it’s almost warm: people drinking beer and talking, craning their necks and waiting for something to happen.

Around the corner is a bonfire, probably the biggest you’ve ever seen, because this is Bonfire Night, the 5th of November, when in 1605 Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up Parliament.  And this is Ottery St Mary, in East Devon, where Bonfire Night is the biggest event of the year.  So the bonfire, the fair and the fireworks are all here, but there’s something unique to Ottery as well, and people come from miles around every year to see it.

Suddenly, a shout goes out, and the crowd starts to push forward and cheer, as some of the local people haul flaming tar-soaked barrels onto their backs and run around the square and through the streets.  Each barrel is sponsored by a local pub or hotel, and is set alight there and carried through the streets. Boys have the smallest barrels and start in the late afternoon, followed by women and youths.  Men have bigger barrels, with the biggest one, weighing 30kg, being carried around the square at midnight.

It’s a great honour to carry the tar barrels.  Some have been carried by generations of the same families, and the Guy for the bonfire has been made by the same family since 1958. But why do the people of Ottery do this?

Ottery St Mary has kept its tradition of flaming tar barrels for hundreds of years now.  It’s probably connected with Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, but the origin of the tar barrel tradition is unknown now.

In fact, here are some of the wildly differing reasons that have been suggested for it:

* Warning of the approach of the Spanish Armada

* Fumigating the local cottages

* Scaring away the Black Death plague rats

* Pagan rituals to ward off evil spirits

* Ridding the streets of the devil

Historically, the Westcountry has long traditions of torchlight processions and rolling barrels, which the residents of Ottery may have taken one or two steps further.

And it’s good that they did: winter is cold, and the nights are dark.  Every child in Britain learns to ‚remember, remember, the fifth of November.‘  Why not remember with a fiery celebration, and flaming tar barrels carried through the night in the heart of Devon?

The Ottery Tar Barrel processions are held on the 5th of November every year, or on the 4th if the 5th is a Sunday. 

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Heather Woodland

5 Reasons for Building Green

Various reasons have been given by many people and entities why they go for green homes and buildings. Through the years, developers have been very keen on abiding by the standards set by authorities aimed at promoting sustainable living. Despite the discussions and information drive, many of us are still left clueless about the advantages of such efforts. It is hoped that with the rest of the article, you, as a reader, will be shared with valuable information which will help you grasp the genera idea of green building.

One of the foremost benefits of investing in a green home is the multitude of economic benefits it can give. It may be a costly investment, but as years pass, the owner can actually reap the benefits of lowered electricity and water bills. Operating costs will likely depreciate in figures as compared with operating or maintain a non-green compliant home or building.

The market value of green properties surges as time passes by. Demand for this types of homes are projected to go up by 2020 with more millenials jumping into the realization that owning a dream house should be aligned with embracing environmental obligations as well. If time comes that the owner decides to sell his piece, gain is probably on his edge. Life span of green homes is projected to be longer than their non-compliant counterparts.

Families invest in homes because of their kids. Essentially, the social welfare of younger family members is in the high ranks of consideration when a house is built or bought.

With this come the associated health advantages that owners are likely to get. Planned ventilations and well-located air circulation appliances contribute to improved air quality. In general, windows of green homes are also designed to let natural air and natural sunlight pass according to controlled amount or as needed.

Green homes would not be called such if without for the benefits that the environment gets. These types of homes and structures in general are built using hybrid raw and recycled ingredients. This lessens trees cut for use as boards, lumbers, and hardwoods. The trees are given more time to mature in their natural habitat. Well-planned water sewage and waste disposal systems are also incorporated in the designs of green houses. There is lesser chance that the owner will likely be contributing to the accumulation of untreated waste products.

If you are planning of building a green home, the various benefits discussed above are more than enough reasons to give your plan a green signal.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Desare A Kohn-Laski

Don’t Ask Your Employees to Clean the Office – Hire Professionals

What many managers believe is that they should not bother with things like office cleaning. Not only that, but they also think it is entirely normal for employees of the company to address cleanup. This belief is wrong and may also actively contribute to losses and lower well-being. If you find this hard to believe, read on for proven reasons why it is a bad idea to expect from employees to do janitorial work and why you should always rely on a professional office cleaning company instead:

Commercial cleaning is nothing like home cleaning – while it is true that every single person is engaged in home cleaning to a various degree, not everyone knows the standards of office cleaning. Addressing commercial spaces is much more different than cleaning offices. For one, there are fewer people in homes than in offices. High human traffic leads to more dirt, germs and spoils. Thus, the solutions needed to clean the office vary from those required to clean a home. All of this means that even though your employees may have some knowledge in home cleaning, they are not quite prepared to meet the challenges of cleaning an office.

