48 articles included in Buying
By Katie Wainman | August 18, 2020 When a home is in foreclosure, it means that the bank that lent the initial mortgage now owns the home. A home can be in foreclosure for a few different reasons, such as the owner being unable to make mortgage payments or maintenance issues that are too expensive to repair and make a home unlivable. For buyers, it is important to become familiar with the foreclosure process, as it can differ quite a bit from purchasing a regular home. Here is what you need to know about foreclosures: Pricing: Foreclosures are generally listed at a lower price than other homes for sale in an area. This is what often brings the appeal to buyers and can be a big advantage for people who are in need of a cheaper home. However, you need to keep in mind that the cost of renovations can add up quickly. Just because it is listed at a lower price, does not necessarily mean that it will be cheaper for you in the long run. Renovations: It is common that a foreclosed home has experienced neglect. It might have been vacant for years or the previous owner might not have treated it well. Banks are not going to fix up a foreclosed home, so it is up to the buyer to invest their time, money and energy into renovations. If you have the capacity to do this, you could potentially turn a foreclosed home into your dream home! However, renovations can be hard to handle. Some foreclosures will require a complete do-over, including rewiring the electric, installing a new water heater and exterminating mold. Each home is different, but you will want to consider if major renovations are something you can afford and if you can handle the stress that comes with it. Buying from the Bank vs. Auction: When you buy a foreclosed home directly from the bank, you might have an opportunity to negotiate, but the bank will ultimately sell the home on its own terms. On the plus side, the bank will usually handle any evictions and obtain a clean title for you. As mentioned earlier, the home will probably be sold as-is, but you should be able to have an appraisal and inspections done before your purchase. When purchasing a foreclosed home from an auction, the transaction is usually cash-only with no mortgage involved. This can be great if you are looking for a quick purchase, but you should be mindful that you would not be able to have an inspection or appraisal done prior to the auction. Real Estate Agent: If you think that buying a foreclosed home is the right move for you, you will want to find a real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures. Banks will work with Real Estate Owned (REO) agents who in turn work with regular agents to handle these transactions. Many banks will not even work with a buyer who does not have agent representation. Working with an agent who has experience with foreclosures is important because they will be able to help you negotiate, order the proper inspections, help make an offer and much more. Buying a foreclosed home certainly is not for everyone, but it could be the right move for you. Start by searching for foreclosed properties in your area and visit https://www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
What are the benefits of renting versus buying? The decision to continue renting or to buy can be a confusing one. Some people continue renting because of the perceived flexibility of moving almost as soon as you decide. Although moving before a lease is up can cost you money, some continue renting because they don't enjoy yard work and don't want the responsibility that goes with home ownership. Here are some things to consider when choosing between renting and buying: Do you want to spend several years in a house and in a neighborhood? Do you enjoy lawn and garden work? Do you need flexibility to move suddenly to care for family or other reasons? Do you want to keep your assets accessible in the bank, or do you want to invest long-term in a home? Is personalizing your surroundings through paint or other cosmetic changes important to you? Maybe the strongest reason for buying a home is the financial security you build as you pay your mortgage. There are short term and long-term tax advantages to homeownership. The mortgage interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible, which allows you to subtract part of your housing-related expenses from your taxable income, which could reduce your tax bill. Other reasons to buy a home: It's a good investment.Investors say overwhelmingly that real estate can typically be a safer and better investment than stocks and bonds! Tax savings.Mortgage interest and property taxes are tax-deductible, making tax savings one of the biggest benefits of homeownership. This means that you could possibly pay less tax or you get a bigger tax return. Improvements add value.Unlike rental improvements, when you paint, make additions, or improvements to your home it increases in value. Buying builds equity.Buying a home is good use of your money. As you make payments over time, the equity increases. When renting, you get no return for your money. Once the money is spent, it's gone. Low interest rates.While interest rates are slowly going up, the nation is still experiencing record low rates which allows buyers to buy more house for their money at lower monthly payments. Capital appreciation.Unlike buying a car, or renting... homes (when taken care of) usually appreciate in value. More Space.If you've always wanted that extra room for an office or weight room...here's your chance. Renters typically live in smaller spaces...home buyers have more square footage for their money. The "owned" home is your castle.You control the decor. You can paint and decorate as you like. You can add to the size of your home and make improvements. You will not have to face rent increases.
By Katie Wainman | June 23, 2020 If you are thinking about buying a home, going to open houses is a great way to get a feel for the local real estate market. For many first-time homebuyers, finding open houses can seem like an unwanted stress. In reality, the process is actually pretty easy! Take a look at these four simple ways to find open houses near you. 1. Browse the web Technology has been a saving grace for the real estate industry. In today's age, you can easily search for open houses on any major real estate website, including our own here at Crye-Leike. By visiting https://www.crye-leike.com/has-open-houses, you can search for available open houses throughout the Mid-South and apply filters to fit your home-search requirements. 2. Social media Using social media can be a great way to find open houses in your area. For example, if you are on Instagram or Facebook and search #openhouse followed by the city you are looking to move to, you will find hundreds of posts from real estate agents with open houses in that area. It is also a good idea to browse individual real estate agents' social media pages. Many agents will post listings, open houses, just sold homes and much more on their social media. 3. Take a stroll through the neighborhood If you are not super interested in searching through social media or websites, you can always try finding open houses the good ole' fashion way - by driving through a neighborhood and keeping an eye out for that "open house" sign. This works best if you have your heart set on a specific neighborhood already. If you do not seem to find any open houses, but you see that a home is for sale, then you can use the tips above to find out if there will be an open house in the near future. 4. Rely on your agent If you are serious about house hunting, hopefully you have already chosen a trusted Realtor to help you. Let them do their job and find open houses for you! The agent you choose should be considered an "expert" in the neighborhood you are looking at. This means they will be able to find compatible open houses and avoid ones that will be a waste of your time. You definitely do not have to go through this process alone. Looking for more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | June 2, 2020 A bad odor can run you right out of your potential dream home. Not only are certain smells extremely unpleasant, but they are often hard to remove from a house. While you are searching for your next home, be sure to put your nose to work as well. If you are participating in a virtual tour thanks to COVID-19, be sure to remind your trusted Realtor to be your nose for you! Here are four odors that buyers should be weary of: 1. Pet Odors The most common pet odor that lingers in a home is, you guessed it, urine. Pets have accidents Unfortunately if those accidents are not properly taken care of by the homeowner, it can be costly for a buyer to fix. Often times, a buyer will have to replace the carpets/flooring and wash the walls to try to remove any pet odors. Even then, buying an air filter might be necessary. If you are touring a home that has an obvious pet odor, it is definitely something you are going to want to discuss with the homeowner before you put in an offer. 2. Mold/Mildew Even if you are walking into a beautiful multi-million dollar listing, if you notice an overwhelming scent of mold or mildew, it can ruin the entire experience. Not only is the smell displeasing, but it can also be harmful to your health. Houses that smell of mold most likely have an ongoing moisture problem. If you notice the scent of mold, it is important to have an indoor environmental specialist come and test the house for mold and mildew, and the entire house should be checked for leaks as well. 3. Sulfur If you have never had the experience of walking into a home that smells like sulfur, then you are lucky. 'Rotten eggs' is not a candle scent for a reason. Removing the smell of sulfur can go beyond just replacing the carpets or putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls. In most cases, the water in the house causes the smell of sulfur. This means that every time you turn on the faucet or start the shower, that smell will resurface. If you absolutely fall in love with a home, but there is a smell of sulfur, then you are going to want to consider the cost of re-doing the plumbing and possibly digging into your yard to fix the problem, before putting in an offer. 4. Lingering Cigarette Smells Thankfully, we are no longer in an age where you can light up a cigarette on an airplane or in a restaurant, but there are people who still smoke in their homes. Cigarette odors tend to linger and can become trapped in the floors, walls, ceilings and furniture of a house. It can be one of the hardest scents to get rid of, but it should not necessarily defer you from purchasing the house. Before making a decision, assess what you might to need to do to get rid of the smell. It could just be minor fixes, such as replacing the drapes, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and shampooing the carpets. However, if the home has an HVAC system exposed to smoke consistently for years, you might have to pay professionals to clean out the air ducts and replace certain parts of the HVAC system to eliminate the odor. Always ask questions! If you notice any of these smells in a house, it is important to have a conversation with the homeowner or listing agent to have a better understanding of the situation. If you can only do a virtual tour of the home for safety reasons, make sure your Realtor is being diligent and using their nose knowledge to help you. Looking for odor causing signs such as litter boxes, ashtrays or ceiling/wall/carpet stains can help ensure that you do not buy a smelly home. Need more advice during the buying/selling process? Visitwww.crye-leike.com/blogsfor more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | May 11, 2020 For the time being, open houses are a no-go and in-person showings have become limited. However, this does not mean that home buying and selling has stopped! The real estate industry has quickly found ways to adapt to this new "norm" to keep clients safe during the buying or selling process. Technology has opened up a world of opportunities for real estate professionals, but none of that matters if our clients are not reaping those benefits. Here is how you can receive maximum value during your virtual house hunting experience: Look closely at listing photos and descriptions Looking through photos of a home online obviously does not have the same affect as viewing a home in-person, but it is a great place to start when narrowing down your options. Unfortunately, pictures can be deceiving, so it is beneficial to have an understanding of what to look for in listing photos. Some red flags include: No interior photos - This might just mean that the owners have not had photos taken yet, or it could mean that the inside of the home is not picture-worthy. Shades or blinds are closed - Generally, a homeowner would want the blinds open to provide natural light. If the blinds are closed, it is possible that they are hiding a bad view. Listing description uses key words such as "cozy", "vintage" and "needs TLC" - These words can easily translate to small, dated and needs more work than you are willing to put in. If you have any concerns with the listing photos or description, it