Racine is seeing an economic upturn, which is also good news for the city’s housing market. Racine has had a historically affordable market, and news earlier this week revealed that a Milwaukee company is investing $34m in Racine housing stock. As a result, there’s never been a better time to get into the housing market and look at getting your first property, releasing equity or building your portfolio further.
With property sales remaining high and acres of land being sold off across the county, there is plenty of opportunity to get involved. Beware, however – there are still scammers and fraudsters around. Here’s how to stay out of their trap.
A key method that property owners use to free up capital, either for further investment or home improvement, is remortgaging. Coming in many forms, they can rely on a revaluation of your house, or in the case of seniors, reverse mortgaging your house to provide capital for retirement pursuits. Mortgages are often seized upon by fraudsters at some point along the chain. To make sure you don’t get caught out, build your awareness of common fraud schemes and always report attempted fraud. Even if you’ve discovered a fraudulent scheme and evaded it, report it. Even if it’s laughable or spurious, you could be assisting someone else in the future.
Building on from the previous theme, it pays to make sure your property valuation is independent and secure. Fraudsters have been known to interject in the valuation process on behalf of a client, creating a situation in which your property is handed over for less than market price and then immediately sold back on for a quick profit – sometimes in the 5 figure mark. In Racine County, and particularly the city, the government provide property assessment on request for a reasonable cost. Don’t be tricked into using an illegitimate assessor.
Title fraud is related to mortgage scams and involves identity theft – an altogether sinister and malicious pairing. By taking your identity, scammers will then take out a mortgage on your property that is a legal minefield to navigate in terms of nullifying the mortgage. To counter this, take two precautions. First, invest in title and identity insurance – this will cover you in the worst case. Second, stay safe online and when making purchases. Identity fraud has flourished in the ‘wild west’ of the internet – it pays to be secure online.
The property market provides great ways for people of all backgrounds to benefit. Make sure you stay safe and don’t regret falling foul of fraudsters down the line.