Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

The $1,000 Mortgage Gift Program

by Masha Halpern

If you are looking to purchase a home in the North Carolina area you have definitely heard that it's a buyers' market. Yet another incentive is headed your way from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage!

Buyers who close on a new home and finance their mortgage with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage are eligible for a closing gift valued at $1,000! Buyers can choose from among many items in the online catalog. 
If you have already been preapproved by another lender, Wells Fargo will reward buyers for allowing them the opportunity to provide their own preapproval decision (generally within 30 minutes or less) so that  buyers can compare and ensure they are getting the home financing option that meets their needs. Buyers will even get a $50 Wells Fargo VISA reward card for allowing us to give a second opinion. 
Borrowers are eligible to redeem this promotion after closing on any new purchase or refinance loan secured by a first mortgage or deed of trust with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage ("New Loan") as specified above, subject to qualification, approval and closing. This promotion is not available for all New Loan programs and New Loan excludes loans originated with a broker or a correspondent lender. Contact a Home Mortgage Consultant to learn what programs qualify.

This promotion is not available with any other promotion, discount, or rebate. Only one gift permitted per New Loan. FHA New Loans are ineligible for a gift card and are only eligible for merchandise valued in the amount stated in this promotion. This promotion is void where prohibited, applies only to designated promotion recipient and is not transferable, subject to the terms herein.  Redemption period ends within 30 days after your New Loan close date. Gifts may constitute taxable income. Federal, state and local taxes, and the use of the Gift not otherwise specified herein are the responsibility of the Gift recipient. Please present your good faith estimate or preapproval letter at the time of your request for your preapproval. If you have a current lock-in agreement, this is not an inducement to transfer your loan. This promotion may not be combined with any other offers, discounts or promotions.  

Sound like something you might be interested in?  Contact me if you are looking to take advantage of this offer! 




Homeownership: Building Family Wealth

by Masha Halpern

The question facing many families making a move today is whether it makes more sense to rent or buy. We have been very upfront in discussing our unwavering belief in homeownership in North Carolina. It is for that reason that today we want to quote from a study issued by an institution with no ties to the real estate business or mortgaging.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University just released a study, America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities. The study discusses the need for a greater supply of quality rental units in America. We agree. However, there were a few nuggets of information found in the study we want everyone to know.

American’s Belief in Homeownership Has NOT Fundamentally Changed

There seems to be some feeling that homeownership has lost it’s luster and perhaps is no longer a component of the American Dream. Harvard explains:

To date, attitudes about owning have become only slightly more negative while attitudes about whether now is a good time to buy are little different than before the housing boom. In the latest Fannie Mae housing survey from October–December 2010, the vast majority of respondents—including renters—continued to believe that homeownership makes more financial sense than renting. In addition, nearly two-thirds of all renters surveyed reported their intention to buy homes in the future.

Homeownership Creates Wealth

Because prices have fallen dramatically in many parts of the country in the last five years, some are too easily dismissing homeownership’s role in building family wealth over the last century. The study explains: 

In addition, renters have only a fraction of the net wealth of owners. Near the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median net wealth of homeowners was $234,600—about 46 times the $5,100 median for renters. Even if homeowner wealth fell back to 1995 levels, it would still be 27.5 times the median for renters.

The recent fall in prices can’t wipe out the 100 year history housing has as a good long-term investment.

Bottom Line

The study was promoting the need for the construction of more rental housing for the average American family. However, when it came to a discusion on building wealth, Harvard offered:

“And for individuals as well as businesses, owning rental properties is an avenue for wealth creation.”

And how do these individuals and businesses create that wealth. Owning the real estate and collecting rent from their tenants to offset the mortgage payments. Build your family’s wealth – not your landlord’s. We believe OWNERSHIP almost always makes the most sense.

Article from KCM Blog




Sharing The Cost of Closing

by Masha Halpern

The final step of purchasing a new home is when the buyer goes to closing. This is a time when the paperwork will be completed, and for the home seller it is e the remaining mortgage balance and the agent's commission will be deducted from the sales price. However, many however don't figure in the closing costs that are involved as well. 

While the amount and who will be responsible can vary from state to state, typical closing costs refer to all of the taxes, fees and costs required to close a real estate transaction.

When selling your home, it is important to ask your agent for a breakdown of what you are expected to pay in closing costs as well what the buyer will pay. In most states the buyer and seller split closing costs but some states consider the buyer to be responsible or both parties can be required to pay the costs. 

Typically the person responsible for paying closing costs can be dependent on the market. For example in a market that is plentiful, the seller could have more of a chance in having the buyer pay the majority of the closing costs. But in a market that is struggling such as now, buyers tend to have the upper hand and many sellers will pay the majority of the closing costs in order to complete the sale.

Below are some of the common closing costs faced by sellers and buyers:

Escrow/attorney fees: Some states require third-party escrow companies handle real estate closings, while others dictate attorneys perform the function. Title companies, title agents, lenders, brokers and even real estate agents are allowed to handle closings and/or escrows depending on the state. These fees are usually split between the buyer and seller.
Title insurance: There are usually two types of
title insurance that must be purchased – the lenders’ policy and the owners’ policy. Usually either a title company or in some states a lawyer will research the title to make sure there are no liens against the property or unidentified owners. These policies protect the lender and new owner for the full value of the property. Usually, the seller pays for the owner’s policy and the buyer pays for the lender’s policy. This is often referred to as clearing title.
Transfer or documentary taxes: These are paid either to the state, county, city or a combination depending on the state. This is where the government agency gets their share of the transaction. This is also known as a reconveyance tax.
Recording fee: Usually paid to the county for recording the deed, which shows ownership of the property.
Mortgage tax: This is an additional tax collected by some states. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia are the states that collect this tax.
Brokerage commission: The fee you contractually agreed to pay for the selling of your home.

Aside from these costs, the seller may be responsible for costs such as any credits that were promised to the buyer for repairs or home warranties. Don't forget that Federal law requires that sellers and buyers receive a copy of a
HUD-1 form outlining all charges in a real estate transaction.





Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




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