is best to have your Realtor address any questions with the listing agent before you make a decision about wanting to see the home. Get a detailed virtual tour Instead of in-person showings, many agents are now offering to do virtual home tours instead. This is great because it provides you the opportunity to do a "walk-through" without putting yourself or your family in harms way with COVID-19. Most virtual tours occur by an agent walking through the home while video chatting with the potential buyer. Any good agent will be thorough during the tour, but as the potential buyer, it is up to you to ask detailed questions about the home. Have your agent show you minor details of a home, such as any final additions from a renovation, moldings, cabinet handles, etc. The more details you can see on your virtual tour, the better your experience will be. While you are on the virtual tour, it is also a good idea to have a printed layout of the house available with you. While your agent is walking through, you will be able to follow along and have a better feel for the space and set-up of the home. Research the neighborhood online A neighborhood can make or break your potential dream home. Before you make a life-changing decision, hop online and do some research about the neighborhood that you are thinking about moving to. Affordability, safety and amenities are just a few things you need to know about before choosing your next place to live. You can look at online maps to see the aerial and street views of your neighborhood, along with what kind of access you have to shops, restaurants and other daily services. You can get a breakdown of Mid-South neighborhood demographics, restaurants, school ratings, market trends and more here. It can also be beneficial to take a drive through the neighborhood, if it is accessible. You will be able to learn more about the road conditions, the quality of other homes in the area, and the general cleanliness just by taking a drive. For more advice during the buying/selling process, please visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs. ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | April 7, 2020 Staying healthy is the number one priority across the country, including within the real estate industry. Many people are concerned that now is not the right time to buy or sell a home, but in reality, Realtors are making strides to ensure that the real estate process can continue in the safest way possible. If you are currently on the hunt for your dream home, here are a few precautions you can take to make showings a safer process. Drive separately to showings Before COVID-19, it was common for Realtors and clients to ride together to look at houses. Now, it is more appropriate to drive separately, avoiding close contact with one another. Car surfaces can be full of germs if not properly sanitized, so it is best to avoid being in another person's vehicle during this time. Designate one person to touch doorknobs, using a sanitizing wipe Prior to entering the home, designate one person to open any doors throughout the house. The less contact people have with handles, the better. It would be best if that person used a sanitizing wipe or cloth to touch any handles. Sanitize hands before and after entering the home It is important that you use hand sanitizer or wipes before entering the home, as well as after. Avoid touching common home surfaces Any other time, you might feel the need to run a hand across those new countertops, or open up all of the cabinets and closets to see what kind of space you could have. However, during this time, it is best to avoid touching any common home surfaces. If light switches, cabinet handles or closet handles need to be touched, the person who is designated to open the doors should be the only one to touch these surfaces with a sanitizing wipe as well. Take any used wipes, gloves, shoe covers, etc with you when you leave Do not leave any personal protective equipment, such as gloves, wipes, masks or shoe covers, behind. Take them with you and properly dispose of them. Do not visit property if you or someone in your home are showing symptoms of COVID-19 If you or a person that you have recently been in contact with are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should follow quarantine guidelines. This might throw a wrench in your home search, but it does not have to bring it to a halt - Contact your Realtor or visit www.crye-leike.com for more information about virtual showings. For more advice during the buying/selling process, visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs. ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman When buying a home, it can be tempting to do so without using a real estate agent. You think, "Can they be trusted?", or "If I can do it on your own, why not?". However, going into the home-buying arena on your own can present many risks that can damage your bank account, your chance at a dream home and your future investments. Keep reading to learn more about the risks of buying a home without using a real estate agent. Overpaying for a Home Unless you are extremely knowledgeable about market trends and home appraisals, you are probably going to overpay on a home if you don't have a real estate agent guiding you. Oftentimes, homes that are For Sale By Owner (FSBO) are overpriced to begin with. Sellers can easily overestimate the value of their home, and if you aren't aware of that, you'll end up paying more for a home than the actual value. Lack of Neighborhood Knowledge Many agents specialize in specific neighborhoods or communities. Because of this, they usually know the ins-and-outs of that area more than the people who actually live there! They're knowledgeable about what other properties in the area are selling at, how a home's value may increase or decrease in the future, school ratings, safety and much more. If you're looking into buying a home in a neighborhood that you know nothing about, an agent would be a great asset to have. After all, you're not just purchasing a home, but you're making an investment for your future. Misunderstanding of Laws, Regulations and Contracts The real estate industry is full of various laws and regulations that can vary by state, city and county. Without an agent, you won't have someone to be there with you every step of the way to explain the process to you and make sure everything is legal. Nobody wants to be blindsided by a seller who wasn't abiding by the laws, and you certainly don't want to be the one breaking the laws yourself. There are also going to be mountains of contracts and other paperwork to go through. Real estate jargon can be confusing and it is good to have a trusted agent to explain any terms to you. It is also important to make sure that all deadlines are being met and paperwork is being filled out correctly. If you make mistakes during this step, it can cause serious, expensive issues down the road. Inspection Issues Buyers agents are well-versed when it comes to inspections. They understand which inspections are necessary, which inspections are not, and which inspectors to choose to get the job done. If you try to do this on your own, you may end up purchasing a house with serious problems, or spending too much money on unreasonable inspection requests. Overpaying on Closing Costs Closing costs can already be a bit confusing and present last-minute fees you didn't realize you'd have to pay. You don't want to end up footing the bill for all closing costs just because you didn't know any better. If you are represented by an agent, they will be able to break down and explain what the closing costs will be, and they can negotiate with the seller what costs you will cover and what costs the seller will cover. To avoid these risks, it is best to find a trusted real estate agent. As long as you do proper research and interview prospective agents, you'll find the right fit for you! For more advice during the buying/selling process, visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs. ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | March 17, 2020 Moving into a new home does not have to feel like the end of the world. You already went through the stress of moving out of your old house, so do not let the move-in process get the best of you! Here are some tips to help guide you through this journey and get you on track to enjoying your dream home. Set up utilities Some people are able to set up their water, gas and electricity prior to moving. However, if you were not able to do so, this should be the first thing on your to-do list. Turns out, life is a lot easier when your utilities are turned on and working! Once the main utilities are in order, you'll want to consider getting other utilities set up, such as your phone, cable and internet. If you can, try to research and schedule these services in advance, as it may take a couple of weeks for a provider to get to your home. Unpack essentials If you've read our article about preparing for the big move, you'll know that you should pack an overnight bag before clearing out your old house. This allows you to have quick access to essentials, such as a change of clothes and toiletries, without having to rummage through random boxes. When you're finally getting situated, you can start to unpack some of the important boxes first. Kitchen and bathroom boxes are great starting points for unpacking. From there, continuing to unpack room-by-room can make for an easier, more organized process. Get to know your home This is your place now! Walk around and get to know every room in the house, without forgetting about the front and back yards. Hopefully you do not find any serious damage, but even if you do, at least you found it now and not five months after moving in. The quicker you become familiar with this new house, the quicker you can make it your home. Locate fuse box and water valve If the power suddenly goes out, you do not want to be stuck in the dark not knowing where your circuit breaker box is located. When you move in, find the location of the box and your main water valve. Take a few minutes to inspect that both are working properly and are in good condition. Your circuit breaker box should receive proper labels for the fuse controls, and you can see if the water valve is working properly by checking any running water after the valve has been turned off. Change locks Moving into a new home or neighborhood can be a bit intimidating. Make sure you are doing everything possible to make yourself and your family feel safe during this new transition. To ensure that nobody else has access to your home, you'll want to get all of the locks changed on doors that lead outside. Additionally, if your new home has an existing alarm system, you will want to contact the company to discuss how to properly use the system and the options of upgrading. Connect major appliances If you are bringing your appliances with you during the move, you'll want to get them into the house and connected sooner rather than later. Living in a home without appliances can feel unsettling and be a hassle. If you are unsure of how to hook up appliances yourself, consider hiring a professional or asking a knowledgeable friend for help. The most finicky appliance can surprisingly be the refrigerator. It is recommended that you let a refrigerator sit up straight for at least three hours before trying to hook it up, as this will allow the escaped oil to return to the compressor. Deep Clean Moving into a home will undoubtedly leave you with dirt, dust and grime everywhere. Now is your chance to deep clean the house. Shampoo the carpets, mop the floors, wash the windows, dust any surfaces, etc. If your budget allows, you might even want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do this task while you continue to focus on the move-in. A clean home makes for a fresh start! Looking for more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | March 2, 2020 The Home Owner's Association (HOA) is an organization that manages neighborhoods and living communities by enforcing specific rules, overseeing amenities and maintaining the grounds. Living in a community with an HOA has its benefits and downfalls, and each HOA will differ. It is important to assess the pros and cons of the HOA that is managing the property you are interested in. Pros: 1. Less responsibility Living in an HOA managed community means that you will have to pay monthly fees. However, these fees will often go to routine maintenance that you no longer have to worry about, such as snow removal and landscaping. 2. Recreational amenities: Many neighborhoods managed by an HOA have amenities that are exclusive to that community. Pools, tennis courts, gyms, etc. are just a few of the perks that can be found in a neighborhood with an HOA. The best part is, you don't have to worry about the up-keep! 3. Creates a sense of community: HOA's often encourage or host neighborhood events throughout the year. This can be especially great if youre new to town and looking to meet the neighbors. 