Real Estate Information Archive


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Earnest Money Deposits

by Diane Cardano & Team




During the home buying process you may be asked to provide an Earnest Money deposit. But what is an earnest money deposit exactly? When buyers execute a purchase contract, the contract specifies how much money the buyer is initially putting up to secure the contract. It's a basically a good faith deposit, to show "good faith" and that you are serious in purchasing the house. Earnest money deposits however should not to be confused with a down payment

How much do you need to deposit?

Because there is no set amount, it varies from market to market and across the country. Deposits typically can range anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the sales price but, there is no set requirement. Generally speaking, you want your deposit to be large enough that your offer is taken seriously, but you do not want it to be so large that you put significant funds at risk.   While the chance that you will have a problem is slim, the smaller the amount you have tied up and at risk in a deposit, the better.

Who holds the earnest money?

Typically the earnest money deposit should be made to a reputable third party such as a well known real estate brokerage, legal firm, escrow company or title company.  As a buyer, be aware that if you allow earnest money to be held and deposited by a seller or by a builder or developer for use in construction, you risk that they will not be able to return it to you in the event the transaction does not close for whatever reason. Most buyers prefer to have real estate agents or attorneys hold the earnest money deposit as  they are licensed by the state and required to deposit the money in a trust or escrow account, this reduces the risk that the monies will be improperly used. To avoid the loss of your deposit, follow these tips.

• Never give an earnest money deposit to the seller.
• Verify that the third party will deposit the funds into a separately maintained trust account.
• Obtain a receipt.

Is your earnest money deposit refundable?

Whether or not earnest money deposit is refundable depends on the real estate contract itself. It is very important that you indicate that your offer stipulates the terms for a refund of your deposit if the deal falls through.  Make sure it covers all of the “deal breaker” conditions you can think of that would be associated with a return of your earnest money.  In matters like this it is advisable that you consult a real estate attorney who can help ensure that your offer is written in a manner that protects your rights to the deposit.  Do your research to get the facts about state law and even local customs on refunds of deposits before your earnest money leaves your hands.

If you are serious about purchasing a home, you need to indicate to the seller you are serious. They’ll be taking what is probably their single largest asset off the market if they accept your offer. A reasonable earnest money deposit helps reassure the seller you are serious about buying their home.

Do You Have Hard Water?

by Diane Cardano & Team




Hard water is probably the most common water problem found in the home, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey in the U.S. about 85 percent of the homes have hard water. Most homes have hard water problems without necessarily knowing about it. The best way you can tell if you have hard water is when it is difficult to get soap to form a lather. or you have to use alot of soap into the water to clean your dishes or if your dishwasher is just not getting the dishes clean.

 Hard Water Facts

While hard water is not considered to be unhealthy for people to drink,  people who have it are more prone to rashes and skin problems because it changes the skin's pH and soap remains on the skin, clogging pores. In addition, it can be very unhealthy for household plumbing, cleaning processes, and water-using appliances. The minerals present in hard water can accumulate in the form of a hard scale which can build up and eventually clog pipes and damage water-using appliances.

Hard Water Solutions

If you suspect you have hard water, call a professional   to test your water and recommend soft water solutions.   The most common solution is to use a water softeners  or water treatment systems. While many systems use salt, there are several softeners available that have a salt free system.  However if you are concerned about the presence of sodium ions in their water, use of sodium ions does not make the water noticeably salty or cause a significant increase in a person's sodium intake. In fact, the FDA defines water that would result from softening 75 gpg hard water (a typical hard water case) as a "low sodium" beverage.
Whatever type of system is used, the applications can be quite affordable and highly worthwhile for those in hard water areas. A typical household water softener costs around $1,000 to $1,500 with a monthly operating expense of around $2 to $8 if sodium is used, and $3 to $15 if potassium is used. Look for the WQA Gold Seal to find products that have been successfully tested to industry performance standards

Advantages Of Soft Water

• You will use less soap by using soft water, both in the shower and in the kitchen.
• You'll have less unsightly spots on dishes, and glassware and your silverware.
• Your heating bill will also be lowered because heating hard water in the water heater, causes hardness scale which plugs plumbing pipes and vessels and builds up on the inside of water heaters.
• Your plumbing will last longer. Hard water can cause a build up of scale from mineral deposits. Over time, pipes can clog, water flow can diminish, and water pressure can be reduced. This doesn't happen with soft water. Soft water is low in mineral content and therefore doesn't leave deposits in the pipes.
• Your skin and hair will look and feel better after bathing or showering. Scum from hard water clogs skin pores and coats hair.
• Clothes are softer, cleaner, brighter, and last longer.
• Your food and beverages will taste better using soft water and ice cubes will sparkle more. 

Hard water waste can cost hundreds of dollars each year as it impact laundry operations, water heater, efficiency, household cleaning, and the life expectancy of water-using appliances and plumbing. The costs of hard water do add up.  Click here to read more about hard water and how it affects you.

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Contact Information

Photo of Diane Cardano & Associates Real Estate
Diane Cardano & Associates
CARDANO Realtors
1021 Old York Road, Suite 401
Abington PA 19001
Office: 215-576-8666
Fax: 215-576-8677