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This is Part 4 of a 5 Part series about Why Using a Broker Benefits YOU! If you missed the previous articles, you can find Part 1 here (Money),  Part 2 here (Time),  and Part 3 here (Expertise & Ethics).

Real Estate Brokers are NOT lawyers and do not give legal advice but an important part of their job is to understand the partnership of real estate law and the many nuances for different types of real estate transactions and scenarios. Not only are Brokers required to go through a rigorous course load to obtain their license, but they are also required to take continuing education classes each year. Masha has also dedicated herself to becoming more specialized in certain areas of real estate and as such commits annually to taking courses that educate her in ways that benefit her clients. This is definitely a big advantage to you, and here’s why...

Changing Regulations

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is our governing board. Their mission is “To protect the public interest in real estate brokerage transactions.” In order to do so, they continually make adjustments in the rules and regulations. With regular continuing education, Brokers are well suited to know the best practices to make your transaction go as smoothly as possible. Masha not only has over 26 years of education & training, but her Team Manager is also licensed and up to date on current real estate practices. With all members of her team up to date on their education, our clients are always offered the most up to date information which can help them make the best decisions for their families whether they are buying a home in Chapel Hill or Buying a home in Durham; or if you are Selling your Chapel Hill home, Selling your Durham home or Selling your Hillsborough home.
 

Contracts

Have you seen the latest NC Offer to Contract & Purchase? It’s 13 pages long! And that’s just one document. There are also addendums and disclosures. Sorting through the sections, and not to mention the real estate jargon can be a bit overwhelming. Brokers understand these documents like the back of their hand and can make sure you understand what you are obligating yourself to when buying your home or selling your home.
 

Code of Ethics

“Honesty, trustworthiness, confidentiality, negotiation skills, and having the clients’ best interest” are all at the heart of the National Association of Realtors code of ethics. Interestingly enough it’s also what today’s buyers really want in a Realtor! Masha is a proud Realtor© and abides by this code at all times. At the end of the day our mission is provide our clients with their best real estate experience- and education plays a foundational role.


Standards

As with other professional fields, in the “real estate world” there are clear standards for Brokers. Brokers are used to working with each other in a way that is respectful and fair. Acting as a buffer for you, the Broker handles questions, concerns, negotiations, inspections, repairs and MUCH more and we do it in a professional and respectful way.
 

“To give real service, you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” ~ Douglas Adams
 

Next week will be the last in our series, Part 5: Emotions. Selling or buying can be an emotional process. No need for a therapist, we’ve got you covered.

Migration Trends in the US Show Top States to Live in

by LC for Masha Halpern

Statistics don't lie. They provide us with a great deal of insight, especially when the numbers are BIG.

When it comes to knowing which state is most popular to relocate to, the numbers (aka the multitudes of residents) speak for themselves. United Van Lines has been tracking the migration trends of the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C. since 1977. Their findings speak volumes on the preferences  displayed for where many decide to call home, and where they decide not to call home.

[A state is classified as "high inbound" if 55% or more of United's customers move to that particular state; if 55% or more of customers moves out of a state, it's considered "high outbound."] 

Every year for the past twenty years, the statistics have shown that North Carolina has been a "high inbound" state. In 2013 it ranked 3 out of the 8 top inbound states at 58%, with the only two to beat it being #1 Oregon with a high of 61% and #2 South Carolina at 60%.

The reasons for North Carolina's consistent "inbound" status are numerous, but to get a firmer understanding let's look at why many people are choosing to move away from the top outbound states, including New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

The part of the country losing the most amount of people every year is the Northeast (which is obvious from the list above). Why? Cost of living is through the roof compared to the South. We're talking big dollars and signs different. Money can buy you a whole lot more in North Carolina than it can up North. 

According to Michael Stoll, UCLA economist, "Business incentives, industrial growth and relatively lower costs of living are attracting jobs and people to the Southeastern and Western States..." 

North Carolina has a lot to offer, and the statistics are proving that it's one of the best places in the US to live. If doubtful, remember this: ​numbers don't lie

If you've decided relocating to the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area is in your future, contact Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team for a relocating packet. We'd be happy to help you! 

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Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website at www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is Chapel Hil & Durham's EXCLUSIVE  member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

New on the Market - 116 Glenmore Road!

by Masha Halpern

Welcome to 116 Glenmore Road!