4. Annoying neighbor? Let your HOA handle it In most cases, the HOA will handle discrepancies with neighbors. If you're not comfortable with addressing an issue that you're having directly with a neighbor, the HOA might be able to help you out. However, keep in mind that the HOA can only step in if the issue involves breaking one of the community rules. Any legal issues will still have to go through the local police department. Cons: 1. Can be expensive Again, to be a part of a community with an HOA, you must pay monthly fees. These fees can vary greatly depending on where you live. This is something you will want to think about before moving. Can you afford the monthly fee, and are the amenities or upkeep of the neighborhood worth those fees? 2. Rules and restrictions One of the most common restrictions of living under a HOA is that you cannot make cosmetic changes to the exterior of your home. This might mean that you cannot paint the home, put up fencing, or plant specific trees or bushes. You will lose some creative freedom when you choose a neighborhood with an HOA. There are also usually rules regarding parking, noise, hosting events, etc. It is important to have an understanding of all rules and restrictions before choosing to live there. 3. Possibility of poor management Unfortunately, not every HOA is run perfectly. Some might fail at community upkeep, not enforce the rules, or not handle the distribution of funds well. This can be a huge risk for the homeowner, and should be investigated prior to moving in. Consider asking some of the neighbors what they think about the HOA, or ask the HOA committee directly about any issues. 4. Possible foreclosure Although this varies by state, the HOA can have the right to foreclose on your home if you do not keep up with the monthly payments. It is supposed to be a last resort method, but it is definitely something you will want to consider before choosing to live there. Looking for more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the company's goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman | February 18, 2020 House hunting can be extremely overwhelming, and you do not want to invest in a home that will have major problems down the road. It is important that as a potential buyer, you are looking beyond the initial wow factor, and keeping an eye out for red flags. Professional home inspections can be a lifesaver, but when you have multiple houses to view, it is helpful to narrow down your decision by looking for the following yourself: 1. A faulty foundation Nobody wants to move into a home that is actually falling apart. Be aware of any major cracks in the foundation. Cracks can usually be found in the basement of the home and are a sign of serious structural damage. You can also examine the doorframes. If the frames are not square or have difficulty closing, it could mean the structure has shifted in some way. 2. Ceiling and wall stains Stains on the walls or ceilings are not just an unattractive quality in a home, but they can indicate that there is or was a serious issue. It is important for a potential buyer to investigate the cause of the stains with the seller. It could be water damage from a leak that has since been repaired, or it could still be an ongoing issue that will cost you thousands of dollars in the future. 3. Random paint patches Visible stains are an obvious issue, but you also need to look for cover-ups. If you happen to see a patch of new paint on the wall or ceiling, it is best to inquire about that. Realtors often suggest to sellers to repaint their walls to provide a new look, so it should be concerning if only one wall was painted or a patch of new paint exists. It could mean that the seller is trying to hide something. 4. Bugs and pests Termites, mice, roaches and other creepy crawlies do not make for ideal roommates. While touring a home, you might be able to indicate if there is a pest issue yourself, but considering a separate inspection for this is highly recommended as well. Pests can cause serious damages to a home, and you do not want to be responsible for the bill later in life. 5. Mold Mold can be extremely damaging to your health. If you are walking through the house and there is a clear mold issue, this is something you will want to take into consideration. Basements, attics and bathrooms are prime areas for mold to grow. You can remedy mold, but it will be costly. You can also hire a company to perform a mold test, or have an inspector come in to help discover any mold issues. The bottom line is, always check for red flags before making the costly commitment to a house. If you found your dream home, an inspection from a professional can save you a lot of hassle in the future. Need more advice during the buying/selling process? Visit www.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks! ABOUT CRYE-LEIKE: Crye-Leike Real Estate Services (www.crye-leike.com), a full service real estate company for over 40 years, is ranked as the third largest independently owned real estate firm in the nation and the largest serving Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has more than 3,200 sales associates, over 800 employees and 140+ company-owned and franchise offices spread across nine states. It generated $6.5 billion in sales volume and 29,925 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2019 - its biggest year ever - and is on track to achieve the companys goal of $6.8 billion in sales volume this year.
By Katie Wainman If you are a first-time homebuyer, real estate jargon can be overwhelming. New terms are constantly being thrown around by agents, banks and other parties involved in the process. It is important to have an understanding of real estate terminology to ensure that you are remaining informed and making the best decisions possible. You should always feel comfortable enough with your real estate agent to ask them to clarify any terms for you. Here are 10 terms that will be helpful to know before entering the home-buying process. Appraisal - The valuation of property based on the estimate of an authorized person (Appraiser). Banks typically require an appraisal of a property before issuing a loan. Closing Costs - A variety of fees and expenses associated with the closing of a real estate transaction. These could potentially include attorney fees, appraisal fees, credit report fees, etc. Closing costs can be negotiated between the buyer and seller. Contingencies - Specific requirements that must be met before closing on a property. A contingency could be that a buyer has to sell their current home first, or that the seller must provide a complete home inspection. Deed - A legal document signed by the buyer and seller of a property, transferring the ownership rights to the buyer. Down Payment - A percentage of the sales price paid directly to the seller. It is advised to put a 20 percent down payment on a home to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). However, according to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), the average down payment for first-time homebuyers was only 6 percent in 2019. Earnest Money - A specific form of security deposit made to the seller. It is often known as the "good faith" deposit and proves to the seller that the buyer is serious about purchasing the home. Loan Estimate - A three-page document provided by the lender that explains all of the information in regards to the loan applied for. The form includes the estimated interest rate, monthly payment, estimated costs of taxes and insurance, etc. Its purpose is to help a buyer have a better understanding of the loan, and allows them to compare it to other loans they have applied for. Mortgage - A loan provided by a bank or mortgage lender to help buyers finance the purchase of a home. When a buyer takes out a mortgage, they are agreeing to repay the borrowed money plus interest. The home will be used a collateral. REALTOR - A licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). REALTORS are held at a higher ethical standard than regular real estate agents are and must adhere to a Code of Ethics. Title Company - Title companies generally review titles to make sure there are no problems, issue title insurance policies and facilitate closings. Now that you have a better understanding of these terms, you can have more confidence during your home search! Visitwww.crye-leike.com/blogs for more real estate tips and tricks.
By Katie Wainman Thinking about packing up and moving away? Before you close your eyes and spin the globe to pick your next neighborhood, take a second to think about what you want and need in a community. Affordability It is no secret that the cost of living varies in neighborhoods all across the nation. Gas can be 30 cents cheaper in a town 7 miles away from the one you're in. If you already know how much you can afford for a new home, then you can figure out what neighborhoods you can afford as well. Think about the cost in certain neighborhoods of daily necessities such as groceries and gas, but also speak to your realtor about long-term budget influences, such as taxes and property values. Safety The neighborhood that you choose could be where you stay forever. It is so important to do research into the safety of the community prior to purchasing a house there. If you can, go visit the neighborhood. Some red flags can include numerous houses for sale, poorly maintained properties and uninviting restaurants and shops. Also, make sure to look into the crime statistics in that area. Many statistics can be looked up online, but you can even call the local police department to ask questions if necessary. Schools Don't keep scrolling at this part because you don't have children. Kids or no kids, the school systems in your potential neighborhood can affect you. Obviously if you have children, you will want to look into the schools that are offered in the district you would like to move to. Consider private versus public school systems, and research the ratings of the schools. Even if you dont have children, the quality of schools in your neighborhood can directly affect the cost of your home. In short, the better the school systems, the higher value the homes in that neighborhood will have. Transportation Whether it is for work or leisure, choose a town that can accommodate your travel needs. If you are interested in moving to a rural neighborhood, be prepared to put more miles on your vehicle, as walking and public transit will probably not be an option. If the "city life" is more for you, keep in mind that you might have to nix the car, and choose to take trains, subways or ride shares instead. Don't assume that all cities in the US have mass public transit either, as some do not. If that is the case, be prepared to drive in traffic, traffic and more traffic. Amenities Imagine that you finally bought your dream house, you move in, and then you realize that there is absolutely nothing to do in your area. If that's exactly what you wanted, great! If that happens to be your worst nightmare, you should have researched the amenities in your area prior to moving. Options of restaurants, bars, parks, museums, libraries etc., can change a community. If you at least know what that area has to offer, you can then choose to be in the middle of it all, on the outskirts, or as far away as possible. Need help figuring out what neighborhood in the Mid-South you want to move to? Get a breakdown of demographics, restaurants, schools, market trends and more at: https://www.crye-leike.com/neighborhoods.
From the Community Mortgage Blog Papers..and Statements..and Blood Type..OH MY! Noooo....we don't need you blood type! Save that for your doctor. "What do you need from me?" This is the most common questions we get when someone is ready to buy a home. The Short Answer: It Depends Are you a W2 or Salary Employee? OR Are you Self Employed? This answer will give you your answer. If you are a Salary Employee, we will ask for: Pay Stubs- last 30 days W2s- last 2 years Bank Statements- 60 days Retirement Accounts- last quarterly statement Photo ID Homeowners' Insurance Contact Info If you are a Self Employed, we will as for: All of the Above, plus Tax Returns- Last 2 years Tax Liabilities Profit/Loss Statement Click Here for more info about qualifying for a home as a Self Employed buyer. Somethingto Think About... There a some lenders and online mortgage companies that do not ask for these documents up front to pre-qualify you. It is true, these pieces of information are not required to be qualified to buy. However, we do our very best to give our clients a Fantastic Experience. This starts with a Competitive, Solid Pre-Approval, back by our due diligence. You can house shop with confidence that you will Close & Close On Time.
From the Community Mortgage Blog Realtors Friends! This is a great little tip that could help your lender and clients out tremendously! Believe it or not Homeowners Associations and their dues play a large part in the qualifying process for your clients during their mortgage. *Any regularly occurring payment factors into debts in the debt to income ratios. *Adding any other entity into the document finding process adds to your clients' timetable. Realtor: Okay, got it! So what do you need from me?? HOA Contact Information Property Management Contact Information Annual Monthly Dues Watch this quick video to learn more.