There is no money saved when employees clean – at first, you may think that you are saving money by not hiring a janitorial service. However, the truth of the matter is that it is going to cost you more. For one, no employee is likely used to this kind of work. As such, they cannot meet the same standard of cleaning as professionals regarding time and outcome. More importantly, your employees may not be covered by your insurance, so if they damage the equipment or hurt themselves while cleaning, it will be very bad.

Using commercial cleaning products and equipment requires training – even when employees are trying their best to clean your office, they will always be one step behind in skills and expertise. After all, using commercial products and equipment demands some specialised training, which they cannot get on their own. It is not only more efficient to hire professionals who know this job, but also safer.

No ‚deep cleaning‘ skills – even if your employees are capable of cleaning well, they hardly know how to descale a bathroom or clean vinyl composition tile quickly and adequately. Those are highly-detailed deep cleaning tasks that most professional cleaners know how to address.

Ultimately, when you let employees deal with office cleaning, you will end up paying more, and the job will not be completed to a decent standard. Find a good commercial cleaning company and get them on the case instead. You will not regret it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Andre Peter

Civil War Horses

A few Civil War horses and their riders:

Traveller and Robert E. Lee

Confederate General Robert E. Lee came to Richmond, Virginia in the spring of 1861. During this visit, Lee was given a bay stallion named Richmond. Richmond was a nervous horse, and proved unsatisfactory. When Richmond was near strange horses, he would tend to squeal. This was not a good thing for a Civil War horse to do. Lee took Richmond to West Virginia and purchased another horse called The Roan or Brown-Roan. Unfortunately, The Roan began to go blind during the Seven Days‘ Battle in June and July of 1862. The horse Richmond died after Malvern Hill. After Second Bull Run, cavalryman Jeb Stuart got Lee a mare named Lucy Long. Also around this time, Lee received a sorrel horse named Ajax.

When Lee rode to Appomattox Court House to surrender on April 9, 1865, he was riding his favorite and most known horse. This gray colored horse was Traveller. After the Civil War, when Robert E. Lee was president at Washington University (later renamed to Washington and Lee University), Lee’s favorite old war-horse Traveller was still with him. When Lee died, the horse Traveller walked behind Lee’s hearse in the funeral procession. Traveller walked with his head bowed and in a slow gait. Traveller is buried outside of the Lee Chapel on the campus of Washington and Lee University. Robert E. Lee is interred in a crypt beneath the Lee Chapel.

Lexington, Sam, and William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman had two horses that were his favorites during the Civil War. These horse’s names were Lexington and Sam. Sherman rode Lexington at Atlanta and in the Grand Review in Washington at the close of the war. Sam was injured several times during the Civil War. At Shiloh, three of Sherman’s horses were killed during the battle. Two of these three horses died as an orderly held their reigns.

Cincinnati and Ulysses S. Grant

As a young man, Ulysses S. Grant developed a love of horses when he worked at his father’s farm. Grant became a skilled equestrian. While a cadet at West Point, Grant was an exceptional equestrian and he did not stand out as having special talents in anything else while at West Point. Grant wanted a commission in the cavalry when he finished at West Point. Instead, he wound up in the infantry because the cavalry had no vacancies. The infantry assignment must have been a disappointment for the horse-loving equestrian Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant’s favorite horse during the Civil War was Cincinnati. An admirer gave Cincinnati to Grant after the Battle of Chattanooga. Cincinnati was seldom ridden by anyone other than Grant, one notable exception being President Abraham Lincoln when Lincoln last visited City Point, Virginia. Other horses Grant had in the Civil War were Jack, Fox, and Kangaroo. Kangaroo was left on the Shiloh battlefield by the Confederates. This horse was described as ugly and raw-boned. Grant however, having an eye for horses, knew that Kangaroo was a thoroughbred. After becoming a Yankee horse, Kangaroo got rest and care and became a fine horse.

