Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

The Buyer's Responsibilities

by
Your role during the escrow process should be an active one. Don’t wait for the seller to volunteer information – stay on top of it yourself and take reasonable care, along with me, your agent, to protect yourself.

For example, when you review the Transfer and Disclosure Statement, TDS, keep an eye out for questions answered "unknown" or left unanswered. Ask about them until you are satisfied with the answers.

Let's talk about your specific concerns or plans for the property. Concerned about the open parcel behind the house? Ask about it!

You may also wish to investigate the following non-physical conditions, including:

  • Governmental zoning, requirements and limitations
  • Governmental permits, inspections or certificates
  • Limitations, restrictions and requirements affecting use of the property
  • Rent and occupancy control
  • Schools
  • Proximity and adequacy of law enforcement, crime statistics, proximity of registered sex offenders (see section on Megan’s Law) and other criminals
  • Proximity to fire, police and other services
  • Proximity to commercial, industry or agricultural activities
  • Existing and proposed transportation, construction and development, which may affect noise, view or traffic, airport noise, or odor
  • Wild and domestic animals, other nuisances, hazards or circumstances
For Further Protection – Home Warranties: Home warranties have become a more popular option on homes for sale. For protection you may wish to have a home warranty that either you or the seller pays for. (It’s negotiable.) Warranties range in price from $300 - $600 and, for a fixed rate, generally cover limited aspects including plumbing, electrical, pest control and a host of other related areas. If you have a problem, generally you’ll pay $35-$50 to have a professional come out inspect and fix problems that are covered. Warranty agents typically are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your calls in emergencies.

Your Showing Checklist

by
Fully preparing your home for sale can make considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below.

Outdoors
__ Spruce up gardens and lawn; trim shrubbery and replace dead plants.
__ Yard and patio should be neat; outdoor furniture should be clean and in good shape.
__ Clean or paint your front door - remember first impressions last longest!
__ Manicure your front yard, driveway and entry - you can’t sell what you can’t see.

Exterior
__ Check that door numbers, mailbox, and exterior lighting are all in good repair.
__ Touch up with fresh paint as needed.
__ Inspect chimney for cracks or earthquake damage.
__ Repair loose trim, drainpipes and fencing.
__ Clean stains; clean window screens.

Garage
__ Remove clutter; tidy up shelves.
__ Wash floor so it looks clean and spacious.

Living Areas
__ Apply fresh paint as needed…brighten your interiors with neutral-toned paint.
__ Clean draperies and carpets.
__ Replace burned out light bulbs.
__ Clean fireplace, remove smoke stains from wall and mantle.

Kitchen
__ Sinks, appliances and counter tops should sparkle without any clutter.
__ Wax the floor.
__ Clean oven, range and other appliances.
__ Clean tile and grout; replace if necessary.

Bathrooms
__ Clean mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces.
__ Replace shower curtain if necessary.
__ Fix any faucet drips or leaks.
__ Clean tile, grout and caulking; replace if necessary.

Closets
__ Doors and drawers should open and close easily.
__ Remove clutter; tidy up shelves and racks.
__ Shoes and clothes should be neatly arranged.

Overall
__ Check the basics around the house. It takes just a minute to check all doors, windows and cabinets to make sure they don’t stick, squeak or are too loose.
__ Clean your furnace & water heater, so buyers know they are looking at a house that has been well maintained.
There’s nothing quite like a home that you can truly call your own. A place where you can have the gleaming hardwood floors you’ve always dreamed of, a space to cultivate your own vine-lined patio, a way to provide a good neighborhood for your kids to grow up in, and a freedom from the whims of your landlord. These are the images that immediately come to mind, for many of us.

Yet some of the biggest advantages of owning a home are less romantic and more practical – in fact, there are financial advantages to owning a home:

    * Tax Deductibility You can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your state and federal income taxes. Since interest generally will account for most of your payment during the first half of your mortgage, the savings can be significant. Some of your costs at the time of closing (including prepaid mortgage interest) can be taken as deductions on that year’s income tax return, and points paid up front at the time of closing represent additional mortgage interest and may be taken as a deduction.

