Get Smart on Down Payments — Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®Finance – Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®

Chris GashPicking the right house is just one of the big decisions you’ll face when buying property. Deciding on the down payment is another. Low inventory in some national markets continues to pressure potential buyers into making bigger down payments to gain a competitive edge. But the possibility of rate increases in the coming year and new…

via Get Smart on Down Payments — Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®Finance – Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®

Advertisements

What successful home builders have in common

IMG_0511.jpg

Let’s say you have weighed your options and have decided to purchase a new home under construction or hire a builder to start from the ground up.

My best advise is to select a builder that will deliver your home as agreed, and maintain a working relationship with you before, during and after the sale.
I would like to point out that not all home builders can make every home buyer happy all of the time. Scheduling, availability of materials, weather and so many more issues factor into the job, so its easy for the process to get disrupted.
Buyers always have a concern about “quality” building, and that’s a genuine concern. Keep in mind that many inspections are done during construction by the local building department and sometimes even ordered by lenders to meet some financing requirements. With those consumer protections in place “quality” will likely be determined by the workmanship and the materials used.
Without getting into a very lengthy note I am going to jump to the two points every home buyer should discuss before entering into an agreement with a new home builder

  • 1. What is the builders policy regarding unfinished items, touch ups prior to closing and a new home orientation walk through to get familiar with the operation of your systems….and….
  •  What is the standard warranty offered by the builder

The most successful builders I have worked for have both of these details implemented into their company policy.

When you are walking through your new home on move in day it should be ready for you to hang your clothes in the closet and set your furniture in place.
Most states have a warranty period for workmanship and materials.  This comes with responsibility on the buyers part to file claims in accordance with the procedure and time limits set out in the law.
A well written warranty program offered by a builder is much better to work with and results will come faster and easier. You will also have manufacturer warranties for the appliances and systems in your new home.  Ask your builder to provide you with the information to register these items in your name. The warranty may also include any soil treatments for termites or other pests and how you can keep this in place for years to come.  There are also third party warranty programs offered by some builders that cover defects and structural issues.

To sum it up….you want a builder with a well written warranty and a turn key home…

Happy home shopping 🙂

FEMA link for area flood maps

IMG_0252

With much of the country falling within a flood hazard area there is a resource available to help you determine the zone of a location.

FEMA offers a link on their website that you can enter the full address or general location to view the flood map.

https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search#searchresultsanchor

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 5.57.04 PM

This tool can be very useful if you taking a mortgage because the lender will require a flood insurance policy for hazard areas.  It can also assist you in getting a quote for an insurance policy if one is necessary.

Happy home shopping….hoping this helps it stay easy…

 

 

 

 

Tapping into your home equity….💰

moneyhouse

The market is recovering and as home values continue to go up you may find another resource to tap into for financial needs that may arise.

Sometimes referred to as a “second mortgage”, “equity line”, “home equity line of credit” or  advertised as a HELOC your home is an account that you can tap into.

There are a variety of terms offered by different financial institutions so I always suggest shopping around.  The amount of equity you will be allowed to borrow has many variables decided upon by the lender considering your ability to repay.

Here’s how they work…The equity in your home is the amount of money you have between the value and the amount you may own.

Untitled-4

HELOC’s offer great convenience because the interest rate is typically lower than that of  a credit card and you are not required to use the full amount approved for at the time of signing an agreement.  A second mortgage is for a specific amount drawn at one time and set up on an amortization schedule, so they are two different products.

An example of a good use for an equity line would be to do small repair or improvement to your property.  You can simply write a check for the service and  repay according to the terms of your line.

An example of a good use for a second mortgage may be to do a large home improvement such as a room addition or a purchase of an adjoining property.  These loans are set up with principal and interest payments, a specific schedule of repayment  without t as much flexibility as equity lines.

It is  important to know that these loans will have to be paid off when you sell your home, because you are pledging the property as security.

I have often heard from home sellers who review a purchaser offer that they will not receive enough money at the sale due to the pay off of a primary mortgage and the equity line or second mortgage.  If you find yourself in that situation you have to keep in mind that you even if you feel like you are selling at a loss you are not because you already received that money.  It’s best to track your homes value to keep yourself in a positive equity state at all times.  Here is one the many links online to get an idea of your value: https://www.lendingtree.com/homevalue#/HomeValue

Also, it’s been surprising to me that some home sellers do not realize that the line of credit was a lien on their property.  With that being said it would be wise to understand the terms in full before signing any agreement, also ask about any penalties that can occur when you close them out.

Homeownership offers more than just a cozy place to hang your hat :)get a

Recent tax law change take away the  interest deduction for home equity lines: for more information on this and mortgage interest in general: https://www.forbes.com/sites/timtodd/2017/12/28/the-modified-home-mortgage-interest-deduction/#668ee0c06acf

 

Bring home the colors of the sea, sands and sunsets

Folks in the Southeast USA get more than enough sunshine and vitamin D to keep their spirits high.  But even on a gloomy day you grab a can of cashews to increase your serotonin, and take a drive into one of the coastal communities and you will feel upbeat in no time at all.  Adding color to a house adds great curb appeal, personality and above all makes it a home.  A choice of paint color is not an impulsive move but more thought out like someone getting dressed to impress…..

Tip for travelers: If your on the I95, Georgia, South Carolina  and Florida all have unique coastal communities worth circling on your map for a scheduled stop.

 

 

 

Holly Jolly homes

IMG_9740

The holiday season along with the winter chill is typically not the most popular time to list your home for sale.  For those that decide whether by choice or urgency to be on the market there are some upsides to this.

  • You will have the advantage of low inventory which results in less competitive listings
  • Buyers that shop during this time are as serious about buying as you are about selling, they may have a home they sold or are relocating to your area
  • You can show off the personality of the home with glittering lights and the soothing scents of the season
  • You can make your visitors feel right “at home” softly playing merry music
  • Tasteful decorations can be as good as staging

So…….Ho Ho Ho….and if you get nifty wrap your home in a bow

Happy home selling 🙂 ⛄️🎄

 

 

 

Canopy of Oaks

IMG_0004

This long drive sets the tone for a relaxing atmosphere and very impressive “curb appeal”