Old Sorrel and Stonewall Jackson

Old Sorrel was Confederate General Thomas Jonathan „Stonewall“ Jackson’s horse. Stonewall was riding this horse when he was shot by friendly fire at Chancellorsville. Old Sorrel became Jackson’s horse in May of 1861 at Harpers Ferry. The horse was about eleven-years-old at this time.

That Devil Dan and George B. McClellan

Union General George B. McClellan’s favorite war-horse was named Daniel Webster. Members of General McClellan’s staff began to call this horse „that devil Dan“ because Daniel Webster was a speedy horse. The horses of McClellan’s staff members had trouble keeping up with „that devil Dan.“ Daniel Webster was with McClellan at Antietam. This horse was described as being a dark bay, about seventeen hands high, a pure bred, handsome, and he seldom showed signs of fatigue. Daniel Webster was a fine example of a horse. When McClellan retired from military service, the horse Daniel Webster went with him. The horse nicknamed „that devil Dan“ became the family horse of the McClellan family.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jonathan R. Allen

Choosing the Best Language School

People have favorite world destinations they would wish to visit, work or live in. However, language barriers can come in the way of such dreams making it harder for the individuals to make the transition. Fortunately, language schools come to the rescue of those with a need to learn a language to make their dreams easier to achieve.

Choosing Your School

After you decide which language you wish to learn, the next big thing would be to select the best school from where to start with the learning. A few considerations will help you make the right decision fetching you great value for the efforts you put in.

The location – This is important not for the simple reason of accessibility, but also in terms of the school environment that you get to enjoy. You will find it easier to enjoy a pleasant learning atmosphere when you are in a school that is located in a good learning environment. Check out the school location and how conducive the environment is to have an easy time grasping the language. The location can also determine the areas that you can easily visit and enjoy when you are not taking your classes. Some of the language schools are located near attractions, giving you easy travel time too during your free days.

The teaching methods – They can largely determine how easy it is for you to grasp the language. Some of the very best schools in the city have text books for listening, writing, reading and speaking the language. They will also make available materials for spelling and mobile apps for listening, speaking and even memorizing the characters. You can easily learn the phrases and even review past lessons depending on the materials that your school makes available to you. An online teaching platform can also be an amazing approach in making it easier for you to study the language. Consider the teaching approaches and methods the school has for you and how beneficial they will be in giving you a swift learning experience.

School certification – Always settle for a school that is certified and approved by an official government organization. This will not only give you an easy time taking your exams right from the school, but will also give you the assurance of getting quality education while learning the selected language. It is the only way you can be sure that your certificate is valid and genuine too.

Other factors that should be considered when choosing a language school include accommodation available in the schools or the options you have within the neighboring areas. The study fees should also be considered to make sure you can afford the education you are pursuing. They are all important in making sure that you can indeed afford your study and everything you need. You can also take into consideration job opportunities you have in the area in case you wish to work after your studies.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jovia D’Souza

New York Real Estate Ownership Guide

This article is designed to be a roadmap for the first time homebuyer or seller. Throughout, I’ll guide you through the many steps of purchasing or selling your property and explain to you in the process how to avoid the most common mistakes. You will also learn both the legal and psychological problems often encountered.

For most people, buying (or selling) a home is one of the biggest part of living the „American dream“. It’s also probably the biggest investments they will ever make. Not surprising then, that many find this experience to be very exciting but also worrisome at the same time. Achieving the final transaction and transfer of funds for the property (referred to as the „closing“) can leave many home owners feeling exhausted, even depressed. The same can be said for buyers. However, if the process is done correctly, it can also be both interesting and exciting for everybody involved. The ultimate outcome depends on many factors: time, energy needed to devote to the transaction, thoughtfulness and patience. All these traits are included in the process, and all can have an impact on your bottom line.

That’s why preparation is key in any successful transaction. The process, complicated by multiple transactions and waiting periods, can be quite confusing. Real estate transactions require expertise. Those wanting total control of the transaction with a do-it-yourself attitude can make many costly mistakes. So unless buyers and sellers have a solid background in Real Estate, they stand to lose thousands of dollars in any given transaction.

