Tag Archives: mortgage strategies

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.

Can pending home sales in the Northeastern U. S. impact our market?

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 11:00am EDT  |  Modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 5:30pm                     

Lower prices and attractive mortgage rates are breathing new life into housing, with one measure of sales posting its fourth increase in the last five months reports the Washington Business Journal’s staff reporter Jeff Clabaugh.

Pending sales of existing homes, or contracts signed but not closed, rose 6.7 percent in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. April’s pending sales were up 3.2 percent from a year ago, the NAR says.

The biggest increase in April was in the Northeast, where pending sales jumped 32.6 percent from the previous month. 

This is great news for our real estate market because many of the folks who have already relocated to the Charlotte area from the Northeast areas where pending sales bring promise of closure are renting and will soon be free to move forward in the purchase of their Charlotte home, added Chrystal Safari of Peters & Associates, Inc.

The NAR’s pending home sales index is a forward looking gauge, and the group cautions that it is more volatile than actual closed sales.

“The relationship between contracts on pending home sales and closings on existing home sales is taking longer than in the past for several reasons,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Mortgage processing time has increased, it is taking many months to close on those homes requiring short sales with lender approval, and some sales are falling through at the last moment.”

Still, Yun says he believes the housing market has already bottomed out in some areas.

The group last week reported closed sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent in April.

The NAR’s housing affordability index was also at its second-highest level on record in April.

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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®.

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®

CHRYSTAL SAFARI NAMED COMMUNITY MANAGER OF MONTREUX OLD WORLD ESTATES

 Montreux is a custom home community focused on tree save areas and outdoor living, located in South Charlotte off Youngblood Road near The Palisades.

 

 Montreux’s features and amenities include 80 heavily wooded lots ranging from a half acre to nearly 1.5 acres, old world architecture, a rustic tea house and refreshing waterfall for community gathering, with membership privileges to The Palisades Swim and Fitness, Social and Golf Level Clubs, minutes from Lake Wylie access, affordable county-only taxes, and only 20 minutes from downtown Charlotte.

 

A builders’ guild of the twelve award winning builders includes Persis-Nova, Avalon, Jordan James, Arcadia, Monogram Building and Design, among others.

 

The Welcome Center, a Troy Ludemann Group custom home, won the 2008 Parade of Homes Best Feature for its stately De Santana Stone fireplace in the family gathering room.  Four other model homes are ready for viewing and are available for sale.  The architecture features hipped roofs, stacked stone and hard coat stucco, with Tudor and Tuscan details.  John VanBrouck’s European Manor and Tuscan Villa collections preserve the old world appeal of the neighborhood of hardwoods and gently rolling hills.

 

As community manager, Chrystal manages a full-time sales staff, coordinates events on site, as well as coordinates communication between the strategic merchant partners, builders, developers, and buyers. 

 

For more information on Montreux Old World Estates, contact Chrystal Safari or visit MontreuxNC.com

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About Chrystal Safari:

 

 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®.

 

                                                                                        

CONTACT:

Chrystal Safari
5020 Oxfordshire Drive
Waxhaw, NC 28173

704.562.1030
CSafari@YourLeaderInLuxury.com

Real Estate 101

As MASTERS Designation holder, representing specialties in New Construction, Finance, Marketing, Objection Handling, Relocation, and Technology, I can help you navigate the home buying and selling strategies in today’s unique market and strengthen the bottom line performance of your transaction.

Many REALTORS® will not meet with you until you have signed an agency relationship contract and have a pre-approval from a lender.  I understand that each and every introduction of myself as real estate broker/REALTOR® is a mini job interview.  Before I can be hired, we both need to know if I am a good fit for your objectives.  To complete that process, I provide what I call Real Estate 101. 

I meet with you by phone or at my office to discuss your big picture, to get an idea of your time line and ultimate goals. If you are a prospective seller, I visit your home to discuss the details of the market specific to your neighborhood and inspect your property. 

If you are a prospective buyer, I meet with you at my office to begin an introductory tour of the city, including highlights of the city and Greater Charlotte Area, especially neighborhoods important to you.

If we both decide I am a good fit for your mission, the next time we meet will be over that agency relationship contract and pre-approval letter from your lender.

Contact me to discuss your big picture, including:

  • Time line to sell or purchase
  • Priorities regarding seller’s net performance and move date
  • Priorities regarding buyer’s housing type, price range or special needs
  • Guidelines you desire for communities, schools, shopping, location, lifestyle, family needs

If you’re in, or thinking of relocating to or away from, the Greater Charlotte area, contact me for Real Estate 101 at Chrystal.Safari@gmail.com

Complimentary Initial Consultation
Limited to 1 hour

 

Consistent     Reliable     Loyal

 

 

 

 

So You Want to Become A Homeowner?

