Tag Archives: buyer agent

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.

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Choose Your Broker Participation Level to Service Your Rental Portfolio

In North Carolina, if you’re not interested in hiring a large property management company, but don’t have the skill, experience or desire to manage the application and leasing portion of your rental portfolio, your expert, full-service real estate broker can be an asset to you.  An excellent candidate would be a licensed, experienced real estate broker who has him or herself owned and managed rental properties.  Services offered might include any one of several levels of involvement of your choice.  As a landlady of over 12 years with zero evictions, the Leasing Agent Duties and list of services I provide include:

Level One

  1. Provide Rental Rate Estimate based on currently rented units in Mecklenburg county with respect to year built, zip code, and number of bedrooms.
  2. Advertise in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Train you to screen all applicants, including key statements that may lead to a desired ‘hang up’ eliminating time-wasting appointments
  4. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation.

Level Two

  1. Provide Rental Rate Estimate
  2. Advertise in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Personally phone screen all applicants (you have final approval)
  4. Arrange appointments for you to show the property
  5. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation

Level Three

  1.  Providing Rental Rate Estimate
  2. Advertising in-house to rental specialists and other leasing agents
  3. Agent-screening applicants according to your criteria (you have final approval)
  4. Arranging appointments and showing the property 
  5. Provide application and lease forms, and phone consultation
  6. Listing the rental property in the MLS system
  7. Providing signage
  8. Attending final negotiations and effecting lease documents
  9. Setting up monthly schedule of rental payments to be sent directly to you for deposit

Level Four includes all Level Three activities plus monthly rental management duties including deposit of rent to your trust account, tenants report problems to me, I arrange for estimates for repairs, etc., and submit to you for approval of work to be done and pay vendors from your landlord trust account, and provide itemized monthly statements. The fee is Level Three’s fee, payable at lease signing, plus 10% of monthly rent.

Call me to discuss the level of service you’d like me to provide for you, or to consult on adding to your portfolio.  I’ll teach you the good, the bad, and the ugly of selecting the right property for your investment portfolio.

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Chrystal Safari has over 15 years experience in personal property management and residential real estate sales and is a Luxury Home Specialist and 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®.  As EcoBroker®, she offers guidelines to assist home buyers and sellers in evaluating true green features and their benefits to real property value, home ownership, tax savings and mortgage closing table capital contributions.  Chrystal is backed by certified and insured professionals to assess and protect your investments based upon your personal needs.  She can be reached at 704.562.1030 or Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

What NOT to Do When Preparing to Apply for a Mortgage

What  NOT to Do When Applying For (or preparing to apply for) a Mortgage

Guest Contributor, Kathy Trotta, Mortgage Banker, Wyndham Capital Mortgage

Kathy Trotta, Branch Manager Mortgage Broker

 

The loan process is not over until the loan closes.  Until then, income, liabilities and assets will continue to be scrutinized to make sure they fit in with any guidelines established for the particular loan.  All borrowers are different, and none of this is written in stone, but in general it is best to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Do not take on new debt. Most lenders will check your credit report just before funding the loan, usually a few days to the day before closing,  to verify that you have not added any new monthly payments to your overall debt picture. Car payments, increased credit card balances, etc. can increase your debt ratio beyond the limits allowed by the lender.
  • Do not spend any of your cash reserves, even to pay down debt, without talking to your loan officer first. A lot of loan programs require the borrowers to have a certain amount of money in reserves when the loan closes.
  • Do not change jobs.  While this can be unavoidable, if at all possible, wait to give your notice until escrow closes.  Lenders always verify employment within a day or so of funding the loan and will almost always cancel the deal if your employment has changed.  Switching from one employer to another with the same job description may not guarantee a problem, but stability is the key here.  Do not switch jobs if the new one is in a completely different field, and do not, under any circumstances, decide to become self employed.  If you do, your income will not be useful for another two years, so stay put if at all possible.
  • Do not co-sign for anything. If your name is attached to that debt, it will be treated as yours and factored into your debt ratio.
  • Do not lease a new car. This should fall under the “no new debt” category, but for some people get confused about this and think leasing is not the same as buying. The bottom line is it’s still an expense that comes out of your income, so it can still push you over the limit with your debt ratio.
  • Avoid credit inquiries if you can. Though not as damaging in the past as far as your credit score is concerned, a lot of recent inquiries will not look good to an underwriter that. In most cases a few inquiries aren’t that big of a deal, but it’s best to avoid any if you can.