Saving on New York Real Estate Attorney Fees

Trying to save a few extra dollars on legal fees may sound like a nice idea, especially for those with large down payments. But this strategy may backfire. You may end up being penny-wise, but broke in the long run. There are many detailed procedures involved in the purchase process that the vast majority of consumers may overlook.

In one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s simply not the time to „bargain shop“. Remember the key criteria: if you can’t afford to see the big picture in the transaction you probably aren’t ready to close the deal. The amount of legal fees charged should not be the deciding factor in hiring a particular New York Real Estate Lawyer. You retain a New York Real Estate Lawyer because you trust that they will represent your best interest in the transaction. The bottom line is that you want a New York Real Estate Lawyer you can trust, if trust becomes an issue you are well advised to seek another New York Real Estate Lawyer, no matter how low the fees are. For the most part, a New York Real Estate Lawyers aim to satisfy their clients and keep that satisfaction within the legal bounds of the law –all at the same time. The happier their clients, the busier the New York Real Estate Attorney will be with future clients. So it makes common sense as much as it makes dollars sense to retain a New York Real Estate Lawyer who aim is to achieve the client’s goal in the real estate transaction.

Real Estate transactions involve use of standard legal language. It is quite understandable then, if a buyer or seller do not understand the terms used in the transaction. First-time homebuyers have the worst experience. That is the reason why it makes sense to hire a New York Real Estate Lawyer who can represent your interest and can help you avoid pitfalls and unnecessary problems.

If not detected prior to closing, once a problem occurs, it can take time and money to correct the situation. An attorney with experience in New York real estate law can help steer a buyer or seller away from costly mistakes.

What kind of home fits my needs?

When buying a home, you have to determine what property will fit your needs. Picking the right kind of property to purchase requires careful planning, organization, and sacrifice. Since most people don’t have the time, real estate brokers can be extremely helpful in letting you understand the many issues you might encounter. The questions involved can be overwhelming. What matters need further inquiry? Which homes come with bad neighbors? There are many matters which you need to inquire about when you look at different properties that interests you. However, some issues are common to most real estate purchases. A simple tip is to determine what borough you like to live. If you plan on living in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan or Long Island, you may want to deal with a broker in that borough.

Coop or Condos?

Cooperatives are the most popular property purchased in New York City. One reason for this is a trend away from expense-ridden properties where foreclosures are common. Another reason for coop popularity is convenience. Deals can be less expensive (about half the price of a condo) and may involve less paperwork in the closing. Less financial stress and fewer headaches might sound good, right? But what most buyers don’t know is that when you buy a co-op, you’re NOT buying the physical apartment. Actually, you’re buying „shares“ of a corporation that owns the building which contains the co-op on its land. Also keep in mind that, just like any other company, a co-op has officers such as a president, a vice-president and a treasurer. And just like any other company they’re responsible for the well being of the coop. If the coop suffers a financial meltdown, you could lose your apartment investment altogether.

What happens if I do decide to buy a coop?

You receive a stock certificate and a proprietary lease.

The co-op requires that each coop owner pay a „maintenance fee“. If you own a condo, you’ll be paying a „common charge.“ Usually, the monthly fee paid by a shareholder is almost double the fee paid by condo owners.

Sometimes a co-op only „owns“ the improvements, and some other company or organization owns the land. This form of co-op is not the normal situation, but it does exist. Your New York Real Estate Attorney should be able to assist you in determining if you are purchasing such a property.

Where does the maintenance fee go? How is the money spent?

When an „entity“ (i.e. some organization or other company) holds a mortgage of the co-op, the coop corporation must pay a monthly mortgage payment to the bank. The „maintenance fee“ charged to coop owners helps the corporation offset this cost. By charging each shareholder a charge per share the „maintenance fee“ helps pay the city taxes on the property as a whole and pay for the expenses in maintaining the property (such as the superintendent or doorman) The „common charge“ for a condo helps offset the expenses associated with the maintenance of the building. Elevators, painting, cleanliness and any landscaping all require funding not to mention the common areas of the residential unit.

