Lender Resources

May 13, 2024
The pros and cons of paying for your house in cash.
April 17, 2024
Maryland residential real estate sellers must provide private deferred water and sewer assessment disclosures to buyers
January 31, 2024
How do you get a building permit in Washington, DC? There are many steps and you may be required to get additional approvals and services from other agencies in the process.
August 16, 2023
When you move to a new school district during the summer, there are a few extra things you’ll want to consider. We have gathered our top eight things for your family to do before starting the new school year in a new home!
August 16, 2023
The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes homeownership affordable for eligible residents.
October 17, 2023
Every Fall, you can count on changing leaves, cooling temperatures, and busy schedules. After summer, sometimes all you want to do is reset. Don’t be overwhelmed by the task at hand. Here’s how you can get started and keep the house clean throughout the year.
October 26, 2023
Will you have to pay capital gains tax when you sell your current home? As with many things in real estate, that depends. This article covers information about capital gains taxes on real estate and strategies to mitigate the tax.
December 5, 2023
There are many reasons you might consider a Power of Attorney (POA) for your next real estate transaction such as travel or physical disability. The traditional POA process can be inconvenient, but thankfully Remote Online Notarization (RON) provides a remote option.
January 15, 2019
Do you have questions about the closing process? Read our most frequently asked questions and how the title company assists you through the process!
February 4, 2019
What is title insurance and why do you need it? Read through these FAQ to find out.
February 21, 2019
Does your county allow for e-closings? Check the list of counties in the DMV to find out!
March 6, 2019
Buying your first home in Washington, DC can be a daunting task, but did you know there are many resources available to help you through the process?
March 13, 2019
What is a condo conversion? Is it a good investment for you and is DC a good place to do one? Learn the facts and the process for converting one title into individually titled condominiums.
March 20, 2019
Are you selling a home in the DMV? Be sure you properly disclose all of the necessary information to the buyer before contracts are signed! Here are the legal disclosure requirements for the DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
March 29, 2019
Moving into a new home can be exciting and scary, especially if you are relocating to a new city. Smart Settlements is here to help you set up all of your services in Washington, DC.
April 3, 2019
Moving into a new home can be exciting and scary, especially if you are relocating to a new city. Northern Virginia and its utilities can get complicated, but Smart Settlements is here to help you find the contacts you need!
April 10, 2019
Moving into a new home can be exciting and scary. If your new home is in Baltimore or the Maryland side of the DMV, then Smart Settlements is here to make the process a little easier by helping you find your utility service providers.
April 17, 2019
Buying your first home can be daunting, especially if you are looking in the DMV. Luckily, the state of Maryland offers first-time homebuyers three great programs to make the process easier.
May 8, 2019
Did you know that DC passed an update to TOPA, effective July 2018? Know your rights as a renter and/or owner of a single-family home in Washington, DC.
May 15, 2019
If you are a foreign property owner who is selling US property or are buying from a foreign seller, you need to know how the FIRPTA law affects you. Learn about the tax implications and exemptions here.
May 22, 2019
If you own a home in Washington, DC, you may qualify for the Homestead Tax Deduction, Senior Citizen, or Disabled Property Owner tax benefits! Learn more about each program in this article.
May 29, 2019
When buying a new home, should you have a survey done? Learn more about location and boundary surveys, and whether or not you need one before closing!
June 12, 2019
Having both the buyer and the seller physically present at a closing is not always possible, and SMART Settlements understands that. Learn how we can accommodate your closing remotely!
June 19, 2019
The DC Office of Tax and Revenue offers financial assistance through their Tax Abatement Program. Find out if you meet the qualifications and how to apply!
June 26, 2019
When you buy a home in Washington, DC, the number of different fees and taxes you pay can be overwhelming. One tax that will most likely apply to you is the DC Transfer and Recordation Tax. Learn the facts about this expense and your obligation to pay it.
July 17, 2019
Whether you are between renters or renovating an old building, it is critical that you know your financial and reporting obligations for vacant and blighted properties in Washington, DC.
July 24, 2019
If you own residential real estate in the District or are considering buying property there, it’s important to know your property tax obligations.
October 23, 2019
If you think title insurance is a luxury and not a necessity, think twice. Read about the most common title issues in residential real estate!
November 27, 2019
The word “refinance” gets tossed around the real estate industry, but do you know what it means to refinance your home? We answer the most frequently asked questions in this article!
December 18, 2019
If you are considering becoming a landlord in Washington, DC, then follow these steps to register your rental property!
January 29, 2020
What are your rights if you hold title on a property with someone else? Read our brief overview of tenancy to learn more about the three most common forms of joint tenancy.
February 26, 2020
Buying a home is a huge investment. If you are buying in Virginia, be sure to see what financial assistance the state offers homebuyers and homeowners.
March 25, 2020
Curious what the real estate tax rate is in Northern Virginia? See the current property tax rates for cities and counties in the DMV!
April 22, 2020
See how SMART is making traditional closings safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and offering virtual closings with Remote Online Notarizations (RON).