From the Community Mortgage Blog What are the basic building blocks of a preapproval? Credit Score Job Status/History Debt to Income Ratio Current Assets Debt to Income is one of those components that is ever-changing depending on debts paid off, new credit lines, property tax rates, and....Homeowners' Insurance...YES, you read that correctly. So why is Homeowner's Insurance counted? It is one of those payments homeowners are required to pay at a certain frequency, just like property taxes and monthly mortgage payments. So you could see why deciding on the appropriate coverage and payment early in the mortgage process is so important. John Baertels & Jason Savage of the Commuity Mortgage Atoka Team have a great explanation in this quick video below.
From the Community Mortgage Blog Would you rather a general rate or one that takes into account your unique situation? There are so many factors that make up a client's interest rate: 1. Loan Type 2. Loan Amount 3. Credit Score 4. Down Payment Click Here for the PDF version of this handy tip
From the Community Mortgage Blog You want to Buy a House...now what? So many Lenders talk about what to do or NOT to do when you are in the middle of the lending process. What if you are not ready yet? There are things to avoid or make sure you do before you click Apply. One of our long time Loan Officers, Kevin Ruby explains what to think about before your apply. Click Here to download a helpful list of Do's and Don'ts for you or a client
Starting the home buying process can be scary. At Crye-Leike, we do our best to make thing run as smoothly as possible. With over 40 years experience in the Real Estate business, We have seen it all. Below are some common mistakes made by homebuyers. Keep these items in mind while you look for a home. 1. Working with a real estate professional who does not possess adequate knowledge of the area and relative property values. 2. Working with a real estate professional who is unable to identify customer needs, recognize when those needs change, and identify a sensible process for reaching decisions. 3. Purchasing without considering issues of resale. 4. Purchasing the largest, most expensive or over-improved home for the neighborhood. 5. Purchasing emotionally for such things as personalized decor or status, ignoring the consequences of buying an overpriced property. 6. Purchasing new construction in an area that is less than 80% developed. 7. Purchasing in an area inconvenient to employment centers. 8. Purchasing a home that does not have adequate features for the price range or has an unpopular floor plan. 9. Purchasing with the intent of remodeling, extensively redecorating or reconditioning a poorly maintained property. 10.Purchasing in an area that is experiencing declining value. By learning from the mistakes of others, you will be much more prepared for a successful home buying process!
Welcome back to Crye-Leike Insights! We are here to share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. What comes first? Buying or Selling? This question comes up a lot when we sit down with both buyers and sellers. Sherry Scott-Chambers, Realtor from our Memphis-Southeast office is here to help answer this question! It all comes down to your finances. If you're financesallow you to be able topurchase first, that's always better.But if not, you may wanna think about sellingbefore you purchase. If you DO need the money from thehouse that you're selling in order to purchase, then SELL first. If you DON'T need the moneyfrom the sale of your own home,it's better if you BUY first. For More Information on Buying, Click Here. For More Information on Selling, Click Here.
Your Home Purchase as an Investment The purchase of your home is typically your largest financial purchase. As such, it deserves the research and time to determine if it is a sound investment in your financial future. When evaluating a property consider how long you plan to live there. Also work with your realtor to research the area, market values, and its place within the market to evaluate potential resale issues. Research Tools Real Estate Market Activity Reports by Area Lookup Sold Properties Search Properties for Sale Save Searches & Keep Up with Listing Prices in Your Neighborhood Expanding into Vacation Homes You may be considering owning a 2nd home or a vacation property. As with your first home purchase, you should consider factors of resale. In addition to this think about what you will do with the property while you are not there. In many areas owners rent out the property.Take a look at some popular vacation spots in our markets. Generating Income from Rentals Another avenue for investing in real estate is purchasing property with the intent of renting it out. This is a great option to consider if you would like an additional income stream. Some people buy a multi-family property and live in one side and rent out the other. You may also be interested in managing multiple rental properties. We can help you find existing rentals or properties suitable for buying and renting out. Search Multi-Family Properties Learn About Property Management Services for Owners Search Properties for Sale More Formats of Interest Businesses for Sale Search Multi-Family Search Foreclosures Search Auctions Find Land to Develop Questions? Next Steps... If you have questions about your real estate purchases or plans or would like someone to help advise you in these matters, please let us know. Contact Us
It's highly unlikely that the sellers will accept your offer as it's originally written. Sellers use counter offers to fine-tune the price, terms, and conditions of offers they receive. Suppose, for example, that you offer $175,000 for a home that you like and you ask to close 30 days after the sellers accept your offer. Because they had the house listed at $189,500, the sellers think that your offering price is a mite low. Furthermore, they need six weeks to relocate. Instead of rewriting your entire offer, they give you a counteroffer. It states that they're willing to accept all the terms and conditions of your offer except that they want $185,000 and six weeks after acceptance to close. You don't mind a six-week closing, but you don't want to pay more than $180,000, so you give the sellers a counter-counter offer to that effect. The sellers come back to you with a firm $184,000. You grudgingly respond at $181,000 and instruct your agent to make it clear to the sellers that you won't go any higher. Two can play the firm game. If you really want the home, this phase of the game can be nerve-racking. You worry about another buyer making the sellers a better offer and stealing the house away while you're trying to get the price down that last $3,000. The sellers are equally concerned that they'll lose you by pushing too hard for the final $3,000. You don't want to pay a penny more than you have to. The sellers don't want to leave any money on the table. You and the sellers are close to agreement on price. Your offering price and the sellers' asking price are both factually based upon recent sales of comparable houses in the neighborhood. An equitable way to resolve this type of impasse is to split the difference 50-50. The mutual $1,500 concession equals less than 1 percent of the home's fair market value based on a $182,500 sale price. Splitting the difference won't work in allsituations. It is, however, a fair way to quickly resolve relatively small differences of opinion so you can make a deal and get on with your life.
Suppose that you spend $250 to have the home you want to buy completely inspected by a qualified inspector, and you find out that nothing is wrong with it. Now you can sleep soundly, knowing that your home doesn't need any corrective work. If you skip the inspection to save $250 and later discover that your house needs $25,000 worth of repairs, you'll end up spending $100 in repairs for every dollar that you "saved." Here are reasons why every property should be inspected prior to purchase: Used houses: You're most likely to order inspections if your "new" home is someone else's used house. Obviously, the older the house, the greater the likelihood that you'll find defects in its mechanical and structural systems. New houses: Even if you're buying a newly constructed, never- been-lived-in home, having it thoroughly inspected is wise. Just because the building is new doesn't guarantee that it was built properly. Believe it or not, brand-new houses often have construction flaws, sometimes major. Some home builders are not competent, or they cut corners to save some money and boost their profits. Condominiums: You need an inspection before buying a condominium. Don't forget that when you buy a condo, you're also buying into the entire building in which your condo is located. As a co-owner of the building, you'll be assessed your proportional share of the cost for corrective work required in common areas, such as the roof, heating system, or foundation. Townhouses, cooperative apartments, and all other forms of co-ownership property: See the preceding paragraph about condominiums. Shared ownership doesn't get you off the hook. You still need property inspections. Bottom Line: All properties should be inspected. Inspect detached residences, attached residences, single-family dwellings, multifamily dwellings, condos, co-ops, townhouses, and anything else that has a foundation and a roof. If you're spending big bucks for a property, protect your investment by having it inspected.
Whether you are thinking of buying a home or are already in the process, follow these steps for a smooth transaction. Select a Real Estate Professional- Selecting a Real Estate Professional to assist you with the home buying process is VERY important. Because buying a home is one of the largest and most important purchases you will make in your lifetime you should always consult a real estate professional to assist you. Our sales associates have the expertise, experience and education to help you make good, sound home purchasing decisions. You will work together to find the right home. Your sales associate will notify you when new properties come on the market. He/She can schedule showings, advise you on the real estate process, help you write offers, negotiate terms and coordinate inspections. Get Pre-Approved/Apply for a Loan- It's important to get a loan officer to pre-approve your mortgage before you start house hunting. A pre-approval is a guarantee that you can qualify for financing to a maximum purchase price and loan amount. This means you can write a stronger purchase offer. In a competitive market, this could mean the difference between acceptance of your offer rather than another buyer's offer. When you apply for a loan, be sure to get a good faith estimate of your closing costs. Find the Right Home- Search the Internet for property available for sale.Our web site features properties available for sale throughout the south, click here to begin your search.You and your Real Estate Agent will search for homes together. Your agent can guide you to the areas you like best. Have fun looking and shopping. Make an Offer- Once you've found the right home, it's time to write an offer to purchase. Writing the offer is an exciting, emotional and complicated experience. You'll be glad you have an experienced Crye-Leike Sales Associate at your side to help you through the process. Order a Home Inspection- A professional home inspection is essential. A professional home inspector sees beyond the cosmetics and surveys the entire house, including structure, roof, exterior and major systems (heating, plumbing, cooling, electrical, ventilation, etc.). Quote Homeowner's Insurance- In order to close on your new home you will need to have homeowner's insurance. If you purchase a property with a mortgage, your insurance payments will be included as a part of your escrow account. Attend Closing Day- Congratulations, you will soon become a homeowner! Crye-Leike's full service continues right through the closing day. At the closing, you will settle all the financial details, the title to your new home will be conveyed and usually you will receive the keys to your new home. Move In- It's time to actually move in and enjoy your new home. Remember to notifiy the post office of change or address. Congratulations! You did it!