It is important to note that the monthly fee is not fixed. Just like rent, it can be increased. In buying a condo, however, you are buying a portion of the physical building in which the apartment is located. You then own part of the building and will receive a deed to the property that shows that you are the legal owner. The common charges for condos usually tend to be stable. Most co-ops require that a seller receive approval by the board before attempting to sell. Likewise, the buyer must also be approved by the board to make sure that the buyer will be a „responsible“ co-op owner. One exception to this situation is when the coop has a special status as being a „sponsor unit“. That means that when the building was converted into a co-op, the co-op conversion plans allowed the sponsor of the building to reserve the right to sell unsold shares without board approval. If you are purchasing the co-op from the original sponsor, then most likely you will not need to get board approval. The same applies to subletting the unit. In most cases you’ll need permission. In some cases, purchasing the unit from the original sponsor, may entitle you to the same rights and privileges as the sponsor.

Recently after the cost of fuel skyrocketed, many co-ops and condos monthly fees increased. So when buying a coop or condo make sure that you understand the financial future implications. Ask for the financial information before signing on the bottom line.

Should I buy a single or multi-family residence?

One of the most common dilemmas encountered when purchasing a home is whether to buy a „single-family home“ or „muti-family home“. Common sense dictates that a single-family home will cost you significantly less than a multi-family home, and will appreciate accordingly. What are the advantages? The peace that comes with it is enticing for some. Not having to deal with renting to strangers, and the headaches of hiring (or being) a landlord. However, on the other side of that argument, a multi-family home can be a financial plus: the rental income helps with the monthly mortgage payments and makes ownership less financially stressful.

How can a real estate agents help me?

Normally the first person you may have direct contact with in the purchase or sale of land or residence, is a real estate agent. Most people use them rather than do it themselves. The agent works for his or her supervisor, and they are called „brokers“. The kind of relationship you have with the agent can have a major impact on how well you as a buyer or seller, understand the initial process, and transaction. Two important points: Agents can normally provide good advice and suggestions regarding your purchase or sale. Since they’re well-educated in both the property markets and their field, they are can give you past performance for a particular property. However, although the agent may seem to work for you, unless expressly contracted for, they normally work for the seller!

What is a Binder? Why is it important?

A binder (otherwise known as an „offer to purchase“) is the first document secured by a minimal money deposit. You will normally sign a binder at the moment that you decide to make the seller an offer to purchase. This tells the seller that you are serious about making the purchase. Once the Binder Agreement is executed, the real estate broker or agent will present it to the seller. If accepted, the property will no longer be shown to potential buyers. It is important to note that the binder, unlike a contract of sale, is subject to a time limit. Unless the binder details the money to be refunded, it will be forfeited under most circumstances.

What should I know about the „Contract of Sale“?

The contract of sale is the first formal stage of the buying and selling process. When you have retained a New York Real Estate Lawyer and have made an acceptable offer, at this point in time, you and the seller will sign a contract of sale. The seller’s New York Real Estate Attorney will normally draft the contract and then the buyer’s New York Real Estate Attorney will review the contract to make sure that you are protected from any future problems (both legal and residential issues).

It’s also important to note that when the buyer signs the contract, a „Down Payment“ is given to the seller for the seller’s New York Real Estate Attorney to hold in a special account called an „Escrow“. The seller’s New York Real Estate Attorney is required by ethical rules to do so. However, not to worry: the entire amount will of course, be credited to the buyer and applied to the final outstanding balance at „closing.“

The biggest mistake a buyer or seller can make is signing a contract of sale before getting adequate legal representation. A contract of sale is an agreement to purchase and sell the property. Once it’s signed, it becomes a legal document. If you change your mind and want to change the terms of the agreement or if you want out of the transaction altogether, then you will find yourself in an extremely frustrating legal bind. That’s why an experienced New York Real Estate Lawyer is necessary throughout the process, especially at the beginning stages. The contract of sale dictates exactly how the transaction will proceed. It says how payments will be made and collected, and contains all the important details. Tell your New York Real Estate Lawyer every detail which you think is important and essential to you intensions. For example, maybe you are selling another property while simultaneously buying a home. Since the sale of your property is a condition, that condition is a major detail that you should tell your New York Real Estate Lawyer since, the other „party“ may have not accepted your offer had they known such a condition.

Another issue that sometimes comes up is the issue of occupancy. Generally a house is sold vacant. However, if you would like to keep the existing tenants, it is a good idea to tell your New York Real Estate Lawyer (assuming it’s not a new construction), and that by itself can save you time and hassle in the process of renting the property later on.