May 27, 2020
In the real estate industry, the words "title" and "escrow" are often used interchangeably, but the truth is they are two different parts of the real estate transaction. Learn more about these services and how SMART handles both in our settlements.
June 24, 2020
Although your settlement company may take care of the filing and submission of FIRTPA withholding taxes to the IRS after closing, it is important that you understand what the Foreign Investment Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) is and when it applies to a real estate transaction.
July 29, 2020
For more information about real estate tax rates in Maryland, how property is assessed, and how you pay your bill, read our FAQ article here!
August 26, 2020
Throughout your homeownership, there may be times when you wish to take out a subordinate debt in order to fully purchase your home or complete other projects. Read our SMART FAQ about the Automatic Subordination guidelines for Virginia and Maryland!
November 23, 2020
Buyers should not be discouraged by a hot DC real estate market. We are sharing strategies for making your offer as competitive as possible!
February 10, 2021
Although most of your interactions with real estate agents and title companies happen before or at closing, your questions may not end there. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions post-closing.
February 27, 2021
Baltimore has a strong economy and job market, and in an effort to attract more homeowners and real estate investors to Baltimore city, various agencies offer property tax credit programs. Read about each one in our SMART blog.
April 7, 2021
Purchasing title insurance is a standard part of the closing process, learn what an owner's title policy covers and why every buyer needs one.
May 21, 2021
Smart Settlements has compiled a list of utilities companies to contact before you make your move to Miami-Dade County, Florida!
June 28, 2021
If you sell real estate in Maryland but are not a resident, you may be subject to the Maryland Nonresident Withholding Tax. Learn more about this tax and exemptions!
June 30, 2021
Condominiums are structured differently than other types of properties. Smart Settlements outlines many of the documents and information you should review before purchasing a condominium in DC.
July 21, 2021
If you own a Maryland home or plan on buying one, you need to know the rates for transfer and recordation taxes!
October 19, 2021
If you must remain in your home after you sell it, it is important to understand what is involved in post-settlement occupancy, including the agreement you sign with the buyer.
November 15, 2021
Buying a home can be the largest investment of your lifetime, but there are so many benefits to owning your own home - including tax benefits! Read about the most common homebuyer and homeowner federal deductions in this article.
January 25, 2022
Cryptocurrency is complex, but it is important to understand how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies impact real estate and your role in it.
February 15, 2022
Are you interested in giving or receiving a private loan? This option may sound tempting, as private loans generally have better rates than standard bank loans. However, there may be unexpected tax consequences for both lenders and borrowers.
March 16, 2022
Laws under the Tenant Opportunity Purchase Act (TOPA) provide legal protections for tenants who are at risk of being displaced. Here is the TOPA roadmap for 2-4 unit properties in D.C.
March 20, 2022
Condominium and homeowner’s associations in Miami-Dade County are required to file critical information regarding the safety and financial health of buildings to a public database.
March 30, 2022
Washington, D.C., one of the strongest real estate markets in the country with more than 5,100 short-term vacation rentals, is enforcing a new law governing short-term and vacation rentals in the District.
May 10, 2022
Learn more about Rent Controlled rental units and housing accommodations in Washington, DC.
June 19, 2022
Homeownership is an investment that offers various tax benefits to home buyers and homeowners. The benefits of living in Florida are attractive to many families, benefits that include zero personal income tax and various homeowner exemptions.
December 8, 2021
Insure your new property’s title to protect your rights as an owner and help you avoid expensive fees if anyone questions the legality of your ownership. Read about the two types of title insurance policy options for soon-to-be owners.
June 21, 2022
June is National Homeownership Month, and SMART has gathered some of our favorite real estate resources for buyers, owners, and sellers!
August 20, 2022
Back-to-school marketing ideas for real estate agents!
October 20, 2022
Learn about three common types of survey your title company or lender may request when you buy a new home.
October 20, 2022
Similar to the TOPA in the District of Columbia, a few Maryland jurisdictions require a tenant’s right of first refusal when a landlord sells a rental property in an effort to protect affordable housing.
December 21, 2022
The Communities of Opportunity Program (COP) offers eligible landlords an income tax credit in an effort to decentralize poverty by providing low-income Virginia residents with access to affordable housing units that are located in higher income areas.
January 25, 2023
Closing is a moment of joy, relief, and excitement. While it marks the end of a complicated process, involving one of the largest investments of your life, your work is not yet done. SMART home buyers check these 10 things after they close on their new homes!
February 21, 2023
Learn how to be a D.C. landlord, including which of the new D.C. agencies handle specific parts of the D.C. residential rental business process.
March 29, 2023
If you make money from renting or selling a Florida property, you may need to pay federal income taxes on the profit. Before you jump into owning an investment property in Florida, consider these five things.
April 26, 2023
The Livable Home Tax Credit program in Virginia aims to improve universal visitability and accessibility in residential units by offering state tax credits to individual residents and licensed contractors who file Virginia state income taxes.
June 12, 2023
If you think your taxes are too high, it is possible to appeal the assessed value and lower your property tax bill.