Category Archives: At Your Service

WANT TO GET A $150-$250 MONTHLY RAISE?

Call us to LEVERAGE YOUR TAX REFUND OR Get $15,000 IN DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE FROM THE STATE TO BUY A HOME!!

Chrystal Roy and the Team at The Safari Group LLC of Real Estate Realty LLC has known for years that buying a home provides long term financial benefits. But how do today’s renters become tomorrow’s buyers? We share tips for you to develop strategies to move from paying someone else’s mortgage to paying your own, increasing your net worth and having a legacy for your family.

It’s a Good Investment

If you are currently renting, use our Rent vs Buy Calculator to help determine which option provides the most economic benefits for you over time. Rent payments go straight into the pocket of the landlord – and at the beginning of the next month, you’ve got nothing to show for it.

Build Equity

With each monthly mortgage payment you make, a portion goes toward reducing the amount you owe on your loan, which increases your equity. As your home increases in value, it creates more equity for you.

Enjoy Significant Tax

Owning a home can reduce the amount you pay in income taxes each year. The mortgage interest and property tax payments can be deductible from your Federal Taxes and State Taxes. As well certain closing cost and loan discount points.

Deductions

Owning a home can reduce the amount you pay in income taxes each year. The mortgage interest and property tax payments can be deductible from your Federal Taxes and State Taxes. As well certain closing cost and loan discount points.

Build a Strong Credit History

Once you have purchased your dream home and is consistent in paying the mortgage loan on time, it demonstrates to other lenders that you are a good borrower and the risk of you defaulting on a loan is low. This strong credit history will be helpful in the future when you need other loans for buying a car, making improvements to your home, or paying other major expenses.

Contact US to qualify for NC’s $15,000 in Down Payment assistance and we’ll help you make your next move!

Chrystal Safari Roy | REALTOR® | Investor | Broker in Charge | REAL ESTATE REALTY LLC

WE BUY HOUSES TOO!

ATC School of Real Estate MASTERS DESIGNATION | Luxury Home Specialist | Certified Military Residential Specialist | HUD Registered Agent

704.562.1030 | e: Chrystal.Roy@RERCharlotte.com | Text for Faster Service

SouthPark Towers 6000 Ste 1200 Fairview Road Charlotte, NC 28210

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Closing Checklist for a Buyer

Buyer’s Closing Checklist

ADDRESS: _____________________________ DDD _____________

 Get copies of finalized contract to __ buyers, __ lender, __ attorney, and __ listing agent

 Enroll Home Warranty, if applicable

 Send HW invoice to closing attorney

 Send referral sheet, if applicable, to closing attorney

 DEPOSIT earnest money check (within 3 days of acceptance NC, 24 hrs SC)

 RECORD Due Diligence Date for future reference on calendar and file

 MARRIED OR NOT MARRIED – Will all buyers attend closing and sign? Y N If no, arrange for POA

 Complete Buyer info Sheet closing with attorney ___________________ _____Date:_______

 Clear any continued contingencies: ____________________________

 For Home and Termite Inspections – utilities on Y N Date: ____________

 INCLUDE RADON with independent home inspection? http://www.epa.gov/radon

 10 days from closing, transfer utilities in your name for date of closing

 10 days from closing request loan commitment letter

 Get update from lender – has loan package/funds been sent/wired to attorney

 Review HUD statement with buyers

 3 days before closing make sure sellers have Driver’s Licenses, Power of Attorney if not attending closing, and

 Send Wiring Instructions, if applicable for attorney

If my team and I may be of help to you in the sale or purchase of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  All consultations are complimentary and confidential.

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cbs isarealtorLogoChrystal Safari Roy, Team Lead of The Safari Group and Broker in Charge of Real Estate Realty LLC, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, has over 22 years experience in investing, personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a Certified Military Residential Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, and HUD Registered Agent.  View all our properties at RERCharlotte.com.  Equal Housing

What is the Buyer Agent’s Role in a Purchase Transaction?

Or, WHAT SHOULD YOUR BUYER’S AGENT DO FOR YOU?

VOCABULARY

The field of real estate is full of a specialized vocabulary. One of those vocabulary words is ‘fiduciary.’ Fiduciary means to promote another’s best interests. When you have a fiduciary relationship with a buyer it differs from that of a fiduciary responsibility toward the seller.  Because of this, it’s often difficult for an agent to represent both parties in dual agency, but it can be done well if it’s done right.

SPECIAL AGENT

A real estate agent, broker or REALTOR® becomes a special agent of the party to whom heScreenshot 2016-04-30 13.54.48 owes fiduciary duties. When representing the buyer, fiduciary responsibilities include keeping the buyer on track with his overall goal, as well as giving professional advice about how to navigate the complicated process, and complex legal documents needed to purchase real estate.