  • Avoid making large deposits that cannot be documented. This mainly applies to accounts where money to make the down payment or close the loan will come from. If the source of funds cannot be verified, such as “mattress money”, avoid depositing it into an account that the lender is aware of. If the amount is significant enough, they will usually want to know where it came from, primarily to make sure it’s not another loan with another monthly payment. Most deposits need to be documented, and unverifiable funds can create an enormous problem. This issue should definitely be addressed beforehand.

Call me early in the process, even before you call Chrystal, and I’ll evaluate your needs.  If your time frame is 30 days or 6 months out, I am dedicated to helping you fulfill your dream of becoming a home owner.   Let’s get started now!  Call me at 704.577.5309 today.  It’s still possible to qualify for the tax rebate, and prices and values have never been better.

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Kathy is Mortgage Banker at CertusBank and is experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you meet your mortgage needs.  She is available now, ready to give you her full attention.

You can pre-qualify or consult Kathy by phone 704.816.7383, or by email: KathyTrotta@CertusBank.com CALL Now to Learn Your Score and for a No Obligation Payment Quote on a sales price.

YOU COULD RECEIVE $23,000 to buy this home!*

400 North Ridge Avenue, Kannaplois, North Carolina is a longtime family home new to the market.  It’s priced well below tax value for quick sale!

This home is approximately 1500 square feet and has updates including newer roof, newer kitchen, central heating and air conditioning. Imagine working in the Full Basement with Wired Workshop with ample Storage, and sharing meals and making memories in the Large Eat-In Kitchen with Breakfast Island, Wrap-around Deck entered from both the Utility/Mudroom and Master Bedroom, En Suite 3rd Bedroom w/Shower Bath, Formal Living Room with fireplace and Dining Room.  With Hardwoods throughout under the carpet, buyers can further update with your preferences. Sold As-Is.

Walk to BioTech Campus, Close to Highway 85, and moments away from shopping, dining, and entertainment.

This home qualifies for the Renovation Loan— receive up to $11,000 @closing to update with great 30 year fixed rates!  With Buyer Incentives from the seller and the government, as well as a special offering if you use me as your buyer’s agent, YOU COULD RECEIVE $23,000 to buy this home!*  

Buyers who are under contract by February 28, 2010, with me as Exclusive Buyer’s Agent may qualify for Peters & Associates, Inc., Cash Back @Closing Buyers Rebate Program* which can provide significant cash savings to you.  This Cash Back is reflected on the HUD Statement and can save you a considerable amount of closing costs toward items such as Legal fees, Disbursements, Property Tax, Title Insurance, Moving costs and others where applicable.

 While you wait for the Government’s Tax Credit, please accept the limited time offer of 33% Cash Back @Closing in appreciation of your business.  I hope it encourages you to work with me soon.

To calculate the potential cash back, multiply the Sales Price by 3% (where the Seller’s Agent pays the Buyer’s Agent 3% commission of the Selling price) and that subtotal by 33% for my Cash Back Buyer Rebate contribution on your behalf. 

EX: $110,000 sales price x .03 (Firm’s Buyer’s Agent Split of 3%) = $3300 x .33 = $1089 CASH Back Rebate amount.  This would be guaranteed up front in writing for you as part of my Buyer Agency Agreement with you.

I take pride in providing you the best possible real estate experience bringing my expertise and customer service to the transaction, & now you can saving money, too.

Contact me now and let’s discuss your next move! 

At your service,

Chrystal Safari
EcoBroker®/REALTOR®
704.562.1030

*$23,000 includes these items up to amounts given: Seller Paid Closing Costs of
$3,300, Cash Back @Closing Buyer’s Incentive of $1,089 (above), Rehab Loan Amount $11,000, & Tax Credit of $8,000 (expires April 30, 2010).  Restrictions apply.  Call for complete details.

Offering subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. 

Why Hire a Full-time, Experienced Buyer’s Agent?

The fact is, real estate law is complicated and ever-changing. It is not easy for the average individual to keep up with the constant transformations of the market. While it is easy to get lots of information about the market, including specific values, when it comes to protecting your best interests, your real estate professional knows how to evaluate that information to determine the true value a property holds for you based on your specific criteria and short and long-term objectives.

In addition, there are increasing numbers of inexperienced agents providing inaccurate real estate advice and making promises regarding getting you the best deal on a property that no one can assure, resulting in serious financial consequences to you.

A good real estate broker does research, understands the complexities of a real estate transaction, and remains on the forefront of new changes and updates in the industry. In addition, he or she will present clients with a realistic assessment of their individual real estate matters while addressing their concerns and questions. Make sure your Buyer’s Agent is in good-standing with their state real estate commission and are members of the local REALTOR® board with positive personal testimonies from real clients.  Remember, there’s a top ten percent and bottom ten percent in every field.