A gorgeous curb appeal and inviting front porch will set your expectation before you step inside this lovely home. Fall in love with the details. A freshly painted interior, gleaming hardwood floors, beautiful wainscoting and a wrought iron staircase.  Arched doorways carry you from formal living room to dining room. Natural light gently consumes this space through a sizable window adding to the warmth of the room. Adjacent to these formal areas is a stunning gourmet kitchen. It features black appliances, electric full size smooth top stove, granite counters, custom tile back-splash, 42 inch oak cabinetry and work- island breakfast bar with ample storage. Triple pendant lighting accent this brilliantly!

Enjoy views of the beautifully landscaped backyard in the light and bright breakfast nook through bay windows. It serves as a great casual dining space. The focal point of the family room is a gas log fireplace with custom detailed mantle that’s PERFECT for a flat screen television or your favorite painting. Dimmable sconce lighting is situated neatly on either side of the mantel adding to its distinctive design. Entertaining here will be a breeze with this great room concept. Multiple windows will draw your eye to the backyard that can be easily accessed through a French door. A guest suite or home office “if it pleases you” offers a private full bath. A large workspace and an abundance of cabinetry will make the main floor laundry room a real pleasure. Three generously sized bedrooms plus a master suite are located upstairs. The master offers a vaulted ceiling & fan, a decorative ledge, and spa- like bath featuring custom double vanity, separate tile shower and large soaking tub.

Entertaining is a joy in the backyard! A Two-Tiered custom deck, tumbled brick patio and gorgeously landscaped backyard is reminiscent of a private mountain retreat.

Parkside neighborhood is located in a prime location near Homestead Park, I-40, The Senior Center, UNC, Shopping, Theaters, and much more.

Contact Masha Halpern of Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team for more information or to schedule a private viewing.  Visit www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com or email Masha@MashaHalpern.com

Huge Turnout for Thanksgiving Client Appreciation Event

by Masha Halpern

Last year marked our very first Thanksgiving Pie Give-Away, which was a huge success and a great opportunity for us to tell our past clients how much they are appreciated...and this year we got to do it again!

We are excited to share that we had an excellent turnout for our 2nd Annual Client Appreciation Thanksgiving Pie Event.   We handed out more Thanksgiving Pies this year, had a chance to speak with each of our clients and catch up with so many! It was really a treat for me to see how much some of your children have grown, and how well we are all "holding up". One of THE most exciting things was being able to introduce so many of you to each other.  I think at least one 'future date' and a few business referrals between all of you have been put "in the works " for a get-together amongst some of our clients. 

One of the whole reasons I like client appreciation events is the time I get to spend catching up with you and finding out how I may continue to be of some service to you. Being able to help foster connections is a bonus and one that I want to keep growing. If you have a service, run a business, or would like to start a group ( something fun or something serious ) let me know. I am planning to be a connector and would be happy to continue acting as a referral source for you.

Masha Halpern & The Smart Move Team want to thank each and every one of you for participating and allowing us to express our gratitude for your friendship and business!  We are honored to give back to our past clients.  Thank you so much for your continued referrals to friends and family!

Enjoy some of the pictures below and click here to see the full event on our website.

Keep an eye out for upcoming client appreciation events- or share some ideas for things you would like to see me try out! 


   

 


Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource forChapel HillDurhamCarrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price pointsMasha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visitingwww.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

 

 

Check Your Credit Before You Shop for a New Home

by Masha Halpern

Buying a home is a big step. A home mortgage is a long-term commitment, unlike any other item you’ll buy. To prepare for applying for a mortgage, take these steps to make sure your credit is in good shape.

The first thing to do is check your credit reports. You can do this once a year for free. Pull your records from all three credit bureaus. Read over them, and make sure all of the information is correct. For a small fee, you can also get your overall credit score.

If you find any errors on your credit report, work on getting them cleaned up before applying for a mortgage. It will make the process easier, and it could raise your score, which could get you a better rate. That can translate into saving thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.

Common credit report errors include payments showing as late that really weren’t, and bills showing outstanding that have been paid off. Follow the credit bureau’s instructions to fix any errors you find.

Late payments can drop your credit score, but you can improve it by making all future payments on time. Experts also say that you can bump your score up by a few points by paying down your credit card balances. However, you’ll need to keep your balances down, so don’t charge new purchases to those credit cards.

Applying for new credit will also temporarily lower your credit score, so don’t buy any big ticket items, like a car or furniture, in the months before applying for a mortgage loan. Ideally you should not take on any new debt within a year of buying a home.