FROM CONCEPT TO CLOSING

The first goal of an excellent buyer’s agent is to understand the concept that the buyer has in mind. Then the agent must uncover all the major and minor details that would contribute to success or failure of the project, and provide strategies to eliminate the problems.

If for example, if the buyer doesn’t have realistic expectations, the buyer needs additional information to understand the market and the often complicated processes complete with ever-changing legal documents,  legal strategies, and lender requirements.

CREDIBILITY

Once the realistic expectations have been set, the buyer must position himself as a credible buyer by getting his financing lined up for the ultimate goal of closing Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.58.12on the purchase. This includes understanding the time line, the purchasing power, and specific limitations or expectations dictated by the financing program.  Remember, with champagne taste on a beer budget, you can fall in love with a property that ultimately you can’t qualify for.  An excellent buyer agent becomes your project manager who will keep you on track with not only redirecting you back to the criteria you said was most important, but with the flexibility of changing when your criteria changes, but also in making sure that you don’t fall in love with something ultimately you can’t purchase.

DUE DILIGENCE PROCESSES

Now it’s time to find the property that best fits the current and perhaps future needs of the buyer.  Once the property is identified, your agent  Screenshot 2016-04-30 13.59.58utilizes information used by an appraiser, who ultimately must support the sales price on behalf of the lender, to calculate the apparent value range that becomes the offer price using the industry’s best practices. Without this step, the buyer could make an offer that was influenced by the list price of the property established by the homeowner or the listing agent, who is paid to bid against the buyer, and ultimately spend $1,000’s or more with inspections and the Appraisal to discover that the appraisal is tens of thousands of dollars lower than the list and sales price.

Failing to include this step as a buyer’s agent is not representing and promoting the buyer’s best interests.

AVOIDING STICKER SHOCK

Another concern that the first time home buyer’s agent should have is in determining the ultimate ability for a rental client to become a first time home buyer. Some things to consider during the first buyer interview is to discover if Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.01.10sticker shock will be a factor in the purchase. This is the difference between what the prospective buyer is paying as a tenant and what his mortgage will be and how that compares to any lifestyle changes that might occur as a necessity of paying more than one is used to paying for housing. A way to gauge if a tenant buyer is ready to become a homeowner is to have him or her put back the amount of different between the current rental rate and the mortgage into a bank account for 6 months and not touch it. If a first time buyer can put that money away for 6 months and not touch it, that anticipated mortgage payment should be very comfortable for him.

VOR

Another consideration for a first-time home buyer is verification of rent, also known as VOR. Although this is not requested until about 10 days before closing,Screenshot 2016-04-30 14.02.37 it can stall or kill a deal.  it’s important to interview the first time home buyer early on in the process at the time of pre-qualification to discover if he has had any late rental payments in the 24 months preceding his closing on the loan. If there have been any late payments, the lender needs to know right away so it can be reviewed with the underwriter. Once the underwriter gives the go-ahead you can proceed to getting in the car to find THE ONE!

There are many other behind-the-scenes activities that the REALTOR®, or special agent, will be performing or supervising for the buyer in promoting the buyer’s best interests.  Be sure as you interview the REALTOR® to partner with you in your transaction that the REALTOR® is knowledgable and experienced in getting you to closing as smoothly as possible as your special agent and project manager.  For a Closing Checklist of behind-the-scenes activities you REALTOR® will be performing for you, click here.

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chrystal

realtorLogoChrystal Safari Roy has over 20 years experience in personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a member in good standing of the Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®.  Call her at 704.562.1030.  Text for faster service. Equal Housing

 

How to Buy a Better House for Less Than Paying Rent + Reduce Your Taxes Every April 15

You can buy a better home than your current rental property and reduce your tax bill every April 15th.

Many renters who’ve never owned a home are unaware of the specific benefits of home ownership.  Not only will owning a well-chosen home help you grow an appreciating asset increasing your overall net worth, but it can also reduce your taxable income and reduce your tax liability every April 15.  The end result is that the home you purchase will cost LESS per month than the rental over the year, and you’ll have a better property with no chance of price increase, and control over what you do to make it home.

Here’s how it works:

Screenshot 2016-04-03 14.46.40

In this example, the future home owner is paying rent perhaps between $1100 – $1300.  It’s possible to purchase a home for $265,000* and pay a mortgage payment equivalent of only $1316 with the Estimated Tax Benefit.  That includes:

Principal, Interest, Taxes Insurance and PMI.

What would you rather pay?

  1. $1300 a month on a property that can never be yours or increase your net worth OR pay
  2. $1316 a month for a beautiful property that’s yours?

You’ll be paying someone’s mortgage, why not pay your own and also reduce your taxes to Uncle Sam?!