Real estate is local.  In the state of North Carolina, a well known axiom is true: Buyer Beware.  In North Carolina, until a buyer is formally contracted with a real estate agent as Buyer Agent, that agent is considered to be a seller’s agent, representing sellers in general.  If you’ve toured a home with a real estate agent without benefit of having that Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement contract in place, you had no representation.  However, once you are under contract with an Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement, that contract changes the relationship you have with your real estate agent.  Now your Buyer’s Agent’s fiduciary responsibilities are to you alone, unless dual agency exists.  Dual agency has two facets.  Dual agency exists if the real estate broker (a) is also the listing agent of a property you’re considering, or (b) if the property you’re touring and may be considering is listed by any member of your Buyer Agent’s firm.  Is it possible to assure that the agent you’re working with represents you and you alone?  Absolutely.  The key is to contract with your real estate agent at the first possible opportunity to put in place the buyer agency agreement so that the agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to you alone.

An Exclusive Right to Represent Buyer Agency Agreement also prevents a third party from forcing you to perhaps also pay them for procuring cause if they introduced you to a property and could prove they continued the conversation that led you to purchase even while contracted with your preferred and contracted Buyer’s Agent.  It attempts to eliminate the scenario where one party does all the work and a side party comes in and makes claim to the deal.

Too commonly, a buyer new to the market looks at a first property, perhaps with Agent A who opens the door and says welcome, but the client is unsure of the deal and doesn’t proceed with an offer.  The buyer then spends weeks with Agent B looking at everything else meeting his criteria, getting a grasp of values, strategy of return on investment (ROI), strong offer strategies, appreciation potential, etc. with Agent B and goes back to property one for a purchase…the biggest issue and problem that the real estate commission handles every year is procuring cause: who made the deal on property one happen?  Your formal relationship with your Buyer’s Agent puts all agents on legal notice to send all information and make all contact through your agent, who works exclusively on your behalf to protect your best interests.

To protect your best interests from contract to close, make sure you employ an experienced and knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent in every real estate transaction.  This professional service is a free service to you.  Builders and sellers whose homes are listed in the MLS system already include this fee.  Who’d pay thousands of dollars for a professional service and then not utilize it to protect his best interests?

My Commitment to You

As your Buyer’s Agent, I commit to provide well-planned tours of numerous communities, neighborhoods, and homes that meet the guidelines you set, and to represent your best interests from contract to close.  I pledge to:

◊ Communicate clearly and provide information pertinent to your housing, price range and special needs.

◊ Adapt to meet your changing needs as you reset priorities.

◊ Use a well organized, systematic approach to the process that helps you maintain focus on your personal priorities of housing, education, lifestyle, price range, commute time, and family needs.

◊ Advise you on issues that are common to this market that may affect your decisions.

◊ Approach For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO’s), Auction Representatives, and Custom builders on your behalf to arrange for home tours.

◊ Provide you with the history of the listing, recent sales in the neighborhood of like properties, flood plain information and, in general, give you the information that you will need to make the most educated decision.

◊ Provide you with the details on how to make the strongest offer on a home, negotiate the offer for you, set up and attend inspections, and negotiate the request for repair details.

◊  If building is your preference, I’ll guide you through the lot selection process, interview solvent builders of good repute who build in your price point, and work with you from contract to close, including attending all meetings with the architect, builder, and materials selection, etc., overseeing the process in the smallest detail.

◊ Assure that you receive and approve the HOA Covenants and Restrictions, if applicable, prior to going under contract.

◊ Complete all the necessary paperwork required by both state law and the real estate firm.

◊ Provide lender contacts and discuss financing options and strategies.

◊ Set up the closing with the attorney and provide all necessary contract documents needed, and let you and the listing agent know time and date for closing.

◊ Contact and follow up regularly with the lender to ask what is needed.

◊ Provide contact with several insurance providers so you can set up Homeowner’s Insurance.

◊  Accompany you through final walk-thru to confirm repairs have been completed in a workman-like manner.

◊  Follow up with lender to make sure loan package has arrived.

◊  Make sure everyone is ready for closing and know what is needed.

◊  Review and explain HUD statement prior to closing.

◊  Accompany you to closing.

I look forward to working with you as you pursue the joys of home ownership.

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A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Your Rich Uncle Sam Wants to Give You $8,000!*

IRS.Gov reports that for 2009 owner occupant home purchases, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 expanded the first-time homebuyer credit by increasing the credit amount to $8,000 for purchases made in 2009 before Dec. 1, 2009.

A first-time home buyer is one who has not owned a home in the last three years.

