The Do’s and Don’ts of Your Mortgage Application

29 Sep

9.29.14 mortgage applicationMany potential homebuyers today are intimidated by the mortgage process and overwhelmed by the paperwork. While lending guidelines and documentation requirements are at an all-time high, the process can be navigated with guidance from a professional mortgage consultant.

Here are some things to consider:

DO organize your financial documents. This includes your tax returns and W-2’s for two years; 30 days of paystubs and two months of bank statements. This is essential information to have with you when you meet with your mortgage consultant. These documents will help your mortgage consultant determine if there is other information you may need.

DON’T open any new credit or make any credit changes. Your mortgage consultant can review your report with you. If there are any late payments or collections, you will be required to write a detailed letter of explanation. You also will need to explain any recent credit inquiries and confirm whether you have any new credit as a result.

DON’T move money around within your accounts. The base requirement for your mortgage application is the past two months of bank statements. However, any large non-payroll deposits will have to be traced to indicate the source of these funds.

DO respond to any requests for additional documentation throughout the process quickly. Failure to respond promptly can slow down an approval and in some cases, require the lender to request even more documentation.

DON’T take it personally. Mortgage lending is invasive, as a result of the mortgage crisis in 2007-2008. Lenders are making loans but now must document them – and dot every “i” and cross every “t”.

Finally, DO contact your Allen Tate Mortgage Consultant to help you navigate the process.


Lisa Green (Vice President of Loan Origination)

Allen Tate Mortgage NMLS# 79543

Loans available in NC/SC

All loans subject to credit and collateral approval.


The cold and frosty Carolinas

26 Sep

9.26.14 Breweries in the CarolinasWhat? Cold and frosty in the Carolinas? Not very often – unless you are in search of local beers and brews made right here in our area. In that case, you can find a cold and frosty one almost anywhere, any time. Raise your glass to these unique places right here in our states.

Having a lovely time. Wish you were beer.

North Carolina is home to nearly 100 breweries and brew pubs – the most of any state south of Pennsylvania and east of Texas. Find your favorite breweries and brew pubs in North Carolina with this handy brewery map and guide.

In Charlotte, stop by NoDa Brewing to sample a NoDable Series small-batch brew. Try a distinctly Southern beer like Hogwash (paired with a plate of North Carolina barbecue) at Fullsteam in Durham. The popular Natty Greene’s is made and bottled in Greensboro, NC and you’ll find an assortment of excellent lagers at Red Oak Brewery in nearby Whitsett.

Just across the North/South Carolina border, you’ll find Legal Remedy Brewing in Rock Hill. Bikers and walkers reward themselves after logging some miles on the Swamp Rabbit Trail at Swamp Rabbit Brewery & Taproom in Travelers Rest, SC.

The Upstate is home to several other breweries, including Blue Ridge Brewing Company and Thomas Creek Beer in Greenville, and R.J. Rockers Brewing Company in Spartanburg.

Brews Cruises, Trails and Fests

Interested in making an adventure out of exploring Carolina breweries? Check out the Raleigh-area beer trail, the Greenville Brew Tours  or a Charlotte Brews Cruise.  At the U.S. National Whitewater Center, join one of several Brews Cruise events during which a nice kayak paddle down the river is rewarded with dinner and food pairing from a regional microbrewer.

If beer festivals are your thing, then fall is the perfect time to celebrate. Check out OctoberFest events in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as other fall events showcasing craft beers. Cheers!

Nothing but Blue Skies

24 Sep

9.24.14 New House Blue SkyWhat’s the forecast for new construction? The sun is shining brighter – and the skies are definitely bluer – when it comes to the rebounding housing market in the Carolinas.

Both Charlotte and Raleigh are among the fastest growing cities in the country, which is certainly good news for housing. But let’s take a closer look.

Prior to the recession, the United States was permitting more than 1.5 million single-family homes per year (including townhomes, but not condos or apartments). Post-recession, we have been permitting on average 400,000 single family homes annually. If you do the math, you can see we need a whole lot of new homes just to catch up – and that doesn’t take into consideration moving forward.