Finally, don’t close old accounts thinking it will raise your score. In general, you want to show a long, reliable credit history, so make sure you keep your oldest credit card open. Use your credit wisely, but don’t abuse it.

Making sure your credit is as good as it can be can save you money in the long run on a mortgage, as well as let you know how much house you can afford. This will let you shop for a home with confidence.

If you have any questions about checking your credit score or getting a mortgage pre-approval, contact me to set up an appointment for a consultation. I’d be happy to offer you suggestions on how to improve your score and help you find the home of your dreams.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Photo courtesy Marius Mauresan, Stock.XCHNG.

The Chicken and the Egg of Real Estate

by Masha Halpern

Should I buy first, or sell first? I don’t know what to do. A commonly asked question without a correct answer. Many people find themselves in this classic real estate predicament most associated with “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Unfortunately, there is no right answer that covers the board. Circumstances, finances, and many other variables play a role in determining which best case scenario is for you.

If you buy first, you may find yourself in the quandary of owning two homes, paying two mortgages, and having to pay all of the other expenses that come along with home ownership. With any luck, your current home will sell quickly, and the problem is then solved. However, there are no guarantees that accompany this scenario. If your house does not sell quickly, you may be forced to close on your new home, and then you have become the proud owner of 2 homes, that you cannot afford. If you sell first, a whole different realm of possibilities opens up. In this scenario, you sell quickly and luck into finding an ideal home, and closing on it in a reasonable fashion. Otherwise, you sell your home, and are stuck with having to put your belongings in storage, and find yourself shacking up with friends, or family. Either scenario presents its own risks and uncertainties. There are too many conditions involved in determining a correct answer for the “Do I buy first, or sell first” question.

Generally speaking, there is less pressure, and less risk, involved in selling your current home first. Put your house on the market, while at the same time, be out house hunting. As your house is showing, you can be compiling a list of potential contenders in a new home. And speaking in financial terms, the majority of home buyers need the equity, and profit, of their current home in order to purchase their new home. Many people need to sell their current home in order to qualify for a loan, leaving them with no choice, but to sell first. Not all people, especially in the eyes of the bank, are in a financial position to carry two mortgages.

While your current home is on the market, you can feel free to write a contingency offer on any home you find while house hunting. But, bear in mind that you will be paying a premium with a contingency offer. That is, if the seller even gives it any thought. Also, you may deem it necessary to take less for your current home in an effort to get it sold more quickly. So, be cautious. You can have comfort in knowing that you do have an opportunity to write a contract if the perfect house arises, but don’t lose sight of your current home’s value.

Or...do I buy first? With the economy still on the rebound, and interest rates still low, many people are entertaining the thought of running out and buying first. The market, like the economy, is also in recovery mode, meaning home prices are still somewhat lower than they traditionally would be. The housing market is moving very quickly because of this, and dictates that homebuyers are more focused on buying, than on selling. Motivated buyers are being recommended to obtain a mortgage commitment that is not contingent upon selling their current home, in order to dive into this fast-paced buyer’s market. Homebuyers are realizing that even in a strong market, the selling end of a transaction can drag on, potentially leaving them in the dust when it comes to landing a good deal on the purchase of a new home.

Either way, the choice of buying, or selling first, is 100% circumstantial, and financially dependent on each individual. Circumstances may have you in a position where you have to sell first in order to obtain the money to buy. Or, they may have you in a position where you have to buy because of a job relocation.

In today’s market, there are benefits and perks to each version. Buy first, and plunge into the hot buyer’s market. Or, sell first, and have the relief of knowing that you will not be trapped into the potential payment of two mortgages. For most people, the stress level is much lower when selling their current home first, and buying second. Nonetheless, it is a decision only you can make, given your current circumstances and financial position. There is no universal right answer to “Should I buy, or sell first?”

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-wanderers-eye/

Get Organized Before You Shop for a Home

by Masha Halpern

The process of buying a home has gotten more complicated in recent years. To make sure everything goes smoothly, you’ll want to get organized before you even begin to look for a house. Once you’ve taken care of these things, you’ll be ready to shop for the home of your dreams.

Check Your Credit Score. Examine and fix any blemishes on your credit score, before you apply for a loan. Also, avoid taking on any new debt at this time. This includes buying a new car or other large item on credit.

Look at Your Finances. Take an honest look at your budget and figure out how much home you can afford. There are many online calculators available to help you with this. In general, most loan programs require that your mortgage payment be no more than 28% to 31% of your gross monthly income.