For a private and confidential strategy session meeting, give me a call.  704.562.1030 Text for Faster Service

*This specific scenario figures a down payment amount of $9,276 and up front PMI Fee of $4,475 at an interest rate of 3.875%, dependent on the borrower’s personal credit scores.

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My first experience calling a REALTOR® ended in him hanging up the phone on chrystal (2)me.  Turns out, I ‘didn’t make enough money’ as a college student to be worth his time.  I didn’t give up! I found a builder, built a brand new home, and never looked back.  Call me.  We’ll see what you need to put into place to move from renter to homeowner!  Late is not too late.

Marital Property and Proceeds in North and South Carolina

Screenshot 2016-03-29 08.17.23*Consult your licensed and admitted attorney in your state for legal advice.  This post is sharing my own experiences as an experienced REALTOR® licensed in both NC and SC.

In North Carolina we have a saying, ‘It takes one to buy and two to sell real estate in North Carolina.’

Generally, if both husband and wife appear on title, both must sign documents (mortgage, rescission and TIL); If only one spouse is on title to property being mortgaged, individual state law applies.

North Carolina is what’s called a dower state. Properties purchased by a married couple is a marital asset even if only one buyer signs documentation (unless that property is purchased by an entity*) and the property is equally owned by both parties, each with rights and responsibilities to the property. When making a purchase, if the intention is for each spouse to protect the others’ marital rights to the property should one spouse pre-decease the other, the closing attorney should include both spouses on the title with rights in common, or as directed by your closing attorney.

Properties owned prior to the marriage are not necessarily marital assets unless Screenshot 2016-03-29 08.45.56the non-signing spouse completes major updates to the property as a major investment in the property.  Each scenario must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

In the case of a spouse inheriting a property, the non-inheriting spouse must sign all documentation to list and sell that property. Often the non-inheriting spouse tells me, ‘That’s not my property and I don’t need to sign.’ Signing to list and sell, and ultimately to close on that property’s sale is for the non-inheriting spouse’s protection.  The spouse who did not inherit the property is signing away both his rights and his further responsibilities to that inherited property.

In contrast, South Carolina is not a dower state, it’s a Homestead (owner Screenshot 2016-03-29 08.48.24occupied) state and common law jurisdiction – what’s hers is hers, what’s his is his. Any husband or wife may freely and individually buy or sell any property with no benefit or responsibility to the other party. As long as the spouse is not on title, the spouse will not be required to sign, and perhaps more importantly, not be due any proceeds.

In the case of a married couple who has purchased a home together, but with only one spouse on the title in SC, if the other spouse wishes to receive a portion of the proceeds from closing and the parties don’t agree, that non-titled spouse must be awarded a court order for the proceeds to be divided.

*A Caveat – properties owned by an entity, such as an LLC or Corporation, or an interest owned by a Trust follow different rules of law and the above doesn’t apply.

NOT INTENDED FOR LEGAL ADVICE – Consult your favorite real estate attorney for full details.

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Chrystal is a REALTOR®, Broker in Charge of Real Estate Realty LLC, a boutique firm specializing in working with investors, and principal of The Safari Group LLC, a local,cbs isa homegrown real estate group, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including First Time Home Buyer, New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, Portfolio Development, Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  Contact her at 704.562.1030; TXT for faster service

How to Hire a Contractor to do Work in Your Home

home work  An important aspect of hiring a contractor to do work in your home is to understand what permits, special requirements or licensure are required for each job.  Once that’s understood, you can know whether it’s best to hire a licensed contractor or a handyman.

REFERRALS
Be sure to ask for referrals and references and know the relationship of those referring parties to the contractor. Ask for pictures of installations on similar jobs that have been performed for others and give those referring parties a call or visit to ask how the work was performed, the attitude during the job, coming in on budget and wrapping up on time.  Discover if there are any negative remarks online or with the BBB.   Be sure he or she is qualified to handle the scope and type of work needed, especially with regard to special conditions such as lead based paint, asbestos, mold, etc.

IDENTITY
If the home is occupied, if personal items are stored there or is otherwise notid_verified vacant, be sure to qualify your contractor if he’s unknown to you through online services such as mysmartmove.com or others.  Get a copy of the contractors driver’s license and have him sign a w-9 to include his social security number.  If you’re an investor and renovations are common for you, you may want to investigate the Verify Photo ID app recommended by Inman News.

CONTRACT
Next, execute an Independent Contractor Agreement with your contractor. Be certain it has no verbiage or requirements to suggest the contractor is an employee of yours.