How much you can afford for a mortgage depends on many factors including how much money you have to put down, what type of loan you can get, how much your closing costs are and consideration of other expenses you need to cover. Here's a few quick ways to estimate... How much can you borrow? Most lenders want your housing expenses (mortgage, plus taxes and insurance) to remain under 28% of your gross income. Calculate 28% of your gross monthly income to see what amount you have each month for this. How much cash do you have for a down payment? With a conventional mortgage a buyer typically pays 20% of the purchase price up front. Most lenders will also let you put 10% down if you pay private mortgage insurance. Other types of loan programs may be available that allow for reduced down payment percentages. FHA loans can get down payments below 3%. How much cash do you have for closing? You will need cash at closing (unless you have negotiated with the seller to pay your fees.) The cash you will need at closing is typically 2-3% of the total purchase price. Money for Taxes and Insurance. It is also important to factor in how much taxes and insurance will cost for a given property. Typically your lender will add these amounts into your monthly payment. Money for Additional Expenses. Keep in mind that you may need to reserve some money for repairs, remodeling, decorating, moving expenses, or life's emergency fund.
Welcome back to Crye-Leike Insights! We are here to share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. In this week's episode of Crye-Leike Insights, Laura Gaither, Managing Broker of our Bartlett, TN office, fills us in on what to expect after writing up a contract! Congratulations! You contract has just been accepted on a new house! But, now what? How long after accepting the contract is closing? Closing usually occurs 30-45 days after a contract has been accepted. Why is my Realtor asking for Earnest Money? Earnest moneyis a specific form of security deposit made in some major transactions such as real estate dealings to demonstrate that the applicant is serious and willing to demonstrate an earnest of good faith about wanting to complete the transaction. Do I need to order an inspection? Short answer: YES! "Some of the typical inspections are the home and termite, but there are many other inspections that you can have done. So, get with your agent and see if they can help you find the perfect inspector for you. Some things that you may wanna have looked at are pool inspection, plumbing inspection, HVAC, and there's so many more!" What is a Resolution Period? Once theinspection has been completed,you'll compile a list of things that you may want theseller to complete prior to closing.During this time, you and the seller will go backand forth. Once you have negotiated anagreement on which repairs will be completed, thatwill complete your resolution period. Will I get my keys at closing? Keys are not usually given at closing. Make sure you talk to your agent to better understand when possession will occur.
Even if you are not currently buying or selling, we are here for you. We help with everything related to your home and keep you current on the real estate market. Keep Up with the Real Estate Market What price is my neighbor asking? How's the Market? Lookup a Recent Sale Subscribe to Email Updates of Properties for Sale Near You Follow Crye-Leike on Facebook News Room Keep Up with Your Place Repair, Replace, Remodel- Find qualified vendors and get a discount as a Crye-Leike customer Homeowner's Insurance- Compare 3 free quotes Renter's Insurance Home Warranties Help Friends & Family Anywhere in the world your friends and family live or move, we can help them find a trusted local expert. Our relocation services are free to you.Just let us know where they are moving and we will do the rest. Learn and Dream Vacation Spots and 2ndHomes Articles on Real Estate Topics Explore Your City How Can We Help? Please let us know how we can help. Questions about property value, or how remodeling projects will impact your home's value? Interested to find out how much a property sold for or what the market is doing in your area? Shopping around on insurance prices or looking for a qualified vendor to do work at your place? These are just a few of the types of questions we can help with.
After you find your dream home, you're ready for the next action step in the negotiating process -- making an offer to purchase. No standard, universally accepted real estate purchase contract is used throughout the country. On the contrary, purchase contracts vary in length and terms from state to state and, within a state, from one locality to another. A good agent or lawyer will use the most current version of the contract. All good offers have three things in common: 1. Good offers are based on a realistic offering price. You shouldn't pull the offering price out of thin air. Instead, base your offering price on houses (comparable to the seller's house in age, size, condition, and location) that have sold within the past six months. Sellers' asking prices are often fantasy. Actual sale prices of comparable houses are facts. 2. Good offers have realistic financing terms. Your mortgage's interest rate, loan-origination fee, and time allowed to obtain financing must be based upon current lending conditions. Some offers get blown out of the water because a buyer's loan terms are unrealistic. If you've been pre-qualified or, better yet, pre-approved for a loan, you or your agent should stress that advantage when you present your offer. This proves to the sellers that you're a creditworthy buyer who's ready, willing, and financially able to purchase their house. 3. Good offers don't ask the sellers for a blank check. At the time that your offer is initially submitted, you won't know the degree to which corrective work is needed unless property defects are glaringly obvious. Under these circumstances, it's smart to use property inspection clauses that enable you to reopen negotiations regarding any necessary corrective work. Remember that negotiation is an ongoing process. After the action of having your offer accepted, your property inspectors gather information. After they've determined what is actually required in the way of corrective work, you and the sellers can renew your negotiations armed with hard facts. If the sellers agree with the price and terms contained in your offer, they'll sign it. Their agent should give you a signed copy of the offer immediately. When you actually receive a copy of the offer signed by the sellers, you have what's called a ratified offer (that is, a signed or accepted offer). This doesn't mean that you own the house or that it has been sold. All you can say for now is that a sale is pending.
The Truth The truth is: as long as the information is accurate and timely on your credit report, no one can legally remove negative items. Anything a credit repair clinic can do for you, you can do for yourself at little or no cost. The law allows you to ask for an investigation of information that you feel is inaccurate. In addition to this there cannot be a charge for you to dispute mistakes or outdated items. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the consumer reporting company (company like TransUnion, Experian etc) and the information provider (that is, the organization that provides you credit) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information. Disputing an Item Tell the consumer reporting company, in writing, what information you think is inaccurate Include copies, NEVER originals of documents that support your claim Provide your complete name and address in the letter and clearly identify each item in the report you are disputing Send your letter by certified mail, "return receipt requested," so you can document what the consumer reporting company received Always keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures Consumer reporting companies are required by law to investigate the items in question - usually within 30 days - unless they consider your dispute frivolous. They also must forward all the relevant data you provide about the inaccuracy to the organization that provided the information. After the information provider receives notice of a dispute from the consumer reporting company, it must investigate, review the relevant information, and report the results back to the consumer reporting company. If the information provider finds the disputed information is inaccurate, it must notify all three nationwide consumer-reporting companies so they can correct the information in your file. When the investigation is complete, the consumer reporting company must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your report if the dispute results in a change. If an item is changed or deleted, the consumer reporting company cannot put the disputed information back in your file unless the information provider verifies that it is accurate and complete. If you request, the consumer reporting company must send notices of any correction to anyone who received your report in the past six months. You can have a corrected copy of your report sent to anyone who received a copy during the past two years for employment purposes. If an investigation doesn't resolve your dispute with the consumer reporting company, you can ask that a statement of the dispute be included in your file and in future reports. You also can ask the consumer reporting company to provide your statement to anyone who received a copy of your report in the recent past. You can expect to pay a fee for this service. Bad Credit? Don't Despair. Help is Still Available Just because you have a poor credit report doesn't mean you won't be able to get credit. Creditors set their own credit-granting standards and not all of them look at your credit history the same way. Some may look only at more recent years to evaluate you for credit, and they may grant credit if your bill-paying history has improved. Repairing credit requires discipline. Create a workable budget and stick to it. Work out a repayment plan with your creditors. Consider contacting a credit counseling organization. Many credit-counseling organizations are nonprofit and work with you to solve your financial problems. But not all are reputable. In fact, some credit counseling organizations charge high fees, or hide their fees by pressuring consumers to make "voluntary" contributions that only cause more debt. Most credit counselors offer services through local offices, the Internet, or on the telephone. If possible, find an organization that offers in-person counseling. Many universities, military bases, credit unions, housing authorities, and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service operate nonprofit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution, local consumer protection agency, and friends and family also may be good sources of information and referrals. Reputable credit counseling organizations can advise you on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, and offer free educational materials and workshops. Their counselors are certified and trained in the areas of consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Counselors discuss your entire financial situation with you, and help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. If you are considering filing for bankruptcy, you should know about one major change to the bankruptcy laws: As of October 17, 2005, you must get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months before you file for bankruptcy relief. You can find a state-by-state list of government-approved organizations atwww.usdoj.gov/ust. That is the website of the U.S. Trustee Program, the organization within the U.S. Department of Justice that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees. For more information, see the credit information web site from the Federal Trade Commission.www.ftc.gov/credit
This depends on many factors including how much money you have to put down, what type of loan you can get, how much your closing costs are and any other expenses you need to cover. Quick estimates... How much can you borrow?Most lenders want your housing expenses (mortgage, plus taxes and insurance) to remain under 28% of your gross income. Calculate 28% of your gross monthly income to see what amount you have each month for this. How much cash do you have for a down payment?With a conventional mortgage a buyer typically pays 20% of the purchase price up front. Most lenders will also let you put 10% down if you pay private mortgage insurance. Other types of loan programs may be available that allow for reduced down payment percentages. How much cash do you have for closing?You will need cash at closing (unless you have negotiated with the seller to pay your fees.) The cash you will need at closing is typically 2-3% of the total purchase price. Money for Additional Expenses.Keep in mind that you may need to reserve some money for repairs, remodeling, decorating, moving expenses etc. Click here for our mortgage calculator that will help with the estimates.