Beef up Your Savings. You should have enough cash saved up to cover your down payment and closing costs. Depending on your mortgage, you’ll need anywhere from 3.5% to 20% down, plus money available for closing.

In addition, mortgage lenders like to see borrowers with a healthy savings account. This shows that you have enough money to pay for your closing costs and any incidental expenses, as well as enough to live on once you move in. Savers aren’t likely to be living paycheck to paycheck, and are good candidates for a loan.

Apply for Your Mortgage. Get preapproved for a loan before you even start to look at homes. Applying for a loan first gives you a definitive answer on how much mortgage you can afford, and ensures you have financing ready when you find your dream home.

Refine Your Shopping List. Finally, think about the features you really want in a house. You’ll probably live in this house for several years, and you want it to serve your needs the entire time. After all, if you change your mind in a few years, you may not be able to sell this house quickly.

Shopping for a home is exciting. Take the time to organize and prepare before you look at properties, so you can be ready to make an offer when you do find a home that you love.

 

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Photo courtesy Kristja, Stock.XCHNG

Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Home

by Masha Halpern

The term “green living” means a lot of things. Mainly, though, it’s about living in a way that’s friendly to the environment. When you think about a green home, you may think of solar panels, wind turbines, grey water recycling, and other expensive projects. An environmentally friendly home doesn’t have to be expensive, however.

Homeowners that want to go green on a budget have many different ways to do it. With some time and a little work, you can go green in your home without spending a lot of cash.

You can get a big bang for your buck from basic maintenance projects around your home that make your home more energy efficient. Using less energy to heat and cool puts less strain on natural resources. Some of these projects include weather-stripping your doors and windows, plugging leaks in your walls and foundation, switching to low flow shower heads, and fixing dripping faucets. Each of these tasks only takes a few minutes and costs very little. However, they can significantly cut your energy use.

Going green is not just about energy savings, however. It’s also about using products that have less impact on the environment. Green up your shopping by buying products that use less packaging, buying local so that less fuel is used to transport items, and switching to household cleaners and detergents that are environmentally friendly. You may end up buying fewer things overall, which can save you money as well.

There are many other simple things you can do green up your home, including:

  • Install a programmable thermostat, and set it so your air conditioning doesn’t run when you are not home.
  • Switch to energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
  • Plant landscaping in your yard that will shade your house in the summer but allow sunlight through in the winter.
  • Replace old appliances with a newer, energy-efficient models. This is an investment, but can save you money in the long run on your utilities, which will help offset the cost.

You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for new solar panels on your roof or a wind turbine to go green. There are many other ways you can green up your home and routine. Remember, every time you make an environmentally friendly choice, no matter how small, you make a difference.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

  Photo courtesy B Cleary, Stock.XCHNG.

THERE’S A CHILL IN THE AIR!

by Masha Halpern

The hardy mums are making an appearance and a light jacket has become necessary for the crisp morning temperatures.  Both are sure signs that fall is upon us.  Although some of us hate to see the summer come to an end, there is no avoiding the onset of fall.  The change of seasons generates an inventory of chores that must be completed prior to the commencement of winter.  Routine fall maintenance must be performed in order to ensure a healthy yard come springtime.  In addition, your house must be protected from the harsh elements that winter brings.

Let’s begin on the outside and work our way in.  Fall is the best time of the year to give attention to your lawns and landscaping.  Fertilization of your lawns will provide necessary nutrients for the winter months to come.  In the spring your lawn will grow lush and green. And, don’t be mournful of the loss of color in your landscaping.  There are a variety of plants that can be incorporated to provide brilliant color through late November.  These plants include:  autumn crocus; strawflower; variations of aster; coleus; and dianthus.  Fountain grasses, burning and blueberry bushes will also add bursts of color.  All are easy to care for and will deliver great curb appeal.  Be sure to weed your gardens well in the fall, to minimize new growth in the spring. 

It is imperative in fall to trim your trees back.  Any branches hanging low, too close to the house, or near electrical wires can be weighed down by winter snow or ice wreaking havoc once broken.  Rake away all tree debris, leaves, and other forms of rubbish from the foundation of your house.  Make sure there are no entry points for animals seeking warmth.  If you have a crawl space, close the ventilation hatches keeping the cold air from entering underneath your house. 

Next we need to make sure that all of our outdoor tools are in good working condition and ready for action.  Rakes, snow shovels, and snow blowers should be inspected, cleaned, and all kept in one easy access location.