PHASES
Now is the time to outline and understand the three phases of the renovation. The initial Phase One is paid on day 1 of the job.  The subsequent draws for Phases Two and Three should be paid by the week, on a Monday or Tuesday. In constructing the phases, the contractor should budget for each item and any overages or misquote is the responsibility of the contractor, not the homeowner. Make sure your agreement covers things such as milestones, and outlines the scope and sequence of the work to be completed. The contract should include the description of all work, and condition of Customer Satisfaction such as all items completed in a workman like manner, job site left clean and tidy daily, and no items incomplete.

MATERIALS
selecting-the-right-color-bigIdeally the home owner should have chosen paint colors, sheens, types for each space, cabinets, granite and whatever materials will be used in the project at the source. Have your Independent Contractor pay for those materials and have that provider deliver the materials to the job site, then reimburse the contractor immediately – this strategy avoids any appearance of establishing an employee/employer relationship. Do not pay for routine tools and supplies the contractor uses in his everyday business such as paint brushes, ladders tarps , etc.

UPDATES
If you’re not the owner occupant at the job site, require the contractor to provide daily pictures and videos of each phase when complete before scheduling a personal inspection and before payment on that phase is released.  An investor can use this in the future or marketing.

COMPLETION
In exchange for the final payment the homeowner should sign off that he is satisfied with the job, and the independent contractor should sign that he is releasing all liens in exchange for final payment.

For a No Obligation Sample Copy of my Independent Contractor Agreement, email me.  I’ll be glad to help.  Chrystal.Roy@RERCharlotte.com | 980.355.9025

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cbs isaChrystal Safari Roy, Broker in Charge of RER Charlotte, an Investor-Centric Real Estate Firm bringing you from Purchase to Portfolio located in SouthPark Towers, has over 20 years experience in investing, personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a licensed REALTOR® in North and South Carolina.  As a MASTERS Designation holder, she is a specialist in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, and is a multi-million dollar producer.  Chrystal is a Certified Military Residential Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, and HUD Registered Agent.  View all our properties at RERCharlotte.com.

Autopsy of a Dead Deal – What Flat Lined That Real Estate Transaction?

toe tagAnatomy of a Dead Deal

As in all autopsies, it begins with the ‘Why?!’ incision. Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, what just happened must be understood before proceeding to the next bid.

Not Having Expert Professional Advice

There’s a top and bottom 10% in every field, from your dentist to your mechanic.  The same is true with real estate brokers.  Partnering with the right agent is key to your success.  Hire an experienced, savvy REALTOR®.  They are trained and held  to a higher standard.  They will tell you what lenders will and will not allow to close.  See my blog on How to Hire the Right Real Estate Broker.  A top notch agent will condition you to not only market values, but also on listing and selling strategies.

Not Understanding the Market

Too often, sellers aren’t counseled by their agent to know the market. In a seller’s market, the house may sell quickly and for top dollar in good to great, but not excellent condition, but too much deferred maintenance will either kill the deal or land your sales price toward the lower end of the recently closed properties price range.

Not Knowing the True Condition of Your House

bats in blankets

An important strategy in pricing your property is to know its condition from top to bottom, inside and out – and under and over!  A buyer should not discover you have structural damage, termites in the crawl space, bats in the attic and/or water leaks.  A lender won’t fund a closing with excessive moisture or active termites.  Bats are a protected species and may not be disturbed during mating and nurturing season.  Their droppings are an environmental hazard that must be disclosed.  Once a buyer has discovered major defects, a strange thing happens… they fall out of love with your home sweet home!

You may conclude you’ll not invest in a home inspection before listing, but beware a listing agent who doesn’t recommend one.  Would you buy a car without looking under the hood or starting the engine?  Your agent is setting you and buyers up for disappointment and longer days on market by not insisting you know the true condition of your property.

No Updates

Miller 524Houses with updates sell faster and for more money.  Unless you’re targeting an investor and want to receive 30 – 50% off what your neighbors are receiving for their home sales, there should be no immediate need for kitchen and bath updating.  A home with kitchen and bath updates in the last 5 years in an older neighborhood will earn closer to 100%, and sometimes over, a well-established price point.  Without these updates, the obtained sales price will be closer to the lower end of the range.  But be wise –  the overall condition of the home must be equal for this kind of return.

No Delays or Disappointments

Follow these guidelines, make sure your house is market ready before listing, really listen to and hear feedback, and act on problems immediately when they pop up.  It establishes goodwill with the other side of the transaction, and leads to a smooth closing so you can move on to your new home, and avoid the autopsy table.

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Chrystal is a REALTOR® and principal of The Safari Group, a local, cbs isahomegrown real estate firm, specializing in all phases of the residential and small business real estate market, including New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, Technology, Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Luxury Homes and GREEN Features.  Contact her at 704.562.1030   TXT/PH or Chrystal@TheSafariGroup.com