In North and South Carolina, all agents/REALTORS® are independent contractors and although we work under a supervising broker, it’s Me, Inc! 

Your loyalty to your REALTOR® is important and is the only way he or she can protect your best interests in making sound real estate related decisions.  All REALTORS® must adhere to a strict code of ethics (but not all agents are REALTORS®)  and should work in your best interests, carrying out your lawful instructions, and be fair and honest to all parties.

A Strong Offer

      The home choosing process depends on many factors including financial ability and personal tastes.   Once you have found the perfect home for your needs, the next step is in making a strong offer.  I will make sure you have all the elements of making a strong offer assembled before it’s presented, so your offer will stand out among the many.

      The home buying process should follow a prescribed sequence of events.  After calculating a fair offer price range, I will prepare the offer with supporting documents to make the offer most comprehensive and appealing to the seller.  A strong offer always includes the pre-qualifying letter from your lender, offers a high percentage of the actual market value of the property, and has no contingencies, such as the need to fulfill a lease or close on your listed and under contract property.  While every offer doesn’t always have these characteristics, the goal is to create a win-win situation for both the buyer and the seller.

 For Your Protection

      After the sales price, closing date, and other terms are agreed upon by both buyer and seller, and all signatures are obtained, we have a contract and it’s time for the inspections.  The seller is obligated to repair any items required by the lender (usually related to wood-destroying insects).  Further, the inspection uncovers any items on the property that do not function as they were intended to function.  If it’s installed, it should work!  We then prepare a “Request for Repairs.”  The seller has two choices: to repair or not to repair.  If he chooses to repair, it should be completed in a workmanship like manner.  If he should choose not to repair, it prompts two choices for you, the buyer.  The buyer may take the property in its current condition or may be released from the contract and all earnest monies returned to the buyer* – depending upon the specific details and dates in the contract.

      After all repairs are completed, it time for re-inspection.  This usually occurs from a week before closing to the day before, depending upon the severity of the repair needed and desires of the buyer.

 Making it Official

      From there it’s off to closing.  A real estate attorney or title company prepares the documents and they are reviewed prior to signing.  This last leg of the journey is important, and it usually takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours.  The documents are then recorded that day or early the next morning, and it’s official, you are a homeowner!  You get the keys to the property after the closing, defined as the time and date of closing, meaning when the deed is recorded.  Once you have the keys, you begin your move.

If you are thinking of moving in the next 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, contact me.  It’s ‘Chrystal Clear’ who to call for all your real estate needs! 

 

*Although many times throughout the contract and addenda it states the terms under which earnest money is to be returned to the buyer, in the states of North and South Carolina, both parties must agree in writing to the disbursement of the earnest money deposit before it may be released.

 

Buyer’s Agent New Construction Closing Checklist

Closing Checklist as Buyer’s Agent

 

New Construction

Once you are under contract with a new home builder, there are many behind-the-scenes activities that are necessary to progress seamlessly from contract to close. 

Following is a list of items your REALTOR® should oversee.  Problems will arise.  To avoid unnecessary delays, let your REALTOR® know immediately when a problem occurs.  Always let your REALTOR® know all builder scheduled appointments as soon as they are set so your REALTOR® can attend.

 

  •            Get copies of finalized contract to buyers and lender
  •  ð       Follow loan process with loan officer from beginning to end
  •  ð       Ask lender what is needed from buyer
  •  ð       Accompany buyer to design center/location for color and materials selection
  •  ð       Attend pre-construction meeting with buyer
  •  ð       Set up pre-dry wall inspection with independent home inspector
  •  ð       Get update from lender – any needs outstanding from buyer
  •  ð       Get update from closing coordinator regarding closing with attorney
  •  ð       Inform buyers of time and date for closing
  •  ð       Have buyer check into and set up home owner’s insurance
  •       Clarify if survey (showing building on site) will be provided
  •  ð       Get update from lender
  •       Arrange home inspection prior to pre-closing walk –  utilities on, all appliances installed
  •  ð       Get repair request list to construction supervisor
  •  ð       Review HUD statement with buyers
  •  ð       Make sure buyers have driver’s licenses and certified check made out to attorney
  •  ð       Final walk to check on repairs the day of closing

 ð       Enjoy closing!