The Carolinas are faring well by all economic indicators, according to David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. The report Percent of Normal Single Family Market tracks when the largest markets reach pre-recession rates for single-family building permits – which is considered “normal.”

Currently the major Carolina markets are trending around 50 percent of normalcy; and are projected to reach 60 percent by the end of 2014 and 90 percent by the end of 2015.

So why is this an important barometer to the economic health of the Carolinas? If the current trends persist and the Carolinas continue to grow in population, the demand for single-family housing will be at an all-time high. It’s critical that we are able to provide new home opportunities for job transferees – the product of this improved economy.

Available housing stock is a critical benchmark for employers when they are considering relocating to an area. So we must continue to “stock the shelves” with available housing inventories to keep the employers coming. And we’re moving comfortably in the right direction.

As Willie Nelson sings, “Nothing but blue skies” – certainly a great forecast for the Carolinas new home market.

Mike LaRuffa
President, Builder Services Inc.

Prowl the Den with the Carolina Panthers

22 Sep

ProwlTheDen-EmailTag12,180 square feet – That’s the size of each of the two new high-definition video boards above each end zone in Bank of America Stadium.

But where do they control those huge screens?

If you’re like me, you’re curious about stuff like that when you watch the Carolina Panthers play. Like … how do they feed those big guys? Where do they keep all of the equipment? How many people can those new escalators move on Game Day?

We want you to find out for yourself what goes on behind the scenes. Back by popular demand, Allen Tate Company, an Official Partner of the Carolina Panthers, invites you Prowl the Den and win an Insider’s Tour of Bank of America Stadium.

On November 8, 2014, 25 lucky winners will participate in a guided, open house tour of the Panthers’ facilities. Each winner may bring three additional family members or friends, and will begin their tour with a tailgate party with Sir Purr. Then the tour will take winners to areas throughout the stadium that are not open to the general public. Hang out in the locker room and sneak a peek at the Gridiron Club. You just never know who you might see hanging around “the house.”

At the end of the tour, one of the 25 tour winners will win a Grand Prize – four suite tickets and four field passes for the December 21, 2014 home game vs. Cleveland and four replica Carolina Panthers jerseys.

Are you ready to Prowl the Den? Then register now at; contact any Allen Tate Realtor®; or stop by any Allen Tate sales office. No purchase is necessary. Contest is open to North and South Carolina residents age 18 or over at the time of entry, with a valid email address. Winners may bring guests age 5 and older. Limit one entry per person.

Contest ends at 11:59 a.m. on October 31, 2014, so don’t miss your chance. And tell your family and friends.

We’re ready for some football – and we hope you are, too. Register now for our Prowl the Den Contest, and help us celebrate our partnership of the Carolinas’ home teams!

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

Trust the Professionals

19 Sep

Market Update for CarolinasWhen you visit Bank of America Stadium this football season, you’ll be sure to notice the impressive additions – new escalators, ribbon boards circling the seating area and two amazing 12,180-square-foot, high-definition PantherVision video screens.

What you won’t notice is the team of experienced professionals – contractors, engineers, electricians, and other skilled craftsmen – who seamlessly incorporated these enhancements into the “bones” of the original stadium. If you’ve ever remodeled, you have an idea of how involved the process can be.

While the professional knowledge and experience of a Realtor® is essential when buying a home, it’s also important when it’s time to make enhancements. In the September-October edition of Carolinas Market Update, I talk about the role of your Realtor between transactions.

Your Realtor works for you, represents your best interests, negotiates for you and shops for you when you’re buying a home. Your Realtor can also offer professional advice you can trust when it’s time to remodel or make repairs.

For example, your Realtor can help you understand the right level improvements for your market area, so that the improvements will add value and you’ll see a return on investment when it’s time to sell.

Your Realtor can also help you choose the right contractor, building products and materials, as well as understand the latest trends in design and decorating.

Whether you’re ready to buy, ready to sell or simply navigating the world of homeownership, your Allen Tate Realtor should be part of your game plan. Give us a call.

Pat Riley
President and Chief Operating Officer, Allen Tate Company

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