Home Inspections provide a definite value by giving a level of objectivity in evaluating a home. When a homeowner determines the value or condition of a home, it is very difficult to separate the emotional aspects of the home from the objective inventory of features and condition. It is part of our nature to invoke the emotional value in a home, which can cause a conflict in the sale process. A deal for buying a home can fall apart over old appliances or home improvement work that has sentimental but not intrinsic value. Home inspectors play the role of objective third party. Typically, home inspectors evaluate a property five to ten days after negotiation of a contract is complete in order to secure mortgage approval. This inspection only checks the condition of the home at the time of inspection and is no guarantee of condition beyond that point. Home inspectors need no special equipment beyond flashlight, ladder, simple tools and documentation. Some special features on a home may not be included in the inspection such as swimming pools, in-ground sprinklers, gazeboes, etc. A good inspector will check for radon and other harmful gases. Buyers can go on the inspection and observe. A good inspector will freely describe what they are looking at, how to check for problems and what condition they believe the area is in. Often they can show you useful things like a shut off for water, where to light a pilot light on a furnace and other bits of information. Do not settle for a verbal confirmation of condition on a property - get a report in writing. Some inspectors will fill out a standard inspection checklist, but detailed reports are far more helpful. This is not to say that inspectors will catch every possible problem in a home, but a thorough inspection will give a much great piece of mind to a purchaser. A typical inspection will cost about $250 to $350 and take a few hours. It is recommended that any home, even a new home, be inspected. Often in a rush to develop a subdivision corners may be cut that can present problems in the near future. The new home delivered to you may not be as flawless as the model from your tour. Inspection allows buyers and sellers to resolve problems prior to closing and makes it less likely to the buyer that some defect has not been disclosed about the property. Home inspection is largely an unregulated industry so do not neglect making sure you get a qualified inspector. Home inspectors should not recommend or bid on repair work, as this is a conflict of interest. When selecting your inspector, get a few references and do check them. Also get referrals for an inspector from sources other than a real estate company (such as your mortgage lender). Quality Check - Questions to ask when looking for a home inspector. How long has the company has been doing inspections? Does the company have error and omissions insurance? Will the company give a written and signed report? Does the company stand behind its report - give a guarantee? How many real estate companies does the inspector work with regularly? If you live in a state that has no home inspection requirements, it is still recommended that you have it done. For a seller, a home inspection as part of pre-listing a home can help sell the home in a more timely manner. For a buyer, it helps cut down the emotional appeal of a property and give a more objective and realistic evaluation.
Yes, absolutely! This will let you know how much home you can afford. It makes shopping for a home a lot easier. You don't want to fall in love with a home only to find out that the bank will not qualify you for that purchase amount. As soon as you think you might be interested in buying a home get pre-qualified! Getting pre-approved requires that a lender verify your financial information and serves as their commitment to lend you a specific amount of money. It will give you a number of advantages: When you do find a property, seller's will take you more seriously given that you have a lender that has committed to backing your offer. It gives the assurance that you're looking at homes you can confidently afford to finance. Your efforts will be focused on properties that match your financing abilities. You'll have an edge over other buyers who aren't pre-approved. In situations where there are multiple offers on a property, this can be the difference between having your offer accepted or losing the property to another buyer. Getting pre-approval for a mortgage is an important first step. Please fill out this form and a real estate professional will contact you to assist with your real estate needs.
Your real estate professional's knowledge of the area and typical buyer concerns will be a great resource as you look to "Buy Smart" in your new location. Here are some questions you may want to ask your sales associate as you consider a specific property. Location Is this house in a neighborhood which has good resale activity when compared to the resale activity of the overall market? How strongly will competition from nearby builders affect the value of the home in the next three to five years? Did the neighborhood have sales during the past 12 months that support the value of the home? Condition How does the overall condition of the home compare to others that are for sale...and those that have sold? Who can give estimates on the necessary and optional capital improvements and how will improvements affect the value? Who can give estimates for curing the property's deferred maintenance? What are the priority areas and how will the repairs affect the value? When considering redecorating choices, which will appeal to the typical buyer? Features Are the style, size, and floor plan appealing to the typical buyer in this market? Are the numbers, function, and location of the baths adequate for the price range? Are the kitchen appliances and spaces typical for the price range? Is the quality of trim and cabinetry typical for the price range? Does the property include the amenities expected by the typical buyer, for example, garage space, fireplace, outdoor area, heating and cooling options?
Welcome back to Crye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. Find out from our Director of Web Technologies, Angie Vandenbergh, how Crye-Leike's VoicePad tool can help you as both a buyer and a seller! List Your Home with a Crye-Leike Agent We're often asked what it takes to sell a home. The short answer is: preparation, pricing, smart, targeted marketing, leveraging our vast network of agents and buyers, showings, savvy negotiation and much more. Crye-Leike agents possess a high degree of expertise in all aspects of representation. Talk to one now. Schedule a Listing Presentation
Welcome back to Crye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. In this episode, Tyler Tapley stopped by to share some advice for homebuyers. Talk to your agent. Manage expectations. Make sure everybody is on the same page and we have a clear definition on the schedule and how everything will work. Find a good lender. Typically, local lenders are preferable and they are going to be knowledgeable about any incentives out there. "Get Social" when looking for a home. Keep your eyes and ears open as far as houses that are available. Write a "clean"offer. I would recommend that you look at a short inspection period... Looking for more information on buying? Click here for more information.
Packing When the movers come to do the packing, simply stand back and let them do it. They are professionally trained on how to pack every possible household item. Remember the packers will not try to decide for you what should be packed and what should not. This includes garage door openers and keys. A good idea is to designate an area of a room or a closet and mark on the door "do not pack". Place everything you would not want packed in that area. Movers will generally not pack anything that is physically attached to the home, such as paper towel holders, light fixtures, and drape tracks. Take these down and leave out for the crew, if you are taking them. Chemical or flammable items cannot be packed, so leave them where they are. The movers will leave what they cannot pack. When they are finished you can go through the house and make your own arrangements for these. Taking Inventory The driver will make a written inventory and record the condition of items. These inventory sheets will be used if you need to make a claim, so it is imperative that everything is listed. If you do not agree with the movers assessment of the condition of an item, note your exceptions on the original inventory form. The driver will provide you with a copy. Final Walk-Through You will be asked to sign a bill of lading releasing your belongings. Before signing, take a walk around to make sure nothing has been overlooked. Then carefully review the document and keep a copy of it. This document outlines the moving company's limitations and liability, so do not hesitate to ask the driver any questions. Give the driver contact information to get in touch with you, while in transit and at the destination. The driver will give you scheduled arrival date and time. Often it is a range, so plan to be available during that entire time. If you are not present when the truck arrives at destination, your goods may end up in storage at your cost. Delivery Day The driver will give you the inventory sheets as each box is carried into the house. The workers will call out the box numbers so you can check them off. When finished, you will sign that inventory form, so review it carefully. Do not sign anything until all boxes have been checked. By signing this, you acknowledge that you received everything and that you agree with the driver as to the condition of your belongings. Make a note on the form of missing boxes or damage. If you suffer property or auto damage, note this on the inventory sheet and call the moving company immediately. Unpacking If you have requested and paid for unpacking, it will be done by the driver the day or the day after unloading. Movers unpack by emptying boxes and placing the items on counters or floors, in the rooms designated by you ahead of time on each box. Having movers unpack is mainly to dispose of packing materials. If you unpack yourself, request a "debris pick-up" from your moving company. They will come to pick up the crushed boxes. Be sure to schedule it once you are 100% unpacked. Insurance Claims If damage occurs, call the moving company immediately and they will send you the necessary forms. Be sure to keep any damaged items, even if they are of no use to you any longer. They usually must be available for inspection by the claims adjuster. If items are not available for inspection, the mover can decline liability. Obtain a written appraisal of any antique or unique items to verify value. You must file only one claim, and do so within a certain number of days after the delivery date. This is why you must unpack everything before filing a claim. If some items are in storage or you just put them in closets, please speak with the moving company about how long you have to unpack them and file the claim. Useful Tips Be sure to keep receipts of all of your travel expenses, including gas, food and lodging. The receipts may be needed for your taxes and/or if you are working with a relocation company or a corporate move. Do not wax or oil wood furniture before moving, as it may soften the wood, making it vulnerable to imprinting from furniture pads. Pianos/organs must be prepared for the move by a technician, and adjusted once delivered. Discuss this with your mover before moving day. Do not ship diskettes on the moving truck, send via insured mail or carry yourself. Unplug electronics 24 hours in advance of moving so they will be at room temperature on moving day. Moving equipment with internal heat retained can cause damage. Upon delivery, wait again until items are room temperature before turning them back on. Pets are family, but cannot be sent along on the moving truck. You can transport them yourself in an auto or put them in proper carriers and ship on an airline, or arrange for delivery with a pet carrier service. Consider these when deciding: Length of trip Pet's age and temperament (road trips thrill some and terrify others!) Some states have laws concerning entry. Contact the State Veterinarian or Animal Health Division before you move. If you choose the airline, they have strict instructions on carriers, blackout periods during summer months, etc. Be sure to call each airline for their policies.
Welcome back toCrye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. In this episode, Liz Reinsel shares how she likes to go through the homebuying process with first-time buyers. We know that things are different when you are buying your FIRST home. Work with a patient Realtor. Get educated and homebuying process and current market. Manage your expectations. Know that your Crye-Leike agent will be with you every step of the way. Make sure that your purchase is a wise investment. Looking for more information on buying? Click here for more information.
The normal home-buying real estate transaction is an involved process. When handled by professionals, it should run smoothly for both the buying and selling clients. "Professionals" is plural since proficiency is needed by not just the real estate agent, but also by every party involved. This will include a mortgage loan originator, title office and closing attorney, home inspection service, and even the insurance agency. Anyone and everyone in those offices should be held to the highest standards in their job performance. Finding and working with a quality Realtor then is of utmost importance. Focusing on the client's satisfaction first should be the goal of all Realtors. A high standard of work ethics is required to achieve these results by all of the parties involved in the transaction. The Realtor then must be able to manage many facets of this process. Each real estate transaction will offer it's own challenges. The personality of the real estate agent must be flexible to work with various personalities of either the buyers or sellers. Once a good relationship is established it is much easier to work towards the common goal whether it is selling or buying. If the real estate agent works with a proficient and experienced team of professionals, it can help to insure that the entire process works well for everyone. Inexperienced and new agents should take the time to learn how top agents have achieved those goals. Research their chosen team of professionals they work with. Wise choices are easier to make in securing early success. These decisions can help to insure that new agents can also build a base of satisfied clients and achieve their own success as well. Clients are looking for satisfaction through superior service. Ethical behavior, follow up, listening, timeliness, and organization are necessary skills for any successful salesperson. These skills can be learned and become habit through repetition. Ultimately, success is there for everyone and earned through his or her own efforts to reach their goals.