    * Tax Deductibility of Property Taxes You can deduct all of the property taxes you pay.
    * Appreciation Potential Real estate is considered a good long-term investment because it usually appreciates in value. The effects of borrowing potential can increase as the value of the home appreciates.

    * Capital Gains Exclusion When it’s time to sell your home the amount of capital gains you have to pay is reduced. A homeowner can exclude up to $500,000 per couple if married and filing jointly, or $250,000 if single or filing separately for homes that have been the taxpayer’s principal residence for the previous two years.

    * Capital Gain Treatment Congress allows preferential tax treatment on gains from capital assets held for more than one year. This would be important for a homeowner who has gains in excess of the allowable exclusion.

    * Principal Accumulation Mortgages are designed to pay the interest for the time that the money has been used, as well as to retire the principal debt over a period of time. This payment plan means that part of the payment each month is for principal accumulation.

    * Personal Enjoyment Pride of ownership is a valid reason for wanting to own a home. You can personalize your home while enjoying the financial benefits.

For the best evaluation of your financial situation, consult your financial advisor. He/she will be the most qualified to discuss the financial consequences of a home purchase decision, as well as help you to establish a plan that will achieve your home ownership goals.

Examining Your Credit History

by

As indicated earlier, your credit report and history are key to obtaining your home loan. We encourage you to view your credit report yourself, prior to the lender’s viewing of it, by contacting one or all three of the major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. All you have to do is call and request it. Once you receive it, check the "high credit limit," "total loan," and "past due" columns. It is a good idea to get copies from all three companies to assure there are no mistakes since any of the three could be providing a report to your lender. Fees, ranging from $5-$20, are usually charged to issue credit reports.

Credit reporting companies:

Experian (800) 682-7954 www.experian.com

Equifax (800) 685-1111 www.equifax.com

TransUnion (800) 888-4213 www.transunion.com

You can also get a copy of your credit history at the following online locations:

www.freecreditreport.com

www.creditreports.com

What if I find a mistake in my credit history?

You can correct simple mistakes by writing to the reporting company, pointing out the error, and providing proof of the mistake. You can also request to have your own comments added to explain problems.

For example, if you made a payment late due to illness, explain that for the record. Lenders usually understand about legitimate problems.

What about my overall (or FICO) score?

What does it mean? Prior to the late 1990s, credit scoring had little to do with mortgage lending. When reviewing your credit worthiness, an underwriter would make a subjective decision based on past payment history. Then things changed.

Lenders studied the relationship between credit scores and mortgage delinquencies and found a definite relationship. Almost half of those borrowers with FICO scores below 550 became ninety days delinquent at least once during their mortgage. On the other hand, only two out of every 10,000 borrowers with FICO scores above eight hundred became delinquent.

When can I stretch the percentages?

Depending on your area's housing market, lenders sometimes will allow you to stretch their allowable debt ratios. One of the best ways to encourage your lender to do so is to increase your down payment.

 Underwriters sometimes also will stretch the ratios for other "compensating factors," including:

  • Strong cash reserves after close of escrow
  • New payment that’s only slightly higher than current rent or mortgage payment 
  • History of increasing earning capabilities 
  • History of an ability to save money L
  • Large cash down payment

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Syndication

Categories

Archives

365 Things To Do In...

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate Real Estate
Masha Halpern - Boutique Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty
101 Cosgrove Avenue, Suite 200
Chapel Hill NC 27514
Direct 919-951-1780
Toll Free 877-478-4669
Fax: 919-928-9030




Masha Halpern of Keller Williams Realty provides real estate services in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area including real estate services for buyer, sellers and those relocating to the surrounding areas of Apex, Bahama,Cary, Efland, Hillsborough, Holly Springs, Mebane, Raleigh, and Wake Forest. Search for homes in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham or the surrounding communities.  Request a market analysis for your North Carolina property.  I list and sell residential real estate, investment property, vacant land, lots for sale in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina area.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham, North Carolina real estate and homes for sale in North Carolina - Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team

‚Äč