Gutter maintenance is also critical.  Clean your gutters and downspouts thoroughly and check for proper anchoring to the house.  Melting snow and freezing rain must have an easy escape route from the roof, into the gutter, down the downspouts and away from the foundation of your house.  You do not want the formation of ice dams to occur in your gutters.  The dams prevent water flow, and the water has nowhere to go but behind the gutter, seeping into your walls and ceilings. 

Moving from the outside in, it is paramount to have your furnace inspected and cleaned.  Having this service performed now, will be cheaper than waiting until the winter season hits.  Furnace upkeep is also vital for safety precautions.  Placing a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace is also a good idea.

Here are some other important chores to execute inside:

  • Locate your water main so in the event of an emergency it can be shut off
  • Insulate any exposed pipes (perhaps in the basement)
  • Ensure that there is adequate insulation in your attic
  • Find your air conditioner shut-off valve and turn it to the off position
  • Drain the air conditioning pipes to prevent freezing
  • Install weather stripping around all windows and doors in prevention of cold air drafts
  • Replace screen doors and windows with storm doors and windows

Finally, we all love snuggling up in front of the fireplace on cold winter nights.  Fall is the ideal time to guarantee the safety of our chimney.  Make sure the chimney cap on the outside is secure, and have a certified chimney company come out and inspect for soot and creosote buildup.  The chimney professional can also ascertain that your chimney damper is opening and closing properly.

I know what all of you readers are thinking right now.  “I don’t need to attend to these projects today.  It still feels like summer.”   However, all too often, summer turns to fall, and then very quickly to winter, and we don’t know where the time has gone.  Do not find yourself outside braving the winter elements to enact on what can be accomplished during the beautiful fall season.  Preventative maintenance is necessary in safeguarding your lawn, landscaping, and house from the harsh winter conditions.  It is better to be prepared today than to pay the consequences tomorrow.

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

Getting a Mortgage Loan when You Are Self-Employed

by Masha Halpern

The thought of qualifying for a mortgage can be stressful for many prospective buyers. If you are self-employed, you may have even more concerns. Even if you do not have a regular W2 or tax form from an employer, you can still qualify for a mortgage. There are some tips to follow, however.

Prior to the housing crisis and recession, many self-employed home buyers could simply attest to the amount of money they earned and that was it. Today, that is no longer the case. You will need to provide additional evidence beyond stated income. In order to document your income, you may be asked to provide business and personal income tax returns for the past two years along with financial statements. Documentation is critical when you are applying for a mortgage as a self-employed individual. Ensuring that you have all of the relevant documentation gathered together prior to applying for your mortgage loan can be a critical element in ensuring a fast turnaround. If any additional documentation is requested, provide it as quickly as possible.

You may also find that your chances of being approved for a mortgage loan increase if you are able to demonstrate that you have access to financial reserves in the event your business experiences a downturn. In the end, the lender simply wants to be assured that you can afford the home you are planning to purchase. Paying off consumer debt or consolidating your debts to a lower interest loan may also help in improving your cash flow while providing the lender with greater peace of mind regarding your ability to repay your mortgage loan.

If you are purchasing a home with your spouse who has a regular job, your chances may also be improved if your spouse applies as the primary borrower. You can then be listed as the secondary applicant. If that is not an option, you might consider asking a parent to co-sign the mortgage for you. It should be kept in mind that if you are not able to keep up with your mortgage payments, the co-signor will become responsible for the loan.

Although it is more challenging to obtain a mortgage loan today if you are self-employed, it is not impossible. With some careful advance planning, your dream of becoming a homeowner as well as a business owner can become a reality.

 

Masha Halpern, Broker, CLHMS, GRI
Keller Williams Realty
Masha@MashaHalpern.com
919-414-0337  

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Masha Halpern and The Smart Move Team is your ultimate real estate resource for Chapel Hill, Durham, Carrboro and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Masha is a certified member of The Luxury Home Marketing Institute, participates in its annual Leaders in Luxury Conference, and works with The Institute’s thousands of members worldwide to share information about current listings.

Masha is also a certified member of Keller Williams Luxury International and is also a member of Cyber Stars International – Top Realtors Using Technology – a group dedicated to taking the best and latest technological advances and applying them to real estate advertising and marketing for her clients in all price points. Masha Halpern can be contacted for a private consultation by calling 919-414-0337 or by visiting www.TheSmartMoveTeam.com.

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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