Welcome back to Crye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. In this week's episode, Dick Leike shares why working with historic homes in the Mid-South is so special. There are many significant historic properties in the Mid-South. Agriculture in the South-East made our region one of the wealthiest areas of the US before the Civil War. Historic homes were built-to-last with sturdy wood or fully, bricked construction. The architecture of these old homes is beautiful. Are you interested in purchasing a historic home? Ask your Crye-Leike agent about any of these listings built before 1900.
Buying a home requires commitment. It's a big responsibility financially and emotionally. There will be lots of options to consider and choices to make when you think about buying a home. Is now the right time for you to buy a home? Can you afford it? Crye-Leike is ready to help you make those kinds of decisions. In fact, we help thousands of people achieve the "American Dream" every day. It's a good investment. Investors say overwhelmingly that real estate can typically be a safer and better investment than stocks and bonds! Tax savings. Mortgage interest and property taxes are tax-deductible, making tax savings one of the biggest benefits of home ownership. This means that you could possibly pay less tax or you get a bigger tax return. Improvements add value. Unlike rental improvements, when you paint, make additions, or improvements to your home it increases in value. Buying builds equity. Buying a home is good use of your money. As you make payments over time, the equity increases. When renting, you get no return for your money. Once the money is spent, it's gone. Low interest rates. While interest rates are slowly going up, the nation is still experiencing record low rates which allows buyers to buy more house for their money at lower monthly payments. Capital appreciation. Unlike buying a car, or renting... homes (when taken care of) usually appreciate in value. More Space. If you've always wanted that extra room for an office or weight room...here's your chance. Renters typically live in smaller spaces...home buyers have more square footage for their money. The "owned" home is your castle. You control the decor. You can paint and decorate as you like. You can add to the size of your home and make improvements. You will not have to face rent increases Learn More About Buying
Home Warranties Can Help Home Sellers and Buyers Home warranties are very useful, whether you are buying or selling a home. A home warranty policy will pay for the cost of fixing and, if necessary, replacing many systems including heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing, water heaters, ovens, refrigerators, etc. The policy offers coverage against normal damage and is for a set period of time, usually one year. In some cases ceiling fans, pools and even roofs can be warranted. Typically a home warranty will cost between $350 - $600 depending on terms, conditions and contract period. When you make a claim, there is usually a small deductible. Home warranties don't cover already damaged items (pre-existing conditions) and don't cover cosmetic repairs (rust, paint, etc.). Usually home warranties don't cover structural items such as window frames, doors, etc. It is important to find out the specific terms of a home warranty. Advantages for Sellers Home warranties can be an excellent marketing tool when selling a home. Your house can be listed as fully warranted, which means home buyers don't have to worry about being deceived about the condition of items in a home. Warranties also differentiate your home from others and may help in negotiations over the price of the home. Home warranties typically take effect after closing and last for one year. In a situation where selling a home in a short time frame is important, home warranties can make the difference and can even bring a higher price. Advantages for Buyers Even if a seller does not pay for a home warranty, a buyer may want to purchase one. A repair on a major appliance on a house can easily exceed the cost of a home warranty. Home warranties also give peace of mind in the period after a purchase. Typically a household's cash reserves are depleted after purchasing a home and any major repair can be a tremendous financial burden to the family. A typical repair to a furnace will cost $1250 - $3500, well above the cost of a home warranty. Typically an agent or real estate agency can provide you with a home warranty. As with any contract, read the terms and conditions closely. In most states, real estate agencies get a monetary incentive for selling a home warranty. Try shopping around for warranties to make sure the real estate company is trying to get you the best deal. Home warranties are very common. It is estimated that nearly one million policies were sold last year. Request Home Warranty Information Contact us if you are interested in finding out more about a warranty for your property. Request Information
Welcome back toCrye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. This week, Jack Webb shares his expertise and gives us a few tips on making an offer on a house. Hire a Realtor When you hire Crye-Leike, you not only get a top-notch Realtor, you also will have access to moving services, relocation services, and much more. Find out about the Home and Neighborhood Discuss home comparables and neighborhood amenities. Begin with the End in Mind Think about where you want to end up when finished negotiating. Find out the Seller's Motivation If the home has been on the market for a long time or the seller has a big motivation for wanting to move quickly, they will be more willing to negotiate on price. Find out the Home's Condition Always get an inspection and find out how much maintenance will be required. Get Pre-Qualified You want to know what you can qualify for for your loan. If you are pre-qualified, you offer looks much better to the seller. Less Contingencies The less contingencies that you have in you offer, the more attractive your offer looks to the seller. Keep Your Emotions in Check Consider how the seller will view your offer. The goal is for this to be a win-win situation for both sides. For more information on buying a home with Crye-Leike,CLICK HERE!
Not All Real Estate Companies Are Equal! Top 10 customer benefits that put Crye-Leike above the rest. Our Agent Network Over 3000 highly trained market experts across 9 states and 1 Island and the countless years of listing and selling experience. Largest Relocation Network 65+ countries, 4000+ companies - we find more buyers from out of town, than other companies. Our Sales Record Proven experience. With over 30,000 sales last year we know what it takes to get your home sold. Unsurpassed Customer Service Our goal is 100% satisfaction. Brand Recognition 40+ years in the local community. We've built dependable relationships. Trusted Market Leader Ranked #1 in TN/AR/MS. #5 in Nation. Based on market shares of MLS closings. Location, Location, Location More walk in traffic with over 115 locationsand over 3200+ licensed professionals... means more walk-in traffic and easier access to Crye-Leike associates. This means more buyers have quick and easy access to your listing. One Stop Shopping Only company in the area to provide mortgage, closing, and insurance. Home Services Discounts from vendors for Crye-Leike customers help you save money as you get your home ready to market. Free vendor and home services referral program is available only to Crye-Leike customers... No more waiting in endless lines when hooking up cable, telephone, or utilities at your new home...one call to Crye-Leike Home Services and you're waiting-in-line days are over. Vendors must maintain quality satisfaction and offer discounts to Crye-Leike customers. Dedicated Marketing Departments Fully staffed professional in-house marketing departments... No other real estate company in the area provides their associates more marketing tools at the lowest possible costs, than Crye-Leike. That means all Crye-Leike associates can do more and better promotions for every customer. This means a quicker sale. From virtual tours, to post cards, from flyers to marketing plans...only Crye-Leike has it all in-house for you, not just to serve you better - to serve you the BEST! List Your Home with a Crye-Leike Agent We're often asked what it takes to sell a home. The short answer is: preparation, pricing, smart, targeted marketing, leveraging our vast network of agents and buyers, showings, savvy negotiation and much more. Crye-Leike agents possess a high degree of expertise in all aspects of representation. Talk to one now.
Welcome back toCrye-Leike Insights! Each week, we share tips, stories, and wisdom from our Crye-Leike family. This week,Kim Hairrell from theCrye-Leike REO Division joins to give us some advice and tips for buying a foreclosure. Purchasing the Foreclosed Property Cash Offers - You must get a proof of fund from your lender. Loan Offers - Make sure your lender knows that you are purchasing a foreclosed home and that the repairs will not be done by the seller. You will have to specify that these will be completed after closing. Making Your Offer Stand Out Foreclosed homes are aggressively priced... usually resulting in multiple offers. The Bank is looking for the best net offer. Things to make your offer look better: cash offers, no closing costs, no concessions, shorter inspection periods, shorter closing periods. Inspections for Foreclosed Homes All foreclosed homes are winterized in the winter. They must be de-winterized before inspection. Ask in your contract to have the seller pay for the de-winterizing. Sometimes, utilities can not be turned on for inspection. Talk to your inspector on how to handle the inspection. Crye-Leike's REO Division is here to help you through the whole process of buying a foreclosed home! More About Foreclosure Property Services The Crye-Leike REO Division works directly with banks, mortgage lenders and asset management companies to assist in the sale of their bank-owned properties. The division also works with families in financial distress to help them sell their properties before foreclosure becomes the last resort, as well as assists local investors in finding foreclosed properties available to rehab or rent.
