I’ll Be Home for Christmas

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

  Let’s face it, if you are in the market for a new home, but don’t have one under contract now, you probably won’t be in a new home for Christmas this year. But what is a home, really? And, why is the holiday season different than any other time of year? So many people have a hard time during the holidays. They are alone or all their friends/family are far away. I’ve been there. The first year I moved to Nashville from Phoenix I was alone on Thanksgiving. It was the first time in my life I was not with my family at a holiday. I had plans to go to dinner with the guy I was seeing at the time so it wasn’t that bad. We hadn’t set a time so I got ready and waited for him to call. All my family was at my parent’s house having a great time. I called them and talked to everyone. It was tough not being there but I was happy to be starting a new chapter on my own. I got finished talking to them and was looking forward to the dinner bell ringing. I waited a little longer and then I called his house (this was before everyone had cell phones – yes, I lived through that time). One of his roommates answered and said he and their other roommate left a while ago to go have dinner. What??? I surely must have heard him wrong. I didn’t. I couldn’t call my family again. I was too heartbroken. I changed out of my Thanksgiving dinner outfit, put my hair up and scrounged around my apartment to find something to eat. Who is around you? Who are the ones that you may even overlook? If you are one that is alone, reach out to a friend or a co-worker. I guarantee you, you will be welcomed into a holiday celebration. Don’t feel like you are intruding. Don’t worry what people will think. If you want to be alone, go for it, but if you really want to be able to say, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” be “home” wherever you are and whomever you’re with. Happy Holidays and Welcome...

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Online Mortgage Companies

Online Mortgage Companies

  So, you’re in the market for a new home and you need a mortgage. It is a great idea to shop around. While rates are mostly based on you as an individual and likely won’t change with vendors, there are other factors that can cost you more from company to company. My first recommendation is to ask your Realtor. If you don’t have a Realtor, ask a friend for a referral if they were happy with their lender. You will likely check out online mortgage companies as well. I will give you some pros and cons and things to watch out for. A personal referral is almost always a great way to go. Here’s why: Someone you know and trust has used them or recommends them. Depending on the referrers relationship, you may get some discounts on fees or they may rush the process if needed. This lender will likely check lots of options for you and suggest the one or two loan programs that suit your needs best. You have a personal advocate to work things out on your behalf and you aren’t going through a call center. If they are local, you can go to their office to go through paperwork so you understand the process and what you are signing. Online mortgage companies can be great, but they can also be a nightmare. Here’s why: Unless you have been referred to an actual person at an online company, you are just getting whomever happens to be next on the list at the time you contact them. They may or may not have a good amount of experience. Some online mortgage companies tout low rates but you need to make sure to get a list of all the fees they will charge. Unfortunately, even if you ask for all fees up front, you may have a surprise fee show up in the process or even at the closing. Since you don’t have a personal relationship, some online mortgage company employees can be a bit more callus and not be as concerned with your referrals or reviews, therefore, not advocate for you if things go wrong. Some online mortgage companies may not have the ability to do all types of loans, therefore, they may push you into a loan that isn’t really the best for you. If/when delays happen or issues arise, it is much harder to get to a person in a superior position to help. The most delays and disappointment I have seen my clients deal with is when they have used an online mortgage company. This is not to say that some have not had great experiences, but the majority have not. Rule of...

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We’re Closing!

We’re Closing!

  You have been keeping your house clean for what seems like an eternity. A Buyer came along and you negotiated the terms and your agent calls to say, “We’re closing!” So now what? There are several things you need to know and to consider about the closing. If you read my blog Read The Contract!, you will know how important it is to read what you are signing. Not only can you get into legal trouble if you don’t, you may not understand the important details of the actual closing and your move. I go over the contract with my clients but even still, there is so much information and many times, emotion, that not everyone understands the details they are agreeing to. Let’s take a look at some details that can be overlooked:   Closing and Possession Date:Are these dates the same? In Tennessee, most of the time they are but not necessarily. If they are the same, that means that when you go to closing to sign the paperwork, if you are the Seller, you need to be out of the house for good. If you are the Buyer, when you go to closing, as long as the house has been paid for (I will talk about this point in more detail), you should receive keys and be allowed to move in immediately. As a Seller, if you know you are going to need more time to get out, that needs to be discussed in negotiations. As a Buyer, if you need to get into the house prior to closing, that needs to be negotiated on the front end. Be sure to communicate timing with your agent or the other party. Your closing may be first thing in the morning and the other party may not be signing papers until the end of the business day if the closings are “split.” This may cause some confusion as to when the Seller needs to be out and when the Buyer can move in. Funding:Whether the Buyer is paying cash or getting a loan, the money needs to be in the hands of the title company and possibly even the Seller, before the keys will be given and the Buyer will gain possession.  If there is a loan involved, the loan will need to be funded by the mortgage company and the down payment and any closing costs will need to be received. Many people think that since they signed the paperwork, it is a done deal and the Buyer can move in. Just like you can’t walk out of a grocery store with a full cart without paying, you can’t move into a house you haven’t paid...

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