*For home purchased in 2009, the credit does not have to be paid back unless the home ceases to be the taxpayer’s main residence within a three-year period following the purchase.

First-time homebuyers who purchase a home in 2009 can claim the credit on either a 2008 tax return, due April 15, 2009, or a 2009 tax return, due April 15, 2010. The credit may not be claimed before the closing date. But, if the closing occurs after April 15, 2009, a taxpayer can still claim it on a 2008 tax return by requesting an extension of time to file or by filing an amended return. News release 2009-27 has more information on these options.

 The IRS reminds taxpayers the amount of the credit begins to phase out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. Taxpayers can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

For more information on the tax credit, visit here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

For more information on property listings that meet your real estate needs, call me at 704.562.1030.  I’ll get an idea of your big picture and send emailed property listings that meet your criteria and introduce you to a lending officer who can guide you through pre-qulaifying and credit repair, if needed. 

Rates are low, list prices are low, and inventory is high.  It’s a great time to buy low for future increased home equity when the market recovers.

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A Charlotte area native, and licensed in NC & SC, Chrystal is very experienced with international relocation, home buying and selling and with rental portfolio development and holds MASTERS Designation specializing in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology and is a member in good standing with Charlotte Regional Association of REALTORS®, North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®

Foreclosures: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

There are many distressed properties available in our market, also known as foreclosures.  They are easy to find and generally easy to buy, with some exception.  But if your goal is to realize a financial return on investment, your purchase strategy must be lead by the facts, and not the emotions, of the transaction.

There are basically two types of distressed properties: those distressed by the financial condition of the owner and those in distressed condition.  Of those two types, subcategories exist that need to be understood for your maximum benefit and protection.

The two types of distressed properties are those that are:

  1. The result of the homeowner’s financial position or condition or 
  2. The result of the property’s inability to overcome a significant structural or other depreciating issue(s)

The better of these two scenarios for the future buyer is item one.  A home owner’s financial position or condition may lead to a foreclosure due to his inability to continue meeting his monthly housing costs, including mortgage and other escrowed amounts such as HOA dues, etc. 

In this case, if the homeowner is unable to rent or sell the property at a profit or to break even, he has few options.  He may sign the house back over to the lending bank or agency.  This process is called a deed in lieu of foreclosure.  Another dilemma may be getting behind in the mortgage payments and to become foreclosed upon.  Both of these cases have a significant negative impact against the credit score that lingers for several years. 

Foreclosures may be listed in the local Multiple Listing Service, be available as a Sheriff’s Sale to be sold at the courthouse steps, and/or be listed on the presiding attorney’s website for sale at the courthouse steps, or may be available at an onsite or offsite auction. 

There are also a myriad other websites that market foreclosures to capture buyer clients’ information.  If the lender is known, the pre-foreclosure department may accept an offer before the property hits any of these venues.  I have represented clients in purchasing foreclosures in all the above scenarios.  

A form of pre-foreclosure is increasing in prevalence and is called the short sale.  This typically takes place prior to foreclosure, but it’s headed in that direction.  A short sale occurs when the homeowner owes more on the property than its market value and fails to maintain his mortgage obligation.  Currently about 50% of these transactions close.  Those that don’t successfully close become foreclosures.  Last year’s first quarter there were 25 short sales being negotiated in our market.  This year, first quarter, there are 700. (Wells Fargo Loss Mitigation Supervisor Gwen Oberg, Secondary Market Loans, Charlotte Market).

Though the short sale or foreclosure sale may be an arduous process, if the property meets all your requirements, it may be worth the extra effort and patience it needs to get a great deal.

BUT BUYER BEWARE

Distressed property type two is not always obvious.  While the home or property owner may or may not have a financial condition that leads to a short sale or subsequent foreclosure, the property itself may have prohibited a timely and profitable sale.  It’s easy to see that a 3 bed, one bath home is functionally obsolete in our market, but with the right changes that house could become one of the best in the neighborhood. 

What might not be apparent is the fact that from the front yard of a WOW house a major highway is visible or audible and on the other side of the street commercial development and traffic will greatly affect potential for appreciation.  Your trained and experienced REALTOR® knows what to look for in evaluating a property’s potential for appreciation or depreciation to help protect your best interests. 

Don’t be misled by well-meaning friends, neighbors, and co-workers who tell you all about the new homes they are purchasing for pennies on the dollar in the best neighborhood in town and lose faith and trust in your REALTOR®.  If you begin to feel jealous and angry that those folks a getting what should have been yours, you may make an ill-advised or hasty buying decision that you’ll later regret.

chrystal.safari@gmail.com