Tag Archives: first-time homebuyer credit

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.

Ways to Make Your Home Sell Faster and For More Money

In addition to right pricing, condition, condition, condition is the watch-word for selling a home faster and for more money.  Simple fixes and staging practices can focus buyers’ attention in the right places and keep them from getting sidetracked by personal items in the home.
 
Condition Affects Perception   
 

Presentation begins with online pictures and continues with the front yard and door, and are the buyer’s first impression of your product.  If buyers won’t drive by or leave the car, you can’t make the sale.  Clean the gutters, paint the front door, pull weeds and spent flowers, polish the hardware, and power-wash walkways and siding.  Pay attention to the specific needs of each season.

 

 Be prepared for a white glove inspection. Prospective buyers pull open drawers, look in closets and peek behind the shower curtain, and inspect the oven. Mop, dust, vacuum, clean baseboards, wash windows. Make sure the house looks fresh and smells neutral. 

 

Eliminate furniture that makes rooms feel crowded or décor that will distract buyers from your home’s architectural features.  


Use furnishings to give each space a logical identity.  Although it may have worked best for your family to use your formal dining room as a home office, get rid of the desk and computer, and bring back the dining table and chairs.


Eliminate countertop clutter. A countertop covered with small appliances and utensils looks crowded, not spacious. Store personal items, including toiletries; stash family photos and team and religious memorabilia.  Remember, you are preparing your home to become a product for market; one that appeals to the broadest market.  Don’t feel offended that your REALTOR® insists your coveted widget collection is stored, away from view.  Plus, the condition or state of your property’s storage capability is very important to buyers whether the home is 1100 square feet or 11,000 square feet.   Make the place look both spacious and suitcase ready.


Dripping faucets, burned-out light bulbs, and squeaking hinges become a distraction and can falsely magnify a home’s need for routine care and maintenance and tend to make the buyer question the condition of other items that can’t be seen, such as the HVAC, roof, and other expensive items.

 

Finally, ask yourself, “Is this property’s condition what I would like to see when I go house hunting this afternoon?”

 

Condition Affects Proposition$

 

The buyer is mentally subtracting thousands of dollars from your list price with every flaw he sees and his perception of your property will be reflected in the offer price.

 

Condition Affects Performance

 

With FHA loans offering competitive rates with conventional loans, and the FHA lending requirements more attainable by a larger number of prospective home buyers, condition becomes important where an appraiser in concerned.  Same is true for VA loans.  FHA and VA appraisers have a much different inspection checklist than if he or she were inspecting for a conventional loan.  Condition is key.  Some defective items may be required to be repaired prior to closing.  This can come as quite a shock to both sellers and buyers, especially when the condition of the house has resulted in a much lower sales price than allows the seller needs to cover the cost of required repairs.   Buyers may find that sellers are not willing to make the necessary repairs and it may leave them vested in the process, but unable to get money spent on inspections refunded.  Here’s where you’ll need a savvy real estate broker on both sides of the transaction who’ll make sure the seller’s and the buyer’s best interests are protected with knowledge of what FHA property conditions are.  This will help insure an smooth, on-time closing.

 

 

 

For a checklist on how to prepare your home for market, email your request to: chrystal.safari@gmail.com

 

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February 2006

I highly recommend Chrystal Safari as a Real Estate Broker. In the selling and purchasing of our home she worked with us for over 9 months, even before we were sure about selling and re-purchasing. With her input we were able to sell our home in 7 days. In the purchasing of our new home Chrystal was very patient and extremely knowledgeable. Chrystal took us thru several neighborhoods and areas and providing us with great feedback and input on what is a great investment and purchase for our family.  Chrystal has a great knowledge of real estate, including national markets and international markets. Chrystal was born and raised in the area; she has lived aboard and has strong ties to the international communities here in Charlotte. Chrystal has provided us with so much information, I think it would be worth your time to just take a couple of minutes and speak to her about what you and your family’s needs and desires are in your new home.

Desi and Dinika B.
South Charlotte

 

 

 

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. 

Builder Wade Jurney expands to Charlotte by taking C.P. Morgan lots

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Charlotte Business Journal’s Laura Youngs reports that Triad builder Wade Jurney is expanding to Charlotte by taking C.P. Morgan lots.

Wade Jurney, president of the Greensboro-based company, says he has 351 lots — all from defunct Indiana builder C.P. Morgan Homes Inc. — under contract throughout 30 Charlotte neighborhoods.

The company also has 52 C.P. Morgan lots under contract in the Triad, including five developments in Rural Hall, Burlington, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

Jurney says he hopes to close by early July on all of the properties. Three model homes in Charlotte were part of the deal and already have opened as sales centers for Jurney Homes.

Jurney declines to give the price of the lots, since the sale is not complete. But he says he is getting a discount on the $33,000 per lot that C.P. Morgan paid. Jurney is putting together an equity group that would finance the majority of the project. An official with C.P. Morgan confirms the deal is pending.

So far, three sales consultants have been hired to run the Charlotte offices, and Jurney has added a construction superintendent here.

By the fourth quarter, the company plans to have up to 13 employees in Charlotte.

Jurney says the company will offer the same starter-home product it builds in the Triad, which often runs between $100,000 and $200,000.

He says he harbors some concerns about expanding into Charlotte, which has been hit hard by losses in the banking sector and foreclosure issues.

However, he says he wanted to move now to take advantage of discounts, as well as a strong available labor pool. The expansion also will mean Charlotte and the Triad will share fixed overhead costs, such as administrative operations.

Jurney hopes his homes will appeal to the sought-after first-time buyer, who is eligible for an $8,000 tax credit before year end.

“We’re going in looking to be the lowest-priced and best-value builder,” he says.

Jurney is one of several Triad builders looking to take advantage of bargains on land in a slow market. With some builders going out of business and their property left behind, development and construction firms that have survived the downturn are increasingly interested in buying.

‘With complimentary elevations and modern floor plans, Wade Jurney looks like a good fit for current homeowners in existing CP Morgan communities,’ adds Chrystal Safari of Peters & Associates, a boutique firm specializing in luxury homes in the Charlotte Metro area.

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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®