As a seller, should I have my home inspected?

Home inspections can sometimes make or break the deal. A New York Real Estate Lawyer can secure a condition in the contract of sale which allows the buyer to refuse to purchase the property if the home inspector determines that the structure is not physically sound. Termite problems or signs of other wood-destroying insects are great reasons for a buyer to opt out of the contract. In such cases the seller usually return the buyer’s down payment and everybody walks away from the table. Home inspections are relatively convenient, inexpensive and will save you a lot of time and money.

Finding a New York Real Estate Lawyer?

When looking for legal representation, most importantly, you want a New York Real Estate Attorney whom you feel comfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular New York Real Estate Attorney, chances are that you will not have a good working relationship.

An experienced New York Real Estate Lawyer, who you feel comfortable with, can be greatly beneficial in explaining and reducing the mystery out of buying or selling real estate in New York. Your New York Real Estate Lawyer can review and prepare the contract of sale, order title insurance, and conduct key parts of the transaction. Making sure the property you are purchasing has no undisclosed liens. If they do exist, your New York Real Estate Lawyer can take care that they will be satisfied prior to the closing.

The last thing you need is to have doubts and questions about your transaction. You want to make sure that after all the documents are signed and notarized, that you understand what just happened and that you are confident that everything was done correctly.

When should I close the deal?

The closing is the climax of the transaction. The buyer’s New York Real Estate Attorney is normally the ringmaster who coordinates the time and place of the closing. The closing is where the parties meet to finalize the deal. Normally the parties you will see at the meeting are the seller and their New York Real Estate Attorney, the bank’s New York Real Estate Attorney, and the title representative. What occurs at the closing table can be broken down to three major steps:

The bank makes the loan to the buyer and in return the buyer gives the bank an interest in the property (Mortgage)

The buyer turns that loan over to the seller and in turn receives a deed from the seller

The title company makes certain that the seller does indeed own the property they are transferring

Unless there are any serious outstanding issues, the closing can take about 2-3 hours. At this stage, the buyer should have obtained homeowners Insurance prior to the closing. Since not all insurance companies charge the same prices for the replacement value of a house you might want to shop around before the closing.

Lastly, a day or two prior to the closing, it’s always a good idea to do a walk though of the property to make sure that it is in the same condition as when you decided to buy it.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Odalis Encarnacion

History of Real Estate Agency Relationships

In the beginning, real estate brokers were known as middlemen and optioneers. Back then, the customary practice was for a middleman to know about a property for sale, but to keep it secret from other middlemen. It was difficult for these middleman to collect a fee for their services so they would resort to tactics that were not always in their seller’s best interest. Optioneers, on the other hand, were usually more successful in collecting their fees because they would tie up the seller’s property on an option to purchase, sell the property to a buyer at a price over the option amount, pay the seller the option price, and then pocket the rest.

The early real estate brokerage business was loosely organized and used methods of brokering that were often dishonest, subject to fraud, and that took advantage of sellers and buyers. Eventually, a newer concept with the real estate broker being an agent of and owing a fiduciary duty to the seller and receiving payment for his services was developed. This new concept forced the seller and broker relationship to a higher level of service and duty. It also allowed brokers to list property for sale using contracts. These contracts are what we now refer to listings. The earlier forms of listings we called open listings. The open listing is a type of non exclusive listing contract authorizing a real estate broker to offer a property for sale, find a buyer and get paid for services upon the closing of that transaction.

Other brokers could also have open listings for the same property, but only the broker who actually found the buyer would receive a commission. In addition, no broker would get paid a fee if the seller sold the property. The open listing discouraged cooperation between brokers, since each broker could obtain their own open listing. To solve the open listing problem, the exclusive agency listing became popular.

The exclusive agency listing is a type of listing contract wherein the seller offers only the listing brokerage compensation if the buyer is procured through the brokerage’s efforts or the efforts of other real estate brokerages. This means that in certain situations, such as For Sale by Owner, the listing brokerage may not receive compensation when the property is sold. In the exclusive agency listing, the listing brokerage or another brokerage working with the listing brokerage must procure the buyer in order to have a claim on compensation.