Can I write off moving expenses? If you've recently moved because of a job, then part or all of your moving expenses may be deductible. It doesn't matter if it is a new job, the same job or an old job - it just has to be job related. There are two tests to determine if you qualify for the deduction. (If you are a married couple filing jointly, only one of you will have to pass the tests. You are limited to deducting the expenses that occur within one year of the new job's start date.) The Distance Test.The first test is the 50-mile test. The distance between your new primary job and your former home must be at least 50 miles greater than your old commute. The Job Related Test.The second test must show that you moved for work and not just for a change of location. You must be employed full time in the general area of your new job location for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months after the move. This means that you can switch jobs, but you must remain employed. What if you own your own business? The rules are different if you are self-employed. If you are a sole proprietor or partner in a business, you can transfer yourself to Alaska if you feel the need and deduct the cost, as long as you meet the 50-mile and 39-week tests. There is an added test for self-employed people. The test requires that you work full time in the area for 78 weeks during the two years after you move. What if you are re-entering the workforce? If you are just re-entering the full-time workforce, you can claim the deduction if you move for a job. Your new job and your former home must be 50 miles apart, and you must pass the 39-week test. What expenses can you deduct? You know that you have passed all of the tests to deduct your moving expenses, now you want to know what you get in return. You can deduct the following expenses: Packing and shipping costs Insurance on your belongings Up to 30 days of storage fees Some of the expenses occurred in traveling to your new home Cost of disconnecting and reconnecting utilities Are there expenses that you cannot deduct? There are many expenses associated with your move that are not deductible. You cannot deduct the following: (However if any of the above items are used for business purposes, you may be able to deduct some of the expenses as business expenses.) Expenses incurred from buying or selling a home or acquiring or breaking a lease Apartment security deposits Losses from selling or giving up club memberships Driver's license and car registration fees Expenses associated with house hunting You cannot deduct moving expenses paid or reimbursed by your employer. Once you have rounded up all of your qualifying expenses, complete IRS Form 3903. The resulting write off will be on your 1040. Some considerations in company financed moves. Your employer may pay for your moving costs in two ways. It can give you a tax-free reimbursement for the amounts you can deduct or it can add the reimbursement to your salary. If you receive a tax-free reimbursement you don't have to do anything else. The expenses are basically deducted from your income because the reimbursement isn't included in your wages. The amount of the reimbursement will be reported as a nontaxable item on your W-2. If your employer reimburses you through your salary, then you need to fill out Form 3903 to receive a deduction. You will have to do this if you are self-employed. You are able to deduct only what the IRS allows, no matter how much you are reimbursed. If your boss is very generous and reimburses you for meals, you will have to pay income tax on that money. You should be aware of one thing. If your boss gives you a check to move before you actually start the moving process, you may have a little extra thinking to do. What happens if you get the check in December and move in January? It may seem odd, but you can deduct the move in the year that you receive reimbursement, even if you move the next tax year. In this case, you shouldn't file your taxes until you are completely moved. If you haven't moved by April 15, file for an extension until you are moved into your new home and can prove all of your qualifying moving expenses. The above article is intended only for overview information. Always check with current IRS regulations for exact requirements and criteria for deductions.
One of the biggest misconceptions of home buying? The 20% down payment. Heres how to buy with a lot less down. Buying your first home conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy emotions: pride, joy, contentment. But before you get to the good stuff, youve got to cobble together a down payment, a daunting sum if you follow the textbook advice to squirrel away 20% of a homes cost. Here are five creative ways to build your down-payment nest egg faster than you may have ever imagined. Crowdsource Your Dream Home You may have heard of people using sites like Kickstarter to fund creative projects like short films and concert tours. Well, who says you cant crowdsource your first home? Forget the traditional registry, the fine china, and the 16-speed blender. Use sites like Feather the Nest and Hatch My House to raise your down payment. Hatch My House says its helped Americans raise more than $2 million for down payments. Ask the Seller to Help (Really!) When sellers want to a get a deal done quickly, they might be willing to assist buyers with the closing costs. Fewer closing costs = more money you can apply toward your deposit. Theyre called seller concessions, says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for the New York metro area at TD Bank. Talk with your real estate agent. She might help you negotiate for something like 2% of the overall sales price in concessions to help with the closing costs. There are limits on concessions depending on the type of mortgage you get. For FHA mortgages, the cap is 6% of the sale price. For Fannie Mae-guaranteed loans, the caps vary between 3% and 9%, depending on the ratio between how much you put down and the amount you finance. Individual banks have varying caps on concessions. No matter where they net out, concessions must be part of the purchase contract. Look into Government Options The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, offers a number of homeownership programs, including assistance with down payment and closing costs. These are typically available for people who meet particular income or location requirements. HUD has a list of links by state that direct you to the appropriate page for information about your state. HUD offers help based on profession as well. If youre a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, or EMT, you may be eligible under its Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program for a 50% discount on a houses HUD-appraised value in revitalization areas. Those areas are designated by Congress for homeownership opportunities. And if you qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage under this program, the down payment is only $100; you can even finance the closing costs. For veterans, the VA will guarantee part of a home loan through commercial lenders. Often, theres no down payment or private mortgage insurance required, and the program helps borrowers secure a competitive interest rate. Some cities also offer homeownership help. The city of Hartford has the HouseHartford Program that gives down payment assistance and closing cost assistance, says Matthew Carbray, a certified financial planner with Ridgeline Financial Partners and Carbray Staunton Financial Planners in Avon, Conn. The program partners with lenders, real estate attorneys, and homebuyer counseling agencies and has helped 1,200 low-income families. Check with Your Employer Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs help connect low- to moderate-income workers with down payment assistance through their employer. In Pennsylvania, if you work for a participating EAH employer, you can apply for a loan of up to $8,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance. The loan is interest-free and borrowers have 10 years to pay it back. Washington University in St. Louis offers forgivable loans to qualified employees who want to purchase housing in specific city neighborhoods. University employees receive the lesser of 5% of the purchase price or $6,000 toward down payment or closing costs. Ask the human resources or benefits personnel at your employer if the company is part of an EAH program. Take Advantage of Special Lender Programs Finally, many lenders offer programs to help people buy a home with a small down payment. I would say that the biggest misconception [of homebuying] is that you need 20% for the down payment of a house, says Rodriguez. There are a lot of programs out there that need a total of 3% or 3.5% down. FHA mortgages, for example, can require as little as 3.5%. But bear in mind that there are both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance payments. The mortgage insurance could add another $300 to your monthly mortgage payment, Rodriguez says. Some lender programs go even further. TD Bank, for example, offers a 3% down payment with no mortgage insurance program, and other banks may have similar offerings. Check with your regional bank, Rodriguez says. Maybe they have their own first-time buyer program. Not so daunting after all, is it? Theres actually a lot of help available to many first-time buyers who want to achieve their homeownership dreams. All you need to do is a little research and start peeking at those home listings! By: ERIK SHERMAN. Erik covers business, technology, finance, personal finance, and economics for such outlets as CBS MoneyWatch, Inc.com, Fortune.com, and Forbes.com. Hes the author or co-author of 10 books on a variety of subjects. Visit Houselogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.
Moving can be a hectic and expensive time. If possible, you can save money by moving yourself. A Self-Move means that you will acquire your own packing materials, and arrange for people to help you load and unload your belongings. Below is a list of items that you should consider when moving yourself. Moving Truck - size depends on need You will need to know how to drive the truck that you rent. Some companies offer units with power steering and power brakes, others do not. An automatic transmission may or may not be available. Remember that these are real trucks, not modified cars. They handle differently than a car. They have large blind spots, and are top heavy so they must be driven slower and braking distances are longer. Also be aware of overhangs that do not normally pose problems to cars. Towing a Vehicle When reserving a rental truck, be sure to indicate if you have a vehicle to be towed. Also indicate the make, year and model. This way the self-move dealer can reserve the proper type of towing item. Furniture/Appliance Dollies & Furniture Pads - for leverage and protection Your rental dealer can supply you with tools to help make moving certain items easier. These include dollies, which you place heavy items upon to give you leverage; furniture pads for surface protection; and straps to tie down the load. Bungee cables are not recommended. Also hand trucks may be necessary to help move bulky and heavy items. Fuel Like rental cars, if you bring the truck back at a lower gas level, the rental company will charge for the amount of gallons it takes for them to re-fuel. It is more cost effective for you to fill it up before you return it. Supplies - boxes, tape, mattress bags, mirror boxes This is an additional expense of moving. As soon as you know you are moving, you may want to start accumulating packing materials from various sources to help save money. Otherwise rental facilities and package stores carry this type of material. Reservations & Deposits Be sure to reserve the rental truck as soon as you know the date you are moving. This insures that you will have the truck available on the days that you need it. Most rental companies will require a deposit to secure the reservation. Rental Insurance Protection Many times your homeowner or rental insurance may not protect your household goods while in transit. You should check with your current insurance agent. Also ask your self-move dealer what protection they can offer you for the rental period. When you pick up your truck, review the paperwork to see that the rental protection is included. Remember that when you pick up your truck, the dealer will show you everything you need to know. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to keep receipts of all of your expenses, including the rental, gas, food and lodging. The receipts may be needed for your taxes and/or if you are working with a relocation company or a corporate move.
This week on Crye-Leike Insights we hear from Angie Vandenbergh, our Director of Web Technologies, about why you should be searching for homes on Crye-Leike.com. Why search for homes on Crye-Leike.com Crye-Leike participates in about 40 different MLS systems and displays all available properties from all companies and agents in our markets. This includes Crye-Leike listings and competitor's listings. Property photos and information is updated every 12 minutes. Crye-Leike.com includes all photos and open houses (some sites don't display all the media). Crye-Leike.com includes a sold search - find out your neighbor's selling price. About Angie Vandenbergh, Director of Web Technologies Angie has worked at Crye-Leike for 18 years. Angie is responsible for development, data, online and social media related services for Crye-Leike. You can visit herLinkedIn page atwww.linkedin.com/in/angievandenbergh/ Check in next week for moreCrye-Leike Insights.
This week on Crye-Leike Insights we turn the camera towards our customers. Listen to some of our past clients share their experiences working with Crye-Leike. Integrity "After we met our agent, we felt comfortable going with Crye-Leike because it was such a reputable brand." Today, Crye-Leike is the nation's 5th largest real estate company and the largest serving markets in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and across the Mid-South. Crye-Leike has a network of more than 3,200+ licensed sales associates, 600+ staff members and over 120+ branch and franchise offices. Responsiveness "Our agent would send us listings whenever they came available. They were new houses that weren't on these websites, that we were able to take a look at before they were on the market." We respond quickly to customer needs. Passion to be Better "We are a full service company. People don't have to go to different places to get the kind of service that they are looking for... We're a one-stop shop, and that's exactly what consumers want and expect." To find a Crye-Leike agent near you, visitcrye-leike.com/real-estate-agents!