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Check in regularly to receive news, updates and useful information about GeoWarehouse and other real-estate tools and resources.

Archive for August, 2016

August 29, 2016

geo1If you are one of the lucky ones who got access to the ‘Early Release’ version of the NEW GeoWarehouse, please check out our user guide and FAQs! Start taking advantage of the New GeoWarehouse features today.

GeoWarehouse Early Release User Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Remember, support is only a call, click or email away. You can find more information by visiting  www.earlyrelease.geowarehouse.ca.

 

 

 

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August 22, 2016

geo3You have probably heard the buzz that GeoWarehouse is getting a major face lift. In fact, the entire focus of the rewrite is to make your time spent on GeoWarehouse that much more valuable.

This is being achieved through the work we have done to simplify search functionality, making it far easier to get to the information you need.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the new features:

An enhanced single search bar

Improved map search

  • Perform quick searches by address, name, PIN or ARN
  • Review recent search activity
  • The system will make real-time suggestions as you type

Enriched Comparable Sales Search

  • A new single-click map search
  • Use quick links to access Property Report and full-screen Street View
  • Location detection to find properties near you
  • Quick access to Comparable Sales search expedites finding sales comps
  • Custom polygon drawing tool enables you to isolate areas of interest
  • Real-time statistics

We want to hear from you!

Please visit http://www.gwcollaboration.geowarehouse.ca/ to check out some of the newest features and to sign up to receive further information.

 

 

 

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August 15, 2016

geo2We previously discussed this topic in a LinkedIn discussion because it is such a useful development that it merits buzz. The best way to explain it is to compare it to a practice that is the norm in the automotive industry – Vehicle Claims History Reports. Before you purchase a used vehicle, you want to ensure that the vehicle has never been in an accident or had repeated claims because those facts impact the value of the vehicle. The same goes for a house.

While this has become commonplace in the auto industry, it is a fairly new capability as it relates to homes. Now you can get an insurance claims report on a property. You can do your best to investigate a property for your client but the reality is, there are many things that are naked to the human eye.

What kind of information can you find in a home insurance claims report?

Well, the most obvious answer is any previous insurance claim. This is very telling because you may discover that the property is in an area prone to floods or high wind. Repeated claims in this regard should be a sign of a costly problem your client may encounter. How about claims concerning floods because of plumbing issues in the home? With repairs, these are issues that a home inspector may not realize have occurred but may be revealed in an insurance claims history report.

You can also use the insurance claims history report to look at insurance claims in a particular community to determine if there is a consistent history of a particular type of claim. Is a claim specific to the home or is it a larger problem occurring throughout the entire area?

The less obvious information that is included in an insurance claims history report that is incredibly valuable is if the property was previously used as a grow op or a meth lab. Both of these issues, besides the obvious stigmatization ones, can leave structural and electrical issues. There can also be mold problems that can lead to serious health issues.

A home insurance claims history report in no way replaces the need for a home inspection. In fact, you can provide the home inspector with a copy of the home insurance claims report so that they can hone in and further investigate areas of interest.

Although only speculation, it is likely that in the future home insurance claims history reports will be commonplace – something that all real estate sales professionals will provide their clients with.

Want to dig deeper with your own insurance claims report? GeoWarehouse has you covered: www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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August 8, 2016

geo1Fraud happens every day in the real estate industry and the last thing that you want is to find your name intertwined into one of these transactions. In this blog we will review some common forms of real estate fraud and how you can stop and deal with it, should it come up. There are simple searches and steps that you can take at the time of engagement that will help you not only know more about your customer and the property in question but also identify potential fraud.

Type of Fraud: Non-disclosure of material facts.

Often this is cited more as a mistake than intentional fraud, especially when clients claim they were unaware of certain information. However, if a property has been used as a grow op in the past or has had repeated floods with hidden water damage, this could end up costing everyone in the long run, for a variety of reasons. If the seller hides this information and you present the property as clean, that responsibility has now been transferred to you!

Solution: An insurance claims history report is a quick and easy way to find out if there was a particular type of insurance claim or repeated insurance claims that could signify an issue. This particular report will also reveal if a property has been used as a grow-op.

Type of Fraud: Title fraud

In all cases, title fraud begins with identity theft. This is where the fraudster pretends to be the property owner, transfers a property to his or her name and then obtains a mortgage against it, or, if unoccupied, sells it! This can happen especially where new construction purchases are concerned.

Solution: How can you catch this type of fraudster? Even if you ask for ID they may have ID with their photo in the homeowner’s name. There are a few things you can do. You can obtain the Instrument Image of the original transfer and mortgage registration. If the document contains a signature, you can match it against the fraudster’s ID. Another thing that you can do is obtain a Parcel Register*. Using the information in the Parcel Register* you can ask any applicant strategic questions that only someone who owned the home for a long time would know.

Type of Fraud: Foreclosure Fraud

There are companies out there who prey on people with problem credit and financial problems. They will often agree to advance mortgage financing for astronomical fees and will even demand to be on title to the home, either with or in some cases without the homeowner on title (they want the title transferred completely). Anticipating that the borrower will struggle with payments, their goal is to take possession of the property. If a homeowner who is involved in this type of mortgage approaches you, you could be in for a surprise and learn that the lender is on title to the home.

 
Solution: To identify and deal with this situation, the best approach, as soon as you engage a new client, is to either review a property details report which will reveal current homeowners, or, as we mentioned earlier, review a Parcel Register*.

We hope that you have found this blog useful so that you can perform your own veritable fraud check to protect both you and your clients. Don’t get caught with a deal that can land you, and others, in a heap of trouble.

Find out more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.

 

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geo6We thought it would be a good time to share this training video about how to obtain the Year Built of a property. We issued a video last year that continues to be relied upon by real estate sales professional which tells us that this is something that comes up from time to time.

The Year Built is actually information that you can find in the MPAC Property Details Report. This report can be obtained in the GeoWarehouse Store and can also be accessed easily through the course of your work.

Here is the step by step:

  1. Search for the property.
  2. When you have found the property – under Assessment Information you will see a little GeoWarehouse Store sign and a link that says Assessment Reports.
  3. Once you select this you will be forwarded to the GeoWarehouse Store where you can select from a few options.
  4. There are 3 different types of MPAC Assessment Reports – Residential Detailed Report Level One, Residential Detailed Report Level Two, AVM Enhanced Residential Report. Here you can open PDF samples of each to determine which one suits your needs.

See, we told you it was easy.

If you haven’t already heard the buzz, GeoWarehouse is being overhauled and will offer you a new, easier interface so it is possible that this process may change slightly in the future but for now this will work.

Want further step by step instruction? Watch this short training video:

At GeoWarehouse, we try to make your life easier, one report at a time.

Find out more by visiting www.geowarehouse.ca.

 

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