The exclusive agency listing encourages competing brokers to find buyers for listing, since the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage’s fee. However, the seller still does not pay a fee when a seller finds the buyer. The exclusive agency listing eventually gave rise to the exclusive right to sell listing.

The exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the listing brokerage is offered compensation in the event of a sale regardless of who procured the buyer. The exclusive right to sell listing guarantees that the listing broker will get paid a fee, even if a competing broker or the seller sells property. It provides the most protection for the listing broker and is considered in the best interest of the seller because the listing brokerage will put effort and resources into marketing the property, since a commission is guaranteed during the term of the agreement.

Even after the exclusive right to sell listing became popular, there was little cooperation between brokerages, since a buyer who wanted to buy a specific property would have to deal with the broker who had exclusive listings of interest. It was also quite clear to all parties in that the broker represented the seller and that the buyer had no representation.

By the 1950s there was pressure for more cooperation between brokerages. As a result, a broker working with a buyer would contact competing brokerages to to learn of their inventory and possible matches for their clients. Deals often resulted where the selling agent did not know the seller or their agent and the selling agent’s only dealings were with the buyer. Suddenly, the concept that the selling brokerage owed its fiduciary duty to only the seller was no longer a neat and logical concept. However, it would take many years before the unworkable agency concepts would be sorted out and lead to buyer representation.

As the 1950s and 1960s progressed, a more formalized cooperative brokerage system, known as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), was developed. Through the MLS, the concept of subagency evolved. Simply stated, this meant the listing broker was the agent of and represented only the seller. The listing brokerage would hire sales associates who were considered subagents of the seller. The listing MLS brokerage was required to make the listing available to all cooperating brokerage within their MLS. These cooperating brokerages were also deemed subagents of the listing brokerage, who were agents of the seller. If the cooperating brokerage had sales associates, they were subagents of the cooperating brokerage, who were subagents of the listing brokerage, who was the agent of the seller. During this period, an agency relationship with a buyer was not possible, since the agency relationship was always with the seller. The only duty a licensee owed to a buyer was to not lie when asked questions about a property. The concept of „buyer beware“ was truly the reality of how the brokerage business operated and buyers were always unrepresented.

The rise of consumerism, as manifested in numerous court decisions, put pressure on the brokerage business to be more concerned with the interests of the buyer. Because of that, licensees working with buyers had an affirmative duty to disclose known matters affecting a property. For example, if the broker knew that a roof leaked, he would have to disclose this fact. This disclosure concept was later expanded by the courts to include conditions about the property that the brokers should or could have known.

By the 1980s, a government study found that nearly three-quarters of all buyers thought the brokerage they were working with was representing them as a client. The same study concluded that nearly three-quarters of all sellers also thought that the cooperating brokerage represented the buyer’s interests. It soon became obvious the concepts of agency law that the industry and governmental regulators had attempted to impose in order to simplify and clarify the agency relationships had not worked. Continued pressure from consumer groups and the courts finally led to the buyer representation movement of the 1990s.

In 1991, the National Association of REALTORS® formed an advisory group to study agency representation issues. Testimony was received from real estate practitioners, industry experts, the public, and state regulatory authorities. The advisory group’s report made the following recommendations:

  • The NAR’s multiple listing policy should be modified to make subagency offers optional. If subagency was not accepted by a cooperating brokerage, then the listing brokerage was to offer compensation to the brokerage representing the buyer.
  • The NAR would encourage state associations to promote changes in real estate law and regulations in order to promote disclosure of agency options. These options would include seller agency, buyer agency, and disclosed dual agency. The purpose of this recommendation was to assist consumers in making informed decisions regarding representation.
  • The NAR should encourage real estate brokerages to adopt written company policies addressing the handling of agency relationships with its clients and customers.
  • The NAR would encourage education of all members on the topic of agency representation. State regulatory agencies would also be encouraged to include agency as a mandatory topic in continuing education requirements for all licensees.

