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Archive for the ‘Mortgages’ Category

Sell my house fast

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

Have you ever said the phrase, “I need my house to sell fast”, then followed it with “but I must have $X dollars for it”? Yes, we all have. And yet, we are in a “Seller’s market” but many buyers don’t know that!

If you are having trouble selling, and more importantly, getting to closing, you should talk to a Realtor who knows how to get buyers AND sellers to the closing table: me!!! Call, text or email me – I’m here, waiting to talk with you!

Nancy Sold Another One

Nancy Sold Another One

Atlanta Home Appraisals and Inspections

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

When I list a home, I try to control all aspects of the process. I do this because I think it should be my responsibility that the house not only goes under contract, but that it goes to closing!

I follow up with the selling-agent about any inspections, and go to the home- inspection, checking in with the other agent and the inspector and if they are there, introducing myself to the buyer, as the seller’s representative. I do this because I believe that it is my job to (a) make sure that there are no non-related items on the report  and also (b) to represent the seller.

We are in an appreciating market, unlike the depreciating one we’ve been in for several years. In this current market, it is too difficult to “hope and wish” that the property will appraise for the sales price. After the inspection but before the appraisal, I take the lockbox off the door, courtesy-calling the selling agent in advance, and telling him/her that I what and why I am doing this. I do this with all my listings, so that I am able to meet and talk with the appraiser. Because I am the one who is letting the appraiser into the house, taking the lockbox off enables me to justify the listing price/sales price to an appraiser, usually in-person.  Once the home is appraised, I put the lockbox back on the house, enabling the buyer to take another look, most times “locking” them into their love of the property.

After the house is strongly “Under Contract”, ready for closing, an “Under Contract” sign is placed on the house. Why so late? Because I want to encourage back-up offers.

Does your agent do this for you? If not, call or email me and allow me to tell you all of the other things I do for a seller!

Atlanta Sold homes

Atlanta Real Estate

 

 

Atlanta’s Real Estate Closings in 2012

Friday, December 28th, 2012

What paperwork do you need if you bought or sold in 2012?  Many residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain), but sellers will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms.

Buyers: 

1.  HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation. Pay attention to closing costs, prepaid interest, property tax prorations, and other fees that may be deductible.

2.     Recorded Warranty Deed (or other deeds such as Limited Warranty Deed, Special Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Executor’s Deed, or Trustee’s Deed)  – these are needed to claim homestead exemption. You must provide recording deed book and page number from the recorded deed.

Sellers:

1.     HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation to show the sales price and all costs of the sale (closing costs, commissions, property taxes, etc.);

2.     1099 form – usually provided at closing by closing attorney – this form shows the gross sales price plus any prorated taxes that are being credited to the seller from the buyer (in case the seller tries to deduct the entire year’s property taxes).  The 1099 forms are no longer mailed out; there is an electronic report sent by each closing attorney directly to the IRS.

Again, please note that many, but not all, residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain);  the seller will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms! Remember, as your Atlanta Realtor, I will always keep you informed!

 

Closing on your New Home during the Holidays

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Many of the real estate closings in November and December have to be scheduled around the longer holiday breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s Day.  Most lenders and attorneys are closed for the Wednesday – Friday period around Thanksgiving. They are also usually closed for an extra day or two before or after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

There are also many buyers, sellers, and agents who will be out of town or otherwise unavailable during these holiday breaks.

Attorneys and lenders  will work hard to accommodate the buyers and sellers, but it is important to check with all parties before scheduling and to make every attempt to have all parties at closing.  Mailouts of loan packages are much more complicated today, and the parties must find a title company or attorney in their location to supervise the signatures.  This is required for buyers and sellers.  In addition, the loan papers must be sent out several days prior to the closing deadline, in order to meet the contract expiration for completing the closing.

Please notify the closing attorney and lender as soon as possible if you know that you or the other party will be unavailable for your closing, and try to reschedule your closing to avoid the extra time, effort, and expense of a mailout.

And, as always, if you want to CLOSE before 2013, call Nancy Aroneck & Company! We are experienced and will actually get you to the closing table  quickly, and with as little “pain” as possible!

Finding a Realtor in Atlanta

Monday, March 5th, 2012

How does one go about finding a good Realtor in Atlanta? Are you looking for one that is trustworthy and honest or one who knows the real estate market and all of Atlanta’s neighborhoods? Do you want a Realtor that will find you the right house or one who can negotiate on your behalf for your new Atlanta home? Can you combine these attributes and get it all?

The answer to all of the above should be a resounding “Yes”!

Ask your friends who own a home: “how did you find your Realtor”? In a recent study by the National Association of Realtors’ of how buyers/sellers found their agent, over 80% of buyers/sellers say, as they walk away from the closing table, they would use their agent again*. Yet when it comes to actually re-buying or re-selling, less than 10% actually used their previous agent*.

How frequently do you hear from your agent? Does  she keep up with you and your family’s lives? Does she know the market and give you information regarding the Atlanta real estate market’s fluctuations? If not, you could be one of the 70% that forgets your agent’s name and number, when you sell or buy property.

For many of my buyers/sellers, I am on  the 2nd, 3rd and in one case, 4th “generation”, of purchases/sales! My clients refer me to their friends and relatives because I keep in touch and keep my clients in the-know. Does your Atlanta Realtor do that? If not, may I help you with your real estate needs?