As of 1992, the National Association of REALTORS® adopted the following policy:

„The National Association of REALTORS® recognizes seller agency, buyer agency and disclosed dual agency with informed consent as appropriate forms of consumer representation in real estate transactions. The association respects the need for all REALTORS® to be able to make individual business decisions about their companies‘ agency practices. Furthermore, NAR endorses freedom of choice and informed consent for consumers or real estate services when creating agency relationships with real estate licensee.“

These NAR changes to representation policy modified the way the industry practices. Exclusive Right to Represent buyer agreements now allow a buyer to contract with a brokerage to find, and negotiate, the purchase of real property. Generally, these agreements are for a specified period and require the buyer to pay a commission upon the closing of the real property transaction. As an agent of the buyer, the buyer’s brokerage owes all of the fiduciary duties (care, loyalty, disclosure, obedience, and accounting) to his principal, the buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Jeff Sorg

Making Smart Use of MLS Listings

Edmonton MLS listings can give you a head start on finding the right home. In the past, you would have had to drive around town looking at listings you found in a newspaper. Today, virtual tours, extensive photographs and detailed information are used to create a sort of dossier for every home on the market. This allows you to come up with good options for a first time home buyer. A good realtor can help you narrow down those choices to the most practical and to eliminate those that are unrealistic.

Edmonton house listings usually include a nice mix of upscale, middle-class and smaller properties. When you’re taking a look at listings, set a realistic price limit on your browsing. This means also setting a realistic low limit, not just a top price. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not under buying. While there are some bargains on the market, lower prices sometimes translate to the home needing significant work to bring it up to your standards. Edmonton real estate listings include plenty of good, solid homes that are available at affordable prices, so there’s no need to compromise what you want.

Take a look at Edmonton real estate listings based on where they’re located. Some first time home buyers concentrate too heavily on finding a home located near their job. While this does have its benefits, it’s always possible that you’ll find a better job and that the location you chose will no longer be particularly beneficial in that regard. Look for neighborhoods you actually like. If you have children, take a look at the schools located in your chosen area of the city. The proximity of places to shop and to engage in other activities can be as important as the home’s proximity to your work.

If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and buy a home of your own, you may want to consider an Edmonton condo listing. These are usually less expensive than a home but offer many of the same benefits. Some first time buyers find that a condominium is too much like an apartment to them and, thus, that it eliminates what they truly love about owning their own home. Others find that the ease of getting repairs done and the lowered property taxes are valuable enough to make the condominium a great buy.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Chris Proctor

Advantages of an Exclusive Property Listing Agreement With Your Real Estate Agent

Property buyers are always exposed to lesser options than the availability. This is because of the unwillingness of estate agents to share the information about different properties at their disposal with each other. This may also give problem to the seller because the property gets exposed to lesser market, and it has fewer chances of getting the highest possible price. The seller is also vulnerable to losing track of the entire procedure, something that can have serious ramifications in the future. However, there is a simple yet efficient solution to this problem. And that resides in the formulation of an exclusive listing agreement between the realtor and the seller.

How does an exclusive listing agreement weed out the flaws of the current system? And how does such an agreement facilitate all the three parties involved.

  • An exclusive listing agreement works both for the seller and the agent. The agent is assured of being financially rewarded if he sells the property for a higher price and thus is more motivated to achieve the same while the seller is most welcome to any high bids that the agent brings in.
  • By law, an exclusive listing agreement allows the agent to put up a yard sign in front of the property for sale. Historically, 60% of all buyers are attracted to properties after noticing yard signs. So when a yard sign goes up, the seller is assured of a higher market for his property which increases the chance of him getting a better deal.
  • Carrying on from the first point, if an agent is assured of his financial future with the property, he will also invest more in advertising the property which will of course attract more potential customers, driving up the demand for the said property and along with it, the price.
  • Through an exclusive listing agreement the property is provided with exposure to other agents resulting in the increase of the demand of the property and involvement of more buyers. A better selling price can be achieved by this procedure.
  • The exclusive listing agreement keeps the property seller involved throughout all of the stages of the transaction. The agent shares all information with the buyer and ensures that it goes without any hindrance.

With an exclusive listing agreement the seller and the agent merge into one team and collaborate collectively towards one single goal; exacting the maximum price of the property. For obvious reasons, such an arrangement is better than a seller working alone trying to sell his property while juggling the task with his other daily activities. Team work has always been considered more beneficial. Therefore, you are recommended to have an exclusive listing agreement with your real estate agent. This will surely make things easier for you.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg



Source by Cullen Martini

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