* From a National Association of Realtors’ study of buyers/sellers.

Cash Buyers

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Many buyers are choosing to buy real estate for cash, thanks to low prices, a huge inventory of foreclosed properties, and poor rates of return on other types of investments. In September, 2010, 20.9% of all buyers in the metro-Atlanta area paid all-cash for their property! 

 Although the only legal requirement for a cash purchase is the money, there are several important considerations for a cash buyer:

  1.  Home inspection – never buy a property without one;
  2. Appraisal – there is no lender appraisal, so this is the only way to insure that the purchase price is reasonable;  
  3. Survey – always recommended for small lots and properties in older or urban areas;  
  4. Flood zone determination – a lender always checks this, and a buyer should also;  
  5. Hazard insurance – always have the property bound with insurance from the closing date (do not put this off);  
  6. Termite inspection – a termite problem can be a major expense;  Water bills: look at recent water bills to make sure they are not unreasonably high. A high bill could reveal a leaky or broken pipe;  
  7. HOA dues or condo dues – inquire about pending assessments or increases in dues – check the foreclosure rates, owner/occupancy rates, and financial stability of the complex and association;  
  8. Owner’s title insurance – this is imperative for the cash buyer, especially when buying a foreclosed or distressed property such as a short sale.

Help for Atlanta’s Underwater Mortgages?

Friday, August 6th, 2010

 The rumors are circulating that the Obama administration is trying to throw more money at underwater homeowners.  The Obama plan, which may be revealed on August 17, would help those owners’ whose home is worth less than what they owe on it.

An estimated 15 million U.S. mortgages – one in five – are underwater with negative equity of approximately $800 billion!  Will this plan help the politicians or homeowners?  read the entire article  

Atlanta Real Estate: The New Tax Break

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

On April 30, 2010, mortgage rates were 5.125%.  April 30 was the last day to write a contract and be eligible for the $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit offered by the IRS. Today, mortgage rates are 4.375%.

For Atlanta homebuyers who purchased after the tax credit expired, the difference in these rates, for a $300,000 loan, would be a savings of $135/month!  Over a 5-year period, today’s homebuyer would save $8,100 in interest payments, versus the homebuyer who received the tax credit, but closed on a higher interest rate.  

In effect, the market/banks are providing an amazing stimulus to the economy!

Geogia’s Taxes: Up, Up and Away?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Here we go: the state of Georgia has raised many of our tax fees and lowered just a few.

On May 12, the governor of Georgia signed House Bill 1055 into law. Taking effect immediately, it raises the mortgage-per-loan fee from $6.50 to $10.00. This fee is charged on every purchase and refinance HUD-1 statement, as part of borrower’s closing costs. While it is not a huge amount, it is charged on every transaction!

The state portion of the property taxes has been eliminated. Now, all property taxes collected, will go to the county and city where the property is located for their use. However, do not look for lowered taxes there. My guess is that counties and cities will continue to cut services and raise taxes.

However, the good news is that House Bill 1055 eliminated state income tax on retirement income for seniors aged 65 and older.

Many court filing fees and license fees have increased, some by over $100. Real estate recording fees did not change, but civil action fees, corporate fees and other transactional fees are affected. One fee that will affect me directly, is the cost to print information on deeds and legal documents. When I take a  new listing or research property for a buyer-client, the GA county clerks’ site is where I go to look up that information. Their printing fees have doubled because of House Bill 1055!

The bill is 107 pages long and has other provisions. How will it affect you?

First-time Homebuyers’ Credit

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

This is what we are hearing about the tax credit that Congress passed, as part of the Stimulus Bill:

Q:
 I’m hearing about an $8,000 first-time home buyer credit that doesn’t need to be repaid – is it too good to be true?
 
A:
It’s true. For eligible first-time home buyers who purchased a home after Jan. 1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009, the stimulus bill provides for a refundable credit equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000.

And, yes, unlike the credit provided last year, this first-time home buyer credit does NOT have to be repaid, unless you sell the home or it no longer is your principal residence within 36 months of purchase.

The Tax Institute has asked the IRS for guidance on how the credit should be claimed on a 2008 tax return until the IRS can update Form 5405 to reflect
the increased credit. 
 
Q: 
 Are there income phaseouts with this first-time home buyer credit?
 
A:
 Yes. The new $8,000 credit begins to phase out for individuals with incomes over $75,000 or married couples with incomes over $150,000 filing jointly.
 
Q:
 But what about those of us who purchased a home in early 2009 and took advantage of the $7,500 credit when we filed on our 2008 federal tax return – are we just out of luck?
 
A:
 No, you can still take advantage of the $8,000 credit if you purchased your home in 2009, but you will have to file an amended return to claim the additional credit, up to $500, to which you’re entitled.

You must have purchased your home in 2009, however, to be eligible for the up to $8,000 credit. Homes purchased in 2008 do not qualify. 
 
Q: 
 I purchased my home in 2008 and was eligible for the $7,500 first-time home buyers’ credit, will I still have to repay it?
 
A:
 Unfortunately, yes. Those who purchased homes in 2008 and received the first-time home buyers’ credit are still required to repay the credit over a 15-year period, or sooner if they do not continue to live in the home as their principal residence for the full 15 years.

Need help finding the right home? Call us and Experience True Experience!